By Riley & Grey|Wedding Planning|July 26, 2023

A guide to choosing music for your wedding

Photo by Екатерина Шумских

With its power to evoke emotion and set lifelong memories in our minds, music plays a significant role in any wedding. But when it comes to choosing your soundtrack, it isn't just the procession and first dance you need to think about. Ideally, your musical attributes will flow seamlessly with your wedding, guiding the atmosphere from the ceremony, to the meal, to the evening party.

Music may not be at the top of the list of things to organise for your wedding, but it’s still an important element to decide on in plenty of time before your big day. To help you consider the best way to choose your music, we've put together a handy guide.


Your wedding soundtrack begins as everyone starts to arrive for the wedding. You need to think about your choice of entrance music, but also, you need to decide about the filler music while your guests gather and wait.

At this point, guests will be talking, and there will be some hustle and bustle as people look for seats and greet others. Therefore, it’s recommended to choose something that isn't too overpowering. Light classical music, a string quartet, or a simple piano track is perfect for setting a romantic and subtle atmosphere.


The pre-processional is a slightly more solemn moment, prior to the ceremony. At this point, you’re relying on your music to signal a shift in the mood, and prompt your guests to quiet as they await your entrance.

There is no need to choose a specific pre-processional piece. An experienced musician will be able to seamlessly create this shift with a change in the tempo, volume, or speed of their playing. If you would like to choose something specific, be sure that flows nicely into the processional music.


The big moment, your entrance. The choice of music here will depend very much on your own personal musical taste, the venue and how formal the day is. But remember that music will be played both as you enter and exit the ceremonial room or location, so you’ll need to explore a few ideas.

There are no rules on which music you have to choose, so it’s a great opportunity to let your personality shine through. Whether it's traditional, modern, or upbeat, ultimately you want to choose a piece that reflects you as a couple and the love you have for each other.

Signing the register

Once you've exchanged vows, there is the register signing. This takes around ten minutes, so you may want to factor this in when you choose your songs. A little like the pre-ceremony music, you want to choose something that is going to lead into the recessional songs.

At this point, the majority of your guests are likely to return to mingling and sipping champagne, so you want this section to be very much background music.

Wedding breakfast

The decision on whether or not to have background music playing throughout your meal is a personal one, and there is no right answer. Perhaps your string musicians will continue to play softly in the background, or you may opt to play some gentle tracks electronically. Try and choose something that isn't too intrusive or loud, to allow people to chat. If your venue represents a specific theme, it could be fun to match the musical genre to it throughout this portion of your wedding.

First dance

Your first dance is a magical and romantic moment, and so it deserves an important song choice. Whether it’s the song that was playing when you first met, or one which contains lyrics that represent the depth of your love, choosing your first dance song is a fun process.

If you wish your first song to be performed live, be sure to listen to your chosen singer or band playing it beforehand, to ensure that it lives up to your expectations.


The reception is where the fun begins, as your guests fill the dance floor and celebrate alongside you and your new husband / wife. From a live band to a DJ, be sure to base this choice on your own personal music taste.

Whichever songs you request, be sure they will get people up and dancing. Reputable wedding bands will come with all the equipment needed and should be open to special requests as well.

Though there may seem to be a lot of musical decisions to be made, you’ll find you only need one or two live performers and some pre-recorded tracks to create the perfect musical playlist for your wedding.

This post was written by wed2b, a bridal store in the UK and Europe.