Wedding ceremony words

In the Church of England, there are three legally-approved forms of words for a marriage service.
A bride and groom join hands in front of the vicar

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.