Top Traditional Wedding Prelude Music

Before we talk specifically about wedding prelude music, let’s imagine your wedding for a moment........

It’s about 20 to 30 minutes before your processional begins, and you and your bridal party are excitedly making your final preparations. Your wedding guests will be arriving at any moment, so your wedding prelude music starts now!

This music serves more than one purpose:

  • It sets the mood and tone for the entire wedding itself.

  • It affords you the opportunity to share music-–be it vocal or instrumental--that holds special meaning for you.

  • It provides a pleasant atmosphere for your guests while they await your arrival. (As a bonus, it can be helpful in holding down the noise factor of your guests! They can get pretty chatty!)

So let’s get down to the “nitty-gritty” of planning your wedding prelude music.

It is generally 15 to 30 minutes long. How long depends on such things as your personal preference, the wedding size, and the degree of formality.

Tip: As a rough guideline, allow 3 to 3 ½ minutes per piece of music. Obviously then, the length of your wedding prelude music and the length of each song will determine how many songs are performed. Using this rule of thumb will quickly give you an approximate idea of how many songs will be played during your prelude.

Tip: Just because a song may be listed as wedding prelude music does not mean that it can't instead be used as a processional, recessional, or even as special music within the wedding ceremony itself. Many pieces are quite interchangeable in that regard, so as long as it is okay with the officiant, you have quite a bit of flexibility!

The list below contains traditional wedding prelude music. Many of the songs are classical in nature, but some are not. For example, When I Fall In Love, Love Theme From Romeo & Juliet, True Love, and Sunrise, Sunset are all on the list and even though they are not classical music per se, over the years they have become wedding classics. However, to set some arbitrary guidelines between what is traditional and what is contemporary, nothing on this list was written past the 1960s.

If you're thinking contemporary instead, visit Contemporary Wedding Prelude Music.

A word about the links themselves: In most cases, clicking on a song title will take you to an Amazon MP3 audio clip of that song that of course can be downloaded.

For those songs not linked to an MP3 song clip, clicking on the song title will link you to a CD containing that song. In those cases, the location of the song on the CD is listed right next to the song title.


Again, more contemporary music can be found at Contemporary Wedding Prelude Music. Before moving on, though, let's once again imagine your wedding day for a moment............................

All of the important people in your lives have been seated, and your wedding prelude music has just ended. There is the briefest of pauses and the air nearly crackles with anticipation and excitement. Your heart is happily “a-thumpin” and the butterflies are alive and well!

Suddenly, you hear music again and you realize that it’s time for your wedding processional !

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