PLANNING A WEDDING SERVICE
Allow us to woo you with the historic charm of St Matthew-in-the-City.
Built in Auckland's central city in 1905, the stone church's majestic neo-Gothic style, ornate stained glass windows and polished oak and kauri pews give it an air of spiritual grandeur unmatched by any establishment in the area. The church is capable of seating 400 people. Specifically designed lighting emphasises the structure's lofty stature.
St Matthew-in-the-City is an Anglican Church that is accepting and inclusive of people of varied faiths and backgrounds. We are delighted when any couple wishes to pledge their love, trust, and fidelity to each other before God and in the presence of their friends and family. The clergy at St Matthew's are here to help you plan a service that reflects you and your partner's dreams, vision and values.
We allow ordained ministers / pastors of other Christian faiths to officiate, however they need to be aware of Anglican guidelines. Civil marriage celebrants are not permitted to preside in any Anglican Church in this Diocese.
Anglican clergy are not yet authorised to conduct marriage ceremonies for same-
gender couples. We continue to work towards a time when we can offer real marriage equality to all, but in the meantime, we are able to offer a blessing ceremony to a couple who have already been married in a civil ceremony.
This would mean on the day of the ceremony or an earlier date you would have your legal marriage at the Registry Office or with a celebrant at another location, and then come to church for a blessing ceremony. The church ceremony would include vows and the blessing of rings, readings, prayers and music as for any wedding ceremony.
We are happy to meet and talk through this option before you make a booking if you want to understand how this would work for you.
To help you begin to think about your ceremony we offer A New Zealand Prayer Book which contains three versions of the marriage service. All three services can be adapted if you wish and you can mix and match sections from each as you prefer. If you choose to write your own service, the prayer book services are a useful outline for what needs to be in it.
Other things to think about for the service include readings and music, and who you would like to participate. Secular and religious readings are frequently used during the ceremony. There are ways to personalise even the most traditional service. Other traditions have become popular such as the lighting of a Unity Candle.
This is your day and we are here to help you along the way.
FEES and BOOKING
The wedding fee is $1390. We do not charge a separate fee for the services of our clergy, organist, or our verger, and a rehearsal during St Matthew’s office hours (10.00am-5.00pm, Monday – Friday).
You are allocated 100 minutes for your ceremony. This time commences when the church is opened 40 minutes before your service begins. Your wedding ceremony usually takes about 35-40 minutes.
If you need more time, please discuss with our Events Manager when booking. There is a fee of $290 per extra hour.
Please note that we cannot accept tentative bookings due to the large number of bookings we receive.
We recommend you confirm your booking as soon as possible because there can often be several requests for the same day and time. A non-refundable and non-transferable deposit of $400 will confirm the date and time of your booking. The remaining outstanding balance is due to be paid within 7 days before the wedding day.
A $260.00 donation is payable to the Bellringers Society should you wish to have the bells rung after your ceremony.
In the event of financial hardship please contact our Vicar.
Check our Parish Calendar for the availability of dates you have in mind then fill out the Request a Wedding Date form. Note that we cannot share every single activity in the calendar such as rehearsals or building maintenance. It is advisable to give us a call Monday-Friday 11am-5pm (09) 281 4893 if you have any doubts.
We do not conduct wedding ceremonies during Holy Week (the week before Easter)
(e.g. 5 April – 13 April 2020, 28 March – 5 April 2021, 10 April – 18 April 2022)
and during three weeks after Christmas (24 December 2019 – 12 January 2020,
24 December 2020 – 10 January 2021, 24 December 2021 – 9 January 2022).
St Matthew’s can accommodate up to 400 guests: the wooden pews seat about 160 people; the upstairs gallery seats up to 40 people; we have 200 additional chairs that can be used on request (please note that some additional seats will have a restricted view due to a number of structural pillars in the church).
Make the most of the location and recruit the church's bell ringers to announce your union
with the echoing chime of church bells. St Matthew’s is home to the only peal of bells (8 bellringers) in Auckland, and features the tallest bell tower in the North Island.
The bells add a unique dimension to your wedding at St Matthew’s. A $260.00 donation is payable to the Bellringers Society should you wish to have the bells rung after your ceremony.
Click here to listen to our bell ringers.
St Matthew’s is renowned for its music. Our organist is available to play at your ceremony, usually the Processional (bride walking down the aisle), during the Signing of the Register, and the Recessional (the bridal couple leaving the church). You may listen to the samples from the list of suggested Traditional Wedding Music.
You are also welcome to have your own singers, musicians / band. If you use a band they need to bring their own sound system. You can use our new Shigeru Kawai Semi-Concert Grand (SK-7) piano. There is a fee of $345. Use of our upright piano is free of charge.
Our sound system can play music from a CD or almost any electronic. No USB drives, please.
If you choose to have pre-recorded music playing during the Signing of the Register please allow 8 minutes of playing time.
Nevertheless nothing is as enjoyable as live music.
We provide a large flower arrangement at the pulpit.
You may bring in additional flowers. You are also welcome to bring in your own ribbons or flowers to tie to the ends of the pews (please do not tape, glue or pin to the wood).
We do not allow confetti (rice, paper bombs etc) of any type inside or outside the church.
Fresh or dried rose petals are an acceptable alternative for confetti.
Helium balloons and artificial petals may not be used inside the church.
Please arrange for any decoration (including petals), boxes, discarded material including hymn sheets to be removed at the end of the ceremony. Thank you.
All photographers and video camera operators must speak to the officiating minister before the service. This is a courtesy to both the minister and the bridal party. Guests are very welcome to take photos.
If you wish to take photographs in the church at the conclusion of your ceremony please inform the Events Manager so we book time for this (subject to availability). There is a fee of $290 per extra hour.
The bridal vehicle parks on the forecourt in front of the church.
There are two disability car parks available on the South side of the church.
Wilson Parking on the South side of St Matthew’s is a 'pay and display' facility.
There is some street parking behind the church in Federal St also 'pay and display'.
If you would like to conclude your ceremony with brief refreshments please book extra time for this (subject to availability). Each additional hour is $290. Alcohol cannot be consumed outside the church, and all bottles and rubbish are to be removed at the conclusion of your reception.
If you wish to have a full reception it can also be arranged.
The Verger will attend your rehearsal; open the church, arrange and light the candles,
assist with the bridal procession, take care of the sound system, ensure your special day proceeds as smoothly as possible.
You will need to apply to the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages (https://marriages.services.govt.nz) for a marriage licence around four weeks before your wedding day. The licence is valid for three months, and it takes three days to be prepared. If you have previously been married, you will need to show the Registrar the legal papers relating to the dissolution of that marriage.
To complete an on-line form choose Type of Ceremony
Then you’ll need to have these details before you start:
full address of the ceremony location (St Matthew-in-the-City, 187 Federal Street, Auckland)
the name of the celebrant you have arranged
personal details of you and your partner
Please note that we cannot conduct a legal marriage without a licence. It is your responsibility to ensure that the licence is completed correctly and delivered to the church's office on your rehearsal day or earlier so that the church’s register can be completed.
We wish you all the best during your engagement period!
Updated 18 October 2019