"Here Comes the Bride" alternatives: offbeat wedding processional songs

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" wedding processional song wouldn't really fit us too well.

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

I'm open to anything!


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 wedding processional songs.

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)


  • 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)


  • 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. For a more mysterious, pagan-y, gypsy feel we decided I would walk in during The Mystic's Dream by Lorena McKennitt http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIghrxxhQYs right as the music picks up. Before that will be the rest of the procession. I really wanted something that felt magical in a mysterious kind of way and had a bit of a gypsy feel to it. My fiance and I met at a Renaissance faire where I play a dancing gypsy and we're having the ceremony on the faire grounds so it's perfect!

  2. I will walk down the aisle to the instrumental from of Layla. Not only is it absolutely beautiful, but the movie montage in Goodfellas it it is just simply the best. 😀

  3. I'm planing on having Dance of the Swans from Swan Lake as the processional; beautiful, nerdy (if you like Princess Tutu or the original Dracula movie), gothy, and classical enough to not freak anyone out.

  4. "Merry-go-round of life" from the soundtrack of "Howl's Moving Castle" is also a pretty good alternative.

  5. I've always wanted "Ride of the Valkyries" for my processional. And my man and I will be leaving to the lilting strains of "The Liberty Bell March" (aka The Monty Python Theme.)

  6. I found what I think is the perfect processional song for us/me :-) My FH drove a little remote control Wall-E in to our bedroom that was holding the ring box when he proposed and there is a gorgeous song in the movie when he and Eve are flying around in space- called Define Dancing by Thomas Newman. It's a really light, airy and romantic instrumental song. :-) Now I just have to figure out if I want to share my choice with my FH or surprise him!

    4 agree
  7. I'm walking down the aisle to Flames by VAST. It's a beautiful song and means something to both of us. I think we're exiting to the cantina song from star wars. Both very different song choices but they're very us :)

  8. I am having a classical guitarist play Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles. It makes my insides happy.

  9. I would love to have " give me all your Lovin" By zz tops, but done on the harp like was on the episode of Bones when anglia and hoggins got married the first time.

  10. We're walking in(down the beach) to "One Love" by Bob Marley sung acapella by a dear friend. I can't wait!!

    1 agrees
    • I'm walking down the Aisle to Such Great Heights too, only i'm walking to the Iron and Wine cover. Such a beautiful song in any version

  11. I walked up the aisle to "Pure Imagination" from Charlie and the Chocolate factory. My girls walked up to "Reverie" by Debussy. It was beautiful!

  12. I will be walking in to "Love song for a vampire" by Annie Lennox from the Dracula OST.Its a really haunting, beautiful piece of music that means a huge amount to us both, and the tempo is perfect.

  13. I have no idea on the processional or recessional but, This : http://petergroenwald.bandcamp.com/track/finally-found-you-feat-isaaca-byrd
    Is my perfect first dance song..
    its actually written and performed as a duet by a friend of mine and her husband. It is a beautiful song and sums up how I feel about my partner so well :).. I also love "Everyone Else but You" and "All I Want is You" as processionals or recessionals so those will probably be in my wedding somewhere!

  14. Ours will be the Final Fantasy theme (as heard in the end credits of FF 8).

  15. The song I am walking down the aisle to is "feels like home" by edwina hayes….amazing and beautiful song!

  16. For me and my androgynous future hubby it could only be "I Do" by Placebo.

  17. Considering "Here Comes the Bride" is played when one of the characters from Midsummer runs off with her lover rather than getting married, it is quite the odd choice for a wedding.

    DF and I are getting married in the Catholic Church, so we have only specific songs we can use (which I am totally OK with since we are both VERY traditional when it comes to Mass), so we are saving up all our fun crazy songs for the reception.

    VSQ is rapidly becoming our choice for "cocktail hour".

    1 agrees
  18. Oh, I am super jealous of all of your awesome and unique choices! Some of which I had the balls to use, some of which are awesome but just not right for us.

