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Your Go-to Wedding Music for Evergreen, Ceremony & Reception 2024

Your wedding music will stay with you forever. It’s part of the experience for your guests and yourself. 

You want to include tracks that are personal to you and have special meaning. Most importantly, during the key moments of your wedding ceremony and reception.

These individual moments are what stand out in a wedding, so it can be a lot of pressure to select the right songs. Having said that, our comprehensive wedding music guide lists song options for every significant beat of your wedding day.  

But first, let’s take a look at when music is played in a ceremony and during the reception. 

wedding ceremony musician playing music

Which Parts of the Ceremony and Reception Needs Special Wedding Songs? 

You want to take your wedding entertainment seriously, as a surprising 70% of brides reportedly wish they had spent more time planning this bit.

Don’t just play soft, slow, romantic wedding songs throughout the night. Mix it up and have a more elaborate playlist for each of the segments below.

Wedding Music for The Ceremony

You’ll have to select songs for the following activities during your wedding ceremony.

  1. Guests Arrival: Guests usually take a while to arrive and take seats. It’s a good 30-40 minutes, during which time people can get bored. Just playing some slow romantic tracks can get things going. 

  2. Wedding Party Procession: As the wedding party enters one by one, you also need to choose songs for their entry. The parents and grandparents, groomsmen, bridesmaids, flower girls, and ring bearers all enter as individual groups. 

  3. Walking Down The Aisle: The last part of the wedding procession is when the bride walks down the aisle, and undoubtedly, it’s a major highlight of the ceremony. 

  4. Signing The Register: When the newlyweds and witnesses sign the register, it can be quiet for the guests. So, upbeat songs are expected during this part of the ceremony. 

  5. Exiting The Ceremony Venue/Recessional Walk: A celebratory song is traditional for when the newlyweds exit the ceremony venue. 

Wedding Music for The Reception

The reception has some big dance moments which require a killer playlist. Here are the different segments of the reception that require musical consideration. 

  1. Grand Entrance: The couple usually makes a grand entrance to an upbeat song. The song doesn’t have to be too gooey romantic; it just has to be fun and focused on having a good time.

  2. Wedding Breakfast: The wedding breakfast is when guests finally have a chance to relax and enjoy their meal before the dancing starts. You want to choose some relaxing songs for this part of the reception. 

  3. First Dance: The first dance is very special for the couple and you want to learn a formal dance like the waltz or the Foxtrot. So, romantic and slow music that is easy to choreograph and dance to is your safest bet.

  4. Father-Daughter Dance: This sweet moment is one of the best parts of a wedding reception and a special song dedicated to this lovely bond is best to play. 

  5. Mother-Son Dance: This is another special moment between the groom and his mom. At most weddings, a special song and choreography are planned for this dance. 

  6. Open Dance Floor: At this point, the dancefloor is open to the guests and a set playlist makes the experience much more fun. 

  7. Last Dance: Usually, a banger is reserved for the last dance, which is full of energy and celebration. After this, the reception comes to a close.  

Songs for Guests Arrival at Your Wedding Ceremony

Prelude songs to relax your guests when they first arrive and set the mood are important to getting your wedding ceremony going.

  1. 10,000 Hours - Dan + Shay, Justin Bieber

  2. Budapest - George Ezra

  3. Truly Madly Deeply - Savage Garden

  4. She’s Always a Woman - Billy Joel

  5. Iris - Goo Goo Dolls

  6. Riptide - Vance Joy

  7. The Night We Met - Lord Huron

  8. Yellow - Coldplay

  9. Invisible String - Taylor Swift

  10. Just The Way You Are - Bruno Mars

Upbeat & Fun Wedding Music for the Procession 

You can play multiple songs to introduce the wedding party or play a single song for everyone. It really depends on what the couple wants. Here are a few good options for your wedding party to walk into the ceremony:

  1. Stand by Me - Ben E. King (Parents)

  2. What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong (Parents) 

  3. Only Time - Enya (Ring Bearers)

  4. Dawn - Jean-Yves Thibaudet  (Flower Girls)

  5. Love Story Meets Love Story - Jon Schmidt (Flower Girls)

  6. Appalachian Spring -  Aaron Copeland (Ring Bearers)

  7. Moonshine - Bruno Mars (Groomsmen)

  8. Love Someone - Jason Mraz (Groomsmen)

  9. Rhythm of Love - Plain White T’s (Bridesmaids)

  10. Ho Hey - The Lumineers (Bridesmaids)

  11. Love on Top - Beyoncé (Bridesmaids)

  12. Open Arms - Journey (Groom)

  13. Stay With Me - Sam Smith (Groom)

  14. Open Arms - Journey (Groom)

  15. You Are The Reason - Calum Scott (Groom)

wedding guitarist playing wedding music

Best Songs for Walking Down The Aisle

Walking down the aisle is the bride's big moment. It has to be perfect as that walk is what the bride has dreamt about forever. Here are some song choices for this momentous occasion:

