Many brides and grooms are avoiding the standard “Bridal March” or even “Canon in D,” instead electing to pick songs that mean a lot to them. Of course, some of these tunes don’t always fit with the vibe of the day, which is where instrumental versions come in handy.
While some couples have no problem steering away from the traditional aspects of getting married, others want the day to still feel like a wedding while adding their own personal touches to the proceedings. Music is one of the best ways to achieve this goal – many brides and grooms are avoiding the standard “Bridal March” or even “Canon in D,” instead electing to pick non-traditional wedding songs that mean a lot to them. Of course, some of these tunes don’t always fit with the vibe of the day, which is where instrumental versions come in handy – for the big day or your wedding video.
The prolific group Vitamin String Quartet has many covers available, from a variety of genres, all arranged in a classical style. These songs are perfect for fans of the modern-meets-classic tunes featured in Netflix's Bridgerton!
Photo by Amy & Stuart Photography; Event Design by White Lilac Inc.; From Real Wedding: Chic White, Blush & Gold Seaside Wedding at Montage Laguna Beach
Below is a playlist of love songs covered by the quartet, but the instrumental nature also gives the couple an opportunity to think out of the box, using songs from their favorite rock band, movie, or even video game. With the beauty of the string instruments, no tune will sound out of place. If you choose to hire musicians for the ceremony, be sure to check if they are willing to arrange the track of your choosing. Can’t decide on just a few songs for the processional and recessional? A set list for before the ceremony will set the tone.
This song by Jason Mraz was a hit when it first came out, and the fun string rendition of "I'm Yours" is a perfect addition to a joyful wedding ceremony. We love it as the soundtrack for the moment friends and family find their seats.
"All My Life"
For fans of the Foo Fighters' "All My Life," this selection will make a great addition to the ceremony music. The string rendition is a bit more edgy than other songs on the list, so it will be unique as it won't be played at every wedding!
"These Words (I Love You, I Love You)"
One of Natasha Bedingfield's hits "These Words (I Love You, I Love You)" beautifully transitions into a strings ensemble. It's sweet, uplifting, and romantic – all great components of a celebratory ceremony song.
The title really says it all! For fans of Sara Bareilles' famous "Love Song," this recognizable version will have your friends and family in a romantic mood for the rest of the day – even when the actual lyrics aren't romantic themselves.
Everyone knows the song "Everything" by crooner Michael Bublé, and the string rendition is a welcome addition to any ceremony. Whether you walk down the aisle to the tune or have guests seated during the performance, it should definitely make your list.
"If I Ain't Got You"
Fans of R&B and Alicia Keys' beautiful voice will fall just as much in love with this string version of "If I Ain't Got You" – it's just recognizable enough without being too cliché for those who prefer more classical music!
"Sweet Child O' Mine"
The opening sequence of "Sweet Child O' Mine" by Guns N' Roses is instantly recognizable and will also instantly put your wedding attendees in a good mood. It's also a great option for people who loved the famous car-singing scene in Step Brothers.
"All You Need Is Love"
This song by The Beatles is on many wedding playlists, and for good reason! If you want to add a classic feel to your nuptials while incorporating favorites, "All You Need Is Love" is a great place to start. (See more wedding songs by The Beatles!)
"The Only Exception"
Another lesser-known song than the go-to classics, "The Only Exception" by the band Paramore is a great option for couples who want to have modern instrumental tunes at their wedding without being overly obvious that it's a popular song.
This song by Journey is one of the more romantic songs on this list of instrumental versions of pop songs, and we love it for the bridal processional or even having "Faithfully" played softly during the ceremony itself.
"A Thousand Years"
Whether you're a fan of the Twilight movies or not, it's hard to not love "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri. The strings version of the tune is perhaps even more romantic than the actual song – it's perfect for ceremonies!
Elton John's hit "Your Song" is another favorite on this list! While Elton John serenading you at the wedding would be the best-case scenario, having this soft, sweet strings rendition played at the ceremony is the next best thing.
Here's another song that will be instantly recognized by your guests who love music from the 1960s. "At Last" by Etta James is a classic, and it's also popular at weddings – whether the string rendition or the original!
"I Don't Want to Miss a Thing"
If having an actual Aerosmith song play at your wedding is a little too much, the string version of "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" will give you the romantic feel without feeling like you and your beloved are the stars of Armageddon (the movie the song was written for).
"Maybe I'm Amazed"
Paul McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed" is another popular wedding ceremony song when played with string instruments. It's upbeat, uplifting, and fun, making it a great option for the wedding recessional and beyond!
"Here Comes Your Man"
Couples who love indie/alternative music or are fans of the Pixies, "Here Comes Your Man" is another great choice for the wedding ceremony. We love it for the beginning of the ceremony or the moments just before the wedding begins.
Another great indie rock option is "Sweater Weather" by The Neighbourhood. While it's certainly a popular song, it's not quite as recognizable as other tunes on the list from the get go – making it a perfect option for couples who don't want it to be too obvious what they're playing!
Ben Folds' song "The Luckiest" is one of the most romantic songs out there. If you're worried about crying if the actual lyrics are performed or played, this instrumental version will give the same feel, while not cueing any tears.
"Just the Way You Are"
There are so many Bruno Mars wedding songs for your big day, but we love this string rendition of "Just the Way You Are" for the ceremony.
"You and I Both"
Another Jason Mraz song made the list! "You and I Both" is a wonderful ceremony option if you're a fan of Jason Mraz but don't want to have his most popular hit "I'm Yours" play at your wedding.
Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová's Academy Award-winning song from the movie Once is another one of our favorites for movie fans to include in their wedding ceremony. There's a reason it won Best Original Song, so definitely add it to your list if you're a fan!
"Can't Help Falling in Love"
Elvis' famous song "Can't Help Falling in Love" will always be popular for weddings and consistently makes the list of top first dance songs. It's also become a popular processional song after the wedding scene in the movie Crazy Rich Asians, but we love it for all parts of the ceremony!
Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat's duet "Lucky" was a hit in 2008, and over a decade later, it's still a popular choice for wedding ceremonies. This is another song on the list that we love as the soundtrack to guests finding their seats.
"Fade Into You"
Music fans of the 1990s will welcome this 1993 song by Mazzy Star into their ceremony playlist. The song has been featured in a few movies and though none of them are particularly romantic, "Fade Into You" is sure to be a memorable addition to your big day.
The Temper Trap's "indie anthem" will be a fun way to introduce to guests that you're incorporating modern-day songs as string renditions into your big day. The melody is beautiful enough to come off as a truly classical piece, but it's of course a 2000s hit your guests will love.
"You're Still the One"
Country music fans will love this string rendition that's a tribute to Shania Twain's famed "You're Still the One." The beginning starts off soft and sweet, picking up at the chorus when your guests will certainly recognize the hit tune.
For more ideas, discover a perfect playlist for your summer wedding, listen to nine father-daughter dance songs inspired by movies, and consider these tunes for a fun engagement party playlist.