13 Best Traditional Wedding Processional Songs Of All Time

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The 13 Best Wedding Procession Songs
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There’s a lot to be said about making a wedding yours. It’s trendy. It’s individualistic. Yet, at the same time, there’s a point where weddings start to feel like they lack that old school charm. Most of us would agree that weddings just shouldn’t be too informal.

So, how’s one able to add that traditional touch without sacrificing individuality? One easy way is to add a little tradition through classic wedding songs for the procession.

Think about it: The song you have at your wedding procession is one that will set the tone for the rest of your big day. These romantic yet stately songs, for example, are a perfect way to set an old school vibe, even when the rest of your day is as modern as can be.

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1. “Canon in D” by Johann Pachelbel

Johann Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” has been played in high society weddings since it first came out. It’s flowery, yet filled with poise. It’s romantic, and yet at the same time, still has that air of formality that makes it worthy of a royal wedding.

The legacy alone makes this a great traditional pick for any couples who want to kick it old school. To date, “Canon in D” is the most popular wedding song of all time. Just about every wedding venue works with this number, which is why it is always a great default go-to.

2. “Clair De Lune” by Claude Debussy

Debussy’s classical works are always a hit, especially among those who enjoy attending classical concerts. “Clair De Lune” is quite possibly Claude Debussy’s greatest hit.

Though it has a melancholy tone to it, this song still has a very striking romantic ambiance to it. That being said, it totally is meant to conjure up beautiful memories of days long past.

The original title of this song was “Promenade Sentimentale,” or “A Sentimental Stroll.” As one can imagine, it paints a picture of times that are gone as well as times that will spark a happy smile on your face when you think about them again.

3. “Dawn” by Andrew Lapp

If you’re looking for a contemporary “classical” piece that isn’t too stuffy, a better option for your wedding processional song would be “Dawn” by composer Andrew Lapp. Most people won’t recognize this song until they realize that it was the romantic overture that played in the Kiera Knightly version of Pride and Prejudice.

“Dawn” still has that classic vibe of an 18th century wedding, but thankfully, is a little more fresh. This will leave people wondering what song you chose for years to come.

4. “Appalachian Spring” by Aaron Copeland

This song is pretty much an Osmond couple hit, in the sense that it’s a little bit country and a little bit traditional. An ideal traditional choice for people who want a rustic or pastoral setting, this wedding song has gained a lot of popularity over the past couple of years.

Don’t get me wrong; this song isn’t country. It’s a beautiful, instrumental piece that’s filled with gorgeous overtures and is guaranteed to make sure no eyes remain dry. It worked wonderfully in the ballet, but it’ll work even better for your big day.

5. “Hymne” by The O’Neill Brothers Group

This song was only fairly recently created. That doesn’t discount the fact that it makes a beautiful track for a formal wedding, nor does it negate the sheer beauty of the track. This track was actually meant to be more of a soundscape, but its hauntingly pretty notes will leave you feeling some type of way.

As far as wedding traditions go, it wouldn’t be very wild to think that this track might become a new favorite for formal affairs.

6. “Für Elise” by Ludwig Van Beethoven

There isn’t a person alive who hasn’t heard this song before, but that doesn’t make this overplayed by any means of the word. Beethoven was a musical genius who really knew how to make an amazing work of art through his compositions.

Between the hypnotic piano beginnings and the energy-charged overture near the end, it’s easy to see why so many people think of “Fur Elise” as the epitome of a classy tune for a wedding procession.

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7. “March” from the Occasional Oratorio by G. F. Handel

Handel, too, was a famous composer who was known for being able to elicit emotions from listeners. His timeless pieces were played for royal courts, parades, and, yes, the finest banquets in the world. He was no stranger to processional music.

“March” from the Occasional Oratorio is a perfect pick for people who want to have a piece of music that screams wedding. It sounds amazing when played on an organ, and also works as a perfectly formal procession song.

8. “A Day Without Rain” by Enya

Sometimes, the best songs to choose for a procession are the ones that don’t need words to say anything. If you want something that keeps things elegant, romantic, and neutral, you might want to check out what New Age artist Enya was able create.

“A Day Without Rain” takes her ethereal style to a new level, all while giving a beat that makes it possible to choreograph your procession with ease. No matter what type of wedding you choose to have, this track is a truly heavenly pick.

9. “Ave Maria” by F. Schubert (performed by Celine Dion)

A more religious and tradition-heavy wedding often requires a music track that can keep religion in the foreground of the ceremony. Thankfully, there are plenty of absolutely beautiful arias that praise both God and marriage to choose from.

Schubert’s “Ave Maria” remains one of the most popular Christian wedding songs of all time, but there’s a catch. This song is notoriously difficult to sing. To get the full effect, you will need a talented voice like Celine Dion’s to really bring out every subtle note.

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10. “La Primavera” by Antonio Vivaldi

"Four Seasons" is considered to be one of the greatest musical quartets in history. Each song is based on a season, and “La Primavera” might be the most heavily-played and recognized season of the four.

The entire song is meant to bring out the beauty of nature, new life, and a time of rebirth. Delicate, energetic, and heavily romantic, this is one of the better wedding procession songs that you can choose.

11. “Prelude in C Major” by Johanne Sebastian Bach

If you are looking to build up a little suspense while the wedding procession files in, then leave the magic to Bach’s epic composition skills. Bach’s piece is known for being a song about waiting, longing, and that unique feeling of waiting to be united with your love.

This song has been used in tons of movies as the ultimate wedding song. If you’re looking for a track to play softly in the background while you exchange vows, you need to say “I do” to this one.

12. “Trumpet Tune” by Henry Purcell

Henry Purcell was born around 1659 — over 350 years ago. Despite being from days prior to the Reformation, his music still has proven staying power. This is especially true when it comes to church processionals and wedding procession songs.

“Trumpet Tune” is a composition that plays beautifully on the organ, remains formal, and also has every single element that you’d expect to hear in a great wedding procession song. What’s not to love?

13. “Bridal Chorus” by Wagner

With a name like “Bridal Chorus,” there’s no guesswork about what Wagner intended for this piece. He wanted it, and meant it, to be a bridal procession song that would last for ages as a tribute to all that is marriage-related.

The song itself is one of the most famous bridal procession compositions ever made. Once you listen to it, you’ll recognize it immediately.

RELATED: 14 Gorgeous First Dance Songs To Play At Your Wedding

Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer based out of Red Bank, New Jersey. She writes primarily about lifestyle, food, finance, and relationships. You can follow her Twitter.