We were delighted to be able to get married at St. Margaret’s. The decision to marry here was easy - Naomi is a regular worshipper at St. Margaret’s and sings in the choir, too, while I worship at Sacred Heart, but have been joining Naomi on Sundays, which was important as I got to know the church.
After an initial meeting with Fr. Chris and Fr. Philip we set the date and filled out the first of a lot of paperwork! We had further meetings with Fr. Philip in the build up to the wedding when we made sure all the arrangements for the service were in order, including the Order of Service which, after a few drafts, met with approval! We also got the Banns of Marriage form sorted out, with the help of All Saints who were lovely, showing the great way churches in Ilkley come together.
At another meeting Fr. Philip got to learn more about us as a couple: how we met; our interests and so on. Admittedly the conversation did stray onto cricket a few times. It was comforting when Fr. Philip said that in every marriage there will be occasions when you need support and that he is always there if that is the case. It is lovely to think that you have the church there to support you in times of difficulty as well as times of celebration.
The wedding rehearsal took place the night before the big day; understanding exactly what we needed to say and do really helped with any nerves. Fr. Chris and Fr. Philip answered all our questions and put us at ease so we knew what to say and do the next day. The church is so beautiful and lends itself to a wedding as you progress to the altar and then into the side chapel to sign the marriage register (the nervy bit for the Fathers!)
The day of the wedding is always a stressful time, yet on arrival at the church, a real sense of calm returned. It being a place of worship and also the warm welcome from Fathers Chris and Philip gave a real sense of serenity which allowed me to really enjoy the service and appreciate the spiritual side of our wedding day. We were adamant that it should feel like a church service and that is what we got.
The service itself was perfect; Fr. Chris was brilliant and we couldn’t believe it was his first wedding! Fr. Philip gave a wonderful sermon on the value of marriage, but also gave me a reminder never to jokingly bet him £20 to do a mother in law joke! The church looked amazing thanks to the flowers from Philippa and the ladies. We also loved that the choir supported us in such good numbers after a busy week for them, and Christopher’s skill on the organ gave a great sense of occasion.
While we knew that getting married at St. Margaret’s would be just right for us, what was particularly lovely was the number of guests who don’t regularly visit a church saying how much they enjoyed it. I think it showed just what a special place a church like St. Margaret’s can be to visitors.
The overriding memory Naomi and I will take from the day was the warmth of everybody at St. Margaret’s. So many people gave up their time to help out, from the ladies on the flowers to Christopher and the choir, and of course Fr. Philip and Fr. Chris; we can’t thank you all enough. We have been truly touched by the kindness shown by everyone at the church, and my advice to anyone thinking of getting married here at St. Margaret’s is to do it - it will form an incredibly special part of the most wonderful day of your life!