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The 10 Best Wedding Processional Songs
You really do not have to use Wagner’s “Bridal Chorus” when you walk down the aisle, otherwise known as the “Here Comes the Bride” song.
As a matter of fact, please don’t use this song. And don’t use Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” either. There are so many other songs out that you can use to make your wedding party’s journey down the aisle far more memorable!
Your wedding processional song is a great way to showcase your personality and energy as a couple, as well as those of your bridesmaids and groomsmen. Whether you choose a classical piece or music, or something more modern, it’s one more way to inject creativity into your wedding.
To help you out a bit, we’ve put together a list of ten songs that we feel make amazing processional tunes.
“Dangerously in Love”
How We Picked These Songs
We wanted to give you songs that suit a range of different moods. Everyone wants their wedding to be unique and special, so these songs are meant to accommodate whatever tone you’re setting at your wedding ceremony.
We’ve provided you with songs in various genres – from classical to pop and tearjerkers to dance jams. Some of the songs on this list are definitely classics, but we also made a point of including some popular options from the past couple of years to suit the modern wedding. No matter your style, we hope you’ll end up with a song that feels like it was written specifically for your wedding party.
You’ll find two songs for every category or “mood” of music to help you narrow down music that will not only mesh perfectly with the aesthetic of your wedding, but also with the unique personalities of everyone who is making the trip down the aisle with you.
Our 10 Favorite Wedding Processional Songs
Here are our top 10 favorite songs to use for your wedding procession, broken down by genre, mood, or how these songs made us feel! We’ve also included a little background and some interesting facts about each song because the story behind a song can make it all the more meaningful.
Classic 1960s Hits
These classic hits are great songs if you want a fun processional song that matches your upbeat, retro personalities! They’re songs that your guests can sing or hum along to as your party skips down the aisle. Songs like these are timeless, and the memories they create will last just as long.
This Beatles hit from the 1969 album, Abbey Road, will make your wedding party feel like they’re daisies dancing in the sunlight. It’s a song that everyone will enjoy and will add a bit of whimsy to your ceremony. Plus, your wedding party walking down the aisle will bring to mind this album cover of Paul, John, George, and Ringo walking across the street in front of their Abbey Road studio…right?
Okay, that’s maybe a stretch. But at any rate, “Here Comes the Sun” is a happy-go-lucky tune to help you celebrate the joy of your marriage.
2. “God Only Knows” – The Beach Boys
One of the hits from their 1966 album, Pet Sounds, “God Only Knows” is a sweet, tender song told from the point of view of someone contemplating life without their lover. It’s a classic pop song that ranked 25th in Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time – so you know it’s good enough for your wedding.
With lyrics like “God only knows what I’d be without you,” it’s a true tribute to the all-consuming love that we all feel at one point or another. As a processional song, it will, without a doubt, serve as a reminder of how grateful we all should be of our loved ones.
Classical & Traditional Melodies
For those of you who want the traditional feel of classical music without resorting to the obvious choices for a wedding processional song, here are a couple of gorgeous compositions that will perfectly suit your formal affair.
3. “Clair de Lune” – Claude Debussy
An incredibly expressive piano piece by French composer Claude Debussy, “Clair de Lune” is the third and most famous movement from his Suite Bergamesque. First published in 1905, this song belongs to the French Impressionist movement, which focused on conveying moods and emotions. Plus, the history and poetic influences behind the song make it perfect for a romantic wedding. This is kind of like a pop song for classical music, so it will resonate with every witness of your joyous union.
4. “Première Gymnopédie” – Erik Satie
Ok, so we are admittedly a bit partial to French composers. But this tranquil song from Satie is ideal for a wedding procession in part because of the composer’s commitment to creating ambient, musique d’ameublement (which directly translated means “furniture music”). In other words, it’s background music.
Published in 1888, this piano composition will provide a relaxing and enchanting ambiance that won’t detract attention from your walk down the aisle. It’s not the most obvious piece of classical music for a wedding processional, but it will inject a bit of uniqueness to even the most traditional of weddings.
Modern Pop Hits
Are you planning a dance routine for your wedding party? Well then, these songs are for you. And even if you aren’t these are super energetic alternatives to more obvious processional songs.
5. “Crazy in Love” – Beyoncé
How could we not include this song? It’s a classic pop song that’s perfect to dance down the aisle to. If you can believe it, this song came out in 2003 (that’s already 15 years ago! We feel so old now) and it’s arguably just as popular now as it was when Beyoncé’s debut solo studio album, Dangerously in Love, was first released. Seriously, in June of 2018 Rolling Stone named it the Number 1 best song of the 21st Century (so far anyway). The love themes are obvious in this one, so it’s suitable for a wedding.
Besides, everybody loves Beyoncé – even your grandma.
