Traditional Ceremony Songs for Religious Weddings

Traditional Ceremony Songs

Before you start searching for popular ceremony songs on youtube or google, you need to know what songs your ceremony musician can play; more importantly,  what type of music is appropriate for your ceremony location.  Most churches do not allow secular music.

Secular: not pertaining to or connected with religion; according to dictionary.com.

A good example of a secular song is “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri.   It’s a popular instrumental song for wedding ceremonies although it’s not considered a sacred song.  You can listen to it here. If you are getting married in a church be sure you understand what music they will and will not allow.  Even though a song seems appropriate to you, it simply may not be allowed inside a place of worship.


Here is a list of popular songs for the prelude, seating of the grandmothers, seating of the mothers, processional, bridal processional, recessional and the postlude.


Music playing as guests are arriving.

You don’t list the prelude songs in your wedding program, so why spend the time selecting each and every song? Let your ceremony musician determine what he or she will play during the prelude.  Let’s face it, do you really want to sit down and select an hours worth of music?   

Seating of the Grandmothers 
Seating of the Mothers 

You can choose one song for the grandmothers and mothers to enter to or, one song specifically for the grandmothers and a different song for the mothers.

  • “Ave Marie”  Schubert
  • “How Beautiful”  Paris
  • “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”  Bach
  • “Arioso”  Bach
  • “How Deep the Fathers Love For Us”  Townend
  • “Like a River Glorious”  ARR. RANEY
  • “Surely the Presence”  Wolfe
  • “Come Thou Fount”  Nettleton
  • “Be Thou My Vision”  arr. Tornquist“In Christ Alone”  Townend
  • “As the Deer”  arr. Labenske
  • “Seek Ye First” Lafferty
  • “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” Raney

Processional (1-2 or more songs) 

 Song(s) playing as the bridal party enters.  

You need at least one song for the processional, but two are more common. You can choose one song for the entrance of the officiant, groom and best man and one song for the entrance of the bridesmaids.  Another option is to use one song for both bridesmaids and groomsmen.  

If you have a large wedding party you may need up to three songs for the processional.  


  • “Rondeau”  Mouret
  • “Trumpet Tune”  Purcell
  • “Te Deum”
  • “Festival March” Handel


  • “Canon in D”  Pachelbel
  • “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”   Bach
  • “Te Deum”  Charpenter
  • “As The Deer”  Labenske

Bridal Processional

 Song played as the bride enters.

  • “Trumpet Voluntary” Stanley
  • “The Prince of Denmark’s March” Clarke
  • “Bridal Chorus”  Wagner
  • “Feather Theme”  Silvestri


Song playing as the wedding party exits

  • “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee” Beethoven
  • “The Prince of Denmark’s March”
  • “Trumpet Voluntary” Stanley
  • “The Wedding March”  Mendelssohn
  • “Hornpipe”  Handel
  • “Ode to Joy”  Beethoven
  • “Allegro Maestoso”  Handel 


 Song played as guests are exiting the ceremony.

  • “Recessional From Solomon” Handel
  • “Crown Him With Many Crowns”  DIDEMATA
  • “How Great Thou Art”  O Store gud

Popular Songs for Solo’s

  • “Surely the Presence”  
  • “Holy Spirit”
  • “The Gift of Love”
  • “How Beautiful”
  • “The Prayer”
  • “Psalm 139”
  • “How Deep the Father’s Love For Us”
  • “In Christ Alone”
  • “Come Thou Fount”







I put my heart and soul into my client’s planning experience.

over two hundred fifteen weddings since 2010

learn about our planning services

Free Download

education for fellow wedding planners

How to Start Your Own Wedding Planning Business

How to Start a Wedding Planning Business

download the free GUIDE

our full service wedding planning process


additional resources for wedding planners

Design questionnaire template


Client budget and vendor questionnaire


visit the full shop