Wedding Structure/service/music/readings

                                                                   The Marriage Service




At the entry of the Bride
Music                                                                                                      Composer



God is love, and those who live in love live in God

and God lives in them.

1 John 4.16


This prayer may be said


All God of wonder and of joy:

grace comes from you,

and you alone are the source of life and love.

Without you, we cannot please you;

without your love, our deeds are worth nothing.

Send your Holy Spirit,

and pour into our hearts

   that most excellent gift of love,

that we may worship you now

with thankful hearts

and serve you always with willing minds;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.







In the presence of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we have come together to witness the marriage of N and N, to pray for God’s blessing on them, to share their joy and to celebrate their love. Marriage is a gift of God in creation through which husband and wife may know the grace of God. It is given that as man and woman grow together in love and trust, they shall be united with one another in heart, body and mind, as Christ is united with his bride, the Church.


The gift of marriage brings husband and wife together in the delight and tenderness of sexual union and joyful commitment to the end of their lives. It is given as the foundation of family life in which children are born and nurtured and in which each member of the family, in good times and in bad, may find strength, companionship and comfort, and grow to maturity in love.


Marriage is a way of life made holy by God, and blessed by the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ with those celebrating a wedding at Cana in Galilee. Marriage is a sign of unity and loyalty which all should uphold and honour. It enriches society and                             strengthens community. No one should enter into it lightly or selfishly but reverently   and responsibly in the sight of almighty God.


 N and N are now to enter this way of life. They will each give their consent to the other and make solemn vows, and in token of this they will each give and receive a ring. We pray with them that the Holy Spirit will guide and strengthen them, that they may fulfil God’s purposes for the whole of their earthly life together.


The Declarations


I am required to ask anyone present who knows a reason why N and N may not lawfully marry First,, to declare it now.


To the couple


N and N, the vows you are about to take are to be made in the presence of God, who is judge of all and knows all the secrets of our hearts; therefore if either of you knows a reason why you may not lawfully marry, you must declare it now.


People to remain sitting


To the bridegroom


N, will you take N to be your wedded wife? Will you love her, comfort her, honour and protect her, and, forsaking all others, be faithful to her as long as you both shall live?

I will.


To the bride


N, will you take N to be your wedded husband? Will you love him, comfort him, honour and protect him, and, forsaking all others, be faithful to him as long as you both shall live?

I will.


Lighting of the Candles


To N and N


N and N have declared their intention towards each other. As their parents, will you now entrust your son and daughter to one another as they come to be married?
We will.


People to stand
To the people


Will you, the families and friends of N and N, support and uphold them in their marriage now and in the years to come?

We will.


The Collect


God our Father, from the beginning you have blessed creation with abundant life. Pour out your blessings upon N and N, that they may be joined in mutual love and companionship, in holiness and commitment to each other. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ your Son, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.





At least one reading should be from the Bible






The Marriage


To the couple


N and N, I now invite you to join hands and make your vows, in the presence of God and his people.


The bridegroom may receive the hand of the bride from the bride’s father


Bride and bridegroom face each other


The bridegroom says


I, N, take you, N,                            See alternative vows

to be my wedded wife,                         page 8

to have and to hold

from this day forward;

for better, for worse

for richer, for poorer,

in sickness and in health,

to love and to cherish,

till death us do part;

according to God’s holy law.

All this I vow before God.

The bride and bridegroom loose hands


The bride takes the bridegroom’s right hand in hers, and says


I, N, take you, N,

to be my wedded husband,

to have and to hold

from this day forward;

for better, for worse,

for richer, for poorer,

in sickness and in health,

to love and to cherish,

till death us do part;

according to God’s holy law.

All this I vow before God.


The bride and bridegroom loose hands

The ring(s) are blessed


Heavenly Father, by your blessing, let these rings be to N and N a symbol of unending love and faithfulness, to remind them of the vow and covenant which they have made this day; through Jesus Christ our Lord.




The bridegroom places the ring on the fourth finger of the bride’s left hand, and holding it there, says







N, I give you this ring

as a sign of our marriage.

With my body I honour you,

all that I am I give to you,

and all that I have I share with you,

within the love of God,

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.


The bride and bridegroom loose hands. The bride places a ring on the fourth finger of the bridegroom’s left hand, and holding it there, says


N, I give you this ring

as a sign of our marriage.

With my body I honour you,

all that I am I give to you,

and all that I have I share with you,

within the love of God,

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.



To the people


In the presence of God, and before this congregation, N have given their consent and made their marriage vows to each other. They have declared their marriage by the joining of hands and by the giving and receiving of rings. I therefore proclaim that they are husband and wife.


