Wedding Ceremony Music: What You Should Know


First of all, realize that wedding ceremony music plays a huge role in your wedding. Don't believe me?  

That's fine, but let me ask you a question:  Have you ever gone to a wedding ceremony.....and heard absolutely no music whatsoever?  No pre-service music, no bridesmaids processional music, and horror of horrors, not even a song for the bride's grand entrance and walk-down-the-aisle?  

And also no jubilant recessional for the newly married couple?  I seriously doubt it.

In a way, wedding ceremony music can be likened to a movie.  Think about when you last watched one....and it doesn't matter if it's a romantic movie, a horror flick, a comedy or anything else across the gamut.  What do you hear in the background at strategic points throughout the movie?   Music, of course!

Why?  Simply because movie producers are keenly aware of how music can affect emotions.  They know exactly what they're doing! Take a romantic movie, for example.  At just the right moment, you'll often hear a tender ballad-type song softly played in the background which can carry you away to teary-eyed blissful heights.  

It's the same idea with a scary movie.  At just the moment when you expect some ominous thing to happen, the background music (usually in some spooky minor key) will heighten the "fright factor" & before you know it, you're scared out of your wits!

Likewise, just like the pros do in creating movies, you have the opportunity to "musically script" your wedding ceremony to enfold your guests into the emotional tone you want on your special day.  

So while ceremony music is a big part of your wedding, it doesn't have to take a huge chunk of your time and energy planning it.  The section below can help simplify and organize things for you.  Just take 1 step at a time!

Wedding Ceremony Music: 4 Basic Subcategories


  • Wedding Prelude Music, also called Pre-Service Music is just that.  It's the music played as your guests arrive and begin to be seated before the ceremony itself starts.


If your wedding is taking place in a House of Worship, be sure to inquire about any music restrictions that may exist and review your intended music choices with the officiant or music coordinator if necessary before finalizing your music plans to save time and frustration.

While much musical variety is generally allowed today, respect is in order in a House of Worship & manners dictate that music choices be reasonable.



One more thought.  Very occasionally, a close friend or family member of the bridal couple offers or "hints" that they'd be happy to provide some or all of the music at the wedding.  This could be wonderful. Or not.  First of all (and no offense intended), are they really musically up to the task?  Are they really a good singer or are they mostly a good "shower singer"?  Are they truly proficient on an instrument such as the organ or piano?   If so, fantastic...you're all set!  It most definitely could add a very special touch to your wedding ceremony.  Just be sure!

However, one special word of caution here: If your wedding is in a House of Worship, before you accept your friend/family member's offer & then have to renege, definitely check if people other than the musicians on staff are permitted to use the musical instruments, most particularly if an organ is involved.  Sometimes, it is simply not allowed.  

To recap: By checking to see if any song restrictions exist and, if it applies, checking to see if an "outsider" is able to use the instrument in question before solidifying your plans, you can avoid potentially sticky problems!       ➡ ➡ ➡ ➡ ➡ ➡ ➡ ➡ ➡ ➡ ➡ ➡ ➡ 

"You want WHAT? Nope. Ain't Happening'!"


After your recessional is completed, your musician will most likely continue to play some music as your guests exit the ceremony area.  This is generally called the postlude, the choices of which can be capably left to your musician.

Return to Wedding Songs Homepage from Wedding Ceremony Music