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Weddings at Penshurst Church

Penhurst Church

With thanks to BVF photography for the wedding photographs used on this website.



St John the Baptist, Penshurst is delighted to welcome many weddings each year and works closely with Penshurst Place, a popular venue for receptions after the service.

This page will help you find out how you can discuss your wedding plans with our Rector, what a wedding at Penshurst would cost and how to plan your wedding service, including its music.

Our Wedding Coordinator will be pleased to discuss how we may be able to help with your wedding, check church availability with you and discuss more details about your requirements including costs.  Please contact her at or 07471 185462.

Please note that in order to secure the date of your wedding a deposit of £250 is required. 


For your wedding you will generally need music for the entrance of the bride, up to three hymns and music as you leave. Music will also generally be required for the signing of the Marriage Document, especially if you are planning to book our choir to help the singing.


Before the service

The organist will normally play a variety of suitable pieces of his own choosing but special requests are always welcome if specific pieces are wanted. These requests have ranged from light, popular pieces to complete Handel organ concertos.


Entrance of the bride

This is usually performed as a short extract as the bride processes up the aisle and which preferably makes an immediate impact. This should be particularly borne in mind where CDs are used. The following pieces are commonly used but individual choices have carried from Fields of Gold to A Highland Cathedral.

  • Bridal March from Lohengrin – Wagner R
  • Prince of Denmark’s March  – Clark J
  • Trumpet Tune – Purcell H
  • Trumpet Voluntary – Stanley J
  • Hornpipe in D – Handel G
  • The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba – Handel G
  • Canon in D – Pachelbel


There is a very comprehensive list of hymns on the website of the Royal School of Church Music. Go to – organists – music for church weddings.

Below are frequently used:

  • And did those feet (Jerusalem)
  • Bind us together
  • Dear Lord and Father of mankind
  • Give me joy in my heart
  • Lord of all hopefulness
  • Love Divine all loves exceling
  • Morning has broken
  • One more step along the way we go
  • Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven
  • The Lord of the Dance
  • We pledge to one another

Music for the signing of the Marriage Document

Singers or instrumentalists are sometimes employed to occupy this time (usually about five minutes). If you book our choir, they can sing

  • Jesu, joy of man’s desiring – Bach J S
  • A Claire Benediction – Rutter J
  • The Lord bless you and keep you – Rutter J
  • Panis Angelicus – Franck C
  • The Lord’s my Shepherd – Chilcott B
  • Irish blessing – Chilcott B
  • Be still, for the presence of the Lord – Evans D

Alternatively the organist can perform some music during this interlude, either of his own choice or music that has been discussed with and chosen by you.


Music for leaving the church

As the finale to the service, this needs to be a joyful and uplifting piece and is normally a complete and fairly lengthy voluntary to allow for all the guests to leave. Here are some possible suggestions:

  • Wedding March – Mendelssohn F
  • Toccata from Symphonie 5 – Widor C-M
  • Toccata from “Twelve Pieces” – Dubois T
  • March Triomphale – Karg-Elert
  • Fanfare – Whitlock P
  • Chorale Prelude In dir ist Freude – Bach J S
  • A trumpet minuet – Hollins A
  • Sortie in E flat – Lefebure-Wely C
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