Here’s a list of some of the most popular wedding music choices, with YouTube Links. Many of these tunes you’ll find familiar, but often couples feel a bit lost when going by title alone.

The YouTube Links provided here are not my own recordings, and in some cases they’re just brief excerpts. Many thanks to the performers in these videos, particularly the “Sterling Strings of Shenango”, as noted below.

Here are the three most popular wedding standards:

Wagner’s “Bridal Chorus,” the classic standard for the bride’s processional

Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March,” the classic standard recessional

Pachelbel’s “Canon in D,” I believe this is currently the most popular processional choice, most often for the bride, but it can also be used instead for the wedding party.

“Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” 

And here’s a list of some other popular processional choices:

Handel’s “Air” from The Water Music Suite

Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”

“Sheep May Safely Graze” also by Bach

Beethoven’s Ode to Joy

Clarke’s Trumpet Voluntary

Purcell’s Trumpet Tune

Bach’s “Air” (commonly called “Air on the G String)

Schubert’s  “Ave Maria”

And some popular recessional options:

Handel’s “Rejouissance” from The Fireworks Suite

Handel’s “Hornpipe” from The Water Music Suite in D Major (this 2016 update links to Turidae flute/harp duo’s recording)

There are many, many more options, but these are some of the more popular ones, and may be a place to start and compare even if you’re looking for less mainstream options. I wanted to offer special appreciation for the videos of “Sterling Strings of Shenango.” I’ve linked several of their videos – their consistent high quality playing and recording has been a joy to discover and has made my search for samples easier. I’m hoping to put up more of my own recordings of these wedding standards, but in the meantime offer my thanks for theirs.