How to pick the perfect music for your wedding ceremony

The wedding ceremony is usually the first part of the day that requires music, and is perhaps the most important part of your big day, the part you will want to flow absolutely perfectly.

Whether or not you and your partner are huge music fans, music can play a huge factor at your wedding ceremony.

Imagine a wedding ceremony without music?

A wedding ceremony without any music could turn out to be an extremely dull affair.  The silence while guests arrive and wait, no cue for the bride to walk down the aisle, not to mention the lack of emotion that music can bring to these special moments.

Music can have different uses at a wedding ceremony, not to mention the ability to connect with people.

  •   It sets the scene and mood for the ceremony

  •   It alerts people’s attention when something key is happening

  •   It draws out thought and emotion, even tears (of the happy kind!)

  •   It fills gaps of silence where required

  •   It excites and makes us want to celebrate

How do you choose the perfect songs for your ceremony?

Some people my find this bit easier than others!  If you think you might struggle we’d recommend having a night in together, grabbing your cd collection, your iPod or phone, or even firing up YouTube, and having a good old reminisce about the songs you love and the emotion they might bring. 

Think back to songs you love that you might have been listening to when you…

  • first met

  • went on your first date

  • got engaged

  • went on holiday together

How about certain songs…

  • From your favourite films

  • By your favourite bands that you have seen live together

  • You always play on road trips in the car

  • You just both love and can't help but sing to each other

What kind of music is best?

This is entirely down to personal taste really.  Some people like to go traditional and choose classic songs or pieces that are timeless, while others like to make their ceremony a bit more personal with songs they just love.  Some couples even opt for heavily themed weddings, so music to match the theme will be hugely appropriate.

Couples typically choose slow to mid tempo songs that are happy, romantic and uplifting, in both their melody and/or lyrics.  A few popular “genres” that work well include:

  • Love Songs

  • Rock or Pop Ballards

  • Acoustic

  • Classical

  • Soul

  • Jazz

  • Soft Pop

This isn’t to say you can’t go with genres that you prefer, or music that might be slightly different to a typical wedding ceremony.  Choose what will make you happy and means the most to you, but just remember you are setting the scene for all your guests too, likely of all ages.

But no matter what you choose, there are, traditionally, four main parts of the ceremony that will require music.

1. Prelude - Arrival of guests before the ceremony

Here we would recommend picking about 15 songs (45 minutes worth) to set the mood while guests arrive to await the bridal party. 

2. Procession - Walking down the aisle

The moment everyone has been waiting for!  Traditionally the bride is escorted by her father down the aisle to meet her groom, followed by the bridal party.  An emotional song with meaning to you both is a popular choice.

3. Signing of the register

You’re married!...  Well almost!  It’s not official until the register has been signed.  This can take a few minutes with the opportunity for photos, so a choice of three uplifting songs is usually enough to play in the background.

4. Recession - Walking back up the aisle

Congratulations!  You have tied the knot. Walk down to the aisle to a celebratory song of your choice that oozes happiness!

Church or other wedding venue?

If your ceremony is being held in a church then there is a chance that there could be limitations to the extent of the church’s sound system, so be sure to check what options are available for the playback of your music.

Most other types of wedding venues will have an option for ceremony music playback, but don’t feel this necessarily has to be the only way to go.

A professional wedding DJ will be able to set up discrete speakers and use their expertise to fade songs in and out appropriately, even starting songs from a particular point as opposed to the very beginning.  The sound quality of their sound system is also likely to sound better than that of the venue’s, so you could ask to test out and hear the venue’s system before hand.

Have fun and enjoy!

Our final top tip - please don’t let choosing your ceremony music stress you out.  Enjoy sitting down and choosing your songs, make a night of it and you will have a lot of fun.  You’ll be sure to choose a perfect selection of songs, to make one the happiest parts of your lives even happier!

This post was written by: Dan Nicholson, Wedding DJ from JN Sounds based locally in Hertfordshire. To find out more about how to book JN Sounds for your wedding, use the links below.