How to Choose Your Wedding Ceremony Songs

Your wedding day is approaching and you know music will be one of the most important parts of your wedding ceremony, but you don’t know what music you want yet. Perhaps you are overwhelmed and have no idea where to begin, or chose your music but keep changing your mind. Maybe the family is eager to plan for you or rejects your ideas. Wedding songs vary just as much as the people who choose them, and a Google search will reveal that just about any song can be found on a wedding music list somewhere. This article is intended to help you plan and focus your search for the perfect wedding music, saving you valuable time during this busy point in your life. To begin, ask yourself what your favorite musical styles are. Do you want traditional wedding music, classical, jazz, sacred (hymns), popular, or traditional music from your culture? A combination of those genres? Narrow your search to the genres you prefer.

Remember not to limit the music you chose for your wedding ceremony to lists you find on the internet or songs that are typically expected at weddings. Any song can be your perfect wedding song. Begin by thinking through the music you already know. Brainstorm and start a list of your favorite music or music that is meaningful to you personally. Look through your playlist or cd collection, or browse wedding ceremony song lists on the internet to spark ideas. Recall weddings and events that you have attended in the past and bring to mind any music that touched or impressed you. Don’t limit yourself - this is your chance to express yourself!

Once you have a list of potential wedding music, eliminate any songs that don’t seem to fit with the rest of the music or your wedding ceremony. Then listen to your choices on your music library, YouTube, or Amazon and begin thinking about what songs you would like to be played for each part of your wedding ceremony.

Hiring professional musicians will add class to your event and make your job a lot easier. Make sure you hire experienced musicians who offer a free consultation to play music for you and to go over your ideas with you. When you meet with them, you can describe your vision to them, show them a list of possible songs, or name a few of your favorite songs, and they will be able to come up with a sample program in keeping with your taste. The brides that I consult with are surprised at how satisfying, quick, and easy our meetings are.

Keep in mind that when choosing a musician, the sound of the music you choose will vary immensely depending on the instrument and performer. Take a moment to listen to music samples on local musicians’ websites and listen for a sound that connects with you. Most experienced professional musicians will be able to play the songs you pick on their instrument if it’s in keeping with the style of music they play. Also, don’t rule out doing popular vocal songs instrumentally, but make sure the song has an interesting melody line.

Choosing music for your wedding ceremony can and should be a fun process. Whether you choose your own music selections or have a professional musician help, following the steps in this article will simplify the process and help you choose music that expresses yourself.

Here are the songs that are typically played during a wedding ceremony:

Prelude songs – played as guests are arriving before the ceremony begins. Most of these songs can be chosen by the hired musician(s). These songs will set the mood.

Processional Songs – Played as the wedding party walks down the aisle. Choose something that is easy to walk to and that will prepare for your grand entrance.

Bridal Entrance Songs – Played as the bride walks down the aisle. Choose a song that has a great beginning because the music will end shortly after you reach the altar. Choose a song that is totally YOU.

Interlude Songs – Played during the ceremony to highlight a special moment or fill a transition. Typically a classical or religious song, choose something that has meaning to you and your family.

Recessional Songs – Played as the couple and wedding party walks back down the aisle. Choose a celebratory and upbeat song.

Postlude Songs – Played as guests leave after the recessional. Anything goes… you have left the room and the guests are ready for cake!