It may seem like a relatively simple task, but choosing wedding processional songs has been stumping couples for decades. Unlike the first dance song, which usually has significant meaning or emotional value, the music accompanying your grand entrance as you head into your wedding venue tends to be a less obvious choice and can raise dilemmas: Lyrics or no lyrics? Classical or contemporary? Upbeat or subdued? Throw in the fact that the options practically reach the point of infinity, and it’s easy to see why selecting ceremony music can lead to agonized decision-making for couples. Keep reading for our advice on how to choose the song for your ceremony and our top 10 wedding processional songs.
How to Choose Your Wedding Processional Song
Like with most things, when a couple finds themselves on the hunt for the perfect processional song, they head straight to Google for some much-needed help. We’ve all been down this path a time or two; it usually turns into a giant time suck where hours of time are lost in Internet land. On top of all that, you’ll inevitably get lots of unwanted recommendations from well-meaning but pushy friends and relatives. If this starts to happen to you (or if you are already stuck on this frustrating path), our advice is to take a deep breath, back away from the search bar, and reassess. Remember: planning your wedding day is supposed to be a fun, memorable experience…not a panic-inducing nightmare. That’s right; even deciding your processional music should be all about having a good time and enjoying the ride. Here’s how to avoid the whirlwind scenario:
1. Do Some Self-Reflection
Do you want the songs to be meaningful to your relationship, or would you rather choose something that strikes you in the moment? Do you want your music to fit the tone of your day, whether it be offbeat, traditional, romantic, or laid-back? Do you find yourself drawn to a certain genre, such as classical or indie? Ask yourself questions like these early on to avoid falling into the all-too-common habit of questioning your feelings as you begin browsing processional songs.
2. Search for Songs
Explore options that fit the criteria you established in step one and keep a running list of songs that you adore. This will help you prevent becoming overwhelmed by countless options.
3. Don't Worry About Other Opinions
It’s your day, so if you want to walk down the aisle to a unique song pick, go ahead. It really doesn’t matter what your guests will think. Go with what makes you happiest.
4. Make It Fun
Make choosing your wedding processional songs a fun thing to do with your spouse-to-be by sitting down one night with a few glasses of wine and listening to your favorites together. Trust us, there are amazing songs out there just right for your big walk down the aisle; they’re just waiting to be discovered.
Top 10 Wedding Processional Song Ideas
To give you an idea of the different styles of music you can use in your upcoming wedding, we’ve put together a list of our top ten favorite wedding processional songs. We took a great deal of time making sure our selections were anything but cheesy, over-used, and one-dimensional. After all, not everyone is dying to walk down the aisle to “Here Comes the Bride” or Pachelbel’s “Canon.” Quirky, classic, sentimental, historic—it all has a place here. So without further ado, here are ten wedding processional songs to inspire your search for dream-worthy ceremony music.
1. “Dawn” By Andrew Lapp
Remember that beautiful film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice starring Keira Knightly? Well, this, our friends, is the stunning piano arrangement that comes and goes throughout the film. We appreciate the loveliness of the music most of all, but its connection to this incredible love story definitely seals the deal.
Perfect for: The classic couple.
2. “Le Vie En Rose” By Louis Armstrong
The soft and romantic style of this song always inspires us when thinking about that special moment when someone sees the love of their life for the first time on their wedding day.
Perfect for: The vintage couple.
3. “Falling in Love At a Coffee Shop” By Landon Pigg
A little on the unexpected side, this beautiful song by Landon Pigg tells an incredible story of falling in love at, you guessed it, a coffee shop. All romances begin in unique and special ways, so we love that this processional song gets to the heart of that unexpected moment when you first fell for your significant other.
Perfect for: The boho couple.
4. “Air” By George F. Handel
Although the majority of songs that made our list are not often top picks, we had to include at least one song that’s been a longtime processional favorite. There are dozens of songs in this category that we could’ve chosen, but the stunning sounds of “Air” made our decision easy.
Perfect for: The traditional couple.
5. “At Last” By Etta James
This classic ballad might have been named as one of most commonly used first dance songs, but we like the idea of tweaking the tradition and using it for the processional instead. It’s undeniably romantic, and the lyrics are a sweet reminder that you’ve found “the one” at last.
Perfect for: The glamorous couple.
6. “We Bought a Zoo” By Jónsi
All too often, classical music gets reduced to songs that were written by the world’s most famous composers—Bach, Handel, etc.—and we forget all about the many amazing artists who are creating classical pieces today. One of our favorite examples of modern classical is this breathtaking song by Jónsi. There’s just something about the melody that gives us butterflies.
Perfect for: The casual couple.
7. “Canela” By Devendra Banhart
This song is definitely a unique choice, but there’s no denying that it’s totally mesmerizing and makes for a perfect processional song. The lyrics are sweet, yet simple—we don’t think it gets much better than that.
Perfect for: The offbeat couple.
8. “I’m Yours” By Vitamin String Quartet (Cover)
Jason Mraz’s version of this happy song is quite upbeat, but this string cover gives it a subdued quality that nicely matches the tone of the wedding processional. Plus, we love the idea that you can use this modern and well-known song without it feeling super cliché.
Perfect for: The rustic couple.
9. “Can't Help Falling in Love” By Kinna Grannis (Cover)
This Elvis original has long been a first dance favorite, but this contemporary cover gives it a much more modern feel. This song has captures hearts for many years, so go ahead let it capture a few more at your big day.
Perfect for: The modern couple.
10. “A Thousand Years” By The Piano Guys (Cover)
This instrumental cover of this Christina Perri original falls last on our list, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t bring tears to your eyes in an instant. We chose the version without the lyrics because it allows you to effortlessly lose yourself in the feelings that the music alone inspires. If you want communicate romance through your processional song, then look no further.
Perfect for: The romantic couple.