You’d be surprised how much music features in your big day! It’s not just about the procession music and first dance song, you know. But don’t worry, we’ve compiled a handy guide to music for weddings right here.

cello player Music For Weddings - What To Play And When To Play It

Music For Weddings – What To Play And When To Play It

The soundtrack to your wedding starts as everyone is taking their seats for the ceremony. However, it doesn’t stop there. Not only do you need to think of your entrance music, you need to think of the filler music during the reception and the dancefloor music too. The music doesn’t stop until you and your new husband have your final dance of the night.

So, you’ve got a big playlist to plan. Don’t worry if you don’t have the first clue which songs to choose, we’ve compiled a guide to music for weddings right here.


bride and groom walking down aisle Music For Weddings - What To Play And When To Play It

The Pre-ceremony/prelude

Firstly, your big entrance. When it comes to choosing music for weddings, start with the pre-ceremony music. The pre-ceremony music is played right from the start of the day, as people are arriving and taking their seats in your ceremony room.

There will likely be some chatting and general hustle and bustle as people greet each other and look for their seats, so don’t choose anything too intrusive. Some light classical music would be perfect at this point, or some chilled piano or guitar. Here are a couple of relaxed yet traditional options.

Arioso, Bach

Ave Maria, Schubert

Air on the G String, Bach

The Pre-processional

Secondly, thing of the pre-processional music. This is a more solemn moment that marks the start of the ceremony. By now everyone will have taken their seats and will be quietly waiting for the entrance of the bridal party. Your groom and his ushers will be waiting at the altar whilst you and your bridesmaids are preparing for your grand entrance.

You don’t have to choose specific pre-processional music, but if you are, we recommend you choose something that will flow nicely into your processional music. Don’t choose wildly different styles or you risk there being a bit of clash.

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, Roberta Flack

To A Wild Rose, Edward MacDowell

Air, Handel

The Processional

Thirdly, the processional, the big entrance, the big moment of focus. This is the moment when the bridesmaids, flower girls, the bride and her father make their way down the aisle. Your musical choice here depends very much on your venue, the formality of your day and your personal musical taste as a couple.

You could choose anything from a traditional, formal piece of music to something cheerful, upbeat and even something modern. We’ve covered some options in closer detail in our article about ceremony songs, but here are a few more examples.

The Swan, Saint-Saens

Clair de Lune, Debussy

The Book of Love, Peter Gabriel

The Signing of the Register

After the vows comes the signing of the register, which can take between 5 and 10 minutes, so factor this into your song choices. Like the prelude, you want to choose something that won’t detract from your recessional music as you leave the church. Plus, in traditional church weddings, there’s usually a soloist singing at this stage. However, it goes without saying that’s it’s really is up to you what you choose.

Domine Deus, Vivaldi

God Only Knows, The Beach Boys

The Prayer, Josh Groban and Charlotte Church

The Recessional

As it marks the end of the ceremony, your recessional music should be joyful and upbeat. You and your new husband will be elated, and your guests will all be leaving with smiles on their faces.

Now is not the time for slow, romantic tunes – kick it up a notch! We’ve given you a few options in our last ceremony songs article, but here are a few more to get you feeling inspired.

Spring, Vivaldi

You and Me Song, The Wannadies

This Will Be (An Everlasting Love), Natalie Cole

Wedding Breakfast Background

Now your reception has begun, and you’ll need a little background music. As always, try to match this music to your venue. If you’re in a grand hall or manor house, then classical will match your setting best.

If you’re having a festival-style wedding in tipis, then a little indie guitar will probably go down well. Either way, keep the volume low enough for people to have a chat. Sticking to instrumentals is your best bet.

Sheep May Safely Graze, Bach

You’ve Got a Friend, Vitamin String Quartet

Everything, Michael Buble

The First Dance

When it comes to wedding music, your first dance is one of the most personal choices you and your h2b can make. Although, you may not have ‘a song’ (don’t worry, a lot of couples don’t), it’s important to think carefully about your choice here.

Think about the lyrics, particularly. A lot of romantic-sounding songs actually don’t have a great message for a first wedding dance. If you’re totally stumped, choose something slow and romantic that you know you can both dance to.

Kissing You, Des’ree

Someone Like You, Van Morrison

A Thousand Years, Christina Perri

Finally, the decision is up to you. You can also choose to have a father/daughter and mother/son dance, or just go straight into the party. In that case, here’s a list of 25 songs guaranteed to fill your dancefloor.

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