Being Married at Wesley Uniting Church


You are not obliged to be a member of the Church in order to be married at Wesley.

However, we believe that every person, and every marriage, is made happier and complete through membership of the Christian Church. We would encourage you both to be members of your Parish Church.

For those who wish to consider membership of Wesley Church, conversations for Church Membership are held during the year.

People whose membership has lapsed, or who are members of other churches can be admitted either by re-affirmation of faith or by resolution of the Church Council.

Any person wishing to become a member of Wesley Church, Canberra, should contact the Minister.

Persons who have not previously been members of the Christian Church would normally be asked to attend membership classes and to be confirmed at a special service.

"Let marriage be held in honour by all..." Hebrews 13:4a


We are glad to know that you are contemplating being married within Wesley Church. We hope that the information set out here will answer your preliminary questions and guide you in making satisfactory arrangements.



It is wise for you to inquire as soon as a date for the wedding s proposed. In the first instance, the request is made to the office.

Written confirmation of date of the proposal wedding should be sent to the Church office after the initial discussion with the Minister.

We do not normally arrange weddings prior to 10am or after 7pm and weddings are not normally conducted on Sundays. However, the Minister is willing to discuss any special request.

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You are noT required to be members of the Church. It is simply expected that those who are married in the Church will approach with sincerity the experience of Christian marriage that the wedding service symbolises.

There are certain legal requirements that apply to any marriage - notably that there is no existing marriage, and that if either party is under the age of 18, the parents' written consent will be given, as well as the consent of a Judge or Magistrate.

Different Religious Traditions

We are able to consider the marriage of people of different religions, provided the Minister is satisfied that both parties are aware of any difficulties inherent in their different beliefs. The Minister will expect to discuss this prior to any arrangements being made.

Divorced Partners

Normally, the Minister is able to re-marry a divorced person(s). The Minister is not permitted to officiate at the marriage of a divorced person until the Decree Nisi has become absolute at least one calendar month prior to the wedding, and is available to be sighted before the final interview.

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At the initial interview with the Minister, bring with you your Birth Certificates (extracts are acceptable or, in certain cases, passports or Naturalisation Certificates), and in the case of re-marriage, the Death Certificate or Decree Nisi/Absolute.

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It is expected that all couples who wish to be married at Wesley will attend a pre-marriage course, except where it is not reasonably practicable.

A brochure outlining approved organizations offering programmes of Marriage Counselling and Marriage Education will be given to you at the preliminary interview.

The Prepare Course

We expect couples being married in Wesley to participate in the Prepare Course, which is a professional counselling instrument used widely in Australia by most marriage celebrants. Prepare is designed to help you get your marriage off to a good start. Prepare will help you build upon the strength you have as a couple and will assist you in more clearly identifying areas of your relationship that may need attention.  The cost of Prepare, for the computer read-out and 3.5 hours of consultation is available from the office. The Minister will talk to you about arrangements for doing Prepare .

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A rehearsal of the wedding ceremony can be arranged to take place in association with the final interview a day or two before the wedding.

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All documents necessary for the wedding are supplied by the Church - one being completed at the last interview, and the others at various stages prior to the wedding. Other documentation is completed on the wedding day.

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The ceremony is conducted by the Minister according to the rites of the Uniting Church in Australia. Variations in the Service may be allowed after consultation with the Minister. Participation in the Service by family members or friends is encouraged.

The duration of the ceremony from the arrival of the bride to the time of leaving the Church, is approximately 35 minutes.

You are requested not to throw confetti or rice whist in the Church grounds. Your cooperation would be greatly appreciated.

Orders of Service:

You may wish to have printed your own Order of Service. It is necessary that consultation with the Minister as to the content take place before proceeding to printing.


We shall arrange for our Organist, or a deputy, to play at your wedding.

In the absence of any specific request, the processional music played is Trumpet Voluntary (Jeremiah Clarke) and Mendelssohn's “Wedding March”. If you wish to vary this, feel free to consult the Music Coordinator.

