If you are getting married in a civil ceremony then the choice of music is pretty much up to you.  However, there are certain rules and regulations in place that mean the music in a civil ceremony has to be non-religious.  All of your musical choices for the ceremony will have to be authorised by your registrar.

Before The Ceremony

It’s a good idea to have some background music while your guests arrive and settle into their seats for your wedding ceremony.  Guests are normally invited to sit about 20 minutes before the ceremony, so about five four-minute pieces of music is ideal.

Previous clients have requested classical music, laid-back pop songs and easy listening tunes.

The Wedding Ceremony

There are three points during the ceremony where music is played:

1. The entrance of the bride

The time to walk down the aisle depends on the size of the venue, but it normally takes around a minute.

2. The signing of the register

Signing of the register can take around 10 minutes, but don’t forget that there will be photos too.  The photographer isn’t allowed by law to take photos whilst you are actually signing the register.  Formal photos can be posed after you have signed the register.

3. The bride and groom walk down the aisle as a married couple

Again it takes about a minute or two for you to walk back down the aisle as your guests congratulate you on your marriage.


We recommend taking two copies of each piece of music for your ceremony, so that you have a back-up copy if something doesn’t go to plan.  Likewise, it’s a good idea to have a second CD player/iPod just in case.


It seems like a time-consuming process, but we always listen beforehand to all of the music for a ceremony to make sure the CDs don’t skip.

Order of ceremony

It’s really important to have a written order in which the music should be played as a reference for the responsible person.


It may seem a bit obvious, but it’s important to label each CD so that whoever is in charge of the music knows which CD is which.


Think of a church organ and the lovely bass notes that you hear.  Then compare this with the sound of the tiny speakers on a small CD player.  We’re not saying that you need to have the music at night-club levels, but the quality of the sound will make a big difference to the feel of your wedding ceremony.

Talk to the registrar beforehand

It’s very important for the person in charge of the music to talk things through beforehand to be clear about the format of the ceremony and the times that the music needs to be played.  The registrar should also offer cues during the ceremony

Hopefully this gives you an idea of what goes in to preparing and playing the music during your wedding ceremony.  We can help out with this too.  Just ask.

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