How to choose the hymns for your church wedding

So the church wedding is all booked and everything is on schedule. One decision which is quite hard to make is which hymns to have in your ceremony. It is a hard decision because most of your guests will have last sung a hymn at school under completely different circumstances. I often think poorly thought through hymns choices can make the whole wedding ceremony a bit of a damp squib. It should be a happy, joyous occasion and if half the congregation are not singing then you are in trouble. I have a personal confession to make at this stage.... I was so worried about not having enough voices to 'raise the church roof' on my wedding day that I seconded in the old rugby team from school to stand in the back pews and sing their hearts out! Luckily they obliged and it definitely encouraged everyone else to get into the spirit and join in at full volume! Alternatively, if you have a little spare in your budget ask the church choir to sing to add an angelic touch to your special day.

It is usual for a church ceremony to have two or three hymns and there are some which are no-brainers. Love Divine All Loves Excelling is always a favourite and most people know the tune and the words (at least to the first verse). Wedding hymns have to be well known to get the maximum amount of people singing. Another one which most people will know from school, most probably, is Morning has Broken. This is another cheery hymn and is quite appropriate for you beginning your new life together as Mr & Mrs. My personal favourite is Jerusalem! It is always a good hearty, stirring hymn but it may be a little too ostentatious for you. Always discuss your hymn choice with your vicar, he will have some great suggestions. You or your husband-to-be may have old school hymns which have fond memories attached and may be suitable choices. I would also recommend asking your parents, hymns are one thing that don't date! You may want to add a sentimental note to proceedings and pick some of the hymns that they had for their own weddings. Whatever your choices though, make sure you are comfortable with them. Another tip would be to attend a church service before you are due to be married to listen to the organist - if they stumble and fudge their chords you may need to consider hiring in an alternative organist just for your ceremony.

The Church of England has a page where you can listen to the hymns to remind you of how they sound to help you make your selection:

http://www.yourchurchwedding.org/hymns-media-player.aspx

Good Luck!