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When choosing hymns for your wedding ceremony, there are so many beautiful songs to choose from, but where do you start? Whether you want traditional hymns that everyone knows, or want to choose something a little more personal, what you choose to sing with your guests will join your first dance and processional song in a collection of music that will be special to you for the rest of your life.
There are rules about which wedding hymns you can choose, depending on the type of ceremony you’ve chosen, so we’ve outlined these below, along with some popular and more unusual hymn choices to help you decide. We’ve also made suggestions about how to provide the music for the hymns you choose, so let’s get started!
What Are The Rules About Which Wedding Hymns I Can Choose?
We’ll talk about this one first as it’s extremely important – if you are having a civil ceremony (in a building that is not a place of worship) you are not allowed to sing hymns at all. In fact, no songs that reference religion or God are permitted in this type of ceremony. If singing hymns at your wedding is really important to you, you might want to consider getting married in a church instead.
If your wedding ceremony will be in a church, then at least a couple of hymns will be normally be expected. If you’d like to include some non-religious songs, it’s always best to check with your minister as different churches will have different rules about whether they allow secular songs to be included.
How Many Wedding Hymns Do I Need To Choose?
Couples normally choose two or three hymns to be sung during their wedding service. The first is sung near the start of the ceremony, the last is sung just before the final blessing and many couples choose a third hymn to be sung during or just after the signing of the register.
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What Are Some Popular Choices Of Hymns For Weddings?
Here are some of the most popular choices of wedding hymns this year. When choosing, think about when they would fit into your ceremony. Most couples choose their most upbeat and celebratory song as their final hymn for example.
How To Choose Your Wedding Hymns
This is a very personal choice. You might want to start by thinking about your favourite hymns. If you are a regular church-goer, you might have some hymns that are particularly dear to you that you want to include straight away. However this might not be true for you, in which case you could consider the following ideas…
Is It Important That Everyone Sings?
The sound of everyone singing together creates an uplifting and joyful atmosphere. If you want your guests to provide a rousing chorus when they sing your hymns, they’ll need to know the tune at least. Some hymns are more well-known than others and your guests will feel more comfortable singing out loud if they know the melody. Tried and tested wedding hymns that are popular for this very reason include All Things Bright And Beautiful, One More Step Along The World I Go, Amazing Grace and Give Me Joy In My Heart.
Read the Lyrics
If the sentiment behind the song is more important to you, then have a read of the lyrics. When you find a wedding hymn that speaks to you and reflects what marriage means to you as a couple, you might just have found what you’re looking for! This can be a really great way of personalising your wedding ceremony and making it unique to you. If you’re worried that no-one will know it and won’t sing, don’t worry – there are ways around this that we’ll cover later.
Ask Your Friends And Family
If you’re still struggling to find the perfect wedding hymns, try asking your friends and family for ideas. This will give you an idea of what your guests are likely to know and enjoy singing on your big day.
Who Will Play My Wedding Hymns?
When you think wedding hymns, the sound of an organ instantly springs to mind. Many churches provide their own organist or choir, who will usually be available to hire for a small fee. However, if your church doesn’t have its own organ, you’ll need to source someone to play the hymns for you. When you hire a classical musician or band to do this, they will usually play music as your guests arrive, a song while the bride walks down the aisle, a couple of songs during the signing of the register, a song as you walk back up the aisle, as well as your hymns. When choosing which songs you’d like to hear, remember to check with your minister that they are allowed at your religious ceremony. Classical processional and recessional pieces are are a good choice and provide a sense of regality to the occasion.
Classical musicians are a really popular choice for church weddings – especially pianists and string quartets, who can easily provide all the harmony and accompaniments needed to create a full sound. Other soloists such as violinists and saxophonists will normally use a backing track as accompaniment. Whichever instrumentalist you choose, they’ll bring your music and hymns to life, creating a really intimate feel.
This is a really good choice if you’re going for wedding hymns that may be less well-known to your guests as they can perform them for you, making it easier for everyone to join in.
A Gospel Choir
What could raise spirits higher than gospel choir at your wedding ceremony? Imagine walking down the aisle to the warm and enchanting sound of one of these incredible ensembles on your wedding day. They’ll also bring passion and energy to your wedding hymns and make everyone feel warm and fuzzy inside. An absolutely unbeatable option if you ask us!
How Do I Book?
It’s really simple to book a ceremony musician! Simply browse the selection of acts available below and fill in the enquiry form on the profile of the act you love. We’ll get back to you ASAP with a fully comprehensive quote. If you need any help choosing or have any questions, give us a ring on 0800 53 000 35 to speak to one of our lovely advisers!