Alternative Wedding Songs: Ideas for Your Processional, Recessional and First Dance Music

Alternative wedding songs are an easy way to make your big day stand out from the crowd; we’ve lost count of the amount of times we’ve heard John Legend’s All Of Me as a first dance song, or Here Comes The Sun by The Beatles as processional music, so a unique wedding song will definitely make your guests sit up and listen.

While classic wedding songs are classic for a reason, alternative wedding songs allow you to show your personality as a couple.


People put a lot of thought into their first dance song, but you also need to consider your processional and recessional music, which is where we come in…


Alternative Songs to Walk Down the Aisle to

The processional music (the official term for the song you walk down the aisle to), is likely the first music your guests will hear at your wedding, so it’s the perfect opportunity to set the tone for your day, allowing you to put your own personal stamp on the wedding ceremony from the very start, with an alternative wedding song.

Walking down the aisle will be one of the most memorable parts of your day (and life!), so choosing the perfect song is imperative.

Our list of unique songs to walk down the aisle to is here to inspire you with your choice.

Bubbly by Colbie Caillat

We can just imagine the sun streaming through the windows as we take our first steps down the aisle to this sweet, acoustic style track. It’s also the perfect pace – not so fast you’d be running down the aisle, but not so slow it feels painful.

Anyone Else But You by The Moldy Peaches

If you’ve seen Juno, you’ll recognise this song from the soundtrack. Twee, yes, but undeniably cute. Picture locking eyes with the love of your life at the end of the aisle with this playing and you’ll understand why this is on our list.

Us by Regina Spektor

There are so many Regina Spektor songs we could pick to walk down the aisle to, but this jaunty, hopeful sounding tune just sounds like the first day of the rest of our lives.

Your Hand In Mine by Explosions in the Sky

Just listening to this one will explain why it’s the perfect processional song. It’s rather long, so you’ll need to pick the bit you like best, or start it playing long before you walk in to help all of your guests settle down.

Here Comes Your Man by Meaghan Smith

Meaghan Smith’s cover of this track by The Cure has the perfect beat for walking down the aisle. It works especially when at same sex weddings with two grooms. But if you’re a bride and still want to walk down to this, why not?!

Only You by Selena Gomez

Another unexpected cover, but Selena’s sultry tones lend themselves perfectly to Alison Moyet’s track, giving it a romantic edge that we can picture soundtracking a slow, ethereal walk down a long aisle. With a dramatic train cascading behind you. We’re getting carried away now…

XO by Beyonce

Halo is a common wedding song (and for good reason), but this sexy track by Beyonce is definitely underrated when it comes to weddings. When the beat kicks in is the perfect time to make eye contact with your partner at the altar – if he’s managed to resist peaking up to this point, that is.

Love by Lana Del Rey

Lana has a back catalogue of sombre songs, but Love isn’t one of them. Walking down the aisle to this track would give your wedding an undeniably cool vibe. It’s laidback luxe at its very finest.


Unusual Songs for the End of the Wedding Ceremony

The song you walk out of your ceremony to is called the recessional music, and most couples choose an upbeat bop to walk back down the aisle to – common tracks include Best Day Of My Life by American Authors, or Signed Sealed Delivered by Stevie Wonder.

These are undoubtedly fun choices, but for something unexpected, have a look through our suggestions for alternative wedding songs.

Walk of Life by Dire Straits

We were torn whether this was better for processional or recessional music, and recessional won because we can think of no happier, boppier tune to walk hand in hand back down the aisle to.

You and Me Song by The Wannadies

This was featured in Baz Luhrman’s Romeo and Juliet, so it’s instantly romantic, right? It’s also just euphoric when the chorus kicks in and makes us feel crazy in love even when our partner is in our bad books.

Sweet Disposition by The Temper Track

We love it when a lesser-known band releases a track like this that reaches giddy heights of popularity.  The lyrics are kind of nonsensical, but that’s part of what makes it a beautiful song to play in the background as you leave the ceremony – it’s not overpowering but will make everyone feel positive.

Dice by Finley Quaye

The lyrics “Nothing can compare to when you roll the dice and swear your love’s for me” couldn’t be more romantic if they tried and are the perfect ending to a wedding ceremony. The track picks up as it goes on, but stays relatively laid back for a calm exit.

