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The easiest way to guarantee I will cry buckets of tears at your wedding ceremony? Include “Be Thou My Vision.” We sang it during our ceremony, and to this day, anytime I hear it, I’m immediately transported right back to June 23, 2012. There’s something incredibly powerful about music and its ability to bring emotion to life’s most special moments – your wedding ceremony most certainly among them.

A darling reader bride recently asked us to share some of our favorite outdoor ceremony music suggestions, so I’ve happily compiled a few selections, from processional to recessional. (These would all work well whether you’re getting married indoors or out!) My main tip for outdoor ceremonies, though? Be proactive about the sound system, if you’re not hiring live musicians. If you want your guests to be able to sing along or enjoy the music, make sure everyone can hear it.

P.S. The linked headings below lead to a Spotify playlist, where you can listen to our suggestions! A perfect activity for a weeknight dinner :)

Favorite wedding ceremony classical processional songs:
• Wedding March – Mendelssohn
• Canon in D – Pachelbel
• Ave Maria – Bach or Schubert
• Water Music – Handel
• Ode to Joy – Beethoven

Favorite wedding ceremony hymns and songs:
• Abide With Me
• All Creatures of our God and King
• Be Thou My Vision
• Come Thou Fount
• In Christ Alone

Favorite non-religious ceremony songs:
• Wedding Processional – Rodgers and Hammerstein
• Can’t Help Falling in Love – Elvis
• Falling Slowly – from “Once”
• Make You Feel My Love – Adele
• A Thousand Years – Vitamin String Quartet

Favorite modern recessional songs:
• The Real Thing – The 5 Royales
• Book of Love – The Monotones
• Brighter Than the Sun – Colbie Caillat
• Everlasting Love – Carl Carlton
• Love, Love, Love – The Clovers

One final tip? When picking music, think about the overall feel of your big day – is it classic? romantic? laid-back? upbeat? Pick music that will tell your story and maybe even make you tear up when you hear it at a friend’s ceremony years later ;)

We have more ceremony music suggestions (along with heaps of helping ceremony planning recommendations) in our Joyful Wedding Planner. Snag one over in our shop!

Image round up: Jen Dillender, Tanja Lippert, Jen Fariello, Blue Ribbon Vendor Amy Arrington and Perry Vaile

kristin Written with love by Kristin
3 Comments
  1. avatar Savannah Fannon reply

    Any suggestions on playing music outdoors?

  2. avatar Patti reply

    I’m a church organist and singer and play at weddings all the time. For outside ceremonies, it will depend on what musicians you will have. I heard a string quartet playing Beatles tunes at a wedding and they played “Here Comes the Sun” as the bridesmaids came down the aisle. I’ve heard a recorded instrumental of “Someday My Prince Will Come” at an outdoor wedding. One of my daughters used recorded dulcimer music for her wedding that included the traditional “Here Comes the Bride” and for her recessional, she used “How Sweet it Is (to be Loved by You)” by James Taylor as her recessional. It was perfect.

  3. avatar EvDressau reply

    This is a great reference, I think I will listen to these music before my wedding, and then find out that I feel suitable for my wedding song.

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Nine of the Best Groom Reactions

by in Main on

All eyes are normally on the bride as she walks down the aisle. Me? I take a quick glance at the bride, and then immediately turn back to take a peek at the groom. I want to watch him as he sees his bride coming down the aisle. It’s always my one of my favorite parts of any wedding ceremony (and also why I fight to get a seat on the end of the aisle ;). There’s so much emotion in those moments right before the bride and groom join together to prepare to say their vows.

Today I’m sharing nine of my favorite groom reactions from over the years. Although admittedly, I could pull an image for nearly every wedding we’ve featured because the anticipation and emotion are always present. Pass me a (monogrammed) hanky…

Top to bottom and left to right: Cameron’s joy as he waits for his bride Abby (Photo by Jess Barnfield), Sawyer seeing his bride Jessica (Photo by Sarah McKenzie,) and Kyle waiting for his bride Hannah (Photo by Tucker Images).

Top to bottomw and left to right: Austin seeing his bride Kelly (Photo by Alea Moore), Brian waiting on his bride Cameron (Photo by A Bryan Photo), Todd seeing his bride Amy (Photo by Mandy Busby), and Leigh waiting on his bride Lauren (Photo by Amy Arrington).

Kory seeing his bride Kristin (Photo by Sara and Rocky) and Clark waiting on his bride Whitney (Photo by Patricia Lyons).

