What songs to play for the wedding recessional? – Podcast E23

Episode 23

Matt talks about what songs to play for the ceremony recessional – as the wedding couple, wedding party, and guests leave the ceremony venue.  Get some fun facts about artists and the songs too! 

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Podcast Transcript

Hi everybody, I’m Matt Campbell, and welcome to the 23rd episode of the Wedding Songs Podcast. At the time of this recording, it is June 24th Wednesday and I hope it finds you healthy and safe. Just a little local Las Vegas news for you. As of tomorrow, we’re going to have to wear masks in public, as said by our Governor Sisolak. I have to apologize if you hear a bunch of background noise. That’s because the AC is going and the fan is going because today it’s 107 in Las Vegas. But enough about the local news. Let’s go ahead and get started. What I’m going to talk about today, is the couple walks down the aisle and it could include the wedding party and all of your guests. So what music do you want to play as you’re leaving the altar and the ceremony area? That is called the recessional. If you’d rather read this list instead of listening to my voice, you can read the list on our website, myweddingsongs.com. If you want to follow along at home, I have these alphabetized by artists just in case you have your own list. You can say, Hey Matt, you have this song or you don’t have this song. Then you can reach out to us on our Facebook page.

So let’s go ahead and get started with our first song on the list “No One” by Alicia Keys released in 2007. This R&B hit is still a great song and she’s still plugging out great hits today. After you say the I do’s, hopefully, you’re saying that this is the “Best Day of My Life” and that song titled by American Authors was released in 2003 as a rock song. Andy Grammer has two songs on the list with the first one being “Good To Be Alive, Hallelujah” released in 2015. The more recent love song “I Am Yours” I am yours I am yours released in 2019. The Beatles are also on our list twice with the first one “All You Need Is Love”, love, love released in 1968. One of my favorites was released a year later “Here Comes the Sun” which makes for a perfect processional song. You’ll have to check out the instrumental covers of this song too.

Ben Platt was recently on Songland, but this song was released in 2019 as a pop hit “Grow Old As We Go” after you say the I Do’s. Hopefully, you’re thinking we’re a brand new couple and I’m a brand new person. I’m now married. This next song by Ben Rector really signifies that called “Brand New” released in 2015 as a pop hit. Beyonce is probably going to be on everybody’s wedding day playlist and my favorite song of hers for the recessional is “Love On Top” released in 2011. An older country song, and by older I mean 13 years ago. So in 2007, “Lost in This Moment” by Big and Rich is still a huge country song that’s popular today. “Lovely Day”, lovely day, it’s going to be a lovely day by Bill Withers. Sadly, he recently passed away, but one of my all-time favorite songs of his besides “Ain’t No Sunshine” when she’s gone. “Lovely Day” was released in 1977 for this R&B classic.

If you’re looking for a more pop song to get everybody fired up after the I Do’s, then “I Gotta Feeling” that tonight’s going to be a good night by the Black Eyed Peas released in 2009. It’s one of Blake Shelton’s classic country love songs “God Gave Me You” was released in 2011 and makes for a great country recessional song. For the folk fans listening, I like the song “First Day of My Life” by Bright Eyes released in 2005. For the classic instrumental fans, one of my favorite covers of the very popular wedding song “Canon and D” was released by Brooklyn Duo in 2019. Make sure you check out the video of this as it’s very popular on YouTube and will really make you want to have this song as your recessional. Bruno Mars is on the list next with “Marry You”.

Now, you should really be listening to the lyrics to see if it really fits into your wedding. A lot of people choose this just because of the words marry you, but like I said, listen to the lyrics. This popular song was released in 2010. Another dance hit is next up by Chris Brown called “Forever” released in 2007. Wow, it’s hard to believe it’s been that long. If you haven’t watched the video of the wedding party entering the church to this song, that would be the processional, not the recessional. “Millionaire” by Chris Stapleton. No, it’s not” Tennessee Whiskey”. “Millionaire” is more of a wedding-appropriate song that was released in 2017. The next song released as part of the Twilight Saga could be on every wedding playlist that you can think of, and that’s Christina Perri’s song “A Thousand Years” released in 2011. Another song released in 2011 is “I Do”, I Do, I Do by Colbie Caillat. A very popular hit that has more air and is just more fun to make your wedding day very special. If you’re looking for a pop-rock song then Coldplay’s “A Sky Full of Stars” was released in 2014.

If you are an alternative rock fan, then I really like “Just Like Heaven” by the Cure released in 1987. For those eighties fans,a more recent song is a country pop duet with Dan +_Shay and Justin Bieber’s “10,000 Hours”, I got 10,000 more released in 2019. Make sure you check out the piano remix of this song. I like that more as a recessional song. Unfortunately, there’s only one Celtic song on our list, but I have to say it’s one of my favorites and that is David Arkenstone’s song “Hand In Hand” released in 2018. One of my favorites that I discovered while researching great wedding songs and using the likes of Spotify and Pandora and just searching through YouTube. So if you see this song on anybody else’s playlist, you know that it started here and they copied it. Next up is Delta Rae and their hit “Walk With Me”.

