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30 Wedding Ceremony Song Ideas – from Entrance to Exit

Wedding songs & playlists

Wedding songs & playlists

We've sifted through 1000s of wedding ceremony song ideas so you don't have to! Here are our favourite suggestions for the entrance, signing of the register and exit.

30 Wedding Ceremony Song Ideas – from Entrance to Exit

How many songs do I need for my wedding ceremony?

Traditionally, music is used to mark three parts of the service: the entrance, signing of the register and the exit.

You'll need one song for the entrance, one song for the exit, and up to three for the signing of the register.

You may also want to play a few songs as your guests take their seats prior to the service, as well as music to follow on from the bridal exit, whilst guests leave for the reception.

Read on for our song recommendations for each part of your ceremony, or jump to our Spotify playlist.

Choosing a song

Choosing the perfect soundtrack for your ceremony can be surprisingly difficult.

Unless you are one of those lucky few who instantly know ‘their song’, you can easily spend hours (if not weeks and months), agonising over one you both like.

Think carefully about what kind of atmosphere you want to create. Elegant and formal? Laid-back? Do you have a favourite instrument or genre?

Understand the law

Beware – the law states that you can't have religious music (hymns, or music containing religious words) performed during your civil ceremony.

It's at the registrar's discretion as to what exactly is and isn't allowed. If there are songs (or for that matter, vows and readings) referencing god, but the overall context is non-religious, you should be allowed to include them.

Just make sure you run your music choices past the registrar beforehand!

Canned music versus live?

Budget and space permitting, nothing quite beats the sound of live music ringing through the rafters of an old church.

Historically, architects designed churches to naturally amplify and enhance the sound of the human voice and acoustic instruments, with no need for electrical amplification. The result is a beautiful, rich and resonant sound you won't find anywhere else.

Musicians are also a great way of keeping your guests entertained while they take their seats and wait for the ceremony to start, as well as when guests are filing out again.

Bridal entrance song ideas (the processional)

Brides – this is your moment to wow! There are endless pieces of music to choose from for the entrance, but at the end of the day it has to be something that you feel comfortable walking down the aisle to.

Here are some of the most popular choices.

1 "Canon in D" by Pachelbel

Everything a processional piece of music should be: elegant, romantic and beautiful and the most popular choice for the entrance of the bridal party.

Everything a processional piece of music should be: elegant, romantic and beautiful and the most popular choice for the entrance of the bridal party.

2 "Wedding March" by Wagner

If you want a classic tune even your most musically ignorant guest will recognise, then you can't top the Wedding March. It's often used in weddings on films/television.

If you want a classic tune even your most musically ignorant guest will recognise, then you can't top the Wedding March. It's often used in weddings on films/television.

3 "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri

Made famous by The Twilight series, this is a hugely popular modern song choice for the entrance. It's a very emotional song and is a good pace so you won't rush down the aisle!

Made famous by The Twilight series, this is a hugely popular modern song choice for the entrance. It's a very emotional song and is a good pace so you won't rush down the aisle!

4 "Kissing You" by Des'ree

What film could be more romantic than 'Romeo and Juliet'!? This stunning piece of music was made famous by the Dicaprio/Danes release in 1996.

What film could be more romantic than 'Romeo and Juliet'!? This stunning piece of music was made famous by the Dicaprio/Danes release in 1996.

5 "Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring" by Bach

A good choice for a religious ceremony, this is a very traditional piece of music and is both uplifting and romantic.

A good choice for a religious ceremony, this is a very traditional piece of music and is both uplifting and romantic.

6 "She" by Elvis Costello

A classic love song, made famous by 'Notting Hill'. If you want to add to the attention you're already destined to receive then why not choose 'She' to walk down the aisle to?

A classic love song, made famous by 'Notting Hill'. If you want to add to the attention you're already destined to receive then why not choose 'She' to walk down the aisle to?

7 "Ave Maria" by Schubert

A magical, religious piece of music which is also very popular for the signing of the register. This piece can be played by an ensemble with or without a singer.

A magical, religious piece of music which is also very popular for the signing of the register. This piece can be played by an ensemble with or without a singer.

8 "Moon River" by Mancini

Moon River has a lovely flowing tempo and is a dreamy piece of music. It's especially popular with the older generation and will keep grandma happy!

Moon River has a lovely flowing tempo and is a dreamy piece of music. It's especially popular with the older generation and will keep grandma happy!

9 "Trumpet Voluntary" by Clarke

A classic and regal choice, and one to make all the guests sit up straight for your entrance. This piece isn't necessarily romantic but it certainly oozes grandeur.

A classic and regal choice, and one to make all the guests sit up straight for your entrance. This piece isn't necessarily romantic but it certainly oozes grandeur.

10 "Make You Feel My Love" by Adele

The title says it all; if you want a piece of music that everyone will recognise, then this is your perfect choice. Hire a string quartet to perform it for the ultimate entrance!

The title says it all; if you want a piece of music that everyone will recognise, then this is your perfect choice. Hire a string quartet to perform it for the ultimate entrance!

Song ideas for signing the register

This is usually a moment for reflection for both the bride & groom and the guests. The big moment has been and gone and you can now enjoy a little pocket of reflection time before the party gets started!

