When you close your eyes and imagine a bride walking down the aisle, what do you hear? Most likely, it's strains of Mendelssohn's "The Wedding March" or Pachelbel's "Canon in D Major." Classical wedding music provides an elegance unlike any other, so it's no wonder so many brides are opting to include these instrumental processional melodies as a part of their big day.
If the tried-and-true classics feel a bit dated or just inauthentic to you and your partner's vibe, find instrumental versions of more contemporary hits for a similar feel.
Though we're all about updating and personalizing every part of a ceremony and reception to your liking, there's something about traditional wedding songs that strike up the most sentimental feelings. Plus, classical music is timeless, so you won't look back at your wedding in 10 years and regret picking a trendy song. Many brides think they should include at least one classical tune in their wedding playlist, but after listening to these, we have a feeling that more than one will make the cut.
The 62 Most Popular Wedding Songs by Year
Sit back, relax, and enjoy our list of the 64 best classical wedding songs that will have your wedding guests swooning.
"Canon in D, P.37," by Johann Pachelbel, Edward Brewer, and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Why We Love It: The sound of soft, elegant violins will make for a graceful wedding processional.
"A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op. 61: IX. Wedding March," by Felix Mendelssohn, London Symphony Orchestra, and Peter Maag
Why We Love It: The wedding processional we’ve heard in all the Hollywood film weddings. Still a classic.
"Wedding March," by Andrew Grossman, Lana Ross, and Anna Moor
Why We Love It: A violin-heavy version of the traditional wedding processional we all know and love.
"Suite Bergamasque: III. Clair de Lune (arr. A. Reed): Clair de Lune," by Claude Debussy, Alfred Reed, Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Keith Clark
Why We Love It: The soft, classical tone of this song makes it perfect for background music during multiple parts of your wedding.
"'Bridal Chorus' 'Treulich Geführt,' DGG, Lohengrin, Act 3," by Andrew Grossman, Anna Moor, and Lana Ross
Why We Love It: With a focus on the harp, this version of the wedding march is simply delightful.
"Ave Maria," by Johann Sebastian Bach, Charles Gounod, Nora Shulman, and Judy Loman
Why We Love It: You'll find this classical instrumental duet soothing to the soul.
"Water Music Suite: Air," by George Frideric Handel, London Symphony Orchestra, and George Szell
Why We Love It: The violins and classical pace will make you feel as though you’ve walked into British masterpiece theater.
"Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, BWV 147," by Andrew Grossman, Anna Moor, and Lana Ross
Why We Love It: Not too much and not too little, the warm, uplifting pace of this song will be cherished by many.
"Lakmé: El Dúo de la Flor," by Mado Robin, Libero De Luca, Agnes Disney, Jean Borthayre, Claudine Collart, Simeon LeMaitre, and Léo Delibes
Why We Love It: The bespoke bride will appreciate the soft opera voices that sound downright majestic.
"Concerto No. 1 in E major, Op. 8, RV 269, 'La Primavera' (Spring): I. Allegro," by Antonio Vivaldi, Alberto Lizzio, and Musici di San Marco
Why We Love It: A song of merriment, the faster pace with violins makes this an uplifting choice.
"Lohengrin, WWV 75, Act 2: 'Gesegnet Soll Sie Schreiten' (Attacca)," by Leonore Kirschstein, Heinz Imdahl, Hans Helm, Walter Kreppel, Herbert Schachtschneider, and Ruth Hesse
Why We Love It: The various horns give this song a dreamlike quality. Get ready to float down the aisle with this angelic tune humming softly in the background.
"Trumpet Voluntary," by Elixer
Why We Love It: The serenading trumpets make this a great background song for the bridal party as they enter the wedding.
"Ode to Joy," by The O'Neill Brothers
Why We Love It: Don't underestimate the power of a terrific piano serenade. Simply breathtaking.
"Serenade, 'Eine Kleine Nachtmusik,' K 525: II. Romanza - Andante," by the Latvian Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra
Why We Love It: Set the tone for your entire wedding with a classic Mozart melody.
