Order of Service Sheets

The order of service lists the various stages of the service. There is no standard format and the couple are free to choose how much detail they wish to include. There are, however, some customary guidelines for the order of a Church of England wedding:

- On the front cover are the Christian names or initials of the bride and groom, the name of the church, the date and time of the service.

- Inside, the order of service will usually include titles of music, hymns and readings, and often the composer or author.

- It may be advisable to include the full text of hymns; this dispenses with the need for hymnbooks. N.B. Hymns are subject to copyright, and it is illegal to reproduce the words without permission until 70 years after the author or composer's death. Permission must be gained for recent works; most hymns, however, were written so long ago that they can be reproduced.

- A poem or saying can be included on either the inside front cover or inside back cover. This isn't read out; it is just something for the congregation to enjoy.

- It is customary to acknowledge the minister and/or registrar by name, and to credit the organist, choir or musicians.

- Some couples also like to list the key members of the wedding party such as the best man, ushers, chief bridesmaid, bridesmaids and pages.

- Readers' names should accompany the text/title of their reading.

- Most couples opt for a simple cream or white folded card, matching the invitation in style.

- Printer proofs should be checked carefully, especially dates and people's names.

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