Some couples ask me about wedding hymns because they want to incorporate a wedding hymn or two in their wedding.
There are a few ways to accomplish this:
It can be as simple as having the organist or other musician play your chosen hymn(s) in the prelude.
Some couples opt to have a soloist sing a hymn. This is often done right before the processional begins (as the last song in the prelude) or during the ceremony----perhaps right after a prayer or during the lighting of the unity candle.
Another option is to have the congregation sing the hymn just as they do in a church service. This can be a nice touch. It allows your guests to be actively involved in your wedding and can impart a sense of unity.
Also, besides giving the guests a chance to stretch their legs a bit, it affords the bridal party a few moments of "breathing room"! For example, perhaps the bride or groom needs a tissue or has a quick question or comment for the clergy/officiant. Such things are best accomplished while the congregation is busy!
Tip: Unless the hymn is very short, don't ask your guests to sing a kabillion verses! Remember, you and your bridal party have to stand there!
If a hymn has 5 or 6 verses, try choosing 2-3 verses that have the most meaning to you or that are the most appropriate for a wedding. You can have your chosen verses printed in your wedding program.
Tip: You will get a better congregational response if you choose a hymn that has a familiar tune!
A couple of brief asides here:
Although not music, there is an interesting book entitled
Inviting God to Your Wedding & Keeping God in Your Marriage
written by Martha Williamson, who is probably best known for producing the TV show "Touched By An Angel". Amidst all of the hubbub of wedding planning, some find this book to be helpful.
Also, if you are looking for general hymn CDs, consider the following 2 very popular ones:
Below are some hymns to consider. Your organist and/or church hymnal are other excellent sources for wedding hymns.
As you'll notice, some hymns below are listed twice. When this is the case, the arrangements are different and the instrument featured is listed in parenthesis.