Wedding Ceremony Music: How to Plan Your Ceremony Music


wedding ceremony music guide

how to plan wedding ceremony music

How to Plan Your Wedding Ceremony Music

The beginning of the entire celebration starts with the ceremony. From the moment your guests arrive throughout the walk back down the aisle as a newly-married couple, each experience should be accompanied by a song. Usually consisting of softer, more romantic pieces of music, the wedding ceremony should be filled with warm, welcoming choices.

From ballads to classical tunes, let’s break down this part of your big day and allow us to help you plan your ceremony music.

Content Guide

Important Parts of Wedding Ceremony Music
Top 25 Songs for The Prelude
Top 25 Songs for The Processional
Top 25 Songs for The Ceremony
Top 25 Songs for The Unity Candle
Top 25 Songs for The Recessional
Other Posts About Wedding Ceremony Music

Important Parts of Wedding Ceremony Music

There are several important parts to the wedding ceremony where music becomes key. You’ll want your song choices to flow with each and every event.

Here’s a breakdown of its main parts:

The Prelude

When guests start arriving at the ceremony location.

Classical wedding music is the most appropriate here. Of course, you can even go with instrumental versions of your favorite tunes. This is a great spot to start your live string quartet or even a pianist you may have hired to help create the appropriate ethos.

The Processional

When the bridal party and the bride make their entrance.

Classical wedding music is traditional here as well. But again, you can go with instrumental versions of your favorite songs. Don’t be afraid choose a live vocalist here though, making it even more romantic and personal.

The Ceremony

When the bride and groom are married.

There are a lot of different routes to take when it comes to the actual ceremony. Sometimes the music will stop completely during the changing of the vows, other times a song will creep up throughout different points of the service.

Recessional

As the bride and groom walk back down the aisle and out of the ceremony site.

Here is a great spot to play more joyous and celebratory songs. Of course, you can stick with tradition but if you want to start the party as soon as you say, “I do,” you can make it happen by adding more festive tunes at the end!

Unity Candle

A candle ceremony symbolizing the union of two families as one.

Not everyone will participate in lighting a unity candle but it’s the perfect example of “extra” events that can take place during a ceremony that you want to think ahead for. It’s especially nice to add this to the service if it’s a second marriage where two families with children are coming together.

You can think about adding some special songs at different points as well, such as after exchanging the rings and vows or taking communion.

wedding music prelude

Top 25 Songs for The Prelude:

  1. Sheep May Safely Graze – Early 18th century, JS Bach  – YouTube
  2. Highland Serenade – T Carter Music – YouTube
  3. Maybe I’m Amazing – 1970, Paul McCartney – YouTube
  4. Greensleeves – 1978, Olivia Newton John – YouTube
  5. Ave Maria – 1853, JS Bach/Gound – YouTube
  6. Air on the G String – Early 18th century, JS Bach – YouTube
  7. Minuet in G – MId-Late 18th century, Mozart – YouTube
  8. Someone To Watch Over Me – 1928, Gershwin/Gershwin – YouTube
  9. Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony – Early 19th century, Ludwig Von Beethoven – YouTube
  10. Prelude in C – Early 18th century, JS Bach – YouTube
  11. A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes – 1950, Disney’s Cinderella – YouTube
  12. The Wedding Song (There is Love) –  1971, Paul Stookey – YouTube
  13. Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring – Early 18th Century, JS Bach – YouTube
  14. Arioso – Early 18th Century, JS Bach – YouTube
  15. Caribbean Blue – 1991, Enya – YouTube
  16. Waiting on a Woman – 2005, Brad Paisley – YouTube
  17. Romanza – 1997, Andrea Bocelli – YouTube
  18. Four Seasons Winter – 1721-1725, Vivaldi – YouTube
  19. Truly – 1982, Lionel Richie – YouTube
  20. A Rose is Gently Blooming – Mid-Late 19th century, J Brahms – YouTube
  21. Evergreen – 1976, Barbra Streisand – YouTube
  22. A Thousand Years – 2011, Christina Perri – YouTube
  23. Water Music – 1771, George F Handel – YouTube
  24. A Starlit Sky – 2011, The Workday Release – YouTube
  25. Free – 2010, Zac Brown Band – YouTube

