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57 Wedding Ceremony Songs to Make Your Day Sound Like the Two of You

We've got your processional, recessional, and classical needs covered

One of the wedding questions I’m asked most often is, “How do we write a perfect for us, super moving wedding service?” Luckily, that is one of the easiest answers in wedding planning. Here is how: you pick a basic structure for a service, and pick meaningful-to-you wedding ceremony songs and readings to make the service your own.

But the truth is, finding perfect wedding ceremony songs can be a little tricky, because the requirements of venues and officiants vary widely. (A Catholic church is not going to let you play Dylan, no matter how lovely the song.) Plus, personal taste in music for wedding services is all over the map. But there are a few unifying factors for music that works really well in a ceremony: You want music that’s somewhat emotional, not crass (there is a time for “Baby Got Back,” but it’s not during the service), and familiar. You want to have your guests feel enveloped in a warm hug by the music, not trying to figure out what the hell it is.

With that in mind, we’ve rounded up songs for each part of your wedding service, and divided them up by type. Want pop standards? Classical music? String quartet covers of classics? We’ve got you covered.

So go forth and create a meaningful wedding service with minimal tears. Well, minimal tears from you. I can only assume your guests will cry buckets over how perfectly you’ve expressed your love in music.

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Please share what music you’ve used or are using in your service in the comments! After all, imitation is the highest form of flattery, so you should invite the not yet married to follow your lead.

Wedding Ceremony Songs: processionals

Velvet Underground: “I’ll Be Your Mirror”

The Best Part: “When you think the night has seen your mind/That inside you’re twisted and unkind/Let me stand to show you that you are blind/Please put down your hands/’Cause I see you”

YO LA TENGO: “OUR WAY TO FALL”

The Best Part: “I remember your old guitar/I remember I Can’t Explain/I remember the way it looked around your neck/And I remember the day it broke/I remember the song you sang/I remember the way you looked tonight/And I remember the way it made me feel”

THE COrRS: “HASTE TO THE WEDDING”

“TWA BONNIE MAIDENS”

KEB’ MO’: “EVERY MORNING”

The Best Part: “And when I’m with you, it feels like heaven/And you’re an angel, holding me/Your sweet, sweet loving sets me free”

https://youtu.be/fIlG8Sjlv-w

LOREENA MCKENNITT: “BRIAN BORU’S MARCH”

JOSH RITTER: “BABY THAT’S NOT ALL”

The Best Part: “In orbits round the glow/Cover lets and down/Will catch you when you fall/Baby that’s not all”

THEME FROM THE WEST WING

BOB DYLAN: “FOREVER YOUNG”

The Best Part: “May your hands always be busy/May your feet always be swift/May you have a strong foundation/When the winds of changes shift”

MAGNETIC FIELDS: “THE BOOK OF LOVE”

The Best Part: “The book of love has music in it/In fact that’s where music comes from/Some of it is just transcendental/Some of it is just really dumb/But I, I love it when you sing to me/And you, you can sing me anything”

THE WEEPIES: “SOMEBODY LOVED”

The Best Part: “Now my feet turn the corner back home/Sun turns the evening into rose/Stars turning high up above/You turn me into somebody loved”

MUMFORD AND SONS: “SIGH NO MORE”

The Best Part: “Love that will not betray you, dismay, or enslave you/It will set you free”

DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL: “YOU HAVE STOLEN MY HEART”

The Best Part: “Invitation only grants farewells/Crash the best one of the best ones/Clear liquor and cloudy-eyed, too early to say goodnight”

IZ: “SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW”

The Best Part: “The colors of the rainbow/So pretty in the sky/Are also on the faces/Of people goin’ by”

BILLY JOEL: “SHE’S GOT A WAY”

The Best Part: “She’s got a smile that heals me/I don’t know why that is/But I have to laugh when she reveals me”

BEN E. KING: “STAND BY ME”

The Best Part: “If the sky that we look upon/Should tumble and fall/Or the mountain should crumble to the sea/I won’t cry, I won’t cry/No, I won’t shed a tear/Just as long as you stand, stand by me”

LEONARD COHEN: “HALLELUJAH”

The Best Part: “There’s a blaze of light/In every word/It doesn’t matter which you heard/The holy or the broken hallelujah”

WEDDING CEREMONY SONGS: RECESSIONALs

Johnny Cash: “I Walk The Line”

The Best Part: “I find it very, very easy to be true/I find myself alone when each day is through/Yes, I’ll admit that I’m a fool for you/Because you’re mine, I walk the line”

The Beach Boys: “God Only Knows”

The Best Part: “If you should ever leave me/Though life would still go on believe me/The world could show nothing to me/So what good would living do me?”

