"Here Comes the Bride" alternatives for ALL kinds of processionals

Photo by Velodramatic
Photo by Velodramatic
My fiancee and I are going to be walking into the ceremony together and then meeting in the middle.

As you can imagine, the traditional "Here Comes the Bride" wouldn't really fit us too well.

That being said, does anyone know of any alternatives to that song?

I'm open to anything!

-Shell


Here we go! We've already rounded up AWESOME first dance songs and non-sappy father/daughter dance songs, now it's time to put our Offbeat Bride spin on the processional. Here are our favorite Here Comes the Bride alternatives, ranging from the classic, the modern, and the totally nerdy (of course).

Classical alternatives

  • Satie's "Gymnopédie No. 1" (hear it)
  • Gustav Holst's "Jupiter, The Bringer Of Jollity" (hear it)
  • "Ode to Joy" from Beethoven's Symphony 9 (hear it)
  • Vivaldi's "Spring Allegro" (hear it)
  • Handel's Air From "Water Music" (hear it)
  • Mussorgsky's "Pictures At An Exhibition: Promenade" (hear it)
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Variations on a theme of traditional

  • Queen's wedding march — I had to! (hear it)
  • Canon In D Remix by Ronald Jenkees (hear it)
  • Etta James' At Last (hear it)

Subtle (and sometimes nerdy) alternatives

  • "Concerning Hobbits" (hear it)
  • The Princess Bride's "Storybook Love" (hear it)
  • The Turret Opera from Portal 2 (hear it)
  • "The Shape of Things to Come" from Battlestar Galactica (hear it)
  • Sigur Rós' "Hoppípolla" (hear it)
  • "Romantic Flight" from the movie How to Train Your Dragon (hear it)
  • "Neville's Waltz" from Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire (hear it)
  • The Skyrim theme (hear it)
  • The theme from Braveheart (hear it)
  • Triumphal March from Aida (hear it)
  • Game of Thrones theme (hear it)

Goth and metal

  • Amhran by Leaves' Eyes — an operatic metal band from Norway (hear it)
  • Apocalyptica's version of "Nothing Else Matters" (hear it)
  • Suite Gothique by Leon Boellmann (hear it)
  • Anything from Gothic Wedding Collection by Vitamin String Quartet (hear it)

Silly

  • The theme from James Bond (hear it)
  • The theme from the Pink Panther (hear it)
  • The theme from Mission impossible (hear it)
  • "A Cadence to Arms" by Dropkick Murphy (hear it)
  • The Jurassic Park theme (hear it)
  • The Throne Room/End Title song from Star Wars (hear it)
  • The Muppets' Somebody's Getting Married/He'll Make Me Happy (hear 'em)
  • Europe's "The Final Countdown" (hear it)

Pop and rock

  • Somewhere Over the Rainbow (hear it)
  • Colbie Caillat's "I Do" (hear it)
  • Adele's "One and only" (hear it)
  • The Beatles' "In My Life" (hear it)
  • Pearl Jam's "Just Breathe" (hear it)
  • Cat Power's version of "Sea of Love" (hear it)
  • Tesla's Love Song (hear it)

Indie

  • Thirteen by Elliot Smith (hear it)
  • Phone Call by Jon Brion from Eternal Sunshine (hear it)
  • Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah (hear it)
  • We Are Gonna Be Friends by the White Stripes (hear it)

Want to see more music selections?

  1. I had my fiance choose the song I would be walking down the aisle to. He chose "Falling Slowly" from the Once soundtrack. It's absolutely beautiful.

    34 agree
    • This song is amazing, and the perfect tempo! Your fiance has good taste! ^_^

      11 agree
      • Totally agree with "A Thousand Years". It was actually specifically written for Twilight, but I fell in love with it on the radio before I knew that.

        12 agree
        • I love "A Thousand Years", even if Twilight put it in their movie. (Grr, Sparkle vampires..) My future husband is a soldier in the National Guard, and before that he was enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. So, needless-to-say, when deployment comes around "A Thousand Years" is what it feels like until he returns.

          2 agree
        • I walked down the aisle to Thousand Years as played by my friend on piano and my other friend sang. It was so special and beautiful and reminded no one of Twilight!

          0 agree
      • There is a wonderful version of "Please Please Please" by Zooey Deschanel of She and Him! You're welcome. :D

        10 agree
    • My fiance chose ours too!! He chose Macklemore's "Same Love" but a piano version. We are a hetero couple but we both wanted Gay Marriage solidarity and this was a lovely way to do it. I was very proud of him!

