Ceremony Music 101 Find the perfect songs to set the tone for your wedding ceremony. Prelude Selections

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Ceremony Music 101

Find the perfect songs to set the tone for your wedding ceremony.

Prelude Selections

Kick off the ceremony with a pleasant wedding prelude featuring music that moves and inspires you. Plan for about 30 minutes of music to play while guests find their seats and wait for the excitement to begin.


1. "A Rose Is Gently Blooming," Op. 122, No. 8, (Johannes Brahms)

2. "Adagio for Strings" (Samuel Barber)
3. "Air on the G String" (Johann S. Bach)
4. "Aria, Bist du bei mir" (Be thou near me), BWV 508, (Johann S. Bach)
5. "Awake My Heart with Gladness," (Flor Peeters)
6. "Chorale in A Minor," Adagio, (Cesar Franck)
7. "Concerto in D Minor," Adagio, (Tomaso Albinoni)
8. "Largo" from (Xerxes), (George Frederic Handel)
9. "Perfect Love" (Sir Joseph Barnby)
10. "Rhosymedre" (Ralph Vaughan Williams)
11. "Serenade" (from String Quartet Op. 3 No. 5), (Franz Joseph Haydn)
12. "Serenade" (Franz Schubert)
13. "Sheep May Safely Graze" (Johann S. Bach)
14. "Sonata in G Minor for Flute and Organ" (George F. Handel)
15. "Toccata in E Minor" (Johann Pachelbel)
16. "Violin Concerto in A" (Franz Joseph Haydn)
17. "Water Music" (George F. Handel)

Traditional Alternatives

18. "Carolan's Welcome" (Irish Traditional)

19. "Concerto Grosso in D Major," Op. 3, No. 6 (Vivace), (George Frederic Handel)
20. "Courante" (from Three Lute Dances), (Anthoine Francisque)
21. "Gymnopedie No. 1" (Erik Satie)
22. "Nessun Dorma" (from Turandot), (Giacomo Puccini)
23. "Nocturne in E Flat" Op. 9, No. 2, (Frederic Chopin)
24. "Oboe Concerto in D Minor," Adagio, (Alessandro Marcello)
25. "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun" (Claude Debussy)
26. "Romance" Op. 44, No. 1, (Anton Rubenstein)
27. "Sei Lob und Preis mit Ehren" (Johann S. Bach)
28. "Sonata in E Flat," Adagio, (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)
29. "Violin Concerto No. 2 in E Major," Allegro assai, (Johann S. Bach)
30. "Vocalise" (Sergei Rachmaninoff)


31. "All I Ask Of You" (from Phantom of the Opera), (Andrew Lloyd Webber)

32. "Angel Eyes" (Jim Brickman)
33. "Evergreen" (Barbra Streisand)
34. "Longer" (Dan Fogelberg)
35. "Paris Nocturne" (Dan Fogelberg)
36. "The Gift" (Jim Brickman)
37. "Truly" (Lionel Richie)
38. "Wedding Song" (The Band)
39. "You and I" (Stevie Wonder)


40. "Ave Verum Corpus" (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)

41. "Benediction Nuptiale" (Camille Saint-Saens)
42. "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" (from Cantata 147), (Johann S. Bach)
43. "Liebster Jesu, Wir Sind Hier (Blessed Jesus, We Are Here)," BWV 633, (Johann S. Bach)
44. "Praise To The Lord" (Johann G. Walther)
45. "Prelude" on the "Old 110th," (John Joubert)

Processional Selections

Don't worry if "Here Comes the Bride" (Wagner's "Bridal Chorus") isn't your speed for your wedding processional song -- you have plenty of alternatives. Here are 35 wedding processional ideas to accompany you, and everyone else in your party, as you walk down the aisle:


1. "Air" (from Water Music Suite), (George F. Handel)

2. "Bridal Chorus" (from Lohengrin), (Richard Wagner)
3. "Canon in D" (Johann Pachelbel)
4. "Procession of Joy" (Hal Hopson)
5. "Rigaudon" (Andre Campra)
6. "Spring" (from The Four Seasons), (Antonio Vivaldi)
7. "Te Deum" (Marc-Antoine Charpentier)
8. "The Prince of Denmark's March" (Jeremiah Clarke)
9. "Trumpet Tune" (Henry Purcell)
10. "Trumpet Voluntary" (Jeremiah Clarke)
11. "Trumpet Voluntary" (John Stanley)
12. "Wedding March" (from The Marriage of Figaro), (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)

