209 Best Songs For A Wedding Ceremony Recessional

One of the hardest parts of planning a wedding that is often overlooked is the music for the ceremony. 

A lot of couples spend a long time thinking about the music that is going to be played during the reception. 

Brides will often spend their entire engagement thinking about the song that they want to hear as they walk down the aisle to their betrothed. 

However, when asked about the music for the recessional, little thought has been given to it.  

Thankfully, if you find yourself faced with the question of the songs you want for your recessional, you won’t have to panic with this helpful list. 

In this article, we will look at 209 best songs for a wedding ceremony recessional.  We have separated them into different categories to fit the vibe that you want to create. 

Choosing the right song for the recessional can be just as important as the other parts of the wedding ceremony as it sets the tone for the newlyweds’ exit as a married couple.

Classic Wedding Recessional Songs

The songs in this category have all been chosen because they are more classic songs. They are songs that you are likely to have heard at a wedding before. 

Some are even songs that are commonly used in movies and TV shows when a wedding is happening.  These songs are great choices if you want to create a more familiar feeling at your wedding. 

  1. All You Need Is Love – The Beatles
  2. You Are The Best Thing – Ray LaMontagne
  3. This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) – Natalie Cole
  4. Can’t Help Falling In Love – Elvis Presley
  5. Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours) – Stevie Wonder
  6. You Make My Dreams Come True – Hall & Oates
  7. Walking On Sunshine – Katrina & The Waves
  8. God Only Knows – The Beach Boys
  9. Somewhere Over The Rainbow – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
  10. Higher Love – Steve Winwood
  11. The Power Of Love – Huey Lewis & The News
  12. Love And Marriage – Frank Sinatra
  13. You To Me Are Everything – The Real Thing
  14. What The World Needs Now – Dionne Warwick
  15. Crazy For You – Madonna
  16. Ain’ That A Kick In The Head – Dean Martin
  17. You’re The First, The Last, My Everything – Barry White
  18. Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Michael Buble
  19. Chapel Of Love – The Dixie Cups
  20. Lovely Day – Bill Withers
  21. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye, Tammi Terrell
  22. For Once In My Life – Stevie Wonder
  23. Best Of My Love – The Emotions
  24. Send Me On My Way – Rusted Root

Romantic Wedding Recessional Songs

If you are looking for a way to make your wedding ceremony the most romantic event of the year, these are the songs for you. 

All of the songs in this category are the epitome of romance.  Some of these songs are classically romantic songs that you are likely to have heard in a rom-com or in valentines day playlists. 

If you want to spread the love to your guests, these songs will help to make a great wedding recessional playlist. 

  1. You Make Me Feel So Young – Frank Sinatra
  2. Hero – Enrique Iglesias
  3. You Send Me – Aretha Franklin
  4. Lover – Taylor Swift
  5. Head Over Boots – Jon Pardi
  6. Oh What A World – Kasey Musgraves
  7. I Choose You – Sara Bareilles
  8. Halo – Beyonce
  9. What A Wonderful World – Sam Cooke
  10. If I Ain’t Got You – Alicia Keys
  11. Perfect – Ed Sheeran & Beyonce
  12. Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
  13. All Of Me – John Legend
  14. Can You Feel The Love Tonight – Elton John
  15. A Thousand Years – Christina Perri
  16. Ave Maria – Beyonce
  17. Just The Way You Are – Bruno Mars
  18. How Deep Is Your Love – Bee Gees
  19. You’re Still The One – Shania Twain
  20. A Moment Like This – Kelly Clarkson
  21. Unconditionally – Katy Perry
  22. (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life – Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes
  23. 40 Day Dream – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
  24. Save The Last Dance For Me – Michael Buble
  25. How Does A Moment Last Forever – Celine Dion
  26. Home – Phillip Phillips
  27. Friends In Low Places – Garth Brooks
  28. Everywhere – Fleetwood Mac
  29. This Kiss – Faith Hill
  30. Adore You – Harry Styles
  31. Grow Old With Me – Tom Odell
  32. From This Moment On – Shania Twain
  33. Until I Found You – Stephen Sanchez, Em Beihold
  34. She’s Like The Wind – Patrick Swayze
  35. Love On The Brain – Rihanna
  36. This Love – Taylor Swift
  37. The Power Of Love – Gabrielle Aplin
  38. Runaway (Piano Version) – The Blue Notes
  39. We’ve Only Just Begun – The Carpenters
  40. Slave To Love – Brian Ferry
  41. As – Stevie Wonder
  42. I Can’t Fight This Feeling Anymore – Harley’s Studio Band
  43. Never Let Her Slip Away – Andrew Gold
  44. Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man – Trudy Richards
  45. I Will Always Love You – Dolly Parton
  46. Let’s Stay Together – Al Green
  47. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) – James Taylor
  48. That’s Amore – Dean Martin
  49. Love Me Like You Do – Ellie Goulding
  50. Run Away With You – Big & Rich
  51. Time After Time – Eva Cassidy
  52. Today Was A Fairytale – Taylor Swift
  53. A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes – Kimberly Locke
  54. (Everything I Do) I Do It For You – Bryan Adams
  55. Total Eclipse Of The Heart – Bonnie Tyler

