Music defines so many of the most important parts of a wedding—the reception entrance, first dance, last dance—that it only makes sense for there to be some good tunes playing before the festivities begin. Most wedding guests (the good ones, at least) arrive about 10 to 15 minutes before the ceremony begins, and though you're not required to provide any entertainment for this period, it's not a bad idea to have some music playing to fill the time.
This is called prelude music, and when used, it's played for about 30 minutes before the ceremony start time and consists of mellow songs that set the mood for a meaningful moment. Whether played on a speaker or by a band or string quartet or band, the music can create the ambiance you desire.
Match your prelude music to the overall vibe of your wedding. For a rustic wedding in nature, contemporary acoustic songs make a great choice; for a traditional ceremony, pick mostly classical, instrumental music.
Generally, five or six songs are the right amount, so take a listen to 65 of our favorite ceremony prelude songs and have fun making your selections.
"Moonlight Sonata," by Beethoven
Why We Love It: A soft piano melody makes this song soothing and peaceful.
"A Case of You," by Joni Mitchell
Lyrics of Love: "I remember that time that you told me, you said/Love is touching souls"
"Helplessly Hoping," by Crosby, Stills & Nash
Lyrics of Love: "They are one person/They are two alone/They are three together/They are for each other"
"Harvest Moon," by Neil Young
Lyrics of Love: "Because I'm still in love with you/I want to see you dance again"
"God Only Knows," by John Legend and Cynthia Erivo
Lyrics of Love: "God only knows what I'd be without you"
"I and Love and You," by The Avett Brothers
Lyrics of Love: "Three words that became hard to say/I and love and you"
"Serenade, D. 957, No. 4," by Franz Schubert
Why We Love It: An uplifting and energetic violin performance to set the mood.
"Everything," by Michael Bublé
Lyrics of Love: "And in this crazy life, and through these crazy times/It's you, it's you; you make me sing"
"Real Love," by The Beatles
Lyrics of Love: "Don't need to be alone/No need to be alone/It's real love"
"Still Fallin'," by Hunter Hayes
Lyrics of Love: "I hold on to every word/Like it's the first one that I've heard/It's the only time I've ever felt like this this"
"Ho Hey," by The Lumineers
Lyrics of Love: "I belong with you, you belong with me, you're my sweetheart"
"Sheep May Safely Graze," by Bach
Why We Love It: A popular piano piece great for celebrations.
"Yellow," by Coldplay
Lyrics of Love: "I came along/I wrote a song for you/And all the things you do/And it was called 'Yellow'"
"The One," by Kodaline
Lyrics of Love: "Tell me that you want me/And I'll be yours completely/For better or for worse"
"Ave Maria," by Beyoncé
Lyrics of Love: "I found heaven on Earth/You are my last, my first"
"We've Only Just Begun," by Carpenters
Lyrics of Love: "And when the evening comes, we smile/So much of life ahead/We'll find a place where there's room to grow"
"Love," by Lana Del Rey
Lyrics of Love: "To be young and in love/Don't worry, baby"
"The Best of My Love," by Eagles
Lyrics of Love: "Oh, sweet darlin'/You get the best of my love"
"Water Music Suite No.3, HWV 350," by George Frideric Handel
Why We Love It: A robust orchestra to usher in an exciting day.
"Make You Feel My Love," by Bob Dylan
Lyrics of Love: "When the rain is blowing in your face/And the whole world is on your case/I could offer a warm embrace/To make you feel my love"
"(Ummm, Oh Yeah) Dearest," by Buddy Holly
Lyrics of Love: "Dearest, though you're the nearest to my heart/Please don't ever, ummm yeah, ever ever say we'll part"
"Clair de Lune," by Claude Debussy
Why We Love It: An emotional piano performance that oozes romance.