 

wedding music processional

Top 25 Songs for The Processional:

  1. Air on the G String – Early 18th century, JS Bach – YouTube
  2. I Choose You – 2013, Sara Bareilles – YouTube
  3. Marry Me – 2009, Train – YouTube
  4. I Was Married – 2005, Teegan & Sara – YouTube
  5. Home – 2013, Phillip Phillips – YouTube
  6. Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony – Early 19th century, Ludwig Von Beethoven – YouTube
  7. Love – 2007, Matt White – YouTube
  8. Arioso – Early 18th Century, JS Bach – YouTube
  9. You and Me – 2009, Dave Matthews Band – YouTube
  10. Bridal Chorus (Here Comes The Bride) – 1850, Wagner – YouTube
  11. Ave Maria – 1853, JS Bach/Gound – YouTube
  12. What A Wonderful World – 1967, Louis Armstrong – YouTube
  13. The Rose – 2006, Westlife – YouTube
  14. Four Seasons Winter – 1721-1725, Vivaldi – YouTube
  15. Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring – Early 18th Century, JS Bach – YouTube
  16. Walk With You – 2009, Edwin McCain – YouTube
  17. I Run To You – 2008, Lady Antebellum – YouTube
  18. Your Song – 1970, Elton John – YouTube
  19. Come Away With Me – 2002, Norah Jones – YouTube
  20. Clair de Lune – 1890s, Debussy – YouTube
  21. Landslide – 1975, Fleetwood Mac – YouTube
  22. All You Need Is Love – 1967, The Beatles – YouTube
  23. Rhythm of Love – 2010, Plain White T’s – YouTube
  24. Yellow – 2002, Vitamin String Quartet – YouTube
  25. Is This Love – 1978, Bob Marley – YouTube

 

wedding music the ceremony

Top 25 Songs for The Ceremony:

  1. The Wedding Song (There is Love) –  1971, Paul Stookey – YouTube
  2. This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) – 1975, Natalie Cole – YouTube
  3. Grow Old With Me – 1995, Mary Chapin Carpenter – YouTube
  4. You Are The Best Thing – 2008, Ray LaMontagne – YouTube
  5. When I Say I Do – 2010, Matthew West – YouTube
  6. When You Say Nothing At All – 2002, Alison Krauss – YouTube
  7. The Prayer – 1999, Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion – YouTube
  8. Trumpet Voluntary – 1700, Jeremiah Clarke – YouTube
  9. My Best Friend – 1999, Tim McGraw – YouTube
  10. The Butterfly Waltz – 1999, Brian Crain – YouTube
  11. Minuet in G – MId-Late 18th century, Mozart – YouTube
  12. Make You Feel My Love – 1998, Billy Joel – YouTube
  13. Can You Feel The Love Tonight – 1994, Elton John – YouTube
  14. The Flower Duet – 19th century, Leo Delibes – YouTube
  15. Bella’s Lullaby – 2008, Carter Burwell – YouTube
  16. Bitter Sweet Symphony – 1997, Verve – YouTube
  17. Clocks – 2002, Coldplay – YouTube
  18. Forrest Gump Suite – 1994, Alan Silvestri – YouTube
  19. Floral’s Secret – 2000, Enya – YouTube
  20. By Your Side – 2000, Sade – YouTube
  21. I Have and Always Will – 2006, Dave Barnes – YouTube
  22. Say Once More – 1988, Amy Grant – YouTube
  23. The Rose – 1979, Better Midler – YouTube
  24. I Was Meant To Be With You – 1992, Diamond Rio – YouTube
  25. The Wedding Song – 1992, Kenny G – YouTube