Upbeat Wedding Recessional Songs

Upbeat Wedding Recessional Songs

If classic or romance isn’t really the right vibe for your wedding, these upbeat wedding recessional songs could be just what you are looking for. 

These songs will provide the perfect backing track for you and your new spouse to dance down the aisle with all your friends and family. 

Keep it going long enough and you and your guests can dance straight on into your reception. 

  1. Best Day Of My Life – American Authors
  2. Can’t Stop The Feeling – Justin Timberlake
  3. The Way You Make Me Feel – Michael Jackson
  4. Here Comes The Sun – The Beatles
  5. Crazy In Love – Beyonce
  6. Marry You – Bruno Mars
  7. Bidi Bidi Bom Bom – Selena
  8. Paper Rings – Taylor Swift
  9. I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
  10. Dancing In The Moonlight – Toploader
  11. Isn’t She Lovely – Stevie Wonder
  12. Beautiful Day – U2
  13. Someday – The Strokes
  14. Happy – Pharell Williams
  15. Bang Bang – Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj
  16. I Gotta Feeling – Black Eyed Peas
  17. Hey Ya – Outkast
  18. Firework – Katy Perry
  19. Everybody Talks – Neon Trees
  20. ABC – Jackson 5
  21. I Will Wait – Mumford & Sons
  22. 24K Magic – Bruno Mars
  23. We Are Family – Sister Sledge
  24. After Midnight – Eric Clapton
  25. (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher – Jackie Wilson
  26. Anywhere – Rita Ora
  27. Only Love – Mary J Blige
  28. Home – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
  29. Get Lucky – Daft Punk ft. Pharell
  30. Evacuate The Dance Floor – Cascada
  31. Countdown – Beyonce
  32. I Wanna Dance With Somebody – Whitney Houston
  33. Love Story – Taylor Swift 
  34. Geronimo – Sheppard
  35. Say It Again – Marie Digby
  36. Caribbean Queen – Billy Ocean
  37. Breathless – The Corrs
  38. New Sensation – INXS
  39. Riptide – Vance Joy
  40. White Wedding Pt. 1 – Billy Idol
  41. Celebration – Kool And The Gang
  42. I Got You (I Feel Good) – James Brown
  43. I’m Your Man – Wham!
  44. Could You Be Loved – Bob Marley & The Wailers
  45. You Can’t Hurry Love – Phill Collins
  46. Stuck Like Glue – Sugarland
  47. September – Earth, Wind, And Fire
  48. Wouldn’t It Be Nice – The Beach Boys
  49. Burning Love – Elvis Presley
  50. Do You Believe In Magic – The Lovin’ Spoonful
  51. Little Bitty Pretty One – Thurston Harris

Instrumental Wedding Recessional Songs

Not everyone wants to have songs with lyrics playing as they leave or enter their wedding. There can be many reasons for this, all of which are totally valid. 

If you would prefer to keep things instrumental as you and your new spouse head out into married life, these are the songs for you. 

A lot of these songs have a very classical feel to them even though some are more modern songs. 