"She's Got a Way," by Billy Joel
Lyrics of Love: "She's got a way about her/I don't know what it is/But I know that I can't live without her"
"Can't Help Falling in Love," by Ingrid Michaelson
Lyrics of Love: "Some things are meant to be/So take my hand, and take my whole life too/Cause I can't help falling in love with you"
"The Wind," by Yusuf / Cat Stevens
Lyrics of Love: "I listen to my words but they fall far below/I let my music take me where my heart wants to go"
"#34," by Dave Matthews Band
Lyrics of Love: "Lean upon me/I'll lean upon you/We'll be ok"
"How Sweet It Is," by James Taylor
Lyrics of Love: "Everywhere I went it seems I'd been there before/But you brighten up for me all of my days/With a love so sweet in so many ways"
"XO," by John Mayer
Lyrics of Love: "Your heart is glowing/And I'm crashing into you/Baby kiss me, kiss me"
"Cherish," by The Association
Lyrics of Love: "And I do/Cherish you"
"Crazy Love," by Van Morrison
Lyrics of Love: "I can hear her heart beat for a thousand miles/And the heaven's open every time she smiles"
"Truly," by Lionel Richie
Lyrics of Love: "There's no other love like your love/And I, as long as I live/I'll give you all the joy/My heart and soul can give"
"You and I," by Stevie Wonder
Lyrics of Love: "Here we are on Earth together/It's you and I/God has made us fall in love, it's true/I've really found someone like you"
"So Beautiful," by Musiq Soulchild
Lyrics of Love: "Cause it just feels so right/I don't wanna waste no time/If I had to choose I know/I'm going always choose to be with you"
"Come Rain or Come Shine," by Billie Holiday
Lyrics of Love: "I'm gonna love you like nobody's loved you/Come rain or come shine/High as a mountain and deep as a river"
"Evergreen," by Barbra Streisand
Lyrics of Love: "Love soft as an easy chair/Love fresh as the morning air/One love that is shared by two/I have found with you"
"Time After Time," by Iron & Wine
Lyrics of Love: "If you're lost, you can look and you will find me/Time after time/If you fall, I will catch you, I'll be waiting/Time after time"
"Better Together," by Jack Johnson
Lyrics of Love: "It's not always easy and/Sometimes life can be deceiving/I'll tell you one thing, it's always better when we're together"
"The Way I Am," by Ingrid Michaelson
Lyrics of Love: "If you were falling/Then I would catch you/You need a light/I'd find a match/Cause I love the way you say good morning/And you take me the way I am"
"I'm With You," by Vance Joy
Lyrics of Love: "I was just coasting 'til we met/You remind me just how good it can get"
"Lovin' You," by Minnie Riperton
Lyrics of Love: "No one else can make me feel/The colors that you bring/Stay with me while we grow old/And we will live each day in springtime"
"Lucky," by Jason Mraz featuring Colbie Caillat
Lyrics of Love: "I'm lucky we're in love in every way/Lucky to have stayed where we have stayed"
"Invisible String," by Taylor Swift
Lyrics of Love: "And isn't it just so pretty to think/All along there was some/Invisible string/Tying you to me?"
"Just the Way You Are," by The Piano Guys
Why We Love It: A beautiful piano rendition of a romantic pop song.
The Ultimate Wedding Ceremony Guide
"Steady As We Go," by Dave Matthews Band
Lyrics of Love: "I walk halfway around the world/Just to sit down by your side/And I would do most anything girl/To be the apple of your eye"
"Thinking Out Loud," by Ed Sheeran
Lyrics of Love: "Take me into your loving arms/Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars/Place your head on my beating heart"
"Love You for a Long Time," by Maggie Rogers
Lyrics of Love: "And in the morning when I'm waking up/I swear you're the first thing that I'm thinking of/I feel it in my body, know it in my mind/Oh, I, I'm gonna love you for a long time"
"Love Is a Verb," by John Mayer
Lyrics of Love: "When you show me love/I don't need your words/Yeah, love ain't a thing/Love is a verb"
"River," by Leon Bridges
Lyrics of Love: "Take me to your river/I wanna go/Oh, go/Take me to your river/I wanna know"
"Lover," by Taylor Swift
Lyrics of Love: "Can I go where you go?/Can we always be this close forever and ever?/And ah, take me out, and take me home/You're my, my, my, my lover"
"Put Your Records On," by Corinne Bailey Rae
Lyrics of Love: "Girl, put your records on, tell me your favorite song/You go ahead, let your hair down"
"I Like You," by Ben Rector
Lyrics of Love: "There are way too many love songs/And I think they've got it all wrong/'Cause life is not the mountain tops/It's the walking in between/And I like you walking next to me"
"O Perfect Love," by Sir Joseph Barnby
Why We Love It: A classic, uplifting piano tune that emanates romance.