      21 agree
      • This makes me smile, We are a queer couple in Wa and this song was the unofficial anthem of the election season. We are getting married and this is the song we are going to walk into the reception to. It always makes me happy when people use there wedding to address marriage equality. Thank you

        11 agree
      • I LOVE this. What a special song to include in your ceremony. Just curious, is this the version you chose?

        1 agrees
      • We used this, as well (though, a version we found on iTunes)! My parents, my groomsmen, and myself came out to the pre-ceremony music (a bunch of Vitamin String Quartet and other instrumental songs). The bridal shower walked to "Hedwig's Theme", and my wife walked with her parents to "Same Love". It was beautiful!

        0 agree
    • I am doing a Zelda song too! I have a dramatic door opening and all. It is one of the songs from the 25th Anniversary CD that I got with Skyward Sword. :)

      4 agree
    • wow my partner would love that so much, what a great idea

      1 agrees
    • The Contemporary Worship Leader at our church is going to sing/play his guitar at our wedding and I'm praying that he can learn this one in time!

      1 agrees
  2. These are pretty much all fantastic suggestions. My gentleman is a video game developer and I want to use the theme from his second game.

    4 agree
    • My cousin in England had about a dozen of us from the US to her wedding. She really wanted to play "America: F*ck Yeah!" as our intro music…it never happened.

      2 agree
  3. My dad and a friend of his are going to play and sing "All I Want Is You" by Barry Louis Polisar, from the Juno soundtrack. We love it, my dad loves to play the guitar, it all works out!

    18 agree
    • This was our first dance song! Love that song so much.

      2 agree
      • we're having "All i want is you" as our first dance song too!!

        1 agrees
    • Aah, love this one! My love and I made our save the date video with this song, and plan to surprise our guests by doing a surprise performance of this song together during our reception!

      1 agrees
  4. I walked down the isle to Frank Sinatra's Can't take my eyes off of you. I walked down to the slow sweet beginning and then walked down as husband and wife to the upbeat happy chorus. It was definitely a fitting way to move from sweet ceremony to fun party for us. :)

    I've never been a fan of the wedding march as a piece of music, let alone as something so important to me as a bride. I'm all for different processionals. :D

    10 agree
    • Is this really Frank Sinatra? I thought it was by Frankie Valli.

      4 agree
      • You're right. It is Frankie Valli. I totally brain dumped that one. :P

        2 agree
    • This is what I am walking to as well but I have a person singing it live for me, and changing it up a bit, LOVE the words, hooked me right away!

      0 agree
  5. I love "So Long, Lonesome" by Explosions in the Sky for a processional. It's a really pretty instrumental piece and the title is perfect!

    5 agree
    • I love Explosions! I want to walk down to "First Breath After Coma", but I'm not sure it'll work as our wedding is outside (in a national park) and there's a decibel limit…

      3 agree
      • My friends' recessional was "Your Hand in Mine." Not a dry eye in the house.

        6 agree
  6. Oh dear, just please not that staged lipsynching-to-Christina-Aguilera clip that's making the rounds of facebook and happyplace.com today.

    "Hallelujah" has always struck me as an odd piece for a processional, though — the lyrics seem to be about someone reflecting on having felt lonely and unfulfilled in a relationship that has just ended.

    9 agree
        • We used "The Way I Am" as our processional. Bonus: it's a short song and we had a short aisle, so we weren't standing at the front awkwardly waiting for the song to end.

          1 agrees
        • We used "The Way I Am" as our first dance song!

          0 agree
      • Ingrid Michaelson is a fantastic choice. My fiance and I actually got engaged at her concert in Nashville this year during her cover of "Can't Help Falling In Love" (http://youtu.be/5sQeQC4hT10). Because of that, I've strongly considered using that as my processional. Afterward she dedicated "The Way I Am" to us
        [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xET52cji0R8&w=560&h=315 (I'm linking to the video from the show because she talks a bit about writing the song and how people tell her often they used it for their wedding and it's funny).

        I would also consider her song "Parachute" and her and her husband, Greg Laswell's song "The Light in Me" (Well, that's what it's called in videos on youtube)
        [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JI6lbD2o6_E&w=420&h=315
        I want to use that song at some point partially because I just love how obviously in love they are.

        0 agree
        • I love The Way I Am, but FH is going bald and he gets annoyed at advertisements for hair loss treatments (cause he wants to go bald gracefully) so he wouldn't appreciate the Rogaine line. Sadly, because it's a lovely song. :S

          5 agree
          • I just had this same issue, my fiance has no hair on his head and would take that line as a joke on his behalf. I was thinking it could be a perfect song until I heard that!

