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.

For now:

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:


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:

  1. Grandparents
  2. Parents
  3. Groom
  4. Best Man
  5. Groomsmen
  6. Bridesmaids
  7. Maid of Honor
  8. Ring Bearer & Flower Girl
  9. Bride

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


Best Processional Songs for your Wedding Party


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?


Wedding Recessional Songs


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
  • Reggae
  • Top 40/Pop
  • Blues
  • Oldies
  • R&B/Soul
  • Country


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.