Music is such an important part of your wedding day! The song you walk down the aisle to will be one you remember for the rest of your life. But that’s not the only important song you’ll have on your wedding day playlist. From getting ready with your girls to the very last song of the night, your wedding music will set the tone for the entire event.
We’re going to go through all of the music you’ll need from the getting ready to the cocktail hour. (The reception will be a whole other ball game so we’ll revisit that next time.)
Here’s a quick breakdown of the music you’ll need for the first half of the day:
- Getting Ready Music
- Prelude Music
- Wedding Ceremony Music (Processional & Recessional)
- Cocktail Hour Music
Let’s dive into each one below with some general insight and advice as well as some popular song choices.
Getting Ready Playlist
Let’s start the day with some good vibes. You and your girls are getting all glammed up by your hair and makeup artist. We’ve got to have some music playing in the bridal suite! Have some fun.
Embrace that buzzing, cheerful energy.
You want some upbeat tunes that you can dance to, some throwback classics you can sing to, and some cool, calming tracks to keep the nerves at bay.
Recruit your girls to help with this one. Create a public wedding day playlist on Spotify (or your preferred music platform) and invite your bridesmaids to be collaborators so they can add some of their favorite tunes directly to the list.
Keep your audience in mind when choosing your getting-ready tunes. Will your mom, future mother-in-law, grandmas, aunts, or little kids be getting ready with you? Then, try to keep the music PG. If it’s just you and the girls, blast some Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion to get in the groove.
Bonus Tip: Most bridal suites don’t have a sound system so bring a portable speaker with you so you can be in control of the music as you’re getting ready.
Here are some classic getting-ready songs:
- Chapel of Love by the Dixie Cups
- I Wanna Dance with Somebody by Whitney Houston
- This Is How We Do It by Montell Jordan
- Man I Feel Like a Woman by Shania Twain
- Dreams by Fleetwood Mac
- Valerie by Amy Winehouse ft. Mark Ronson
- Love on Top by Beyonce
- We Found Love by Rihanna ft. Calvin Harris
- Milkshake by Kelis
- Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) by The Backstreet Boys
- Bye Bye Bye by *NSYNC
- Tempo by Lizzo
- Bad Guy by Billie Eilish
- Sunday Best by Surfaces
- Unforgettable by French Montana ft. Swae Lee
- 7 Rings by Ariana Grande
- Let’s Shut Up & Dance by Jason Derulo, LAY, NCT 127
- Cold Heart by Dua Lipa & Elton John
- Woman by Doja Cat
- Anything by Michael Jackson, Madonna, or Britney Spears
Pre-Ceremony Music for your Wedding Day Playlist
As your guests arrive at the ceremony location, it’s nice to have a little background music playing (aka prelude music). You’ll want to keep it light and mellow, setting the tone for your ceremony. Nothing too loud, intrusive, or harsh. But you do want to bring in some of those beachy vibes. The music should softly welcome your guests and allow time for conversation as they get settled. Keep it cheerful and positive.
If you’ve hired a DJ, you can usually request a genre here so consider anything like jazz, classical, oldies, or chill instrumental. Even acoustic versions of popular love songs will work nicely here.
For a destination wedding, it usually only takes about 15-20 minutes for all of your guests to arrive and get situated, and then you can begin the ceremony!
Wedding Playlist for your Ceremony
This is the fun part! Here you’ll want to get specific with your song choices so you’ll need to figure out who’s walking down the aisle first.
Typically the processional order looks like this:
- Best Man
- Maid of Honor
- Ring Bearer & Flower Girl
Now you may decide to have the groomsmen and bridesmaids walk down the aisle together so this will change the order slightly. Maybe you don’t have a ring bearer or a flower girl. That’s totally okay! You get to decide what works best for your day.
For the music:
I typically recommend one song for the grandparents, parents, and groom, a second song for the groomsmen and bridesmaids, a third song for the ring bearer and flower girl (if you have them), and finally, the song you’ll be walking down the aisle to. I don’t really recommend choosing a different song for each group. It just sounds too choppy. You want to keep it simple. It will actually flow a lot better
With that being said, you do have some freedom here. Maybe the groom wants his own song. Or you want different songs for the groomsmen and bridesmaids. Maybe you want one song for everyone else and just a particular song for your big bridal entrance. It’s totally up to you!
Finally, at the end of the ceremony, you’ll want to choose a recessional song. This is the song you’ll have playing as you walk back down the aisle – now as a married couple!! It should be a happy song, that’s lively and fun. One that gets you and your guests dancing.
Let the celebration begin!
