One of your first decisions once you are engaged and putting together your ideas is what type of ceremony you are going to have? It is the law that you must commit to marriage in either a religious ceremony or at chosen venue or registry office. Becoming more popular are humanist ceremonies, but unless you are marrying in Scotland, you would need to still legalise your marriage.

If you have decided to have a religious wedding in a house of worship there will be a set format of proceedings and a list of requirements every couple will have to meet. Many couples feel a religious wedding adds meaning and reverence to the day.

Here are a few helpful tips when planning your church wedding:

FIND THE RIGHT CHURCH

This is straightforward if you already belong to a church, but it is wise to book the date as far ahead as you can. A lot of churches schedule weddings a year in advance. You will need to meet the minister, who will talk to you about church policy and any pre-marital counselling that you will need to attend.

WOWS AND READINGS

In most churches the wording is set through the tradition of the church but in more informal ceremonies you might be able to add a personal touch.

One of the most common pieces of scripture used in church weddings is from 1 Corinthians 13, which talks about the characteristics of love. The minister will advise you on the selection of readings that are acceptable and there are lots of books available to help you choose.

MUSIC SELECTION

There is a large choice in church music today, but some churches may have limit your selections to hymns and classical pieces, others will allow  contemporary music and even secular selections.

You may be offered the choice of having the church choir. This is usually a good idea, unless you have a congregation of enthusiastic singers, as there is nothing worse than a lack of participation.

There will probably be an approved list of processional and recessional songs in order to meet the religious requirements of the church.

FLOWERS

Filling a church with flowers is both wonderful and expensive, so it is a good idea to check what flowers may be in place in the church at the time of your wedding. Churches often have their own flower arrangers that can be extremely creative on any type of budget. Pinterest is brilliant for coming up with ideas on the best way to decorate a church with flowers. Also think about moving some of the flowers to the reception venue, there will be time for this whilst the photographs are being taken and no one will notice!

DRESS CODE

Most brides have had an image of their ideal wedding gown from way before an engagement ring was placed on their finger. Getting married in a church may require a more formal type of dress depending on the strictness of the church. Grooms and groomsmen will be required to wear jackets.

 

Here are some of my favourite images from church weddings: