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The Best Wedding Recessional Songs to Complete Your Ceremony

Begin married life with any of these celebratory hits.
sarah hanlon assistant editor the knot
by Sarah Hanlon
sarah hanlon assistant editor the knot
Sarah Hanlon
Assistant Editor, Digital
  • Sarah is an Assistant Digital Editor for The Knot, with special focuses in fashion, pop culture and wedding trends.
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Sarah was a contributing writer for Bravo at NBC Universal.
  • Sarah has a degree in journalism and resides in New York City.
Updated Jan 26, 2021

After your officiant announces you and your S.O. are officially married, you'll need a celebratory song to complete your wedding ceremony. The wedding recessional song is the first thing you'll hear as a married couple, so it should be a thoughtful and romantic choice. Picking a recessional song may not be your first thought when it comes to wedding planning, but, as with other musical selections, it's something you shouldn't overlook. The songs on your wedding playlist set the tone for your big day, so it's important to choose them intentionally.  

Whether it's played by a DJ or band or sung by a soloist, your ceremony exit song should inspire your guests to stand up and cheer as you make your way back up the aisle as newlyweds. If you're struggling to find a memorable wedding recessional song, we're here to help regardless of if your music tastes are rooted in the classics or you're willing to experiment with something modern. We've narrowed down the best wedding recessional songs to play when you march off as newlyweds. 

What is a Recessional? 

As you begin making your wedding playlist, you might wonder, "What is a recessional?" The recessional happens at the end of the ceremony when the newly-married couple and wedding party walk back up the aisle. This moment is not to be confused with the wedding processional, which occurs when the couple and their wedding party walk down the aisle before the ceremony begins. 

There are no steadfast rules when it comes to choosing wedding recessional music. You can opt for a traditional instrumental tune, or you can pull a current hit straight from the charts. Just like your songs for the first dancethe reception exit and even cutting the cake, your recessional music should be a sentimental choice you and your S.O. both love. We've got the best ideas below, broken out by category. 

In this article: 

Traditional Wedding Recessional Songs 

There's no need to break with tradition if you like the classics. From "Wedding March" to "Spring," these common classical tunes are no-fail crowd pleasers for the end of your ceremony. We've rounded up the best traditional wedding recessional songs here. 

  • "Wedding March" (from A Midsummer Night's Dream) by Felix Mendelssohn
  • "Ode to Joy" by Ludwig van Beethoven
  • "Allegro Maestoso" (from Water Music Suite) by George F. Handel
  • "Brandenburg Concerto No. 1," Allegro, by Johann S. Bach
  • "Coronation March" (from Crown Imperial) by Sir William Walton
  • "Hallelujah Chorus" (from The Messiah) by George F. Handel
  • "Hornpipe" (from Water Music Suite) by George F. Handel
  • "Spring," Allegro, (from The Four Seasons), by Antonio Vivaldi
  • "Toccata" (from Symphony 5, opus 42) by Charles-Marie Widor
  • "Trumpet Tune and Bell Symphony" by Henry Purcell
  • "Wedding Song" by Noel Paul Stookey
  • "Largo from Xerxes,"  by George Frideric Handel
  • "One Hand, One Heart" by Bernstein
  • "On Wings of Song" by Mendelssohn
  • "Badinerie" (from Orchestral Suite No. 2) by Johann S. Bach
  • "Rondeau" (theme from Masterpiece Theater) by Jean Joseph Mouret
  • "Sonata in G Major" by Giuseppe Tartini
  • "Triumphal March" by Edvard Grieg
  • "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik and Posthorn-Serenade" by Mozart

Modern Wedding Recessional Songs

There are plenty of fun wedding recessional songs that'll show off your personality and your stellar taste in music. These recent hits are unlikely recessional song choices, but they're ideal for couples who want something nontraditional. From Beyoncé to Dan and Shay, find our favorite modern wedding recessional songs here.

  • "XO" by Beyoncé
  • "Fallin' for You" by Colbie Caillat
  • "A Sky Full of Stars" by Coldplay
  • "Mirrors" by Justin Timberlake
  • "I Choose You" by Sara Bareilles
  • "We Found Love," Rihanna and Calvin Harris
  • "Wildest Dreams" by Duomo
  • "River" by Leon Bridges
  • "You Are in Love" by Taylor Swift
  • "Sweet Creature" by Harry Styles
  • "Butterflies" by Kacey Musgraves
  • "At Your Best (You Are In Love)" by Frank Ocean
  • "Love Me Harder" by Ariana Grande
  • "Best Love Song" by T-Pain
  • "One Thing Right" by Kane Brown
  • "Better" by Khalid
  • "Shotgun" by George Ezra
  • "I Like Me Better" by Lauv
  • "Taking Me Higher" by Illenium
  • "10,000 Hours" by Dan + Shay and Justin Bieber
  • "All the Stars" by Kendrick Lamar and SZA
  • "Somewhere Only We Know" by Keane
  • "I Found You" by Andy Grammer
  • "You Are the Best Thing" by Ray LaMontagne
  • "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong

Upbeat Wedding Recessional Songs

End your ceremony on a high note with an upbeat wedding recessional song. If you imagine dancing (or running) up the aisle with your new spouse, queue one of these high-energy hits. We have a feeling your guests will be dancing with you. 

  • "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)" by Natalie Cole
  • "All You Need is Love" by The Beatles
  • "You Make My Dreams Come True" by Hall & Oates
  • "Beautiful Day" by U2
  • "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz
  • "Fly Me to the Moon" by Frank Sinatra
  • "On Top of the World" by Imagine Dragons
  • "Best Day of My Life" by American Authors
  • "Love Me Like You Do" by Ellie Goulding
  • "Oh! You Pretty Things" by David Bowie
  • "The Way You Make Me Feel" by Michael Jackson
  • "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" by Stevie Wonder
  • "Sunshine of My Life" by Stevie Wonder
  • "The Long and Winding Road" by The Beatles
  • "Marry You" by Bruno Mars
  • "Home" by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
  • "All I Do is Dream of You" by Michael Bublé
  • "Here Comes the Sun" by The Beatles
  • "Happy Together" by The Turtles
  • "I Got You Babe" by Sonny and Cher
  • "Your Love" by The Outfield
  • "Good Vibrations" by The Beach Boys
  • "You & Me" by That band Honey.

Religious Wedding Recessional Songs

If you're planning a religious wedding, consider ending your ceremony with a sacred wedding recessional song. Find plenty of appropriate hymns to add to your playlist here. 

  • "Esultate, Jubilate" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • "Joy" by George Winston
  • "Now Thank We All Our God" by Johann S. Bach
  • "Hallelujah Chorus" by The Choir & Orchestra of Pro Christe
  • "Psalm 19" by Benedetto Marcello
  • "The Prayer" by Josh Groban and Charlotte Church
  • "Multiplied" by NEEDTOBREATHE
  • "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, BWV 147" by Andrew Grossman, Anna Moor, and Lana Ross
  • "Build Your Kingdom Here" by Rend Collective
  • "Something Beautiful" by Newsboy
  • "Love Song" by Third Day
  • "Thankful for You" by tobyMac
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