Wedding Ceremony Music Guide: Songs Playlists And Expert Tips (2024)

Putting together your wedding ceremony music entails more than finding the song you will walk down the aisle to. It is important to find the right music for each part of the day, the soundtrack to one of the most important days of your life.

ceremony music

Your choice of music sets the tone for the entire day, and while choosing songs, it is important to consider your venue and wedding style. The tips and samples we have put together below will help you in choosing the right music for your occasion.


Wedding Ceremony Music Guide: Songs Playlists And Expert Tips (1)

Quick Navigation

  • Basic Wedding Ceremony Music Program
  • Modern Wedding Ceremony Songs
  • Traditional Music For Wedding Ceremony
  • Unique Wedding Ceremony Music
  • Instrumental Wedding Ceremony Songs
  • Fun Music For Wedding Ceremony
  • Songs To Sing At A Wedding Ceremony

Frequently Asked Questions


Basic Wedding Ceremony Music Program

A basic wedding ceremony music program or wedding ceremony song order usually includes pre-professional songs, processionals, and then the recessionals.

  1. Prelude music
    Prelude music is usually light and starts as early as 45 minutes before the wedding ceremony. Playing in the background sets the mood for the wedding while guests take their seats.
  2. Processional song
    The music that accompanies the entrance of the bride, the wedding party and family attendants of the wedding is known as the processional.
  3. Recessional song
    The recessional plays at the end of the ceremony. Bright and lively tunes and recessionals are usually made up of popular songs that are used to celebrate.
  4. Interlude and postlude songs
    Some weddings have some significant moments that are made even more significant by the type of interlude or postlude music played. Moments for handfasting, candle lighting, and such.

Modern Wedding Ceremony Songs

Modern wedding ceremony music has its place in today’s weddings too, alongside the classics and age-old traditional wedding music. See below our collection of modern songs for your wedding ceremony.

  1. Stay Young, Go Dancing” by Death Cab for Cutie
    This indie number from the 2011 album, “Codes and Keys”, is a great choice if you’re looking for a non-traditional song for a wedding ceremony.
  2. Home by Phillip Phillips
    A good tune to add to your list of modern pre-ceremony wedding songs is this 2013 pop song from Phillip Phillips. A nostalgic number with lyrics that talk about the journey ahead.
  3. Photograph” by Ed Sheeran
    Whether you choose this for a modern wedding aisle song or a modern wedding prelude song, there is no doubt that it’s a great song to have at your wedding ceremony.
  4. Marry You by Bruno Mars
    This number is for that fun-loving couple who wants their personality to shine through on their wedding day.
  5. You and Me by Lifehouse
    The tune and lyrics of this song make it a great choice for a wedding processional. If you have a live musician, then it would make a good option for songs to sing at a wedding ceremony too.

Traditional Music For Wedding Ceremony

If you’re a stickler for tradition and want a traditional wedding, then it would mean using popular traditional music during the wedding ceremony. Here are our options.

  1. Canon in D by Pachelbel
    This soothing, classical number from Pachelbel, is a popular wedding instrumental, played usually for a wedding processional, but also can be used as a prelude.
  2. Amazing Grace by Terri Geisel
    If you need wedding hymns for an interlude in the wedding ceremony, this classic prayer music will do just fine, and your guests will have no problem singing along.
  3. Procession of Joy by Hal Hopson
    A beautiful and popular instrumental, this sheet music from Hal Hopson is a great option for any bride looking to make an entrance.
  4. Water Suite: No. 2 in D Major by Handel
    A good choice for a wedding processional or prelude music is this classic instrumental from Handel’s album, “Water Music; Royal Fireworks Music – Exp. Edition, 2003”.
  5. Wedding Song (There Is Love) by Peter, Paul & Mary
    The name says it all. This wedding song tells the wedding story and is a great way to start a wedding day. It can be used for different parts in a wedding ceremony, from preludes to the procession, or an interlude.

