Your Wedding

There are certain parts of a wedding service that are fixed, because the service has a legal as well as celebratory side to it. However there are many options available to you to make the service as personal as possible: for example the Music, the Readings, and the Prayers.

What music should we have in the Service?


During the service, it would be usual to sing two hymns, although there could easily be three.

It is important to choose music that people will know.

It is also possible to arrange for the Church Choir to sing during the service. There will be an additional charge for this.

The Church of England's wedding pages includes a section for Wedding Hymns where you can listen to some popular choices. But do bear in mind that it is important to choose hymns that people will know!

Classical Music

Classical music would be played: as the bride arrives in church at the beginning of the service; during the signing of the registers; and as the newly-married couple leave the church at the end of the service.

There is a broad range of music available from the traditional to the modern. We would encourage you to let the church organist play as much of the service music as possible - but there is also a CD player available to play your choice of music that is not appropriate for the organ.

The Church of England lists some of the options for Classical Music in more detail.

PROCESSIONALS - played as the bride arrives and walks up the aisle:

(links are to wikipedia, where you can listen to a sample of the music)

These are traditional processionals, but of course, there are many other options.

RECESSIONALS - played as the bride and groom leave, and walk down the aisle:

(links are to wikipedia, where you can listen to a sample of the music)

What about Readings?

The rules about readings are simple: you must have at least one biblical reading - from a selection on offer. Many couples also choose to have a non-scriptural reading. And this enables you to make the service more personal, also reflecting your beliefs and values about love and marriage.

You are encouraged to invite a family member or friend to read the readings you choose. However if all else fails, the Vicar or a member of the choir (if present) can read it! Readings from the Bible

Click the link for a selection of readings from the Bible.

Readings from outside the Bible

Click the links for a selection of other readings from The Diocese of Manchester or the Church of England that you might choose for your wedding service.

Choosing readings together also helps you think through your values, and the way your relationship - your marriage - will work in the years to come, as you consider what you value in your relationship.

What about Service Sheets?

At St. Thomas' we are happy to print your service sheets for you at a relatively small charge. We cannot do colour photos, or card. The sheets would be black print on coloured, or white paper.

Rings: One ring or two?

The bridegroom would give a ring to the bride in the wedding service. But you also have the option for the bride to give a ring to the bridegroom.

Will the bride be "given away"?

"Who brings this woman to be married to this man?" are the actual words in the service.

You are welcome to invite a significant relative or friend to play this part in the service.

What about signing the registers?

This law around this part of the ceremony has now changed. It is now the "Marriage Schedule" that is signed - and only one copy needs to be signed.

At St. Thomas' we encourage you to sign in full view of the congregation, while music is played, and with a short opportunity for photographs at the end: a wedding is a legal as well as a religious event.

Do we have to have a practice?

Yes - ideally, within two days of the wedding: to iron out any possible hitches, so that everyone involved knows what to expect what to do, and can relax and enjoy the day.

Can we have confetti?

You are welcome to use confetti, but please encourage people to use bio-degradeable confetti!

What about changing my name?

The law here is quite straightforward. You should contact the relevant legal authority. Click the link to the Government's "Change your name (by deed poll)" page.

More Information

Your Church Wedding contains a wealth of helpful information about organising a Church of England Wedding: orders of service, hymns, banns of marriage, money-saving ideas, FAQs, alternatives, etc