Music suggestions (a pop song?) for a wedding recessional, please!
April 9, 2009 10:49 AM   Subscribe

I'm getting married in 3 weeks (exciting!) and my fiance and I are looking for a cute (indie?) pop song that can be played by a string quartet as we walk back down the aisle together. We want it to be upbeat - so far we've been considering Oasis "Wonderwall", some Beatles tunes - "All you need is love"?, and maybe even our first dance song, Peter Bjorn and John's "Paris 2004" but are not sure about repeating it. Does anyone have any other suggestions? Thanks for your help!
posted by Sarah A to Media & Arts (53 answers total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
Neutral Milk Hotel's "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea"
posted by scarykarrey at 10:51 AM on April 9, 2009 [11 favorites]

Go with the PB&J. Relevant and cute.
posted by setanor at 10:53 AM on April 9, 2009

No specific suggestions, but a new realization I will pass along: mainstream pop songs can be really fun when translated into different settings or styles. For example: the ukulele is perfect to cover a number of songs (thanks, Ms. Tender Forever!). There's the fun of recognition dawning on people as they realize it's a strings version of Justin Timberlakes' "My Love" or some other current-day love song.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:54 AM on April 9, 2009

Yo La Tengo's rendition of "Our Little Corner of the World" came to mind (love this song), or:

DeVotchKa - Queen of the Surface Streets
Casiotone for the Painfully Alone - Love Connection
posted by blithecatpie at 10:55 AM on April 9, 2009

Oooh, or Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's "Underwater (You and Me)"

Or Feist's "Mushaboom"
posted by scarykarrey at 10:56 AM on April 9, 2009

And seconding the Neutral Milk Hotel suggestion.
posted by blithecatpie at 11:00 AM on April 9, 2009

When I'm 64.
posted by Pax at 11:05 AM on April 9, 2009

Divine Comedy, Tonight We Fly
posted by scody at 11:13 AM on April 9, 2009

Jem: Maybe I'm Amazed
posted by doorsfan at 11:15 AM on April 9, 2009

I was just saying last night that I think "I Melt With You" should be played at every wedding.
posted by matildaben at 11:18 AM on April 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

Keep in mind that a lot of good pop songs have frankly pretty boring tunes that don't translate well to an instrumental setting. The chorus of "All You Need Is Love" is the same note 14 times in a row. The verses are only a little more varied. I love that song, but if you take away the vocals and the super-complicated studio production, there's nothing good left.

If you want a Beatles song, I'd suggest "In My Life" — it's just as romantic, it's got a real tune and more interesting changes, and that pseudo-Baroque piano solo is just begging for a string arrangement.
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:22 AM on April 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

I've always thought "A Whiter Shade of Pale" would make a good processional too, what with the organ and all — even a string arrangement will make people think of organ music. It may not be romantic, but then nobody knows what the hell it's about, so it's probably safe.
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:26 AM on April 9, 2009

Two friends of mine had their first dance to the Magnetic Fields' "The Book of Love." It's absolutely the perfect song for that.
posted by ocherdraco at 11:29 AM on April 9, 2009

Bright Eyes - This Is The First day of My Life
posted by amro at 11:34 AM on April 9, 2009 [2 favorites]

The Avett Brothers – At the Beach

It's a shame that your guests won't be able to hear the lyrics, which are wonderfully happy, but the tune is springy and jaunty enough without them.
posted by Clambone at 11:35 AM on April 9, 2009

If you're Abba fans:

I Do I Do I Do I Do I Do

Dancing Queen
posted by triggerfinger at 11:39 AM on April 9, 2009

Not sure if you've found them yet, but I got married a couple weeks ago, and we used music by Vitamin String Quartet for our wedding ceremony. Search them on iTunes and you'll see tons of stuff they've done. We used the following I believe:
Somebody to Love (Queen)
I'm Yours (Jason Mraz)
Wonderful Tonight (Eric Clapton)

Oh, and congratulations!!!
posted by Grither at 11:44 AM on April 9, 2009 [3 favorites]

Subject to correction, I think the OP may want upbeat and widely recognized (sans words), for those trying to get obscure.

