When you close your eyes and imagine a bride walking down the aisle, what do you hear? Most likely, it's strains of Mendelssohn's "The Wedding March" or Pachelbel's "Canon in D Major." Classical wedding music provides an elegance unlike any other, so it's no wonder so many brides are opting to include these instrumental processional melodies as a part of their big day.
If the tried-and-true classics feel a bit dated or just inauthentic to you and your partner's vibe, find instrumental versions of more contemporary hits for a similar feel.
Though we're all about updating and personalizing every part of a ceremony and reception to your liking, there's something about traditional wedding songs that strike up the most sentimental feelings. Plus, classical music is timeless, so you won't look back at your wedding in 10 years and regret picking a trendy song. Many brides think they should include at least one classical tune in their wedding playlist, but after listening to these, we have a feeling that more than one will make the cut.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy our list of the 64 best classical wedding songs that will have your wedding guests swooning.
"Canon in D, P.37," by Johann Pachelbel, Edward Brewer, and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Why We Love It: The sound of soft, elegant violins will make for a graceful wedding processional.
"A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op. 61: IX. Wedding March," by Felix Mendelssohn, London Symphony Orchestra, and Peter Maag
Why We Love It: The wedding processional we’ve heard in all the Hollywood film weddings. Still a classic.
"Wedding March," by Andrew Grossman, Lana Ross, and Anna Moor
Why We Love It: A violin-heavy version of the traditional wedding processional we all know and love.
"Suite Bergamasque: III. Clair de Lune (arr. A. Reed): Clair de Lune," by Claude Debussy, Alfred Reed, Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Keith Clark
Why We Love It: The soft, classical tone of this song makes it perfect for background music during multiple parts of your wedding.
"'Bridal Chorus' 'Treulich Geführt,' DGG, Lohengrin, Act 3," by Andrew Grossman, Anna Moor, and Lana Ross
Why We Love It: With a focus on the harp, this version of the wedding march is simply delightful.
"Ave Maria," by Johann Sebastian Bach, Charles Gounod, Nora Shulman, and Judy Loman
Why We Love It: You'll find this classical instrumental duet soothing to the soul.
"Water Music Suite: Air," by George Frideric Handel, London Symphony Orchestra, and George Szell
Why We Love It: The violins and classical pace will make you feel as though you’ve walked into British masterpiece theater.
"Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, BWV 147," by Andrew Grossman, Anna Moor, and Lana Ross
Why We Love It: Not too much and not too little, the warm, uplifting pace of this song will be cherished by many.
"Lakmé: El Dúo de la Flor," by Mado Robin, Libero De Luca, Agnes Disney, Jean Borthayre, Claudine Collart, Simeon LeMaitre, and Léo Delibes
Why We Love It: The bespoke bride will appreciate the soft opera voices that sound downright majestic.
"Concerto No. 1 in E major, Op. 8, RV 269, 'La Primavera' (Spring): I. Allegro," by Antonio Vivaldi, Alberto Lizzio, and Musici di San Marco
Why We Love It: A song of merriment, the faster pace with violins makes this an uplifting choice.
"Lohengrin, WWV 75, Act 2: 'Gesegnet Soll Sie Schreiten' (Attacca)," by Leonore Kirschstein, Heinz Imdahl, Hans Helm, Walter Kreppel, Herbert Schachtschneider, and Ruth Hesse
Why We Love It: The various horns give this song a dreamlike quality. Get ready to float down the aisle with this angelic tune humming softly in the background.
"Trumpet Voluntary," by Elixer
Why We Love It: The serenading trumpets make this a great background song for the bridal party as they enter the wedding.
"Ode to Joy," by The O'Neill Brothers
Why We Love It: Don't underestimate the power of a terrific piano serenade. Simply breathtaking.
"Serenade, 'Eine Kleine Nachtmusik,' K 525: II. Romanza - Andante," by the Latvian Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra
Why We Love It: Set the tone for your entire wedding with a classic Mozart melody.
