Some ideas prepared by Revd Adrian Copping
Choosing music for your wedding can be an enjoyable part of the preparations. Some couples know exactly what they want but we are always happy to help the process! Either myself or one of our organists will be pleased to help. Nowadays the internet has many sites dedicated to weddings and wedding music – some of them either very restricted, or so large as to be difficult to access!
Two good sites which enable you to hear the tunes to hymns, and see the words, are www.oremus.org/hymnal and www.cyberhymnal.org – generally the easiest way to search on the sites is to enter the first few words of the hymn. Some of the most modern hymns (because they are still in copyright) are not available on the sites. Both sites include many hundreds of hymns – so you may like to refer to the list below which includes some of the most popular and appropriate wedding hymns.
There are generally two or three hymns in a marriage ceremony – if you don’t think many people will be able to join in enthusiastically or may not know the hymns it is probably better to choose two.
All things bright and beautiful (note there are two different tunes)
Come down, O Love divine
Father, hear the prayer we offer
For the beauty of the earth
Give me joy in my heart, keep me praising
Guide me, O thou great redeemer
Immortal, invisible, God only wise
Lead us, heavenly Father lead us
Lord for the years
Lord of all hopefulness
Lord of the dance
Love divine, all love’s excelling (note there are at least two different tunes)
Make me a channel of your peace
Morning has broken
Now thank we all our God
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O Jesus I have promised
O thou who camest from above
O perfect love
O praise ye the Lord
O worship the King
One more step along the world I go
Praise my soul the King of heaven
Praise to the Lord, the almighty, the King of creation
The King of love my shepherd is
The Lord’s my shepherd
You will also probably wish to choose music to be played as the Bride arrives in church, and as you both leave at the end of the ceremony. By far the most popular are (for arrival) the Bridal March from Lohengrin by Wagner (known to most as ‘Here comes the bride’), and (for the end of the ceremony), the Wedding March from A Midsummer night’s dream, by Mendelsshohn.
Other popular tunes include Canon in D by Pachelbel, Hornpipe music from the Water Music, by Handel, Trumpet tune by Purcell, Trumpet Voluntary by Clarke, and alsoToccata in F by Widor (please note that by no means all organists are able to play this magnificent but very complicated piece!).
Also you can choose music to be played whilst you both, and the two witnesses, and the priest, go to sign the registers. Many people simply ask that the organist plays quiet background music but if you have particular preferences please do ask.
As well as hymns and music played on organ it is often possible to request recorded music – for example favourite songs to be played during the signing of the registers. Please check with me or whoever might be taking the service if it is not me. Cilcain church has MP3 and CD capability through the main church sound system, Llanferres and Gwernaffield Churches have CD capability through the main church sound system, Nannerch and Rhydymwyn churches have supplementary systems generally suitable for playing CDs.
Sometimes I am asked if other live music can be used at some point in the service and this can generally be accommodated. It can be a lovely addition to a wedding if, for example, you have family members or friends who are musicians who want to sing or play. Sometimes couples make arrangements to hire a singer or musicians – again, this is generally possible but please discuss arrangements with me first.
We can provide an organist, unless you know of someone in particular who you would wish to play. The fees for an organist and for use and operation of the sound systems are included in the table of wedding fees.
Finally, I am often asked about the use of achoir. There is a small choir at Gwernaffield. but, if available, will be happy to try to find some additional choir members for a wedding. If you wish to hire a choir (although there appears to be limited numbers of choirs available) please discuss with me in advance as the layout of our church buildings means that there are restrictions on the numbers and where they stand to sing.
And…..if you have any other questions, or particular requests, please do not hesitate to contact me!