‘Marriage is a gift of God in creation through which husband and wife may know the grace of God. It is given that as man and woman grow together in love and trust, they shall be united with one another in heart, body, and mind’ – The Marriage Service from Common Worship.
For religious people, marriage is a celebration of God’s love for His children. If there is a detail that can greatly influence the ceremony itself and the reception afterward it is music. It sets the overall atmosphere and sends a powerful message about your life and feelings you share. Of course, such important day needs the future spouses to be extra scrupulous choosing the accompanying music. Let your Christian faith shine through on your wedding day with our collection of Christian wedding songs!
Express The Love And Gratitude To Lord
The choice is even more challenging if the bride and groom-to-be are deeply religious people. It is possible that you want to emphasize your love for God Almighty on this special day. The choice of music, in that case, is more than just a way to tell about respect and adoration that you feel for each other. Christian wedding songs also help the newlyweds to express the love and gratitude to Lord.
We have prepared a thorough guide to choose the best Christian music for your wedding. Some of these songs are more popular and can be heard even at civil ceremonies. Others are less known outside of the religious community. Anyway, Christian wedding songs would be perfect for any wedding or a wedding anniversary. It would suit any occasion when two people want to show the world their feelings and God’s goodness.
Choosing Christian Songs For Weddings
How to choose perfect Christian songs for weddings?
They say that the wedding day is full of love and God’s glory. The chosen Christian wedding songs should probably be joyous, but at the same time not very quick. It needs to get everyone move gracefully and with dignity, as befits the moment. The pace is important, and so are the lyrics. Even if you believe you know your favorite song by heart, make sure it is appropriate to the occasion. It might be wise to do a bit of research behind the lyrics. Sometimes the most charming tunes come from a broken heart. This might be not the point you want to start your married life with. Make sure you proofread for any phrases or topics, that would be inadequate for the event. Even if you choose instrumental versions of some well-known songs, be aware of the lyrics that have been.
There are so many special moments, creating the magical unity of two people in face of men and God. The proceeding song, as you two, will be walking down the aisle. The exchange of wedding vows. The first kiss as husband and wife, the first dance, the cake cutting – all these moments need their own melody. A melody that celebrates the romantic love you feel for each other, and also God’s love for His children.
Consulting With Your Officiant
Choosing a song for a Christian wedding, it might be a good idea to start with consulting your officiant. Some churches have an official list of approved religious music to accompany the ceremonies. In that case, the music for the ceremony itself is limited to the contents of the list. At the same time, if the list exists, it will give your inspiration a boost in the right direction. Some churches are fine with instrumental music that has no lyrics. There’s always the wedding reception to set your imagination free.
Choose Songs With A Similar Tempo
As one part of the wedding ceremony follows another, songs would change in the order you’ve arranged them into. Choosing the sequence, don’t forget to consider the proximity of different songs to each other. Songs might sound perfect on their own, but not together. Extreme changes of tempo and/or genre make the wedding ceremony seem ragged and poorly prepared. Remember, that songs with a similar tempo, same genre or from the same time period blend in more easily. It is always a good idea to play the list several times one song after another. Just to make sure the flow is logical, smooth and soft.
Once again, because this point is really important. As you both are Christian, there is a high chance that your wedding will take place in a church. It means – don’t forget to consult the minister about your choice of music for the event. Even if you have asked already and your church has no strict restrictions about the music. Still – remember to approve your final list of wedding music long before the ceremony. This way you will have time to make necessary changes.
Contemporary Christian Wedding Songs
It is highly possible, that both of you are a bit tired of the good old Wedding March. Maybe you want something more original, or maybe you are simply into something more up-to-date. Don’t worry, there are enough contemporary Christian wedding songs to choose from. They will make your wedding ceremony a unique romantic event. The heart-melting Christian tunes and soft ballads will let you feel all the goodness of the world. The chords of Christian songs will make your eyes shine and your heart sing with joy on this glorious day. So what exactly can you try?