Music for the Groom’s Entrance
- Adore You by Harry Styles
- Speechless by Dan and Shay
- 10,000 Hours by Dan and Shay ft Justin Bieber
- Yours by Russell Dickerson
- You Make It Easy by Jason Aldean
- Adventure of a Lifetime by Coldplay
- Home by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros
- I’m Ready by AJR
- LOVE ft Zacari by Kendrick Lamar
- Out of My League by Fitz & The Tantrums
- Best Day Of My Life by American Authors
- I Believe in a Thing Called Love by The Darkness
- Put Your Head on My Shoulder by Paul Anka
- I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) by The Proclaimers
- Wouldn’t It Be Nice by The Beach Boys
- You Make My Dreams Come True by Daryl Hall & John Oates
- She Loves You by The Beatles
Best Processional Songs for your Wedding Party
- Always Remember Us This Way by Lady Gaga
- Salted Wound by Sia
- Sweet Creature by Harry Styles
- At Your Best (You Are In Love) by Frank Ocean
- Make You Feel My Love by Adele
- Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton
- The One by Kodaline
- I Choose You by Sara Bareilles
- Butterflies by Kacey Musgraves
- You Are The Best Thing by Ray LaMontagne
- At Last by Etta James
- God Only Knows by The Beach Boys
- All This Time by One Republic
- Love by Lana Del Rey
Beautiful Songs to Walk Down the Aisle To
Alright, let’s just pause for a minute. Grab the tissues, and prepare for some romantic love songs.
Picture yourself in your wedding dress. Floating down the aisle. Your groom is smiling back at you, tears filling up his eyes. This is your big moment.
What song do you imagine playing as you take each step?
- A Million Dreams (Violin Cover) by Taylor Davis
- No Matter Where You Are (Wedding Version) by Us The Duo
- Could I Love you Anymore by Reneé Dominique and Jason Mraz
- I Get to Love You by Ruelle
- You’re Still The One (Shania Twain Cover) by Teddy Swims
- Amazing Day by Coldplay
- There Will Be Time by Mumford & Sons ft. Baaba Maal
- This I Promise You by Donna Taggart
- Can’t Help Falling In Love (Elvis Presley Cover) by Vitamin String Quartet
- Better Half of Me by Tom Walker
- It’s Always Been You by Caleb Hearn
- How Long Will I Love You by Ellie Goulding
- Say You Won’t Let Go (James Arthur Cover) by Daniel Jang
- Here and Now by Luther Vandross
- From This Moment by Shania Twain
- Canon in D by Pachelbel
- Ave Maria by Schubert
Wedding Recessional Songs
- The Way You Make Me Feel by Michael Jackson
- Signed, Sealed, Delivered by Stevie Wonder
- Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Queen
- This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) by Natalie Cole
- Come and Get Your Love by Redbone
- Loving You Easy by Zac Brown Band
- Good Day for Marrying You by Dave Barnes
- Love Me Harder by Ariana Grande
- Better by Khalid
- On Top of the World by Imagine Dragons
- I Got You, Babe by Sonny and Cher
- Your Love by The Outfield
- Good Vibrations by The Beach Boys
- You & Me by That Band Honey
Cocktail Hour Music
The drinks are flowing, your guests are mingling, and you and your groom are off with your photographer getting beautiful couple’s photos taken. Now, even though you won’t be around for the cocktail hour, you’ll still want to have some music playing for your guests.
Of course, the cocktail hour wouldn’t be complete without some feel-good tunes. But you don’t want it to get too intense quite yet. Save the loud dance beats for later in your reception. For now, you’ll want to keep it cheery and entertaining but light enough so your guests can chat as they’re tasting all your signature cocktails and hor-de oeuvres.
Keep it super simple and choose a music genre for your DJ to play during this time. Consider the mood you’re going for, the venue, and your guests. Do you want to keep it classy and elegant? Or chill and laid-back? Maybe somewhere in between.
Here are a few genre options:
- Bossa Nova
- Modern Instrumental
- Top 40/Pop
Final Thoughts on your Wedding Day Playlist
For the first half of your wedding day, you’ll want to keep the music soft, romantic, and upbeat. You’re marrying the love of your life. In paradise. With your closest family and friends by your side.
Choose a few songs that reflect this moment and what it means to you.
Of course, we can’t forget that you’re having a beach wedding when you’re choosing your wedding day playlist. So why not incorporate a few beachy songs?
Here are a couple of bonus tracks to help you embrace those easy, breezy beach wedding vibes.
- Here Comes The Sun by The Beatles
- Wouldn’t It Be Nice by The Beach Boys
- Under the Boardwalk by The Drifters
- Three Little Birds by Bob Marley and The Wailers
- Escape (The Pina Colada Song) by Rupert Holmes
- Knee Deep by Zac Brown Band featuring Jimmy Buffett
- Castles In The Sand by Stevie Wonder
- Watermelon Sugar by Harry Styles
- Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Wave
- Come Sail Away by Styx
- Kokomo by The Beach Boys
- Put Your Records On by Corinne Bailey Rae
- Is This Love by Bob Marley and The Wailers
- Sea of Love by Phil Phillips
- Island in the Sun by Weezer
- I’m Yours by Jason Mraz
- Better Together by Jack Johnson
- Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding
- Summer Love by Justin Timberlake
- Good Times by Chic
- Toes by Zac Brown Band
- Loco Contigo by DJ Snake, J. Balvin, Tyga