Pachelbel's "Canon in D" is a lovely song for your walk down the aisle – but it isn't the only one. Brides who want to show off their unique musical tastes and distinguish themselves from other couples will love choosing a song that perfectly represents their own style. There's no rule that brides must walk down the aisle to classical, traditional music, so why not choose a contemporary song with lyrics that are meaningful to you?
While some popular songs are often played at weddings – like "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri or "At Last" by Etta James – there are plenty of other songs that would make a beautiful and unique addition to your wedding music. There are a number of alternative non-traditional wedding processional songs outside of those you hear at nearly every wedding, so get creative and choose a unique song for your walk down the aisle!
Photo by Charla Storey Photography; From Real Wedding: The Wedding of Bachelor in Paradise's Raven Gates & Adam Gottschalk
The ceremony is also a wonderful time to feature wedding songs that hold significance to you and your fiancé – perhaps a ballad you heard on your first date, or the tune that was playing as he popped the question. If the processional wedding music has already been selected, consider non-traditional wedding recessional songs to excite your guests before the party starts!
Even if the song doesn't quite fit the tone of your ceremony (a hard rock song at a country club wedding, for example), simply ask your ceremony musicians to perform a classical version for the song, or look for a cover version of the perfect song that will match the ambience you desire for your wedding. Take a listen to the non-traditional songs Inside Weddings couples have featured in their ceremonies, below. These unexpectedly romantic selections will get your creativity flowing and help you choose fun, unusual songs to walk down the aisle to!
Photo by M. Hart Photography; Planning & Design by Natalie Sofer Weddings & Events; From Real Wedding: A Magical Wedding Inspired by Old Hollywood in Los Angeles
While some of these great song ideas may have been used more at weddings in the height of their popularity, incorporating them into your wedding day now will refresh these tunes loved by so many! Take a look at some of our favorite wedding song ideas perfect for a non-traditional couple who wants to go beyond the classic wedding march on their big day in favor of non-traditional wedding processional music.
The lyrics of "Breathe Me" by Sia definitely aren't wedding or romance related; however, if you and your partner love the style and sound of the music, consider this as a very non-traditional wedding tune! You can also use an instrumental version in your wedding ceremony.
Perfect for the bride or groom who loves American rock, "Sweet Child O' Mine" by Guns N' Roses offers a non-traditional wedding ceremony song. Just the way it is, the lyrics are about a love, so it's a wonderful choice to play on this special day.
If you loved the 1995 film A Little Princess when you were growing up, "Kindle My Heart" from A Little Princess will be a sentimental selection for the couple and their guests to hear during any special moment on the wedding day. It'll also be a dream choice for parents who also loved the movie!
Photo by Erika Delgado Photography; Planning & Design by Posh Parties; Venue: The Breakers; From Real Wedding: A "Theater in the Round" Performance-Focused Wedding at The Breakers
If you want to marry your love to the sounds of a talented singer sharing lyrics about never feeling a certain way about her love, "Never Felt This Way" by Alicia Keys is just the tune for you. It's all about wanting to spend forever with the one you love most.
Fans of musicals – and this play in particular – will love "Sunrise, Sunset" from Fiddler on the Roof. It's also extremely fitting for a wedding as it was performed at the wedding of Tzeitel, Tevye and Golde's eldest daughter, and the parents sing about how they can't believe how the bride and groom have grown up.
You'll see this song on many wedding ceremony processional music lists, but they're not all by this artist. "Can't Help Falling In Love" by Ingrid Michaelson is an excellent choice for pairs who want the lyrics to ring true but have a different artist than those selected by their friends and family. (For more ideas, see Ingrid Michaelson's favorite love songs!)
Photo by Valorie Darling Photography; Floral Design by The Hidden Garden; From Real Wedding: An Opulent Ocean-View Ceremony & Luxurious Reception in Santa Barbara
Influenced by a classic hymn from one of the more popular alternative rock bands, "Awake My Soul" by Mumford and Sons is just waiting to be played at your wedding ceremony. The band also has some other great tunes for wedding events, so feel free to explore those when making selections for your dream ceremony and reception music.
The best thing about choosing your wedding music is you get to decide exactly what you want to play! For those who love "Love and Affection" by Matt White, these words can ring true as you marry your bride or groom: "I will offer you love and affection, and all of my warmth and protection. It will be you and I against the world. Oh baby, it'll be you and I against the world."
"Here Comes The Sun" by The Beatles is a tune that will never go out of style. It's loved by all generations, and it's a great choice for a ceremony processional for that reason and more. We also encourage couples to discover these other wedding songs by The Beatles, perfect for starting your life together!
Photo by Jenna Leigh Photography; From Real Wedding: Elegant Outdoor Wedding with Scottish Traditions in the Cayman Islands
Another tune that doesn't often make the list of wedding songs is "Big Jet Plane" by Angus & Julia Stone. The singer-songwriter duo's music is soft, serene, and romantic, making their songs beautiful choices for a dream wedding. The lyrics of this one are also sweet and sentimental – especially for someone like this couple who met on an airplane.
While certainly not required, "Better Together" by Jack Johnson is a lovely option for those getting married on the beach or in a tropical location. The light, easy, breezy sound of this love song is perfect for a destination wedding, but the lyrics work just as well for any celebration.
"A Thousand Miles" by Vanessa Carlton was the tune of the times when it came out in 2002, and 20 years later, it's still an excellent option for your ceremony music. From the piano-driven music to the lyrics, this song still holds up after two decades – and it may even be more welcome at weddings since it has been so long since many of your guests will have heard it!
Photo by Karlisch Photography; Floral & Event Design by HeatherLily; From Real Wedding: Outdoor Garden Wedding Ceremony + Country Club Reception in Ohio
For those unsure of going completely untraditional or traditional with their wedding songs, a great choice is to play instrumental versions of your favorite songs by artists such as Ed Sheeran, Christina Perri, Bruno Mars. This way, you'll create the perfect blend between modern and traditional with live musicians playing (or have a DJ play) a strings or acoustic rendition of the original version everyone loves.
Some of the links included may be affiliate; however, everything we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. When you make a purchase, we may receive revenue. Thank you for your support!
Need more inspiration for a non-traditional wedding? Check out Spotify's list of the 50 most popular wedding songs (that may even give you ideas for non-traditional wedding songs to walk down the aisle to – 2020 and beyond!), be inspired by unique ceremony seating ideas, discover some first dance songs chosen by real brides and grooms, and get decoration ideas for your wedding aisle!
Opening photo by Jose Villa Photography; Planning & Design by Mindy Weiss Party Consultants; From Real Wedding: The Luxury Fall Wedding of EF Collection Jewelry Designer, Emily Faith