            1 agrees
          • Not to mention it's a song about loving her the way she is, but that line makes it sound like she can't love him the way he is. I love that song! I just wish that ONE LINE was different.

            0 agree
        • I'm thinking of using that one too. Either that or Vitamin String Quartet's version of Stolen by Dashboard Confessional. It's such a beautiful song, especially when VSQ does it.

          3 agree
          • i considered Stolen by VSQ also, but ended up going with their cover of Coldplay's "Yellow" as my processional :) it was so amazing! I love contemporary music but having it in strings made it very elegant & beautiful

            0 agree
    • Yeah–Hallelujah is not a song about a healthy relationship. Or even a sustainable one.

      11 agree
      • my FH suggested "Free Bird." I had to explain to him why a 9 minute song about a guy who wont commit might not be the best wedding song…"Epic guitar solo" or not…

        29 agree
    • Er. It is. Especially if you listen to the origional by Leonard Cohen.

      Er.

      Gorgeous song and usually on my playlists but. . . yeah. It's a breakup song.

      2 agree
      • Once again (like the "'No Children' controversy of 2010") I feel the need to step in and remind y'all that we're not here to judge the songs people choose to use for their weddings. Songs have more of a meaning beyond just lyrics — you never know what or why someone has chosen a particular tune. So let's keep it positive, respectful, and let's keep hearing your suggestions!

        17 agree
        • Trufax. Most of the songs my Viking and I consider "our songs" are extremely depressing For example, Etta James' version of "Loving Arms" is OUR SONG, despite it being one of the saddest songs ever, because it's the song we first kissed to. And it will be played at our wedding.

          3 agree
    • We played Hallelujah at my grandma's funeral, along with Danny Boy, Ave Maria, and What a Wonderful World. Those are OUT.

      3 agree
  7. My friends had the Imperial March from Star Wars.

    22 agree
    • I wanted to use this, but my husband said it would give the wrong impression. Not sure why? We decided on "Beautiful" by Randall Shreve. Incredible lyrics, incredible song.

      1 agrees
    • We're considering it ourselves! I was surprised no one mentioned it so far.

      1 agrees
      • You could do the imperial march and then have the wedding party do their walk in, and then when it's time for you to come in, the lights go down low, and you walk in with a lightsaber.

        11 agree
      • I walked down the aisle to the Imperial March. :) it was awesome, everyone chuckled. Our recessional was the theme from Jurassic Park. We didn't really have a movie theme, we just liked the mood and associations of those songs.

        1 agrees
    • My fiance says I should walk down to the Imperial March. I told him it would only happen if he was waiting for me at the end of the aisle in a Slave Leia costume.

      47 agree
    • Lol, we're using Episode 1's title song as our recessional! :)

      0 agree
    • My processional is going to be "Han Solo and the Princess" from Episode V.

      We're planning our walk out to be the Episode IV theme song.

      ((Can you tell we're planning a Star Wars wedding?))

      3 agree
      • We did a halloween wedding with the Star Wars theme for our wedding party. We all walked in together to the Emperial March – good stepping beat!

        0 agree
  8. For our mostly agnostic ceremony I walked down the aisle to a friend playing Death Cab for Cutie's "I'll follow you into the dark" on his acoustic guitar. Those who knew the words were tearing up, those who didn't were pleased with the light music.

    27 agree
  9. I got an classical guitarist to do all of our ceremony music. He was a family friend so that worked out awesomely. We had him play differernt music for everyone's entrance/exit:

    Bridesmaid entrance: Final Fantasy Main Theme from the Final Fantasy series

    My Entrance: Storybook Love from Princess Bride(no lyrics)

    Recessional: Legend of Zelda Main Theme from Legend of Zelda series

    The best part was everyone coming up to me afterwards and saying how the music was so amazing. Saying things like, "It's so awesome you used music from [blank]!"

    6 agree
    • Oh dear. Just going to mention that the links (the two video game ones) someone gave for my music are not correct. Just in case someone happens to reference my examples/suggestions.

      0 agree
    • My fiance wants our recessional to be the Zelda theme, too!

      0 agree
      • We considered Don't Stop Believing too! But we eventually agreed on Digital Love. We both love Daft Punk. I also doubt anyone attending my wedding will know the song, especially this version, so it's going to be a nice little secret between us as I'm walking. I also wanted their version of Ceelo's F**Ck You as our exit song but my fiancée vetoed that right away and instead we're doing Crazy Little Thing Called Love.