Hopefully, that is one that describes your wedding day. As you’re leaving the altar area to leave the ceremony this country hit was released in 2019. The Dixie Chicks had a great country song “Cowboy Take Me Away”. Hopefully, that describes your recessional, and this one was released in 1999. If you want a more uptempo, funky song to play in your recessional then do you remember the song by Earth, Wind and Fire “September” released in 1978? Ed Sheeran is on our list twice with his first song “How Would You Feel Paean” released in 2017. Also on the same album “Perfect”. Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros had a mega-hit in the folk genre released in 2009 called “Home”. Another song that I found on YouTube, which is a great wedding song to play as a recessional is Ella Henderson’s song “Yours” released in 2014 – a great pop hit. Next up, the 32nd song on our list is what I consider the greatest wedding song of all time.

“At Last” my love has come along by Etta James released in 1960. The soulful song will definitely have everybody crying in the room and singing along as well. If you’re looking for a funny pop-rock hit, then Florence and Machine released “Dog Days Are Over” released in 2008. Florida Georgia Line released “Grow Old” in 2016 for a country flavor. Frank Sinatra is only on our list once this time with his hit “Fly Me to the Moon” released in 1964. It’s a jazzy pop hit that you can play. Another eighties song that has been chosen by many couples is “You Make My Dreams Come True” by Hall & Oates released in 1980 and is a pop hit for recessional. Another song in the classical genre is Hauser’s “River Flows In You” released in 2019. It is one of my favorite classical songs that you could play in any part of your wedding ceremony.

If hip hop is your flavor, then “Now That We Found Love” what are we going to do by Heavy D and the Boyz released in 1991. Love this song. Too bad he passed away too soon, but definitely a great song that you could play is your recessional. The next song was released in the 1700s. The classical song “Trumpet Tune” by Henry Purcell. One that you could play at any time during your waiting ceremony. Being that I live in Las Vegas, Imagine Dragons is always appropriate and their song “On Top of the World” was released in 2012. Iz’s song “Over the Rainbow” released in 1990 is a Hawaiian flavor song that would definitely fit into any part of your winning ceremony and reception as well as the dances. Jack Johnson has his hit “Better Together” released in 2005 is a folk rock hit that makes its way onto many wedding day playlists.

If you’re looking for an uptempo R&B song that really gets you fired up, then “Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher” by Jackie Wilson was released in 1967. A modern country love song “Made For You” by Jake Owen was released in 2019. Great song that would fit perfectly as a processional or a recessional. “I Got You” was released in 1964. This funk mega-hit by James Brown. “I Got You I Feel Good” would really put an exclamation point on the I Do’s. “How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You” was released in 1975. This folk hit by James Taylor would fit perfectly, but the version by Marvin Gaye is a great tune as well. A mid-tempo song, Jason Derulo’s song “Marry Me” was released in 2014 is a great current R&B song, A little unknown country hit that you could play was released in 2019 called “Fall Girl” by Jason Maxwell is one song that you could check out.

“I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz was released in 2008. Also, his duet with Colbie Caillat called “Lucky” was released in 2011. Jimmie Allen’s country hit “Best Shot” released in 2018 is a great way to put an exclamation point after the I Do’s. Another song that really signifies the recessional “Carry Me Away” is rightly themed and the new song by John Mayer released in 2019 makes for a great song. A pop hit that’s not known by everybody was released in 2020 called “Stand By Me”. No, it is not Ben E. King’s version. It’s his own version by John Newman and one song that would definitely check out to add to any part of your wedding day. John Danforth released “To Whatever Comes After” which is a great folk song released in 2019. In 2020 a new acoustic version of Joshua Radin’s song “Brand New Day” would fit perfectly into the recessional. A song that’s appropriately titled.

“Finally Mine” for the recessional by Juliet Roberts was released in 2018. What’s great is that we actually got a chance to interview her. So make sure you check out the interview that we have on our website. “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” Oh man, what a great hit that Justin Timberlake released in 2016 even though it was part of The Trolls soundtrack. I have to say this is definitely one of those songs that will fill the dance floor just like “Uptown Funk”. Just like a lot of Michael Jackson songs, this song is definitely a floor filler and will get everybody happy for you being married and spending the rest of your life together. “All My Life” I’ve been praying for someone like you by K-Ci and JoJo released in 1997. This classic R&B hit is definitely a favorite love song in that genre and era.

One of my current R&B favorites is Khalid’s, “Better” released in 2018. Also released in 2018 is the cover of “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You” by Kina Grannis. Kip Moore released “Love You to the Moon”. If you’re looking for a mid-tempo song, this country hit was released in 2018. LANCO released “Born To Love You” in 2017 as a country hit. Another country hit that’s not well known is the acoustic version of “Parachute” by Lexanna. It is a female group and they do an awesome job with this song that was released in 2019. One of the best wedding songs of all time. Who could forget Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” released in 1967? “Hey Ho” was released by The Lumineers in 2012. This folk hit will definitely get everybody pumped up after the I-Dos. Everybody knows this next song by how Maroon 5 crashed all of the weddings in their music video. Maroon 5’s song “Sugar” was released in 2015.