Traditional Alternatives

13. "Canzon V" (Giovanni Gabrieli)

14. "Coronation March for Czar Alexander III" (Peter I. Tchaikovsky)
15. "Overture" (from Royal Fireworks Music), (George Frederic Handel)
16. "Promenade" (from Pictures at an Exhibition), (Modest Mussorgsky)
17. "Romeo and Juliet Love Theme" (Tchaikovsky)
18. "Sinfonia" (from Cantata No. 156), (Johann S. Bach)
19. "Toccata" (from L'Orfeo), (Claudio Monteverdi)
20. "Trumpet Tune in A-Major" (David N. Johnson)
21. "Sonatas for Organ, Op. 65, No. 3 (con moto maestoso)," (Felix Mendelssohn)
22. "Winter," Largo, (from The Four Seasons), (Antonio Vivaldi)


23. "Appalachia Waltz" (Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Mark O'Connor)

24. "Sunrise, Sunset" (from Fiddler on the Roof), (Sheldon Harnick & Jerry Bock)
25. "The Look of Love" (Dionne Warwick/Burt Bacharach)
26. "The Vow" (Jeremy Lubbock)
27. "To A Wild Rose" (Edward MacDowell)
28. "Flatbush Waltz" (Andy Statman)
29. "Wedding Processional" (from The Sound of Music), (Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein)


30. "All People That On Earth Do Dwell" ("Old 100th" hymn)

31. "Dona Nobis Pacem" (16th century hymn)
32. "Hanava Babanot" (A Love Song), (Neeman)
33. "St. Anthony's Chorale" (Franz Joseph Haydn)
34. "Hymn Fanfare from The Triumphant" (Francois Couperin)
35. "Scalero de Oro" (traditional Sephardic)

Recessional Selections

After your officiant pronounces you husband and wife, you'll want to follow up with a triumphant fanfare. Your wedding ceremony recessional music should inspire your wedding guests to stand up and cheer you on as you make your way down the aisle. Here are 35 favorites:

Traditional/Classic Recessional Wedding Music

1. "Allegro Maestoso" (from Water Music Suite), (George F. Handel)

2. "Brandenburg Concerto No. 1," Allegro, (Johann S. Bach)
3. "Brandenburg Concerto No. 4," Allegro, (Johann S. Bach)
4. "Coronation March" (from Crown imperial), (Sir William Walton)
5. "Fugue in E-Flat Major" (from St. Anne), (Johann S. Bach)
6. "Hallelujah Chorus" (from The Messiah), (George F. Handel)
7. "Hornpipe" (from Water Music Suite), (George F. Handel)
8. "Ode to Joy" (Ludwig van Beethoven)
9. "Spring," Allegro, (from The Four Seasons), (Antonio Vivaldi)
10. "The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba" (George F. Handel)
11. "Toccata" (from Symphonie 5, opus 42), (Charles-Marie Widor)
12. "Trumpet Tune and Bell Symphony," (Henry Purcell)
13. "Tuba Tune in D" (Craig Sellar Lang)
14. "Wedding March" (from A Midsummer Night's Dream), (Felix Mendelssohn)

Traditional Alternative Recessional Wedding Music

15. "Badinerie" (from Orchestral Suite No. 2), (Johann S. Bach)

16. "Concerto grosso in D Minor," Op. 2, No. 3 (Presto), (Francesco Geminiani)
17. "Rondeau" (from Abdelezar), (Henry Purcell)
18. "Rondeau" (theme from Masterpiece Theater), (Jean Joseph Mouret)
19. "Sonata in G Major" (Giuseppe Tartini)
20. "Triumphal March" (Edvard Grieg)
21. "Variations on the Kanon by Pachelbel" (George Winston)

Contemporary Recessional Wedding Music

22. "Anthem" (Suzanne Ciani)

23. "Beautiful Day" (U2)
24. "From This Moment On" (Cole Porter)
25. "Linus & Lucy" (Peanuts Theme), (Vince Guaraldi)
26. "Little Martha" (Allman Brothers Band)
27. "Oh! You Pretty Things" (David Bowie)
28. "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" (Stevie Wonder)
29. "Sunshine of My Life" (Stevie Wonder)
30. "The Long and Winding Road" (The Beatles)

Religious/Sacred Recessional Wedding Music

31. "Exultate, Jubilate" (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)

32. "Joy" (George Winston)
33. "Now Thank We All Our God" (Johann S. Bach)
34. "Now Thank We All Our God" (Sigfried Karg-Elert)
35. "Psalm 19" (Benedetto Marcello)

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