Whether you’re just not a fan of the go-to Canon in D by Pachelbel or are looking for something more modern to walk down the aisle to, there are plenty of unexpected processional songs for your wedding ceremony. In fact, many couples today are opting for non-classical music in general for their wedding. Choosing an untraditional or unusual processional song allows you to add some personality to your wedding celebration. Music can set the ambiance to the ceremony, tell the story of your relationship, or assist you in making a grand and memorable entrance.
It’s worth taking the time to choose the right music for your wedding, especially when it comes to the processional song. After all, this is definitely the one moment of your big day that will be remembered forever. Here are some ideas for unique ceremonial music, some of which are quite popular with modern weddings.
1. Love Story by Taylor Swift
Genre: Country Pop
There is no doubt this song has become a classic by now. As an upbeat and romantic tune, it’s been a popular choice as a processional. Like many of Taylor’s songs, it’s inspired by a real-life relationship, so the lyrics are as authentic as they get. (And unlike the original story of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, Taylor’s version has a happy ending.)
2. Can’t Help Falling in Love – Elvis Presley
If you want to add a touch of something retro to your wedding, this song is the perfect way to do it. It’s slow, romantic, and guaranteed to make your guests shed a tear or two. The music was actually inspired by a very old French love song, Plaisir d’Amour, and the title summarizes the lyrics perfectly. There have been many other recordings of this timeless ballad. One of the most modern is by Haley Reinhart, released in 2016. Her version is a perfect mix of the old and new, and a lovely take on the original.
3. Halo – Beyoncé
Genre: R&B, Pop
If you’re looking for something to truly grab people’s attention, this is the song to do it. Halo is often described as a power ballad and ideal for a confident bride who wants to make an entrance. The lyrics are essentially a declaration of love with a focus on how the relationship, which involved risk-taking, has made each person change for the better. By playing this song at your ceremony, you’re sending a strong message about the undeniable connection between you and your soon-to-be husband or wife.
4. A Thousand Years – Christina Perri
This song is actually one of the top choices for a processional since its debut in the Twilight movie saga. (If you’re familiar with the movie series, it’s essentially a description of Bella and Edward’s relationship.) Although classified as pop, the song has strong classical elements, with touches of romantic country guitar. It’s a perfect balance for someone who doesn’t want to be too old-fashioned, yet not too modern.
5. Fly Me to the Moon – Olivia Ong
This is yet another old-fashioned song, which was originally recorded by Kaye Ballard in 1954, but made famous by Frank Sinatra 10 years later. Sinatra’s version is often linked to the Apollo space missions and was actually the first song to be played out loud on the moon. As a processional song, Sinatra’s version may be a bit too fast-paced, but Olivia Ong’s version makes for a perfect alternative. Her take on the classic is slow, soothing, and even has a certain Spanish guitar flair, making it perfect for a beach or outdoor wedding.
6. Shallow – Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga
Genre: County, Folk Pop
If you remember the “oohs” and “ahhs” this duet caused at the 91st Academy Awards, you can only imagine what impression it will make at your wedding. One of the hits from the movie A Star Is Born, this song is expected to be a popular option for weddings to come. But don’t let the genre fool you. This song combines elements of contemporary rock with a bit of drama and romantic charm. The lyrics are a duet between two people falling in love and taking the next step in their relationship. For a wedding, there is no better transitional song than this.
Tips for Choosing Your Perfect Wedding Processional Music
Hopefully, these suggestions gave you some inspiration for your wedding processional song choice. If not, you can always find something else to call your own. However, when scouting a song for the ceremony, here are a few things you should keep in mind.
Listen to the Lyrics
There are plenty of beautiful songs out there, but make sure the lyrics are appropriate for a wedding. You don’t want to accidentally play a song about heartbreak before you exchange vows! It’s also wise to check for any explicit words, especially if there are children at the ceremony. In addition, if your wedding is at a church, there may be restrictions on what kind of music you can play. Alternatively, if you have an option, you can just play the music without the lyrics from your favorite song. This may be wise if you want to avoid extra distractions.
Time the Tempo
Make sure you feel comfortable walking in sync with the music—your brain will automatically want you to match your steps. While you don’t have to choose a slow song, you definitely don’t want to stagger in the middle of your grand entrance.
Consider Keeping the Song a Secret
You can keep your processional song a secret until the big reveal. (Yes, even from the groom!) In fact, if you find the perfect song it can be a nice surprise, perhaps even making for an emotional moment.