Wedding Songs Part 2


Classical wedding songs

A Procession Through the 50s to 90s

From the walk down the aisle to the first dance the task of choosing the perfect song for your big day can be more daunting than figuring out which uncle to keep the furthest away from the bar.

We’ve compiled a list of the most popular, well-tested songs to help alleviate your stress.


I tried to do a “Top 5” but couldn’t do so without any guilt over those left behind. I’ve gone with 5 from each decade from the 50s to the 90s to create a “Top 25”. I still feel guilty.


1951: Unforgettable, Nat King Cole

The Irving Gordon penned, 1950s Nat King Cole version is smooth and classy, but you could also go with the 1992 “virtual duet” that Natalie King Cole created with her late father’s recordings.

1955: Only You (And You Alone), The Platters

There are a few great versions of this song, including one by the legend Ringo Starr, Roy Orbison and even the Chipmunks! The original is as good or better than any in my opinion. Go with the Chipmunks if you despise your in-laws.

1956: Love Me Tender, Elvis Presley

This is especially pertinent if you decide to get married in Las Vegas.

1957: You Send Me, Sam Cooke

Oh man, the soul legend Sam Cooke sends me to other worlds with this romantic beauty. It’s got great timing for stepping down the aisle to. “Honest you do” step “Honest you do” step “Honest you do” step step.

1958: All I Have to Do is Dream, The Everly Brothers

The word “dream” may be one of the overused lyrics in song but in this classic by the shiny toothed, country rock pioneers, it works so well. Blame it on the harmonies.


1961: Stand By Me, Ben E King

A yearning for companionship, for a bestie through troubled times. Ain’t that what marriage is all about?

1962: Can’t Help Falling in Love, Elvis Presley

Wouldn’t this be great as a massive wedding guest sing-a-long “pub karaoke” style? Everyone knows the words anyway and it’s up there with the likes “Sweet Caroline” and “Who Let the Dogs Out?” as a song that is nearly impossible to resist singing along to.

1965: Unchained Melody, The Righteous Brothers

Who could have imagined a song so sexy being released by a band called “The Righteous Brothers”? Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore of course added clay to that mix and gave the song an 80s resurgence. Is it your turn to give it new life?

1966: When a Man Loves a Woman, Percy Sledge

The hospital orderly who personified Southern Soul, sang to his patients and gigged on weekends had his breakthrough hit with this one when people first heard his big punching voice through the airwaves.

1969: Something, The Beatles

This sweet, mellow tune penned by George Harrison is the second most covered Beatles song after “Yesterday”. Frank Sinatra called it his favourite love song. When “the Chairman” speaks…


1971: Your Song, Elton John

Tell everybody, this song’s for you.

1972: Let’s Stay Together, Al Green

One of the greatest Soul genre love songs of all time. One of the greatest love songs of all time. The lyrics are essentially a wedding vow that you could plagiarise if you’re desperate. “Loving you whether times are good or bad, happy or sad.”

1974: Annie’s Song, John Denver

John never says the name “Annie” during the song so don’t worry if you aren’t actually marrying an Annie or an Andrew. The lyrics are primed for weddings. “You fill up my senses, like a night in a forest, like the mountains in springtime, like a walk in the rain.”

1975: You’re the First, the Last, My Everything, Barry White

The reason for choosing this song is in the title. The second reason is Barry White’s super smooth bass vocals. You’ll feel it through the floor.

1978: Wonderful Tonight, Eric Clapton

Story goes that Eric wrote this in frustration over his then girlfriend (later wife,) Pattie Boyd, and her changing clothes and changing of her mind in preparation to go out for the night. We’ve all been there.


1981: Endless Love, Diana Ross, Lionel Richie

This is one that could fit in a procession or first dance category but I’m here now so…

1982: I Will Always Love You, Dolly Parton

Sure, you could go with the arguably better and inarguably better seller that was the Whitney Houston version but for me there’s something exciting about the rawness of this version.

1984: Time After Time, Cyndi Lauper

“If you’re lost, you can look, and you will find me.” Enough said.

1985: Say You Say Me, Lionel Richie

I know Lionel is already on the list but admit it, he’s the king of 80s love ballads. I’ll prove it with a couple more when I write a blog on “wedding dance songs”. This is a song about 2 becoming one. Perfect.

1989: Eternal Flame, The Bangles

“Endless” “Always” “Time” “Eternal” there seems to be a theme to this list. Were lovers in the 80s thinking beyond “till death do us part?”


1990: More Than Words, Extreme

I’ve got a thing for acoustic songs being used for a procession. The simplicity feels honest which is how every good marriage should be founded – with honesty.

1991: Everything I Do, I Do it For You, Bryan Adams

The Canadian rocker had his biggest hit with this one when it featured on the film ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.’ It’s a big, cheesy power ballad but it’s good cheese. The kind you can only buy from a deli.

1998: Iris, Goo Goo Dolls

Written specifically for the Meg Ryan and Nicolas Cage romance “City of Angels” this alt-rock power ballad is a true “lighter up” concert song (the ancient equivalent of holding your phone light up).  

1998: Truly Madly Deeply, Savage Garden

I saw these guys in concert once. Even though at the time I had no love for their music, the concert was free and there were a lot of girls attending. I was blown away by their tight harmonies and their brilliantly written melodies that you couldn’t help but be hooked into. At 168 beats per minute you can half-time a walk down the aisle to this and not look rushed.

1999: Kiss Me, Sixpence None the Richer

Indie cool and as trendy as other 90s wonders that have recently risen from the grave like “Fresh Prince” and “Friends”. At 100 BPMs this is good for those wanting to avoid the slow walk but not look like they are sprinting in desperation.