The minister joins the right hands of bride and bridegroom together and says


Those whom God has joined together let no one put asunder.


The bridegroom may kiss the bride


The Blessing Of The Marriage




All praise and blessing to you, God of love, creator of the universe, maker of man and woman in your likeness, source of blessing for married life. All praise to you, for you have created courtship and marriage, joy and gladness, feasting and laughter, pleasure and delight. May your blessing come in full upon N and N. May they know your presence in their joys and in their sorrows. May they reach old age in the company of friends and come at last to your eternal kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord.



God the Father,  God the Son,  God the Holy Spirit,  bless, preserve and keep you;

the Lord mercifully grant you the riches of his grace,  that you may please him both in body and soul,  and, living together in faith and love,  may receive the blessings of eternal life.


The Lighting of the Marriage Candle


Together the couple light the central wedding candle, extinguishing the smaller candles once the central flame is lit.


The flame of your love now burns as one. May it burn for ever, warming your hearts, lightening your path, and leading you together towards the one Eternal Light. Amen.



Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come;

thy will be done;

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

And forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation;

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory,for ever and ever. Amen.




The Blessing Of The Congregation


God the Holy Trinity make you strong in faith and love, defend you on every side, and guide you in truth and peace. And the blessing…


The Registration Of The Marriage


Music                                                                                                      Composer


At the exit of the Bride and Groom


Music                                                                                                      Composer



Alternative Vows


I, N, take you, N, to be my wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward; for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us to part, according to God’s holy law. In the presence of God I make this vow.


I, N, take thee, N, to my wedded wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I plight thee my troth.


Whichever form of vows is chosen, the word ‘obey’ may be either included or omitted, as desired


Wedding Hymns


Alleluiah, Alleluiah, give thanks

All my hope on God is founded

All people that on earth do dwell

A new commandment I give unto you

Angel voices ever singing

Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart

Bind us together, Lord

Christ is made the sure foundation

Come down, O love divine

Crown with love, Lord, this day

Father, hear the prayer we offer

For the beauty of the earth

Glorious things of thee are spoken

God is love, his the care

Holy, holy, holy, holy

Jesus, good above all other

King of glory, king of peace

Lead us, heavenly Father, lead us

Let us praise God together

Lord, for the years

Lord of all hopefulness

Love divine all loves excelling

Make me a channel of your peace

May the grace of Christ my Saviour

Morning has broken

Now thank we all our God

O perfect love, all human thought transcending

O praise ye the Lord

O thou who camest from above

Peace is flowing like a river

Praise, my soul, the king of heaven

Praise to the Lord the Almighty

Seek ye first the kingdom of God

The king of love my shepherd is

The Lord’s my shepherd

This is the day


Bible Readings for Weddings


Old Testament and Apocrypha


Genesis 1.26-28


Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.’

So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.’


Song of Solomon 2.10-13; 8.6-7


My beloved speaks and says to me: ‘Arise, my love, my fair one,
and come away; for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtle dove is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.’

Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death,
passion fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame.
Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.
If one offered for love all the wealth of one’s house, it would be utterly scorned



New Testament

1 Corinthians 13.1-13


If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.


Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.


Ephesians 3.14-21


I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.


Colossians 3.12-17

As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.


1 John 3.18-24


Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him.

And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.



St Mark 10.6-9,13-16


Jesus said, ‘From the beginning of creation, “God made them male and female.” “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.’

People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.’ And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.


St John 2.1-11


On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ Now standing there were six stone water-jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, ‘Fill the jars with water.’ And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, ‘Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.’ So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, ‘Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.’ Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.


St John 15.1-8


Jesus said to his disciples: ‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-grower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.’


St John 15.9-17


Jesus said to his disciples: ‘As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.


Wedding Music Ideas


Trumpet Voluntary        Op 6, No 5 J Stanley Arr D Willcocks


Bridal March                                           from Lohengrin  R Wagner, Arr R Ashfield


Overture                                     from Fireworks Music  G F Handel, Arr C H Trevor


 Air                                                         from Water Music  G F Handel, Arr C Morris


Hornpipe                                           from Water Music  G F Handel, Arr C Morris


 Wedding March          from A Midsummer Night’s Dream

F Mendelssohn, Arr R Ashfield


 Arrival of the Queen of Sheba           Sinfonia from Solomon

G F Handel, Arr E W Maynard


Prelude                                  on Brother James’s Air  S Wright


 Trumpet Tune                                  H Purcell, Arr C H Trevor


 Air                                 from Suite No. 3  J S Bach, Arr G Philips


 Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring   from Cantata No 147       J S Bach, Arr P K


 Sheep May Safely Graze        from Cantata No. 208   J S Bach, Arr S de B Taylor

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