The best films boast soundtracks that heighten every experience. This is exactly what you want music to do on your wedding day, starting with your ceremony.
Use this guide to create a ceremony music playlist that will enhance the heady emotions of love and happiness. The right soundtrack will help make you feel amazing – as every bride should on her wedding day!
Live ceremony music ideas
If you prefer to create a ceremony music playlist with live musicians, and if your budget allows, then you’ve got a lot of decisions to make! Before you finalise your song selection, you need to work out what kind of musicians you’d like to bring the tunes to life.
From the dainty notes of a string quartet to the ambience of a harpist, the relaxed romance of an acoustic guitarist or the moving melodies of a pianist – there are endless options for live ceremony music. Match the sound they create to the style of songs you’d like them to play for the perfect accompaniment. For more on live ceremony music, check out:
- How to choose the perfect live music for your ceremony
- 6 timelessly romantic ideas for live music at your ceremony
- 10 reasons a wedding pianist will make your day magical
Wedding ceremony songs our featured couples love
Traditional wedding ceremony songs
Pachelbel – Canon in D
Wagner – Bridal Chorus
Mendelssohn – Wedding March
Modern wedding ceremony songs
Christina Perri – A Thousand Years
Eva Cassidy – Songbird
Train – Marry Me
Bruno Mars – Marry You
Ed Sheeran – Tenerife Sea
Imagine Dragons – On Top Of The World
- The Wannadies – You & Me
Like this? Then you’ll love these 12 processional and recessional wedding ceremony songs. Use this guide on what to play and when to play it to make sure your music hits all the right notes.
How to create your ceremony music playlist
Music for when your guests arrive
Whether you opt for a live performance or compile your own playlist, there’s more to putting it all together than simply selecting the songs you love. As your guests arrive, you want music that is romantic and gentle. Songs that fit this mould will create the atmosphere you want, without adding to the nerves your groom is likely feeling as they wait for you to arrive.
Processional songs for when you walk down the aisle
As the doors swing open, revealing you in your dream dress, your ceremony music has a different role to play. The traditional ‘Bridal Chorus’ has the drama and tradition that many brides love. Pachelbel’s ‘Canon in D’, on the other hand, offers a soundtrack that is romantic and creates anticipation, but in a softer manner.
You also want to choose a song that inspires confidence in you. All eyes will be on you, which can be daunting, as brilliant as you doubtless will look, so choose songs that help you feel your best.
Music to play when you sign the register
You’ll also want to choose songs for the signing of the register. This is often a brilliant moment at which to choose songs with lyrics that really resound. The nervous part of the ceremony is over, so you’re both relaxed and feeling on top of the world. Let your music reflect that!
Ceremony music for when you walk back up the aisle as newlyweds
Equally, as you exit the ceremony and walk back up the aisle as husband and wife, you want a song that is celebratory and complements how you feel.
Don’t feel you have to do the same as other couples, either. We’ve seen newlyweds break out into a dance routine as they rock it back up the aisle. We’ve seen others walk out together, totally in love, to Train’s ‘Marry Me’. And then there are the couples who see the end of the ceremony as the start of the party, choosing a track to match.
For more help making song choices, use our simple guide to the DOs and DON’Ts of choosing your ceremony music.
Once you’ve nailed your ceremony music playlist, it’s time to think about the party afterwards! Check out this guide to booking a band for your wedding. Plus, check out these first dance song ideas, from one real bride to another, and the five top tips to really make your first dance stand out!