Wedding ceremony words

Types of marriage serviceIn the Church of England, there are three legally-approved forms of words for a marriage service.

Most weddings use the words from The Marriage Service from Common Worship (2000). It is in contemporary language and offers the most flexibility in the choice of readings and prayers.

However, sometimes couples have special reasons for wanting a ceremony that uses old language, such as ‘thee’ and ‘thou’ instead of ‘you’.

A service from the Book of Common Prayer (1662) is also a legally approved service. There is also a slightly updated version of the 1662 service, known as Alternative Services: Series One, which was used by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for their wedding. The language is still old and traditional.

When the time comes to start choosing hymns and readings for your Order of Service, your vicar will be delighted to advise you. You may also like to try our Ceremony Planner, or the book Church of England Marriage Services by the Revd Peter Moger, may be helpful.

Also in this section

Ceremony Planner
Your wedding and Covid-19
We had our reception in church too
Our wedding was a gift from our guests
The rehearsal
Professional photography at a church wedding
Renewing your vows
Your children are welcome
Reading of banns
Additional readings
Other music for your wedding
Wedding blessings
Preparing for marriage
Wedding vows
Filming a wedding
How do I find my parish church for reading banns?
Can a vicar from a different church take our wedding?
Special Licences
Common licences
Do we need a marriage licence?
Superintendent Registrar’s Marriage Schedule
Bible readings for your wedding
Choices for your wedding ceremony
Hymns for your wedding
Countdown to your church wedding
The cost of church weddings
Legal requirements