This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. You’ve said your “I dos,” shared your first kiss as a married couple, and now you’re ready to walk back down the aisle hand-in-hand with your life partner — and you need the perfect soundtrack to set the mood! That’s where wedding recessional songs come in.
You know how the perfect song can make a movie scene unforgettable? Whenever you hear “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” you can’t help but think of Dirty Dancing, or picture Heath Ledger in 10 Things I Hate About You when “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” comes on.
Wedding recessional songs have the same effect for one of the best moments in your life. This is the grand finale of your wedding ceremony, and the very beginning of your married life. Just like with your first dance song, every time you hear the chorus of your wedding recessional song you’ll be transported right back to that unforgettable feeling.
In other words, it’s a pretty big decision! To make it a little easier we asked our GWS Instagram audience to send us their favorite ceremony exit and wedding recessional songs. And they delivered! From fun jams to country tunes, we’ve compiled their best responses and created a Spotify playlist to help you decide.
But before we start the music, here are a few FAQs about wedding recessional songs!
What are wedding recessional songs?
Wedding recessional songs are what are playing in the background as you exit your ceremony as a newly married couple. It’s the song that will send you off while your loved ones are cheering, throwing rice or flower petals, or waving sparklers.
Not only do wedding recessional songs help you make an unforgettable ceremony exit, but they also kick off the party for the rest of the night!
Think: the surprise rendition of “All You Need Is Love” at Keira Knightley’s wedding ceremony in Love, Actually.
While wedding recessional songs technically refer to your ceremony exit, these songs would also work for your final exit at the end of the night! You can even play the same song for both exits to tie the entire celebration together.
What makes a good wedding recessional song?
The best ceremony exit and wedding recessional songs capture that “OMG we’re married!!” feeling. They set the mood for your married life and mark the official start of the party!
Because of this, a good wedding recessional song is typically upbeat and exciting. This isn’t the time for romantic ballads or slow love songs — save those for your initial walk down the aisle instead!
We asked our GWS audience about their favorite songs for walking down the aisle. Here’s what they said!
Here at GWS, we’re also big fans of choosing wedding recessional songs that reflect you as a couple — whether that means jamming out to your favorite pop song, showing off your rock ‘n’ roll side, or choosing a timeless classic as you embark on your ceremony exit!
GWS Tip! One idea we LOVE for wedding recessional songs is to play a few notes from a traditional tune (like Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March”), then cutting it short to transition to a modern jam. This is an unforgettable way to grab your guests’ attention and exit your ceremony with a dose of fun!
Instrumental Wedding Recessional Songs
Some of your favorite songs might have lyrics that represent your love story or a melody that makes your heart swell, but they don’t match the vibes of your wedding. To get that classic wedding feeling, why not opt for instrumental wedding recessional songs?
There are tons of great instrumental and acoustic versions of our favorite ceremony exit and wedding recessional songs. These are perfect for more formal or elegant weddings — and we also love the idea of playing an instrument rendition of a well-known pop song (a la the Bridgerton soundtrack).
Better yet, if you have live music, have your band cover one of your favorite songs during your ceremony exit!
The options are endless, but here are a few of our favorite instrumental wedding recessional songs.
- Home – Vitamin String Quartet
- Bittersweet Symphony (Instrumental) – The Aranbee Pop Symphony Orchestra
- I’m Yours – Guitar Tribute Players
- Theme from “The Search for Everything” – John Mayer
- Up with End Credits – Michael Giacchino
- Wildest Dreams – Duomo
- River Flows In You – Yiruma
- Here Comes the Sun (Instrumental Version) – Matt Carlson
- Somewhere Over the Rainbow – Steve Petrunak
- Livin’ on a Prayer – 2CELLOS
Fun Wedding Recessional Songs
The serious part is over — now it’s time to party! Fun wedding recessional songs are perfect for couples that can’t wait to celebrate their new marriage by getting their boogie on during their ceremony exit. If you’re planning a light-hearted or free-spirited wedding, you need a tune that matches that energy!
Our favorite fun wedding recessional songs keep with the wedding theme, but in a fun and playful way. They’re the songs you serenade each other with in the car, the tunes you dance to as you’re cooking dinner together, and the jams that make you think of all your best times over the years (now including this one!).
With these wedding recessional songs, you won’t be walking up that aisle — you’ll be dancing up it!
- Get Lucky – Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams & Nile Rodgers
- You’re The One That I Want – John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John
- Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen
- I Melt with You – Modern English
- Home – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
- Sunday – Ben Rector feat. Snoop Dogg
- My Universe – Coldplay and BTS
- Marry You – Bruno Mars
- Can’t Stop the Feeling – Justin Timberlake
- Sugar – Maroon 5
- A Sky Full of Stars – Coldplay
- The Power of Love – Huey Lewis & The News
- Safe and Sound – Capital Cities
- Something Just Like This – The Chainsmokers and Coldplay
- Let’s Go Crazy – Prince
- Say Hey (I Love You) – Michael Franti & Spearhead
- Now That We Found Love – Heavy D & The Boyz and Aaron Hall
- I Love You Always Forever – Betty Who
Country Wedding Recessional Songs
You first fell in love listening to your favorite country tunes together, so it only makes sense that you’ll celebrate your “I dos” with country wedding recessional songs!
Whether you’re getting hitched in a rustic barn or you’re rocking your cowboy boots under your dress, these wedding ceremony exit songs are guaranteed to give you those good ol’ Western vibes.
With heartfelt lyrics and foot-stomping melodies, country wedding recessional songs set a fun and romantic mood for your big day. All of our picks would also sound great covered by a live country band — because nothing gets people dancing like acoustic guitars!
Pair these country wedding recessional songs with matching cowboy hats and a truckload of love.
