Wedding Sample Service

A Sample Order of Service

Below you will see an outline order of service, and further down we have included some of the content of the service. Don’t worry, you don’t have to remember or memorise anything! The minister will take you through the service, tell you when to stand, sit and sing and what to say and when. You will have a full rehearsal so you can go through everything before the day.

Here is an outline structure of the order of service for your wedding:

  • The Entrance of the Bride
    (‘The Brides Chorus’, Lohengrin by Wagner or music of your choice)
  • The Welcome
  • Hymn (optional)
  • The Declarations
    (including the Preface and followed by The Collect gathering prayer)
  • The Marriage Vows
    (including the Giving of Rings, Proclamation and Blessing)
  • Signing of the Registers
  • Hymn (optional – This hymn will be omitted if only two required)
  • Bible Reading
  • Talk
  • Hymn (Optional)
  • The Prayers
  • Blessing
  • The Wedding Procession
    (‘Wedding March’ by Mendelssohn or music of your choice)

Most people produce their own order of service at home but you can use a professional printing service.

What will I need to choose?

You will need to choose entry and exit music, music for during the signing of the registers, hymns and a Bible reading. You may also choose a suitable poem or piece of prose to be read prior to the Bible reading.  Click on the links in the menu to see suitable selections of readings and hymns.

Once you have chosen the above, you may wish to produce your own order of service.  You can either use a professional printer or else produce something on your home computer at a fraction of the cost!  Once you have produced the outline order of service, please send a copy to the Vicar so that we can proof-read it and check that everything is okay before you print off the final copies.

What does the service look like?

The service contains a number of elements, each designed to say something about you as a couple, your love for each other, and the character of God in whose presence you are making your vows.  The core elements of the service are as outlined below:

Introduction

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

The minister says to the congregation

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

The minister says to the couple

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.

The minister says to the bridegroom

N, will you take N to be your 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?

He answers

I will.

The minister says to the bride

N, will you take N to be your 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?

She answers

I will.

The minister says to the congregation

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

They answer

We will.

The minister invites the people to pray, silence is kept and the minister says 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.
Amen.

The Marriage Vows

The minister introduces the vows in these or similar words

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

The bride and bridegroom face each other.  The bridegroom takes the bride’s right hand in his.  These words are used

I, N , take you, N , to be my wife, 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.
In the presence of God I make this vow.

They loose hands. The bride takes the bridegroom’s right hand in hers, and says

I, N , take you, N , to be my 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.
In the presence of God I make this vow.

They loose hands.

The Giving of Rings

The minister receives the ring(s), and says this prayer

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.
Amen.

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.

If rings are exchanged, they loose hands and 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.

Proclamation and Blessing

The minister addresses the people

In the presence of God, and before this congregation, N and 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 their right hands together and says

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

The minister says to the couple

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.
Amen.

The text of the Marriage Service is copyright © 2000-2014 The Archbishops’ Council.