What Does Prelude Mean In A Wedding

The answer to what does prelude mean in a wedding is that it’s the music you’ll hear before the ceremony until the bride and groom arrive. This article will also compare the prelude to other wedding music, such as the processional, recessional, and interlude. 

Furthermore, we recommend reading how to run a wedding rehearsal smoothly to help you understand the flow of events in the wedding. This way, you’ll know which parts have music accompaniment.

what does prelude mean in a wedding


What Is A Wedding Prelude?

The prelude in a wedding refers to the music that will play before the wedding ceremony as guests wait for it to start. It is usually composed of up to 7 to 15 songs, depending on the duration of each song and the type of music that the couple selected. 


How many songs do you need for a prelude?

You want the playlist for the prelude to last for at least 30 minutes before the wedding ceremony. For example, if each song plays for a maximum of 5 minutes, your wedding prelude can be composed of 6 to 7 songs. 

Note that the prelude can be longer, especially when your guests arrive early. Therefore, it’s better to prepare a playlist that can last long enough to keep the venue’s mood lively while everyone is waiting. 


How do I choose a prelude song?

If you’re having difficulty creating a prelude for the wedding, start the list with the songs that you and your significant other love. Some couples also pass this responsibility to their wedding organizer if they can’t decide on the songs. 

Often, classical songs are used for the wedding prelude because they are calm to help the guest settle down while waiting. You also don’t need to handpick your entire playlist for the prelude because various albums would be long enough to play as the prelude. 


When should prelude music start?

The wedding prelude music starts as soon as the doors open or even 20 minutes before the wedding ceremony. For this reason, the type of music for the prelude should be light to keep the guests relaxed while being seated and waiting for the wedding ceremony to start.


What Happens During A Wedding Prelude?

During the wedding prelude, the guests arrive at the site of the ceremony. The prelude is still playing as the guests are seated, while others wait for the wedding ceremony. 

This is why the prelude sets the tone for the wedding because it’s what’s playing right before everything starts. That being said, ambient music is preferable to ensure that it will flow well into the rest of the wedding music. 

The wedding prelude can also start as early as 45 minutes before the ceremony, especially in big weddings. It will take a while to have all the guests seated and for the other events during the ceremony to be ready, so your prelude should be long enough according to how early you expect your guests to arrive. 


What Is Prelude And Processional In Wedding?


Prelude vs processional

The prelude is a playlist that sets the tone before the ceremony starts. On the other hand, the processional is the music that plays when the bride walks down the aisle. 

Therefore, the prelude is prolonged, while the processional can be a single song. However, note that the processional can also start in some weddings once the wedding party walks down the aisle before the bride.

For these weddings, there is separate music for the bride’s entry. And if it’s a small wedding, the processional and bride entrance music can sometimes be combined. 


Processional vs bride’s entry music

The bride’s entrance can start during the processional music. However, there is a separate bride’s entry song in some ceremonies if she enters separately and is not included with the party during the processional. 

It can be the traditional wedding march, but more and more brides use songs that reflect them best. She can choose a love song that’s important for her or even contemporary music highlighting her arrival. 


What Is Recessional In Wedding?

The wedding recessional refers to the music that will play after the wedding ceremony and when the newlyweds walk back down the aisle and exit. The recessional is more upbeat than the ambient prelude because it sets the party’s tone in the reception. 


What Is An Interlude In A Wedding?

The prelude plays before the ceremony, the recessional plays after the ceremony, and the interlude plays on the intervals during the ceremony. For example, the interlude plays when the papers are being signed at the ceremony to legalize the couple’s union. 

Do you want to be in control of the music throughout the wedding? Here is how to DJ your own wedding for tips. 



And that’s it! We found out what does prelude mean in a wedding, and it refers to the song before the ceremony starts. 

The guests are being seated and waiting for the wedding ceremony during the prelude. Then, the processional will play as the wedding party walks down the aisle and the bride can have her own entrance music. 

We hope this helped you understand wedding music; leave us a question if you have any. 

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