Unique Wedding Ceremony Music

We have just the right collection of unique wedding ceremony music for that couple who is looking to celebrate with songs that are less mainstream but still beautiful, at their wedding ceremony.

  1. Make You Mine by Us the Duo
    A song to get married to, this pop number is a great choice for a prelude song. A laidback tune that gets your guests prepared for a chill wedding ceremony.
  2. Dance Tonight by Paul McCartney
    If you’re in need of a fun-loving postlude or recessional song, then Paul McCartney has your back with the melodious “Dance Tonight”.
  3. Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop by Landon Pigg
    Your guests will thoroughly enjoy this playing in the background as they take their seats if you choose this unique love song for a prelude number.
  4. Falling Slowly by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova
    As unique as they come, this song by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova is great as a prelude song or even a beautiful recessional number.
  5. Hey Ho by The Lumineers
    This fun-loving, popular number, is a great way to start a wedding that isn’t taking the traditional route. As a prelude or interlude music, it no doubt belongs to your wedding ceremony playlist.

Instrumental Wedding Ceremony Songs

For the times when you don’t need words at all, here are the most loving options for instrumentals to be used at a wedding ceremony.

  1. Bridal Chorus by Wagner
    By far one of the most popular options for a wedding, any bride would love to walk down the aisle to Wagner’s “Bridal Chorus”.
  2. Rigaudon by Andre Campra
    A great choice for an interlude, prelude, or postlude comes this instrumental from Andre Campra’s 2006 album, “A Bride’s Collection of Traditional Wedding Music”.
  3. Sinfonia from Cantata No. 29 by J.S. Bach
    Another popular wedding instrumental, you will enjoy having this one from the 1998 album, “The Complete Wedding Album”, as part of your wedding ceremony music.
  4. Wedding March (from The Marriage of Figaro) by Mozart
    As the name of the album says, “Music for a Civil Wedding”, you will definitely want this for a prelude or recessional if you are having a civil or traditional wedding.
  5. Trumpet Voluntary by J. Clarke
    An entrance song like no other is this folksy instrumental from the 2005 album, “The Ultimate Classical Music Collection” by J. Clarke.

Fun Music For Wedding Ceremony

If you will prefer the fun to start at your wedding ceremony, and not wait until the reception, then consider some of these fun-loving and adorable wedding ceremony songs.

  1. Everything by Michael Buble
    For a beautiful interlude or prelude song, you will want to give a listen to Michael Bublé’s “Everything”.
  2. Best Day of My Life by American Authors
    If you are truly looking to start your wedding day on a fun note, then this song will not disappoint. A perfect way to predict what you are about to have the best day of your life.
  3. You are the Best Thing by Ray Lamontagne
    From the 2009 album, ” Gossip in the Grain”, we give you the bonus track version of this song that will make a great prelude song to get your guests in the mood for a fun time.
  4. I Do by Colbie Caillat
    For a fun entrance or start to your wedding day, you are going to want to consider this fun-loving tune for a processional or prelude song.
  5. Love Someone by Jason Mraz
    This song that celebrates the love shared by two people is perfect for a prelude song, or a magical interlude at your wedding ceremony.

Songs To Sing At A Wedding Ceremony

If you are looking for that special selection of songs to sing at a wedding to the bride and groom for a live performer, then we have just the songs for you.

  1. What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong
    One of the greatest hits of all time, this song will bring all the feels to your wedding ceremony if you can find the right soloist to do it justice.
  2. A Thousand Years by Christina Perri
    Whether you want it sang as you walk down the aisle or during an interlude, with the right live singer, this song can make your wedding truly magical.
  3. You Raise Me Up by Josh Groban
    If you are having a Christian wedding and want wedding soloist song ideas, then consider this popular number from Josh Groban.
  4. Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley
    Arguably not a Christian song, it would still be a great addition to love songs to sing at a wedding ceremony, be it a traditional, religious or non-religious wedding.
  5. Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’Ole
    A beautiful, sweet song, and one to definitely consider when creating a list of songs to sing during the wedding ceremony.