It's best to choose three songs for this moment as it can run on longer than expected.

1 "Air on the G String" by Bach

This piece of music is simple and beautiful. It's calming and slow, and perfect if you want to have more than one piece, as it is fairly short.

This piece of music is simple and beautiful. It's calming and slow, and perfect if you want to have more than one piece, as it is fairly short.

2 "Aria from Xerxes" by Handel

This is a heart tugger for sure. If you want to choose music that will get everyone emotional post-vows then this should do the trick!

This is a heart tugger for sure. If you want to choose music that will get everyone emotional post-vows then this should do the trick!

3 "Largo from Winter" by Vivaldi

A pretty and classic choice, this is a sweet piece of music and is well known so it's likely your guests will recognise it.

A pretty and classic choice, this is a sweet piece of music and is well known so it's likely your guests will recognise it.

4 "Sheep May Safely Graze" by Bach

This is a good choice for a religious ceremony as its not allowed to be performed during civil ceremonies due to its religious origins.

This is a good choice for a religious ceremony as its not allowed to be performed during civil ceremonies due to its religious origins.

5 "Intermezzo Sinfonico" by Mascagni

A beautiful choice. It starts off quiet and serene and builds into the most wonderful melody you can imagine!

A beautiful choice. It starts off quiet and serene and builds into the most wonderful melody you can imagine!

6 "The Flower Duet" by Delibes

If the British Airways advert hasn't ruined this one for you then this is a great choice. It's romantic, moving and peaceful, and it isn't too long!

If the British Airways advert hasn't ruined this one for you then this is a great choice. It's romantic, moving and peaceful, and it isn't too long!

7 "Bittersweet Symphony" by The Verve

This song always seems to grab people's attention immediately, because not only is it a pop song, but the original features strings heavily so it's a treat to hear it at a wedding.

This song always seems to grab people's attention immediately, because not only is it a pop song, but the original features strings heavily so it's a treat to hear it at a wedding.

8 "Where is Love" by Lionel Bart

If you or your guests are a fan of musicals then this is your perfect choice. A dreamy piece of music that lends itself perfectly to instrumental adaption.

If you or your guests are a fan of musicals then this is your perfect choice. A dreamy piece of music that lends itself perfectly to instrumental adaption.

9 "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Arlen

Everybody knows this tune and whether you think it's been over played or not, there is no doubt that it's a classic with a fantastic melody.

Everybody knows this tune and whether you think it's been over played or not, there is no doubt that it's a classic with a fantastic melody.

10 "Let it Go" from the Disney feature film Frozen

A massive hit, and a song all of your guests are bound to recognise!

A massive hit, and a song all of your guests are bound to recognise!

Exit song ideas (the recessional)

This is the first real "hurrah" you and your partner will receive so make sure you leave with a bang!

Again, this is down to personal preference and it's important that the song reflects you as a couple.

Here are our favourite songs to walk out of the wedding ceremony to:

1 "Sweet Child of Mine" by Guns n' Roses

A classic rock tune, best performed by a string quartet – this one will wow your guests no end!

A classic rock tune, best performed by a string quartet – this one will wow your guests no end!

2 "Beautiful Day" by U2

A euphoric, modern anthem that will bring a smile to everyone's face, and perfectly frame your special, 'just married' moment.

A euphoric, modern anthem that will bring a smile to everyone's face, and perfectly frame your special, 'just married' moment.

3 "Arrival of the Queen of Sheba" by Handel

A vibrant, upbeat classical piece which never fails to create a jubilant atmosphere.

A vibrant, upbeat classical piece which never fails to create a jubilant atmosphere.

4 "Hornpipe in D" from The Water Music by Handel

Originally written for royalty, this piece has a stately, regal feel to it.

Originally written for royalty, this piece has a stately, regal feel to it.

5 "All You Need is Love" by The Beatles

If ever there were five words to summarise the way you feel on your wedding day: "All You Need is Love!"

If ever there were five words to summarise the way you feel on your wedding day: "All You Need is Love!"

6 "One Day Like This" by Elbow

An epic indie classic, and a hugely popular song to end the ceremony with.

An epic indie classic, and a hugely popular song to end the ceremony with.

7 "When I'm Sixty Four" by The Beatles

Another classic from The Beatles. "Will you still need me, will you still feed me when I'm sixty-four?"

Another classic from The Beatles. "Will you still need me, will you still feed me when I'm sixty-four?"

8 "La Rejouissance" from the Royal Fireworks, Handel

Another piece written for royalty, a great choice if you're getting married in a historic building.

Another piece written for royalty, a great choice if you're getting married in a historic building.

9 "It Don't Mean a Thing" by Duke Ellington

One for the jazz lovers, this is a jolly piece that should put everyone in the mood and get you a big round of applause.

One for the jazz lovers, this is a jolly piece that should put everyone in the mood and get you a big round of applause.

10 "Say a Little Prayer" by Burt Bacharach and Hal David

An uplifting 60s classic which all of your guests will be dying to sing along to.

An uplifting 60s classic which all of your guests will be dying to sing along to.

Listen to our top 30 wedding ceremony song ideas on Spotify