For those who have started digging into all of the details of a wedding ceremony, you may quickly realize that there are numerous decisions to be made, especially when it comes to music. And while your wedding party and bridal processional songs are typically in the forefront, the recessional song is often an afterthought.
A quick Wedding Ceremony 101 lesson… the recessional is when the bridal party exits at the conclusion of the wedding ceremony. So the recessional song will generally begin right as the bride and groom are introduced by the officiant as “Mr. & Mrs.” to the guests. So this is the very first song to play as a married couple! I’ve always believed, more than any other song during the ceremony, that the recessional song is the one where a couple can truly express themselves since there is so much flexibility in the style of song you can play.
We put together a list of some iconic, endearing, and celebratory recessional tunes for your listening pleasure! These are not in any particular order since we feel that rating such a diverse array of songs would be unfair…
Felix Mendelssohn “Wedding March”
As soon as the trumpets sound, you know exactly what song this is! Written in 1842 as part of Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream, it only took a few years for people to realize that it made the perfect bridal party recessional (as well as the bride’s processional). For a couple that wants a ceremony with timeless tradition from beginning to end, this is the song to cap it all off!
Stevie Wonder “Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)”
This Motown classic is fun, light-hearted, and oh-so-catchy! It’s recognizable intro transitions into that funky drum and bass line, along with Stevie’s smooth crooning. And the lyrics are like a big red bow on your perfect day!
Natalie Cole “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)”
Before a certain online dating site introduced this song to a new generation, Nat King Cole’s daughter scored a #1 R&B hit with it in 1975. And it’s easy to see why it works so well as a recessional… a true exclamation point to a couple’s lifelong commitment!
The Beatles “All You Need Is Love”
The song kicks in with a trumpet line that has wedding all over it but then moves into a swaying, hand-in-hand Beatles classic. Love, love, love… leave it to the Fab Four to sum it up so simply!
American Authors “Best Day Of My Life”
My li-i-i-i-i-ife! Upbeat and infectious, this 2014 indie-pop hit lets everybody know that the celebration has just begun… so let’s have fun making this a night we will ALL remember!
Queen “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”
A classic rock gem from one of the all-time greats! The always-versatile Freddy Mercury belts the lyrics out like he was channeling Elvis, which helps make the appeal of this 1980’s hit across multiple generations.
Ray LaMontagne “You Are The Best Thing”
Contemporary and cool, Ray’s smoky, Joe Cocker-esque vocals carry this charming song through a message of love and appreciation. And, like so many of the best recessional songs, it has some truly awesome horn arrangements. A personal favorite!
Hopefully, this list has provided some good ideas for your upcoming wedding. But remember, this is YOUR day, don’t ever forget it!
A recessional can certainly be a song that has special meaning for just the two of you. I love when brides and grooms come to me with a recessional song I’ve never heard before.
Let your personalities shine!
Thanks to Jesse Busch and the team of Spectrum Entertainment of our Perfect Wedding Guide Atlanta market for sharing these awesome recessional selections.