Personalizing Your Wedding Ceremony Music

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Selecting Music To Personalize Your Wedding Ceremony Moments

Choosing your wedding ceremony music is just one of many ways to personalize your wedding day. But choosing the right music can be a difficult and overwhelming decision. The music used for your ceremony helps to set the stage long before you walk down the aisle – when all eyes will be on you! Are you ready?!?! Ceremony music is just as important as what’s played at your reception so be prepared to discuss options with your professional wedding DJ.  You will likely choose music for the prelude, pre-processional, processional, bride’s processional, lighting of the unity candle and recessional. BUT no need to stress because we have playlists for ALL of those moments below!

During most of these ceremony moments, you will likely not hear the songs in their entirety. You music coordinator or wedding DJ should be able to fade in and out of the songs in particular areas as needed.

Important Reminder: Check with your ceremony site and officiant before selecting the music for your ceremony. Some churches have strict rules about what can and can not be used when it comes to secular music. If you are having an outdoor ceremony, power requirements and volume levels will need to be considered.

Ceremony Music: Preludes

As Guests are Seated

To set the mood, your wedding music should already be playing when the first guest arrives and as guests are seated. The music choice is entirely yours, but most couples prefer a romantic mood and select a style that suits them — smooth jazz, wispy piano notes from Windham Hill artists, or chamber music provided by string or woodwind ensembles.

As Parents are Seated

Parents of the bride and groom are last to be seated by the ushers and, occasionally, the parents or bride and groom will request a special song. Keep it short, so your bridal party isn’t kept waiting.

So, we’ve created a Spotify playlist that works for all of these traditional ceremony moments. The ‘Prelude’ is when guests are greeting one another and finding their seats to watch your ceremony. Anticipation fills the air. Music used during this time will help to set the scene for the ceremony to come.

Ceremony Music: Interludes

During the Candle Lighting Ceremony

The ceremony is short, and the music will be, too. Brides should expect to hear no more than 45 seconds of their favorite song for this wedding rite. Choose background music or select a meaningful excerpt from your song.

During Other Special Ceremony Moments

It might be a live singer, for example. You decide what these moments are. Remember to tell your other entertainment providers about these special guests.

Lighting a unity candle? Pouring sand? You likely don’t want dead silence during any wedding traditional you include in your ceremony. These songs are considered ‘Interludes’. Keep in mind, music here is completely optional and many choose to forego it completely. If you choose to use music you will not need a very long piece of music. Any one of the songs below will work!

Ceremony Music: Processionals

Bridal Party Processional

Once the guests are seated, it’s time for processionals but before you make your grand entrance, your bridal party has to walk down the aisle.  It’s customary for special music to be playing as bridal party couples approach the ceremony area, and there are a couple of ways they can enter the room. Usually, the groomsmen and bridesmaids walk down the center aisle together, as couples. Another way to enter is for the groomsmen to appear from the side aisles, make their way to the front, and wait for the bridesmaids walking down the center aisle.

As the wedding ceremony music nears its final strains: The Maid Honor and Best Man are the last couple to enter. Followed by the Ring Bearer, Flower Girl, and finally, the Bride.

Bride’s Processional

Once the bridal party is in place, guests stand in anticipation, the doors open — it’s officially the bride’s processional! The bride may enter the room on her father’s arm or between her mother and father, (a common sight). A special song should lead her down the aisle. Whichever song she selects, it’s bound to be too long! A DJ can work with her, editing her favorite song to fit the length of the processional, which might be Here Comes the Bride, or Ave Maria or Prelude in C, or any of the bridal party music selections. As the bride arrives to the “alter”, the music softly fades.

Traditional choices are often feature grand, dramatic notes for this iconic wedding moment. Popular traditional choices include “Bridal Chorus” by Wagner and “Trumpet Voluntary” by Jeremiah Clark. A modern choice would be to use a song that has special meaning to you and your father as he gives you away. Another option is to choose a song that you enjoy as a couple – it can even be your first dance song!

Spotify Playlist: Modern Processional Songs 

Spotify Playlist: Classic Processional Songs

Ceremony Music: Recessionals

Congratulations, you’re married! The recessional music will play as you walk down the aisle smiling at your guests. The music used here is usually full of energy and happiness. The most popular traditional song is “Wedding March” by Mendelssohn. But you can let your personality shine for the recessional! You and your groom are glowing and the bridal party is relieved. Play some energetic traditional music or rousing contemporary tunes for your recessional wedding ceremony music.

Remember that the bridal party is right behind the bride and groom, and your guests will closely follow. They’re ready to stretch and talk. One or two more wedding songs and they’re good to go!

wedding ceremony music for recessional

Spotify Playlist: Traditional Recessional Songs 

Spotify Playlist: Contemporary Recessional Songs 

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