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Music makes memories - choosing songs for your wedding ceremony

Updated: Jun 4, 2022

Gone are the days when the only song to be played at the start of a wedding ceremony would be the Bridal Chorus (or March) or better known as Here comes the bride. It was the moment in many ceremonies when the atmosphere would change as everyone present would realise that this is really happening. Not least the bride and groom!

Choosing music for your ceremony

Most couples today choose songs that reflect them and their personality, or songs that have a special meaning to them - maybe what was playing when they first met or at the proposal. Or it might be music that suits the theme of their wedding. A string trio or quartet definitely adds a touch of class to a formal or traditional ceremony while an acoustic guitarist could add to your boho theme. Or Uncle Bill playing his bagpipes for a Scottish ceremony get the idea.

I once had a bride make her entrance to the Star Wars Death March (Imperial March) quickly followed by her flower girl racing down the aisle saying - wrong song, wrong song! The groom and guests were in hysterical laughter because it reflected this fun loving couple perfectly and I loved their 'outside of the box' idea.

How many songs do we need to choose?

There is no real rule on this. But there are times in the ceremony when music works really well!

While your guests are waiting for the ceremony to start, it can sometimes be very quiet - unless your celebrant, encourages everyone to mix and mingle. So have a playlist to fill about 15 minutes pre-ceremony. Instrumental or acoustic versions of your favourite songs are perfect for this.

For the processional some couples just have the one song played, whereas other couples like to have one song for the wedding party's entrance and then a different song for the bride or groom (or whoever is walking down the aisle) so they get to have their big moment!

It's a good idea to have one or two songs playing while you're signing the certificates so it fills that empty space and encourages your guests to have a quick chat while they're waiting.

And then for your walk down the aisle together to start your married life, let's ramp it up and have a more upbeat and fun song - so everyone leaves with a huge smile on their face, ready to celebrate with you at the reception.

Suggestions for songs

I've heard so many songs played at weddings over the years, some more than others. A Thousand Years by Christina Perri has been a big favourite for couples recently, and with there being several versions from the original to acoustic to instrumental, it always goes down well plus it's about 5 minutes long - heaps of time to get all the wedding party down the aisle.

Here's a few songs (well about 150 in fact) that might be perfect for you and your ceremony.

1000 years – Christina Perri

A moment like this – Kelly Clarkson

A thousand years – Christina Perri All my life – K-Ci & JoJo

Alison – Elvis Costello

All cried out – Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam with Full Force

All of me – John Legend

All out of love –Air Supply

Alone – Heart

Always – Atlantic Starr

Always on my mind – Willie Nelson

And I love her – Cheap Trick or The Beatles

Angel – Sarah McLachlan At last – Etta James or Eva Cassidy

As long as you love me – Backstreet Boys

Baby, I love your way – Peter Frampton

Beautiful day – U2

Because you loved me – Celine Dion

Best day of my life – American Authors

Best of my love – The emotions

Breathe – Faith Hill

Building a mystery – Sarah McLachlan

By your side –Sade

Can you feel the love tonight? – Elton John

Can’t smile without you – Barry Manilow

Careless whisper – The Carpenters

Crazy for you – Madonna

Crazy in love – Beyonce

Don’t speak – No Doubt

Endless love – Dianna Ross and Lionel Ritchie

Eternal flame – The Bangles

Every little think she does is magic – The Police

Everything – Michael Buble

Everything I do (I do it for you) – Brian Adams

Forever – Ben Harper

Faithfully – 1983 journey – The Beatles

Fallin’- Alicia Keys

Feelings – Morris Albert

First time ever I saw your face – Roberta Flack

Georgia - Vance joy

Girl – The Beatles

Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen Halo – Beyonce Here comes the sun = The Beatles

