How to Choose Music For Your Wedding Ceremony and Reception

Hora dance

As you plan your big day, choosing the right music can make all the difference in setting the tone and creating lasting memories. Whether you book a live band or DJ, here are some tips on how to choose music for your wedding ceremony and reception.

Music for the Ceremony

woman walking with ring bearer

Processional, Bridal Party, and/or Family

Traditionally, the bridal party will enter to one song and the bride to another. Consider the overall mood you want to set. Do you want something traditional or modern, upbeat or romantic? The bridal party and family members can also enter to the same song or a variation of the processional music. You may also consider picking a song or two that would surprise your parents, family or bridal party, so they too have a moment to shine and a beautiful way of recognizing how important they are to you.

bride walking down aisle

Bride’s Walk Down the Aisle

The bride’s walk-out song is the music that plays as the bride walks down the aisle. This song should have a massive emotional impact to mark the start of the ceremony. Often, a romantic, love focused song is a great choice. It is best if the first 10-25 seconds of the song doesn’t have vocals and is instrumental only so the main focus is on the bride and her stunning moment.


The recessional is played as the bride, groom, and wedding party exit the ceremony. This song should be triumphant and celebratory to mark the end of the ceremony. This should be a joyful and lively song that reflects the celebration of your marriage. We asked professional DJ, Josi of Flip Flop Sounds, what she recommends and she noted “I recommend finding an upbeat song that has maximum impact in the beginning of the song, this shifts the event to be celebratory and can be very powerful. This is the first song that is coming on as a married couple, be sure to soak it up!” We agree, make sure the tempo and rhythm of the song you choose creates a sense of celebration and joy for you and your guests!

Music for the Reception

Grand Entrance

Your grand entrance is the moment when you are introduced to your guests as a married couple. The music chosen for this occasion should be high-energy, setting the tone for a memorable night!

First Dance

First Dance

The first dance is usually an emotional and intimate moment between the newlyweds. The song you choose should be meaningful to both of you, and preferably one that you both like to dance to. Don’t stress too much about picking the perfect song. Focus on choosing one that you both love and that feels authentic to your relationship, whether it’s slow and romantic or upbeat and fun.

Mother & Son Dance

Mother/Son and Father/Daughter Dance

These are two special moments where the parents of the bride and groom get to dance with their children. The songs chosen for this dance should represent your relationship and evoke a sentimental feeling. Have a conversation ahead of time with your parents to ensure they are on the same page for what is selected so the dance will be smooth.

cake cutting ceremony

Cake Cutting

The cake cutting is a fun and light-hearted traditional moment during the reception. Consider choosing a shorter, more upbeat song for this moment, anything with the words sugar, sweet or cake works! Some of our favorites are Sugar by Maroon Five, Cake by The Ocean by DNCE, Loving you Easy by Zac Brown Band or How Sweet It is by Marvin Gaye.

Grand Exit 

Your grand exit is the moment where you leave your reception, and start the beginning of your married life. The music chosen for this moment should be celebratory and joyful, marking the end of a beautiful evening and the start of a new journey together!

Grand Exit

In conclusion, music plays a crucial role in setting the mood and creating an unforgettable wedding experience. Consider choosing songs that have a special meaning to you both and that represent your love story. Whether it’s for the ceremony, first dance or last dance, choosing the right music can help make your wedding day truly memorable! 

For more wedding tips, design, and information about The Indigo Bride, check out our real weddings portfolio and wedding planning packages. Also, follow us on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.

Photo Credit from Top to Bottom: Holly Hursley Photography, Holly Hursley Photography, Allison Harp, Daniel Gillett Photo, Rosemary and Pine Photography, Kayla Sprint, Allison Harp.

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