"The 4 Seasons: Violin Concerto in F Minor, Op. 8, No. 4, RV 297, 'L'inverno' (Winter): II. Largo," by Karoly Botvay
Why We Love It: Make a dramatic entrance (or exit) with this fast tune featuring a heavy violin.
"Salut d'Amour," by the Mostar Symphony Orchestra
Why We Love It: A warm melody that's suitable for the first dance.
"Cantata, BWV 202, 'Wedding Cantata': Weichet nur, Betrübte Schatten," by Musica Antiqua New York
Why We Love It: Three words: soft, inviting, and contemplative. This relaxing melody is perfect for church nuptials.
"The Carnival of the Animals: XIV. The Swan," by Bernhard Jarvis
Why We Love It: The piano pacing fits a processional to a T.
"The Blue Danube, Op. 314," by the Metropolitan Philharmonic Orchestra
Why We Love It: Be prepared to turn your wedding into the Viennese Opera House with this waltz-worthy piece.
"The Marriage of Figaro, K. 492: Act I - Overture," by the Metropolitan Philharmonic Orchestra
Why We Love It: Unleash festivities with this well-known classical tune deserving of a standing ovation.
“Arioso,” by Johann Sebastian Bach
Why We Love It: The soft piano channels pure elegance and sophistication.
“Fur Elise,” by Ludwig Van Beethoven
Why We Love It: If you learned to play the piano, then you'll recognize this soft, classic melody.
"Solomon, HWV 67: The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba," by Georg Friedrich Handel
Why We Love It: As the title hints, this upbeat song was practically made for the processional.
"Gymnopédie No.1," by Erik Satie
Why We Love It: This soft, slow tune would be perfect for the first dance or a poignant entrance.
"Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV 351," by Georg Friedrich Handel
Why We Love It: Cue the pomp and circumstance: You'll feel like royalty with this entrance-making instrumental number playing in the backdrop.
"Bridal Chorus From 'Lohengrin,'" by Richard Wagner
Why We Love It: Here comes the bride: You'll achieve a certain elegance with the German lyrics.
"Pie Jesu," by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Why We Love It: This soft, angelic melody is soothing for the soul.
"Ave Verum Corpus," by Mozart
Why We Love It: This piece from Mozart will make you feel as though you’re transcending to the altar.
"Una Furtiva Lagrima," by Gaetano Donizetti
Why We Love It: You can practically feel the romance coming alive. This magnificent melody would work nicely for a slow dance tune.
"Cello Suite No. 1," by Bach
Why We Love It: Behold, the cello in all its glory.
"Carolan's Concerto," by The Chieftains
Why We Love It: A little Irish flair to mix up the classical vibes.
"The Four Seasons: Spring 1," by Vivaldi
Why We Love It: Outdoor nuptials? Get ready to fall in la-la-love with this upbeat melody evoking springtime in the countryside.
90 Best First Dance Songs for an Unforgettable Moment With Your Partner
"Wedding Day at Troldhauen, Op. 65, No. 6," by Edvard Grieg
Why We Love It: A truly magnificent composition to play during your wedding recital and reception.
"Les Troyens - Marche Troyenne," by Hector Berlioz
Why We Love It: Have your wedding party make a grand, memorable entrance with this special melody.
"March of the Priests From the Magic Flute," by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Why We Love It: A beautiful, regal arrangement suitable as the wedding party enters the room.
"Procession of Nobles," by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Why We Love It: A bold introduction for the newly married couple.
"Four Seasons, Winter, 2nd Movement," by Antonio Vivaldi
Why We Love It: Another of Vivaldi’s 'Seasons' strikes a nice balance of optimism and melancholy.
"The Prince of Denmark's March," by Jeremiah Clarke
Why We Love It: Yet another striking entry for the wedding party.
"The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba," by George Frideric Handel
Why We Love It: The Royals have great intros—enough said. We'd hire an orchestra to play this any day.