Wedding Ceremony Music Guide: Songs Playlists And Expert Tips (2024)


What is one song that should never be played at a wedding? ›

Other song considerations with inappropriate meaning include “Love Stinks” by J Geils Band, “Mother-In-Law” by Ernie K-Doe, and “Relax” by Frankie Goes To Hollywood. Songs that refer to the stressful wedding planning process. A Song example is “I'm In A Hurry (And Don't Know Why)” by Alabama.

How many songs should you have for a wedding ceremony? ›

How Many Songs Should You Pick? A good rule of thumb is 15 songs per hour. A typical wedding reception will see about 3 hours of dancing after dinner and all the formalities are over. That is just 45 songs.

What is the number 1 wedding song? ›

These are the most popular wedding songs in America — and the ones your state loves
  • “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran.
  • “Marry You” by Bruno Mars.
  • “All of Me” by John Legend.
  • “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson, featuring Bruno Mars.
  • “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” by Whitney Houston.
  • “Don't Stop Believin'” by Journey.
Sep 20, 2017

How long should an aisle song be? ›

How Long Should a Wedding Processional Song Be? The wedding processional song is an important detail that must be well thought of when planning a wedding. On average, ceremony music should last around 3-4 minutes to allow the whole wedding entourage to participate in the processional.

What song is played at the end of a wedding ceremony? ›

Golden Oldies
  • All My Loving - The Beatles. Play.
  • Come Fly With Me - Frank Sinatra. Play.
  • Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours) - Stevie Wonder. Play.
  • This Will Be (An Ever Lasting Love) - Natalie Cole. Play.
  • Higher & Higher - Jackie Wilson. Play.
  • Lovely Day - Bill Withers. Play.
  • Happy Together - The Turtles. ...
  • You & Me - The Wannadies.

What is the most popular first dance wedding song? ›

The study found that "Unchained Melody" by The Righteous Brothers was the most popular choice overall, with classic love songs by Etta James, Frank Sinatra, and Elvis Presley earning a spot in the top 15. More contemporary songs from artists like John Legend, Ed Sheeran, and Adele also made the ranks.

How long should your wedding song be? ›

That being said, he agrees that unless the couple is performing a compelling or entertaining dance routine, anything over three minutes may make your guests feel less engaged. But don't cut your song down too short, either. Hoke recommends keeping the song to a minimum of 30-45 seconds.

What music does the groom walk down the aisle to? ›

Classic Groom

Choose an instrumental version of a more traditional wedding song. Nothing sounds more elegant than a violin or string quartet version of songs like, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,” “Fools Rush In,” “Just The Way You Are” by Bruno Mars, or “Here Comes The Sun” by The Beatles.

Should wedding ceremony songs be instrumental? ›

Songs are essential for every stage of your wedding and the new trend is featuring instrumental wedding songs. The stages range from prelude to processional, ceremony to recessional, and reception. The music that serenades the guests, accompanies the bride, groom, or wedding party can make lasting memories.

How many songs do you need for a 4 hour wedding reception? ›

A good estimate will be to add 120-150 songs to your playlist for a two to three-hour reception. If you are unsure about how long the reception will be, add even more songs to prepare for a lengthy reception. It is better to have too much music than too little.

What is a good song for a couple? ›

Even More Songs About Making Love Last
SongArtistYear Released
45. You Give Good LoveWhitney Houston1985
46. HeavenBryan Adams1984
47. I'll Still Be Loving YouRestless Heart1987
48. Love Will Keep Us AliveThe Eagles1994
58 more rows
Aug 8, 2022

What music does the groom walk down the aisle to? ›

Classic Groom

Choose an instrumental version of a more traditional wedding song. Nothing sounds more elegant than a violin or string quartet version of songs like, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,” “Fools Rush In,” “Just The Way You Are” by Bruno Mars, or “Here Comes The Sun” by The Beatles.

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. Groom, Best Man and Groomsmen are standing up front facing towards the seated guests.

How many songs should be in a wedding prelude? ›

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 long should bridal processional 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.

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