You will also need to contact the Music Coordinator if you have arranged for a soloist to sing during the service. The Music Coordinator can arrange for one of the Choir principals to sing if desired, the fee for this being negotiated with the Music Coordinator. Titles of all solos need to be approved by the Minister.

You may choose your own hymn or hymns (normally one or two) in conjunction with the Minister.


Two large vases of flowers are provided by arrangement with our florist for Friday and Saturday weddings. These remain in the Church for the Sunday services. However, we endeavour to use the colours you prefer with flowers in season at the time.

For weddings on days other than Friday and Saturday, the bridal party is entirely responsible for the supply of flowers. You may ask our florist to arrange them for you. The account would be your responsibility.

Photographs, cassette & video recordings:

Photographs may be taken outside the Church, both before and after the wedding, and also during the signing of the register. No photographs are permitted at other times expect by the official photographer as we believe that the wedding service is too important to be disturbed by flashlights or the movements of photographers.

Any contemplated use of video cameras by professionals or friends of the family must be discussed with the Minister. No extra lighting is allowed to be installed in the Church and no cameras are allowed in the sanctuary area.

Cassette recording of the wedding service can be arranged. The recording is made by the Church and given as you leave after the ceremony. The cost of the recording and operator is currently $25.

Full details for your photographer are outlined here .


The wedding documents need to be witnessed by two persons, who must be over the age of 18 years. These are normally the best man and the first bridesmaid. In the event of two such witnesses not being available in the wedding party, arrangement will need to be made for witnesses who have observed the wedding to be available at the signing of the register.


There is normally ample parking in the Church grounds and in the adjacent streets. Access to the Church car park is from Fitzroy Street just off National Circuit (behind Rydges Hotel).

Wheelchair access is available.

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A flat fee of $1,800 (includes minister, church, music, organist, flowers, attendant, sound, zoom, cleaning bond). A non-refundable deposit of $100 is required at time of booking via direct debit, cash or cheque made payable to “UCA Canberra Central Parish”.  We ask that payment of the balance be made at the time of the final meeting prior to the wedding, or posted to the Church Office before the wedding day.

Fees may be reduced at the minister’s, organist’s, attendant’s and flower arranger’s discretion for those with an association with the Church.

A Prepare Course may be done by the couple but this is now “online” and paid for by the couple.

Please note that this is a Uniting Church and while other clergy may be invited to participate, as is appropriate, the marriage services are conducted by the resident Uniting Church clergy within the guidelines of Uniting Church policy or a visiting Uniting Church minister.

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For the purpose of printing, correspondence etc., would you please note that the correct name and physical location of Wesley Church is:

Wesley Uniting Church
20 National Circuit
Forrest, ACT 2603

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Photographs during Weddings at Wesley Uniting Church:

  • Wesley Church is glad to co-operate with photographers, but the overriding principle is that the wedding service must be protected from interruption or distraction.

  • Photographers are not permitted to take flash photographs during the wedding service. They may, however, take photographs from the rear of the Church, provided no flash or extra lightning is used, and the congregation is not distracted by either noise or movement.

  • Photographs may be taken during the signing of the register.

  • Where the signing is done in the Church, flash photographs may be taken as the couple leaves the Church, providing the photographer does not impede the exit of the wedding party too long.

  • We suggest that photographers permit the couple adequate time to meet their friends outside the Church before they are seated in the wedding car for final photographs.

  • Low light videos are permitted with certain restraints. However, prior consultation with the Minister is essential.

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Safe Place Statement

The Uniting Church in Australia believes that all people are made in the image of God, and as such we accept every individual regardless of race, age, creed, sexuality and gender. 


Wesley Uniting Church
Street: 20 National Circuit, Forrest, ACT 2603
Postal: PO Box 3217, Manuka, ACT 2603

Church Office Hours:
Mon - Fri, 10:00am to 1:00pm
phone: (02) 6295 3680
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We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we live, learn and work, and pay our respects to the First Nations Peoples and their Elders, past, present and emerging.

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