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Sammie Zonana is singer/songwriter and native Austinite. She provides live entrainment for weddings and special events. Reviews are provides by The Knot

How to Pick The Perfect Ceremony Songs

Picking ceremony songs can be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be! Learn tips and trick for picking the perfect ceremony songs for your non-traditional wedding with live music. 

Ceremony Structure

Most ceremonies consist of a Processional and a Recessional. The Processional is the part of the ceremony where (traditionally) the wedding party and the groom (or bride if same sex couple) enter, walk down the aisle and take their place at the ceremony. Sometime this part includes entrances from important family members, a flower person or a ring bearer. These entrances are followed by the "big reveal" of the bride (or groom if same sex couple). After "I Do", the Recessional begins. The couple will exit the ceremony together as newlyweds, followed by the wedding party and guests. 

I recommend picking 3 songs for your ceremony (1) The Party's Entrance, (2) The Grand Entrance, and (3) The Exit.

Processional Songs

When selecting songs for your processional...

  1. Pick slow to mid-tempo songs.

  2. Pick songs you can walk to.

If the song is too fast, neither you or I will feel comfortable while you walk down the aisle. For that reason, I don’t recommend picking anthem songs for your Processional. In best practice, select songs that are slow to mid-tempo and evoke feelings of love and heartfelt sentiment.

The last tips may seems silly, but play the song you're thinking of selecting and see if you can walk to it. You can also just close you eyes and visualize walking to it. If the song feels right and gets you excited about your special day then you’re on the right track! 

Here are a few songs from my repertoire list which work well for the processional: 

  1. A Thousand Years - Christina Perri

  2. Over The Rainbow - Israel K

  3. All of Me - John Legand

  4. Can't Help Falling in Love - Elvis Presley

  5. At Last - Etta jones

  6. Make You Feel My Love - Adele

  7. Your Song - Elton John

  8. I'll Be There - Jackson 5

  9. Marry Me - Train

Recessional Songs

  1. Pick mid to uptempo song

  2. Pick songs with high energy

YOU JUST GOT MARRIED! Your Recessional song should get you and your guests excited about you tying the knot. 

Here are a few songs from my repertoire list which work well for the recessional: 

  1. Here Comes The Sun - The Beatles

  2. Hey, Soul Sister - Train

  3. Marry You - Bruno Mars

  4. Happy People - Little Big Town

  5. I'm Yours - Jason Mraz



This is not a one size fits all guide. Every wedding is as unique as the couple getting married! No matter what songs you choose, they will sound beautiful because it is what you want on your day. I encourage you to sit down with your partner and skim through the songs in your personal library. What songs stick out? What songs are you always playing? What songs make you feel something? Those are the song you should pick from. One of the benefits of booking me to perform your wedding live is that I have the power change any song however you want. I can slow it down if it's too fast, I can loop it if it's too short, or I can even tweak the lyrics so they fit your story instead of the artist's. The possibilities are really limitless! The most important thing is that you take the time to pick out your ceremony songs carefully so that on your wedding day you're excited to walk down the aisle. 

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