"Falling Like the Stars," by James Arthur
Lyrics of Love: "I swear to God, when I come home/I'm gonna hold you so close/I swear to God, when I come home/I'll never let go"
"Forever You and Me," by The Teskey Brothers
Lyrics of Love: "It could be forever, a lifetime spent together/It could be, forever you and me"
"Come Home to Me," by Léon
Lyrics of Love: "Oh, love, hold me closer 'til we're old 'cause/You know that in your arms I feel at/Home, love, take me over, say you know now"
"Here On Out," by Dave Matthews Band
Lyrics of Love: "When you laugh, it's like a light/That fills me up/'Cause you are my love/Like when I fell into your eyes/I could not get out/And I could not get enough"
"Save Room," by John Legend
Lyrics of Love: "Let down your guard just a little/I'll keep you safe in these arms of mine/Hold on to me, pretty baby/You will see, I can be all you need"
"Rainbow," by Kacey Musgraves
Lyrics of Love: "Let go of your umbrella/'Cause, darlin', I'm just tryin' to tell ya/That there's always been a rainbow hangin' over your head"
"Yours (Wedding Edition)," by Russell Dickerson
Lyrics of Love: "I came to life when I first kissed you/The best me has his arms around you/You make me better than I was before/Thank God I'm yours"
"Home to You," by Sigrid
Lyrics of Love: "When I don't know what to do/There's a room I need to sit in/Surrounded by my favorite view/And I need a hand to hold/Someone to tell the truth/Would it be okay if I came home to you?"
"I Will Spend My Whole Life Loving You," by Imaginary Future and Kina Grannis
Lyrics of Love: "Oh believe me/I've been counting my stars/Cause I will spend my whole life/Loving you"
"Marry Me," by Train
Lyrics of Love: "Together can never be close enough for me/To feel like I am close enough to you/You wear white, and I'll wear out the words 'I love you'"
"Collide," by Howie Day
Lyrics of Love: "Even the best fall down sometimes/Even the wrong words seem to rhyme/Out of the doubt that fills your mind/You finally find/You and I collide"
"First Day of My Life," by Bright Eyes
Lyrics of Love: "Yours was the first face that I saw/I think I was blind before I met you/And I don't know where I am, I don't know where I've been/But I know where I want to go"
"Cherry Wine (Live)," by Hozier
Lyrics of Love: "The way she tells me I'm hers and she is mine/Open hand or closed fist would be fine/The blood is rare and sweet as cherry wine"
Is it better to have acoustic songs or songs with lyrics for wedding prelude music?
Both instrumental music and songs with lyrics can be used as wedding prelude music. A good rule of thumb is to choose songs that have a mellow presence and won't bring too much energy to the environment (that comes later!).(Video) Are You Stuck in Freeze Mode? How to Turn off the Freeze Response
70 Best Wedding Songs for a Summertime Celebration
Generally, five or six songs are the right amount, so take a listen to 65 of our favorite ceremony prelude songs and have fun making your selections.How many songs do you play before a wedding ceremony? ›
Generally, five or six songs are the right amount, so take a listen to 65 of our favorite ceremony prelude songs and have fun making your selections.What is good wedding prelude music? ›
- Dreams - The Cranberries. Play.
- No Surprises - Radiohead. Play.
- Baby Can I Hold You - Tracy Chapman. Play.
- My Love Is Your Love - Whitney Houston. Play.
- Truly Madly Deeply - Savage Garden. Play.
- You Are The Sunshine Of My Life - Stevie Wonder. Play.
- Babylon - David Gray. Play.
- Real Love - The Beatles. Play.
