After the traditional elements of a wedding ceremony have been performed, even the most formal affairs will often let loose for the recessional. Sure, decades ago married couples would walk up the aisle together to Felix Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March,” but now brides and grooms like to show their personality during their nuptials with the music selections.
One of our favorite ways to see newlyweds celebrate their new marriage is with fun wedding recessional songs playing as they walk together back up the aisle as husband and wife. The right song can set the tone for your guests to enjoy the cocktail hour and make sure they’re in a party mood during the reception.
As for the best wedding recessional songs? One that is special to the couple, tells their love story of sorts or honors their favorite song or artist, and helps their wedding guests get in the mood for the celebration ahead!
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If you’ve been stuck on selecting your wedding songs and ceremony music – and particularly the ceremony exit song – we’ve put together a list of fun, upbeat wedding recessional songs that would be great choices for any wedding recessional regardless of the formality of the ceremony. Perhaps one of these songs is the piece that has been missing during your wedding-planning process and will complete the soundtrack to your new married life.
There are tens of thousands of wedding songs to choose from for all aspects of your wedding day, but some of our favorite are listed below. Depending on the formality of your wedding event, as well as the preferences of the couple, wedding recessional songs vary drastically from event to event; however, no matter which genre you choose – pop, rock, R&B, oldies, or classical – the best wedding recessional songs are those that set the tone for the celebration to come and honor the happy occasion.
For ideas on which wedding songs make the best recessional songs, see our picks below and discover why they made the cut! And remember: if you don't want to have the actual song performed, you can have your band or string quartet play an instrumental version of any wedding recessional song for a more classic feel!
This song is upbeat and fun, and the title certainly honors the moment! "You make we wanna say I do" is a prominent lyric and the rest of the tune is all about starting a family with that special someone, both of which are wonderful ways to start your new married life together as you walk up the aisle together.
There's a reason this song has been used in movies such as (500) Days of Summer and The Wedding Singer. It's fun, upbeat, and everyone attending the ceremony won't be able to help but move their shoulders, smile, and get in the mood to celebrate the bride and groom turned husband and wife at the wedding reception!
The Beatles is an iconic band with tons of hits that work for a variety of moments throughout the big day (see some of our favorite The Beatles wedding songs), and this song is a wonderful wedding recessional song for its sweet message – not to mention it was featured in the wedding scene of Love Actually!
Fans of harder rock may want to choose wedding recessional songs that fit their preferred music genre, and this tune by English rock band The Darkness will certainly fit the bill! It's unexpected, unique, and definitely won't be heard at every wedding you attend over the course of your life.
This song is another option for recessional songs that won't be overplayed at every wedding. From British new wave band Modern English, the tune is certainly recognizable and will be a great choice to get your guests ready to dance into the night.
Queen Bey is a favorite on many wedding song lists (see some of our favorite Beyoncé wedding songs), and this fun tune is one of the best wedding recessional songs for couples who want to incorporate a modern twist on the recessional after "I do." Even people who don't like Beyoncé won't be able to resist smiling when this song comes on as the happy couple makes their way up the aisle.
Besides being a great classic song from the '70s, this tune is also a subtle way to infuse your personality if you're a fan of Marvel movies and pop culture, as it's featured throughout the movie Guardians of the Galaxy.
Another one of the great love songs from the 1970s is "Everlasting Love" by Carl Carlton. It's a wonderfully upbeat tune that's fun, romantic, and soulful all in one. If you and your beloved of R&B and soul music, this tune may the the choice for your wedding!
Many real weddings featured on InsideWeddings.com have featured couples who chose this classic song for their wedding recessional music. The marriage certificate has been signed, the union has been sealed with a kiss, and the party is about to deliver! We also love this song for a classic tune to open up the dance floor!
Here's another great option for wedding recessional songs that's all about love. It has an incredibly fun beat, and will get your guests ready to celebrate the newlyweds! It was also featured in the Nancy Meyers movie The Holiday, so it's perfect for the couple who wants their wedding soundtrack to feel like it came straight off of the silver screen.
Looking for love songs that will never go out of style to lead you and your beloved up the aisle as newlyweds? This is one of those classic songs that your guests will absolutely love and likely recognize even if it's just the instrumental version.
Written for the movie Despicable Me 2, this song by Pharrell Williams instantly hit the charts since it just made everyone who heard it happy – hence the song title. Even if you're not going to have this as your wedding recessional song after you tie the knot, it will be certainly be welcome somewhere else on your wedding song list!
Most people know what the wedding ceremony processional is, but what about the wedding ceremony recessional? Just as the processional signals the start of the ceremony when the bride, groom, bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls, ring bearers, and families of the couple make their way down the aisle before the wedding begins, the recessional is what happens after the couple says "I do." Before guests leave the church, temple, or ceremony site, the couple first recesses up the aisle together, followed by their wedding party.
For more ideas, see what songs real brides and grooms have used for their wedding ceremony processional and then listen to a charming playlist for your cocktail hour. Also, be sure to discover more wedding entertainment ideas on InsideWeddings.com!
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