Non-Traditional Ceremony Songs by Faires

wedding coordinators knoxvilleHi, I’m Knoxville wedding coordinator, Faires Jorges-Hester, owner at Fabulous by Faires.

I have been wiping away tears at the weddings I’ve planned since 2009, and I love every minute of it!

Weddings are all about hope. There is absolutely nothing that gives me more faith in the human race than watching a couple come together on their wedding day and witnessing the hundreds of little kindnesses bestowed on them by their loved ones to make that day happen.

With that said, please enjoy these non-traditional ceremony songs I have chosen for your enjoyment!

To talk with me about your wedding or find out more about my services, visit my profile on The Bride Link or find Fabulous by Faires on Facebook.



If you’re like most brides, you want to be absolutely breathtaking on your wedding day.  Every hair in place, makeup perfect, Cinderella-worthy shoes, cinched waist, stunning gown and a beautiful bouquet.  As much as you like your steam-punk novels or the Twilight movies, you don’t necessarily want to walk down the aisle in a corset and mini top-hat or with your vampire teeth in place.

Matthew Druin Photography

So how can you be a picture perfect bride but still project your individuality, personality, and style during the ceremony?  With music!

Studies have shown that listening to music you enjoy causes the brain to release dopamine, which is a feel-good chemical.  So do yourself and your guests a favor and get everyone feeling good way before the reception.

There are quite a few places where you can insert a meaningful song (and some suggestions) into your ceremony:

  1. Guest Seating – ‘Storybook Love’ Princess Bride, ‘Annie’s Song’ John Denver, ‘Come Away With Me’ Norah Jones, ‘Danny’s Song’ Kenny Loggins,
  2. Transition into Ceremony – Gone With the Wind theme
  3. Family Processional – ‘Mama’ Il Divo
  4. Groom’s Entrance – ‘Marry Me’ by Train or ‘The Way You Look Tonight’ Frank Sinatra
  5. Bridesmaids Processional – ‘Going to the Chapel’ by Dixie Cups
  6. Bride’s Processional – ‘Come What May’, Moulin Rouge, ‘Here Comes the Sun’ Beatles
  7. Unity Ceremony – ‘One Hand, One Heart’ West Side Story
  8. Cultural/Traditional Ceremonies – ‘When You Say Nothing At All’ Alison Krauss
  9. Recessional – ‘We Go Together’ Grease or ‘Walking on Sunshine’ Katrina & The Waves

One of my couples, Erin & Craig danced down the aisle after saying their “I do’s” to ‘Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now’ by Starship and asked their wedding party and family to do the same (they happily did as they were told – they were all a little in awe of Erin!).  Stacey, one of my brides who wore a vintage 1950’s cocktail dress complete with crinoline walked into the ceremony with her groom, Tim, to Stevie Wonder’s ‘For Once in My Life’.  Brilliant.

Matthew Druin, a roving Southeastern Atlanta-based photographer who specializes in non-traditional weddings shared one of his favorite musical moments from all of the weddings he’s shot.  “The wedding was at a theater in Canton, GA and the bride came down the aisle to ‘Time of Your Life’ by Green Day.  The song fit the bride & groom perfectly and you could tell their guests really loved it.”  See the wedding blog: http://www.matthewdruin.com/blog/weddings-2/courteney-alex-%E2%8E%AE-atlanta-wedding-photographer/

If at all possible, have a professional handle your ceremony music to avoid any mis-cues or mishaps.  Cory Ozair of Music in Motion Mobile Entertainment does ceremonies as well as receptions in Knoxville and enthusiastically recommends ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’ by Stevie Wonder for a rousing recessional.  If you can’t have a professional handle your music, then appoint someone to man your iPod well in advance and ask them to practice with you at your rehearsal.  (you’ll thank me!)

 Victoria Mason Photography

When I asked for non-traditional music suggestions on my Facebook wall, it exploded with comments.  Suggestions ranged from the Alleluia Chorus for recessional (love it!), Star Wars theme, ‘Brighter Than Sunshine’ by Aqualung, to the ‘Cotton Eyed Joe’ by Rednex.

But what if your venue won’t allow secular music for religious or other reasons?  Illinois based DJ Mark McIntire of Top Hat Productions suggests looking to Vitamin String Quartet on Amazon.com.  They have taken your favorite Rock gods, Pop Stars, Indie Artists, Beatles tunes and more and recorded them as a string quartet.  So, your fondest desire to have AC/DC ‘Shook Me All Night Long” at your ceremony without shocking your Grandmother?  Taken care of.

Victoria Mason Photography 

Just remember that songs are anywhere from two to four minutes long or longer.  Think long and hard about what part of the song is important to you and play portions of songs whenever possible.  You don’t want to choose a four minute song for your 60 second Unity Ceremony that will leave the two of you standing with nothing to do but stare at each other for 3 solid minutes (which can lead to a bad fit of nervous giggles).

If you are going for a show-stopping moment, then try to keep your guests in mind and choose a song they will most likely be familiar with.  At the very least, pick a song with easily heard and understood lyrics.  If you are wanting a song that will create a private moment between the two of you during your ceremony, then choose something that really resonates with both of you.

I have had so much FUN thinking about all of the musical possibilities!  Here are a few more songs that I couldn’t leave out, and I know there are a million more.  PLEASE comment below with YOUR favorite songs or tell your non-traditional wedding music story!

  1. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”
  2. “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel
  3. “Bittersweet Symphony” by the Verve
  4. “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder
  5. “Calico Skies” by Paul McCartney
  6. “Everlong (Acoustic)” by the Foo Fighters
  7. “All I Want Is You” by U2
  8. “Grow Old With You” Adam Sandler
  9. “Across the Universe” Beatles
  10. “I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do” ABBA
  11. “500 Miles” The Proclaimers
  12. “Mama’s Song’ Carrie Underwood
  13. ‘Just Like Heaven’ The Cure

Add your own favorites in the comment section below.

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