Today's Bride

Must-Play Songs for Your Wedding

The entertainment for your reception is arguably one of the most important aspects of your wedding planning. You have to find the right performer, provide a must-play and do-not-play list, and pray that the dance floor is filled all night long. But have you considered which songs will be played for some of the most important moments of your life? We’ve provided our favorite wedding songs for the wedding processional and recessional, entrance, first dance, mother-of, and father-of dances.

CEREMONY

bride’s entrance

Wedding Songs | OH Snap! Photography | As seen on TodaysBride.com

OH Snap! Photography

Walking down the aisle for your wedding is the moment every little girl dreams of. Though you may not register which song is playing as your vision is focused on the man at the end of the aisle, you choose the traditional Wedding March or romantic lyrics, you should put thought into what message the song will send. It should reflect your relationship. Whether or not you hear it as you walk down the aisle, the meaning will be sentimental forever. Here are our Top 5 favorite songs to walk down the aisle to.

  • Wedding March by Mendelssohn
  • Bridal Chorus by Wagner
  • Canon in D by Pachelbel
  • A Thousand Years by Christina Perri
  • Can’t Help Falling in Love With You by Ingrid Michaelson

recessional

Wedding Songs | JazzyMae Photography | As seen on TodaysBride.com

JazzyMae Photography

A bride typically walks down the aisle at a slower gait, allowing the guests to ooh and ahh over her gown and giving the photographer enough time to get photos of the bride, her father, and the groom’s reaction. Because of this, the processional song typically has a slower rhythm. The recessional music, however, should be upbeat and celebratory! After months and years of planning, you are finally married to the love of your life! Don’t feel obligated to rein in your excitement. Choose a fun song with a bouncy beat and lyrics that reflect your joy and allow you to dance back up the aisle, like one of the ones below!

  • I Do by Colbie Caillat *Not currently available on Spotify
  • Accidentally In Love by Counting Crows
  • All You Need is Love by The Beatles
  • Best Day of My Life by American Authors
  • Stuck Like Glue by Sugarland

RECEPTION

Entrance

Wedding Songs | LMAC Photography | As seen on TodaysBride.com

LMAC Photography

From the type of music your guests can expect to dance to, to the structure of the evening and the level of formality, your reception entrance song choice is important! After all, with all the technology, it will be well-documented – and shared all over social media – for years to come. How can you differentiate yourself and do something never before seen? Our best advice is to just be you! Whether you decide to go all out with a choreographed dance or have your bridal party show off their dance moves, the song you choose will set the tone for the rest of the evening.

  • Can’t Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake
  • I Gotta Feeling by the Black Eyed Peas
  • The Way You Make Me Feel by Michael Jackson
  • Raise Your Glass by P!nk
  • Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon

 

first dance

Wedding Songs | Sabrina Hall Photography | as seen on TodaysBride.com

Sabrina Hall Photography

The first dance shared between you and your new spouse is one of the most memorable and emotional moments of your reception. It’s one of the only moments that you’ll get to be alone with him or her – especially if you don’t have a first look. That may sound silly considering there are 100+ people watching you dance, but trust us, you won’t even notice them. You’ll be sucked into your spouse’s eyes as you sing along with the lyrics of these popular first dance songs.

  • Perfect Duet by Ed Sheeran and Beyonce
  • Die a Happy Man by Thomas Rhett
  • Marry Me by Train
  • Turning Page by Sleeping at Last
  • Lucky by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat

Father-Daughter Dance

Wedding Songs | Orchard Photography | As seen on TodaysBride.com

Orchard Photography

It’s hard to say which moment with your father is more emotional – when he gives you away at the ceremony or when you dance together. Your dad was the first man you ever loved, and he showed you how a princess like you should be treated. Whether you choose a slow tear-jerker or an oldie-but-goodie your dad sang a lot in your childhood, this song choice should be sentimental to your relationship. And if you think you won’t cry, think again. There’s no getting out of that – especially if you choose one of these 5 songs!

  • Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle
  • Stand by Me by Ben E. King
  • I Loved Her First by Heartland
  • Isn’t She Lovely by Stevie Wonder
  • Count on Me by Bruno Mars

mother-son dance

Wedding Songs | BCR Studios by Brad | As seen on TodaysBride.com

BCR Studios by Brad

Because the wedding is typically all about the bride, the groom and mother-of-the-groom often get overlooked. The Mother-Son dance is your chance to take center stage – literally – and share this joyous moment with each other. One helpful tip to the grooms: don’t subject your mom endless swaying back and forth like your first homecoming dance. Take a lesson to learn a few basic steps. Your mom has done so much for you throughout your life; this is one easy way you can pay her back and prove she’s raised a gentleman.

  • Wind Beneath my Wings by Bette Midler
  • My Wish by Rascal Flatts
  • A Song for Mama by Boys II Men
  • I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston
  • You Are the Sunshine of My Life by Stevie Wonder

While the bride may have a few suggestions on which song could be used for this dance, the music should be selected by the groom as a surprise to his mom, or chosen between the two of them.


When choosing your main wedding songs, be sure to listen to the entirety of the song. You don’t want to be stuck dancing to a 5-minute long song and having to covertly signal your DJ to end it. Likewise, be sure to request clean versions of any explicit songs. Talk to your DJ, band, and/or musicians to see which songs they play most often for these eventful dances and if they have any recommendations.

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