Cake: “Love You Madly”

The Best Part: “I don’t want to think about it/I don’t want to talk about it/When I kiss your lips/I want to sink down to the bottom of the sea”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFaBwZDywLk

The Muppets: “Life’s a Happy Song”

The Best Part: “Life smells like a rose with someone to ping with someone to pose/Life’s like a piece of cake with someone to pedal, someone to break/Life is full of glee with someone to saw, someone to see/Life’s a happy song when there’s someone by my side to sing along”

Death Cab for Cutie: “Stay Young, Go Dancing”

The Best Part: “Cause when she sings I hear a symphony/And I’m swallowed in sound as it echoes through me/I’m renewed, oh how I feel alive and through autumn’s advancing/We’ll stay young, go dancing”

The Ramones: “Baby I Love You”

The Best Part: “I can’t live without you/I love everything about you/I can’t help it if I feel this way”

Philip Phillips: “Home”

The Best Part: “Settle down, it’ll all be clear/Don’t pay no mind to the demons/They fill you with fear/The trouble it might drag you down/If you get lost, you can always be found”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROLiBpcCTZg

Prince and the Revolution: “Kiss”

The Best Part: “I want to be your fantasy/Maybe you could be mine/You just leave it all up to me/We could have a good time”

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes: “That’s What’s Up”

The Best Part: “Then I found forever/Hey, hey love/We’ve been best friends forever darling/That’s what’s up”

Stevie Wonder: “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours”

The Best Part: “Then that time I went and said goodbye/Now I’m back and not ashamed to cry”

Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell: “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” 

The Best Part: “Remember the day that I set you free/I told you you could always count on me, darling/From that day on, I made a vow/I’ll be there when you want me/Some way, somehow”

QUEEN: “CRAZY LITTLE THING CALLED LOVE”

The Best Part: “There goes my baby/She knows how to rock ‘n’ roll/She drives me crazy/She gives me a hot and cold fever/Then she leaves me in a cool, cool sweat”

Wilco: “I Got You (At the End of the Century”

The Best Part: “All the way back in the seventies/You were my little TV queen/Y’er Tarzan and friend Janine/I got you/I got you and I still believe”

The Postal Service: “Brand New Colony”

The Best Part: “I’ll be the waterwings that save you if you start drowning/In an open tab when your judgment’s on the brink/I’ll be the phonograph that plays your favorite/Albums back as you’re lying there drifting off to sleep”

The Verve: “Bittersweet Symphony”

The Best Part: “I’ll take you down the only road that I’ve ever been down/Have you ever been down?”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyEdqOWAE6k

The Beatles: “Across the Universe”

The Best Part: “Images of broken light, which/Dance before me like a million eyes/They call me on and on across the universe”

The Cure: “Just Like Heaven”

The Best Part: “Spinning on that dizzy edge/I kissed her face and kissed her head/And dreamed of all the different ways I had/To make her glow”

Ray LaMontagne: “You Are The Best Thing”

The Best Part: “Baby, we’ve come a long way, baby/You know, I hope and I pray that you believe me/When I say this love will never fade away”

Mariah Carey: “Always Be My Baby”

The Best Part: “You’ll always be a part of me/I’m part of you indefinitely/Boy don’t you know you can’t escape me/Ooh darling ’cause you’ll always be my baby”

Fleetwood Mac: “Landslide”

The Best Part: “Oh, take my love, take it down/Climb a mountain and turn around/And if you see my reflection in the snow-covered hills/Well the landslide will bring you down, down”

Elton John: “Your Song”

The Best Part: “So excuse me forgetting/But these things I do/You see, I’ve forgotten/If they’re green or they’re blue/Anyway, the thing is, what I really mean/Yours are the sweetest eyes I’ve ever seen”

Taylor Swift: “Love Story”

The Best Part: “Romeo, take me somewhere we can be alone/I’ll be waiting, all that’s left to do is run/You’ll be the prince and I’ll be the princess/It’s a love story baby, just say yes”

Jackson 5: “I’ll Be There”

The Best Part: “Let me fill your heart with joy and laughter/Togetherness is all I’m after/Whenever you need me, I’ll be there”

WEDDING CEREMONY SONGS: classical wedding music

John Williams: “Hedwig’s Theme”

J.S. Bach: “Sinfonia from Cantata No. 29”

Jeremiah Clarke: “Trumpet Voluntary”

“Prelude from Te Deum”

Jacques Ibert: “Trois PiÈces BrÈves”

Henry Purcell: “Rondeau from Abdelazer”

Handel: “Water Suite, no. 2 in D Major”

“Rondeau from Sinfonies de Fanfares”

J.S. Bach: “Suite for Orchestra No. 3 in D Major”

Bach: “Prelude and Fugue in E-flat Major”

Aaron Copland: “Variations on a Shaker Melody”

Felix Mendelssohn: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Op. 61-111”

Barber: “Excursions Nos. 3 and 4”

Claude Debussy: “Clair de Lune”

Gustav Holst: “Chorale from Jupiter”

Bedrich Smetana: “MÁ Vlast Moldau”

Léo Delibes: “The Flower Duet”

Franz Schubert: “Piano Trio No. 2 in E Flat Major”

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