Prelude – When planning when to play music at your wedding, it's important not to forget music before the wedding actually starts. As guests walk in and take their seats for the ceremony, it's nice to have some music playing in the background.What is the opening song for wedding ceremony? ›
1. Bridal Chorus, Wagner. Often known as Here Comes The Bride, this piece of classical music is the traditional choice for the procession of the bride, and is often played on an organ.Do you need 2 processional songs? ›
The number of processional songs you'll need depends on a few factors including the number of people walking down the aisle and the length of the aisle. Usually people choose two processional songs—one for the family and wedding party, and then a more dramatic and emotional song for the bridal processional.How many songs do you need for a church wedding ceremony? ›
You can choose one song for the entrance of the officiant, groom and best man and one song for the entrance of the bridesmaids. Another option is to use one song for both bridesmaids and groomsmen. If you have a large wedding party you may need up to three songs for the processional.What are the top 3 wedding songs? ›
- Marry You - Bruno Mars.
- Love On Top - Beyoncé
- Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours) - Stevie Wonder.
- Thinking out Loud - Ed Sheeran.
- I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me) - Whitney Houston.
- All of Me - John Legend.
- Everything - Michael Bublé
Most civil ceremonies will have: One song during the processional (walk down the aisle / bridal entrance) Three songs during the signing of the register. One song during the recessional (exit of the married couple)What time should wedding prelude start? ›
3-4 p.m. is the ideal start time.
You may have a “Sunset Ceremony” this time of year by starting 30 min prior to sunset, but you MUST take most of your couple and bridal party photos before the ceremony.
The Prelude - Played as the guests arrive and take their seats. 2. The Pre-Processional - Played as the honored family members walk down the aisle.What parts of wedding ceremony need music? ›
How many songs do you need for a wedding ceremony? There are three big moments to pick music for: both of your processionals (one song each) and the recessional. Your partner's processional could also be the song the wedding party walks down the aisle to, or they can have a tune all their own, as you'll have.What is a wedding walk out song? ›
Wedding recessional songs, better known as wedding exit songs, are played as the couple walk back down the aisle as newlyweds and the guests clap wildly. Happy, celebratory and bursting with love, your wedding recessional song should reflect the excitement you're feeling inside.How long should a wedding ceremony entrance song be? ›
The average song is 3 minutes long. It can take 20 seconds for a couple to prepare and get from the entrance to their seats or the dance floor. As you increase the number of introductions, add on another song.Does the bride walk to a different song? ›
Wedding music commences, either a separate song for the Bridesmaids to enter and a different song for the Bride. Alternatively, the entire wedding party can use just one song.Does the groom walk down the aisle to a song? ›
The groom, followed by his groomsmen, can walk down the aisle to a song that's just for them. The groom, followed by his groomsmen, can come in from stage left (the guests right) and get into place to a song just for the guys.Do you walk down the aisle to music? ›
To make a grand entrance, you're going to need to pick a suitably grand entrance song to walk down the aisle to. Your choice of processional song will help set the tone for the rest of your wedding ceremony, and you can continue your chosen musical theme for other important moments, such as your first dance song.How long should music play before walking down the aisle? ›
Well, on the one hand, the average song length is 3-5 minutes. But the average time for someone to walk down the aisle is about 30 seconds.Who walks down the aisle first? ›
From walking down the aisle first to last, the traditional order is: Mother of Bride, Mother of Groom, Grandparents of Bride, Grandparents of Groom, Groom, Officiant, the Wedding Party, Maid of Honor and Best Man, Ring Bearer, Flower Girl and lastly the Bride and her Father.How many songs do the bride and groom dance to? ›
A typical wedding reception will see about 3 hours of dancing after dinner and all the formalities are over. That is just 45 songs. It's never a good idea to give your DJ a list of 100 songs to play, there is no way they will have time to play them all and they won't know what the most important ones are.
- 1) Make a song list with your fiancé.
- 2) Ask for song requests from your wedding guests.
- 3) Host a playlist-making party.
- 4) Create a collaborative playlist.
- 2) Add a Variety of Music Genres to Your Wedding Playlist.
The number one pick and best wedding song: the romantic ballad "All of Me" by John Legend, which is an example of great songs to walk down the aisle to or marriage songs for playing throughout the celebration.What is the biggest wedding song? ›
- 2021: "10,000 Hours," by Justin Bieber and Dan + Shay. ...
- 2020: "Conversations in the Dark," by John Legend and Lindsey Stirling. ...