"The 4 Seasons: Violin Concerto in F Minor, Op. 8, No. 4, RV 297, 'L'inverno' (Winter): II. Largo," by Karoly Botvay
Why We Love It: Make a dramatic entrance (or exit) with this fast tune featuring a heavy violin.
"Salut d'Amour," by the Mostar Symphony Orchestra
Why We Love It: A warm melody that's suitable for the first dance.
"Cantata, BWV 202, 'Wedding Cantata': Weichet nur, Betrübte Schatten," by Musica Antiqua New York
Why We Love It: Three words: soft, inviting, and contemplative. This relaxing melody is perfect for church nuptials.
"The Carnival of the Animals: XIV. The Swan," by Bernhard Jarvis
Why We Love It: The piano pacing fits a processional to a T.
"The Blue Danube, Op. 314," by the Metropolitan Philharmonic Orchestra
Why We Love It: Be prepared to turn your wedding into the Viennese Opera House with this waltz-worthy piece.
"The Marriage of Figaro, K. 492: Act I - Overture," by the Metropolitan Philharmonic Orchestra
Why We Love It: Unleash festivities with this well-known classical tune deserving of a standing ovation.
“Arioso,” by Johann Sebastian Bach
Why We Love It: The soft piano channels pure elegance and sophistication.
“Fur Elise,” by Ludwig Van Beethoven
Why We Love It: If you learned to play the piano, then you'll recognize this soft, classic melody.
"Solomon, HWV 67: The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba," by Georg Friedrich Handel
Why We Love It: As the title hints, this upbeat song was practically made for the processional.
"Gymnopédie No.1," by Erik Satie
Why We Love It: This soft, slow tune would be perfect for the first dance or a poignant entrance.
"Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV 351," by Georg Friedrich Handel
Why We Love It: Cue the pomp and circumstance: You'll feel like royalty with this entrance-making instrumental number playing in the backdrop.
"Bridal Chorus From 'Lohengrin,'" by Richard Wagner
Why We Love It: Here comes the bride: You'll achieve a certain elegance with the German lyrics.
"Pie Jesu," by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Why We Love It: This soft, angelic melody is soothing for the soul.
"Ave Verum Corpus," by Mozart
Why We Love It: This piece from Mozart will make you feel as though you’re transcending to the altar.
"Una Furtiva Lagrima," by Gaetano Donizetti
Why We Love It: You can practically feel the romance coming alive. This magnificent melody would work nicely for a slow dance tune.
"Cello Suite No. 1," by Bach
Why We Love It: Behold, the cello in all its glory.
"Carolan's Concerto," by The Chieftains
Why We Love It: A little Irish flair to mix up the classical vibes.
"The Four Seasons: Spring 1," by Vivaldi
Why We Love It: Outdoor nuptials? Get ready to fall in la-la-love with this upbeat melody evoking springtime in the countryside.
"Wedding Day at Troldhauen, Op. 65, No. 6," by Edvard Grieg
Why We Love It: A truly magnificent composition to play during your wedding recital and reception.
"Les Troyens - Marche Troyenne," by Hector Berlioz
Why We Love It: Have your wedding party make a grand, memorable entrance with this special melody.
"March of the Priests From the Magic Flute," by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Why We Love It: A beautiful, regal arrangement suitable as the wedding party enters the room.
"Procession of Nobles," by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Why We Love It: A bold introduction for the newly married couple.
"Four Seasons, Winter, 2nd Movement," by Antonio Vivaldi
Why We Love It: Another of Vivaldi’s 'Seasons' strikes a nice balance of optimism and melancholy.
"The Prince of Denmark's March," by Jeremiah Clarke
Why We Love It: Yet another striking entry for the wedding party.
"The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba," by George Frideric Handel
Why We Love It: The Royals have great intros—enough said. We'd hire an orchestra to play this any day.
