"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)

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 would love to use Jurassic Park somehow, as we both find it awesome.
    But I would love to get some covers of the fiancee's favorite songs, as I don't really want to hear original Green Day music on our day.
    (When I ask for his input, he says he wants to walk down to "The End" by The Doors, the brat ;P )

  2. We walked to this – The first 9 minutes of the Butterfly Lovers concerto: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_qd-9wD6qA&feature=related (???????) – played on a solo flute by a friend. It's kind of like the Romeo and Juliet of Chinese opera, but it has crossdressing and they turn into butterflies and fly away together at the end.

    The recessional was more typical: Bach's Orchestral Suite #2 in B Minor (Badinerie) because we knew our soloist friend already knew the song. We considered the Partita for Solo Flute (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAJ4i1L3y5M) or Partita #3 for violin (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waxat-_tRH8).

    • I should note that our soloist edited the last minute to sound more upbeat and like the main theme rather than the more funereal music in the original concerto from minutes 8-9, so I could walk down without it sounding like everyone was in mourning.

  3. I'm debating walking down the aisle to Katuman Kaiku by Turisas. Because we're a Viking and an elven princess, and I don't think there's a song in the world that blends those two things better.

  4. Oh yay! I can tell some of these are possibilities before even listening to them! One song I have in mind for the processional is a song that my FH wrote, but I think it might be a little too spooky and industrial for the older family members (who are most likely already uncomfortable with our non-traditional wedding). However it WOULD be fitting considering it's called Halloween Night and that's when we're having our wedding! Either way, it'll be played at some point during the night I'm sure :)

    1 agrees
  5. Btw… how long does a processional take? I won't need more than one song, will I?

  6. A friend walked down to 'into my arms' by Nick Cave, which I loved. I am considering 'thank you' by Antony and the Johnsons.

    1 agrees
  7. Since we're having a 'somewhere over the (top) rainbow' wedding, we're walking into the ceremony on Judy Garlands 'Somewhere over the rainbow' We both love the song and it's sweet and short. Walking out of the ceremony we'll walk/dance/rock on the punk version of the same song, by Me and the Gimme Gimmes. It's awesome and they also have a version of Rainbow Connection! :D

    • I am SO SO SOOOOO jealous that you are going to have an Oz wedding. Fiance put the kibosh on that rather quickly. And your choice are absolutely PERFECT!

  8. at my wedding…my waiting music was THE BESTTTTTTTTTT!!!
    I chose *Dulcimer* from Blue Man Group…the same music that is played during the theater show still to this day.

    The song I walked down to was written by my mother…and also recorded on a disc so we could play it the day of. The lyrics are what really got me…because she "GOT" what my relationship was about and wrote about it. :) <3

  9. I'm nerding it out and walking in to "Dearly Beloved"; the theme from the Kingdom Hearts series of games. I played it to our Vicar and he LOVED it!!

    1 agrees
  10. We're also considering Better Together by Jack Johnson. This song means a lot to our relationship and is offbeat here in France (maybe not so much in the States, though).

  11. The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba should DEFINITELY DEFINITELY be on the classical list.

  12. I've am soooooooo happy to see this post!

    I really want our bridal party to enter to the song "Concerning Hobbits" from Lord of the Rings. FH and I are huge nerds, love LOTR and its perfect.

    However, I'm clueless for what song I can walk into afterwards. I want something still instrumental, no lyrics and geeky!

  13. FINALLY!!! i h-a-t-e the wedding march, so for my first wedding i walked down the aisle to enya's "how can i keep from singing," and as much as that song moves me, i'm looking for something different this time around. i'm a huge kid at heart, and with our wedding coming in december, i'm thinking vince guaraldi's instrumental version of "christmas time is here".

  14. Our wedding music was all on church organ.

    Processional of the party: "Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring" which is in fact a traditional wedding piece, but Bach is one of my jams.

    My entrance: Jean-Joseph Mouret's "Rondeau", commonly known as the "Masterpiece Theatre" theme. Because MT has been one of my parents' favorite shows for as long as I have been alive, and the piece reminds me of my childhood.

    Our recessional: John Philip Sousa's "Liberty Bell March" in memory of my grandpa who loved Sousa marches and also the "Monty Python" theme. Because spam spam spam spam spam spam spam….

    1 agrees
  15. I'm walking in to the chorus of blind melon's "no rain" (i knew this before I even knew my fiancé) and we're recessing to "home" by Edward sharp and the magnetic zeros. CANT WAIT!!!