- 2018: "Speechless," by Dan + Shay. ...
- 2017: "Perfect," by Ed Sheeran. ...
- 2016: "Can't Stop the Feeling!," ...
- 2015: "Sugar," by Maroon 5.
- “Marry You” – Bruno Mars.
- “Love On Top” – Beyoncé
- “Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)” – Stevie Wonder.
- “Thinking out Loud” – Ed Sheeran.
- “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” – Whitney Houston.
- “All of Me” – John Legend.
- “Everything” – Michael Bublé
This is the traditional choice and gives the guy another few moments in the spotlight. If the bride has a stepmother, she would be escorted to her seat by a groomsman before the mother of the bride; the bride's mom should be the last person to be escorted down the aisle, just before the bridal party.
The Groom: The groom proceeds to walk down the aisle accompanied by their parents, with his father on the left and his mother on the right. The Bridesmaids: The bridesmaids then proceed in pairs, starting with those standing farthest from the bride. The Maid or Matron of Honor: The bride's right-hand woman walks alone.How long is the average wedding ceremony? ›
On average, a wedding ceremony is about 30 minutes long. This would include time for an average-sized processional and a basic ceremony that includes one to two readings. If your bridal party is extremely large or you have multiple sets of parents and grandparents, you might need some extra time.How do you start a wedding ceremony? ›
Welcome to all of you, who have come to share in this important moment in the lives of BRIDE and GROOM. I ask you to join together in celebrating, acknowledging, and honoring this day and the vows that they will be making. By your presence, you witness and affirm the truth of their love and commitment to each other.Do you get married on the hour or half hour? ›
It is said to be best to marry on the half-hour, when the clock hands are moving up rather than at a time when the hands are moving down the clock, symbolizing the marriage going downhill.What day of the week is most popular for weddings? ›
Hands down, Saturday is the most popular day of the week for weddings. Many people have off from work, and it gives out-of-town guests Friday evening and Saturday morning to travel. It also gives you and your guests Sunday to recover from the festivities before it's back to work or honeymoon time.
Something to keep in mind is that too many slow songs can bring down the mood of a wedding reception. A good rule of thumb is to have one slow song for every five fast songs. Guests typically need a rest from dancing after about 20-30 minutes, which equals about five fast songs.What is the standard wedding song? ›
Majestic and beautiful, 'Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring' by Bach is a popular piece to accompany the bride walking down the aisle. Another traditional favourite is 'Here comes the bride': Wagner's 'Bridal Chorus' from Lohengrin. And you can't go wrong with Handel's 'Arrival of the Queen of Sheba' from Solomon.What is a special song to sing at a wedding? ›
“Happy” by Pharrell Williams. “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” by The Darkness. “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” by Whitney Houston. “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars”Heroes (We Could Be)” by Alesso ft.What's an entrance song? ›
Entrance music (also known as an entry theme or walk-on music) is a musical piece or song that is played for athletes or entertainers when they first appear in front of the spectators before beginning a performance.What are pre game songs? ›
- “Eye of the Tiger” – Survivor. “Eye of the Tiger” is a classic warm-up song! ...
- 2. “ Hall of Fame” – The Script. ...
- “Let It Rock” – Kevin Rudolf ft. Lil Wayne. ...
- 4. “ Firework” – Katy Perry. ...
- “Shake It Off” – Taylor Swift. ...
- “Can't Hold Us” – Macklemore. ...
- 7. “ ...
- “I Gotta Feeling” – The Black Eyed Peas.
An overture is incidental music that is played usually at the beginning of a film, play, opera, etc., before the action begins. It may be a complete work of music in itself or just a simple tune. In some cases it incorporates musical themes that are later repeated in other incidental music used during the performance.Do you play song during wedding ceremony? ›
Wedding Ceremony Music
Usually, you'll need some music during the walk down the aisle (we'll get to that a bit later!). You'll also want a few songs during the signing of the register if you're having a civil ceremony. This is then followed by a song during the recessional, which is when the newly married couple exits.
Keep it 90% Fast Songs, 10% Slow Songs
A good wedding reception playlist will have high moments and low moments- fast songs and slow songs. Times for people to dance close, times for people to slow dance, and even times for people to go get a drink so they can enjoy the dance floor even more.