"Rondeau From 'Sinfonie de Fanfares,'" by Jean-Joseph Mouret
Why We Love It: Practically plucked out of 'Masterpiece Theatre,' this trumpet melody was made for the Viennese Waltz.
"Meditation From 'Thais,'" by Jules Massenet
Why We Love It: An extremely moving and soulful violin solo to commemorate your first dance as newlyweds.
"Orfeo ed Euridice - Dance of the Blessed Spirits," by Christoph Willibald Gluck
Why We Love It: A heavenly melody to inspire as you walk down the aisle.
"Water Music," by George Frideric Handel
Why We Love It: Bravo! This lengthy composition from Handel could last a majority of your ceremony.
"On Wings of Song," by Felix Mendelssohn
Why We Love It: Cue the waterworks! There's something so endearing about a great piano piece.
"'Alleluia' From 'Exsultate, jubilate,'" by Mozart
Why We Love It: An upbeat, spirited melody beautifully sung by an opera singer.
"Toccata (From Symphony for Organ No. 5)," by Charles-Marie Widor
Why We Love It: Spiritual yet intense organ music for a traditional church wedding.
"Symphony No. 5: Adagietto," by Gustav Mahler
Why We Love It: This composition is somber at times, but also quite calming and captivating.
"Egmont, Op. 84: Overture," by Ludwig van Beethoven
Why We Love It: Keep wedding guests on the edge of their seats with a faster-paced Beethoven classic.
"Bizet - L'Arlésienne Suite No. 1 & Suite No. 2," by Nathalie Stutzmann
Why We Love It: Transform your venue into a concert hall with this lovely processional song.
"The Magic Flute, K. 620: Overture," by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Why We Love It: A beautiful flute overture from Mozart for some imperial ambiance.
"Slavonic Dance No. 2, Op. 72," by Antonín Dvořák
Why We Love It: Play this soothing masterpiece for a long family processional.
"Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, K. 550: I. Allegro Molto," by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Why We Love It: Bring on the suspense with a Mozart piece that will leave guests scrambling to snag the bouquet.
"Carmen Suite No. 2: Habanera," by Georges Bizet
Why We Love It: Who better to tap than French composer, Georges Bizet, for an epic tango wedding dance song?
"Hungarian Dance No. 5 in G Minor," by Johannes Brahms
Why We Love It: A fast European-flavored wedding dance for all.
"Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, Op. 95, 'From the New World': II. Largo," by Antonín Dvořák
Why We Love It: An airy, light song for your processional entry.
"Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46: In the Hall of the Mountain King," by Edvard Grieg
Why We Love It: The build-up is maybe a bit intense but that's what makes it perfect for the garter toss.
"Pavane, Op. 50," by Gabriel Fauré
Why We Love It: A momentous occasion calls for a momentous composition. Play this calming piece for a slow dance or during your processional.
"Cavatina," by Stanley Myers
Why We Love It: Simply beautiful. Set the scene with some background music for your grand wedding exit.
"Messa Da Requiem: Dies Irae – Tuba Mirum," by Giuseppe Verdi
Why We Love It: An epic wedding song to include in your processional or bouquet toss.
"Finlandia, Op. 26," by Jean Sibelius
Why We Love It: Nothing says 'just got hitched' like a melodic piece to welcome the new couple.
"Adagio in G Minor for Strings and Organ (After T. Albinoni)," by Remo Giazotto
Why We Love It: If you're looking for something sentimental and deep, then this is it.
"Vocalise, Op. 34," by Sergei Rachmaninoff
Why We Love It: This uplifting background music will leave wedding guests feeling inspired.
"Radetzky March, Op. 228," by Johann Strauss I
Why We Love It: No one does it better than Strauss. This bold piece was made to be played during your bridal party's entrance.
"Carmina Burana: O Fortuna," by Carl Orff
Why We Love It: This dramatic and tense piece (note the harmonic chants) would be perfect for a bouquet or garter toss.
