couple holding hands

Wedding Ceremony Music Guide

Hiring live music for your wedding ceremony will enhance the occasion and make it so much more memorable for you and your guests. Here is a guide to choosing the right musicians and top tips on where and when the music should take place.

The music you choose for your wedding ceremony is the soundscape you will always associate with the biggest day of your life. It’s your chance to choose the music that means the most to you, both individually and as a couple. 

autumn wedding

When do I need music in my wedding ceremony?

There are four distinct parts of the wedding ceremony, whether you have chosen a religious or civil ceremony. They are:

  • Before the ceremony
  • Processional – the walk down the aisle
  • Signing of the register
  • Recessional – your first walk as a married couple

Before the ceremony

Your wedding guests will begin to arrive up to 45 minutes before the start of the service, so it’s important to choose enough music to fill this gap. This is where hiring live musicians can help – not only can they help you decide how many pieces of music you will need, they will carry on playing until the service formally begins.

wedding setting


The moment when proceedings officially start, the processional is a very special moment. Whether you’re walking down the aisle by yourself, as a couple or being given away, it’s a highly anticipated walk.

The music you choose for this moment should help relax you and help everyone feel at ease – we completely understand that nerves may have kicked in!

Don’t forget to consider the size of the venue and the length of the aisle. You should also consider the pace of the music and avoid anything that will force you to walk too fast or too slow.

Signing of the Register

The signing of the register is the legal part of the ceremony where the couple are taken aside to sign the formal documentation that becomes the marriage certificate. No one is allowed to take photographs during this time, even the professional photographer, for data protection reasons so your guests will hugely appreciate some well chosen music to pass the time.

The signing of the register can take between 5 and 10 minutes so it’s always useful to have a few pieces of music in reserve that you would like your musicians to play.

Leicester Harpist - Background music


Everyone cheers, claps and welcomes the new married couple back down the aisle! It’s a truly joyous moment so choose music that reflects that. Your musicians will keep playing until the last guest has left so everyone has music to make their way outside.

Religious vs Civil Ceremony

Whichever ceremony you choose, always check with the vicar or registrar to see if they have any restrictions on the music you can have. For example, no religious music is allowed at civil ceremonies.

wedding - holding hands

What kind of musicians can I book for my wedding ceremony?

Who says you just need one type?! So many of our musicians are experienced wedding performers and will be able to advise on the music that might work best if you’re not sure. We can recommend the following for your wedding day:

  • Pianists
  • Organists
  • String quartets
  • Harpist
  • Acoustic duos and soloists
  • Choirs
  • Classical musicians

Need inspiration?

Need some inspiration for music choices? Then check out our Top 50 Wedding Ceremony Music Choices blog or call us on 01572 756386 to discuss.

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