  1. Cannon In D – Johann Pachelbel
  2. Bridal Chorus – Richard Wagner
  3. Clair De Lune, L32. – Claude Debussy
  4. River Flows In You – Yiruma
  5. Bach, JS Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major – Johann Sebastian Bach
  6. Fields Of Gold (Wedding Version) – Paul Hankinson Covers
  7. Beauty And The Beast Instrumental – Jack Jezzro
  8. A Thousand Years – The Piano Guys
  9. Nocturne – Alexander Borodin
  10. Photograph – Paul Hankinson Covers
  11. Part Of Your World Instrumental – Jeremy Ng
  12. I Giorni – Ludovico Einaudi

Funny Wedding Recessional Songs

The title of this category might be a little confusing, however, this is the perfect category for any couple that wants to keep their wedding day light and fun. 

The songs in this category have all been chosen because they are likely to get your guests dancing in their seats or even triggering a sing-a-long among everyone as you leave the venue. 

  1. Love Will Keep Us Together – Captain & Tennille
  2. Happy Together – The Turtles
  3. Want To Want Me – Jason Derulo
  4. Uptown Funk – Bruno Mars ft. Mark Ronson
  5. Born In The USA – Bruce Springsteen
  6. You’re My Best Friend – Queen
  7. I Got You Babe – Sonny & Cher
  8. We Will Rock You – Queen
  9. Livin’ On A Prayer – Bon Jovi
  10. Iko Iko (My Bestie) – Justin Wellington & Small Jam
  11. Perfect 10 – The Beautiful South
  12. It Takes Two – Tina Turner & Rod Stewart
  13. I Just Wanna Make Love To You – Etta James
  14. I Think I Love You – The Partridge Family
  15. Love Shack – The B52’s
  16. I’m A Believer – The Monkees
  17. Love Train – The O’Jays
  18. Mr. Blue Sky – Electric Light Orchestra
  19. Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen
  20. You’re The One That I Want – John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John
  21. Are You Ready For Love – Elton John

Alternative Wedding Recessional Songs

This category is filled with a conglomeration of different types of songs. These are all the songs that didn’t quite fit into the other categories in this article. 

There are some upbeat songs, some heavier songs, and some classic sing-a-long love songs. 

If you don’t know what sort of vibe you want for your recessional, these songs can be a great way to explore different genres. 

  1. Sweet Disposition – Temper Trap
  2. No One – Alicia Keys
  3. Sky Full Of Stars – Coldplay
  4. Your Love – Nicki Minaj
  5. The Way I Am – Ingrid Michaelson
  6. Electric Love – BØRNS
  7. Another Love Song – Ne-Yo
  8. Somewhere Only We Know – Keane
  9. Daylight – Matt & Kim
  10. Young Blood – The Naked And Famous
  11. The Mother We Share – Chvrches
  12. All These Things That I’ve Done – The Killers 
  13. Take Me Out – Franz Ferdinand
  14. Anything Could Happen – Ellie Goulding
  15. 1901 – Phoenix
  16. American Girl – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
  17. Shut Up And Dance – Walk The Moon
  18. Don’t Do Me Like That – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
  19. Tongue Tied – Grouplove
  20. Dog Days Are Over – Florence And The Machine
  21. Fader – Temper Trap
  22. Little Talks – Of Monsters And Men
  23. You Shook Me All Night Long – AC/DC
  24. Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life) – Green Day
  25. Hymn For The Weekend – Coldplay
  26. Pump It – Black Eyed Peas
  27. Wake Up – Arcade Fire
  28. Hold On We’re Going Home – Drake Ft. Majid Jordan
  29. Let’s Get Married (Remarquable Remix) – Jagged Edge Ft. Reverend Run
  30. Faster – Matt Nathanson
  31. Closing Time – Semisonic 
  32. Ain’t No Sunshine – Shawn James
  33. A Beautiful Life – Rupert Pope
  34. October – Alessia Cara
  35. Secrets – One Republic
  36. Dream Girl – Anna Of The North
  37. Good Thing Going – Sugar Minott
  38. Viva La Vida – Coldplay
  39. Moment 4 Life – Drake Ft. Nicki Minaj
  40. I Feel It Coming – The Weeknd, Daft Punk
  41. Ho Hey – The Lumineers
  42. Adventure Of A Lifetime – Coldplay
  43. Still The One – Orleans
  44. Moments We Live For – In Paradise
  45. Something Just Like This – Chainsmokers, Coldplay
  46. Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah) – Andy Grammar

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Should A Wedding Recessional Last?