Songs For A Traditional White-Dress Ceremony
First of all, there is a number of instrumental Christian pieces. They are perfect for a traditional white-dress ceremony. Even the churches with very strict rules usually allow instrumental music. If this is the issue, simply stick to the classics, like “Ode to Joy” or the “Hallelujah Chorus.” As instrumental music doesn’t have any words, it is a perfect choice for the exchanging of vows. It wouldn’t interrupt your love speeches. At the same time, a correctly chosen melody would help you to create the right atmosphere, filling you with joy and awe. There are many classical instrumental pieces by such well-known composers as Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frideric Handel. But if you research the matter, modern-day composers also offer a large variety of suitable music.
Beethoven – Ode to Joy
Händel Messiah – Hallelujah Chorus
Johann Sebastian Bach – Pachelbel’s Cannon in D major
George Frideric Handel – Sarabande
Christian Wedding Songs For A Special Atmosphere
If you are looking for a powerful, yet tender melody, try Hans Zimmer, Yan Tiersen, and other film soundtrack composers. There are many heart-warming masterpieces among Oscar-winning and Grammy-winning tracks. Moreover, such tunes can create a very special atmosphere without words. One of the points is, you can use them as a tool of silent, yet potent communication. Music speaks a universal language. Even though such instrumental music pieces don’t have any words, in our imagination, they tell a story. They are still a part of some well-known love stories. It might be a flaw, but this drawback could easily become an advantage. If the music you choose is a soundtrack from your favorite film, an instrumental track may make both of you smile. It might be your own little secret joke. Associations and past experience mean a lot when it comes to music.
Although there are numerous pieces that don’t have any words from the very beginning, you shouldn’t forget, that actually any music piece can be made instrumental. Even the most popular song, devoid of lyrics, will do, and it will bring the feelings associated with the story. Probably, one of the most powerful Christian songs, that can be often heard without the lyrics, is ‘Hallelujah’. The song is slow and sad, a most romantic tune, full of gratitude to the One above. It is very mainstream but quite well-known and amazingly beautiful. After all, the wedding is the time to be grateful for all the love that we share.
Hans Zimmer – Tennessee Theme
Yan Tiersen – Comptine d’un Autre Ete
Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah
Pipe Organ Music for the Ceremony
Another kind of instrumental music, that is closely associated with the church you might consider is pipe organ music. It is a great choice for the official ceremony. Mostly it includes pieces that have been tested by centuries and considered classical. Still, there are more modern pieces by contemporary authors.
The hallmark of these powerful instrumental masterpieces is that they are probably the closest to our idea of heavenly music. It is no coincidence that the largest and most beautiful cathedrals have pipe organs. The aura they create makes you think of heaven and angels singing. They are perfect for a processional music, especially when the bride makes her appearance. Just imagine her there, moving gracefully down the aisle! She is so beautiful in her long wedding gown, modest, but yet so elegant, two little flower girls throwing petals at her feet. Such a majestic sight will make any heart beat faster. It will fill everyone with joy and humility at the thought of the Lord’s greatness and goodness. Organ music makes us tremble as if God has spoken to us in person.
Music For Modern Christian Wedding
Probably the best feature of modern Christian wedding is that it allows a variety of music. When you have said the words, and the newlyweds step out of the church, here comes the time for less humble feelings. This is when the celebration begins! Of course, you may choose any modern tune, but you might still want to find a way to show your gratitude to the Lord on this happy day. There are many modern Christian bands, singing about their love of God in every musical style one can imagine. Wedding recession is the moment to celebrate life. This is the time for a glorious song, full of positive vibes – and maybe some more variety of styles. After all, there are lots of ways to show your love to the Lord and each other.
Christian Pop Music
Christian pop music is definitely on the rise. Lots of musicians have contributed to this style, so the choice is difficult. Steven Curtis Chapman, Sidewalk Prophets, Hillsong United, Newsong or Francesca Battistelli, and much more! These artists and bands praise the Lord with modern rhythms and rhymes, and you are almost certain to find something to enjoy. After all, pop music is made to be popular by definition, so it is highly possible that you and your guests will find it enjoyable. Moreover, many popular artists, such as Elton John and Stevie Wonder, have songs, that can be described as Christian pop music. Their mood and lyrics are more than appropriate for such an event. You are sure to find mother son dance songs and father-daughter dance. Of course, the list wouldn’t be complete without first dance songs. Wedding songs are an important part of your happy day.