Whew, so many sweet moments. I’m dying to know. Do you sneak a peek at the groom as he see’s his bride for the first time at the ceremony too? Maybe you might look over during your next wedding.

kristin Written with love by Kristin
3 Comments
  1. avatar Pixie reply

    Love this, the reactions are just full of emotion. Beautiful.

  2. avatar Geoff reply

    This brings me back to my own wedding day. I held it together until the music started playing and then everything suddenly got very real!

  3. avatar Svilen {Svatben Fotograf} reply

    So much emotion! Love these groom reactions. Pure gold! Thanks for sharing.

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You have a lot of choices for information and inspiration while wedding planning, but we believe one of the reasons you come to us is for a regular dose of what we like to call “the magic of the South.” Not only can this magical place we call home inspire your wedding day details, but it can provide a healthy dose of perspective and calm during a sometimes stressful season.

What, exactly, is the magic of the South? Well, it’s different for everyone, but here are the things our team finds most magical about life beneath the Mason-Dixon Line…

All photos from our hashtag #SWMagicoftheSouth!

AMBER, our Marketing Director: I find the way community is so natural here to be magical: everyone on their porch chatting about the day, how well we know our neighbors and wouldn’t hesitate to ask them for any kind of help — whether it be an egg or cup of sugar, or helping you track down a missing cat. I also appreciate the gardens, florals, and nature of the South. It was completely new to me when I arrived ten years ago, and I’m constantly learning something new even now.

EMILY, our Creative Director: My favorite thing about the South is the history and community of historic neighborhoods: beautiful old houses, big front porches, gracious old trees, and neighbors who know each other. Think downtown Beaufort, SC; downtown Laurel, MS; 12 South in Nashville; or Oakwood in Raleigh!

LARA, our Founder: I love how the South colored and shaped my grandfather’s personality and legacy. I love driving through small Alabama towns, hot boiled peanuts, the sound of crickets, Peach Park, humble homes, and the distinct smell of magnolias. I grew up going to a place called Hopkin’s Boarding House for Sunday supper where the entire porch was lined in rockers and we’d collect rolly pollies while we waited on a table in the family-style dining area. The food was classic: mashed potatoes, fried chicken, banana pudding, white rice, rolls, and super sweet tea. Overall, I love how the people reflect the history and landscape, creating a unique heritage.

NICOLE, our Art Director: I love the hometown feel that happens in Southern cities. There’s so much pride in local — local businesses, local farms, local history (that’s the funniest!) — and it makes everyone feel connected to the past and involved in the future.

Photo by Jessica Burke with styling by Blue Ribbon Vendor Jacin Fitzgerald from Southern Weddings Volume 6

JESS, our Chief Encourager: My favorite part of the South is knowing that the people here embody true hospitality, willing to jump in and help on the hardest days and thrilled to stand by your side to celebrate the milestones in your life. No one is ever too busy to stop for a hello or hang out for a glass of sweet tea.

MARISSA, our Ad Director: Heaven above, I simply cannot just pick one thing to love about the South! I love the personalities that have never met a stranger, the architecture that is so carefully preserved and restored, the way honeysuckle smells in the spring, how Saturdays in the fall are reserved for college football, how baby girls wear big bows and baby boys wear jon jons, the food (especially biscuits, banana pudding, and cheese grits!) and how it is used as a love language to bring people together. I love the sound of a thick Southern drawl, the pride Southerners have for their t-tiny hometowns (and the South as a whole for that matter!), and the traditions that helps shape every aspect of life in the South from naming babies to the color of your porch ceiling. But, most importantly, I love the feeling of ‘home’ that the combination of these things represent.

KRISTIN, our Editor-in-Chief: Admittedly, it’s hard to pick a favorite part about the South, but if I had to pick just one, it would be the traditions. I love how so many Southern experiences are based on long-honored traditions: pimento cheese sandwiches on Master’s weekend, watermelon and potato salad on the Fourth of July, college football kick-off and tailgating, handwritten thank you notes, seersucker and pearls, eating ‘supper’ instead of dinner. I could go on and on…

How about y’all? Did our favorites immediately bring to mind your own favorite memories, sights, smells, and sounds? Hold them close while wedding planning and long into married life! And as you enjoy them this summer and beyond, do share with us using the hashtag #SWMagicoftheSouth on Instagram – we’d love to see, and we’ll repost our favorites on the Southern Weddings account!

emily Written with love by Emily
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