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

You’d be surprised how much music features in your big day! Don’t worry – we’ve compiled a handy guide to music for weddings right here!

The soundtrack to your wedding starts as everyone is taking their seats for the ceremony, and doesn’t stop until you and your new husband have your final dance of the night. Don’t worry if you don’t have the first clue which songs to choose – we’ve compiled a handy guide to music for weddings right here!


You'd be surprised how much music your wedding day features! Don't worry - we've compiled a handy guide to music for weddings right here!

The pre-ceremony/prelude

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

The pre-processional 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 the entrance of the bridal party. Your groom and his ushers will be waiting at the altar, and you and your bridesmaids will be preparing for the walk down the aisle. You don’t have to choose specific pre-processional music if you don’t fancy it, 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 a mishmash!

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, Roberta Flack

To A Wild Rose, Edward MacDowell

Air, Handel

The processional

This is the moment when the bridesmaids, flower girls, and 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 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 – depending on where you do this, it 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. Traditionally in church weddings, there would be a soloist singing at this stage, but it 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. Here are a couple of options…

Kissing You, Des’ree

Someone Like You, Van Morrison

A Thousand Years, Christina Perri

What you play now is up to you! You can 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. If you’re still hunting for a wedding band or DJ, check out our Wedding Music section for more inspiration and advice!


  1. I walked down the aisle to the verve lucky man as one of my favs n I think appropriate n we walked out to acdc highway to hell

  2. What a fantastic article, a really great collection of wedding appropriate tunes. A Thousand Years by Christina Perri has been a very popular song choice of couples taking our wedding dance lessons. It’s easy to hear why, not only is it beautiful, but lyrically perfect and it has a great beat for a first wedding dance.


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