Steven Curtis Chapman – Cinderella
Sidewalk Prophets – You Love Me Anyway
Hillsong United – Set a Fire
Francesca Battistelli – Write Your Story
Another option for a couple, willing to get a bit into the rhythm is Christian rock. These days it is, probably, one of the most popular (and commercially successful) styles of Christian music. If you are into a wedding song Christian rock music, you can find some mainstream songs and authors to suit your needs. Imagine recession or your first dance at the sound of Cliff Richard, the Skillet or Fireflight. All of these artists have contributed to Christian rock. The style is experiencing a real renaissance, so examples are numerous. Rock ballads are perfect for the first dance, or as a cake-cutting song, and if your officiant approves, may liven up your proceedings to the altar.
Cliff Richard – Dynamite
Fireflight – For Those Who Wait
Christian Country Bands
You both dig country music? There are Christian country bands to make you and your guests feel the aura of the West and American South. So-called ‘inspirational country’ is for you. It combines music from the plantations of the Deep South with cowboy music to express faith and Christian love. Some of these bands and singers are more well-known. For example, country idol Dolly Parton, or a Grammy-winning American Idol star Carrie Underwood. Others less so, but if you are a country music fan you are sure to find something to enjoy. Let the sound of banjos and acoustic guitars, fiddles, and harmonicas fill your wedding reception. Christian country has the very best of heart-warming ballads.
Of course, there are lots of Christian music styles, that are less common for a wedding. If you are into something more original, but still want to express your gratitude to the Lord and his wisdom. There are Christian hip-hop, metal, and punk, ska and even techno!
Dolly Parton – I’m Gonna Sleep With One Eye Open
Carrie Underwood – Jesus, Take The Wheel
If you are looking for something more traditional, it is probably the gospel music that comes to mind among all other kinds of music. First of all, Gospel music historically has the strongest connections to the church service that one can imagine. Especially if we take Christian wedding traditions. At the same time, many famous artists have gospel music. Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, R.Kelly, Whitney Houston, Johnny Cash, Aretha Franklin, and Dolly Parton. It is almost impossible to choose only a few tracks among such glorious collection.
One of the most memorable moments for any couple is the first dance of the newly wedded couple. A soft, sweet tune would make this special moment a perfect one. Feel the grace of Lord, as you lovingly sway on the dancefloor, surrounded by the circle of your nearest and dearest. You might almost hear God in these magic chords. Choose the song carefully. The lyrics will tell your guests so much about the overwhelming emotions you feel for each other.
Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash – You Are My Sunshine
Whitney Houston – I Wanna Dance With Somebody
Aretha Franklin – I Say a little prayer for you
Choose The Perfect Christian Wedding Songs For You
Think about your love, about every moment you have shared together, and about all the moments that are to come… It doesn’t have to be a happy song – your first dance is a reflection of your unity, and there may be different circumstances, surrounding the wedding ceremony. But remember, that the only thing that is important now is your present happiness together. Don’t be shy to tell the world how much you appreciate its goodness.
To sum it all up, music has a unique potential to influence the atmosphere and mood of those who listen. It is probably one of God’s most powerful ways to communicate with us. It is His way to speak directly to our hearts and souls. There are hundreds and thousands of Christian wedding songs to make your wedding the most unique event. Songs that are sure to fill your hearts with joy and happiness. So as you say your vows, praise the Lord, for He is the one that bonded you in his wisdom.
Christian music for the wedding ceremony and reception is probably one of the best choices. It can show your love to each other and gratitude to the Lord above on your special day. Let Christian faith shine on the day that two hearts start beating as one. The day you take a vow in eyes of God and men. The day you start to walk through life hand in hand, for better or for worse, till death does you part.
Main photo: amelie.lapointe.photographe via Instagram