Planning a good ol’ country wedding? Don’t miss these stunning barn wedding venues!
- Our House – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
- Cowboy Take Me Away — The Chicks
- Make It Sweet – Old Dominion
- Simple – Florida Georgia Line
- I Want Crazy – Encore – Hunter Hayes
- How Forever Feels – Kenny Chesney
- Wagon Wheel – Darius Rucker
- Jump Right In – Zac Brown Band
- Stuck Like Glue – Sugarland
- Heartbeat – Carrie Underwood
- Make You Mine – High Valley
- Yours – Russell Dickerson
Upbeat Wedding Recessional Songs
After that first kiss as a married couple, you’ll be so high on life and love that your feet won’t be touching the floor. With upbeat wedding recessional songs, you can bring all your guests in on the good vibes during your ceremony exit!
From chart-topping favorites to timeless hits, our favorite upbeat wedding recessional songs are here to get the dance party started. They’re the energetic tunes everyone knows and loves — it’s impossible to listen to these wedding recessional songs without singing and grooving along!
If the only rule for your wedding is “good vibes only,” you’re going to love these upbeat wedding recessional songs.
- You Make My Dreams (Come True) – Hall & Oats
- Friday I’m In Love – The Cure (This one’s especially perfect for Friday weddings!)
- Home – Phillip Phillips
- Beautiful Day – U2
- What is Life – George Harrison
- Paper Rings – Taylor Swift
- Anything Could Happen – Ellie Goulding
- Walking On Sunshine – Katrina & The Waves
- Happy – Pharrell Williams
- Hey Ya! – Outkast
- We Found Love – Rihanna and Calvin Harris
- Rather Be – Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne
- Lovely Day – Bill Withers
- Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars
- Dynamite – BTS
- Come and Get Your Love – Redbone
R&B Ceremony Exit Songs
If R&B is your top Spotify Wrapped genre, you’ll want to queue it up for every moment of your wedding day, from the first dance to the cake-cutting ceremony (“Sweet Life” by Frank Ocean is a winner).
Set the tone for the rest of the night with classic R&B wedding recessional songs that will get everyone on their feet!
Full of soul and funky beats, R&B wedding recessional songs are perfect for showcasing your personalities (and showing off your great taste in music). With tunes that speak to every style and decade, from Queen Bey to Aretha Franklin, R&B is a guaranteed crowd pleaser.
Here are the top R&B wedding recessional songs to kick off your married life.
From “Yummy” to “How Sweet It Is,” check out the best songs to play while you cut the cake!
- This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) – Natalie Cole
- Got to Get You Into My Life – Earth, Wind & Fire
- Jump (For My Love) – The Pointer Sisters
- You’re All I Need To Get By – Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
- Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours) – Stevie Wonder
- Best of My Love – The Emotions
- You Send Me – Aretha Franklin
- Another Love Song – Ne-Yo
- You’re The First, The Last, My Everything – Barry White
- Love on Top – Beyoncé
- I Got You (I Feel Good) – James Brown & The Famous Flames
- (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher & Higher – Jackie Wilson
Alternative and Rock Ceremony Exit Songs
Wedding recessional songs are all about capturing a moment during your ceremony exit, and few genres can do that quite like rock and alternative. One of the most expansive and unconventional categories, rock and alternative wedding recessional songs have something for every couple, venue, and style of ceremony.
Planning a rustic wedding in the woods? Folky rock wedding recessional songs like “I Will Wait” by Mumford & Sons will match the mood. Going for a retro beach wedding? Bring good vibes to your ceremony exit with classic surf rock wedding recessional songs like “God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys.
No matter which one you pick, these rock and alternative wedding recessional songs all have the same result: an effortlessly cool exit.
- Do You Realize?? – The Flaming Lips
- Sweet Disposition – The Temper Trap
- Say You Will – Kygo
- 1901 – Phoenix
- Real Love Baby – Father John Misty
- Take Me Out – Franz Ferdinand
- Dog Days Are Over – Florence + The Machine
- Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol
- Shut Up and Dance – Walk the Moon
- You Are the Best Thing – Ray LaMontagne
- I Believe in a Thing Called Love – The Darkness
- You’ve Got the Love – Florence + The Machine
- All You Need Is Love – The Beatles
- I Will Wait – Mumford & Sons
- God Only Knows – The Beach Boys
- Just Like Heaven – The Cure
- Can’t Take My Eyes Off You — Frankie Valli
- Daylight – Matt and Kim
- Rich Love – OneRepublic with Seeb
- Best Day Of My Life – American Authors
- Accidentally In Love – Counting Crows
Our Full Playlist of Ceremony Exit Songs
Whether you picked out your wedding recessional song months ago or still haven’t decided on your genre, the best way to find your music match is by listening to some tunes with your S.O.
That’s why we created a full playlist of all the wedding recessional songs on this list — who knows, you may even find some jams for the other moments of your big day!
Like and download our Full Playlist of Wedding Recessional Songs on Spotify.
Need More Wedding Song Inspo?
Similar to the best movies, a soundtrack will set the tone for your big day. These are the songs that you’ll listen to again and again over the years to reminisce on that amazing “just married” feeling — and we’re here to help you choose the right tracks!
To start things off, here are 91 songs that are perfect for your walk down the aisle. As wedding “processional” tunes, these go hand-in-hand with ceremony exit and wedding recessional songs.
Once you’ve officially tied the knot and grooved back up the aisle to your wedding recessional song, it’s time for the dances. From unforgettable first dance songs to the best father-daughter dance songs and mother-son dance songs, we’ve found some special tracks for your most special moments.
Finally: the cake-cutting ceremony. You may have already thought about the flavor of your cake, but choosing a sweet song to play while you cut the cake is super important, too!
What are your favorite wedding recessional songs? Let us know in the comments below!