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Ceremony Music – Popular Wedding Recessional Songs

Recently on the blog we tackled Song Suggestions for the Bridal Entrance so today we’re all about that special exit – the song that will play when you walk back down the aisle as newlyweds! Like your bridal entrance, the song you choose will leave happy and lasting memories with you for years to come. Most wedding experts suggest an upbeat tune that reflects this happy stage of the day but trying to pinpoint ‘the one’ can be difficult. The classic Wedding March by Mendelssohn has been a popular choice over the years but for others there are many songs, both oldies and chart hits that have a special place in their heart and would be fitting for this special moment. To help inspire your choice, we enlisted the help of 5 Irish wedding musicians who share some of the most popular song choices for the recessional this year…

Nicola McGuire Wedding Music –

Listen to some of Nicola’s samples here!

I always advise couples to choose an upbeat, lively song for leaving the ceremony… it gives them a pep in their step walking down the aisle as the brand new Mr & Mrs. I find if it’s a song the guests know, they tend to clap and sing along. It’s a fantastic sight from the gallery in a church to see 200 people below singing and clapping along to the song you’re singing! My most popular songs for leaving the church are:

1. Ho Hey – The Lumineers

2. Higher and Higher – Jackie Wilson

3. You’ve Got The Love – Florence and the Machine

4. At Last – Etta James

5. Signed Sealed Delivered – Stevie Wonder

Laura O’Neill Professional Wedding Singer – View Laura’s Profile

Listen to some of Laura’s samples here!

For 2014 I have seen a trend in upbeat/uplifting exit songs, whether it be in a church or a civil wedding. I love a challenge and love changing songs to suit the occasion so this trend is definitely music to my ears. My Top 5 most requested songs have been:

1. Happy – Pharrell Williams

2. You’ve Got the Love – Florence and The Machine

3. Teenage Dream – Katy Perry (Our Piano Version)

4. I’m Yours – Jason Mraz

5. Signed Sealed Delivered – Stevie Wonder

Carys Ann Evans – Harpist –

Listen to some of Carys’ samples here!

My top Ceremony Exit (Recessional) songs and tips are:

1. For something Classical the Mendelssohn’s Wedding March – a great well-loved classical piece of music suitable for a big Church wedding or Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring is a lovely slightly ‘lighter’ Classical choice.

2. For something more popular, which is great for both church and non-religious ceremonies, lots of my couples love Clocks by Coldplay, it sounds amazing on the Concert Harp and gives your guests a talking point as they leave the ceremony!

3. It’s all about love on the day – another great twist would be to have the famous song by the Beatles, All you Need is Love, it definitely gets the guests in the mood for the party!

4. Another popular one I’m sure for 2015 weddings will be the recently released Ed Sheeran song Thinking Out Loud (this is going to be a winner on the harp!) or a little Michael Bublé – Everything sounds great!

5. For a more traditional approach have a listen to one of the O’Carolan pieces or Tabhair dom do Lámh.

My biggest tip would be to choose the music that’s appropriate to your type of ceremony and don’t forget to ask your professional musician for advice!

Anna Forsyth – Church Singer/Soprano –

Listen to some of Anna’s samples here!

The following are by far the most requested ceremony exit songs for most of my brides and grooms as they are classically timeless:

1. Wedding March – Mendelssohn

2. Trumpet Voluntary – Handel

3. 9th Symphony – Beethoven

4. Water Music – Handel

5. Brandenberg Concerto – Bach

6. Arrival of the Queen of Sheba – Handel

Nickita McAuley –

Listen to some of Nickita’s samples here!

My top 5 exit songs for weddings are:

1. At Last – Etta James

2. All You Need is Love – The Beatles

3. Greatest Day – Take That

4. Lovely Day – Bill Withers

5. One Day Like This – Elbow

Main Image by Ruth Eileen Photography via Style Me Pretty

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Pamela enjoys writing about all things decor (she loves buying it too) and has a not so secret addiction to stationery.

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