Wedding Formalities – what they are and how to choose your music (Pt 1 – your Wedding Ceremony)

At some point during your wedding planning process, your DJ and celebrant are going to ask you for a list of songs to play for your formalities. While some couples are all over it like white on rice, others may have no clue what a recessional is or what song you should choose for your cake cutting.

In this two-part series, we’re going to break down each part of your wedding ceremony and reception (the parts that need songs, anyway) and explain what they are, how to do them, and what kind of song to choose.

What songs do I need to choose for my wedding ceremony?

Your marriage celebrant will cover a lot of this with you, but we’d like to throw in our two cents worth since we’re often asked to manage wedding ceremony music (and nerding out on music is kind of our thing).

Processional Music

The processional is a fancy name for your ‘walking down the aisle’ song. The song you choose for your processional is a very personal choice and should be something that feels special to you. It will likely be something romantic, or a song that refers to getting married. This isn’t a song that someone can choose for you, but if you’re really struggling to come up with something, we’ve got some processional music ideas right here.

Remember, you’ll be walking in time to the music, so don’t choose anything too fast or too slow.

Some couples like to have their bridesmaids and groomsmen walk down the aisle to a different song which can be more laidback and fun. If you have young flower girls and page boys, you might choose a song for them that will match their cuteness.

To make your walk down the aisle next level, ask your DJ to edit your processional song. A professional song edit will be the exact length of time it takes you to walk down the aisle. Rather than starting the song at the beginning and fading out randomly 30 seconds later, your DJ can create an edit from part of the song (such as the chorus) so it’s perfectly timed for your aisle walk.

Songs for Signing your Marriage Certificate

Once you guys have said your vows, exchanged rings and smooched, there’s the register signing to make it all official. This can take a good ten minutes or so while photos are taken and you and your witnesses sign your certificate.

You need to choose a couple of songs for your certificate signing  so your guests have something to listen to while the formalities are happening. Something upbeat and loved-up is perfect here.

Recessional Music

Your recessional is when you guys walk/dance/skip back up the aisle as a married couple. All the serious stuff is done so let your song choice reflect the change in vibe. It’s time to celebrate and confetti all over the place!

You can have a lot of fun with your recessional song or keep the romantic feels. Here’s our pick of recessional song ideas.

Now that you guys are officially married (awww), it’s off with you for photos while your guests enjoy a few rounds of Finska and some canapés.

We’ll meet you back here for everything you need to know about the music for your wedding reception formalities.