Recessional Songs To Exit Ceremony in Style or a Bang

Updated November 16, 2023 | Author: Matthew Campbell

Pick a song that will play as you exit the wedding ceremony after the I dos and you are officially married. What song will play to end the ceremony and set the tone for the reception?

wedding recessional exit songs

When picking out the song to leave the ceremony as a married couple, you must consider the following 3 factors:

  1. Does the song have a special meaning to both of you?
  2. What is the tempo of the song (fast or slow) to determine the mood of the walk?
  3. Does the song’s genre and meaning match your music tastes and relationship?

As an experienced wedding DJ, I’ve assembled a list of recessional songs. Songs are selected by the meaning of the song and popular hits by today’s couples. Besides new and trending, additional lists are grouped by genre to match your taste in music.

New Recessional Songs

  1. “Dreaming” by Marshmello, P!NK, Sting (Dance – 2023)
  2. “Run Away With Me” by Cold War Kids (Rock – 2023)
  3. “Beside You” by James Blunt (Pop – 2023)
  4. “You & I” by Rita Ora (Pop – 2023)
  5. “That Part” by Lauren Spencer Smith (Pop – 2023)
  6. “Rest of Our Lives (Instrumental)” by The Light the Heat (Indie – 2023)
  7. “You Make My Dreams (Come True)” by Wendlo (Pop – 2023)
  8. “You Plus Me” by Plain White T’s (Rock – 2023)
  9. “A Sky Full of Stars (Piano Version)” by Linneo (New Age – 2023)
  10. “Wings” by Jonas Brothers (Pop – 2023)
  11. “First Day of My Life” by Brooklyn Duo (Classical – 2022)

Below is a list of popular and unique alternative recessional songs. The songs on the left are popular recessionals. The songs on the right are similar alternative tracks in the same music style, tempo, and mood – but not played at every wedding.

Popular SongsUnique Alternatives
1. Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours – S. Wonder
2. This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) – Natalie Cole
3. You Make My Dreams (Come True) – Hall & Oates
4. Best Day Of My Life – American Authors
5. Marry You – Bruno Mars
6. Forever – Chris Brown
7. You Are The Best Thing – Ray LaMontagne
8. Home – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
9. You’re My Best Friend – Queen
10. Love Me Like You Do – Ellie Goulding
11. I’m A Believer – Smash Mouth
12. Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Queen
13. On Top Of The World – Imagine Dragons
14. Here Comes The Sun – Beatles
15. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) – J. Taylor
16. Electric Love – Borns
17. A Sky Full Of Stars – Coldplay
18. Accidentally In Love – Counting Crows
19. Higher Love – Kygo and Whitney Houston
20. Forever And Ever, Amen – Randy Travis
21. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Gaye & Terrell
22. Beautiful Day – U2
23. I Do – Colbie Caillat
24. Just The Two Of Us – Washington Jr. & Withers
25. Lovely Day – Bill Withers
26. (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher – J. Wilson
27. Love On Top – Beyonce
1. For Once In My Life – Stevie Wonder
2. The Best – Tina Turner
3. Whenever I Call You “Friend” – K. Loggins, S. Nicks
4. You – A Great Big World
5. Good Day for Marrying You – Dave Barnes
6. Down – Jay Sean
7. What Would I Do Without You – Drew Holcomb
8. Honeybee – The Head and The Heart
9. Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now – Starship
10. I’ll Be There – Jesse Glynne
11. Follow Me – Uncle Kracker
12. Got My Mind Set On You – George Harrison
13. Good Life – OneRepublic
14. All You Need Is Love – Katy Perry
15. Kiss Me – Sixpence None The Richer
16. Let’s Get Married – Bleachers
17. I’m In Love With You – The 1975
18. Only Wanna Be With You – Post Malone
19. One in a Million – Bebe Rexha, David Guetta
20. Thank God – Kane Brown & Katelyn Brown
21. Best of My Love – The Emotions
22. If I Didn’t Have You – BANNERS
23. Say Hey (I Love You) – Michael Franti
24. Better – Khalid
25. Good Day – Nappy Roots
26. Ain’t Nobody – Rufus & Chaka Khan
27. Forever – Ciara & Lil Baby

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Instrumental Classical Songs

  1. First Day of My Life – Brooklyn Duo
  2. Livin’ on a Prayer – 2Cellos
  3. Canon in D – Brooklyn Duo
  4. River Flows in You – Hauser
  5. Wildest Dreams – Duomo
  6. Highland Cathedral – Royal Scots Dragoon Guards
  7. Trumpet Tune – Henry Purcell


After you pick your song to exit to, don’t forget about the song to play as you and your wedding party walk down the aisle – the processional.