The 67th song on our list was released in 1967 and it was a duet by Marvin Gaye and Tammy Terrell. “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”. Oh, love that R&B classic duet song. Duets are always great for weddings. Another jazz crooner, Michael Bluble released “Everything” in 2007. A group that always creates very feel-good vibes and has the perfect lyrics is Michael Franti and the Spearhead with their song “Say Hey I Love You” released in 2008 – if you want a more uptempo, feel-good rock song. Speaking of Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake, the next song has them together “Love Never Felt So Good” was released in 2014. An indie song that not many people have heard “Next To You” by Michael Shynes was released in 2019. For the more religious people listening to this podcast, check out Michelle Featherstone’s song “We Are Man and Wife” released in 2006. It is a great folk song that would fit perfectly as a recessional. One of my current favorite acoustic bands, Music Travel Love released “The One And Only” in 2019. You have to check out their videos as well because they’re going to famous spots around the world just kind of like The Piano Guys have done with their videos.

“This Will Be An Everlasting Love’ by Natalie Cole was released in 1975. For those R&B fans, this definitely should be describing your wedding day. “Good Life” by OneRepublic was released in 2009 for this pop-rock hit. If you’re looking for an R&B hip hop vibe to your recessional, then check out Peter Cottontail featuring Chance the Rapper, Rex Orange County, and Daniel Caesar on their song “Forever Always” released in 2018. Because I’m “Happy”. Everybody knows this song from the Despicable Me series. Pharrell Williams made this a hit and released it in 2014. Because I’m going to love you “Forever and Ever Amen” by Randy Travis and this 1987 country classic love song. “You The Best Thing” by Ray Lamontagne was released in 2008. Another little-known pop hit is a song that I discovered by Renee Dominique featuring Jason Mraz “Could I Love You Anymore “was released in 2019.

So like I said, it’s a brand new song and it’s not going to be played at every wedding, but definitely fits every wedding theme. At number 81 is another classical song, “Highland Cathedral” by the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards released in 1998. Ruelle is on our list twice. The first one was in 2016 called “I Get to Love You” and also in 2020, “Love Changes Everything”. So Ruelle that’s R U E L L E is definitely an artist to check out to add her songs to your wedding day playlist. Everybody knows this next country song “Yours” by Russell Dickerson. But I’m going to tell you to check out the wedding edition. It makes for a great recessional song to play and was released in 2017. The next song makes for a great exit song, meaning that as the wedding day is over, but exiting the wedding ceremony.

This also fits in with Rusted Root’s “Send Me On My Way” released in 1994. An indie song by Ryan Darling featuring Cory Ard “For A Lifetime” released in 2018 makes for a great recessional song. Also in 2019, SAILR’s “All My Life” is another little-known hit. Sarah Bareilles and her song “I Choose You” was released in 2014. It is a very popular wedding song and would fit great into your wedding day playlist. “This Is It” really talks about the proposal all the way to the wedding. It’s Scotty McCreary’s story and it’s hard to believe how far he has come since American Idol. This is a great song that you could play not only as a recessional but incorporate into your wedding reception as well. This one was released in 2018. “Forever and For Always” by Shania Twain. I really like Shania and I selected this song only it’s a little bit more uptempo and was released in 2002. It is a song that everybody will know. Speaking about songs that everybody will know, nobody will know this next song. But you can really make it specifically just for you and make it your special song because I really love Sheffield’s song “Forever From Now” released in 2019.

They call it a folk hit, but definitely one that touches the heart strings a little bit. Stevie Wonder is on our list twice with “For Once in My Life”,” released in 1968. Also probably one of the most popular recessional songs to play is “Signed Sealed Delivered I’m Yours” released in 1970. For country fans who want a little bit more uptempo song for the recessional “Stuck Like Glue” is a great song by Sugarland released in 2010. For pop fans that like Pop with Country Taylor Swift released “Lover” in 2019. Also in 2019 another song that’s not well known called “Rest of Our Lives” by The Light The Heat and one that You Can Incorporate and really call your own. At number 97 is a song that’s on many wedding day playlists and that is Train’s “Marry Me” released in 2009. Because we’re “Happy Together” by The Turtles was released in 1967. Just with three songs left.

U2 is on the list with it’s a “Beautiful Day” released in 2000. Us The Duo got their start from America’s Got Talent. I really liked their song “No Matter Where You Are”. Make sure you check out the wedding version. This was released in 2020 to make for a great folk-pop hit. Finally, the 101st and final song on our list is by the Verve “Bittersweet Symphony” released in 1997. So there you have it, 101 recessional songs that you could play for your wedding day ceremony. If you have any questions about the songs or want to talk about any of them, please reach out to us on our Facebook page. Thanks for listening and have a great day.

Listen to Podcast Episode 24 – Top 4th of July Songs to Play?

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