How do you choose your wedding day music?

Choosing the music for your wedding day can be a drawn out process – both of you need to sit down and figure it out. In between cake testing, invitation-addressing and bridesmaid wrangling, it can end up being one of those jobs you procrastinate on! Luckily Southern Bride Verified member Casey Clydesdale is along today to share some of her tips for how to choose your wedding day music. I’ll let Casey pass on her advice in her own words:

I have found, through my own experience in helping others with the musical aspects of wedding planning, that each individual expects different things for the music for their big day.  Some are wanting music with meaningful lyrics, others want favourite songs just because they are favourites. Either way, it is important to have someone to help you through this and to be accommodating to whatever you decide.


Ceremony music selection

Within a ceremony, there are generally 3-4 main songs – the first being a song for walking down the aisle (the processional).  Obviously this is a big choice and I have found that brides often choose songs with lovely words or a song which has a lot of meaning to them and their partner. The best ceremony songs are ones in which there is an instrumental or your musician is able to create an instrumental so there are no lyrics being sung while the bride is walking in, this ensures all of the focus is on her and gives a real ‘goosebump’ moment – which I am a sucker for!

The second (and possibly third) songs are for while the register is being signed, sometimes one song may be enough, however, sometimes things can take a while longer and a second song will be required – it is always a fantastic thing to discuss with your musician so they are prepared to keep entertaining your guests while you sign your life away and get the perfect snaps. Couples tend to choose songs with lyrics they love for these two songs as their guests have the chance to sit and listen to these lyrics.

The final song within a ceremony is the ‘exit’ song (the recessional).  This is an extremely happy time so it is usually a very happy song that couples choose to leave their ceremony to. Choosing an upbeat song is also a great choice as it leaves guests feeling happy; however, it is not a necessity as there are many lovely slow songs to end your ceremony with also!

Recommended Reading

Check out a long list of ceremony songs (including some great recommendations by Casey) here.


Reception music selection

The final big choice in music for a wedding day is most definitely the first dance – there are other options of reception entrance songs, cake cutting songs, father-daughter dance, bouquet throwing songs… the list goes on and on (make sure to discuss with your musician, band or DJ if you are wanting anything specific, because that’s their job and they should be more than willing to help you out in any way possible!).

Back to the first dance… this is extremely personal and should reflect who you and your partner are as a couple, whether you have ‘a song’ or even just a favourite, it should be a song which makes you both extremely happy. Through planning my own wedding at the moment, and because I am an extremely fussy musician, I have found choosing a song to be rather challenging – but we have made progress by simply listening to music together, Spotify is wonderful for this! We have found so many new possibilities through just researching to find something we both love.

There is no right or wrong for a first dance and there most definitely isn’t a ‘List of Ideal First Dance Songs’ I can give – my advice, pick something special, something you both fall in love with, something that means something to you both!

Recommended Reading

Thank you Casey for sharing your experience! It can be a challenging “to-do” (especially when you and your spouse-to-be have different musical tastes) – so having some advice for where to start is really helpful! You can find Casey at

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