ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Wedding Ceremony Music

Updated on May 2, 2016
Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna wears many hats: writer, mother, crafter. Over the years, she has found what works and what doesn't for herself and her family.

Violins are beautiful, and evoke such romance.
Violins are beautiful, and evoke such romance.

What is a wedding without music?? Music is a key component to any wedding. Whether it be a big, formal affair, or a simple, small gathering. A wedding would not be complete without music.

So, where do you start? There is so much to think about when choosing music for a wedding. The music for the ceremony, alone, can be difficult. Unless you listen to classical music regularly, you may not know what you are looking for. Some churches will not allow you to play the tradition wedding march, so you have to find some other music. There is music for the prelude, processional, bridal entrance, interlude, and the recessional. If you are confused already, don't worry. I will cover it all, and give you suggestions and starting points for music for just about every point in your wedding ceremony and reception. It can be a lot to sort through, and it doesn't hurt to have some direction.

Air on the G String by Bach

Romeo and Juliet Love Theme by Tchaikovsky

Canon in D by Pachebel

The Wedding Ceremony

Most churches have an organist or pianist who can be hired to play at your wedding. Some churches even require you to use their musician. Others allow you to bring in recorded music. What you choose depends on these things. You may be able to have a singer perform, as well. This is all up to you, and the restrictions of the venue where you will be holding your ceremony.

Music for a wedding ceremony is broken up into different parts. There is the prelude, processional, bridal entrance, interlude and recessional. I will cover each of these, and give you some suggestions for music you may want to use.

Prelude: The prelude is a piece of music played before the ceremony. It is played as the guests arrive and are seated. The music is generally soft and light. If there is special music you want played, that you feel may not be appropriate for the ceremony itself, this is the time to play it. There may be music that is special to you and your future spouse, that you want included in the ceremony. The prelude may be a way to get those special songs in there, and still keep a traditional feel to your wedding. Here are some traditional choices that are great for the prelude:

Air on the G String by Bach

Air by Handel

Canon in D by Pachabel

Arioso by Bach

Bourree by Handel

Highland Cathedral by The Royal Irish Regiment (great Irish bagpipes!)

Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring by Bach

There are many other great choices, so talk with the organist at your church, or a friend who knows a lot about classical music for other options.

Processional: The processional is played as parents are ushered in and the bridal party heads down the aisle. This piece should also be light, but can be a bit more dramatic. You will notice that several pieces of music show up on more than one list. Be careful not to choose the same piece of music for more than one part of your ceremony. Some great choices for the processional are:

Air by Handel

Air on the G String by Bach

Coronation March by Sir William Walton

Horn Pipe from Water Music by Handel

Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring by Bach

Oboe Concerto by Handel

Romeo and Juliet Love Theme by Tchaikovsky

Bridal Entrance: This one is pretty self explanatory. This is the music that is played as the bride walks down the aisle, usually on the arm of her father. This is a truly special moment in a wedding ceremony. Choose something that really speaks to you. Some choices for the bridal entrance music are:

Air by Handel

Bridal Chorus by Wagner (some churches will not allow this to be played, be sure to ask!)

Canon in D by Pachabel (beautiful wedding music! a classic choice!)

Butterfly Waltz by Brian Crain (This song is truly beautiful, and is perfect for a bridal entrance)

Fanfare-Rondeau by Mouret

Hornpipe from Water Music by Handel

Lagrima by Francisco Tarrega (gorgeous classical guitar song)

Prelude in C by Bach

Interlude: Music that is played at a key moment during the ceremony, such as the candle lighting. This music should be played softly. You may choose to use a piece of music that is special to the both of you, instead of a traditional piece. This is also a popular time to include a vocalist into the ceremony. Some popular classical pieces for an interlude include:

Arioso by Bach

Arrival of the Queen of Sheba by Handel

Lasia Ch'Io Pianga by Handel

Marriage of Figaro by Mozart

Morning by Bach

Prelude in C by Bach

Romanza by Beethoven

Recessional: The recessional is played as first, the bride and groom, followed by the wedding party, make their way back down the aisle and exit the church. They are followed by the guests, starting with the parents and immediate family. This music should be celebratory and cheerful. After all, it is a time to celebrate the newly married couple! Some great pieces for a recessional include:

Allegro Maestro by Handel

Autumn by Vivaldi

Brandenburg Concerto No. 1, Allgero by Bach

La Traviata by Verdi

Let the Bright Seraphim by Handel

Trumpet Tune by Purcell

Hopefully, this collection of classical music will help you in selecting the perfect music for your most special day. As I said before, talk with your organist, or pianist about different choices. They have a great wealth of knowledge in regards to wedding music. I am sure they can offer you a great variety of choices. Use this list as a jumping off point. If you find some pieces you like, take those to your organist. He or she may be able to play them, or may be able to offer similar alternatives that you would greatly enjoy.

Hornpipe from Water Music by Handel

Brandenburg Concerto No. 1, Allegro by Bach

Arioso by Bach

© 2009 Anna Marie Bowman


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)