Classic choices for outdoor weddings include harpists, string quartets and acoustic singers. Alternatively you could choose to play recorded music from a phone or tablet hooked up to a speaker system. If your venue specialises in outdoor ceremonies they may well have an outdoor sound system already in place.Who dances first at a wedding? ›
The bride and groom will dance first. This is the usual format. Then the parent dances with the couple - the father with the bride and the mother with the groom. The groom's father will then dance with the bride and the groom with the mother-in-law.
The seating of the bride's mother is the first activity attached to the processional. The music played can be used for the seating of the bride's mother, the entrance of the groom and his best man and the attendants. The same song can be used for all.Who walks the mother of the groom down the aisle? ›
As the wedding begins, the groom's mother will be escorted down the aisle, to the first pew, right-hand side, by the head usher or a groomsman who is a family member. A nice touch includes the groom escorting his mother down the aisle. As the groom's mother is escorted to her seat, her husband will follow along behind.Does the Maid of Honor walk first or last? ›
After those people take their places, the best man and the groomsmen traditionally walk down the aisle, in order to protect the groom from evil spirits or attackers. Then the bridesmaids make their way down the aisle, followed by the maid of honor.What music did Kate walk down the aisle to? ›
The bride processed down the aisle to the anthem "I was glad", written by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, from Psalm 122. It was composed for the crowning of Prince William's great-great-great grandfather, Edward VII, at Westminster Abbey in 1902.Do the bride and groom ever walk down the aisle together? ›
Walk down the aisle together.
Many couples now choose to meet at the top of the aisle and walk it together. It's a lovely way to signify that you are taking this journey together as equals. Meet at the altar: A fun twist on walking the aisle together is to walk it separately but at the same time.
We recommend having background music playing 30 minutes before your ceremony is scheduled to start. It sets a nice ambiance for guests as they mingle before taking their seats. Check with your DJ, most we've worked with have a prelude playlist in place.How long of a song do you need for wedding ceremony? ›
Well, on the one hand, the average song length is 3-5 minutes. But the average time for someone to walk down the aisle is about 30 seconds.How long should music play before bride enters? ›
The average song is 3 minutes long. It can take 20 seconds for a couple to prepare and get from the entrance to their seats or the dance floor. As you increase the number of introductions, add on another song.When should music be played during a wedding ceremony? ›
Wedding ceremony music or music for civil weddings is normally the first music that your guests will hear on your wedding day. Choosing appropriate wedding ceremony songs can be difficult and should be thought about carefully. Most people have music starting 10 to 20 minutes before the ceremony.Does the bride walk down to a different song? ›
Wedding music commences, either a separate song for the Bridesmaids to enter and a different song for the Bride. Alternatively, the entire wedding party can use just one song.
- Outline The Day. Not all ceremonies are the same. ...
- Chat About Taste. Where do you and your partner's musical interests match? ...
- DJ or DIY. ...
- Live Band. ...
- Craft Your Playlists. ...
- Music Rentals. ...
- At Home Party. ...
- Share Your Playlist!
Try not to request too many songs
“You've got to trust their judgment,” Groh says. “Give them 10 or 20 of your favorite songs and let them do the rest of the work. And if you want to see dancing, make sure the songs are danceable.
At a wedding reception, the Grand Entrance (also known as a Grand March) is one of the highest energy parts of the event. The song that you walk in to helps set the tone for the evening, so think of fun, upbeat songs.Do grooms walk down the aisle to music? ›
The groom, followed by his groomsmen, can walk down the aisle to a song that's just for them. The groom, followed by his groomsmen, can come in from stage left (the guests right) and get into place to a song just for the guys.Who walks the mother of the bride down the aisle? ›
If the mother of the bride is taking part in the wedding processional, she is traditionally escorted by a close male relative like a son or brother or may enter alone. If the parents are divorced, she may be escorted by her partner. In some cases, a groomsman or best man will escort her down the aisle.When should I start DJ in wedding? ›
If you're booking a wedding band or DJ, you can expect them to offer a standard arrival time of around 5:30pm to 6:00pm, giving them plenty of time to be set up before your evening guests arrive.