Congratulations! You've just been pronounced a married couple, the guests are standing, and now it's time for you to make your way triumphantly back down the aisle. Let's have a little music with that!!!
Recessional Song Mood
The end of the marriage ceremony is a time for joy and celebration. And, your music ought to reflect this.
The music you choose for your recessional should be upbeat, joyous, and celebratory. If your wedding has been more informal and non-traditional, the music may even be on the fun, playful, or silly side. If your union has been more on the formal, traditional or religious side, it might be more majestic or inspirational.
But whatever music you choose, it should be happy! Remember that the recessional (especially when it is the last song played at the ceremony) is, in a way, the transition piece to the reception. And you want folks in a cheerful mood for the reception!
Recessional Song Volume
Often, the recessional is the loudest piece of music played at a wedding ceremony - It is the crescendo of the ceremony music. As mentioned elsewhere on this site, the music (with some notable exceptions) tends to build in volume and drama as the ceremony progresses - and the recessional song is the climax.
Despite the recessional being the crescendo, you should take care to make sure the music is not so loud that people are uncomfortable with the volume. On the other hand, remember that there may be applause and some loud congratulations going on during the recessional, so you want to choose music that can be heard above the crowd noise.
It's for this reason that an organ is one of the musical instruments of choice for a recessional, as opposed to a harp. And Bagpipes are always a treat! A good DJ/Musician(s) will be able to determine a suitable volume. Also, the rehearsal should help with this.
Number of Recessional Songs
Usually, there is one piece of music called the "recessional." That piece is the song that accompanies the Bridal Couple, Bridal Party and VIPs back down the aisle. If it is a large wedding (in numbers of people) sometimes a second "recessional" is played for the departing guests. This song should match the nature of the first recessional, but it should certainly not upstage it.
Between the two songs is usually a good time to make an announcement, such as that a receiving line is forming in a particular area, or that the Bride and Groom are inviting guests to a particular room where hors d'oeuvres are being served and the reception will be taking place. Any songs played after two recessional songs would be termed postlude songs.
Here, we offer some great recessionals...
All You Need Is Love - Beatles
Allegro (from "Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D") -Johann Sebastian Bach
Allegro Maestoso (from "Water Music Suite") -Handel, George Frideric
Arrival Of The Queen Of Sheba (from Solomon) -Handel, George Frideric
Auld Lang Syne (especially for a New Year's Eve/Day Wedding)
Autumn/ Allegro (from The Four Seasons) -Vivaldi, Antonio
Bang On The Drum All Day - Todd Rungren
Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 - Bach, Johann Sebastian
Can't Help Falling In Love - UB40
Celebration - Kool & the Gang (especially for leading directly into a reception)
Concerto For Two Trumpets In C Major - Vivaldi, Antonio
Fanfare To Joy - Lorie Line
First Movement From Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 - Bach, Johann Sebastian
Giving You The Rest Of My Life - Bob Carlisle
Go There With You - Steven Curtis Chapman
Hallelujah Chorus (from "Messiah") - Handel, George Frideric
Hands Up - Ottawan
Happy Trails - Van Halen (no reception, couple leaving immediately after wedding)
Have I Told You Lately - Van Morrison (mellow and romantic)
Havin' A Party - Rod Stewart (especially for leading directly into a reception)
Havin' A Party - Sam Cooke (especially for leading directly into a reception)
Your Precious Love - Marvin Gaye & Tammy Terrell
Hometown Honeymoon - Alabama (for the country folk)
Hornpipe (from "Water Music") - Handel, George Frideric
I Got You, I Feel Good - James Brown (for a less formal/non-traditional wedding)
I.O.U. Me - BeBe & CeCe Winan (a bit more mello and romantic)
I'm A Believer - Monkees (for a less formal/non-traditional wedding)
Irish Wedding Song
Is This Love - Bob Marley (reggae wedding mon!)
Joy - George Winston
La Rejoissance [The Rejoicing] (from "The Royal Fireworks") - Handel, George Frideric
Le Rondeau ('Masterpiece Theatre' Theme) - John Joseph Mouret: (Hear this song in a ceremony)
Linus And Lucy (theme from "Peanuts") -Vince Guaraldi
Little Martha - Allman Brothers
Livin' On Love - Alan Jackson
Love Of My Life - BeBe & CeCe Winan
Love Song - Ronan Hardiman
Minuet (from "Suite Gothique") -Boellmann, Leon
No Remedy For Love - Susan Ashton
Ode To Joy - Beethoven
Pepperseed Medley - Byron Lee and the Dragonaires (for the sound of the islands)
Praise Be To God - Bach, Johann Sebastian
Praise To The Lord With Drums And Cymbals - Karg-Elert, Sigfried
Psalm XIX - Marcello
Rhondo In G - Bull
Ribbon In The Sky - Stevie Wonder (mellow and romantic)
Rigaudon - Campra
Signed, Sealed, Delivered - Stevie Wonder
Simon Tov And Mazel Tov
Sinfonia (from "Cantata No. 29") -Bach, Johann Sebastian
Song Of Joy - Julio Iglesias
Spring, Allegro (from "The Four Seasons") -Vivaldi, Antonio
Symphony No. 5 In C Minor, Op. 67 - 4. Allegro - Beethovan
This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) -Natalie Cole
Toccata (from "Symphony 5, Opus 42") -Widor, Charles-Marie
Trumpet Voluntary - John Stanley
Trumpet Tune and Air - Purcell
Wedding March (from "A Midsummer Night's Dream") - Mendelssohn, Felix
Wedding Processional (from The Sound Of Music) - Rodgers & Hammerstein
Next, lets' discuss the music that occurs after the recessional - the postlude songs.