Wedding Playlist: Non-Traditional Processional Song Picks from KEXP’s Ava Ryerson

Music is infused into almost every moment of a wedding. We’ve noticed that when it comes to walking down the aisle in Seattle today, most couples prefer to express their personalities through their wedding music song selections, rather than march to the standard beat of, “Here comes the bride…” Selecting the right songs for your wedding is important because the music sets the tone for your wedding just as much as the words of your ceremony and the colors in your design.

One of the most difficult song choices to make for couples is the ceremony processional. This is the main moment – why everyone has gathered – to witness you and your boo proclaim your love and fidelity for each other. Choosing a song to represent your union can be a scary decision. We’ve watched our couples struggle with this decision many times. Many couples tell us they want something unique, that defines them, that will make a statement – but they don’t quite know what that is. This decision doesn’t have to be difficult – especially if you’re looking for a non-traditional song choice. There are so many great options out there!

Today on the blog, we’ve got 10 non-traditional processional song ideas to peak your interest, to help you break free from tradition, and kick start your wedding sound track imagination – all curated by the talented Ava Ryerson.  Ava is our in house go to gal for getting stuff done.  Seriously – she’s got her own biz called GYST (get your shit together) and thats just what she does for us. Ava’s a huge music nerd and a playlist fanatic and she also happens to moonlight as a programming assistant at KEXP, a beloved (and very rad) independent radio station based in Seattle. She’s got some great song ideas for your consideration, so without further adieu, Take it away DJ RadRye!

Ben Howard “Old Pine”

Basically every song by Ben Howard is wedding soundtrack worthy. This track is suited for processional and the imagery of his lyrics reads so coastal Pacific Northwest.

Active Child “You are All I See”

A very dramatic and ethereal entrance song that builds beautifully with layered harps and horns, an entrance fit for a Queen.

Tobias Jesso, Jr. “The Wait”

This song echoes the anticipation of a first date and the scariness of making the first move when you just know someone is THE one. The guitar parts and marching of the bass are perfect for a processional. We think this song has just the right amount of sweetness for a sunny summer outdoor processional.

Alabama Shakes “Sound & Color”

Alabama Shakes released my favorite record of 2015 and it’s chock full of future-perfect soul songs. The vibraphone intro and steady tempo building into full strings lends itself to a rhythmic and soulful processional.

Damien Jurado “A.M. AM.”

Pacific Northwest artist Damien Jurado has a voice like butter. This track resonates like the film sequence from a Rom-Com when the lead characters finally realize they were meant to be together. Shortly following, the guy gets the girl and the both live happily ever after. “I was yours all along…”

Iron & Wine “This Must Be The Place” (Talking Heads cover)

Covers are an awesome way to get the songs you love in a down-tempo version for just the right vibe. Loving this rendition of Talking Heads by Iron & Wine, and with lyrics like this we’re love struck. “…You got light in your eyes / And you’re standing here beside me, I love the passing of time / Never for money, always for love / Home, is where I want to be / But I guess I’m already there / I come home, she lifted up her wings / I guess that this must be the place…”

Devotchka “The Winner Is”

A favorite from the LIttle Miss Sunshine film, a beautiful piece from Denver-based quartet. You won’t hear any big church organs, instead, the group incorporates pretty rad instrumentation like the theremin,  bouzouki, accordion and  sousaphone with strings and piano. You and your sweetie will be winners for sure with this processional pick!

Marco Benevento “Greenpoint”

Composer and pianist Marco Benevento nails it with a subtle marching beat and layers in bright and energetic cymbals and piano. This track will certainly make for a very colorful processional.

Wild Nothing “Reichpop”

Wild Nothing recently released another of my favorite albums this year.  This track leads in with marimbas and builds into a bright indie-pop song complete with oooo’s and hints of Paul Simon’s Graceland.

Vitamin String Quartet “I Can’t Feel My Face When I’m With You” (The Weeknd cover)

We literally cannot choose just one of our favorites from The Vitamin String Quartet. These are the best renditions of modern songs heard through a string quartet filter. We thought The Weeknd was appropriate and it will have your younger guests smiling and your Grandma very pleased you went with the traditional route. The group also does string tributes to some of our major faves from Flaming Lips and Arcade Fire.

Nile Rodgers “Wedding Song” Coming to America Soundtrack

If all else fails…. there’s always this epic processional tune. Kidding, kinda. Ok, we’re serious.

I had so much fun putting this list together that I wanted to share a whole playlist of my picks for processional songs on Spotify. I found out it’s also a perfect soundtrack for making dinner together, or just lounging with your boo and a good book.

If you have a favorite processional song, send your tips – we’d love to hear!

Happy playlist planning!

xox Ava + Wonderstruck

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