92 Celebratory Wedding Recessional Songs That'll End Your Ceremony Perfectly

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sarah hanlon entertainment and celebrity editor the knot
Sarah Hanlon
sarah hanlon entertainment and celebrity editor the knot
Sarah Hanlon
Entertainment & Celebrity Editor
  • Sarah is the Entertainment & Celebrity Editor for The Knot, with special focuses on pop culture and celebrity wedding news.
  • 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 May 18, 2023

After your officiant announces you and your boo are officially married, you'll need the right song to fit the joyous mood for the end of your wedding ceremony. This is the wedding recessional song, which is the first thing you'll hear as a married couple. Whether it's played by a DJ or ceremony musician, 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.

If you're struggling to find a memorable wedding recessional song, we're here to help regardless of your music tastes. We've narrowed down the best recessional wedding songs to play when you walk hand in hand as newlyweds.

In this article:

What is the Wedding Recessional?

As you start making your wedding ceremony music soundtrack, you might be wondering, "What is a recessional?" Simply put, the recessional happens at the end of the ceremony when the to-be-weds and wedding party walk up the aisle. This isn't the same as the wedding processional, which occurs when the couple and their wedding party walk down the aisle before the ceremony begins.

And remember, there are no steadfast rules when it comes to choosing wedding recessional songs. You can opt for a traditional instrumental tune or pull a current hit straight from the charts. Just like your songs for the first dance, the reception exit and even cutting the cake, your recessional music should be a sentimental choice you and your partner love.

Upbeat Wedding Recessional Songs

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

  • "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)," by Natalie Cole

  • "All You Need Is Love," by The Beatles

  • "You Make My Dreams," 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 (I'm Yours)," by Stevie Wonder

  • "CUFF IT," by Beyoncé

  • "Happy Now," by Kali Uchis

  • "Marry You," by Bruno Mars

  • "Home," by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

  • "All I Do Is Dream of You," by Michael Bublé

  • "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.

  • "Still into You," by Paramore

Fun Wedding Recessional Songs

For couples who want to play a song not typically played as the wedding ceremony exit song, try one of these unique tunes. You might even find some gems to add to your personal playlist.

Traditional Wedding Recessional Songs

There's no need to break from tradition if you like the classics. From "Wedding March" to "Spring," these common tunes are no-fail crowd-pleasers for the end of your ceremony. Read below for the best traditional recessional songs for weddings.

  • "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

  • "Crown Imperial (Coronation March)," 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 No. 5, Op. 42) by Charles-Marie Widor

  • "Trumpet Tune and Bell Symphony," by Henry Purcell

  • "Wedding Song (There Is Love)," by Noel Paul Stookey

  • "Largo from Xerxes," by George Frideric Handel

  • "One Hand, One Heart" (from West Side Story) by Leonard Bernstein

  • "On Wings of Song," by Felix Mendelssohn

  • "Badinerie" (from Orchestral Suite No. 2) by Johann S. Bach

  • "Rondeau" (Theme from Masterpiece Theater) by Jean Joseph Mouret

  • "Violin Sonata in G Major," by Giuseppe Tartini

  • "Triumphal March," by Edvard Grieg

  • "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik and Posthorn-Serenade," by Wolfgang A. Mozart

Newlyweds share a kiss at their whimsical outdoor recessional.
Photo: Nirav Patel Photography

Modern Wedding Recessional Songs

There are plenty of contemporary 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 to personalize their ceremony. From Beyoncé to Harry Styles, find our favorite modern wedding recessional songs here.

  • "XO," by Beyoncé

  • "Fallin' for You," by Colbie Caillat

  • "Adventure of a Lifetime," by Coldplay

  • "Mirrors," by Justin Timberlake

  • "I Choose You," by Sara Bareilles

  • "We Found Love," by Rihanna and Calvin Harris

  • "Wildest Dreams," by Duomo

  • "River," by Leon Bridges

  • "You Are in Love," by Taylor Swift

  • "Adore You," by Harry Styles

  • "Butterflies," by Kacey Musgraves

  • "The Distance," by Mariah Carey

  • "Love Me Harder," by Ariana Grande

  • "Champagne Kisses," by Jessie Ware

  • "Matrimony," by Tennis

  • "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 and Cash Cash

  • "You Are the Best Thing," by Ray LaMontagne

  • "Hey," by We Are KING

Religious Wedding Recessional Songs

If you're planning a religious wedding, consider closing your ceremony with a sacred recessional song. Find plenty of appropriate hymns and more modern religious songs to add to your wedding soundtrack here.

  • "Esultate, Jubilate," by Wolfgang A. 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 Newsboys

  • "Love Song," by Third Day

  • "Thankful for You," by TobyMac

  • "Glimmer In the Dust," by Hillsong UNITED, TAYA, Joel Houston and Jad Gillies

Chapelle Johnson contributed to the reporting of this article.

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