I’m just going to be honest here. I want our wedding ceremony to last for as long as possible.
I’ve been there, as a guest, flicking through the order of service thinking “Howwwww much longer do we have left?!?!” and either miming along to hymns I don’t know, or giggling inside at the primary school memories being evoked from singing “All Things Bright and Beautiful.” (I’m looking at you, Beth!)
But the thing is, this will be my wedding and I kind of don’t want it to be over quickly. I want to milk that ceremony for all it’s worth.
So we’re having three hymns. And two readings. And our reverend will do a sermon.
I think that’ll be plenty of time.
That said, I don’t want my guests to be bored to death. I can’t stop people from looking at their watches, but I can give them a couple of songs to sing that they actually know.
I spent a lot of time researching “popular wedding hymns” and eventually gave up. If I don’t know these hymns, then my friends and family certainly won’t, so I figured I’d pick something we all know.
Jack is really set on having “Jerusalem” and I would absolutely love “I Vow to Thee, My Country.” I love how nationalistic they are, and due to the past two years being very Royal-centric (that’s not a word) with the Royal Wedding the and Jubilee, I’m pretty confident that everyone will know the tunes.
(I’m going to throw in the videos of these hymns being sung at Will & Kate’s wedding and Charles & Diana’s wedding, because I love a good Royal knees-up!)
Unfortunately, some churches are not allowing these two songs to be sung at weddings because they are maybe too nationalistic, which is a real shame. I think we’ll be allowed “Jerusalem” because it’s on the Church of England Wedding website, so that’s a good sign. But the other? I’m not too sure.
I saw that “We Pledge to One Another” is sung to the same tune as “I Vow to Thee, My Country,” so that could possibly be a compromise there. I do quite like the idea of that version being the first song we sing before saying our vows, but when I played the song to Jack he scrunched his face up to the “soppy lyrics.” “You want the war song, don’t you?” I said to him. He nodded (and also jokingly added in “marriage is a battle…between what is right, and what the woman wants!” Hardee har har, Jack!) War song it is, then, but he’ll happily change to the “soppy song” if we’re not allowed it.
The other hymn I would like to choose is a personal one. I used to sing it in a choir when I was younger, and I think it’s one of the most beautiful hymns I’ve ever heard.
I would love to sing “The Lord Bless You and Keep You” at our wedding. Listening to it gives me goose bumps, and I just enjoy singing it, which I think is really important. We will be having the church choir at our ceremony, so I’m not too worried about no one knowing this one and it sounding “flat.” Hopefully it’ll just be nice to listen to the choir singing it.
We have our meeting with the reverend in a few weeks, so we’ll find out if we can have these hymns and get more of an idea of how the ceremony will go. Fingers crossed!
Were you able to have your favourite hymns at your wedding?