When it comes to tying the knot, every moment of your wedding ceremony can feel like a scene from a movie, and the wedding recessional is the grand finale—the scene where you, the newlyweds, make your triumphant exit, cheered on by your loved ones. At Provenance, we're all about making every part of your ceremony, from the solemn vows to the joyous recessional, a reflection of your unique story. Let's dive into how to craft a wedding recessional that not only marks the end of the ceremony but also sets the tone for the celebrations to follow.
What Is a Wedding Recessional?
The Wedding Recessional is the joyful, celebratory moment that occurs immediately after the pronouncement of marriage (the "I now pronounce you..." section). It's your first walk as a married couple, and it's accompanied by music, applause, sometimes even a shower of petals or confetti. Oftentimes your wedding party follows a few steps behind you.
Why It Matters
The recessional is more than just a logistical step to exit the ceremony venue; it's a symbolic gesture of your newly minted bond, bursting into the world. It's a moment that deserves as much thought and personalization as your vows, offering a transition from the solemnity of the ceremony to the exuberance of the reception.
Choosing Your Vibe
The tone of your recessional says a lot about you as a couple. Whether you opt for the traditional pomp and circumstance, the sweet strains of a love ballad, or an upbeat pop anthem, your choice of wedding recessional songs sets the stage for the rest of your celebration. Think of the song you choose as the bridge taking the guests from the ceremony to the happy hour.
Unique Ideas for Your Wedding Recessional
Your wedding recessional doesn’t have to follow the traditional script. There are countless ways to customize this moment to reflect your personalities, love story, and the joy of your big day. Below are some innovative ideas to make your recessional uniquely unforgettable:
1. Eco-Friendly Toss
Instead of rice or confetti, opt for an eco-friendly toss that’s both beautiful and environmentally conscious. Dried flower petals, lavender buds, or biodegradable confetti can add a touch of whimsy and color to your exit without harming the planet.
2. Choreographed Dance Exit
Why walk when you can dance your way out? If you two are known for your moves on the dance floor, pick an upbeat song and choreograph a simple dance routine for you and your bridal party to perform. It’s a fun way to kick off the celebrations and will surely surprise your guests. That said, if you're going to be thinking about this during your ceremony, do someting different that will let you be present for the important moments.
3. Vintage Getaway Car
Make a stylish exit in a vintage car, motorcycle with sidecar, or even a bicycle built for two. This not only provides a fantastic photo opportunity but also allows you and your partner a moment of private celebration as you head to your reception or getaway.
4. Very Musical Procession
Elevate your recessional music by having a live band, mariachi, or even a bagpiper lead the way. Or, if you're musical yourself, you can lead the recessional with your guitar! The live music procession adds an element of performance and festivity, escorting you and your guests to the next part of your wedding celebration.
5. Pet Parade
For animal-loving couples, incorporate your pets into the recessional. Whether they’re carrying rings or simply escorting you out, having your furry friends participate adds a personal and adorable twist.
6. Sparkler Send-Off
While often used for the final wedding exit, a sparkler send-off can be just as magical for the recessional. Ensure it’s coordinated safely, and this shimmering exit will light up the faces of your guests and create a radiant end to your ceremony.
7. Themed Recessional
Tie your recessional into your wedding theme. For example, if you have a beach-themed wedding, walk out to the sound of steel drums; for a winter wonderland theme, have faux snow falling as you exit.
Wedding Recessional Songs
Music is the heartbeat of your wedding recessional. From classical compositions like Mendelssohn's "Wedding March" to contemporary hits that have personal significance to your love story, the right song can make this moment unforgettable.
Upbeat and Fun Wedding Recessional Songs
For couples looking to inject a sense of excitement and joy into their first steps as a married duo, these songs promise to leave you and your guests with smiles all around:
"Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)" by Stevie Wonder
"You Make My Dreams" by Hall & Oates
"Best Day of My Life" by American Authors
"Happy" by Pharrell Williams
"I Believe in a Thing Called Love" by The Darkness
Traditional Wedding Recessional Songs
If you're envisioning a classic and timeless vibe for your wedding, these traditional pieces have stood the test of time, offering a majestic backdrop to your recessional:
"Wedding March" from A Midsummer Night's Dream by Felix Mendelssohn
"Ode to Joy" from Symphony No. 9 by Ludwig van Beethoven
"Canon in D" by Johann Pachelbel (a more common processional piece, but can be a beautiful, traditional recessional)
"Trumpet Voluntary" by Jeremiah Clarke
"Hornpipe" from Water Music by George Frideric Handel
These compositions lend a regal and celebratory air, marking the conclusion of your ceremony with grace and grandeur.
Modern(-ish) Wedding Recessional Songs
For the contemporary couple seeking to reflect their modern sensibilities, these songs blend the current with the timeless, offering a fresh take on the wedding recessional:
"Marry You" by Bruno Mars
"On Top of the World" by Imagine Dragons
"Everything Now" by Arcade Fire
"Can't Stop the Feeling!" by Justin Timberlake
"Home" by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
Consider Your Guests' Participation
Whether it's through tossing petals, blowing bubbles, or waving ribbons, involving your guests in the recessional can add an extra layer of celebration and make for some fantastic photos. You'll want to make sure that whatever you do works for photos since recessional photos are some of the best from the ceremony.
The Wedding Ceremony Recessional Order
The wedding ceremony order is crucial for ensuring everything runs smoothly. Typically, the newlyweds lead the procession, followed by the flower children, bridesmaids and groomsmen (paired up according to their walk down the aisle), and finally the families of the couple. Understanding this order is essential for coordinating your recessional and making sure everyone knows their cue.
Tips for a Memorable Wedding Recessional
Coordinate with Your Photographer
This moment is a photographer's dream, capturing the joy and excitement of your first steps together as a married couple. Discuss with your photographer beforehand to ensure they're positioned to capture every smile and kiss. Many photographers and couple want to make sure they get a kiss halfway down the aisle with their guests in the background.
Practice Makes Perfect
While spontaneity is beautiful, a smooth recessional benefits from a bit of rehearsal. A quick run-through before the big day can help everyone feel more comfortable and ensure a seamless exit.
Q: How do I choose the right wedding recessional song?
A: Think about songs that resonate with your relationship or convey the joy you feel at this moment. Provenance.co's digital tools can help you explore options and decide on a song that reflects your personalities and love story.
Q: What's the difference between the processional and recessional at a wedding?
A: The processional refers to the entrance of the wedding party and the couple at the beginning of the ceremony, while the recessional marks their exit as newlyweds at the ceremony's conclusion.
Q: Can we customize our wedding ceremony order?
A: Absolutely! While there's a traditional order to wedding ceremonies, Provenance encourages couples to personalize their ceremony to reflect their unique love story, including the order of events.
Your wedding recessional is the exclamation point at the end of the beautiful statement that is your ceremony. It's a moment of pure joy, a celebration of your union, and the first step on the journey of your married life. With Provenance.co's suite of digital tools, including our Ceremony Builder, Vow Builder, and Toast Builder, we're here to help you craft a wedding recessional—and indeed, an entire ceremony—that's as unique and memorable as your love story.
Ready to make your wedding recessional unforgettable? Sign up for Provenance.co's digital Ceremony Builder, Vow Builder, or Toast Builder today, and start creating a ceremony that truly tells your story. Let's make your grand finale one for the ages!