Free Wedding Song Checklist (Printable Music Template)

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Are you looking for a wedding song checklist to help keep track of all of the music you want to use on your wedding day?

We’ve got you covered!

We have put together an awesome downloadable PDF wedding music checklist (the same one we use in our own wedding planners), and you can download it for free.

Here is what we cover in this article:

A wedding song checklist sitting on a table
Download your free wedding song checklist at the bottom of this post

Wedding Ceremony Music (A Complete Guide and Checklist)

We have put together a complete guide to your wedding ceremony music as well as some of the most popular songs that other couples use for their big day.

What songs are needed for a wedding ceremony? Here is what we cover in this section:

Wedding Prelude Music

Wedding prelude music is what is played while your wedding guests are arriving at the ceremony site and getting seated.

Typically wedding prelude music is played at low volume and consists of songs that are easy on the ears (classical, Disney, instrumental versions of popular songs, etc.)

How many songs do you need for a wedding prelude?

You or your wedding DJ should select about 10 songs to play during the wedding prelude. This will give you a little more than 30 minutes of music to use while your guests are arriving and getting seated.

A few popular wedding prelude songs

Here are a couple of wedding prelude songs that we often hear at weddings that we photograph and plan (and a few unique ideas that we think are perfect):

Wedding guests finding a seat during the wedding prelude
Choose prelude music that is easygoing and appropriate for everyone attending the wedding

Wedding Processional Music (Walking Down The Aisle)

Choosing wedding processional music is one of those fun-to-plan wedding details.

This is where you get to pick the special songs that your grandparents, parents, and wedding party (including the groom and groomsmen) will walk down the aisle to.

How many wedding processional songs do I need?

Most of the weddings that we have photographed and planned have used 1-2 songs for the wedding party processional and a separate song for the bridal processional.

Some couples use the same song for the entire family/wedding party processional and then a separate song for the bride walking down the aisle with her father.

Other couples choose three songs (split up like this):

  • One song for the grandparents, parents, groom, and groomsmen.
  • Another song for the bridesmaids, flower girl, and ring bearer.
  • And a third song for the bride’s entrance with her dad.

A few popular wedding processional songs to consider using

Here are a few of the most common wedding party processional songs that we hear at weddings:

For 200 more wedding processional song ideas, check out these articles:

Photos of the bride walking down the aisle. This is for the article called wedding songs checklist.
Choose a bridal processional song that you love to make the moment even more special

Bridal Processional Songs

The bride walking down the aisle is one of the most amazing sights of the entire wedding day.

You want to choose a song that is absolutely perfect for this moment.

Popular bridal processional songs to use on your wedding day

Here are a few of our favorite bridal processional songs that we have heard at weddings:

For 200 more bridal processional song ideas, check out these articles:

Unity Ceremony Music

Many wedding ceremonies include some kind of unity ceremony.

Examples of a unity ceremony are:

  • Handfasting
  • The lighting of a unity candle
  • Sand ceremony
  • Wine blending

Couples typically choose one special song to play during their unity ceremony.

Best music to play during your unity ceremony

Here are a few of the best unity ceremony songs we have heard at weddings:

A bride and groom walking back down the aisle during the wedding recessional
Pick a wedding recessional song that is fun and upbeat

Wedding Recessional Music

The wedding recessional is the part of the ceremony when the couple and the wedding party walk back down the aisle (the very end of the ceremony).

When choosing music for the wedding recessional, you want to pick a song that reflects both the happy mood of the wedding that just happened and the personalities of the couple.

How many songs do I need for the wedding recessional?

One song is all you need for the wedding recessional. So make it a great one!

Fun songs to play during your wedding ceremony recessional

Here are a few of the best songs that we have heard during the wedding recessional:

For 200 more wedding recessional song ideas, check out this article: Best wedding recessional music

How Many Songs Are Needed For A Wedding Ceremony?

For a complete wedding ceremony, you will want to choose 14-15 songs in total for the following events:

  • Prelude (10 songs)
  • Processional (2-3 songs)
  • Unity ceremony (1 song)
  • Recessional (1 song)

Wedding Reception Music (A Complete Guide and Wedding Song Checklist)

Here is what we cover:

Music To Play During Guest Seating (And Dinner)

You will want to have about 90-120 minutes of background music to play while your guests are finding their seats in the reception room and eating dinner.

This is about 40 songs.

You want this music to be played quietly in the background.

Here are a few song ideas to get you started:

For 150 more wedding music ideas, check out this article: Perfect songs for your wedding dinner

A wedding party entering the reception during introductions
Choose songs for the wedding party reception entrance that sets the mood and gets the party started.

Music For Wedding Party Introductions/Entrance

You will want to choose some fun and upbeat music for your wedding party intros.

This is when the parents of the couple and the entire wedding party get announced into the reception room.