    Myself and the wedding party will be walking in to "Yellow" by Coldplay. Funny thing is, I am TOTALLY not a Coldplay gal AT ALL. But, I remember when I was a young girl and this song first came out. It felt so magical and theatrical to me, and at the time (in my little girl head) I thought it was the most beautiful love song I had ever heard. However, we will be editing out the verse about "for you I bleed myself dry"…

    Fiance and I will walk out to "And Then He Kissed Me" by The Crystals. We don't really have "a song" but if we had to pick one, this would be it. We thought it would be perfect to use as a wedding song and for our first kiss as husband and wife!

    When my fiance and I are "announced" at the reception, we will be walking in to "Can't Get Enough Of You Baby" by Smash Mouth. I'm super excited for this! :)

    • You could use the Vitamin String Quartet version of Yellow. It is a beautiful version and you wouldn't have to worry about that line.

      We'll be walking into the reception to "Danger! High Voltage!" by Electric Six. :-)

  19. A Question – Old 97's.
    "Someday somebody's gonna ask you
    A question that you should say yes to –
    Once in your life"

  20. I had my big brother play Guns & Roses' November Rain on the piano for me.

  21. I mentioned in a reply to another comment that I'm probably walking down the aisle to Ingrid Michaelson's version of "Can't Help Falling in Love" or Vitamin String Quartet's version of Stolen. My bridesmaids are walking down to Vitamin String Quartet's version of "Sunshower" by Chris Cornell. We haven't decided on what me and my FH will be walking back down to…but I would really like it to be "This Will Be Our Year" by the Zombies. :-)

  22. I kind of want the main theme from Howl's Moving Castle (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owddukdxFv4) for the processional and Arriety's Song (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scUyXaWMyAk) for when we walk back out together. We're huge Miyazaki fans and Arriety's Song is just so cheerful and triumphant. Seems totally right for "Hey guise look we're married now WHOO!"

    Plus Howl's Moving Castle will always be super special to me because my dear heard me listening to it at work a billion times and decided to learn it on the piano so he could play it for me. Much swooning occurred.

  23. Thank you so much for this post! It helped me to pick a piece that was appropriate but fun for my wedding!! and Bonus I got so many way to go's regarding Concerning Hobbits!!

  24. i cant wait, by runner runner or little fairy, big fairy played on the harp

  25. HA – we had Apocalyptica's version of Nothing Else Matters. Those who 'got it' had huge grins on their faces when I got to the top of the aisle and I got comments about it for months after. Our wedding was christian and a lot of our family and guests were quite conservative so it was my (possibly slightly subversive) nod to my love of heavy music. My husband prefers laid-back surfy music and really doesn't like heavy music, but he found it and suggested it. Funnily enough, he didn't know it was a Metallica cover until I told him. We had Florence and the Machine playing as the boys entered and then while they were waiting for me. I picked Train's 'Marry Me' for signing the registry (my husband owns a cafe) and my husband picked the recessional, but I don't remember what it was!

  26. I'm thinking about walking to Colbie Caillat's "I do".

    I also love "I Love you So" by Justin Klump. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivu4Kd9FrYg

    But I'm not sure what is the best place to use it. I feel like its too slow to use as a recessional after entering to "I do".

  27. In my friend's wedding she walked down the isle to "You Are My Sunshine". Her grandmother has dementia and it was her favorite song. She wanted to use it to include her grandmother even if she wasn't there mentally. It was so touching when it started to play her grandmother turned around and looked right at her and smiled really big. I'm about to bawl just thinking about it.

    3 agree
  28. OH MY GOODNESS How could I have forgotten about Final Fantasy music?? I'll discuss this with my fiancé TONIGHT, but it's so US! Thank you so much for the ideas, all! Most anything from FF VI sounds lovely, but I've always been partial to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sT9ReWDV0IU and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdNPIw6SEqE&list=PL866653D8AD00A745 (even though I know it's sad, it's still just so freakin' beautiful).

    Good grief, the lights are on now-between Zelda, FF, Metroid, Mario…we can share our childhoods and geekiness! What's more, our families spent many hours being exposed to this music too (albeit largely subliminally), so maybe it will make them feel comfortable and nostalgic as well!

    This is all getting to be so much more exciting!

    1 agrees
  29. My husband and I both walked in with our parents to Queen's "Somebody to Love," as sung by one of my oldest friends. It was one of my very favorite parts of our wedding!