    4 agree
  16. My fiance and I are walking in together to Elton John's "Your Song" because I sang it to him at a cabaret performance as a surprise. LMFAO's "Sexy (and I Know It)" was a close second :) We are processing out to "Life's a Happy Song" from the new Muppets movie, which I am ridiculously excited about.

  17. We had our wedding in a cave so we walked in to 'In the Hall of the Mountain King' by Grieg. It was perfect and our guests loved it.

    4 agree
  18. Welllll… We have no idea what we're going to do, but The Boy LOVES LMFAO's Sexy and I Know It, and this particular rendition gives us hope that it can be done with a strut:

    2 agree
  19. We're planning on doing our procession to Lullaby for Alexander by Beat Circus. We're both big fans of the band and the song just really seemed to math our theme (vintage carnival!) It's a beautiful song, with just this mood of hope and promise, which is exactly what we were looking for. Oh, and did I mention it's under 2 minutes?? Perfect for a processional. :D

  20. I love this! I completely lucked out with my walk down the aisle song. My fiancee wrote/composed a song for my 21st birthday and we've convinced a good friend of mine to play it on piano for us. Our other songs however for us walking back together will be "Married Life" from the up soundtrack and my wedding party's song with be "teardrop" by Jose Gonzalez.

    2 agree
    • This is my all time favorite song and it's what we chose for our first dance! Great choice!

  21. my cousin had one of the songs from the movie the holiday playing when she walked in.
    i think some of the music from the movie amelie would be beautiful as well

  22. I've been struggling with this question, because I'm going to have a friend play bassoon for the processional, and it's hard to get solo bassoon to sound serious. I could probably wrangle a back-up guitarist, and am thinking maybe "Here Comes the Sun" for on my way in, and maybe "I am the Doctor" from Doctor Who for our way out, but would love other ideas. I'm already getting ideas from other commenters!

    2 agree
  23. Everlong by VSQ. I've wanted it since forever, but after hearing Elton John's "Your Song" on the strings, i may change my mind!

    1 agrees
  24. I will be walking down the isle to John Lennon's "Love", and we are using an acoustic instrumental version of Modest Mouse's "Float On" for the recessional. A friend will be playing guitar and singing for us.

    1 agrees
  25. We entered to "Willow the Sorceror" from the movie Willow. It sounds VERY traditional and dramatic… right up until the Nelwyn party music. I might add that there's a BEAUTIFUL rendition of it on Youtube played on a Hammered Dulcimer. (Search "Nelwyn Music")

  26. The groomsmen came in to "Sharp Dressed Man" by ZZ Top. The bridesmaids came in to "I Dreamed It" by Mumbo Gumbo. I came in to "She's Got a Way" by Billy Joel. But the best was the recessional…"Ain't Livin' In Sin No More" by Paul Thorn. Good times ;)

  27. My FH's only request was that there be two different songs for the wedding party and for me. The wedding party is walking down the aisle to The Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun" and I will be following them with "Question" by The Old 97's

  28. For when the wedding party walks in, we're gonna use Hevia's 'Buisindre Reel' from LOTR, my processional will be to Sleepthief's 'Reason Why' and the recessional will be George Harrison's 'What is Life'

  29. My brother-in-law in going to play a ukulele version of Moon River.

    2 agree
  30. I walked down the isle with my parents, to Etta James "At Last" – everyone thought it was a very classy choice :)

  31. the Apotheosis from Tchaikovsky's The Sleeping Beauty. Makes my man cry involuntary tears every time.

  32. Damn I needed this post back in March!! We ended up with the Vitamin String Quartets cover of 'Where is my mind' by the pixies. It amused us and now every time we hear this song in any format, I get a grin and knowing look from my darling husband :D

    2 agree
  33. We're using Vitamin String Quartet's Paradise City (Gun's N Roses) for the entrance for me, and The Imperial March from Star Wars for our exit….it makes the boyfriend grin like an idiot every time he think's about it.

    2 agree
  34. We are walking down to vitamin string quartet's cover of seasons of love from rent. They have a lot of amazing covers, so you might find your favourite song. They do the song in the wedding that never happened in the movie the wedding singer – small town girl. So beautiful on strings.

    2 agree
  35. I've always wanted to use "Kakariko Village" from Ocarina of Time. It's a really beautiful song, though I may have to get over my slight fear of being assaulted by chickens whenever I hear it.

    2 agree
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