On the big day
There are lots of things to think about on your big day, so here are some pointers to help you.

Weddings in the Parish of High Ongar

The service itself

Below are key points that you need to be aware of or think about before your big day. If you have any questions, then please do contact us for more information.

Hymns and Music

The on-line wedding planner contains a wide choice of possible hymn/music option to choose from, and allows you to view the lyrics and/or listen to various hymns on-line. For those without internet access, we can provide a hard copy list of possible hymn choices.

Entrance and Exit Music

More traditional/well-known options are placed first in the suggestions below.

Bridal march (at the beginning):

  • Bridal March from Lohengrin – Wagner
  • Trumpet Voluntary – Purcell
  • Horn Pipe from the Water Music - Handel
  • Arrival of the Queen of Sheba – Handel

Wedding March (at the end):

  • Wedding March from Midsummer Night’s Dream – Mendelssohn
  • Trumpet Voluntary – Purcell

If you would like an ideas for a more contemporary/creative ‘Entrance of the Bride’, then take a look at this YouTube video!


We can book an organist for your wedding. However, you may organise your own organist and any other musicians you would like to assist with the service, although please let us know what you have arranged.


You will need to decide and advise us whether you will be having one or two rings.

Wedding Vows

Traditionally, the husband vows 'to love and to cherish' his wife and the wife vows to 'love, cherish and obey' her husband. However, you may choose for the bride 'not to obey' and we will discuss which version of the vows you wish to take as part of your marriage preparation.

Bride being 'Given Away'

Similarly the traditional wedding service includes the Bride being 'given away' by her father to the Groom. However, you are free to choose for someone other than the Bride’s father to give her away, or not to have a 'giving away'.

Bible reading

The service contains a Bible reading, although you may have more than one. The most common choice is 1 Corinthians 13 ("And now I will show you the most excellent way.  If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love ....").  Other wedding favourites include:

  • Ephesians 5:21-33
  • Colossians 3:12-17
  • Philippians 2:1-11
  • 1 John 3:11-24
  • 1 John 4:7-21

Again you can read the text of these and other popular wedding readings using the on-line wedding planner. However, you may choose a reading from any part of the Bible and we will discuss this as part of marriage preparation.

Signing of the Registers, Marriage Certificate and Witnesses

At the end of the service, the bride and groom, the bridesmaids, best man and both sets of parents move over to where the wedding registers will be signed (the exact location will be explained at the rehearsal). Two legal witnesses (who must be over 18) are required. Photographers usually take a 'signing the registers' shot at this point. Immediately after the signing of the registers, you will be presented with your wedding certificate, which you will need to take with you if travelling abroad as the Bride’s passport retains her Maiden Name. After these legal formalities, the wedding party processes up the isle to the chosen music. Again, the exact logistics of this will be explained at the rehearsal.


Bells are available for weddings held in St Mary's, High Ongar and not those held in either of our other two churches, All Saints', Norton Mandeville or St James', Marden Ash.  If you would like a team of bell ringers to ring before and/or after your wedding at St Mary's, you will need to book this with our Parish Administrator (01277 366047)


If you would like to have flowers in the church building, then please contact our Parish Administrator to discuss your requirements and arrange a time for your florist to have access to the building prior to the Wedding.

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