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Choosing Your Wedding Songs

Harlow Garland Weddings

Thank you to our wonderful readers for taking advantage of our "Ask Rhonnie" facility, the place for you to ask your wedding planning questions and have them answered by our director with her 16 years of wedding planning experience.

We have seven call-ins last week about wedding songs:

  • What song should we play as we walk down the aisle?
  • What song should play during the signing?
  • What about the recessional?
  • What about our first dance?!

Yes, there are indeed a number of song cues and an ever expanding catalogue of music to choose from. When it comes down to it, it's all about songs that have meaning to you and your partner - whether that's something romantic and soft or something bouncy and comedic, the songs should be relevant to you.

The main two you need to worry about are the processional (walking down the aisle) and the first dance because for the signing, you're really not paying attention to music and the recessional you're too busy fielding congratulations and salutations from excited guests.

The signing is usually just something instrumental and soft - you don't want to excite the guests too much at this point because it'll be all the more difficult to hush them and continue the ceremony afterwards.

The recessional is common for more upbeat bouncy numbers that get the guests riled up and act out the excitement musically for both the wedding party and guests.

If you don't have a couple's song or songs that you can think of, consider songs you've shared but haven't reserved as your own - perhaps a song he added to a playlist for you, a song he mentioned makes him think of you or her favourite romantic song.

If absolutely nothing springs to mind, it's time to head to the catalogue. Apps like Spotify can be brilliant in this scenario because once you set up the type of music you're looking for, it'll start making suggestions, same with iheartradio and Pandora. Youtube has some great 'wedding playlists' you can rifle through for inspiration or you can of course turn to the classics - Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra.

There are no rules around what you can and can't play - one couple hip hopped down the aisle to Chris Brown, another sauntered down to Christina Perri's "A Thousand Years" - it's all about choosing the style of your wedding and the music that fits.

A European themed wedding at a private venue would benefit from a string quartet or Spanish guitarist, even a harpist would be an amazing choice.

A busier venue that you don't have exclusive use of would be better suited to music cued up by your Maestro for the day - preselected songs where the volume can be adequately controlled to suit the noise of the day.

A church with it's incredible acoustics is best suited to a piano, vocals with strings or solely acoustic harmonies.

If you're planning more of a hootenanny that a refined event, an elegant instrumental quartet simply won't fit the bill.

One thing to bear in mind is lyrics - you may find a beautiful melody to saunter down the aisle to but if the lyrics are crooning about lost love or death, it's not going to be an appropriate song.

We've put together a playlist of some common wedding songs and some tha twe just love - whether you choose to use them for an aisle song, a first dance or the filler music during the ceremony, we hope you'll find some inspiration!


Remember we offer FREE advice to all couples planning their wedding themselves - we want to ensure everyone can achieve their dream day!