How to List Songs on a Wedding Program

by Caroline Baldwin ; Updated September 28, 2017

Whether your music is live or prerecorded, list the songs in your wedding program.

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A wedding program is like a map to the ceremony. It is a way to let guests know what they are experiencing and what to expect. Cite the correct songs and composers in your program so that the guests will know what music is being performed. A few variations allow you to list the songs in your ceremony in different ways -- choose the style the best fits your wedding. Have your musicians proofread the draft of your program to ensure that you have the correct spelling of the songs and composers, as they are traditionally more familiar with them.

Prelude Songs

As guests arrive to the ceremony site, most brides choose to have music played as they are seated. These prelude songs, performed for about 30 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony, are a customarily romantic, mellow selections. The wedding site, Songs for Your Ceremony, states it is optional to list songs in your program, but if you choose to do so, start by putting the word “Preludes:” at the left side. Underneath, list the songs in order. List the name of each song on the left in quotes, followed by a line of periods going across the width of the page and the name of the composer justified on the right margin, for example:

“Ave Maria"…………………………………..Bach/Gounod.

Ceremony Songs

Songs performed for activities throughout the ceremony, such as the processional, seating of the mothers and the recessional, should be listed in the same format. List the name of the song or mention the name of the composer in addition to the song. According to Songs for Your Ceremony, if you list only the song, include the activity on the left, a line of periods and the name of the song on the right in quotes. To mention the composer as well, list the activity on the left, such as, "Seating of the Mothers." List the song in quotes on the next line underneath and indent the song title, followed by a line of periods and the name of the composer on the right.

Background Songs

Brides can opt to list the songs that are played in the background of the liturgical readings. Listing the songs gives guests an idea of what they are listening to while the reading is performed; this step is optional, and according to proper etiquette, you can skip it if you prefer. If you chose to include these songs, list the reading, the piece being read and the reader. The next listing would say, “Background Music For Reading:” Indent the next line, and list the song name in quotes, a line of periods and the name of the composer at the end on the right side.

Solo Performances

Brides may choose to have a soloist perform a piece of music during the ceremony. This can be a vocal or a musical solo. A piano, organ, classical guitar, strings or trumpet solo is an elegant addition to a ceremony. When listing the solo music, include the activity, a line of periods, the name of the soloist and, indented on the next line, the song in quotes. Alternatively, list that it is a solo, a line of periods, the name of the song in quotes on the right followed by the words “sung by” or “performed by” and the performer’s name. You may wish to highlight a lesser-known song or an original song by listing the name of the song.

Photo Credits

  • David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images

About the Author

Caroline Baldwin, a corporate communications director located in South Carolina, began writing in 1998. Her work has been published in publications across the United States and Canada including Rolling Stone, Boating Life, Waterski and Wakeboarding magazines. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication studies from The College of Charleston.