10 Best Traditional Wedding Songs

Looking for the ten best traditional wedding songs? Weddings offer a time to either enjoy good music or to torture the guests with favorite tunes from the bride and groom. A handful of songs offer good music to celebrate the occasion. The music is heard frequently at weddings, and the guests come to recognize the melody and even the words. The ten best traditional wedding songs include classical music and classic rock tunes. 

  1. "The Wedding March" from "The Midsummer Night's Dream" incidental music by Mendelssohn, also known to folks as "Here Comes the Bride."  This is a must have for many weddings when moving the bride from the door to the bridal party waiting at the front of the assembly. It's been played on the piano, guitar or harp. Some weddings have the tune played on kazoos. 
  2. "Simple Gifts," a traditional tune popularized by Aaron Copland in "Appalachian Spring." It's a catchy instrumental tune that moves the wedding party down the aisle and allows the guests to enjoy the music before the wedding party arrives for the formal ceremony. 
  3. "Can't Help Falling in Love" by Elvis Presley. Elvis did not leave the building, but instead, he lives on through this popular, and now traditional, song that makes the ten best traditional wedding song list. Elvis fans enjoy the lyrics, but the tune is often simply played as an instrumental. 
  4. "Air on the G String" from the "Suite #3 in D Major" by J.S. Bach. This piece has a long winding instrumental with a beautiful, arching melody. It's a meditative piece for a candle lighting, used to set the mood before the actual wedding ceremony. 
  5. "Trumpet Voluntary" by Henry Purcell. The instrumental piece is played on a single trumpet. It's trilling melody creates the atmosphere of 17th century England, for weddings looking for a destination wedding but can't quite put together enough cash to actually reach England. 
  6. "The Wedding Song (There is Love)" by Peter, Paul and Mary. This classic modern song is beautiful. It's a tune that also goes over well on a harp or with a guitar instrumental. It's a ballad; the song tells a tune, and it's about the true nature of love. 
  7. "Canon in D" by Johann Pachelbel. This traditional wedding song is another instrumental that is usually played on string, organ or brass instruments. It has a repeated bass line and chords that everyone in the audience recognizes. The variations recur so that the audience is soothed before the actual ceremony. This song, when left uncut, takes eight or nine minutes and may put the wedding guests to sleep if asked to wait too long for the bride and groom. 
  8. "I Knew the Bride When She Used to Rock and Roll" by Nick Lowe. This is a modern traditional song. Well, maybe not so traditional, but it should be a classic. This song tells it all and rocks the wedding guests. This tune, played between two classical wedding songs, is sure to get some attention. 
  9. "At Last" by Harry Warren and Mack Gordon. Written in 1941, this ditty is used for television commercials, but it's a tasty tribute to the couple after the "I Dos" are said. The modern traditional song is used at weddings as an instrumental or with a female or male soloist. It's best used as a torch song and belted out as the couple turns to leave after the kiss. "At last, my love has come along." The lyrics say it all. 
  10. "We've Only Just Begun" by the Carpenters. Another modern classic song for weddings by the brother and sister team of Karen and Richard. The lyrics remind the couple and the guests of the purpose and the hope for the marriage — something that may be necessary when half of all marriages end in divorce. 


Coates, Dan and Warner Brothers. "Popular Love Songs and Wedding Music." Alfred Publishing Company, 2000.

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