When choosing your wedding prelude songs, it’s important to know the prelude is the time just before the bride walks down aisle.

Wedding Prelude Songs Before Ceremony Starts

The nature of the prelude, when guests begin to acquaint themselves with who is there and perhaps participate in low-key chatting as they take their seats, requires music that will allow this initial socialization among your wedding guests.

Many of them will be greeting friends and relatives happily while others will be looking around nervously, wondering if they will know anybody else who is attending.

The prelude is also the time when your guests are at their freshest, when they take some self-conscious pride about the clothing they’ve chosen or their hair and makeup.

It’s a bit of a time when they can do some preening, and some softly elegant instrumental musical choices will fit this interlude well.

Around 5-7 songs (approx 20 minutes) works well for this “guest arrival” playlist.

Popular Wedding Prelude Songs


Handel ‘Largo’ – The London Symphony Orchestra
2007 | Youtube

Porcelain (Moby Cover) – Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
2005 | Youtube


Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley
1994 | Youtube


Crazy – Patsy Cline
1961 | Youtube

God Only Knows – The Beach Boys
1966 | Youtube

Pre 1950’s

Bach – Sheep My Safely Graze
1713 | Youtube

What follows the prelude? The wedding processional.

More About the Prelude

Music is an exciting part of your wedding. It articulates a mood for your guests because the lyrics and melodies in our favourite songs reach out and touch people’s hearts and souls.

Prelude on the Beach

When choosing your wedding prelude songs, you are not only expressing your own tastes in music—and the two of you may very well have diverse musical preferences—but you also create an effective ambiance that will remain in people’s memories long after your wedding day has ended.

That being said, what kind of music is best to play for your wedding prelude?

•    How about one of Bach’s Brandenburg concertos? His Concerto No. 3 in G Major BWV 1048 featuring strings is elegant and perky, and it provides a nice rhythm for people as they enter the church or wedding ceremony venue and choose their seats. If it sounds familiar to you, it was featured in the 1980s classic movie, Die Hard—it’s the music playing when Bruce Willis’s character arrives at the party at the Takagi building.

•    Will you be feeling in the mood for a little Andrew Lloyd Weber? Some of his pieces from Phantom of the Opera are magnificently romantic. Try playing Think of Me followed by All I Ask of You. Add Look With Your Heart from Love Never Dies to keep the music flowing during the prelude.

•    Jim Brickman composed some beautiful selections from The Gift, which is technically a Christmas CD, yet offers beautiful secular music. Start with The Gift, and follow it up with several other selections from this album such as Fireside and Dreams Come True.

•    Handel’s Water Music in any of the suites or indeed a compilation offers more classical, beautiful, yet perky selections to keep your guests’ toes tapping whilst they await the start of the ceremony. The horn pipe selections offer comforting and familiar tones that will establish the perfect ambiance.

•    Bach’s Sheep May Safely Graze imparts some spirituality to the theme, and its popularity gives you a choice whether you prefer piano, organ, violin, or brass variations. Better yet, pick several and play them consecutively, to establish a repetitive melody played in different ways; end with the piece utilising the organ as a signal to guests that the wedding actually is about to begin.

Remember that the wedding prelude music really does need to be more traditional in order to satisfy your elderly relatives and all those important friends of your parents.

If you’re thinking of jazzing it up a bit or just bustin’ loose, save it for the reception.

The wedding prelude songs that you end up choosing should establish a sombre tone for the very important event that’s about to take place – your exchange of vows as you prepare to begin your lives together.