The duration of a full wedding recessional will depend on the size of your wedding ceremony and the size of the venue. 

If you are having a small wedding ceremony with less than 100 people and the venue is on the smaller side, you will need a recessional playlist that will last around 10 minutes to give everyone time to leave. 

However, if you have a larger wedding with over 100 people and a large venue, you will want to create a playlist that lasts for between 20 and 30 minutes to ensure that everyone can leave while the music is playing.  

It isn’t the end of the world if the music finishes playing and the last few guests are still filling out. 

However, some people like to make sure that this doesn’t happen so that people don’t feel like they are being rushed to leave.  

If you are unsure about how long your recessional playlist should be and want to try and avoid the last song ending before the last guest has left, you can talk to the venue. 

They will have a good idea of how long your playlist will need to be to cover your guests leaving.

Should A Recessional Stick To A Single Vibe?

It is common for the music in a wedding recessional to stick with a single theme or vibe.  This is usually the vibe that fits the theme of the rest of the wedding. 

For example, if your wedding theme is traditional romantic, you will likely want your recessional songs to fit into a traditionally romantic vibe. 

If your wedding is more fun and relaxed, you will probably want songs for your recessional that fit that feeling. Songs you can sing and dance to as everyone leaves.  

However, if you don’t have a set theme for your wedding, or even if you do but aren’t overly strict with it, you can have a mix of songs from different genres with different vibes. 

This is a particularly great choice if you and your spouse are the epitome of “opposites attract” and would never be able to agree on a single theme anyway.  

The most important thing about your recessional is that it fits you and your spouse perfectly and makes you both feel great about your day. 

Ultimately, your wedding is about you and should be exactly what you want it to be. 

Do I Have To Have A Recessional?

All wedding ceremonies technically have a recessional as people have to leave the venue. However, whether you bring focus to it and make it into a moment with music is up to you. 

It can be nice to have music playing as people leave so that it doesn’t feel like you are all leaving a school assembly.  

If you don’t want your recessional to be a huge deal and don’t want to have to come up with a special playlist for it, there are a few options for you.

Most venues will have a certain amount of classic and generic music that they can play while everyone leaves the venue after the ceremony. 

It is also entirely possible to have no music at all if you prefer to just chat with your family and friends as you pass by them. 

Alternatively, you could opt to ask the venue to begin playing songs from your reception playlist to set the tone for the rest of the evening and get the party started right away. 

When Does A Wedding Recessional Happen?

A wedding recessional happens at the very end of a wedding ceremony, once the vows have been exchanged, rings are on fingers, and the couple has said “I do”. 

The recessional literally refers to the process of the bride and groom, wedding party, and guests leaving the ceremony venue.  

There are a few different ways in which wedding recessionals happen. 

The most basic form of a wedding recessional involves the happy couple leaving down the aisle and heading straight outside, followed by the wedding party and all of the guests. 

Once outside, photos and chatting can happen before moving on to the reception location.  

A more complicated but traditional way to do the processional involves the happy couple walking back down the aisle and then waiting inside until everyone else has left. 

Once the guests have congregated outside, they wait for the happy couple to come out. 

This is a great photo opportunity and allows the couple to be showered with rice or confetti by their friends and family.  

As with the music for the recessional, there is no right or wrong way to plan your wedding recessional. Choose what makes you and your spouse feel most comfortable. 

Do You Need To Supply Your Own Sound System?

The majority of venues for wedding ceremonies will probably have their own sound system already. 

They will also be able to tell you what format you need to provide your recessional music in some venues will need an MP3 format while others might need a hard copy or even just a digital playlist.  

If you are getting married in a more rustic venue that doesn’t have a sound system then you will need to supply your own. 

This is something that should be made clear to you when you book the venue. 

Modern sound systems are really powerful so you shouldn’t need to hire bulky and heavy equipment which can affect pictures and ambiance. 

Most wedding venues that require you to provide your own sound system will have recommendations for businesses or brands that work well with the acoustics.  

Final Thoughts

A wedding recessional is the last thing that happens during your wedding ceremony

While it won’t be the main thing that people remember about your big day, it will be a great way to round out the ceremony. 

There are no strict rules about the sort of music that a recessional should have.  It just needs to represent you and your spouse as a couple.


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