Choosing your wedding songs

Hi again. Choosing your songs for your ceremony and reception can be a tough job with so many songs and artists to choose from. If you’re lucky, you’re one of the few brides and grooms who know exactly what they want for what I call “The Big Ones” which include processional (walk up the aisle), signing of the register, recessional (walking back down the aisle), and of course your Bridal Waltz or first dance. However, most people find it difficult so here’s a few tips that hopefully put you on the right track.

1- Make a list of artists/bands you’re really in to. It doesn’t matter if these range from Motley Crew, Delta Goodrem or Slim Dusty; it immediatley narrows the search down for you and gives you a starting point. Then you can do an iTunes or Youtube search and see what songs they have that might be suitable. You might just find a song from one of these artists that is meaningful to you (see below). If you want a more classical, elegant vibe, check out For some suggestions.

2- Choose songs that are meaningful to you. We all have songs or a song which holds a special memory; hearing that tune can take you back ten years to a certain event like it was yesterday. The main thing to remember here is it doesn’t have to be a song you think might be more “appropriate”. Have some fun and look outside the wedding song cliche square. Just because a song you like is bright and bubbly doesn’t mean this can’t be used for your processional for example. It can be done acoustically, slowed down or we can change the feel while still using the same lyrics and essence of the song. This is the biggest advantage of having live music. I have been requested to do some really different tunes over 20 years of playing for weddings and there are very few I’ve had to give up on and use the original. Quite simply, if you like it then use it because “the big ones” are all about you.

3- Brides and Grooms ask me for recommendations all the time. Here’s some tunes I think work well for the different stages:

Processional: For a more elegant, classic feel- Pachelbel’s Canon in D, Bridal Chorus (commonly known as Here Comes The Bride) by Richard Wagner, The Prince of Denmark’s March by Jeremiah Clarke, Trumpet Tune in D by Purcell-Clarke.

For some contemporary options you might like to consider If This Is It – Newton Faulkner, Love Will Keep Us Alive – The Eagles, From This Moment – Shania Twain, Amazed – Lonestar, Just The Way You Are – Bruno Mars, All I Want Is You – U2

Signing of The Register: Better Together – Jack Johnson, Memories of Us – Keith Urban, You & Me – Lifehouse, My Best Friend – Tim McGraw, When A Man Loves A Woman – Percy Sledge, Saving Grace – Pete Murray, Somewhere Over The Rainbow – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, Smile – Uncle Kracker, I Wanna Be Your Everything – Keith Urban, 1 2 3 4 – Plain White T’s, Marry Me – Train,

Recessional: How Sweet It Is – James Taylor, Signed Sealed Delivered – Stevie Wonder, I’m Yours – Jason Mraz, Somebody Like You – Keith Urban, Perfect Day – Lady Antebellum, Marry You – Bruno Mars

Reception Entrance: It depends on what vibe you’re going for here; I like the fun upbeat tunes to get your guests on their feet but it can be more subdued and elegant. Usually played from the iPod Dangerzone – Kenny Loggins, Get This Party Started – Pink, I Got A Feelin – Black Eyed Peas, One Love – Bob Marley, I’m Yours – Jason Mraz, Eye Of The Tiger – Survivor, Sexy & I Know It – LMFAO, The Melbourne Mambo – The Mavericks (instrumental piece which I love!!)

Cutting the Cake – This can be anything really. It doesn’t go for all that long so it doesn’t have to be a big feature. We sometimes play an instrumental piece live or we can have any other song you like on the iPod.

Bridal Waltz – Again this can be anything you like but here’s some options. Usually not a ‘waltz’ these days, more like a shuffle…!! It’s Your Love – Tim McGraw, Marry You – Bruno Mars, You and Me – Lifehouse, Wedding Day – The Bee Gees, Burn Your Name – Powderfinger, This I Promise You – Ronan Keating, Into The Mystic – Van Morrison, I’ll Be – Edwin McCain, The One I Love – David Gray, Have I Told You Lately – Van Morrison.

All these suggestions are not in any particular order of preference; they’re just some that came into my head at the time of writing. We will have a go at playing anything live and almost every song can be stripped back and played acoustically or with full backing tracks. We certainly wont be offended if you would prefer the original version either.

For a sample list of songs we’ve done before check out the wedding song list on the Acoostic Moose page.

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