Bridal Chorus – Wagner
It's the most iconic wedding march ever written.
- Canon in D - Pachelbel.
- Ave Verum Corpus - Mozart.
- Bridal Chorus - Wagner.
- Pie Jesu - adapted by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
- Nella Fantasia (or Gabriel's Oboe) - Ennio Morricone.
- Jesu, Joy of Man Desiring - Bach.
- The Swan (Le Cygne) - Saint Saens.
Most likely, it's strains of Mendelssohn's "The Wedding March" or Pachelbel's "Canon in D Major." Classical wedding music provides an elegance unlike any other, so it's no wonder so many brides are opting to include these instrumental processional melodies as a part of their big day.What is the perfect wedding song? ›
- "You Are So Beautiful" by Joe Cocker.
- "Wonderful Tonight" by Eric Clapton.
- "Endless Love" by Diana Ross & Lionel Richie.
- "The Way You Look Tonight" by Frank Sinatra.
- "Unchained Melody" by The Righteous Brothers.
- "When I Fall in Love" by Nat King Cole.
- "Love Me Tender" by Elvis Presley.
Music and songs used during the wedding included the "Prince of Denmark's March", "I Vow to Thee, My Country", "Pomp and Circumstance No. 4" and the British National Anthem ("God Save the Queen").How long should song be for bride walking down aisle? ›
How Long Should a Wedding Processional Song Be? The wedding processional song is an important detail that must be well thought of when planning a wedding. On average, ceremony music should last around 3-4 minutes to allow the whole wedding entourage to participate in the processional.How many wedding processional songs do you need? ›
How many songs do you need for a wedding ceremony? There are three big moments to pick music for: both of your processionals (one song each) and the recessional. Your partner's processional could also be the song the wedding party walks down the aisle to, or they can have a tune all their own, as you'll have.What is the classical song that goes Dun Dun Dun Dun Dun Dun Dun Dun? ›
Ludwig van Beethoven 'Symphony No. 5': Dun Dun Dun Dunnnnn!What is the number one wedding song of 2022? ›
To do this, Hitched used Spotify's Playlist Miner to search for the most popular songs from the most popular public playlists that used the terms “weddings” and “first dance” within them and can reveal that the most popular wedding song for 2022 is Perfect Duet by Ed Sheeran featuring Beyoncé.What songs do you not play at a wedding? ›
- You Give Love a Bad Name – Bon Jovi. BonJoviVEVO. ...
- You're So Vain – Carly Simon. Carly Simon. ...
- Fake Love – Drake. One Dance. ...
- Mother In Law – Ernie K-Doe. MANNY MORA. ...
- All My Exes Live in Texas – George Strait. ...
- Love Stinks – J. ...
- Love Will Tear Us Apart – Joy Division. ...
- Highway To Hell- AC/DC.
- "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)" by Natalie Cole.
- "All You Need is Love" by The Beatles.
- "You Make My Dreams Come True" by Hall & Oates.
- "Beautiful Day" by U2.
- "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz.
- "Fly Me to the Moon" by Frank Sinatra.
- "On Top of the World" by Imagine Dragons.
- Come on Eileen – Dexy's Midnight Runners. ...
- All You Need is Love – The Beatles. ...
- (I've had) The Time of My Life – Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes. ...
- One Love – Bob Marley. ...
- Don't Stop Believing – Journey. ...
- Hey Jude – The Beatles. ...
- What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong.
The study found that "Unchained Melody" by The Righteous Brothers was the most popular choice overall, with classic love songs by Etta James, Frank Sinatra, and Elvis Presley earning a spot in the top 15.What is the most popular wedding hymn? ›
- Amazing Grace.
- Make Me a Channel of Your Peace.
- All Things Bright and Beautiful*
- Love Divine, All Loves Excelling.
- We Pledge to One Another.
- Praise My Soul the King Of Heaven.
- I Danced In The Morning (Lord of the Dance)
- Give Me Joy In My Heart.