  1. At Last - Etta James

  2. Crazy Love - Michael Bublé

  3. Unchained Melody - The Righteous Brothers

  4. Love - Lana Del Ray

  5. Marry Me - Train

  6. Wild Love - James Bay

  7. Come Away With Me - Norah Jones

  8. Kiss Me - Sixpence None The Richer

  9. Love Me Tender - Elvis Presley

  10. Endless Love - Diana Ross

  11. Forever Afterall - Luke Combs

  12. La Vie En Rose - Emily Watts

  13. Paper Rings - Taylor Swift

  14. She’s Got a Way - Billy Joel

  15. All of Me - John Legend

Songs to Engage Your Guests While Signing of The Register

You must keep your guests entertained during the quieter part of the ceremony. Live band music can be a great way to keep the mood upbeat. The following songs seem perfect to play when signing the register:

  1. Amazed - Lonestar

  2. Your Song - Elton John

  3. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough - Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell 

  4. Be My Baby - The Ronettes

  5. Wonderful Tonight - Eric Clapton

  6. Halo - Beyoncé

  7. I Believe in You and Me - The Four Tops

  8. Walking on Sunshine - Katrina and The Waves

  9. The Best of Me - Cliff Richard

  10. Your Song - Elton John

Celebratory Songs to Play While Exiting The Wedding Ceremony Venue

When the newlyweds exit the ceremony venue, which is also known as the recession walk, upbeat music is played to celebrate the union. Just playing a 4-minute song will be enough for the regression walk. 

  1. Signed, Sealed, Delivered - Stevie Wonder

  2. Unconditionally - Katy Perry

  3. Happy - Pharell Williams

  4. On Top of The World- Imagine Dragons

  5. Happy Together - The Turtles

  6. Only Exception - Paramore

  7. Girls Like You - Maroon 5

  8. I Like Me Better - Lauv

  9. Uptown Funk - Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars

  10. All You Need Is Love - The Beatles

Energetic Songs for the Grand Entrance of the Newlyweds at the Reception

Depending on the couple's personality, the entrance can be done on a short 30-second instrumental or a 4-minute song. Here are some upbeat and energetic songs that are perfect for making an entrance:

  1. Can’t Stop The Feeling - Justin Timberlake

  2. Raise Your Glass - P!nk

  3. Shut Up and Dance - Walk The Moon

  4. Sweet Disposition - The Temper Trap

  5. Cheerleader - OMI

  6. Levitating - Dua Lipa

  7. Fearless - Taylor Swift

  8. Good As Hell - Lizzo

  9. Best Day of My Life - American Authors

  10. Sugar - Maroon 5

  11. Feel So Close - Calvin Harris

  12. Love on Top - Beyonce

  13. Just Dance - Lady Gaga

  14. Time After Time – Cyndi Lauper

  15. Dancing Queen – ABBA

Relaxing Wedding Music to Enjoy Wedding Breakfast With Your Guests

Wedding breakfast is the time for the bride and the groom to enjoy their first meal together as newlyweds. Although it’s called breakfast, it’s usually a full three-course meal. So, it does take a while for everyone to finish. During the meal, you can play the following songs.

  1. Beautiful Day - U2

  2. I Want to Hold Your Hand - The Beatles

  3. Got My Sunshine Set On You - George Harrison

  4. Everlasting Love - Love Affair

  5. Hey There Delilah - Plain White T

  6. The Scientist - Coldplay

  7. First Day of My Life - Bright Eyes

  8. Apple - Julia Michaels

  9. Big Parade - The Lumineers

  10. To Love Somebody - Bee Gees

  11. I’m Kissing You – Des’ree

  12. When You Love a Woman – Journey

enjoying wedding musicians

Incredibly Romantic First Dance Songs for The Newlyweds

Now comes the biggest moment of the reception, the first dance. You need just the right song to perform in front of your friends and family. 

If you have a romantic song significant to your relationship, this can be your first dance song. However, you can go with any one of these sweet songs below as well.

