Hymns and Wedding Music
The Musical Director, Mr David Stowe, is always happy to discuss your choice of music – the best time to catch him is after the main service on a Sunday morning. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org
There are normally two or three hymns during the service. One hymn is near the beginning, one before the prayers and the third during the signing of the registers. You can choose, in place of the third hymn, to have a piece of music, or a song sung by the choir or a soloist. A list of suggested hymns is available in a booklet and downloadable at the end of this page, along with downloadable templates of words for your service book.
You can use our hymnbooks rather than printing a service sheet with the words of the hymns but please make sure that the hymn you want is included!
You will need to choose music to be played for the arrival of the bride, for the signing of the registers and for the wedding procession at the end. Please talk to the organist about this. MP3s can also be used (but not tapes or CDs). We have had vocal and musical performances as well, but the organist’s fee cannot be avoided by bringing in someone else: it is a part of his fee, whether he plays or not!
We advise you to seek a professional florist to decorate the Church if you wish to have any special floral arrangements. Florists must liaise with Fr David and the parish flower team (Sheila Moore – email@example.com) to check that what you and they plan are appropriate. However, if you do not have any special plans for flowers, then there will be the usual floral arrangements for the week. Please do inform us.
All flowers are expected to remain the Church following the service and not to be taken away. They are a part of your act of worship and a thanksgiving for your marriage.
Outside florists should be made aware that fixing nails, screws etc into any part of the fabric or furniture of any church is not permitted (some of our churches date from Medieval Times and we want to preserve them!). Damage to the building will be charged. This means for example that floral arches around church doors are not an option unless freestanding arrangements can be made. Candles may be used around the window sills if desired.
Flowers may not be placed upon the altar. Arrangements on the pew ends, the columns or anywhere else need to be secured without damage to the fabric of the Church. Water is available in the churchyard. Inappropriate floral arrangements will be removed. We apologise for such seemingly draconian guidelines, but unfortunate experiences and damage to our lovely buildings has happened in the past and we do not wish to put either the church or yourselves in a difficult position.
You will need two witnesses to sign the registers at your wedding.
They can be any two adults who are present, but are often members of the family (often both Mums or both Dads). The registers are signed on the altar towards the end of the service on the high altar.
It is advisable to have at least two ushers at the wedding. They should be in the church thirty minutes before the wedding with the Best Man and the Groom. They should introduce themselves to the priest as soon as they arrive, so that we can make sure they know what their responsibilities are. Their jobs are to give out service sheets and hymnbooks and to direct people to their seats as they arrive and to assist at the end of the Service. It is a great help if they can also collect books and help to clear up at the end of the service.
We want you and your guests to be able to enjoy your wedding without distractions. For this reason, we do not allow photography during the service, except a couple of unobtrusive ones from the back taken by a professional photographer, without flash.
Photographs can be taken freely as you leave the church at the end, and of course, in the church grounds after the service. If the weather is bad it may be possible for some photographs to be taken inside the church after the service, but this will depend on whether the church needs to be prepared for another wedding.
A good professional will speak with the clergy conducting the service beforehand and will be shown good vantage places to get such pictures, but obtrusive and excessive photography will result in the service being halted and that individual asked to leave.
Members of the congregation are asked to experience the service directly rather than through the lens of a cameraphone and so we ask that you make everyone know that this is expected of them. Afterwards you can take as many lovely photographs as you all like!
Copyright rules make the video recording of weddings a complicated business. There is blanket permission granted for the recording of the words of the service.
However, the copyright of the hymns and music resides with the publishers of that music for fifty years after the death of the author. Older, traditional hymns are often out of copyright, but many newer ones are not. It is your responsibility to make sure that you are legally covered. A temporary copyright license can be obtained, from MCPS (which is a part of the Performing Rights Society) at the web address at the top of this page, who will also give advice. The process is described at the Performing Rights Society web site.