R&B Tracks

  1. Forever – Lee Fields
  2. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Jennifer Hudson
  3. Better – Khalid
  4. Marry Me – Jason Derulo
  5. Love On Top – Beyonce
  6. Forever – Chris Brown
  7. No One – Alicia Keys
  8. All My Life – K-Ci & JoJo
  9. September – Earth Wind & Fire
  10. This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) – Natalie Cole
  11. Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours – Stevie Wonder
  12. (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher & Higher – Jackie Wilson
  13. At Last – Etta James


Rock Hits

  1. I’m In Love With You – The 1975
  2. Beautiful Thing – Old Foes
  3. I Wanna Remember (Acoustic) – NEEDTOBREATHE, Carrie Underwood
  4. If I Didn’t Have You – BANNERS
  5. Best Day Of My Life – American Authors
  6. Marry Me – Train
  7. Say Hey (I Love You) – Michael Franti & Spearhead
  8. You Are The Best Thing – Ray LaMontagne
  9. Better Together – Jack Johnson
  10. Beautiful Day – U2
  11. Send Me On My Way – Rusted Root
  12. Here Comes The Sun – The Beatles


The recessional is the song played as you exit the ceremony. Pick the song that will play as your wedding’s last dance to close out your reception. Will it be romantic or end on a high note?


Pop Tunes

  1. Songbird – Rita Wilson, Josh Groban
  2. All You Need Is Love – Katy Perry
  3. I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing – Music Travel Love, Felix Irwan
  4. Ocean – LunchMoney Lewis, Meghan Trainor
  5. Forever And Ever, Amen – Ronan Keating & Shania Twain
  6. Brand New Day (Acoustic 2020) – Joshua Radin
  7. All My Life – Sailr
  8. Grow As We Go – Ben Platt
  9. I Am Yours – Andy Grammer
  10. Could I Love You Any More – Reneé Dominique feat. Jason Mraz
  11. Lover – Taylor Swift
  12. Carry Me Away – John Mayer
  13. Can’t Help Falling in Love – Kina Grannis
  14. How Would You Feel (Paean) – Ed Sheeran
  15. Can’t Stop The Feeling! – Justin Timberlake
  16. Brand New – Ben Rector
  17. I Choose You – Sara Bareilles
  18. A Sky Full Of Stars – Coldplay
  19. Yours – Ella Henderson
  20. On Top Of The World – Imagine Dragons
  21. A Thousand Years – Christina Perri
  22. Good Life – Onerepublic
  23. I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
  24. Bittersweet Symphony – The Verve
  25. You Make My Dreams Come True – Hall & Oates
  26. What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
  27. Happy Together – The Turtles
  28. Fly Me To The Moon – Frank Sinatra


A popular event during a wedding ceremony is the unity ceremony. The unity ceremony signifies the union of two becoming one. Highlight your unity ceremony with a special song.


Country Hits

  1. Keep Her – Johnny and Heidi
  2. Thank God – Kane Brown & Katelyn Brown
  3. Found It In You – Tiera Kennedy
  4. Anyone / Still the One – Charlotte Ave
  5. 10,000 Hours (Piano Remix) – Dan + Shay & Justin Bieber
  6. Walk With Me – Delta Rae
  7. Made for You – Jake Owen
  8. Best Shot – Jimmie Allen
  9. This Is It – Scotty McCreery
  10. Yours (Wedding Edition) – Russell Dickerson
  11. Millionaire – Chris Stapleton
  12. Grow Old – Florida Georgia Line
  13. God Gave Me You – Blake Shelton
  14. Stuck Like Glue – Sugarland
  15. Forever And For Always – Shania Twain
  16. Cowboy Take Me Away – The Chicks


After the ceremony is over, couples typically take pictures and then go to the reception hall. You will need to select a song for your entrance and introduction as the newly married couple into the venue.


Indie Tunes

  1. One Life – James Bay
  2. What a Wonderful World – Sawyer Fredericks
  3. My Love Will Follow You – Dave Barnes
  4. No Matter Where You Are (Wedding Version) – Us The Duo
  5. Evermore – Hollow Coves
  6. To Whatever Comes After – Jon Danforth
  7. Forever From Now – Sheffield
  8. Rest of Our Lives – The Light the Heat
  9. Finally Mine – Juliet Roberts
  10. For a Lifetime – Ryann Darling feat. Cory Ard
  11. I Get to Love You – Ruelle
  12. Ho Hey – The Lumineers
  13. Higher Love – James Vincent McMorrow
  14. Home – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
  15. We Are Man And Wife – Michelle Featherstone
  16. First Day Of My Life – Bright Eyes
  17. Just Like Heaven – The Cure
  18. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) – James Taylor


A very popular dance during a wedding reception that is rarely skipped is the first dance. See a list of popular and unique first dance songs picked by other wedding couples.



Misc Walk-Out Tracks

  1. Cowboy Take Me Away – Virgo Rising
  2. Hand in Hand – David Arkenstone
  3. Now That We Found Love – Heavy D. & the Boyz
  4. Over The Rainbow – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole


If you are having your wedding in a church, the music must meet specific guidelines. Be sure to check out our list of wedding songs to play in churches and also tracks for a Catholic wedding.

Do you have a favorite recessional song? Please share your song below in the comments!

A quick video of recessional song picks.


