How to Choose the Perfect Wedding Ceremony Music

Music is a huge part of your special day and getting it wrong can be disastrous. Click here to find out how to choose the perfect wedding ceremony music.

Ever since you could play dress up in your mom’s closets you began to plan your wedding day. Once you meet prince charming and start to plan a wedding, though, you quickly realize how stressful it is.

Between picking bridesmaid dresses and figuring out the guest list — not to mention the seating arrangements — there’s a lot to do and plan. One detail you might overlook is your ceremony music.

There’s a lot to consider when picking the song or music you’ll walk down the aisle to and you want to make sure it works. Luckily, we’ve written this guide on how to choose the perfect wedding ceremony music. Read on to learn more!

How Many Songs You’ll Need

Before you start considering music you should know how many songs you’ll need to choose. Although it’s likely you’ll only pick three songs — two processional and one recessional — we’ve outlined all the moments you may need a song throughout your ceremony.

1. Prelude

The prelude is music your guest hears as they mingle before the ceremony and as they take their seats. If you decide to have a prelude it should welcome your guests.

You can opt for something calming and classical or romantic and upbeat — just keep in mind this can last anywhere from 20-30 minutes so you might need to pick a couple of songs.

2. Processional

You’ll have two processional songs to pick, one for your wedding party and one for you. The key to choosing processional music for your wedding party is picking something neutral for everyone to walk down the aisle to. You don’t want something too slow or something too fast.

Once the wedding party has made their entrance and taken their places, your wedding guests will stand as you walk down the aisle. A new song will play, and traditionally this will is “Here Comes the Bride.”

Brides today are stepping away from this song and are choosing something more modern for their processional song. We’ll get into more detail on how to pick the perfect processional song for the bride below.

3. Interlude

Interlude music is music which plays during your ceremony. You don’t have to have music playing during the whole ceremony, but it might be a good idea to have something play during certain parts.

For instance, if you’re doing a candle lighting or other tradition, background music would work well. Just make sure it isn’t distracting to your big moment.

4. Recessional

You’ve said your “I Do’s” and it’s time to walk back down the aisle as husband and wife — what song do you want playing? It’s a romantic and joyous occasion, so anything upbeat and fun will work.

Don’t forget, this is also the song which will lead to your reception where the party is. Kick it off right by setting the theme with your recessional song.

5. Postlude

Once your guests see you off, they might linger and chat before the cocktail hour. While you don’t need a postlude song, it might be nice to have for your guests. Pick something calming, fun, and happy!

Consider Your Venue

Now we know how many songs you need it’s time to figure out how to pick them. The first step in picking your ceremony songs is to consider your venue.

Are you getting married in a place of worship? If so, consult your officiant to see if there are any restrictions. You might have to pick from religious songs or stick traditional. Another option is to pick something instrumental — this will help you stay neutral while also going off the traditional path.

If you hold your ceremony outside or at the same venue as your reception you’ll have free rein in choosing your ceremony music.

Listen to Lyrics

While you have certain songs you hold dear to your heart, not all will be appropriate to walk down the aisle to. If you aren’t sure if a song is a right match, take some time to listen to the lyrics.

The most important thing to remember is that it conveys the right message. If you can’t find one you feel fits the bill, consider instrumental music.

Pick a Theme

We mentioned earlier all the times during your ceremony you might need a song or two to play, so why not have some fun and make a theme of it all?

You can choose songs in the same genre, with similar beats, or even songs from the same era. This gives you a chance to have fun with your music — does anyone remember the wedding party who danced down the aisle to Chris Brown’s “Forever”?

Set the Mood

When it’s time for the bride to walk down the aisle, the song which plays will set the mood for all your wedding guests. Fill them with emotion — happy, loveable ones — as you walk towards your husband-to-be.

As you tap into the emotions of your guests, don’t forget the most important person you want to dedicate the song to. If there’s a specific song you know your fiance loves, try to find an acoustic or instrumental version if the lyrics don’t quite fit.

What to Avoid

There are plenty of things to consider when choosing your ceremony music, but we’ve got some things for you to avoid, too.

Last Minute Decisions

It seems there’s a new love song on the radio every day, but that doesn’t mean it’ll work for your procession. Take our advice from above and listen to the lyrics before settling. If you can avoid it, stay away from last minute decisions and picking the first song you hear.

Sticking Traditional

We mentioned some traditional options earlier, which mostly consist of instrumentals. While recordings of these are good, they always sound better live. This doesn’t mean you should find an expensive pianist or organist to play for your ceremony, especially if it isn’t your style.

If you lean towards a particular instrument like the harp or the flute, see if you can find someone to play for you. Better yet, ask close friends and family. If not, you can view here for more options on instrumentalists or groups.

Picking Your Wedding Ceremony Music

We know a lot goes into planning a wedding, and this is just tips on picking the wedding ceremony music! We hope these tips will ease the process and help you pick the perfect songs for your ceremony.

For other ideas for your bridal shower, food, favors, and more, check out our website! We can help you plan a beautiful and perfect wedding.


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