Everybody knows and loves Mendelssohn’s wedding march. Even at 5 years old I made sure my Barbies had this tune memorized as it was skillfully hummed at every plastic wedding. You’re humming it now too, aren’t you? Don’t lie.
There’s something warm and classic about watching a couple pronounced man and wife and then hearing this traditional music startup on an organ. However, as trends shift toward a mixture of vintage and customized elements, many couples are looking for ways to display their individuality through their music. This can be beautiful. Or it can be tragic. These are my tips to planning to a classy alternative recessional for your wedding as well as some song ideas.
1. The first step in this decision process is to know what musicians you want at your wedding. Will you have a pianist, string quartet, solo violin, deejay? This matters. “Free Bird” doesn’t sound quite the same on a bagpipe…sorry.
2. Look at the style of your wedding. I recently did a vintage wedding where we incorporated some violin solos for “somewhere over the rainbow” and “I love you truly”. This was simple, sweet, and matched the theme nicely.
3. Do you have a special song that you want to incorporate? This may be a good place to put it. Don’t forget to mention it on your programs. Guests love to know the meaning behind songs, decor, etc. It helps them to feel more connected and they will leave your wedding feeling like they learned more about you.
4. Choose a fairly long song. You want to give your guests plenty of time to leave the ceremony. You can also choose a medley of songs. I just prefer one long song.
5. Choose a fun song. Use good taste here, but I love to hear a happy, peppy song–something that let’s your guests know the party is getting started. One of my favorite memories from my own wedding was the recessional. My husband is a pilot and we chose the Top Gun anthem for our recessional. It was a fun and subtle touch of our personality, while keeping it classy at the same time. Guests loved it.
6. Unless you have a deejay playing the “real version” of a song, stick to instrumentals without the words. All rules are able to be broken so this is not inflexible, but I strongly suggest using this as a rule of thumb.
7. I can’t believe I have to say this, but after seeing a viral video of poor choices in wedding songs I guess I should…don’t choose a song with cuss words. Seriously…there are usually children present plus it’s just not classy.
Below are some suggested songs spanning a range of styles and preferences.
1. Home by Phillip Phillips
2. Gone with the wind theme
3. Somewhere over the rainbow
4. Dancing in the Minefields by Andrew Peterson
5. Daisy Electric Violin by Lindsey Sterling
6. Lindsey sterling actually has wonderful video game theme songs for violin. Super tasteful way for you video gamers to share your love for mario.
7. 1,2,3,4 by the Plain White Ts
8. Butterfly Waltz by Brian Crain (also a beautiful processional)
9. Techno Canon in D. Such a fun twist on tradition.
10.Then by Brad Paisley