"Rondeau From 'Sinfonie de Fanfares,'" by Jean-Joseph Mouret
Why We Love It: Practically plucked out of 'Masterpiece Theatre,' this trumpet melody was made for the Viennese Waltz.
"Meditation From 'Thais,'" by Jules Massenet
Why We Love It: An extremely moving and soulful violin solo to commemorate your first dance as newlyweds.
"Orfeo ed Euridice - Dance of the Blessed Spirits," by Christoph Willibald Gluck
Why We Love It: A heavenly melody to inspire as you walk down the aisle.
"Water Music," by George Frideric Handel
Why We Love It: Bravo! This lengthy composition from Handel could last a majority of your ceremony.
"On Wings of Song," by Felix Mendelssohn
Why We Love It: Cue the waterworks! There's something so endearing about a great piano piece.
"'Alleluia' From 'Exsultate, jubilate,'" by Mozart
Why We Love It: An upbeat, spirited melody beautifully sung by an opera singer.
"Toccata (From Symphony for Organ No. 5)," by Charles-Marie Widor
Why We Love It: Spiritual yet intense organ music for a traditional church wedding.
"Symphony No. 5: Adagietto," by Gustav Mahler
Why We Love It: This composition is somber at times, but also quite calming and captivating.
"Egmont, Op. 84: Overture," by Ludwig van Beethoven
Why We Love It: Keep wedding guests on the edge of their seats with a faster-paced Beethoven classic.
"Bizet - L'Arlésienne Suite No. 1 & Suite No. 2," by Nathalie Stutzmann
Why We Love It: Transform your venue into a concert hall with this lovely processional song.
"The Magic Flute, K. 620: Overture," by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Why We Love It: A beautiful flute overture from Mozart for some imperial ambiance.
"Slavonic Dance No. 2, Op. 72," by Antonín Dvořák
Why We Love It: Play this soothing masterpiece for a long family processional.
"Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, K. 550: I. Allegro Molto," by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Why We Love It: Bring on the suspense with a Mozart piece that will leave guests scrambling to snag the bouquet.
"Carmen Suite No. 2: Habanera," by Georges Bizet
Why We Love It: Who better to tap than French composer, Georges Bizet, for an epic tango wedding dance song?
"Hungarian Dance No. 5 in G Minor," by Johannes Brahms
Why We Love It: A fast European-flavored wedding dance for all.
"Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, Op. 95, 'From the New World': II. Largo," by Antonín Dvořák
Why We Love It: An airy, light song for your processional entry.
"Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46: In the Hall of the Mountain King," by Edvard Grieg
Why We Love It: The build-up is maybe a bit intense but that's what makes it perfect for the garter toss.
"Pavane, Op. 50," by Gabriel Fauré
Why We Love It: A momentous occasion calls for a momentous composition. Play this calming piece for a slow dance or during your processional.
"Cavatina," by Stanley Myers
Why We Love It: Simply beautiful. Set the scene with some background music for your grand wedding exit.
"Messa Da Requiem: Dies Irae – Tuba Mirum," by Giuseppe Verdi
Why We Love It: An epic wedding song to include in your processional or bouquet toss.
"Finlandia, Op. 26," by Jean Sibelius
Why We Love It: Nothing says 'just got hitched' like a melodic piece to welcome the new couple.
"Adagio in G Minor for Strings and Organ (After T. Albinoni)," by Remo Giazotto
Why We Love It: If you're looking for something sentimental and deep, then this is it.
"Vocalise, Op. 34," by Sergei Rachmaninoff
Why We Love It: This uplifting background music will leave wedding guests feeling inspired.
"Radetzky March, Op. 228," by Johann Strauss I
Why We Love It: No one does it better than Strauss. This bold piece was made to be played during your bridal party's entrance.
"Carmina Burana: O Fortuna," by Carl Orff
Why We Love It: This dramatic and tense piece (note the harmonic chants) would be perfect for a bouquet or garter toss.