Ceremony Music

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The music used for your ceremony helps to set the stage long before you walk down the aisle. You will likely choose music for the prelude, pre-processional, processional, bride’s processional, lighting of the unity candle and recessional. Below are some tips for each. To read even more, click here.


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. Popular traditional choices for this time would be “Air On The G String” by Bach or “Air” by Handel. More modern choice would be gentle jazz or acoustic songs.


Honored guests and family members are seated during the pre-processional, including the groom’s parents and bride’s mother. This is generally a solemn, emotional moment as they spend the final moments with their unmarried children. Popular traditional choices include “Adagio from Sonata in E-Flat” by Mozart and “Prelude To The Afternoon of a Faun” by Debussy. You could also use an instrumental version of a movie soundtrack or another light song of your choice.


The anticipation of seeing the bride will continue to rise as your bridal party walks down the aisle. Choose a song that has a nice tempo for the bridal party to walk to. Traditional choices include and “To A Wild Rose” by MacDowell. If you have selected more modern choices, consider transitioning here if you want a more traditional bride’s processional.

Bride’s Processional

This is your moment to shine! All eyes will be on you for your walk down the aisle. 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!

Lighting of the Unity Candle

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.


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. Many couples elect to stamp their own personality and play a recognizable song like “Superman’s Theme” or “The Imperial March”. If you want to signal the fun to come at the reception, you can even choose to “Party Rock” your way from the ceremony.

During most of the above times, you will likely not hear the songs in their entirety. You music coordinator or DJ should be able to fade in and out of the songs in particular areas as needed. If you are interested in a traditional spin on modern music, consider artists like Vitamin String Quartet, Jim Brickman, or David Garrett.

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.

Want to learn more about music choices for your wedding day? Click here.

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