        2 agree
    • Thank you so much for the lead "vitamin string quartet". Daft Punk would have been odd at our wedding in a Tudor house – but a string quartet cover is a different beast altogether.

      3 agree
    • I plan to walk down the aisle to the Vitamin String Quartet cover of Death Cab For Cutie's Transatlanticism – my fiance lives in the UK and me in the US, so it's perfect for our transatlantic love story :)

      It is somewhat melancholy, especially with the lyrics… but the string cover is just beautiful, and it is a subtle way to include something meaningful to us.

      3 agree
  10. I'm walking down the aisle to "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri. My fiance found an instrumental version so my bridesmaids can walk down to that, and the lyrics will come in when I walk. Our recessional is "You've Got the Love" by Florence + The Machine.

    7 agree
  11. We're down to two choices: Marry Me by Train and 1234 by Plain White T's. Both have significance to us. And because I'm a huge Muppet fan (and I've recently gotten my fiance into them), we're walking out to 'Life's A Happy Song' from The Muppets.

    6 agree
    • Oooh, Life's a Happy Song is going to be our first dance! Our friend edited out the sad bit in the middle, and elongated the last bit so we can get a good can-can going. It's such a happy song ^_^

      4 agree
      • If you can, convince them to give you a break-down of how to do it and put up a DIY tutorial for simple song editing! We need to edit out the sad bit as well, but that kind of computer magic is beyond me.

        3 agree
      • This is amazing! I need this edit. Any chance you could send me the edited song file?

        2 agree
    • I want Life's A Happy Song too! For one weird moment I thought I'd been sleep-commenting.

      0 agree
    • After the ceremony we played "Life's a Happy Song" It's ok to be a bit smug on your wedding day :)

      1 agrees
  12. My fiance and I will walk towards each other and meet in the middle to walk to the altar, accompanied by "Walk Forever By My Side" by the Alarm. It's perfect, bothh lyrically and cadence-wise. Our recessional is "You're the Best Thing" by the Style Council. I can't wait!

    2 agree
  13. My husband played the guitar for me but to a song from a Post Rock Japanese band called Mono. The song is "Follow The Map". It's simply about one love trying to follow a map to his eternal love. Its instrumental which is the best part! Check it out… The song still makes me tear up thinking about walking down the aisle to my husband rocking out in front of our loved ones.

    2 agree
    • Such a gorgeous song! My fiance and I love Mono and he's in a post-rock band so Follow the Map could be super fitting for us.

      0 agree
    • Oh, my God, you're my fucking hero.

      6 agree
    • Nice! I did have my dad walk me in but we had parents, attendants, my husband and then me and my dad all walk in to a track from the new Star Trek movie (its called "That New Car Smell") which worked very well. Its where everyone has assumed their roles on the Enterprise at the end and its all swelling and awesome. (We walked out to the Throne room theme from Star Wars IV)

      0 agree
  14. For a classical alternative there's "Procession of the Nobles" and the overture from Midsummer's Night Dream (kind of quiet, but breaks into something more robust and swelling).

    Personally, I am dead set on "Rainbow Connection" by Kermit.

    3 agree
  15. I have some string musicians from the local university covering this Yo la Tengo song:

    I can't wait to hear that big, fat bass on a cello! Lyrics aren't all syrup-y, either; more laugh-in-the-face-of-the-end-of-the-world-y.

    Since the song is kind of droning and very long, we're having them keep it going quietly through the entire (short) ceremony. It'll be easy for them to coda parts of it to fit the length.

    Recessional? Moonage Daydream. On strings. Followed by This Must Be The Place.

    Oh, man, I'm so excited!

    1 agrees
  16. We used Concerto Grosso in G Minor from Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World for the wedding party's processional.

    I walked down the aisle to The Gloaming by Jonae, which randomly came on my Pandora one day and which I fell in love with.

    (This is my first attempt in a loooong time at doig HTML links, so sorry if it came out wrong.)

    0 agree
  17. I'm looking at La Valse D'Amelie (the piano version) for my processional… it starts slowly, but definitely builds momentum, and the movie is one of my all-time favorites.

    6 agree
    • This is going to be my funeral song. God, that sounds morbid!

      1 agrees
  18. I processed down the aisle to the "Throne Room" song by John Williams from the end of Star Wars IV: A New Hope. It was epic, but still classical sounding. :)

    2 agree
  19. Last summer I went to SIX weddings, three of which played the exact same predictable music: "Canon in D" for the bridal party to enter, "Here Comes the Bride" and whatever that end song is that everyone always leave to (is it just the end of Here Comes the Bride?). I decided I would definitely not have any of those.