    1 agrees
  30. I would love us to walk out together to Forever by the Dropkick Murphys. For the processional, if I could find a string quartet to arrange Together In Electric Dreams I would die a happy girl.
    Paper Moon by Nat King Cole is a beautiful song too, not sure where to put it but will think of something 😉

  31. Our processional song was "Ready, Able" by Grizzly Bear. The tempo was perfect, and the timing lined up really well—we had 5 bridesmaids/groomsmen, so the swell (at 1:53) coincided with me and my dad starting down the aisle. I thought it would have been awkward to have a different song play while I was walking, but this was perfect.
    It was an unusual choice, but I STILL get complements from my friends and family who felt like it set the mood really well. Very ethereal and serious, but gentle and graceful.

  32. I'm not sure what our processional will be yet, but our recessional is "Hoppipolla" by Sigur Ros. Our first dance will be either the Iron & Wine cover of "Such Great Heights", or "Here Comes the Sun Again" by M. Ward (he proposed to me while playing the M. Ward song).

    1 agrees
  33. My high school boyfriend's very cool older sister walked her processional to Punk Rock Girl from the Dead Milkmen and recessional to Give it Away by The Red Hot Chili Peppers! She had the best pink hair to go!

    1 agrees
  34. The Skyrim theme? FUCK YEAH. Too bad my groom nixed it :( He also said no to the Game of Thrones theme. :( :( :( :( :(

    He just finally came around to my entrance song, which is Chongthenomad's "When Avatars Fall in Love." It's a mashuup of the Kataang theme from Avatar: The Last Airbender and the Makorra theme from The Legend of Korra. http://chongthenomad.tumblr.com/post/22407609276/when-avatars-fall-in-love-kataang-makorra-theme

    There will be tearbending at the wedding anyway, might as well have an ATLA/LOK reference. We're also thinking about a Tobuscus reference, because we love watching his videos together.

    3 agree
  35. My first wedding, I walked down to "Longer" by Dan Fogelberg (it was 1983, and the song was perfect, since I had known my groom since the age of 5). But now, after a long marriage and messy divorce, I'm planning on "The Broken Road" by Rascal Flatts. The lyrics are perfect for me and my sweetie.

    3 agree
  36. Some ideas:
    Genevieve – Jon & Vangelis
    Plainsong – The Cure
    Venus – Air
    Divine – Devin Townsend
    Feather – Devin Townsend
    God only knows – Beach Boys
    The nurse who loved me – A perfect circle
    You're so cool – Hans Zimmer
    Cupid de Locke – Smashing pumpkins
    Green – Dandy Warhols
    Two weeks – strapping young lad

    Just some ideas…

    2 agree
  37. I am having Moon River from my all time favourite Breakfast at Tiffanys. If anything can make you feel elegant, its anything associated to Audrey!

  38. Sorry for all the comments! I was having trouble figuring out how to embed it. Thanks for continuing to read!

  39. Trust me, "Swing Life Away" by Rise Against is perfect! I'll be using it!

    1 agrees
  40. "Music of the Night" from Phantom of the Opera…haunting but beautiful

  41. I know it sounds weird but im walking down the aisle to "Long time ago" From the pans labrynth soundtrack… i love that song 😀

  42. I'm glad I found this thread. My wedding isn't for quite some time, but I'm hand-picking all of the music with the exception of the dancing music (my tastes are slower/softer), so I wanted to start scheming.

    For awhile, I was set on Flightless Bird American Mouth by Iron and Wine. I love, love, love it. It wasn't until I looked it up on Youtube for FH that I realized it's the song used in the wedding scene in Twilight. :-$ Nothing wrong with that… but it leaves me second guessing.

    An alternative was going to be Ennio Morricone's "Playing Love" from the soundtrack of Legend of 1900. It's piano, but more modern.

    For the recessional, I'm considering "Boy With a Coin" by Iron and Wine (not very romantic, but perfect for a summer outdoor wedding). Or "June Hymn" by the Decemberists.

    For our main entrance to the reception, we're hoping for The Final Countdown (we're huge Arrested Development fans).

    For our first dance, I like Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat's "Lucky"

    For our send-off: The Rainbow Connection.

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