  1. Thinking Out Loud - Ed Sheeran

  2. Lover - Taylor Swift

  3. Thinking Bout You - Frank Ocean

  4. You Are the Best Thing - Ray LaMontagne

  5. I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing - Aerosmith

  6. Say You Won’t Let Go - James Arthur

  7. Make You Feel My Love - Adele

  8. First Day of My Life - Bright Eyes

  9. Fly Me To The Moon - Frank Sinatra

  10. Sweet Creature - Harry Styles

  11. Enchanted - Taylor Swift

  12. Better Together - Jack Johnson

  13. Always - Blink-182

  14. You and Me - Lifehouse

  15. Under Your Spell - Desire

Perfect Songs for a Memorable Father-Daughter Dance

The father-daughter dance makes for a sweet moment celebrating this special bond between father and daughter. 

You can go for sentimental music or something fun and modern. Nowadays, with the internet, father-daughter dances are even becoming viral.

  1. My Little Girl - Tim McGraw

  2. Isn’t She Lovely - Stevie Wonder

  3. Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler

  4. My Girl - The Temptations

  5. Lean on Me - Bill Withers

  6. When My Little Girl Is Smiling – The Drifters

  7. Daddy – Beyoncé

  8. The Best Day - Taylor Swift

  9. You’re My Best Friend - Queen

  10. Hero - Mariah Carey

  11. Where You Lead - Carole King

  12. Stairway to the Stars – Ella Fitzgerald

  13. My Darling - Wilco

  14. I Loved Her First - Heartland

  15. Sweet Pea - Amos Lee

Emotional Mother-Son Dance Songs Perfect for Your Reception

Mother-son dances are traditional at weddings. Sometimes, people skip this at their wedding, but for the most part, there’s always a mother-son dance. Here are some songs that will fit a mother-son dance perfectly.

  1. Forever Young - Rod Stewart

  2. Days Like This - Van Morrison

  3. You Are the Sunshine of My Life - Stevie Wonder

  4. He Gets That From Me - Reba McEntire

  5. Beautiful Boy - John Lennon

  6. Small Bump - Ed Sheeran

  7. Have I Told You Lately - Rod Stewart

  8. Thank You, Mom - Good Charlotte

  9. Mama Said - Lukas Graham

  10. Mother - Sugarland

  11. Slipping Through My Fingers - ABBA

  12. Hey Mama - Kanye West

25 Songs for Your Guests to Dance at Your Reception

Wedding music for dancing at the reception after the mother-son dance when the dance floor is open to all can be hard to select. This part is the majority of the reception. To make the most of the music, having live performances for the reception is best. It has a whole different level of energy.

  1. Dancing in The Moonlight – Toploader

  2. How Long Will I Love You – Ellie Goulding

  3. Walking On Sunshine – Katrina & The Waves

  4. Dreams Come True – Westlife

  5. Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go – Wham!

  6. Be Mine – David Gray

  7. Always Remember Us This Way - Lady Gaga

  8. As Long As You Love Me – Backstreet Boys

  9. Moon River – Frank Sinatra

  10. The Best – Tina Turner

  11. The Luckiest – Ben Folds

  12. All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor

  13. Can You Feel the Love Tonight – Elton John

  14. I Gotta Feeling – The Black Eyed Peas

  15. Wildest Dreams - Taylor Swift

  16. Mamma Mia – ABBA

  17. Like I’m Gonna Lose You - Meghan Trainor

  18. You Are So Beautiful - Joe Cocker

  19. Best Song Ever – One Direction

  20. We Found Love - Rihanna

  21. By Baby Just Cares for Me - Nina Simone

  22. Shallow - Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper

  23. Be My Baby - Ariana Grande

  24. Bad Liar - Selena Gomez

  25. Little Things - One Direction

Last Dance Songs to Put the Best Ending to Your Special Day

This is where the wedding comes to an end and you may want to end it with a blast. One last song for your guests and you to dance your heart out. So, which song should you choose? Here are some stellar options:

  1. Love Story - Taylor Swift

  2. Sweet Caroline - Neil Diamond

  3. We Are Young - Fun. featuring Janelle Monáe

  4. Today Was a Fairytale - Taylor Swift

  5. Forever - Chris Brown

  6. The Time of My Life - Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes

  7. Let’s Get It On - Marvin Gaye

  8. One More Time - Daft Punk

  9. One Love - Bob Marley

  10. Last Dance - Donna Summer


Final Words

Planning a wedding is full of a million tiny details. Your wedding music is just another thing that needs to be taken care of. With that said, it’s still important as it adds to the experience of your guests. 

To make the most out of the playlist you chose, hiring a live band is the best thing to do. You can share your music wishlist with the band you’re thinking of hiring and they’ll let you know whether they can perform the songs.

If you don’t have a band yet, don’t worry UK Live Entertainment has you covered with top-rated wedding musicians to perform at your ceremony and reception.