16 unique recessional songs for your offbeat wedding *

Photo by Meagan Rinck

If you want to be traditional, you’ll have “Here Comes the Bride” (aka Wagners’ “Bridal Chorus“) for the processional at your wedding and Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” for the recessional.

But if you don’t want to be traditional, we’ve got ideas for you! As an Offbeat Bride, you have plenty of alternatives to “Here Comes the Bride.” But what about finding a unique recessional song? You don’t want Mendelssohn, but it’s not as though there are lots of obvious alternative choices for recessional songs.

In fact, what’s a recessional song?

When you come into your wedding space, you process. This part of the wedding often gets a lot of thought. Will someone walk you down the aisle, and if so, who, and how do you want to finesse the giving away symbolism? Will you walk to your partner or with your partner? Will you even walk? Maybe a shimmy is more your style.

But when you recess, you’re walking out of the space. This will traditionally be a walk back down the aisle with your partner, out of the ceremony venue.

Not every wedding will have an actual recessional, though. You might stroll to the other side of the room and sit down for dinner, you might stay and dance, or you might move on to a special unity ceremony. This might be the time to mingle, and you may be planning to stay in one room till the cows come home.

If you’re going to recess, though, a unique recessional song or instrumental should create just the right feeling.

You want something happy — even triumphant — that wraps up the ceremony. This should be music that lets guests know that it’s time to head outside so they can throw rice or blow bubbles, or whatever you have cooked up for your departure. The tempo should allow an energetic pace.

That doesn’t mean you have to have organ and trumpets. The list of recessional songs below includes sweet songs, grand symphonic pieces, and great dance music. One of them will be just right for kicking off your life together with the support of your friends and family.

16 unique recessional songs

  1. “Accidentally in Love,” Counting Crows
  2. “Love You in the Fall,” Paul Westerberg
  3. “Love You Tll the End,” The Pogues
  4. “Here In Your Arms,” by Hellogoodbye
  5. Legend of Zelda Main Theme
  6. “Victory Fanfare,” from Final Fantasy XII
  7. “I Believe in a Thing Called Love,” The Darkness
  8. “Glad All Over,” by the Dave Clark Five
  9. “Bittersweet Symphony,” by the Verve
  10. “Do You Realize,” by Flaming Lips
  11. “Raiders March,” by John Williams
  12. “Best Friend,” by Weezer
  13. “All I Want is You,” from Juno by Barry Louis Polisar
  14. The Muppet Show theme
  15. “Dog Days Are Over,” by Florence + The Machine
  16. “Wake Up,” by Arcade Fire

More recessional inspiration

recessional songs
Photo by Steven Rosen Photography

The happy couple can stride out together, flanked by their guests tossing birdseed or confetti, and drive away to start their honeymoon. But that’s not the only option. Check out some real weddings that did something different:

  • One Aussie couple put on skis for their recessional.
  • A Seattle couple handed out kazoos and asked their guests to play along to their Star Wars theme recessional.
  • A Canadian couple got the whole wedding party to dance out with them.
  • A Denver couple brought in bagpipes for their recessional.
  • At a Pennsylvania amusement park, one couple rode out of their wedding on a haunted house ride.
  • A New Jersey couple paraded their way out of the venue with a marching band.


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