You spend months (maybe years) planning out almost every moment of your wedding day. So why shouldn’t you plan out wedding music? Now, you can with this full list of songs needed for a wonderful wedding day.
Before we jump to the full list, it’s important to think about the music you’ll need before you walk down the aisle. This is the time to think about wedding playlists for your time in your dressing room getting ready for your big day. You can also plan out your engagement party, showers, rehearsal dinner, and other pre-wedding get togethers.
For your ceremony, you’ll need at least four different songs, including the prelude, processional, bridal processional, and recessional. The prelude is the music that is played when guests enter the ceremony. It is followed by the processional, which is played as attendants walk down the aisle. Bridal processional music is for that beautiful moment when the bride walks down the aisle. After the ceremony, recessional music is played as the wedding party and newlyweds exit. Some couples add other music to their list of wedding songs for the ceremony, especially during key moments. Ceremony music can be played by instrumentalists or a wedding DJ.
Beautiful wedding ceremony music is followed by beautiful cocktail hour music. Again, this list of wedding songs needed for this time can be played by instrumentalists or a wedding DJ. Many wedding DJs offer this service as part of a package. If the DJ charges by the hour, you should ask them before hiring if cocktail hour music is included (along with these other wedding DJ questions). Cocktail hour music flows into the more upbeat songs of the wedding reception.
The list of wedding songs needed for a wedding reception is markedly longer. After all, this is your chance to celebrate! It shouldn’t be surprising then, that the wedding party entrance song is typically and upbeat song. (Note: it doesn’t have to be upbeat! Talk to your wedding DJ for recommendations.) If you want to spice up your entrance, use one of these wedding party entrance ideas.
Once you’ve arrived, it’s time for dinner and toasts. You’ll need music for this time too, so guests can enjoy the atmosphere and each other’s company. If you’re using a wedding DJ, ask them if they can provide dinner music and provide a microphone for toasts. (Not all wedding DJs and bands do.) A wedding DJ can also, if needed, emcee the affair.
When dinner is done, it’s time for the traditional cake cutting (or cupcakes or another non-cake dessert). If you’re using a wedding DJ, ask them to make an announcement for guests and to coordinate the big moment with your videographer and photographer. (Tip: the best wedding DJs know how to work with other professionals to get your key moments on film.)
Now for the wedding dance! The wedding dance typically includes a few traditional dances, though you can customize your reception with games and dances—if you hire a band or wedding DJ that customizes their playlist to your preferences. (Make sure you ask your wedding DJ this question when contacting them.) Typically the wedding dance includes these key moments:
- Wedding Party Announcement
- First Dance (use these first dance ideas to take it to another level)
- Mother-Son Dance
- Father-Daughter Dance
- Last Dance & Exit
You can come up with your own ideas for these dances (with this wedding DJ checklist), or you can ask your wedding DJ for recommendations. (To spice up your reception, use these parent-child dance ideas and first dance ideas.) Remember, have fun!