It was never a hit single and got almost no play on Top 40 radio. There's even a dispute over the exact title. Yet “It's a Small World,” also known as “It's a Small, Small World” and “It's a Small World (After All),” is very likely the most played song in music history — nearly 50 million times.What is the most famous song all time? ›
- Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana.
- Imagine - John Lennon.
- One - U2.
- Billie Jean - Michael Jackson.
- Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen.
- Hey Jude - The Beatles.
- Like A Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan.
- I Can't Get No Satisfaction - Rolling Stones.
Lionel Richie's 1984 ballad 'Hello' was said to be Diana's favourite ever song. Speaking at a concert in 2015, Lionel told the audience: "Many years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Princess Diana and tonight we have Prince William here.What was Princess Diana's favorite hymn? ›
Powerful images show Prince Harry appearing to well up during a rendition of his mother Diana's favourite hymn as he married Meghan. The prince bowed his head and seemed to wipe away a tear as the gospel choir gave a rendition of Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer.What was Princess Diana's wedding song? ›
'I Vow to Thee My Country' - Gustav Holst.Who walks mother of bride down aisle? ›
Traditionally, a groomsman should walk the mother of the bride down the aisle. However, as with most details of a modern ceremony, the couple getting married is free to make any adjustments or choices they would like when wedding planning.
The groom's parents precede the bride's mother during the processional. Here's a rundown: After the ushers have seated all of the guests, the grandparents start up the aisle, followed by the groom's parents. Then the bride's mother takes her turn. She is the last to be seated before the bridal party procession begins.Who walks down the aisle first? ›
The Grandparents of the Bride: The bride's grandparents walk down the aisle first. Once they reach the front, they are then seated in the first row, on the right side. In Jewish ceremonies, the bride's family and guests sit on the right and the groom's family and friends sit on the left.Who walks first in processional? ›
1. Officiant. Your officiant is generally the first person to walk toward the altar, signifying the ceremony is about to commence.How many songs do you need for a 4 hour wedding reception? ›
If your reception lasts a few hours, the guests will get burned out from dancing the entire time. Inserting one slow song per 5 upbeat songs will allow you and the guests to relax and talk to each other.Does the groom walk down the aisle with music? ›
The groom, followed by his groomsmen, can walk down the aisle to a song that's just for them. The groom, followed by his groomsmen, can come in from stage left (the guests right) and get into place to a song just for the guys.What is the most beautiful melody in the world? ›
- Adagio in G Minor.
- Air (Air On The G String)
- Andante Cantabile.
- Ase's Death.
- Ave Maria.
- Ave Maria, Op. 52, No. ...
- Ave Verum (Jesu, Word Of God Incarnate)
- Mozart – Symphony No. ...
- Berlioz – Symphonie Fantastique. ...
- Mahler – Symphony No. ...
- Brahms – Symphony No. ...
- Shostakovich – Symphony No. ...
- Beethoven – Symphony No. 9 ('Choral') ...
- Tchaikovsky – Symphony No. 6 ('Pathétique') ...
- Rachmaninov – Symphony No. Indulgent, yes, but can you blame him?
- Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. ...
- Coriolan Overture, Op. 62 (0.99 €) [07:59] ...
- Symphony No. 9 "Choral": II. ...
- Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. ...
- Requiem, K. 626: Introitus. ...
- String Quartet in D Minor, D. 810 "Death and the Maiden": II. Andante con moto (Arr. ...
- String Quartet No. 1, Op. 11: II. ...
- Andante festivo (0.99 €) [04:05]
Prokofiev – 'Dance of the Knights' from Romeo and Juliet
So it's no surprise that this centrepiece of the ballet is one of the most dramatic pieces of music ever written.
- Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Op. ...
- Masquerade - Ballet Suite: 1. ...
- Mephisto Waltz No. ...
- Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No. ...
- Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565: I. ...
- Beethoven: Symphony No. ...
