The recessional ceremony song is the song played when the Bride & Groom return down the aisle after the wedding is complete – After the bride & groom kiss!

Wedding Recessional - Just Married

The wedding recessional should always feature uplifting joyful music.

This is the part of the wedding ceremony when you’ll be feeling most exhilarated – you’ll be past all of those jitters, the official ceremony will be over and you’ve just been announced to your friends and family as man and wife!

During the recessional, your guests see your smiling faces and get to enjoy your obvious happiness.  It’s one of those magical moments they get to share with you that’s truly rare and well… magical.

The music should be a reflection of your happiness.

There are no rules to the song choice here and an upbeat happy song works well.

Any of the Bride and Grooms favourite songs can be used whether it is a popular song in the charts or the traditional “Wedding March” song.

Popular Wedding Recessional Songs


Arms – Christina Perri
2011 | Youtube

Don’t Stop Believin’ – Vitamin String Quartet
2011 | Youtube

Good Time – Owl City & Carly Rae Jespen
2012 | Youtube

Ho Hey – The Lumineers
2012 | Youtube

Marry You – Bruno Mars
2010 | Youtube

Paradise – Coldplay
2011 | Youtube


Beautiful Day – U2
2000 | Youtube

Clocks – Coldplay
2003 | Youtube

Cruisin’ – Gwenyth Paltrow & Huey Lewis
2003 | Youtube

Good Life – One Republic
2009 | Youtube

Hello – The Cat Empire
2004 | Youtube

I’m a Believer – Smash Mouth
2001 | Youtube

M79 – Vampire Weekend
2008 | Youtube

Wedding Day – Bee Gees
2001 | Youtube


Happily Ever After – Case
1999 | Youtube

Mint Car – The Cure
1996 | Youtube


It’s the End of the World – REM
1987 | Youtube

Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley
1987 | Youtube

Roam – B52’s
1989 | Youtube

Walking on Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves
1984 | Youtube


All of My Love – Led Zeppelin
1979 | Youtube

First, My Last, My Everything – Barry White
1975 | Youtube

Forever Young – Bob Dylan
1973 | Youtube

Fools Rush In – Elvis Presley
1972 | Youtube

Highway to Hell – ACDC
1979 | Youtube

Signed, Sealed, Delivered – Stevie Wonder
1970 | Youtube

This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) – Natalie Cole
1975 | Youtube


All You Need is Love – The Beatles
1967 | Youtube

Fly me to the Moon – Frank Sinatra
1964 | Youtube

Happy Together – The Turtles
1967 | Youtube

I Got You (I Feel Good) – James Brown
1965 | Youtube

Magic Carpet Ride – Steppenwolf
1968 | Youtube

What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
1967 | Youtube

More about the Wedding Recessional

The recessional music usually begins just as you are introduced or, in some ceremonies, just as your first kiss ends.  The music should be triumphant and celebratory, which is why you’ll often hear music for recessionals that includes trumpet music in, often referred to as “Trumpet Voluntaries.”

Flowers on Piano

Hundreds of years ago, these classical pieces would accompany the arrival of triumphant kings and queens in European cities.  Today it can announce the triumphant marriage of a couple embarking on the adventure of a new life together.

Why Bother with a Recessional?

Don’t skip the recessional at the end of your wedding ceremony – it’s one of the elements of the wedding that your guests most enjoy.  It’s the moment when they first get to see the bride and groom together as a couple.

During the ceremony, you were both spending most of your time facing away or facing each other.

There are also practical reasons for having a recessional.  As you leave, the guests remain in their seats while you pass by.  After you exit the front of your ceremony venue, your attendants will exit to music as well, giving the guests the chance to admire each of them as they leave.

Wedding Recessional Music Can be Lighthearted

Since the official ceremony is over and you’ll be feeling incredibly happy, you’ll naturally gravitate toward joyful music.  We mentioned music that was festive earlier, but you can also be light-hearted and have some fun with your choices if you like (and it is acceptable to the official who performed the ceremony).

One of the most popular choices if you want to stick with the traditional is the Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, popularized way back in 1858 when it was played at the wedding of the English Princess Royal.

Today most people simply call it the Wedding March.

If you want to be less serious, choose something like the Beatles’ When I’m 64 or Smashmouth’s I’m A Believer to bring a smile to everyone’s face and lighten the mood.

It will shift the mood a bit from solemn to festive but keep things focused on the real point of the day – that you’re celebrating the start of your new life together and how wonderful it’s going to be!