The Best Processional Music for Your Ceremony

Perfect Harmony String Ensemble share their top requested ceremony songs.

Photograph by Justine Ungaro.

Ceremony music is what sets the tone of your wedding—it’s one of the first things your guests will encounter before the wedding begins, and it’s the last thing they’ll hear as you parade down the aisle with your newly wedded spouse. But for those who are not classical music aficionados, selecting the songs you and your that the bridal party are going to walk down the aisle to can be overwhelming.

That’s why we checked in with the pros, Perfect Harmony String Ensemble, a local professional musical group that has performed hundreds of ceremonies since they first formed in 2007. While they are able to play any classical music requests, they also specialize in taking a pop song or movie soundtrack and transforming it into a beautiful piece for a quartet.

For a couple that’s interested in booking Perfect Harmony String Ensemble for their wedding, the group provides them with a music guide that offers song recommendations for every portion of the ceremony. Additionally, the Perfect Harmony String Ensemble is willing to arrange and perform pieces not among their repetoir, so even music written for other instruments can be transcribed for their group.

If you’re planning your ceremony, here’s a few of Perfect Harmony String Ensemble’s most-popular pieces to get you started.

Classical Processional Selections:
Canon in D by Pachelbel
Air (from “The Water Music”) by Handel
Sheep May Safely Graze by Bach
Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring by Bach
Air (from Suite #3 in D Major) by Bach
Bridal Chorus
Trumpet Voluntary

Contemporary Processional Selections:
A Thousand Years by Christina Perri
At Last by Etta James
The Wedding (from “Legends of the Fall”) by James Horner
Halo by Beyoncé
La Vie En Rose
A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes (from Cinderella)
Marry Me by Train

Recessional Selections:
All You Need Is Love by The Beatles
Starlight by Muse
Viva La Vida by Coldplay
Cantina Band or Throne Room (from “Star Wars”) by John Williams
Marry You by Bruno Mars
Paparazzi by Lady Gaga
Moondance by Van Morrison
Love Story by Taylor Swift
A Whole New World (from “Aladdin”)

To hear the group perform some of these pieces, head to their website to give them a listen. Additionally, check out Washingtonian Bride & Groom’s Spotify playlist of the best 15 processional songs.

Associate Editor

Caroline Cunningham joined Washingtonian in 2014 after moving to the DC area from Cincinnati, where she interned and freelanced for Cincinnati Magazine and worked in content marketing. She currently resides in College Park.