Ceremony Music

Published 08/24/2017

When we first talk with couples we ask for more information on their day, usually starting with what time their ceremony is taking place. It is common for the ceremony to be in the same place as your reception, but maybe outside then move indoors for the reception.

Lots of time couples haven't thought about ceremony music.  Then start asking, “Do I need music for the ceremony?”

Let's think about this your guests are all there to hear you say "I do." If your guests can't hear you say those words, then you might have a problem.

Elements of a ceremony include the prelude, processional, grand entrance, interlude and recessional music.  Not sure what each is or what song to play here are some ideas.

The Prelude
This is the music that will be played prior to the ceremony itself, and will act as an aural backdrop while your guests are being seated. The music you choose as a prelude will help to set the tone of the ceremony. For example, if you are planning a traditional wedding you might have classical music played (Air on G String). If the theme of your wedding is more lighthearted, you might go with a selection of jazz standards or contemporary music (Truly – Lionel Richie). The choice is yours and should match the tone and theme you have chosen for your wedding. Typically the prelude music lasts about 15 to 20 minutes.

Processional Music
The processional music is played while

family members are being seated, and as the wedding party takes to their assigned places. As always, the choice of processional music should reflect the theme and tone of your wedding. Classical music fits a more traditional wedding and soft pop for a more lighthearted affair. You could even choose to bridge the gap, by selecting classical arrangements of popular tunes. We have had couple use classic rock songs in acoustic versions.  Top 5 Songs Used:
Marry Me – Train
A Thousand Years – Christina Perri
Canon in D – Pachelbel
Over the Rainbow- Israel ‘Iz’ Kamakawiwo'ole
I Choose You – Sara Bareilles

The Grand Entrance
For the grand entrance and walk down the aisle, a separate, and distinct, processional piece should be chosen. Again, if you are planning a more traditional wedding, something like the ‘Wedding March’ or Canon in D would be appropriate. That being said, there is nothing wrong with picking a popular tune you both feel represents the love you feel for each other, be it ‘At Last’ from Etta James or ‘Marry You’by Bruno Mars.

The Interlude
Some wedding ceremonies feature a short interlude for the couple to light a candle for their love or to exchange personal vows not meant for the attending guests. If your ceremony includes an interlude such as this, a short piece of music should be played to accompany your special moment together.


Recessional Music
With the ceremony finished it will be time for you both to walk back down the aisle as a happily married couple. The music you choose for your recessional song should reflect that joyous moment and should accompany you as you leave the wedding ceremony. Whether you have gone for a traditional wedding or not, the recessional music you choose should be uplifting and representative of the new life and bond you are sharing. Popular recessional songs include “Best Day of My Life” by American Authors and “All You Need is Love” by the Beatles.

The Postlude
This is the music that will be played at the conclusion of the wedding ceremony, following the recessional, and as the guests' exit the ceremony location. Like your prelude music, the prelude can last 15 to 20 minutes, giving everyone enough time to make their way to your reception to follow. You will want to choose something uplifting and joyous to mark the end of the wedding and to prepare your guests for the reception to follow.

We have packages designed to for us to handle the music for your ceremony through to your cocktail hour and reception. Contact us today to talk about your ceremony needs.