How To Select Wedding Ceremony Music

As you consider the details for your wedding ceremony, let your emotional side influence musical decisions. While writing this article, I listened to a ton of ceremony songs and my emotions certainly got the best of me on a few… The good news being I now know what to play at my upcoming wedding.

Give thoughts towards the mood you want to establish, as this is a great way to set the tone for your wedding. studies music therapy and cognitive musical effects. They say:

Music. It makes us smile; it excites us and makes us dance; it brings us to tears. A simple piece can bring back a memory in full relief; we actually feel we’re there. And it can change our mood within minutes – or instantaneously.

As weddings are always happy occasions, we like to direct our customers towards uplifting music with major tones and delightful rhythms. The following selections consider traditional, contemporary, religious, and popular songs that we feel are great options.

Your own unique preferences  are important here as well. “Salted Wound” by Sia, for example, might get the vote from the 50 Shades of Grey lovers out there, where as a Bob Marley song might work best on a beach wedding:

Processional Music (Entrance Music)

Before the bridal party enters, it’s nice to offer some sounds to fill the room while your guests enter. These are usually a selection of heart-warming songs, a little slower in tempo, calming, and happy.

Once the wedding ceremony is about to begin the songs you hear might be simply an extension of music that has been playing while guests were arriving. Other times, it is hand selected by the bride and groom, particularly the song they walk down the aisle to.

Traditional and Religious Processional Music

  • “Air” (from Water Music Suite), (George F. Handel)
  • “Bridal Chorus” (from Lohengrin), (Richard Wagner)
  • “Canon in D” (Johann Pachelbel)
  • “Wedding March” (from The Marriage of Figaro), (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)
  • “Appalachia Waltz” (Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Mark O’Connor)
  • “Rigaudon” (Andre Campra)
  • “Trumpet Tune” (Henry Purcell)
  • “Trumpet Voluntary” (Jeremiah Clarke)
  • “To A Wild Rose” (Edward MacDowell)
  • “Reminiscent Joy” (The O’Neill Brothers)
  • “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” (Johann S. Bach)
  • “Ode To Joy” (Ludwig van Beethoven)
  • “Hymne” (The O’Neill Brothers)
  • “All People That On Earth Do Dwell” (“Old 100th” hymn)
  • “St. Anthony’s Chorale” (Franz Joseph Haydn)
  • “Hymn Fanfare from The Triumphant” (Francois Couperin)
  • “Scalero de Oro” (traditional Sephardic)

Contemporary Processional Music

  • “Dream a Little Dream of Me (The Mamas and The Papas)
  • “Crazy Love” (Van Morrison)
  • “At Last” (Etta James)
  • “Here Comes The Sun” (The Beatles)
  • “She’s Got A Way” (Billy Joel)
  • “Chasing Cars” (Snow Patrol)
  • “Hallelujah” (Jeff Buckley)
  • “Salted Wound” (Sia)
  • “Flightless Bird, American Mouth” (Iron & Wine)
  • “Can’t Help Falling In Love” (Ingrid Michaelson or Elvis)
  • “Skinny Love” (Bon Iver)
  • “Wonderwall” (Bryan Adams)
  • “Angels” (The XX)
  • “I Won’t Give Up” (Jason Mraz)
  • “I’m Yours” (Jason Mraz)
  • “How Long Will I Love You (Ellie Goulding)
  • “Make You Feel My Love” (Adele)
  • “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) (Sleeping At Last)

Recessional Music (Exit Music)

YOU DID IT! Congratulations, you are now husband and wife. Now you get to walk back up the aisle to the celebratory tones that will echo the huge event that just took place. Couples often go for recessional songs that are more upbeat. This creates excitement and can also help get your guests into party mode.

Traditional and Religious Recessional Music

  • “Allegro Maestoso” (from Water Music Suite), (George F. Handel)
  • “Brandenburg Concerto No. 1,” Allegro, (Johann S. Bach)
  • “Brandenburg Concerto No. 4,” Allegro, (Johann S. Bach)
  • “Coronation March” (from Crown imperial), (Sir William Walton)
  • “Fugue in E-Flat Major” (from St. Anne), (Johann S. Bach)
  • “Hallelujah Chorus” (from The Messiah), (George F. Handel)
  • “Hornpipe” (from Water Music Suite), (George F. Handel)
  • “Ode to Joy” (Ludwig van Beethoven)
  • “The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba” (George F. Handel)
  • “Toccata” (from Symphonie 5, opus 42), (Charles-Marie Widor)
  • “Trumpet Tune and Bell Symphony,” (Henry Purcell)
  • “Tuba Tune in D” (Craig Sellar Lang)
  • “Wedding March” (from A Midsummer Night’s Dream), (Felix Mendelssohn)”Love On Top” (Beyonce)
  • “Exultate, Jubilate” (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)
  • “Joy” (George Winston)
  • “Now Thank We All Our God” (Johann S. Bach)
  • “Psalm 19” (Benedetto Marcello)

Contemporary Recessional Music

  • “You Make My Dreams Come True” (Hall & Oates)
  • “Sugar” (Maroon 5)
  • “Best Day of My Life” (American Authors)
  • “You Are the Best Thing” (Ray LaMontagne)
  • “Could You Be Loved” (Bob Marley)
  • “Everlasting Love” (Carl Carlton)
  • “Treasure” (Bruno Mars)
  • “Little Talks” (Of Monsters and Men)
  • “Is This Love” (Bob Marley)
  • “All You Need Is Love” (The Beatles)
  • “(This Will Be) An Everlasting Love” (Natalie Cole)
  • “On Top of the World” (Imagine Dragons)
  • “Lovely Day” (Bill Withers)
  • “Sunshine of my Life” (Stevie Wonder)

Trying to decide on the best songs and/or acts for your wedding ceremony? Let us help. Contact us today for a free wedding ceremony consultation.

Jon Ardito