101 Best Recessional Songs
You’ve thought of every detail of your wedding. Wait. Did you? What about the recessional song? Yes. What is a good song to walk out to after you’re married? There are so many to choose from. We’re here to help.
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. You’ve imagined all of the people walking down the aisle. Your entire wedding party walks down the aisle before you for that one magic moment.
But what happens after you’re announced as a couple? You need another song. Yes, another song. After the couple (that’s you) is announced by the officiant, the recessional begins. Then, the wedding party exits followed by the wedding guests from the front (family) to back rows.
What is a Wedding Recessional Song?
Wedding Recessional Songs are played at a wedding ceremony after the bride and groom have been announced: husband and wife. Some modern couples prefer not to be announced this way. If you’re a same-sex couple, The Knot has three really great scripts to get you started. It’s your wedding — to celebrate you. Be sure to talk about your preferences with your professional wedding planner.
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.
What is a Good Song to Walk Out to After We are Married?
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, or “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)” by James Taylor.
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.
The Recessional Is The First Impression You Make As A Couple
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 rules now. We think you need an anthem.
Wedding Recessional: The Couple’s 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.
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”).
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?
This 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 built 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.
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.
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.
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.
101 Best Wedding Recessional Songs
Whichever song you chose to take that stroll down the aisle and out into your new lives is significant. Any couple can finish with the music of a thousand other weddings but you want to make a statement about your newly minted philosophy toward a marriage. Be bold. Be yourselves. Announce your betrothal with some edge.
We’ve chosen songs from our experience as a professional DJ over the years. If you have a special wedding recessional song that you think we should add to our list, please add your song suggestion through the comment section below. Don’t forget to let us know what song it should replace.
Please Note: Many songs listed below can be found with vocals and instrumental songs. If the link is for vocals, please search on Amazon for what you are looking for and vice-versa.
Recessional song list curated by Matthew Campbell
Last Updated: May 29, 2020
Listen to the best recessional songs playlist on Spotify.