Marriages

Guidance on Weddings at the Chapel

Status

The Queen’s Chapel of the Savoy is a private chapel of the Sovereign in right of Her Duchy of Lancaster and is exempt from episcopal jurisdiction. Rules for weddings at the Chapel are therefore different from those in force for parish churches of the Church of England.

Capacity

The Chapel has a maximum seating capacity of 150. This figure is a strict requirement of fire regulations and may not be exceeded in any circumstances.

Special Licence

Weddings take place at the Chapel not by the calling of Banns but by Special Licence from the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Faculty Office. A licence is granted only if there is a qualifying condition for the wedding to take place at the Chapel. After speaking to the Chaplain, the couple should make contact with the Archbishop’s Faculty Office to make arrangements for completing an application form and swearing the Affidavit.

The Faculty Office
1 The Sanctuary
Westminster
London
SW1P 3JT

Telephone 020 7222 5381 (10am to 4pm on working days)

Timing

Roads are often busy in and around Westminster, and journeys to the Chapel leave little opportunity for peaceful reflection. Therefore brides should plan to arrive a minimum of 15 minutes before the service is due to begin and use the Royal Robing Room as a quiet, private place to make their final preparations. Under no circumstances should a bride arrive late. The chapel staff, and the gentlemen and choristers of the choir often have to travel to other commitments after a wedding. They need to leave on time, and cannot be delayed. If a wedding starts late, it will be necessary to shorten the service by omitting items, to ensure that it finishes on time.

Fees

For the Chapel £520 (£620 from 1 January 2017)
For the Music  
Organist £190
Organist and Four Gentleman £530
Organist, Six Gentleman and Chorister £1130
Organist, Six Gentleman and Two Soprano £1130

The Master of the Music (Philip Berg, FRCO, ARCM) is happy to meet with the couple and discuss the music possibilities. He can be contacted by email: pberg@talktalk.net

Photography and Recording

Photographs may be taken before, during and after the service in the Chapel and garden. However, permission must be obtained in advance for any audio and video recordings of the service, and approval should not be presumed. Because of the rules of the Musicians’ Union, couples should be aware that in the case of such recordings, each of the fees payable for the Chapel and the music is doubled. Couples should contact the Steward (tleyland@duchyoflancaster.co.uk) for a copy of the Chapel’s policy on video recordings, before a decision to commission one is made.

Receptions

After a wedding service, for an additional fee of £520, it may be possible to use areas of the Chapel and its garden for a reception lasting no more than 4 hours. However, these must be adequately resourced. If drinks alone are being served, it is expected that there will be a minimum of two suitably trained and experienced waiting staff. If canapés are also to be served, a minimum of four staff must be present. We can make recommendations for waiting staff, but their employment is strictly by private arrangement. At the end of a reception all of the glasses and crockery used must be properly cleaned, and waste materials (food, cartons and bottles) removed from the site. It is expected that all areas of the Chapel (including the toilets) will be left clean tidy and ready for immediate use.

Confetti

Bio-degradable confetti may be thrown only in the chapel garden, but nowhere else inside or outside the chapel.

Flowers

The provision of flowers is an additional cost and the sum will depend on the wishes of the couple. The Chapel employs an expert flower arranger, who is happy to discuss displays:

Mobile phone: 0772 032 3653

Telephone: 01428 685885

If the couple intend to remove their flowers at the end of the service, they are asked to inform the Chapel Steward as early as possible to allow time for replacement displays to be commissioned.

The Steward of the Chapel

For further information, or if you require clarification on any of the points above, please contact the Steward, Squadron Leader Thomas Leyland RAF rtd:

Telephone 020 7836 7221
Email tleyland@duchyoflancaster.co.uk