Don’t confuse the recessional song with the last dance song. The recessional is typically the last song of the wedding ceremony. The last dance song or send-off song is typically the last song of the wedding reception. A good closing song is “(I’ve Had The) Time Of My Life” by Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes or “Closing Time” by Semisonic.

Traditional wedding recessional songs are fine. You may want that. We’ve included “Ode To Joy” by Ludwig van Beethoven, “Trumpet Tune” by Henry Purcell, and “Hornpipe” by George Frideric Handel.

Classical may not be your thing. Signaling the end of the wedding ceremony doesn’t have to be a total bummer. You can also choose fun songs for the recessional. These include the “Star Wars Theme” by John Williams, “Celebration” by Kool & The Gang, and “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)” by James Taylor.

Wedding recessional songs are played at a wedding ceremony after the wedding couple has been announced to family and friends as officially married. The wedding recessional song plays while the wedding couple walks down the aisle after the ceremony is complete; away from the altar. The song can continue to play as the wedding party also exits down the aisle. The guests follow.

Walking to the altar is customarily set to music. That’s the processional song — you know, the one you dream about since you dreamed of your wedding. The recessional song is played after the “I Dos” as you leave the altar and exit.

The recessional order is as follows after the announcement of the newlyweds: 1. Wedding couple 2. Flower girl and ring bearer 3. Bridesmaids and Groomsmen 4. Maid/Matron of Honor and Best Man 5. Parents 6. Grandparents 7. Guests.

Sorry, but you do need to choose a recessional song. It marks the end of the wedding ceremony. The song also honors your union and marks the beginning of your new life together as a married couple. Thus, choose a song that signifies your love for each other.

The wedding recessional song ends with the ceremony but not the wedding. Next is the receiving line where the wedding couple thanks each guest for coming. And, don’t forget, the party! Yes, and we have more lists for epic dance parties and more at your reception.

You two are not the cookie-cutter couple. Not by a long shot. While you practice the wise “go along to get along” policy with regard to the dresses and flowers and ceremonial details — after all, the marriage is for you but the wedding is for your families — the line is drawn at the recessional.

“I now pronounce you Husband and Wife” (or whatever variation) and the music that follows signals to your guests that this is no longer two people. You are one, unified couple. Your new life begins. It’s your rule now. I think you need an anthem.

Recessional songs are the perfect spot in the wedding ceremony for an anthem — an epic song to show your personality. Why not choose an anthem that reflects who you are as a couple? Here are a few ideas.

Nirvana – Come as You Are – You look amazing in your gown and tuxedo but underneath the glam are a pair of hearts clothed in flannel. You’re a grungy couple with just a hint of cynicism about the world and Cobain spoke to you both in your youth. From the iconic guitar opening to the world-weary vocals, this song announces to the world that you are coming as you are (“as you were, as a friend, as a known enemy”).

Chris Young – Gettin’ You Home – One of those connections (on top of your mutual love for trucker hats and watching the sunset while sipping lemonade on the back porch) is that you both have a pair of well-worn and cherished cowboy boots. Perhaps a bit of two-stepping down the aisle and out of the sanctuary is exactly the message you want to send to your friends and family.

The Ramones – Baby I Love You – Is the song our brains should play every time we get a crush on someone. The two of you took that simple, puppy love of staring across a crowded room and only seeing each other and building a solid life together. It’s also ear-wormy enough that your family and guests won’t want to wait until you’re fully out of the room before they get up and follow you, humming along. It’s a nod to John Hughes’ movie credits — and recessional moment.

The Dead Milkmen – Punk Rock Girl – Your courtship was that of a groom seeking someone to blow his mind with her amazing perspective on the world, life, and love. This Dead Milkmen hit says it all.

She’s So Hot…Boom! – Flight Of The Conchords – This anthem is a little unorthodox but so are you. You and your new spouse are irreverent, funny, and have few boundaries. So why not splash that excess of personality like paint on a Pollack and strut your stuff in style? Also, the bits at the reception from the show will guarantee a lot of laughs.

Journey – Any Way You Want It – Talk about hitting your stride with a bang! Steve Perry and Journey represent an attitude and the amount of hairspray you’re both wearing right now smells like the ’80s. Herald in your wedded journey with something that makes you put on mirrored sunglasses and jam your way out of the chapel. Use this to anoint your day and everyone else will be singing about “lovin’ things,” too.

The White Stripes – Fell In Love With A Girl – That opening guitar riff declares, in no uncertain terms, that you are both charging into your future together with which there is a reckoning. You are one of those couples — hip, powerful, and unified in your passionate embrace for life, love, and each other.

Why trust Matthew Campbell?

DJ, Author, Music Lover


Matthew (Matt) Campbell is the founder/editor of My Wedding Songs from his experience as a wedding DJ. He is the author of two wedding planners: ‘Wedding Songs Planner’ and ‘The Wedding Music Toolkit’. Matt is the host of the ‘Wedding Songs Podcast’. He shares music inspiration in his weekly newsletter the ‘Wedding MusicLetter’. His articles have been published on Rolling Stone, DJ Life Magazine, and DJ Times. Matt resides in the wedding capital of the world – Las Vegas.

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