When Is Postlude Music Played?
Postlude music is usually defined as any music that is played at the ceremony site after the recessional song or songs are done. Postlude music may last anywhere between five minutes and one hour. However, postlude music is not always needed. In fact, there are usually only three times that postlude music might be used...
1) If the recessional(s) are particularly short, and the number of guests is large, it is a possibility that one or two additional songs might be needed as the last guests leave the site.
2) If there is going to be a receiving line at the ceremony site immediately following the ceremony, it would be a good idea to provide enough postlude music to cover the time needed for all the guests to pass through the line.
3) If photographs are taking place at the ceremony site immediately following the ceremony or the receiving line, it is a nice touch to have some music playing in the background. The case where the photographs follow a receiving line at the ceremony site is the only scenario where up to an hour of postlude music might be needed.
Postlude Music vs. Prelude Music
In some respects, postlude music is similar in nature to prelude music. In fact, you could probably take a look at our prelude music lists and choose some of those songs for your postlude. We think, however, it differs in one very big respect - while the prelude music acts as a preparation for the ceremony to follow, the postlude music acts as the transition music to the reception and, as such, it should probably be at least a bit more upbeat and celebratory than the prelude music.
It can also be played at a higher volume, although you'd want to make sure your DJ/Musician(s) keep the sound at a reasonable level during a receiving line or photographs. So go ahead, take a look at our prelude song lists and choose some of the more buoyant selections for your postlude.
Other Possibilities For Postlude Music
Another possibility, especially for a receiving line or photographs, is big band music. In fact, big band music may be the perfect transition into a cocktail hour where a mix of jazz and big band is being played. Also, if your ceremony had a theme, you may want to play some cheerful selections that match your theme.
Let The Professionals Decide
As with prelude music, you can either choose the selections yourself, or give your DJ/Musician(s) an idea of the type of music you would like, and let them select the specific songs, being careful to make sure that you let them know of any songs that are off-limits.
If your ceremony is taking place in a church, you'll want to know about the type of music that can be played there. Some churches have a strict rule that only religious music be played, while others have a more relaxed code stating that while religious music must be played during the ceremony, secular music can be played both before and after the ceremony is done. Check with your celebrant, and be sure to let your DJ/Musician(s) know of any restrictions.
Here are some of our favorite Postlude songs:
Allegro Maestoso for Organ in C Major - Mendelssohn, Felix
Harp Concerto in B Flat Major: Allegro Moderato - Handel, George Frideric
Musette's Waltz (from La Boheme) -Puccini, Giacomo
Oh! Had I Jubal's Lyre - Handel, George Frideric
Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini - Rachmaninov, Sergey
String Quartet in C Major, Op. 76, No. 3: Allegro (Austrian Hymn) - Haydn, Franz Josef
Carillon de Westminster - Louis Vierne
For The Beauty Of The Earth - Various
Great Is Thy Faithfulness - William M. Runyan
Now Thank We All Our God - Karg-Elert, Sigfried
Praise To The Lord - Bach, Johann Sebastian
Rejoice Beloved Christians - Bach, Johann Sebastian
Sleepers Wake! A Voice Is Calling - Bach, Johann Sebastian
To God Be The Glory - William H. Doane
Go There With You - Steven Curtis Chapman
Feelin' Alright - Joe Cocker
Gone, Gone, Gone - Phillip Phillips
Ho Hey - The Lumineers
I'll Always Love You - Taylor Dayne
Just The Way You Are - Billy Joel
Kiss From A Rose - Seal
Safe And Sound - Capital Cities
Soul Provider - Michael Bolton
Close To You - Carpenters
A Whole New World - Regina Belle & Peabo Bryson
Accidentally in Love - Counting Crows
Electric Love - BØRNS
Everything - Michael Bublé
First Day Of My Life - Bright Eyes
Good Life - OneRepublic
Love Of A Lifetime - Firehouse
I Do - Colbie Caillat
I Knew I Loved You - Savage Garden
On Top of the World - Imagine Dragons
You Light Up My Life - Debbie Boone
Kind And Generous - Natalie Merchant
How Sweet It Is - James Taylor
How Sweet It Is - Marvin Gaye
Beautiful In My Eyes - Joshua Kadison
Beautiful Day - U2
Because You Loved Me - Celine Dion
Best Day Of My Life - American Authors
You Are The Best Thing - Ray LaMontagne
Always And Forever - Heatwave
Everytime I Close My Eyes - Babyface
All My Life - K-Ci & JoJo
Endless Love - Lionel Richie & Diana Ross
Endless Love - Luther Vandross & Mariah Carey
Here And Now - Luther Vandross
I Do: Cherish You - 98 Degrees
For You I Will - Monica
Love On Top - Beyoncé
Getcha Some - Toby Keith
God Gave Me You - Blake Shelton
Amazed - Lonestar
You And I - Eddie Rabbit & Crystal Gayle
I Cross My Heart - George Strait
I Do: Cherish You - Mark Wills
It's Your Love - Tim McGraw & Faith Hill
From This Moment - Shania Twain & Bryan White
Stuck Like Glue - Sugarland
You Light Up My Life - LeAnne Rimes
I Got You Babe - Sonny & Cher
Have I Told You Lately - Van Morrison
In My Life - Beatles
Evergreen - Barbra Streisand
Vocal Jazz/Big Band
It Had To Be You - Harry Connick Jr.
The Way You Look Tonight - Frank Sinatra
When the Saints Go Marching In - Various
At Last - Etta James
Now, let's look at getting your guests involved in the music!