- Orff: Carmina Burana, Introduction, Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi: O FortunaCarl Orff, André Previn, London Symphony Chorus.
“The Four Seasons” is the best known of Vivaldi's works and the Presto movement of Summer is definitely the fastest portion.What are the top five wedding songs? ›
- Marry You - Bruno Mars.
- Love On Top - Beyoncé
- Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours) - Stevie Wonder.
- Thinking out Loud - Ed Sheeran.
- I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me) - Whitney Houston.
- All of Me - John Legend.
- Everything - Michael Bublé
- 01 of 13. Breaking Tradition. Photo by Krisanne Johnson. ...
- 02 of 13. Big Parties. Photo by Rêver Weddings. ...
- 03 of 13. Intimate Weddings. ...
- 04 of 13. Destination Weddings. ...
- 05 of 13. Full Wedding Weekends. ...
- 06 of 13. Colorful Décor. ...
- 07 of 13. Unique Tabletop Design. ...
- 08 of 13. Formal Affairs.
|1||Ronson, Mark Feat. Bruno Mars||Uptown Funk|
|2||Journey||Don't Stop Believin'|
|3||Walk The Moon||Shut Up And Dance|
Wedding recessional songs, better known as wedding exit songs, are played as the couple walk back down the aisle as newlyweds and the guests clap wildly. Happy, celebratory and bursting with love, your wedding recessional song should reflect the excitement you're feeling inside.What is the most popular walk up song? ›
- Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin.
- Dangerous by Ying Yang Twins.
- Flex Ooh Oh by Rich Homie Quan.
- Carmina Burana: O Fortuna.
- Paranoid by Black Sabbath.
- Partition by Beyonce.
- Thunderstruck by AC/DC.
- Blow the Whistle by Too Short.
- Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO.
- I Gotta Feeling – Black Eyed Peas.
- Everywhere – Fleetwood Mac.
- Marry You – Bruno Mars.
- Beautiful Day – U2.
- Greatest Day – Take That.
- I Predict a Riot – The Kaiser Chiefs.
- Crazy in Love – Beyonce.
How 'Here Comes the Bride' Became the Song You Hear at Every Wedding Ceremony. There are many superstitious wedding traditions, but some have pretty clear origins. One of those is the music most commonly associated with Western weddings.What is the most recognizable classical song? ›
- Mozart – Eine kleine Nachtmusik. The official name of this piece is the Serenade No. ...
- Beethoven – Für Elise. ...
- Puccini – 'O mio babbino caro' from Gianni Schicchi. ...
- J.S. ...
- Beethoven – Symphony No. ...
- Vivaldi – The Four Seasons. ...
- Bizet – 'Carmen' ...
- Johann Strauss II – The Blue Danube.
- Satie's Gymnopédie, No. ...
- Pachelbel's Canon in D.
- Chopin's Prelude No. ...
- Schubert's Ave Maria.
- Grieg's Morning Mood from Peer Gynt Op. ...
- Debussy's Clair du Lune.
- Beethoven's Ode to Joy.
- Bach – Minuet in G Major, BWV Anh 114.
- Salzburg Symphony No. 1 ('Divertimento in D major') – Mozart. ...
- Canon in D – Pachelbel. ...
- Gymnopédie No. ...
- Goldberg Variations – Bach. ...
- Academic Festival Overture – Brahms. ...
- Time (Inception) – Hans Zimmer. ...
- The Well-Tempered Clavier – Bach. ...
- Etudes – Chopin.
- Abide With Me.
- Alas, And Did My Savior Bleed.
- All Creatures Of Our God And King.
- All Glory, Laud And Honor.
- Amazing Grace.
- America, The Beautiful.
- And Can It Be That I Should Gain.
- At Calvary.
Ask Your Religious Leader their Opinion
There are typically two to three hymns used for religious wedding ceremonies. The first hymn comes at the beginning and the last hymn comes right before the final blessing. If you are struggling to find the right hymn, ask your religious leader if they have any suggestions.