 

unity candle ceremony music

Top 25 Songs for The Unity Candle:

  1. For Always – 2003, BeBe and CeCe Winans – YouTube
  2. Inseparable – 1975, Natalie Cole – YouTube
  3. Longer – 1979, Dan Fogelberg – YouTube
  4. When You Say Nothing At All – 2002, Alison Krauss – YouTube
  5. True Companion – 1991, Marc Cohn – YouTube
  6. You Light Up My Life – 1997, LeAnn Rimes – YouTube
  7. You Are The Best Thing – 2008, Ray LaMontagne – YouTube
  8. Amazing Grace – 2008, Celtic Thunder – YouTube
  9. Clair de Lune – 1890s, Debussy – YouTube
  10. From This Moment On – 1997, Shania Twain – YouTube
  11. All of Me – 2013, John Legend – YouTube
  12. Nothing Else Matters – 1992, Metallica – YouTube
  13. Let It Be – 1970, The Beatles – YouTube
  14. The Wedding Song – 1992, Kenny G – YouTube
  15. The Circle of Life – 1994, Elton John– YouTube
  16. I Melt – 2002, Rascal Flatts – YouTube
  17. Grow Old With Me – 1995, Mary Chapin Carpenter – YouTube
  18. Just the Way You Are – 2013, The Piano Guys – YouTube
  19. A Thousand Years – 2011, Christina Perri – YouTube
  20. All You Need Is Love – 1967, The Beatles – YouTube
  21. Make You Feel My Love – 1998, Billy Joel – YouTube
  22. Love – 2007, Matt White – YouTube
  23. Me And You – 1996, Kenny Chesney – YouTube
  24. Ave Maria – 1853, JS Bach/Gound – YouTube
  25. A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes – 1950, Disney’s Cinderella – YouTube

 

wedding music recessional

Top 25 Songs for The Recessional:

  1. I Do – 2011, Colbie Caillat – YouTube
  2. Signed, Sealed, Delivered – 1970, Stevie Wonder – YouTube
  3. You Are The Best Thing – 2008, Ray LaMontagne – YouTube
  4. Beautiful Day – 2000, U2 – YouTube
  5. Just Like Heaven – 1987, The Cure – YouTube
  6. Ave Maria – 1853, JS Bach/Gound – YouTube
  7. Do You Believe in Magic – 1965, The Lovin’ Spoonful – YouTube
  8. Wedding March – 1842, Mendelssohn – YouTube
  9. Crazy in Love – 2003, Beyonce & Jay Z – YouTube
  10. Air on the G String – Early 18th century, JS Bach – YouTube
  11. Treasure – 2012, Bruno Mars – YouTube
  12. Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony – Early 19th century, Ludwig Von Beethoven – YouTube
  13. Is This Love – 1978, Bob Marley – YouTube
  14. Arioso – Early 18th Century, JS Bach – YouTube
  15. Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of Your – 1967, Frankie Valli – YouTube
  16. Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring – Early 18th Century, JS Bach – YouTube
  17. Home – 2013, Phillip Phillips – YouTube
  18. Sugar – 2014, Maroon 5 – YouTube
  19. Hallelujah Chorus – 1741, Handel – YouTube
  20. You May My Dreams Come True – 1980, Hall & Oates – YouTube
  21. Rhythm of Love – 2010, Plain White T’s – YouTube
  22. Everything – 2007, Michael Buble – YouTube
  23. For Once In My Life – 1968, Stevie Wonder – YouTube
  24. I Could Not Ask For More – 1999, Edwin McCain – YouTube
  25. The Way You Make Me Feel – 1987, Michael Jackson – YouTube

Other Posts About Wedding Ceremony Music

Read Our Complete Guide

Our complete guide to wedding songs breaks down your entire wedding, from beginning to end, and helps you pick great songs that are sure to add to your big day! If you’re in the planning stages of your wedding, we recommend starting there first!

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