Whether you've hired a DJ, or are planning on curating your very own playlists for the wedding ceremony and reception, choosing the right songs with the right message can be a little overwhelming. So many couples, brides, or wedding planners spend endless hours scouring the depths of the internet for the most popular wedding songs (looking at you, "All of Me" by John Legend) or songs to avoid during weddings (please, no "WAP" by Cardi B...).
There is one moment, however, that remains the most daunting to choose a song for; the moment bride and groom walk down the aisle as husband and wife, directly following the ceremony.
What follows is a very subjective list of love songs to consider for the soundtrack to that walk.
"God Only Knows" - The Beach Boys
While the opening lyrics of "I may not always love you..." might be somewhat questionable, all things considered, this classic song's sentiment and spirit are in the right place.
Married (pun intended) with sleighbells, and an ever-ascending melody, the song crescendos with a row-row-row-your-boat-styled sing and repeat ending of "God only knows what I'd be without you" that is ever so perfect for exiting your wedding ceremony for the first time as husband and wife.
"You Are the Best Thing" - Ray Lamontagne
This song from Ray Lamontagne's epic third album, Gossip in the Grain, perfectly sums up the the importance for spouses to be able to rely on each other, especially as they begin that journey into forever together. The second verse says it best with, "Baby / We've come a long way, baby / You know, I hope and I pray that you believe me / When I say this love will never fade away / Oh, because / You are the best thing...that ever happened to me."
"How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)" - James Taylor
While this one has been a mainstay on wedding song lists ever since it was first released in 1975, its relevance has never tired completely. How could a just married husband and wife duo not smile while walking down the aisle with these lyrics floating in the air around them, "But you brighten up for me all of my days / With a love so sweet in so many ways / I wanna stop and thank you, baby / I just wanna stop and thank you baby, oh yes / How sweet it is to be loved by you."
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"In My Life" - The Beatles
Another wedding mainstay, this Beatles classic from their Rubber Soul album perfectly sums up nostalgia for a life that had come before, while looking ahead to new beginnings. This one has been played at graduations the world over, but has also become an irresistible addition to any wedding playlist. Now, imagine walking down the aisle with your newly anointed spouse along to, "Though I know I'll never lose affection / For people and things that went before / I know I'll often stop and think about them / In my life I love you more."
"Better Together" - Jack Johnson
This perfect little love song from Jack Johnson's 2005 album, In Between Dreams, compliments the life well lived together, and what it took for bride and groom, now husband and wife, to be right here, right now, in this moment. Don't take all the little things that lead you here for granted, big or small, easy or hard, they all add up to what makes your love so special. "Love is the answer, at least for most of the questions in my heart / Like why are we here? And where do we go? And how come it's so hard? / It's not always easy and sometimes life can be deceiving / I'll tell you one thing, it's always better when we're together."
"The Luckiest" - Ben Folds
Much like with "Better Together," this classic Ben Folds piano ballad is perfect for husband and wife together to walk down the aisle to, as it so perfectly sums up how fragile time and space is in this thing we call life, and how easy it would be to blink and miss your chance with the love of your life. But you didn't. You're here. You made it. Now breathe, and don't take it for granted. "Next door there's an old man who lived to his 90's / And one day passed away in his sleep / And his wife, she stayed for a couple of days / And passed away / I'm sorry, I know that's a strange way to tell you that I know we belong / That I know / That I am / I am / I am / The luckiest."
"Beyond" - Leon Bridges
While the previous song sums up how fleeting life is, and celebrates a love long lived, this brilliant-yet-simple love song from Leon Bridges shines the light on new love, and the excitement beginning this next chapter brings along with it, making it another wonderful pick to walk down the aisle to with your new spouse . "I'm scared to death that she might be it / That the love is real, that the shoe might fit / She might just be my everything and beyond (beyond) / Space and time in the afterlife / Will she have my kids? Will she be my wife? / She might just be my everything and beyond."
"Grow Old With Me" - Mary Chapin Carter
This epic love ballad, as sung by Mary Chapin Carter (by way of original songwriter John Lennon), wears it all on its sleave. There's no deeper message here, as the lyrics say exactly what they should, decreeing love between husband and wife as the most true thing. "Spending our lives together / Man and wife together / World without end / World without end / Grow old along with me / Whatever fate decrees / We will see it through / For our love is true / God bless our love."
"Grow Old With You" - Adam Sandler
Staying in the vein of songs about couples growing old together, one just can't overlook Adam Sandler's wonderfully sappy song from the Wedding Singer soundtrack. It's short and sweet, and lays out what's really important - love and respect for each other. While Sandler sang this song to Drew Barrymore in the aisle on an airplane in the movie, it should be the soundtrack to yours and your husband's journey down the the aisle at your wedding, grinning the whole way. "I wanna make you smile whenever you're sad / Carry you around when your arthritis is bad / All I wanna do is grow old with you / I'll get your medicine when your tummy aches / Build you a fire if the furnace breaks / Oh, it could be so nice, growing old with you."
"Your Song" - Elton John
This final song on our list is yet another classic that has been on many wedding song and playlists since its release (in 1970), and for good reason. We chose it as a wedding aisle song not just because it articulately describes what one lover would do, if they could, for the other, but mostly because it articulates that ever elusive emotion every husband and wife should feel as soon as they begin that journey -- happiness. "And you can tell everybody this is your song / It may be quite simple, but now that it's done / I hope you don't mind, I hope you don't mind / That I put down in words / How wonderful life is while you're in the world."
Are we missing a song, or do you have better songs suggestions? Leave them in a comment below.