Happy – Pharrell Williams

Have I told you lately? – Rod Stewart

Heartbreak hotel – Elvis Presely

Here and now – Luther Vandross

Here there and everywhere – The Beatles

Hero – Enrique Iglesias

Home – Edward Sharpe I can’t help falling in love with you – Elvis Presley

Hopelessly devoted to you – Olivia Newton John

How deep is your love – Bee Gees

How do I live – Leann Rimes

I can’t make you love me – Bonnie Raitt

I do (cherish you) – Westlife or 98 degrees

I don’t want to miss a thing – Aerosmith

I feel for you – Chaka Khan

I get to love you – Ruelle

I got you babe – Sonny and Cher

I just called to say I love you – Stevie Wonder

I just want to be your everything – Andy Gibb

I need love – LL Cool J

I wanna grow old with you – Adam Sandler

I want to know love is – Foreigner

I want you to want me – George Michael/Wham

I will – The Beatles

I will always love you – Whitney Houston

I would die 4 U – Prince

I won't give up on you – Jason Mraz

I’d do anything for love – Meat Loaf

I’ll be there – The Jackson 5 or Human Nature

I’ll be there for you – Bon Jovi

I’ll follow the sun – The Beatles

I’ll make love to you – Boyz II Men

I’ll stand by you – The Pretenders

If I could – 1927

If I fell – The Beatles

I'll be - Edwin McCain I'm gonna love you like I'm gonna lose you – Meghan Trainor

I'm yours – Jason Mraz Kiss from a rose – Seal

Iris – Goo Goo Dolls

It must have been love – Roxette

It’s only love – The Beatles

Kiss me – Ed Sheeran

Let’s get it on – Marvin Gaye

Let’s stay together – Al Green

Light up my live – Debby Boone

Love me like you do – Elli Goulding Love me tender – Elvis Presley

Love someone – Lukas Graham

Love will keep us together – Captain and Tennille

Lucky – Jason Mraz Making memories of us – Keith Urban

Marry me – Train Marry you – Bruno Mars

Maybe I’m amazed – Paul McCartney

Melt with you – Modern English

More than a feeling – Boston

More than words – Extreme

My heart will go on – Celine Dion

My love – Sia Nothing else matters – Metallica

Never tear us apart – INXS

Nobody wants to be lonely – Ricky Martin

Nothing compares two u – Sinead O’Connor

On bended knee – Boyz II Men

One call away - Charlie Puth Over the rainbow/what a wonderful world - Israel

One in a million – Aaliyah or Bosson

Only you – Ashanti

Open arms – Journey

P.S. I love you – The Beatles

Power of love – Luther Vandross

Put it on me – Ja Rule

Reign of love – Coldplay

Save the best for last – Vanessa Williams

Save the last dance for me – Michael Buble

Secret garden – Bruce Springstein

She’s got a way – Billy Joel

Signed sealed delivered - Blue or Seal or Jimmy Barnes

Somebody like you – Keith Urban

Somebody to love – Queen Stay with me – Sam Smith Tenerife sea – Ed Sheehan

Stop to love – Luther Vandross

Superstar – The Carpenters

Tell me what you see – The Beatles

Thank you – Dido

Thank you (for loving) – Bon Jovi

That’s the way love goes – Janet Jackson

The power of love – Celine Dion

The wind beneath my wings – Bette Midler

Thinking out loud – Ed Sheeran

This boy – The Beatles

This I promise you – NSYNC or Ronan Keating

Three times a lady – The Commodores

Time after time – Cyndi Lauper

Tonight I celebrate my love – Peabo Bryson & Roberta Flach

Total eclipse of the heart – Bonnie Tyler

True Love – Pink

Unbreak my heart – Toni Braxton

Unchained melody – The Righteous Brothers

Underneath it all – No doubt

Unforgettable – Natalie Cole

We belong – Pat Benatar

We belong together – Mariah Carey

When a man loves a woman – Percy Sledge or Seal

When I fall in love – Nat King Cole or Alana Conway

Wicked game – Chris Isaak

Wild thing – The Troggs

Woman – John Lennon

Wonderful tonight – Eric Clapton

Wonderwall Oasis Years from now – Dr Hook

Words of love – The Beatles

You are so beautiful – Joe Cocker

You are the sunshine of my life – Stevie Wonder

You’re in my heart – Rod Stewart

You’re still the one – Shania Twain

You’re the first, the last, my everything – Barry White (use the version on Ultimate Collection 1974)

You’re the one that I want – John Travolta and Olivia Newton John

Your song – Elton John

Happy song choosing!

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