Many couples want to honour their faith by having
their wedding ceremony in church

Although church weddings are no longer as popular as civil weddings in Australia, there are still many couples that want to honour their faith by having their wedding ceremony in church. There are a few things to take into account when you have a church wedding, and it’s a good idea to check with your individual church to find out what is allowed and what is not.

Rules for Church Weddings

There may be rules and regulations that you need to check if you’re planning a church wedding, for example if either of you have been married before the circumstances of your previous marriage might affect whether or not you are allowed to get married again in church. If you come from two Christian denominations you are unlikely to be able to have two ceremonies but must decide which church you want to get married in. Some denominations have stricter rules than others, for example if you’re a catholic you will need to gain dispensation from the priest to marry a non-Christian in a catholic church.

Church Wedding Decorations

TMany churches have very distinctive interiors and colour schemes so make sure you have a good look at the church you will get married in before you start planning your church wedding decorations to avoid clashes. Often keeping to a simple white colour scheme is a good option for church weddings. A church can be a large space to decorate, so if you’re on a tight budget just focus on the aisle, perhaps with some floral pew ends, and the area around the alter with some dramatic flower arrangements.

Discuss decorating options with your church. You might love the idea of an aisle strewn with rose petals and flickering candles lighting your path to the altar, but if your church won’t allow either of these you could be disappointed. Be prepared to compromise; LED lights and silk flowers can be just as effective as the real thing.

Outfits for a Church Wedding

Although the trend for strapless wedding dresses is still strong, many brides find that having bare shoulders or a plunging neckline seems a little inappropriate for a church wedding. This doesn’t mean you have to cover up completely, but having a wrap or jacket that you can wear in church, or a dress with a detachable modesty panel or removable sleeves, can help you to dress respectfully during your church wedding ceremony.

Many modern brides choose to forgo the traditional bridal veil and simply wear a hair band or flower. However, there’s something about a bride in a long veil standing at a church altar that forms an iconic image so bridal veils are still very popular for church weddings.

Music for a Church Wedding

When you’re planning a church wedding there are various pieces of music you will need to decide on. You may want some background music as your guests arrive and then you will need some processional music as you enter the church. Most church ceremonies will have one or two hymns, possibly more if you have a communion, and then you will need some music or a hymn while you are signing the register. Finally you will need music for the recessional and to play your guests out.

Most churches will provide you with a list or CD of appropriate pieces and hymns and you may need to ask permission for music that is not on the list. Classical pieces will probably be allowed but some churches are wary of modern music. One of the advantages of a church wedding is being able to use the impressive organ or church choir so choose pieces that make the most of those if you have the chance.

Accessories for Church Weddings

Depending on the type of ceremony you have there are a few accessories you might want to look for to complete your church wedding. A beautiful ring pillow can be a lovely touch for the ring bearer and can help to keep those wedding bands safe, and a flower girl basket is essential if you are allowed to scatter petals in the aisle. Unity candle ceremonies are gaining in popularity and you can buy candles with significant bible verses that will make your ceremony extra special.

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