It’s the moment you’ve both been waiting for. The processional (the part of the ceremony in which you or your spouse will walk down the aisle) is a big, beautiful moment in your wedding ceremony. Everyone stands up, excitement ripples through the room, and the music swells. But what song is playing?
When you think about a wedding processional, you may envision tried and true classics like Pachelbel’s Canon in D or Mendelssohn’s Wedding March. These are lovely choices, but recent years have yielded some contemporary song selections that are perfect for couples who want something more unique.
Here are 10 contemporary songs that are perfect for couples seeking a fresh twist on their wedding ceremony.
Young and Beautiful by Lana Del Rey
Popularized by the 2013 film The Great Gatsby, this dreamy song features lyrics that juxtapose the reality of aging with the lasting nature of true love. Listen to it on YouTube here.
Key lyric: “Will you still love me when I’m no longer young and beautiful? I know you will.”
Love Story by Taylor Swift
There’s certainly no shortage of love songs by Taylor Swift, but this take on the tale of Romeo and Juliet provides the perfect backdrop for your own love story. Your band or musician should be able to play a slow version that provides a better pace for walking down the aisle; for example, check out this cover on YouTube here.
Key lyric: “Marry me, Juliet; you’ll never have to be alone. I love you and that’s all I really know. I talked to your dad, go pick out a white dress. It’s a love story, baby, just say ‘yes.’”
All of Me by John Legend
John Legend’s love ballad topped charts in 2014, and why not? The simple piano melody, set against the message of loving someone without reserve, makes it a modern classic that is perfect for a wedding. See the music video on YouTube here.
Key lyric: “All of me loves all of you. Love your curves and all your edges, all your perfect imperfections. Give your all to me; I’ll give my all to you. You’re my end and my beginning; even when I lose, I’m winning.”
Never Enough by Loren Allred
The best song from 2017’s The Greatest Showman (Yes, the BEST song…I said what I said), this sweeping melody is about realizing that without the person you love, nothing on earth will make you feel complete. This song would be a lovely processional choice instrumentally, or with vocals. Listen to the soundtrack version on YouTube here.
Key lyric: “Darling, without you…all the shine of a thousand spotlights, all the stars we steal from the night sky will never be enough.”
Somewhere Only We Know by Keane
This 2004 song from alternative rock band Keane is all about meeting the person you love in a secret place. The lyrics’ references to nature might make it a cool choice for an outdoor wedding ceremony, and a slowed cover of the song would be especially beautiful on piano and violin. Listen to the song on YouTube here.
Key lyrics: “I came across a fallen tree; I felt the branches of it looking at me. Is this the place we used to love? Is this the place that I’ve been dreaming of?”
Halo by Beyoncé
Give Queen Bey a spot at your wedding with her smash hit, all about letting down your walls for someone and believing in love again. See if your band or musician is willing to cover this pop song in a slower, richer tone. For example, check out this cover on YouTube here.
Key lyrics: “Everywhere I’m looking now, I’m surrounded by your embrace. Baby, I can see your halo. You know you’re my saving grace”
The Only Exception by Paramore
True love can melt even the most skeptical heart, and that’s what this song is all about. The happy, lilting melody is especially good on acoustic guitar. Listen to it on YouTube here.
Key lyrics: I’ve always lived like this, keeping a comfortable distance. And up until now I had sworn to myself that I’m content with loneliness because none of it was ever worth the risk.
But you are the only exception.”
Sweet Creature by Harry Styles
Sweet Creature is a gorgeous, meaningful song for a wedding. It’s a good reminder for couples to find strength and comfort in the love they share, no matter what difficulties arise. This is another great selection for guitar and vocals. Listen to it on YouTube here.
Key lyrics: “Two hearts in one home. It’s hard when we argue; we’re both stubborn, I know. But oh sweet creature, sweet creature, wherever I go, you bring me home.”
Is That Alright? by Lady Gaga
In the shadow of the better known Shallow, this song from the 2018 version of A Star is Born is a hugely underrated love song about spending your life with someone and treasuring every moment with them. Listen to it on YouTube here.
Key lyrics: “I want you to look right in my eyes; to tell me you love me, to be by my side. I want you at the end of my life. I want to see your face, when I fall with grace, at the moment I die. Is that alright?”
Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran
When you’re just moments away from marrying the love of your life, this beautiful song about enduring love could be the perfect background. A piano version of the song could be especially beautiful as you or your spouse walks down the aisle. See the music video on YouTube here.
Key lyrics: “People fall in love in mysterious ways; maybe just the touch of a hand. Me, I fall in love with you every single day, and I just want tell you I am.”