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Dwight Phetteplace: Best Wedding Songs

Wedding Ceremony Music List



I have played several hundred wedding ceremonies over the past few years. I reviewed the music choices of couples for the past three years ...

And here are the top 10 processionals and recessionals that couples have chosen .

( There was a Tie for #10, so there are actually 11 here)


  1. Canon In D-  J Pachelbel                                                           

 The all time best processional ! Sounds elegant on guitar, can be lengthened or shortened gracefully , and instantly creates the perfect mood.

 2.  Jesu Joy Of Man's Desiring - J S Bach


 3Here Comes The Sun-G. Harrison                                                        

  My personal favorite recessional song. Made for guitar, perfect upbeat feeling and tempo. Everybody from little children to grandmohers love this song.         

4Ode To Joy - L Beethoven


5. All You Need Is Love Lennon and McCartney  

 Another great recessional.                                


 6.Over The Rainbow and/or Wonderful World -                                    popularized by Israel Kamakawiwo`ole.   

Either song is great sung or played as guitar instrumental.


 7. Marry Me -Train                                                                                 

 Best sung because of the great lyrics, but also a great guitar instrumental .


 8. Make You Feel My Love- B Dylan (cover by  Adele)                                    

   Lyrics are Great, but also a nice instrumental .


 9. Can't Help Falling In Love With You-Becaud et al ( best known by Elvis)           

          One of the most beautiful Love Songs ever.


10. All I Want Is You    -B L Polisar (from Juno)                                       

  Lighthearted, up-tempo ;  Great Recessional; best sung.


10Moon River - Mancini                                                                                

  Has remained a graceful and popular instrumental processional over the years.


 Keep in mind that these top 10 wedding ceremony songs combined accounted for only slightly over 50% of all the processionals and recessionals I played.  So there were lots of other really cool wedding songs that couples chose, many used only once, and we made them all work beautifully. That's one of the fun aspects of what I do.

So, if you've got ideas for the music to make your wedding special, e-mail or call me, and we'll talk about creating the perfect soundtrack for your day ( no obligation) .                              603 942 5754 




How We'll Plan Your Music


 ***I provide instrumental guitar ,and vocals if desired, for pre-ceremony, ceremony, cocktail hour, and dinner/reception. On guitar, I play classical, semi-classical, traditional songs, Beatles tunes, etc; whatever kind of mix you prefer. Click on the "Wedding Music Lists" link to the left  to see a representative list.

***My being both a guitarist and singer gives you flexibility if you need someone to play classical guitar, and also sing a particular special song for your ceremony. ( They tell me I have a James Taylor-like sound)  People also often decide to mix in some vocals during the cocktail hour and dinner in order to provide some variety and transition toward a more relaxed, informal atmosphere.

***An economical alternative that some couples choose is to have me provide live folk/blues/traditional music for part of the dinner/reception interspersed with their own mix CDs or MP3's for dancing. I am always well-received by parents, grandparents,aunts, and uncles, and then folks can still dance to their own mix later.  I can also provide a mic for toasts, introductions, etc, thus providing a different, more personalized reception experience, while saving the cost of a DJ.

***I can usually learn a particular special song for your wedding or party, so feel free to inquire. Once I am heavily booked this becomes more difficult; a good reason to book early.

***Whether you're thinking formal or folksy, if you have a specific vision, run it by me, and we'll see what we might do. My experience with a variety of venues (and probably my experience as a high school teacher) has made me adaptable and easy going during the confusion which often reigns on that special day.

      I  enjoy working with couples whose plans are not cast from the typical wedding mold. In the past couple years, I have played and/or sung wedding songs by Dire Staits, James Taylor, Bob Dylan, Cheryl Wheeler, Jimi Hendrix, Indigo Girls, Bob Marley, Alison Krause, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, etc...



Again, because of my years of teaching, I enjoy working with couples to plan the music for their weddings. I see what I do as partly about music, and partly about people. As in teaching, I try to listen, guide, and adapt, and that's part of the fun. 

Step 1:  Listening: When you first contact me, whether by e-mail or phone, I'll listen actively to your ideas and plans and the emotional tones that you want throughout the day. Then I'll use my experience to help you answer the questions and pin down the details. Your wedding vision will be unique, so I need to understand it.

   If we determine, I'd be a good fit, I'll take a $100 deposit to reserve your date.

Step 2: Guiding and refining: Then we'll work together to assemble the music for your day. You'll choose your processional and recessional and perhaps a special song for your ceremony. I'll help you avoid some pitfalls and complications.

 We'll try to preserve and express that unique vision you have !


You'll decide if you'd like me to provide music for the cocktail hour, or even beyond. As the day draws near, we'll pin down the last details; where to position me, what my cues are, electrical power, mics for officiants,'s easier than it sounds.

Step 3: Adapt and Enjoy: When the day comes, I'll take care of everything in terms of equipment, sound, and the inevitable last-minute adjustments that need to be made. You won't have to worry about those things.  If I'm feeling stylish, I'll even coordinate my tie with your wedding colors !

No matter what horror stories you've seen on Dr Phil, I've yet to see a wedding that wasn't beautiful.  The beauty of the day always shines through.


 Contact me now to ask questions or get started:  or    603 942 5754


SONGWRITING AND BIO Born and raised in rural NH, a graduate of Dartmouth College, Dwight's songs have a strong Northern New England influence. Dwight found himself seriously writing songs at around 40 ("fortunate fallout from midlife crisis"), and soon he was performing. His song "Left-side Shoulder Seam" earned him a finalist award in the 1999 Prescott Park songwriting competition, and "Down The Merrimack" won a semi-finalist slot 5 years later at The Wolfeboro Folk Festival. An avid bicyclist and hiker, Dwight makes his primary living as a high school biology teacher. In 2002, Dwight released Down the Merrimack, a collection of 20 original songs, mostly recorded in live performance. (available from  In recent years, Dwight has become a busy, award-winning wedding musician because he enjoys "working with people and being around such happiness."