It’s Wedding Wednesday! “How To Choose Wedding Ceremony Music”.

Wedding-at-Holly-Hedge“Is it ok to play this song during the ceremony?” “How many songs do we need?”

If you’re wondering the same questions, don’t fret! Check out “DeeJay Shelly’s Guide on How to Choose Ceremony Music” (This is meant to be used as a general guideline. Specifics may vary from company to company and from couple to couple).

Over the years, Sounds By Shelly has provided music for numerous wedding ceremonies. Growing into a full service entertainment company, Michelle Lee Entertainment, we’re not just DJs anymore! Did you know? We now offer acoustic guitar ceremonies. Contact us today to learn more.



“DeeJay Shelly’s Guide to Choosing Ceremony Music” 

Live Music


1) It’s beautiful!

2) Adds to the ambiance of a wedding ceremony by setting a peaceful and happy tone.


1) Limited to song selection.

2) May be the pricier option.



1) Unlimited song selections.

2) Equipped for both small and large audiences.


1) It’s not live! (This may, or may not, be considered a downfall to you. However, if you love the sound of live instruments, you may prefer live music over a DJ for your ceremony).

Choosing Music

How do we know what songs to choose?

1) Select music which reflects the two of you – or – has meaning for the other people involved in your ceremony.

2) Work with your entertainment professional who is knowledgable in music and can give you suggestions based on their expertise.

How many songs do we need?

1) Processional

2) Recessional

3) Most likely you’ll need more than just the basic two. Work with your wedding planner, and/or person playing the music for your wedding, to figure out exactly how many you’ll need. In my experience, couples usually selected three to five songs to be played.

For more than just the quick points, read more…

Live Music vs DJ

1) Sound

Live music is beautiful. Acoustic guitar, an instrument trio, or harpist, can really add to the ambiance of a wedding ceremony by setting a peaceful and happy tone. The downfall is you may be limited to your music selections, as not every musician knows every song out there. If you decide on live music, it’s important to ask your entertainment company what songs may be available to you. If they don’t have the songs you’re looking for, ask them their policy on learning new music. How large is your guest list? While ceremony music certainly doesn’t need to be loud, you do want to make sure your guests will hear it, especially if you’re having a large wedding. Check with your company to make sure they can accommodate your guests count.

A DJ can play almost any song you select for your big day. You’re usually not limited to even the most obscure music. Many couples are moving towards non-traditional music for their wedding. Playing music you wouldn’t hear at any other wedding is a great way to make your wedding unique. A professional DJ is most likely knowledgable in many types of music and can offer their expertise in helping you select the best music for your big day. Most wedding DJs are also well equipped to play for small, or large, audiences. Yet, again it’s always better to ask.

2) Budget

Of course as with most couples price is always a concern. Keep in mind one of the biggest things people will remember about your wedding is the entertainment (see our wedding page to get the facts). So when it comes to live music vs a band, what are the price differences? Well, this really depends. If you are hiring an instrument trio, most likely they are going to be more expensive than a DJ. However, if you also need your DJ to supply wireless microphones, microphone stands, extra speakers, or help organize your ceremony, it could be about the same. It really depends on the artists experience and expertise. Another thing to keep in mind is if you would like them to play music while your guests are arriving. The number of hours you need either DJ, or musician, to play will affect the price.

Song Selections

How do you choose songs for your ceremony?

I’m a big believer in there’s no right, or wrong, answer to anything when it comes to your wedding. It’s YOUR WEDDING. Many couples ask me, “Is it ok to play this song during the ceremony?” More and more, couples are moving towards non-traditional music for their weddings. If you’re going for a mix of both traditional and non-traditional music, try finding a modern version of a traditional song. Or, vice versa, find an instrumental version of a modern song. This is where a professional wedding DJ, or entertainment company, can really help you. Your best bet is to go with music which reflects the both of you. For example, one couple asked me to play classical piano music, because they both grew up playing the piano. Another couple both came from an Irish background, they decided on Gaelic music.

How many do you need?

Again, there’s no right, or wrong answer. In general, most ceremonies include at least two songs; processional & recessional. However, you can select as many as you would like, depending on the events taking place. Recently, some couples (same sex and opposite sex) are deciding to walk down the aisle together. Some couples choose to have their mother’s escorted down the aisle. Others choose to have their mother’s seated already (usually depending on age). Your best bet is to work with your wedding planner and/or the person providing the music to decide on the number of songs best for your ceremony.

MLE offers entertainment packages which include acoustic guitar ceremonies. If you’re looking for an instrument trio, harpist, or other live music, we can suggest other professionals we’ve worked with in the past. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation. Thanks everyone! Happy Wedding Planning!







Leave a Reply