Weddings @ St Marys Church

Church of England logoWeddings at St Mary's Church,
Hemel Hempstead

St Mary's Church is a partner with the Hemel Hempstead Team BeneficeA member of the Hemel Hempstead Team Ministry

St Mary's Church in the old town of Hemel Hempstead is a popular venue for all types of Weddings.
Have a look at the church
How to contact St Marys Church for an initial booking
Revd Canon John Williams Tel:01442265272

The Wedding Office is by appointment only at 11-12pm on Saturday Mornings in St Mary's Church. No money will be taken. Any payments need to be paid at the Team Office during open hours.

Any queries ring 01442 253977

How to go about arranging a church wedding
Whom to contact
Flowers for Weddings
Photographs for you to use in your Order of Service

To assist you in the choice of music for your wedding, there is a list below of pieces that are readily available.  If you wish to have anything different, it is important that you contact your vicar or the organist and director of music to discuss your ideas at least six weeks before your wedding day, and preferably earlier in case copies of music have to be ordered. Whatever you decide, return the completed checklist with your music requests to the Team Office or your vicar at least four weeks before the date of your wedding.

If you wish to play recorded music at your wedding or to involve other musicians, please discuss this in the first instance with your vicar. 

Normally the organist will play before the service, at the entry of the bride and as the couple leave the church.  The organist usually also plays during the signing of the registers unless you have arranged your own musicians – by arrangement in advance – or electronic recorded music.

Before the Service

Organ or other music is played as the congregation assembles.  Usually, this consists of a selection of lighter pieces setting the mood for the service.  You may leave it up to the organist to choose or select special pieces to be played at this time but, as some of the congregation often wait outside to see the bride until almost the start of the service, there is a chance that no one, or very few, will hear them.  Here are some of the pieces frequently chosen:

Normally the organist will play before the service, at the entry of the bride and as the couple leave the church.  The organist usually also plays during the signing of the registers unless you have arranged your own musicians – by arrangement in advance – or electronic recorded music.

Air from ‘The Water Music’  Handel

Jesu, joy of man’s desiring Bach

Air on a G string Bach

Sheep may safely graze  Bach

Panis Angelicus Franck

To a wild rose MacDowell

Ave Maria Bach/Gounod

Ave Maria Schubert

Arioso Bach

Chanson de matin Elgar

Elergy Thalben-Ball

Entry of the bride

Usually something loud and striking is played at this time. The choice is up to you. Pieces often chosen include:

Bridal March from ‘Lohengrin’ (here comes the bride) Wagner

Trumpet Tune in D Purcell

Trumpet Voluntary

(Also known as Purcell's Trumpet Voluntary) Clarke

Arrival of the Queen of Sheba Handel

Trumpet concerto in D Telemann

Signing of the registers

Usually the organist will play quiet music or you can choose any music from the list for before the service

Exit of the bride and groom

Wedding March Mendelssohn

Hornpipe from ‘The Water Music’ Handel

La Rejoissance from Fireworks Music - Handel

Chorale Improvisation on ‘Nun Danket’ Karg-Elert

Grand march from ‘Aida’ Verdi

Toccata from ‘Symphony No 5’ Widor

Canon in D Pachelbel

Imperial March Elgar


The hymns you choose for your wedding are usually from ‘Hymns Old and New’ (New Anglican Edition). This hymn book is available to borrow from church or to look through when you visit. We do not usually use hymn books at a wedding but print the words in your Order of Service so if you wish to have a hymn that is not in the book you may need to provide copies of the words and music in advance. This may mean obtaining permission from the publisher if the words are copyright.  If an order of service is being produced, please provide extra copies for the organist, any choir or musicians, the verger and Vicar.

Here are a few suggestions taken from ‘Hymns Old and New’

21               All things bright and beautiful

27               Amazing Grace

31               And did those feet in ancient time (Jerusalem)

60                Bind us together

90               Come down, O Love divine

-       Come to a wedding (not in our hymn book)

106             Dear Lord and Father of mankind

130             Fill your hearts with joy and gladness

153             Give me joy in my heart (sing Hosanna)

228             Lord of the Dance

242             Immortal, invisible, God only wise

293             Lead us, heavenly Father, lead us

313             Lord of all hopefulness

321             Love divine, all loves excelling

328              Make me a channel of your peace

337             Morning has broken *

354             Now thank we all our God

422             Praise my soul, the King of heaven

427             Praise to the Lord, the almighty

442             Seek ye first the kingdom of God

484             The King of love my shepherd is

490             The Lord’s my shepherd

*Please note there is an additional copyright charge of £25+VAT payable if ‘Morning Has Broken’ is used and printed in a wedding service booklet.

Choir and other musicians

Our church choir is formed of a small enthusiastic amateur band of singers who you may decide to book to support the singing of hymns at your ceremony.  It is often quite hard for us to predict the number or singers available in advance for weddings so do speak to your Vicar or the director of music organist when arranging the choir to sing. We would recommend that you come to church to hear the choir and speak to them and the director of music and organist before you make a booking. This will ensure that we deliver precisely what you are expecting for your wedding day.  It may be possible to swell their numbers by asking singers from other churches to supplement the choir at an additional charge.

If you have links with a choir, group of singers or a musician then please discuss their involvement with us at an early stage.

Parking and Maps For Sat Nav use HP1 3AE to find us
There is a pay and display car park next to the church the entrance is at the far end of the High Street furthest from the Town Centre.

There is also a free car park in Gadebridge Park off of the A4146 Leighton Buzzard Road which is about 5 minutes walk.

There are loos in the Park (not always open) and in the Church Hall.


Weddings Administrator email

Rector Tel: 01442 265272
Office Tel: 01442 253977


The Ecclesiastical Parish of St Mary and St Paul, Hemel Hempstead, Reg. Charity 1130644