Tips on creating the perfect ‘Order of Service’ for a Church Ceremony


When you decide have the church wedding the first think to ensure is that you choose the right support for the Groom i.e. the best man and ushers and for the bride, the bridesmaids and then others who you choose to read.

Many people choose a church service and forget that it isn’t a question of just turning up on the day,  there is preparation.     So, when you have chosen the church remember that you will be expected to attend Sunday services in the lead up to the marriage, especially when the Banns are read, which is typically three weeks prior to the wedding.   So, if you are not marrying locally you need to consider this.  

It is also important to build a rapport with the local vicar as you will need to attend marriage classes prior however this can be at a separate dioceses.   My top tip to couples is, if they offer you a marriage counselling session for a day opt for that.

My tip to all my couples (SJD Events Limited) is always to look to keeping the church ceremony to between 45 and 55 minutes in total, as anything over will lose your guest’s attention.

Other pointers to consider are:

  • Get hold of as many ‘order of services’ as you can.    For ideas other than discussing it with the vicar, take a look at this extremely comprehensive website which offers great tips at
  • On the day ensure that you reserve sufficient seats in the front pews for the respective families.    The tradition being that the groom’s family is on the right and the brides on the left.
  • By choosing to marry in Church you will be able to make your service ‘personal, meaningful, beautiful and spiritual’.
  • If you have the budget consider a choir as it really boosts the ambience.  Also, when signing the register it can be an opportunity to have a solo.   Also, note that the organist will carry a cost as well so ask the vicar if included in the cost.
  • Bell ringing is very British however not all churches have working bells so if important ask early.   However, be aware it will be an additional cost.
  • Always speak to the vicar about the printing of the Order of Service as sometimes they have a good contact through the church.    When ordering them, always work on one between two guests but remember you’ll need to print additional copies for the choir, organist and vicar too.
  • Always get the Vicar to check over your ‘Order of Service’ before sending it to print as they will the typo’s.

Here are some of the most popular pieces of music that I have witnessed over the past year:

  • The Processional ~ Spread Your Wings   *   Bridal Chorus, Wagner  *  Te Deum, Prelude by Marc Antoine Charpentier


  • Hymns ~ Love divine, all loves excelling   *   Guide me, O thou great Redeemer   * Dear Lord and Father of mankind    *   Amazing Grace  


  • Readings ~ Love, actually 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13   *   A love poem between two lovers Song of Solomon, Chapter 2, verses 10-13.    *   Union by Robert Fulghum    *   Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer ‘The 120 Marriages of Joseph and Sarah’     *    1 Corinthians 13: 4-7,13  


  • Signing the Register ~ Ave Maria   *   Ave Verum Corpus   *  Haydn Trumpet Concerto (2nd movement)


  • The Recessional ~ The Book of Love, Peter Gabriel    *   The Wedding March by Mendelssohn

Remember that the Vicar carries out wedding services all the time and that you need to build a rapport with them and do ask them for advice so together you can create the perfect ceremony.

In finishing I would like to share this quote by Martin Luther King There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company, than a good marriage’

About sjdeventsltd

Owner of a Consultancy Company, specialising in offering flexible services for all types of events, including fundraising projects in the charity sector.
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