Covid-19 update (July 2021): congregational singing is now permitted again! But some caution is recommended and the Bishops have asked that masks are still worn in church, especially when singing.
There are several places where music is appropriate. The organist will play for about 15 minutes before the service or as soon as people begin to arrive. If you have any preferences as to what is played beforehand, please let us know.
Entrance of the Bride
The Bridal March from ‘Lohengrin’ by Wagner (“Here comes the Bride”) is still the most
popular choice, but other alternatives include ‘The Prince of Denmark’s March’ by Jeremiah Clarke (sometimes known as the Trumpet Voluntary), Trumpet Tune (Purcell), Prelude to the Te Deum (Charpentier – the Eurovision theme!), Canon in D (Pachelbel), Arrival of the Queen of Sheba (GF Handel), Grand March from Aida (Verdi) and many others. You may also, as a change, come in to a hymn.
Signing of the Register
The organ, soloist or choir can play or sing one or two pieces during the signing (it takes about 5 minutes). Solo pieces include Ave Maria (two versions are popular, by Schubert and Bach-Gounod), Panis Angelicus (Franck), Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (JS Bach – solo or choir), Pie Jesu (although actually from a Requiem) by Fauré and the version by Andrew Lloyd Webber (ideally with two soloists but can be done with one). If you have a choir, suitable pieces include Ave Verum (Mozart), The Lord Bless you and Keep You (Rutter), but there are many others – do ask. The organist can play instrumental versions of all of the above or other suitable organ music. A hymn is also possible, but as you will be occupied doing the signing, you may prefer not to have one here.
Exit of the Bride and Groom
The traditional choice, the Wedding March from ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ by Mendelssohn is still the most requested. Also very popular (and quite spectacular on our organ) is the Toccata from ‘Organ Symphony No5’ by Charles-Marie Widor. Handel’s Hornpipe from the Water Music is also popular, as is the Rondeau-Fanfare by Mouret, LaRejouissance from Handel’s Fireworks Music. There are also Toccatas and other festive pieces which may be suitable – please ask. In addition, some of the pieces mentioned as entrance pieces would be equally suitable to go out to.
Usually two or three at a service without Mass, three or four at a full Nuptial Mass. These can at the beginning, one in place of a psalm if you wish, and at the end. Sometimes, a hymn can be put after the signing of the registers and bidding prayers. At a nuptial mass, there are places such as the offertory and communion where hymns can be sung. You can choose from so many hymns but bear in mind the congregation that you will have. Are they likely to be familiar with hymns? Many hymns will be known to all denominations (especially Anglican) but not all. The hymn book we use is Celebration Hymnal for Everyone (revised) and some of the most popular hymns include: Give me Joy in my heart (Sing Hosanna), Praise my Soul the King of Heaven, The Lord’s my Shepherd (usually as the psalm), Love Divine (the tune known as Blaenwern is now the most popular), Bind us together Lord, All things Bright and Beautiful, Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of the Dance, I the Lord of sea and sky (here I am Lord), Jerusalem (and did those feet…) is popular (especially with rugby players!). Some weddings choose not to have hymns, but your family and friends will usually relish the chance to unleash their vocal cords to support you.
If you have a choir or soloist, the psalm and particularly the Gospel acclamation (Alleluia) may be sung. If you require specialist settings for the Ordinary of the Mass (Sanctus etc), you must consult the Director of Music.
Printed order of Service
Virtually all weddings now have a printed order of service, which you must run past Canon Clark before going to print (I am happy to check over the music parts for you). You should print composers of organ music and authors of hymn words (although you can just print hymn numbers if you use the hymn books). You don’t need to publish the names of the musicians.
We ask that you add a line asking guests not to use video recorders, digital cameras or mobile phones with video settings (as this is in breach of copyright and performance regulations).
Accredited videographers only should use video equipment in the church as they will already have all the necessary licences, and are usually very discrete. The use of flash photography is discouraged as this is very distracting to you, the Priest and the wedding party. As a general rule, please ask your guests not to take photographs in the church – leave it to your professional photographer.
This is only a small list of suggestions – please ask for more guidance if you wish. If you consult other websites for suggestions, please be aware that some of them may not be suitable for this church.