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Planning Music for your Ceremony

Planning Music for your Ceremony
Everyone planning a wedding knows they will need some sort of music for their reception, but one thing many people overlook when planning a wedding is whether or not they want music their ceremony. Music can be used to build excitement and create ambiance at different points in your ceremony, and a live musician or recorded music are both great options. There are four stages in a ceremony where you might want music:

Guest arrival

When planning music for your ceremony, remember that you will want the musician or DJ to be ready to go about 15 – 30 minutes prior to when your ceremony is scheduled to start. This way, the DJ or musician be playing music ready when the first of your guests arrive instead of setting up or doing sound checks.


This is the part of the ceremony where the various members of the wedding party will walk down the aisle. The music you want for this will depend on your personal style, but more mellow songs or instrumental pieces tend to work better for the processional. Many brides choose one song for their wedding party and a different song for themselves. Both approaches work, but make sure the songs you choose are long enough that the song will not end before you reach the end of the aisle. The song or set of songs you choose should total at least four minutes.


Whether or not you have music during the signing is up to you. We recommend choosing at least three songs so you can be sure the entire time period will be covered.


The recessional is when the wedding walks back down the aisle, away from the alter, This is usually a fairly quick event, so one song is typically sufficient. Up beat, celebratory songs work well here, as our guests will be wanting to clap and celebrate your new union. “Signed, sealed and delivered” by Stevie Wonder is a classic choice for a recessional. We offer a planning template to help you choose the music you will want for these sections of your reception. The template is available on our useful documents page.