Music for your Wedding


The music you choose for your wedding helps to set the mood for the day but choosing it can be bewildering, particularly if your musical education ended some time ago!



The music at All Saints Barry is provided by professional musicians who are well qualified, so you can be confident and imaginative in your choices. James Bull, the Organist and Choirmaster, is a church musician with over 15 years’ experience of playing for weddings. James was Organ Scholar at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Cardiff, and holds various awards and diplomas in organ performance. If James is not available to play for your wedding another professional organist will be booked on your behalf – there is no change in the fee if this is the case.

The Choir

The Parish Choir of All Saints Barry is made up of around 20 choristers who sing for Sunday morning services and at weddings. Depending on the date of your wedding, there may be fewer singers – most often this is the case if the date of your wedding is during the school holidays.

Other musicians

If you would like other players or professional singers booked, this can be arranged at an extra cost. The musicians can play at the entry of the bride and during the signing of the register – you might like to think about having a string quartet, harp, trumpet, flute, violin or a vocal soloist – a professional soprano, baritone or gospel singer. If you would like to discuss the options please contact James directly.


Choosing your music

There are four sections the service that you can choose the music for: the gathering, the arrival of the bride, the signing of the register and the recessional.

The Gathering

This is music that is played while guests arrive in the church before the service begins. The organist will play a selection while your guests assemble (you don’t need to list these in your order of service).

The Arrival of the Bride

This is music played for the bride’s arrival. You need to choose one piece of music, which is usually stately and regal. The organist will play for the amount of time it takes for you to move down the aisle to the front of the church, so you don’t need to worry about how long it is. The most popular pieces of music played during the processional are:
Wedding March from Lohengrin (popularly known as Here Comes The Bride) by Wagner
Trumpet Voluntary by Jeremiah Clarke
Grand March from Aida by Verdi
Trumpet Voluntary by Stanley
Trumpet Tune by Henry Purcell
Hornpipe from the Water Music by Handel
Canon in D by Johann Pachelbel

The Signing of the Register

Usually this takes about about 8-10 minutes. During this time, the choir will sing an anthem or the organist will play a piece, which they will choose. If you have a particular request please discuss this with James well in advance.

Pieces that the choir often choose for weddings include:

For the beauty of the earth by John Rutter
Psalm 23: The Lord is my shepherd by Howard Goodall
Jesu joy of man’s desiring by J.S. Bach
The Lord Bless You And Keep You by John Rutter

Alternatively you may like to arrange to have a friend, relative or a professional musician sing or play your own choice of music. Please discuss this with James before you make any arrangements.

The Recessional

As you walk together down the aisle as husband and wife, the recessional music is played – triumphant, joyful and celebratory. Traditional recessional music includes:

Wedding March from A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Mendelssohn
Toccata from Symphony No 5 by Widor
Trumpet Voluntary by Jeremiah Clarke
The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba by G.F.Handel
Hornpipe from the Water Music by Handel
Grand March from Aida by Verdi


It is traditional to choose three hymns to be sung during the service. The most important things to bear in mind when choosing hymns are:

– that the words are appropriate for a wedding (Fight the good fight, for example, doesn’t bode well for the future!)

– that you choose a tune that lots of people will know. If you particularly want some words that have an unfamiliar tune, it is possible to choose a different tune that fits the words.

There are many websites that include audio files of hymns so that you can hear what they sound like, and will also give you the words so you can include them in the order of service. Often they will include every possible verse of a hymn and you will decide whether you want to cut any verses – usually three or four verses of a hymn would be sung.

If you click here, you can have access to a comprehensive database of hymns. If you download words from here make sure that you proof read them carefully, as the spellings are American English (e.g. Savior, not Saviour).

Some popular choices are:

All Creatures Of Our God And King
All People That On Earth Do Dwell
Amazing Grace
And Did Those Feet In Ancient Times (Jerusalem)
At The Name Of Jesus
Bind Us Together
Come to a wedding
Dear Lord And Father Of Mankind
Father Hear The Prayer We Offer
For The Beauty Of The Earth
Give Me Joy In My Heart
Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer
How Great Thou Art
I Vow To Thee My Country
Immortal Invisible God Only Wise
Lead Us, Heavenly Father Lead Us
Love Came Down At Christmas
Love Divine, All Loves Excelling
Morning Has Broken
O Jesus I Have Promised
One More Step Along The World I Go
O Worship The King
Peace, Perfect Peace
Praise My Soul The King Of Heaven
Praise To The Lord The Almighty
The King Of Love My Shepherd Is
The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want
To God Be The Glory, Great Things He Hath Done
• Shine Jesus, shine
We pledge to one another

We hope the above information if useful to you. If you require any further assistance please contact our Organist and Choirmaster, James:-

Tel: 07429 598820

or e-mail him directly at