Traditional Wedding Hymns

Cheryl Cirelli
bouquet on hymnal

There are many traditional wedding hymns to use for your wedding ceremony. Many couples choose traditional hymns that are easy to recognize and are popular among all religions. With the vast number of hymns to choose from, it is simple to use ones that have special significance and that will add a personal touch to your wedding ceremony.

Popular Traditional Wedding Hymns

There are plenty of traditional wedding hymns to select for your big day. Choose songs that are meaningful to you as a couple and that will add a special touch to your ceremony. Song selections can be tailored to different parts of the wedding ceremony such as the prelude, lighting of the unity candle, during communion and after readings and prayers.

Prelude Music

The prelude to any wedding is when guests are first seated and waiting for the bride and her attendants to walk down the aisle. During this time, most hymns are just instrumental. There are many traditional hymns that can be used during the prelude, such as:

  • Love Divine, All Love Excelling
  • Praise to the Lord the Almighty
  • The Gift of Love
  • Go, My Children, with My Blessing

This is a good time to include hymns that the couple has enjoyed over the years, even if the lyrics don't directly relate to a wedding service.

Unity Candle Hymns

unity candle

Many couples incorporate lighting a unity candle in their ceremony. There are hymns that can be used for this purpose and will add a special touch to this meaningful gesture. Show that your two families will be united as one with hymns that can be sung such as Amazing Grace, When Love Is Found, and Ave Maria. Love and devotion to God are are usually the main significance of the hymns during this time.

Special Hymns

After prayer or during communion, many couples wish to incorporate a hymn. During these times, hymns can be sung or instrumental. Many use vocal versions after a sermon or prayer and stick to instrumental versions during communion.

These hymns typically signify happiness, faith, and love for both God and others:

  • On Eagle's Wings
  • All Things Bright and Beautiful
  • O Love, How Deep

Recessional and Departure Hymns

When exiting the church after the ceremony has ended, a joyful hymn can be played in honor of the couple. A hymn such as Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee is just one example to consider for this purpose. Other departure hymns include:

  • Forth in the Peace of Christ We Go
  • Christ is Made the Sure Foundation
  • Holy, Holy, Holy

The recessional hymns often signify going forth and spreading the word to others after the service, and have an upbeat tune that is associated with happiness.

How to Choose Hymns for Your Wedding

Many couples use traditional wedding hymns for their ceremony. With the large selection of music available, it can often be a challenge to find the right hymns for your wedding. If you are planning a church wedding, be sure to check with the clergy or music director for any restrictions. Most Jewish, Protestant, and Catholic hymnals will include a section with appropriate songs. If you have a wedding planner, she should be able to help guide you as well.

When deciding on hymns to use for your wedding, think about the meaning behind each one and what you are looking to convey. Hymns are a great way to get the guests involved in the ceremony and by choosing traditional ones will allow them to join in familiar song.

Listen to Hymns

Before you commit to any hymn for your wedding, you will want to preview it to make sure it is what you want. You can do this online by visiting a site such as iTunes or Amazon and simply type in the name of the hymn you are interesting in hearing. You can then preview it for free.

Traditional Wedding Hymns