The "best" music for a wedding ceremony

Photo:  Nathan Siemers

Someone asked me for advice the other day about the "best" music for a wedding. The best music for a wedding ceremony is whatever will feel meaningful and celebratory to you as a couple (read: not what you’re “supposed” to use according to family, friends, me, or Pinterest).

Your ceremony music should fit in with the rest of your ceremony theme and vibe.

The opening music and processional help set the tone for the rest of the ceremony, so they should reflect how you want your guests to feel during the ceremony itself. If you're using music in the ceremony (say, to keep guests entertained while you're signing the marriage register), keep that music in tune with the overall feeling at that point in the ceremony. Recessional music is usually pretty upbeat and joyful to celebrate the threshold that you've just crossed together (pick something that feels like "yay us!" to you).

Here are a few examples of how you might figure out what’s best for you.

If your vows and readings are going to be traditional, then your music might reflect that and stick close to the classics that you’ve heard at lots of weddings (or at least in lots of romantic movies). If that feels like you, cool.

Are you including different ceremony elements to reflect your cultural or spiritual background (e.g. a wine blessing or a Saptapadi)? If so, you might want some of your music to reflect your heritage and/or faith as well. If you’re blending cultural traditions or faiths, it often sounds more well-integrated if you have live musicians who will use similar instruments for each style of music. If your goal is to highlight your unity across different backgrounds, try to make the music echo that unity to some degree.

If contemporary and quirky is more your style, by all means, have the wedding party enter to “Darth Vader’s Theme” and then dance out together to Pharrell’s “Happy” if that’s your thing. Just make sure that it really is YOUR thing though, and not just what’s going to go viral because of its quirkiness alone.

What do you think? Below in the comments, let me know your favourite ceremony song and why you like it.