How to plan your Ceremony Music

Choosing the right music for your wedding or vow renewal ceremony can take hours and hours if you don’t know where to start. Just like every other aspect of your big day, you want to get it just right. All you need is some careful planning and these tips (obvs) and you’ll soon have your wedding ceremony song list sorted.

How many songs will I need?

Ceremonies differ so much in content and order of service but here is a basic guide to the amount and sequence of music that you will need in a Celebrant-led ceremony:


  • At least four or five songs for while your guests are being seated. In reality, you will probably only need one or two at the most but better to have more in case of delays.
  • One song for the processional (entrance). This is probably the one you’re mainly focusing on, right?
  • Two or three songs while you and your guests sign your certificate
  • One song for the recessional (exit).


So, approximately nine or ten songs in total but this is being super organised and covering all basis. This will differ depending on your ceremony needs and your Celebrant can provide support with this.

How will we play our music?

Some of this will depend on your budget. There are so many options such as a live band, a harpist, a solo singer, guitarist and so many more. There is also the option of picking all your own music and putting in on a USB stick or you can use an online music streaming service.


If you are opting for a live band or bringing any number of singers or musicians into your ceremony room, you will need to think about the space they will take up. They may also need electricity so bare this is mind if you are considering an outdoor ceremony or somewhere remote.


If you are sorting your own music, make sure your celebrant has a full list of the order they are to be played. It’s also advisable to give one of the guests, or one of the members of staff if it’s at a venue, the job of looking after the music. During the ceremonies I deliver, I liaise with this allocated person before the ceremony and let them know I will give them a cue for when to start and stop music.

But how do we choose which songs?

Do you have a song that reminds you of each other? It’s fine if you don’t. If you have the time, do some research. Listen to the lyrics in songs and find ones that resonate with you as a couple. If they bring a tear to your eye, they’re a winner. If you both have the same favourite band you could use this as a starting point. Or how about an album that you played during a memorable time together? Maybe a trip away or a road trip?


Think about the mood that you want to set. Classical music is very calming and exudes sophistication but isn’t for everybody. If you want to inject some of your personality think outside the box. Who says you can’t walk down the aisle to heavy rock music or The  Prodigy? How about injecting a little humour? For our exit music we had “When I’m Sixty-Four” by The Beetles.

We would like to do something different. Can you suggest anything?

How about involving all your guests and having a singalong? I think these are amazing and so much fun. Your guests will have a ball and will remember it forever. Well known songs work best for this. Each guest would need a copy of the lyrics or you could have a screen put up and have the words on the screen Karaoke-stylee. It might be worth also having somebody who is confident at singing or the musician/singer, if you’re having one, to get everybody motivated. As a Celebrant, I would obviously do this for you too.


How about asking your children or your niece(s)/nephew(s) to sing a song? They would need to be confident and it’s always a good idea to have a backup in case nerves get the better of them. How cute would that be though?


Ever fancied yourself as a bit of a singer? Why not sing at your own wedding? If you’re feeling a little nervous or lacking confidence you could always hire a vocal coach and wow your guests!

Every aspect of planning your wedding should be fun, including choosing your music. I am more than happy to support all my clients with this and every other aspect of their ceremony preparation. Please feel free to get in touch with any queries.

Hope this helps, Laura xx


Photographs by:


Jen Theodore:- @jentheodore

Andy Lee :-

Mitchell Orr :-

Esther Tuttle :- Entradaphotography

Jason Rosewell :- @jasonrosewell

Analise Benevides :- @abovethewildflowers