Modern wedding songs – Top first dance and civil ceremony songs

Music may be the food of love but how do you chose the right piece for your style of celebration? Here, wedding music experts Wessex Entertainment and Wedding Day Dance UK give us their top tips on choosing the perfect modern wedding songs for you and your ceremony!

And if you still can’t decide, TAKE THE QUIZ to find your perfect first dance song!

Modern Wedding Songs For Your Ceremony



Having a civil ceremony allows you to have free reign over your choice of music for the big day. The only rule is that civil ceremonies cannot include any music or hymns that are overtly religious. Your registrar will advise you on your music and vet your choices well before the big day, giving you time to choose again if necessary.

There are literally millions of modern wedding songs that don’t have any religious associations. Choose something slow and romantic for the processional (walking in) and something upbeat and uplifting for the recessional (walking out!).

“If you have the budget, live wedding music will feel much more special,” says Paul from Wessex Entertainment. “String quartets and pianists are the most popular choices. They can also stay at your reception afterwards during your wedding photographs, drinks and canapés to entertain your guests while you’re busy having your pictures taken.”

If you find a song that you like on a particular music CD or website, check the version. There can be many different versions of the same song, and you need to make sure the one you like is the one you buy.

Processional wedding music ideas

  • Truly, madly, deeply – Savage Garden
  • She – Elvis Costello
  • Hoppípolla – Sigur Rós

Recessional wedding music ideas

  • Better together – Jack Johnson
  • I’m yours – Jason Mraz
  • Signed, sealed, delivered – Stevie Wonder

Modern wedding songs for your first dance

Modern wedding songs for your civil ceremony and reception! © dominiquebader

“No one can deny that THE modern wedding song for your first dance is Bruno Mars’ Marry You,” says the team at Wedding Day Dance UK. “Not only is it lyrically perfect, but Bruno is one of today’s most popular singers.


First dance music ideas

  • Don’t want to miss a thing – Aerosmith
  • A thousand years – Christina Perri
  • Gotta be you – One Direction
  • Stop and stare – One Republic
  • Chasing cars – Snow Patrol
  • At last – Beyoncé
  • Iris – Goo Goo Dolls

Kate and William asked Ellie Golding to perform Your Song by Elton John for their first dance. What modern wedding songs have you chosen for your big day?

Words – Wessex Entertainment and Wedding Day Dance UK.