How many songs for the wedding reception entrance?

Some couples choose a different song for each pair to walk into (maybe a song that fits their personality), and other couples choose a single song for the entire wedding party to enter to.

Here are a few wedding reception entrance songs to get you started:

For all of the best wedding reception entrance songs, check out these articles on our blog:

The bride and groom entering the reception during introductions
Choose a fun and upbeat song when the couple gets announced into the reception room

Music For The Couple’s Entrance

When the couple enters the reception room, they should definitely get their own song.

We recommend choosing a song that has energy and fits the couple’s personality

Here are a few song ideas to get you started:

For more couple’s entrance song ideas, check out this article: Best songs for the couple’s reception entrance

First Dance Music

When choosing music for the first dance, try and pick a song that reflects your personality and style.

Here are some of the best first dance songs that we have heard at weddings:

Check out these two articles for about 200 additional first-dance song ideas:

A bride sharing a first dance. This is for the wedding songs checklist article.
Pick a first dance song that is meaningful to you

Music For Parent Dances (Father/Daughter Dance and Mother/Son Dance)

When choosing music for the parent dances, consider picking a song that means something to you personally, or a song that your mom/dad really loves.

Here are a few music ideas for the parent dances to get you started:

Music for the father-daughter dance

Music for the mother-son dance

For over 100 more music ideas for the parent dances, check out these articles on our blog:

Parent dances at a wedding. This is for the article called wedding songs checklist and template
Ask your parents if they have a song that they want to use for these special dances

Cake Cutting Music

When picking out a cake-cutting song, try to pick something fun and upbeat.

Here are a few cake-cutting song ideas to get you started:

Check out this article for all of our favorite cake-cutting songs: Best Cake Cutting Songs

A bride and groom cutting the cake
Pick a fun cake-cutting song that has a sweets/dessert theme

Music For The Bouquet Toss

When picking music for the bouquet toss, we recommend choosing a song that is upbeat and adds excitement to the moment.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

For even more bouquet toss song ideas, check out this article: Our favorite bouquet toss songs

Music For The Garter Toss

For the garter toss, we recommend picking a song that is upbeat and a little funny.

Here are a few song ideas to get you started:

For even more garter toss songs, check out this article on our blog: The best garter toss songs

A bride tossing the bouquet
Choose fun songs to go along with the bouquet and garter toss

Specialty Dance Music (Anniversary Dance, Dollar Dance, Etc.)

If you are doing an anniversary dance or the dollar dance, you will want to pick out 2-3 songs for each (depending on the size of your guest list).

If doing either of these dances, you want to make sure you have enough music to fill the time it takes to complete each dance.

Here are a few song ideas to get you started:

Anniversary music ideas

Dollar dance music ideas

For a lot more anniversary and dollar dance song ideas, check out these posts on our blog:

wedding guests doing the anniversary dance
Choose anniversary and dollar dance songs that all guests can appreciate

Reception Dance Floor Music

For your wedding reception dance floor, you will want to have about 3 hours of music (roughly 40-50 songs).

You probably won’t use all of those songs, but it’s better to have more than you need.

Here are a few reception dance floor song ideas to get you started (but definitely check out the blog posts at the bottom of this section for hundreds of fun music ideas for your wedding reception):

For hundreds of wedding reception music ideas, check out these posts:

A bride and wedding guests dancing to music during the wedding reception
When choosing your wedding reception dance floor songs, it’s best to start the night with music that your older guests can dance to. Then you can end the night with all of your favorite club hits.

Last Dance (Final Song Of The Night)

when choosing music for the final dance of the night at your reception, we recommend picking a song that will get all of your guests onto the dance floor (and singing along!).

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

For more music ideas for your final song, check out this post on our blog: 150 perfect songs for the end of the night

Cocktail Hour Music

Cocktail hour music should simply be played in the background to fill the empty space.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

For even more cocktail music ideas, check out this blog post (same song ideas from our dinner list): Great songs to use for your wedding cocktail hour and dinner

A wedding cocktail hour
Play cocktail hour music that you would hear in a restaurant. You just want it to be there to fill in the empty space

Getting Ready Music

Definitely make a playlist for your getting-ready room.

Having music while getting ready adds some life to the room and makes people happier (we have been in getting-ready rooms with no music and it’s just awkward)

Your music playlist for getting ready can be anything you want. We recommend picking songs that you love and music that makes you happy.

For a few ideas, check out this post on our blog: Fun songs to play while getting ready with the girls

a bride and bridesmaids getting ready for the wedding
Put together a fun getting-ready playlist to play while you are getting ready for the wedding.

Download Our Free Printable Wedding Song Checklist (PDF Template)

You can download the free wedding song checklist below (it’s a printable PDF):

More Wedding Planning Tips And Resources

Here are a few more wedding-planning articles that you might find helpful:

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