Music defines so many of the most important parts of a wedding—the entrance song, the first dance song, the last dance song—that it only makes sense that there should be some good tunes before the festivities even begin. Most wedding guests (the good ones, at least) arrive about 10 to 15 minutes before the ceremony begins, and though you're not required to provide any entertainment for this period, it's not a bad idea to have some music playing to fill the time.
This is called prelude music, and when used, it's played for about 30 minutes before the ceremony start time and consists of mellow songs that set the mood for a meaningful moment. Whether they're played on a speaker or by the string quartet or band, it's important that they create the ambiance you desire.
Match your prelude music to the overall vibe of your wedding. For a rustic wedding in nature, contemporary acoustic songs make a great choice; for a traditional ceremony, you may pick mostly classical, instrumental music.
Generally, five or six songs are the right amount, so take a listen to 45 of our favorite ceremony prelude songs and have fun making your selections.