6. “One Kiss” – Calvin Harris (with Dua Lipa)
Released in April 2018, this UK dance-pop hit from Scottish record producer Calvin Harris and English singer Dua Lipa is an ultra-modern choice for your wedding processional song. That being said, the song definitely brings back memories of 90s house music. It’s got some sunshine-y, tropical vibes to it as well, making it feel laid-back and easy to dance to. You’ll love the lyrics in the chorus too: “One kiss is all it takes/Fallin’ in love with me.” We can just picture your wedding party dancing down the aisle to this one.
Unique & Quirky
Are you getting married in a hip distillery? Does your wedding dress look like something Zooey Deschanel would wear? Is your wedding party full of “indie kids”? If you responded “yes” to at least two of these questions, then you may want to consider these songs to make your wedding processional as quirky as you are.
7. “I’m Sticking With You” – The Velvet Underground
You may recognize this song from the major motion picture Juno, but this song was originally recorded in 1969. An outtake from the band’s album Loaded, “I’m Sticking With You” features childlike vocals by Maureen Tucker and simple, piano riffs. Eventually, Lou Reed comes in and it begins to sound like your typical Velvet Underground song, but overall it’s a tune with a romantic innocence to it.
With the repeating lyric, “I’m sticking with you / ‘Cause I’m made out of glue,” this song is sweet, silly, and great for an outside-the-box wedding processional.
8. “Fill Your Heart” – David Bowie
This may not be one of David Bowie’s more popular songs, but we think it’s such a unique choice to use for your wedding processional. Bowie covered this Biff Rose song on his 1971 album Hunky Dory and invites you to “Fill your heart with love today.”
The lyrics are so endearing and adorable (like the line, “Love cleans the mind and makes it free”), especially accompanied by the cutesy, upbeat instrumentation. This song might almost be too cute. It’s perfect for the quirky couple that is just so happy to be walking down the aisle, arm-in-arm, with their favorite people. Like the lyrics say, “Lovers never lose!”
If you really want to see your mom cry as you and your wedding party walk down the aisle, then these two songs will definitely do the trick. They’re tied to movies that have been known to bring on the waterworks and may even make the most stoic of your guests watery-eyed.
We’re mostly kidding about the crying, but these really are super romantic songs to use during your wedding – trust us.
9. “Moon River” – Henry Mancini
Forever affiliated with Breakfast at Tiffany’s (for which it won an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1962), this song is appropriately cinematic, making it a dramatic song to play as your wedding party makes its entrance.
It’s a romantic song about the idea of love, thanks to lyrics written by Johnny Mercer. It will make the entire room cry just as much as they did during the last scene of the movie, where Audrey Hepburn’s and George Peppard’s characters kiss in the pouring rain, holding a cat underneath their raincoats.
(P.S. If you want a more modern take on this one, check out Frank Ocean’s cover.)
10. “Mystery of Love” – Sufjan Stevens
Go grab your box of tissues. If you have seen Luca Guadagnino’s 2017 film, Call Me By Your Name, starring Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet, then you know exactly what you’re in for with this song. Sufjan Stevens wrote this song specifically for the film, which tells the story of the relationship between the characters Elio and Oliver.
The song definitely alludes to this romance, with lyrics that describe the wonder of falling in love for the first time. It’s a beautiful acoustic melody that is reminiscent of a birdsong. Wholeheartedly romantic, the song proclaims, “Blessed be the mystery of love,” a sentiment that we’re sure will resonate with everyone on your wedding day.
How Should You Decide?
Now that you have a handful of options, you’re probably thinking, “How do we decide which song to use?”
We get it. Picking a song for your wedding processional is arguably more difficult than picking a first dance song. It’s definitely one of the less obvious decisions you’ll find yourself making during the wedding planning process, but it’s an important one. After all, the processional song is kind of like the opening theme music to your entire wedding.
We also realize that you maybe weren’t drawn to any of the songs on our list, and with what is really an endless list of song options, this decision can feel overwhelming. Part of the reason why we split up these songs into different moods or genres is that it’s a great way to narrow down your search for the perfect processional song.
You probably want the song to fit the tone of your day, reflect the personalities of your wedding party, or be meaningful to your relationship. Ask yourself which one of these options feels right, and then pick a song that matches that sentiment. If your wedding party is full of a bunch of wild party animals – pick a dance banger. Did you and your partner go see a movie together on one of your first dates? Maybe pick a song from that soundtrack.
No matter what direction you go in, the decision should be 100% yours. So snuggle up on your couch one Saturday night, pour a couple of drinks for you and your loved one, and enjoy the opportunity to listen to a bunch of great music. After all, this decision shouldn’t be a reason to stress out.
Your wedding is a celebration.
What better way to celebrate than by walking down the aisle to an absolutely killer song?