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  • Writer's pictureLaura Thompson

How Do I Choose Songs For My Ceremony? Your Ultimate Checklist

If you don’t already know, we’re pretty big on celebrating life’s most meaningful moments with an awesome soundtrack.

In today’s post, we’re getting right down to it and giving you everything you need to plan your ceremony music with our ultimate music planning checklist!

Now, knowing what songs you need for your wedding day is all fine and well, but knowing how to take your song selections and curate them for the right moments throughout your day so that your wedding feels like a whimsical movie soundtrack and not a clunky mixtape, is a whole different ballgame! So we’re going to break down exactly how you can choose the perfect music to fit each moment (with examples to boot!)

Here we go!


The prelude is the music that is played while guests are entering the ceremony location. The atmosphere is always full of excitement and anticipation yet serene. For this part, no specific selections are needed! But our clients often have fun choosing a particular theme! Maybe you want a whimsical dramatic feel, or perhaps something most glamorous chic! In any case, the music for the prelude is not time passing time, but for your guest to enjoy a new experience carefully designed for a climatic build to the ceremony!



This is a big moment! When we are looking for a processional piece, we are looking for something that is walking pace, beautiful, and builds or has a climatic chorus we can use to make the bride’s moment shine. Many people ask us whether or not they should include more than one song choice for the processional such as a different song for the bride, a specific song for the parents, etc. This is a decision to talk to your musicians about because it will change based on what will fit your ceremony design, but in either case, you want to find a moment in the music to make a dramatic contrast for the bride’s moment to shine! Like the chorus in A Thousand Years you can check out below, do you hear where the bride comes in?



Next, many ceremonies include a signing of the documents. Many different styles of music can work for this but what is most important is that it is less upbeat than the recessional that follows. Often, couples enjoy using a melodious and beautiful piece here. This is also a great place to use a piece that is longer and has a lot of interesting builds and changes in the music! (This is important because the signing is often the longest part of a ceremony and has the least action, so having some captivating music goes a long way!)

Here’s one piece that’s a great example of a piece that has interesting changes, don’t you love that part when the cello steals the melody??



This is when the party starts! A lot of couples who decide to go a more classical route for the beginning of the ceremony, take the opportunity to do something a bit more “fun” for the recessional. Whether you choose classical or popular/contemporary, look for a

piece that is high energy and starts with a bang!

Here’s one of our bride's favorites:


Bottom Line

Finding the right music for your day can be tricky but you don’t have to do it alone! Finding musicians who can help guide you to your ultimate wedding music soundtrack and masters at timing the music to the moment will be your secret weapon to a tear-jerking ceremony and your movie sound-track moment! Be sure to jump on our Instagram feed to get inside access to weekly music inspiration or schedule a call with one of our music planning experts to get a custom plan for your wedding music

With love,


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