Congratulations! We are delighted you are getting married and are interested in celebrating your wedding at St Stephen's Anglican Church Newtown. When we agree to marry a couple, we want to do all we can to ensure your wedding day is special and that you invest in your marriage so that it is long-lasting, and filled with joy and delight. Please take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions or fill out the form below.
St Stephen’s church was built between 1871 and 1874 and is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. It was designed by Edmund Blacket and is considered to be one of his finest designs. Some of Blacket’s other famous buildings include St Andrew’s Cathedral and the Sydney University Great Hall. The foundation stone of the church was laid on Saturday 11 November 1871 by then governor of NSW, the Earl of Belmore. The first service of the church was on Easter Sunday, 4 April 1874. It is a delightful venue and we believe it adds to the richness of a wedding ceremony.
How many does the church seat?
200 easily, 250 comfortably, 300 at a squeeze.
We desire to accommodate you in your wedding plans and we appreciate that choosing a date can be difficult. We hope that the answers to the following questions may provide you with some guidance.
Can we get married any day of the week?
We are happy to marry couples on any day of the week except Sundays. On Sundays, the building is used for church services and other church activities, so we are not able to accommodate Sunday weddings.
Can we have any date?
Dates are subject to the wedding being approved and the availability of the church building.
Will there be other wedding ceremonies held on the date we have in mind for our wedding ceremony?
Usually there is only one wedding per day, however occasionally we do need to schedule more than one. If there is more than one ceremony on your wedding day, we will schedule 1 free hour on each side of the weddings to ensure everything runs smoothly.
We know parking and transport can be a challenge in the inner city so we think you will like how we answer the following questions.
Is there parking available?
Yes, there are approximately 15 parking spaces in the Camperdown Cemetery and further parking is available in the streets surrounding the church. The bridal cars can access a dedicated driveway that leads to the entrance of the church building. However, we advise against the use of larger vehicles such as stretch limousines. The streets of Newtown are narrow, and it may be difficult to navigate such a vehicle into Newtown and into and out of our parking.
Is it easy to get to by public transport?
Yes, the church is a 10 minute walk from Newtown train station and buses can be found nearby on King St.
The wedding ceremony we conduct is a Christian ceremony, rich with meaning and promise and is a wonderful expression of true love. Our ministers are licensed to conduct Anglican wedding services and details of these services are contained in the answers to the following questions.
How long does the ceremony go for?
Approximately 60 minutes.
Can we have readings from poems, plays, novels or other secular sources during the ceremony?
Ceremonies held in St. Stephen’s church are Christian ceremonies, therefore all readings need to be taken from the Bible. We suggest you try to include any other readings at your wedding reception.
Do you produce the Order of Service for us?
No, you need to create and have them printed yourself. Please ask the minister who is marrying you.
Can we bring our own minister?
Only after permission is granted by the Rector, Rev Roger Bray.
Do we need to invite the minister to the reception?
No, you do not. The minister doesn’t expect to be invited to the wedding reception.
Are we allowed to appoint our own musicians or use a CD/iPod?
Yes, you are allowed to bring a CD/iPhone/iPod for music or appoint your own musicians, subject to the approval of the minister. If your wedding uses a CD/iPhone/iPod, you will need to bring it to the rehearsal so that the sound verger can test and play the music. If you have instruments requiring amplification, your musicians will need to contact the bookings administrator prior to the ceremony.
While most couples choose to hire another venue for their reception, you are able to hire the church hall or the grounds for afternoon tea following the ceremony or for a full reception.
Does this cost extra?
Yes, additional charges apply to hire the grounds and/or the church hall for reception events.
What does the church provide for hire?
We have a limited number of tables and chairs available for you to hire to use in the grounds and the hall. We do not have any marquees for hire.
Do you provide catering?
No, you will have to find your own caterers.
What else do we need to know about having a reception in the grounds?
You must take all your rubbish with you. It is helpful if you organise a pack-up team for the day, whether this is a group of friends or hired caterers. Any leftover mess will incur a cleaning fine.
The St Stephen's church and grounds provide some of the most picturesque photo opportunities available in the inner city. Answers to the following questions will help you get the most out of your day.
Is flash photography allowed? Is it ok to video the ceremony?
Yes, flash photography is allowed as long as it does not distract from the ceremony. Videographers will need to supply their own microphone, which the minister is happy to wear. For technical queries regarding sound, get your videographer to contact our bookings administrator.
It is possible to use the grounds around the church for photography?
Yes, the Camperdown Cemetery Trust welcome the taking of photos. There are some beautiful locations around the church. If you wish to use the grounds please notify us beforehand.
We welcome creativity and appreciate that each couple would like a wedding that in part reflects who they are.
What are the rules regarding decorating the church?
All decorations must be agreed to by the church and you must arrange to have them removed after the ceremony.
How many pews are there if I want to decorate the pew ends?
There are 42 pews. Many brides chose to decorate only every second row or just the first 10 rows of pews. We do not provide pew decorations – you need to arrange them yourself.
Can our guests throw petals/confetti/rice, or can we have petals scattered down the aisle of the church?
We request that your guests do not throw confetti or rice, either on church property or on the street. This is a safety and littering issue and we appreciate your co-operation.
Your guests can throw genuine flower petals outside the church, as they are biodegradable. If you would like scatter flower petals down the aisle of the church this will incur an extra $50 fee, as we will need to hire a cleaner to tidy up afterwards.
When can our florist/friends/musicians access the church?
The church is opened 1 hour prior to your ceremony and is kept open for half an hour after the ceremony.
We are committed to investing in long term marriages and we see pre-marriage courses as an integral part of this investment.
Are pre-marriage courses compulsory?
Yes. We run comprehensive marriage preparation courses regularly. If couples are unable to attend one of these, they must arrange to do another approved course.
St Stephen's is an ideal location and setting for your special day. We can help you organise your event. Please contact us for a price guide.