Post # 1
- Wedding: May 2015 - The Runnymede Hotel
So, I know most of you are Americans, and I’m not sure how American weddings go, being British.
English weddings are either in a Church/place of worship (religious ceremony) or in a licensed venue (civil ceremony). My partner and I are having a civil ceremony as we are both atheists, as are our parents and pretty much all of our family (apart from his dad’s side- they’re jewish). At Church weddings, there is usually a hymn sung by the congregation/guests. I kind of love this idea, and wanted to have a song in place of one of our readings. For civil ceremonies, you are not allowed to sing hymns, say prayers etc. – basically have anything religious at all. I would love a Beatles song. Largely because we love the Beatles and their music will be known by everyone (we’re brits, after all), even if people don’t know ALL the words, we’d pick a simple song which would be easy to pick up.
Has anyone done this? Successfully?? My worry is that in a Church wedding it’s accepted that there will be singing. Not so much for a civil ceremony. So it might throw people off a bit?
Post # 2
I think it’s a great idea. I can’t help you on whether it would throw people off, but I would do it.
Post # 3
I’ve been to a couple of British civil ceremonies (my fi is Scottish and has a huge family all up and down the UK, lots of weddings!); all of them had music of some sort but none of them had guests singing along. I don’t know if this was by the choice of the bride and groom or something that the Counsil set forth, so you should make sure to check if the singing of a secular song might be interpreted as a hymn. They have pretty strict and sometimes confusing words.
If you are able to have a sing-along type song, I’d recommend having it either as part of the processional or part of the recessional and not in the middle where the readings usually go, because it just seems a bit awkward (and the random sing-along song inserted into the middle is one of the things that annoys me about a Catholic wedding because I never know what to expect, if I should join in or not, etc). If you had something like All You Need Is Love as the last “thing” in the ceremony, it would probably make for a very memorable exit with everyone singing you back down the aisle!
Post # 4
I was just at a wedding where they did two songs instead of hymns (church wedding in the US). In fact the groom is a pastor, and he still chose to not have hymns. One near the beginning and one after the vows before the man and wife bit.
I did like that they had a ‘head singer’ who really had her stuff down so in case people don’t read music or didn’t know the song (granted, much less likely with a Beatles song), there was someone there to get everyone back on track. I think that would work great for you in case people weren’t expecting it.
Post # 5
I am not sure if this helps, but I am Australia and basically everyone here has civil ceremonies on the beach or in a garden (its like 70% of weddings). Most of these have songs or singers playing at the part where you sign the registory or while you walk down the isle. It works really well. I am doing the same thing for my wedding… you just need to find a few friends who sing well and are willing to do it 🙂