Tithe Barn wedding ceremony

Ceremony music ideas for a civil ceremony – a simple overview

Here, you will find a few civil ceremony music ideas which will help you plan your wedding.

The civil ceremony timeline in brief

The wedding ceremony, or civil ceremony is a very exciting and emotional part of your day.  It is usually the first and most important part of your wedding day.  In order to be married, you will need to have given notice of marriage or civil partnership at your local registration office at least 15 days before your wedding takes place.  The venue for your ceremony also needs to be approved.

ceremony music

The preparation to the ceremony is a key part of the wedding.  You will need a couple of witnesses to sign the register, you may wish to have a reading by a friend or family member.  The official photographer will take photos which you can choose in advance.  The music could be live from a musician or recorded, and you may wish to decorate the room in your style.

For this example, I will use a wedding between a bride and a groom. Most ceremonies take about half an hour to complete.  Before the ceremony starts, the bridegroom and his attendants will be at the front of the room, and all the guests will be seated waiting for the arrival of the bride.  For the entrance of the bride, she may be accompanied or preceded by bridesmaids, and a special piece of music will be played for this.  The registrar will conduct the ceremony, then invite witnesses to join the bride and bridegroom to sign the register.  As this is an official document, no one is allowed to photograph this bit, but the registrars will have a substitute register to set up a photo opportunity for everyone.  This part usually takes about ten minutes, so it’s worth having some music playing at this stage.

Finally, when the ceremony is over, the bride and bridegroom will exit the room followed by family and guests to another music selection.

What music will you need to think about?

If I am producing the ceremony music for you, I will ask for the following:

  • Some choices of pre-ceremony background music (this is optional), about 10 – 15 minutes worth should do depending on the venue.  Please bear in mind not all of these may get played.
  • The bride’s entrance music
  • Music for the signing of the register – allow 10 minutes or about 3 song choices for this
  • The exit music

Remember, if this is a civil ceremony, all choices have to be non-religious.  Your registrar may ask for your to provide your choices of ceremony music ideas for approval in advance.  Three weeks before your wedding date, I will arrange to meet you to go through the music you have chosen so we can make sure the timings work, and I have the right versions of the music you want.

Examples of recent choices for ceremony music ideasCeremony music ideas

  • Canon in D – Pachelbel
  • A Thousand Years – Christina Perri
  • Make you feel my love – Adele
  • Songbird – Eva Cassidy
  • How long will I love you – Ellie Goulding
  • For once in my life – Stevie Wonder
  • Let’s get married – Jagged Edge
  • Thinking out loud – Ed Sheeran
  • At last – Etta James
  • Another one bites the dust – Queen
  • Signed, sealed delivered, I’m yours – Stevie Wonder
  • It started with a kiss – Hot Chocolate
  • The Imperial March – Star Wars OST !!!
  • It’s the end of the world as we know it – R.E.M. 🤣
  • All of me – John Legend
  • Grow old with me – Tom O’dell
  • Better together – Jack Johnson
  • Nobody does it better – Carly Simon
  • You’ve got a friend in me – Randy Newman
  • Arabesque – Debussy
  • Clair de lune – Debussy
  • It must be love – Madness
  • Now that we found love – Heavy D & The Boyz
  • Somewhere over the rainbow / Wonderful world – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

Here are are few playlists with music ideas you can listen to on Spotify: