The Charlottesville Wedding Blog

It may seem like a relatively simple task, but choosing the processional music for weddings has been stumping brides for decades. Unlike the first dance song, which usually has significant meaning or emotional value for the couple, the grand entrance music as you head into your wedding venue tends to be a less obvious choice and typically raises a lot more dilemmas for the bride and groom: Lyrics or no lyrics? Classical or contemporary? Upbeat or subdued? Throw in the fact that the options practically reach the point of infinity and it's easy to see why selecting ceremony music can lead to agonizing decision-making for couples.

Just like with most things, when a couple finds themselves on the hunt for the perfect processional songs, they head straight to Google for some much-needed help. We've all been down this path a time or two and it usually ends up turning into a giant time suck where hours and hours of time are lost in Internet land. On top of all that, you'll inevitably get lots of unwanted recommendations from well-meaning, but pushy friends and relatives. If this starts to happen to you or if you are already stuck on this frustrating path, our advice is to take a deep breath, back away from the search bar, and reassess. Remember: planning your wedding day is supposed to be a fun, memorable experience...not a panic-inducing nightmare. That's right; even making decisions about your processional should be all about having a good time and enjoying the ride. Here's how to avoid the whirlwind scenario:

First, do some self-reflection. Do you want the songs to be meaningful to your relationship or would you rather choose something that strikes you in the moment? Do you want your music to fit the tone of your day, whether it be offbeat, classic, romantic, or laid-back and upbeat? Do you find yourself drawn to a certain genre, such as classical or indie? Ask yourself questions like these early on and don't fall into the all-too-common habit of questioning your feelings as you begin browsing processional songs. Secondly, search for songs that fit the criteria you established in step one and keep a running list of songs that you adore. This will help you circumvent becoming overwhelmed by countless options. Thirdly, remember, that you should never worry about what someone might think about your song choices. It's your day, so if you want to walk down the aisle to a unique song pick, go ahead! It really doesn't matter what your guests will think—go with what makes you happiest. And finally, make choosing your wedding processional songs a fun thing to do with your spouse-to-be by sitting down one night with a few glasses of wine and going over your favorites together. Trust us, there are amazing songs out there are just right for your day; they're just waiting to be discovered.

To give you an idea of the different styles of music you can use in your upcoming wedding, we've put together a list of our top ten favorite wedding processional songs. We took a great deal of time making sure our selections were anything but cheesy, over-used, and one-dimensional. After all, not every bride is dying to walk down the aisle to "Here Comes the Bride" or Pachelbel's "Canon." Offbeat, classic, romantic, vintage—it all has a place here. So without further ado, ten wedding processional songs to inspire your search for dream-worthy ceremony music:

"Dawn" by Andrew Lapp

Remember that beautiful film adaptation, starring Keira Knightly of Pride & Prejudice, that came out a few years ago? Well, this, our friends, is the stunning piano arrangement that comes and goes throughout the film. We love the loveliness of the music most of all, but its connection to this incredible romance story definitely sealed the deal.

Perfect for: The classic-meets-contemporary couple.

Listen here.

"Le Vie en Rose" by Louis Armstrong

The soft and romantic style of this song always inspires us to think of that special moment when a bride walks down the aisle to the love of her life.

Perfect for: The vintage-loving couple.

Listen here.

"Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop" by Landon Pigg

A little on the unexpected side, this beautiful song by Landon Pigg tells an incredible story of falling in love at a coffee shop. All romances begin in unique and special ways, so we love that this processional song gets to the heart of those moments when you first fell in love.

Perfect for: The offbeat couple.

Listen here.

"Air" by George F. Handel

Although the majority of songs that made our list are not often top picks, we just had to include at least one song that's been a longtime processional favorite. There are hundred of songs that fell into this category that we could've chosen, but the stunning sounds of "Air" made our decision easy.

Perfect for: The classic couple.

Listen here.

"At Last" by Etta James

You may have seen recently that this classic ballad holds the top spot as the most commonly used first dance song, but we like the idea of taking the tradition and adding a little twist by using it for the processional instead. It's undeniably romantic and the lyrics give a sweet reminder that you've found "the one" at last.

Perfect for: The romantic couple.

Listen here.

"We Bought a Zoo" by Jónsi

All too often, classical music gets narrowed down into pieces that were written by the world's most-famous composers—Bach, Handel, etc.—and we forget all about the many amazing artists who are creating classical pieces today. One of our favorite examples of modern classical is this breathtaking song by Jónsi. There's just something about the melody that gives us butterflies.

Perfect for: The classic-meets-contemporary couple.

Listen here.

"Canela" by Devendra Banhart

This song is definitely an offbeat choice, but there's no denying that it's totally mesmerizing and makes for a perfect processional song. The lyrics are sweet, yet simple — we don't think it gets much better than that.

Perfect for: The offbeat couple.

Listen here.

"I'm Yours" by Vitamin String Quartet (Cover)

Jason Mraz's version of this happy song is quite upbeat, but this string cover gives it a quieter edge that fits nicely with the tone of the wedding processional. Plus, we love the idea that you can use this modern and well-known song without it feeling super cliché.

Perfect for: The easy-going and laid back couple.

Listen here.

"Unchained Melody" by The Righteous Brothers

When it comes to having a vintage wedding day, we couldn't imagine a more fitting song than "Unchained Melody." This oldie has captures hearts for many years, so go ahead let it capture a few more at your big day.

Perfect for: The vintage-loving couple.

Listen here.

"A Thousand Years" by The Piano Guys (Cover)

This instrumental cover of this Christina Perri original falls last on our list, but be assured that it doesn't lack for beauty or the ability to bring tears to your eyes in an instant. We chose the version without the lyrics because it effortlessly allows you to get caught up in the feelings that the music alone inspires. If you want romance to speak through your processional song, then look no further.

Perfect for: The romantic couple.

Listen here.

Fellow brides weigh in: What songs have you chosen for your wedding processional? How did you go about choosing the right music? Share below.

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