    After seeing it suggested here or another site discussing non-traditional songs, my wedding party and I walked down to "Here Comes the Sun" by the Beatles. Prior to that, I had all attending "confetti kids" sprinkle petals to "Lollipop" by the Chordettes. My new husband and I left to my all-time-favorite "Brown Eyed Girl" by Van Morrison.

    8 agree
  20. We're coming in to LCD Soundsystem's Us v Them.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdJx02LpQao

    It's fitting in so many ways. The day he gave his notice so he could move to Victoria to be with me, we went to see LCD Soundsystem and this was the opening song. The first several lines are, "the time has come… ", and really – this is about us becoming a team of awesome that can take on the world. I can't wait! Only problem is that it's going to be hard not to rock out the whole way down the aisle. :D

    4 agree
  21. My FH and I had our fisrt-ever conversation about The Monkees so he and his groomsmen are walking down the aisle to this
    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nLPO-Dhe7s&w=420&h=315

    And me and the girls to this:
    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfuBREMXxts&w=420&h=315

    I have a question for you all though. How are you handling the logistic of playing these songs? We are having an outdoor ceremony and I guess we'll hook up some speakers and a laptop or an ipod but do we have to have someone in charge of pushing the buttons to be sure the timing is right?

    2 agree
    • I had an outdoor wedding as well, too far from anywhere we could run an extension cord from. We were going to just use a boombox, but for some reason no boombox that we could find would play a burned CD. Finally, we used my laptop hooked up to speakers, with a car battery powering the speakers. We had my brother hit "play" at the right times.

      0 agree
    • First of all SQUEEING for the first time my buddy's band got mentioned in the comments. Second of all — I was THERE at that live recording. :) Thanks for making my day.

      3 agree
    • Hah! I really wanted to walk to Book of Love, but my husband deemed it too sarcastic. It definitely went into the reception playlist, though.

      0 agree
    • Oh God! I just listened to that and I'm balling. Not just a little. I think I may have to talk the FH into it.

      0 agree
  22. At one of my friends weddings she walked down the asile to glasgow love theme by Craig Armstrong and it was hauntingly beautiful.

    9 agree
    • Theme from Love Actually!!! Since ya'll mentioned the Muppets so often, the sendoff at the beginning wedding scene was inspired by Jim Henson's funeral where all the puppeteers & puppets said got up to "say" goodbye :)

      0 agree
  23. Me and my partner have agreed on me walking down the aisle to a piano version of I Am The Doctor from Doctor Who and Good Thing by Reel Big Fish to walk back down together afterwards.

    3 agree
    • Love, love, love Good Thing by RBF, excellent choice. For me and FH its a toss up between this and Without You by the Mad Caddies. Also trying to workout a way to slip Extraordinary by The Suicide Machines in there somewhere.

      0 agree
    • I would love to hear that piano version of I Am The Doctor.

      1 agrees
    • I did "Doctor Forever" from Doctor Who…and my family just thought it was beautiful music. Love the secret nerd stuff thrown in.

      0 agree
  24. Although some of these are making me reconsider due to awesomeness, my plan was to walk down the aisle to Marc Cohn's "True Companion."
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sp6zoc84NcU If you've never heard it, give it two seconds of your life. It's truly beautiful.

    4 agree
  25. Even tho our pianist messed up. I walked down to "let it be" by the beatles by piano i absolutely loved everymoment. Family was super conservative but actually really liked it..

    0 agree
  26. I came in to the opening credit music from Labyrinth. I had it timed so the music faded out after "It's only forever. Not long at all."

    8 agree
  27. Those are nice! A good friend is playing the violin for our ceremony, and I've chosen "Be Thou My Vision" for the processional song. I'm not particularly religious, but I've always loved that hymn, and it sounds so beautiful on violin.

    1 agrees
  28. I really wanted to use Elbow's "One Day Like This"

    but it ended up being one of the things we compromised on bc we also liked the idea of having string players and they couldn't swing it. Ended up with the fairly traditional Canon in D. If I could do it again I might cut some $ from our budget by ipodding it instead of string players and sticking with that song because I love it! Didn't really matter in the end bc I barely remember walking down the aisle!

    1 agrees
    • We'll be using this while signing the register! Tremendous song!

      0 agree
    • Our wedding party walked in to "One Day Like This" – it was absolutely breathtaking!

      1 agrees

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