Top Wedding Recessional Songs: The Best Classical and Pop Choices

Wedding Music, Wedding Planning

The wedding recessional is the song that is played at the end of the service when you are introduced as a newly-married couple.  It’s one of the important parts of your wedding day because it is the official start of the party.  Most couples choose something bright, fast and celebratory. There are many choices, but it doesn’t have to feel overwhelming !  We’ve compiled numerous options below. 

There are all types of suggested wedding songs on our Wedding Planning Resources page (check out our Ceremony Planning Sheet and Reception Planning Sheet for a helpful format). Here we’ve taken a deep dive into some of the most popular recessional songs we’ve seen in recent years.  To help even further, we’ve divided this article into two sections: Traditional Classical songs and Modern Pop songs.

Top Classical Song Choices for Your Wedding Recessional

Weddings are often elegant affairs, so these timeless classical songs are always a wonderful choice for the recessional ! 

1. “Wedding March” – Mendelssohn

If you don’t recognize Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” by name, you’ll almost certainly recognize its melody.  “Wedding March” is commonly used in movies and TV shows during wedding scenes—and in real life as well !

2. “Spring” from “The Four Seasons” – Vivaldi

Another song that commonly appears during TV and movie weddings, “Spring” is popular in part for its upbeat melody and dramatic crescendos. 

3. “Ode To Joy” – Beethoven

One of Beethoven’s most enduring works, “Ode to Joy” is the theme from his Ninth Symphony.  As a song about peace and harmony, it provides a “joyful” backdrop to your recessional.

4. “Hornpipe” from “Water Music” – Handel

Handel’s “Hornpipe” is a fun, lighthearted clarion call, and it may even add a sense of whimsy to your recessional.

5. “Eine Kleine Nacht Musik” – Mozart 

Originally written in 1787 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, “Eine Kleine Nacht Musik” (which translates to “A Little Night Music”) is an ideal choice for happy, intimate weddings because of its bright and exciting delivery and instantly recognizable melody.

6. “Rondeau” from “Sinfonie de Fanfares” – Mouret

“Roundeau” is a powerful and triumphant tune, and it’s an excellent song selection if you’d like to exit the wedding ceremony with an additional layer of pomp and royalty.  A fun piece of trivia: It was the theme to Masterpiece Theatre.

7. “La Réjouissance” (Music for the Royal Fireworks) – Handel

This song was originally commissioned by George II of Great Britain for a fireworks display in 1749, but it remains just as popular today. Energetic and exciting, this is a great choice if you’d like to add an extra flourish to your recessional.

Top Pop Song Choices for Your Wedding Recessional

If you’d like a more contemporary feel to your wedding day, consider one of these popular tunes for your recessional: 

1. “Marry You” –  Bruno Mars

This Bruno Mars hit has been a popular wedding fixture since its release in 2011, and we even included it in our list of cake-cutting songs.  But with its sentimental lyrics and catchy beat, “Marry You” is also a wonderful pick for your recessional.

2. “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)” – Marvin Gaye

“How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)” was originally recorded by Marvin Gaye, but it was popularized by the success of James Taylor’s cover.  Regardless, its sentimental lyrics make it a wonderful choice for the conclusion of your wedding ceremony. 

3. “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” – Queen

This popular Queen song is an ideal recessional selection for couples who love ‘80s rock ‘n’ roll.  This will have guests clapping along.

4. “Best Day Of My Life” – American Authors

For many people, their wedding is the best day of their life, and this song’s lyrics capture that sentiment perfectly, especially since its placement in the recessional can set the mood leading into your reception.

5. “Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)” – Stevie Wonder

First released in 1970 when Stevie Wonder was only 20 years old, this song is a pledge of loyalty to the person you love more than anyone else in the world—which is fitting since the recessional comes soon after the exchange of vows on your wedding day. 

6. “Viva La Vida” – Coldplay

Coldplay’s smash hit from 2008 is another song that’s been a popular wedding tune since its initial release (and we even included it in our list of wedding ceremony songs), but its blend of strings and rock instrumentation allows you to add an elegant rock ‘n’ roll touch to your special day.

7. “Don’t Stop Believin’” – Journey

As Journey’s most popular song, “Don’t Stop Believin’” has enjoyed equal fanfare as a radio hit and as a much-requested wedding track.  Plus, its hopeful lyrics about a young man and a young woman pressing onward through life make it a wonderful fit for walking down the aisle with your new spouse.

More Wedding Music

If you’d like to find even more options for your wedding day, look through our recommendations for the Mother-Son dance, the Father-Daughter dance, and options for the Wedding Reception.  For an even deeper dive, read our guide on picking music for your wedding day !


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