How to Choose the Perfect Music for Your Wedding Ceremony

When planning the music for what will become the soundtrack for your wedding ceremony, many brides and grooms tend to find this task one of the hardest parts in planning their wedding day process.  The first step in planning your wedding ceremony begins with how you dreamt of how this special day of your life would take place. How did you envision this most magical day of your life? For your ceremonial music, this is the direction that should guide you. Are your thoughts more classy and or a formal feel to your music? Or, are you thinking more of a contemporary, modern, or country flair to the music? As a professional wedding DJ, we have help with every type of ceremonial music available and can fully assist you in reaching the perfect mix of your ceremony music. First, you should decide whether you’d like your wedding DJ to make your ceremony music or hire a professional musician to play your music. If you’re having trouble deciding on this question, we are available to assist.

The Wedding Prelude Music

As your guests are congregating in and beginning to be seated for your wedding ceremony, your wedding DJ will play prelude music.  The type of prelude music is dependent upon the style of ceremony music you desire. Some modern brides and grooms choose a traditional instrumental (more formal) style, while others may prefer more contemporary music. The wedding prelude music will set the ceremony’s mood and is usually played 30 minutes before the beginning of the ceremony. This separate ceremony system is typically set up 90 minutes before the ceremony start time.

Music While Your Parents / Grandparents Are Seated

With the many musical parts of your wedding ceremony, you’ll want to hire a professional wedding DJ who will seamlessly transition between the various portions.  One way to begin these transitions is to employ a special song of your choice when it’s time for the parents and grandparents to be seated.  Your DJ will carefully fade down the prelude music and slowly fade in this particular song when your parents & grandparents are seated. The parents & grandparents being seated usually is the beginning of your wedding ceremony.

It is not uncommon; your officiant and the groom walkout during the parents/grandparent’s song.

The Bridal Party Processional Song

After the parents and grandparents are seated, your DJ should fade down that song and begin to fade in the bridal party processional song. This is the song that is played when your bridal party walks out. Depending on the length of the song you choose, your DJ may need to loop the song in a way, so there are no awkward silences with the music.

The Bride Processional Song

Ah yes! We’ve reached the portion of your wedding ceremony that you have dreamt of your entire life. At that point is where your proud parent(s) walks you down the aisle, and you marry the man of your dreams. All eyes will be on you at this time; all ears will be listening to your son selection that is special and meaningful.

Special Moments During Your Wedding Ceremony

Often, modern brides and grooms may choose a family member or guest to provide a special reading during wedding ceremonies. Besides, brides and grooms may want to do a special unity candle or sand ceremony. Some couples want a song to be played during this time.

The Recessional Song

After you both kiss for the first time. It’s time to begin the biggest party of your lives. However, there is still one last song to be played at your wedding ceremony ends. The Recessional Song. Over the years, I’ve told my couples this song can be an extension of your ceremony or a prelude to their reception. Often, couples already know what they want for their Recessional. But, if you are struggling, we are here to help. In our consultation, we go over all of your special songs requests for your wedding ceremony.

Popular Wedding Song Selection

There is no limit on how creative you can be for your wedding ceremony. The song selections below are listed to give modern and contemporary brides and grooms a general idea of what’s been done in the past. Your DJ should be a staple in helping you put together the perfect mix of music for your wedding ceremony. They should also offer high-quality PA equipment so that your guests can adequately hear the music, Officiant, Groom, and Bride during the ceremony. A lapel microphone for the Groom and Officiant is typical, especially if the couple is exchanging their vows. It is not standard practice to mic the Bride. In sporadic cases, Brides have a mic placed on them. It has happened once in my career.

Traditional Wedding Ceremony Music Selections

  • “Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin” (Richard Wagner) (also known as “Here Comes the Bride”)
  • “Canon in D” (Johann Pachelbel) (also known as “Pachelbel’s Canon” and frequently misspelled as “Pachabel’s Canon”)
  • “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” (Johann Sebastian Bach)
  • “A Midsummer Night’s Dream, incidental music, Op. 61 Wedding March” (Felix Mendelssohn)
  • “Promenade” (from Pictures at an Exhibition), (Modest Mussorgsky)
  • “Sinfonia” (from Cantata No. 156), (Johann Sebastian. Bach)
  • “Cantata No.29” (Johann Sebastian Bach)
  • “Prelude and Fugue in C” (Johann Sebastian Bach)
  • “Toccata” (from L’Orfeo), (Claudio Monteverdi)
  • “Romance from String Quartet” (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)
  • “Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major” (“Elvira Madigan”)
  • “Spring” Allegro (from The Four Seasons), (Antonio Vivaldi

Contemporary Choices for Wedding Ceremony Music

  • “At Last” (Etta James)
  • “Only Time” (Enya)
  • “Come Away With Me” (Norah Jones)
  • “Appalachia Waltz” (Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Mark O’Connor)
  • “Unforgettable” (Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole)
  • “It’s Only Time” (Magnetic Fields)
  • “The Look of Love” (Dionne Warwick/Burt Bacharach)
  • “The Vow” (Jeremy Lubbock)
  • “Come What May” (Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor)
  • “Storybook Love” from the movie “The Princess Bride” (Willy DeVille)
  • “Wedding Processional” (from The Sound of Music) (Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein)
  • “Can’t Help Falling In Love” (Elvis Presley)
  • “What A Wonderful World” (Louis Armstrong)
  • “When I’m Sixty-Four” (The Beatles)
  • “Love Me Tender” | Norah Jones
  • “Marry Me” | Train

Wedding Ceremony Musician Or DJ?

Some couples struggle over whether to have a live musician or DJ for their ceremony. In many cases, you already have both because your DJ is already there for the microphones. Adding music usually is no additional charge. A wedding DJ will play practically any musical selection you decide upon, and some wedding ceremony musicians bring a different feel to a formal ceremony. As your DJ, we can discuss all your day’s parameters and help you make the best decision for your new family. Contact us today to start planning your wedding music and entertainment.

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