You’ve exchanged vows, signed your marriage licence, shared your first kiss and your officiant has pronounced you officially married. The only thing left to do is party back up the aisle to your favourite wedding ceremony exit songs!
The recessional – when you recess back up the aisle after the ceremony – is a time of cheering, big smiles and maybe even some confetti. And all of that is a lot more fun when you have an amazing exit song playing in the background. But what exactly is a ceremony exit song and which one should you choose for your wedding? Let’s find out!
What is a ceremony exit song?
A wedding ceremony exit song, also called a recessional song, is the music that plays at the end of your ceremony as you recess back up the aisle. It’s usually an upbeat, romantic song that signifies to everyone listening how excited you are to be officially married!
When is the recessional song played?
The recessional song starts right after the couple is pronounced married by their officiant. Guests will cheer and clap as the couple celebrate and the song begins. It is played while the couple and their wedding party, if they have one, make their way up the aisle and out of the ceremony space.
How many wedding ceremony exit songs do you need?
Usually you just need one ceremony exit song that can be played while the couple and their party recess up the aisle. Unlike the processional – when you process down the aisle at the start of the ceremony – a recessional is often faster and separate music isn’t played for the couple vs their wedding party.
That being said, if you have a creative idea for your recessional that involves playing one song for the couple’s exit and another for the wedding party, you could do that. Just be sure to run it by your DJ so the transition is smooth. If it’s getting too complicated, remember that you can save a song for your reception entrance!
Depending on your wedding day schedule, you may choose to keep the music going after your main recessional song. Perhaps guests will stay in the ceremony space for cocktails, in which case it might be nice to have your DJ transition from your exit song into cocktail hour music. Or if guests are leaving the space, it still could be a nice touch to keep the music going with a few exit songs to play your guests out.
4 things to keep in mind when choosing your wedding ceremony exit song
1 – Think about the vibe you want. Many couples will choose a song that is uplifting or fast tempo to get guests in the mood to celebrate at the end of the ceremony. Others will choose something a bit slower and more acoustic or maybe a song with sentimental meaning to you. Discuss with your partner what kind of music you want to play and how you want guests to feel.
2 – Consider the logistics. Who will be playing your wedding ceremony exit songs? Do you have a DJ or is a friendor handling this task? If you’re having a friend handle the music, make sure they are comfortable with the sound equipment and know when to start your song. If you’re getting married in a non-traditional venue, such as someone’s home or backyard, make sure the right music equipment is available to use.
3 – Evaluate your space. While most songs should give you and your party more than enough time to recess up the aisle, keep your venue in mind when choosing an exit song. Is your aisle particularly long or do you have to navigate stairs? Do you have a huge wedding party? Make sure your song is long enough to last the length of your recessional.
4 – Practice any special elements. If you have a specific vision for your recessional or are planning for any creative additions, make sure you practice these at your wedding rehearsal. You (or your wedding planner) will want to let your wedding party members know when to start walking up the aisle and if they should walk solo or in pairs/groups. If you’re planning to stop for a kiss mid-recessional or want your exit music to start mid-way through the song, make sure everyone knows what’s happening.
All right, let’s find your song from the 45 wedding ceremony exit songs below!
Traditional exit songs for wedding ceremony
From traditional symphonies to old school classics, here are the perfect recessional songs for a more traditional exit:
- “Wedding March” by Mendelssohn
- “Ode to Joy” by Beethoven
- “Allegro Maestoso” by Handel
- “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” by Natalie Cole
- “All You Need Is Love” by The Beatles
- “You Make My Dreams” by Hall & Oates
- “Beautiful Day” by U2
- “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra
- “Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)” by Stevie Wonder
- “Good Vibrations” by The Beach Boys
- “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves
- “You’re the One That I Want” from Grease
- “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Queen
Modern wedding ceremony exit songs
Check out these modern recessional songs that your guests likely have on their Spotify playlists, and that will get them in the mood to dance the night away at your reception:
- “Love Me Like You Do” by Ellie Goulding
- “CUFF IT” by Beyoncé
- “Marry You” by Bruno Mars
- “I’m Only Me When I’m With You” by Taylor Swift
- “Time of Our Lives” by Pitbull and Ne-Yo
- “Adventure of a Lifetime” by Coldplay
- “I Choose You” by Sara Bareilles
- “We Found Love” by Rihanna and Calvin Harris
- “Glad You Exist” by Dan & Shay
- “Adore You” by Harry Styles
- “Butterflies” by Kacey Musgraves
- “Somewhere Only We Know” by Kean
- “I Found You” by Andy Grammer and Cash Cash
- “Happy” by Pharrell
- “You Are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne
- “Firework” by Katy Perry
- “Cuz I Love You” by Lizzo
- “Legends” by Kelsea Ballerini
- “Dog Days Are Over” by Florence + The Machine
- “You Make it Easy” by Jason Aldean
- “I Do” by Colbie Caillat
Off beat exit songs: Rap about love!
If you’re a fan of rap quotes from songs or want to treat your guests to the funniest rap lyrics, while still keeping things romantic, check out these recessional rap options:
- “’03 Bonnie & Clyde” by Jay-Z ft. Beyoncé
- “Own It” by Stormzy ft. Ed Sheeran & Burna Boy
- “Wait For U” by Future ft. Drake and Tems
- “Do for Love” by Tupac
- “21 Questions” by 50 Cent ft. Nate Dogg
- “Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip Hop)” by Erykah Badu and Common
- “Hold On, We’re Going Home” by Drake ft. Majid Jordan
- “LOVE” by Kendrick Lamar ft. Zacari
- “Your Love” by Nicki Minaj
- “Beautiful” by Snoop Dogg ft. Pharrell
- “All the Stars” by Kendrick Lamar and SZA
What exit song will you be choosing for your wedding ceremony? We’d love to hear it in person when Young Hip & Married officiates on your big day! Meet our team of officiants, check out our packages and book today!
feature image by Erica Miller Photography