Your wedding ceremony will be all about the both of you, the deep love that you share, and that special moment where you exchange wedding vows, make a lifelong commitment, and finally become a married couple. Your ceremony might be attended by your closest family and friends who have been looking forward to this day since you announced your engagement. They have come to see the two of you gaze into each other’s eyes and publicly declare your love for each other. For your wedding ceremony, you will need to choose the most heartfelt readings that will be recited by some of the most special people in your life. You will also select ceremony music that will come from the deepest parts of your heart. The music that you select for each significant element of the wedding ceremony can vary from the traditional classical to non-traditional contemporary selections and anything in-between.
In this article, I will cover considering an all-instrumental playlist for your wedding ceremony. But won’t it be boring without any vocals? I hear you ask! Well in days gone by, I would have probably said yes, as instrumental music at wedding ceremonies was predominately classical perennial favourites such as Pachelbel’s “Canon in D”, Bach’s “Air on a G String” and of course Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March”. These days couples are spoilt for choice; from classical arrangements of contemporary songs through to guitar and piano-based covers that include love songs, pop hits, urban tracks, rock classics, alternative tunes, and more!
Instrumental music is actually a great choice for a ceremony for the following reasons…
It is simple to the listener and allows for conversation without the distraction of lyrics. Think about when your guests are arriving at your ceremony. There will be guests greeting each other. There may be some who have not seen each other for a while and wish to start catching up. Appropriate instrumental music during the prelude will not hinder this process, whilst still setting the tone for the marriage about to happen. Instrumental music is easy on the ears and can set a soothing mood and gentle soundscape for your wedding ceremony.
It permits more choice as it allows couples to select songs that may not be 100 percent “wedding friendly” either due to some lyrical content or musical style of the original song. An instrumental version can make any music a sweet song.
Here is a selection of suggested instrumental tracks that may be perfect for your wedding ceremony. Whilst there are some which may be considered standards, I have tried to steer away from them to keep the suggestions fresh and will help make your wedding ceremony your own. In some cases, I have multiple artists listed so that you may select between the different versions of that particular song.
Music that is played as your guests arrive for the ceremony. You will need 20 – 30 minutes of music, which may be chilled, upbeat, or appropriate to the vibe you desire. A mix that will appeal to all age groups and speak to the occasion will work best.
“Somewhere Over The Rainbow” – Tommy Emmanuel (Judy Garland & others)
“Fields Of Gold” – Tommy Emmanuel (Sting)
“Meant To Be” – Steve Petrunak (Bebe Rexta Feat. Florida Georgia Line)
“Love Story” – ItsAMoney (Taylor Swift)
“Say You Won’t Let Go” – Daniel Jang (James Arthur)
“Thinking Out Loud” – Bridesmaids Quartet (Ed Sheeran)
“Better Together” – Romeo Loves Juliet (Jack Johnson)
“And I Love Her” – United Guitar Players (The Beatles)
“Kiss Me” – Steve Petrunak (Sixpence None The Richer)
“Here Comes The Sun” – Denis Turbide (The Beatles)
“Mr. Brightside” – ELEW (Killers)
“Shallow” – Mareks Radzevics (Bradley Cooper & Lady GaGa)
“Marry Me” – United Guitar Players (Train)
“Best Day Of My Life” – Vitamin String Quartet (American Authors)
Music for a spouse and/or attendants as they walk down the aisle.
Depending on the number of attendants in the wedding party and distance they need to cover, generally, 1 or 2 songs are needed, however, if using one song, ensure that it is longer than required, so that, in the event that something unplanned occurs to slow down the procession (high heel sinking into the damp ground, sand making it difficult to walk, junior attendants not behaving as expected, etc), there will be no dead air!
Amongst my suggestions, you will find some classics and some up-tempo selections, including one you may not have considered possible for a wedding ceremony!
“Can’t Help Falling In Love” – United Guitar Players (Elvis Presley)
“Perfect” – Allegretto / Joel Miranda (Ed Sheeran) This would be ‘perfect’ for the attendant’s processional!
