“Here Comes the Bride” alternatives: offbeat wedding processional songs [Updated!]

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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!

-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 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)

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 Going To Be Friends by the White Stripes (hear it)

Want to see more music selections?



Check our entire first dance post archive!

Comments on “Here Comes the Bride” alternatives: offbeat wedding processional songs [Updated!]

  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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

        • 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!

      • There is a wonderful version of “Please Please Please” by Zooey Deschanel of She and Him! You’re welcome. 😀

    • 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!

      • 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

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

      • 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!

    • 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. 🙂

    • 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!

  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.

  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!

  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. 😀

    • 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!

  5. 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.

        • 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.

      • 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%5D (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%5D
        I want to use that song at some point partially because I just love how obviously in love they are.

        • 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

          • 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!

          • 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.

        • 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.

          • 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

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

      • 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…

    • 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.

      • 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!

        • 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.

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

    • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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?))

      • 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!

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