All I want Is You by Barry Louis Polisar

If you ask us, harmonicas aren’t used enough in music these days. This upbeat ditty is begging to be played at boho weddings in barn venues. He even mentions brides in the lyrics, so it’s meant to be if you ask us.

You Make My Dreams by Daryl Hall and John Oates

500 Days of Summer fans will recognise this iconic song from the film; it brings a smile to our faces every time we hear it, making it the perfect recessional song.

Send Me On My Way by Rusted Root

Another track from a film, this one’s from Matilda and we can’t resist a happy bop when it comes on. Guaranteed to create a happy, upbeat atmosphere – sometimes necessary after the pressure of standing up in front of everyone.

She’s Got You High by Mumm-ra

This quiet and soft song builds up into a soaring chorus and just fizzes with positivity – it always makes us picture beautiful sunrises and new beginnings which is sort of what being a newlywed is like.

Alternative First Dance Songs

Your first dance song is probably the piece of wedding music you’ve put the most thought into. From rock music for your first dance, to the traditional tracks like Etta James’ At Last and Ed Sheeran’s Perfect, a lot needs to be considered when choosing your first dance.

If you and your partner don’t have “a song”, choosing one for your first dance can be tricky. You don’t want something everyone’s heard dozens of times before, after all. Our unusual first dance songs are here to inspire you to choose a song your guests won’t be expecting and will remember for years to come.

Re:Stacks by Bon Iver

You might be familiar with Skinny Love by Bon Iver, but our hearts lie with Re:Stacks. Both Ellie Goulding and Ed Sheeran have both written lyrics about this track (there’s nothing like an intertextual reference…), and we think it’s too lovely not to add to the shortlist of first dance songs.

She Treats Me Well by Ben Howard

Staying on the vibe of acoustic male artists, Ben Howard pens ballads like nobody else. This one is particularly romantic; Ben’s voice is so enchanting that even guests who aren’t fans will have a tear in the eye watching you dance to this one. Give Old Pine a listen too if you’re thinking Ben Howard might be the perfect first dance artist.

The Dress Looks Nice On You by Sufjan Stevens

Former indie kids out there will likely be big Sufjan Stevens fans. Aside from the fact he sings about a dress looking nice (a bridal reference if ever we heard one), this peaceful song is full to the brim of romantic imagery.

Maybe I’m Amazed by Jem

Jem’s cover of this Paul McCartney track gives us all the feels. We first head it in The OC in the throes of our adolescence, so maybe that’s why we find it so romantic, but picture yourself and the love of your life swaying along and we guarantee you’ll feel the love too.

Best I Ever Had by Drake

A departure from the rest of the songs on the list, but an undeniably great choice. If you’re worried about the swears, why not have your wedding band cover it, or perform an acoustic version?

Higher Love – James Vincent McMorrow

We’re not ashamed to admit this song first came to our attention on Love Island, but we’ve managed to banish the image of the islanders cavorting for long enough to appreciate how truly romantic it is.

Wild Love Acoustic by James Bay

Another James, another ballad just made to be a first dance song. The lyric “I wanna go where the lights burn low and you’re only mine” gets us every single time.

Slow Show by The National

This track hears the singer lament how much he’d rather be with his partner than anywhere else, and is the sentiment we always feel when we’re apart from our loved one. Give it a listen, even if it’s not the first dance for you, you’ll appreciate the sentiment we’re sure.

Thinkin Bout You by Frank Ocean

Frank Ocean writes chilled out R&B songs we wish were about us, particularly this laidback track. Our favourite lyric, “Or do you not think so far ahead?’Cause I been thinkin’ ’bout forever”, is perfect for weddings.

Time After Time by Iron and Wine

This acoustic cover of Cyndi Lauper’s hit is a definite winner of a first dance song. The lyrics are irrefutably romantic, and his calming voice makes it our favourite version of the song.

Fingers crossed our ideas have given you some inspiration for your wedding music – if you’re still looking for unusual ideas to make your wedding stand out from the crowd, check out our article on alternative wedding cakes.

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