(This cannot be purchased anywhere and to obtain a copy for your wedding you will need to contact Joel Miranda directly via email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
“Perfect” – The Piano Guys or Andre Soueid or Brooklyn Duo or Andre Soueid & DJ Tronky (Ed Sheeran)
“All Of Me” – Eddie van der Meer or Brooklyn Duo (John Legend)
“A Thousand Years” – The Piano Guys (Christina Perri)
“Marry You” – Piano Dreamers or United Guitar Players (Bruno Mars)
“All I Want Is You” – Bridesmaids Quartet or Vitamin String Quartet (U2)
“Get Lucky” – Nimai Walcott or Vitamin String Quartet (Daft Punk)
“Ants Marching/Ode To Joy” – The Piano Guys (Dave Matthews Band/Beethoven)
“Iris” – Virtuoso (Goo Goo Dolls)
“Wifey” – Next (Next)
“You Make Me Wanna” – Usher (Usher)
“Let’s Get Married” – Jagged Edge (Jagged Edge)
“Thunderstruck” – 2Cellos (AC/DC)
Music for when the newly wedded couple & witnesses sign the official documents. You should have 2 songs selected for the signing of the marriage register. Depending on if there are any additional elements such as ring warming, sand blending, dove/butterfly release, hand fastening, etc, additional music may be required, if appropriate.
The songs for the register signing should reflect the union which just occurred and the love of the couple for each other.
“I’m Yours” – Simply Three (Joshua Radin)
“Nothing Else Matters” – Brooklyn Duo (Metallica)
“Love Me Like You Do” – DSharp (Ellie Goulding)
“Nothing On You” – Piano Tribute Players (Bruno Mars)
“Grow Old With You” – United Guitar Players (Adam Sandler)
Music for when the newly married couple exits the ceremony. You will need 1 song for this. I have intentionally selected upbeat songs here to celebrate the happiness and joy of the couple.
“Forever” – Josh Vietti (Chris Brown)
(This song is no longer available for purchase on any of the major platforms. Suggest that you try and locate and purchase a second-hand copy of the CD “Best of Both Worlds” if you wish this for your wedding.)
“Can’t Stop This Feeling” – The Piano Guys or The Muses or Vitamin String Quartet (Justin Timberlake)
“Shake It Off” – Josh Vietti (Taylor Swift)
“Yeah!” – Josh Vietti (Usher)
“Me & My Cello (Happy Together)” – The Piano Guys (The Turtles)
“Feel Good Inc” – Luca Stricagnoli (Gorillaz)
“Never Gonna Give You Up” – Purple Lions (Rick Astley)
(music as guests congratulate the newly married couple, have a group photograph, or just mingle with the other guests).
Depending on the circumstances, 15 minutes of music should be sufficient. This music is important as it will set the tone for the reception to follow….and if some of the guests happen to break out into dance following the ceremony, it is a very good sign!
“Feel It Still” – Lance Allen & Mark Kross (Portugal The Man)
“Bohemian Rhapsody” – William Joseph & Simply Three (Queen)
“Rolling In The Deep” – Rachel Pierce (Adele)
“Give Me Everything” – Josh Vietti (Pitbull)
“Without You” – The Piano Guys or Josh Vietti (David Guetta Feat. Usher)
“Titanium” – Mike Dawes (David Guetta Feat. Sia)
“Havana” – Robert Mendoza (Camila Cabello Feat. Young Thug)
“Danza Kuduro” – Josh Vietti (Don Omar Feat. Lucenzo)
I have included a curated Spotify playlist below so you can hear all of these for yourself to see if any might fit the feel of your day!
Spotify Playlist – Instrumental Music for Wedding Ceremony
About DJ:Plus! Entertainment: DJ:Plus! Entertainment is a premium, boutique-style, wedding DJ & wedding MC entertainment service, designed to offer creative planning to make a wedding so much more personal, engaging and meaningful, resulting in an original celebration that totally represents each couple and is heaps of FUN.
Header Image by Luke Going Photography of Natalie & Chris’ Whimsical & Romantic Backyard Wedding