Lots of Motown fits this bill, and would be thematically appropriate: e.g., Signed Sealed Delivered (Stevie Wonder).
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 11:46 AM on April 9, 2009

Holy crap -- what a wonderful diversity of opinion!

I love "Book of Love," but marching back down the aisle to an instrumental version would be like skipping to a dirge.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 11:48 AM on April 9, 2009

We did "If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out," by Cat Stevens, and we asked everyone to sing along. Many tears, much laughter, very sweet memories. It was perfect :]
posted by fiercecupcake at 11:53 AM on April 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

Oren Lavie - Her Morning Elegance (the video is a cool stop-motion kinda thing).
posted by cranberrymonger at 11:56 AM on April 9, 2009

My boyfriend/partner and I want to either have "What is Life" by George Harrison played by musicians at the wedding, or have it be one of the first songs at the reception.
posted by fructose at 12:10 PM on April 9, 2009

Just to mix things up, how about Twiggy Twiggy by Pizzicato 5? I don't know what the heck she's saying, but I'd personally kill to hear a string quartet play it, and I bet they'd enjoy it.
posted by davejay at 12:22 PM on April 9, 2009

Ooh, seconding "What is Life" by George Harrison.
posted by scody at 12:32 PM on April 9, 2009

A friend of mine had "Here Comes the Sun" played instrumentally at his wedding -- it was more recognizable than "All You Need is Love" (played instrumentally at my sister's wedding on a single acoustic guitar), for the reason nebulawindphone mentions...
posted by modernnomad at 12:34 PM on April 9, 2009

Dancing Queen - young and sweet, only seventeen? Maybe no one will think of the lyrics if it's a string quartet cover.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:44 PM on April 9, 2009

Elbow's One Day Like This seems to be ready made for this kind of thing.
posted by valleys at 12:45 PM on April 9, 2009

We used "El Scorcho" as intro music during our wedding (arrangement by the Vitamin String Quartet).
posted by chrisamiller at 12:45 PM on April 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

Beatles, for sure. When I'm 64 or Two of Us.

You know "Just Like Heaven is a break-up song right, a really sad depressing one at that?"
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 12:47 PM on April 9, 2009

My husband and I danced to the book of love (which I think was originally sung by Peter Gabriel) but we used the version on metafilter music.
posted by bananafish at 12:50 PM on April 9, 2009

I'm having trouble visualizing (auditorializing?) it as an instrumental, but Yo La Tengo's "You Can Have it All" came to mind immediately.
posted by telegraph at 12:57 PM on April 9, 2009

The Style Council's "Best Thing", though maybe not as upbeat as you'd like. Certainly the right sentiment.
posted by ArgentineBlonde at 1:20 PM on April 9, 2009

Anything by Music Go Music should be perfect and it's upbeat as hell.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 1:23 PM on April 9, 2009

Fruit Bats, "When You Love Somebody" or "When U Love Somebody"
posted by milkrate at 1:29 PM on April 9, 2009

Seconding "Whiter Shade of Pale."
posted by hermitosis at 1:30 PM on April 9, 2009

Seconding Bright Eyes "This is the First Day of My Life".

Also, I like Wonderwall, and I don't see how you can go wrong with your PB&J pick!
posted by Precision at 1:37 PM on April 9, 2009

Aside: Paris 2004 is a great first-dance song. Good choice!
posted by Adam_S at 1:43 PM on April 9, 2009

Madness's "It must be love," "Blue Skies" for something slightly jazzy or maybe "Fly me to the moon" by Dino - and congratulations! We're having Fatboy Slim's "Praise You" as our recessional (at least, we are this week!).
posted by ukdanae at 2:01 PM on April 9, 2009

If you're looking for cute, I think this is a super cute first dance video:

They dance to Jack Johnson's "Better Together", with a surprise at the end. ;)
posted by gushn at 2:14 PM on April 9, 2009

It's not indie and it's possibly lame, but in the episode of Friends where Monica and Chandler got married she walked down the aisle to a string version of Everlong by the Foo Fighters and it was really pretty.
posted by heavenstobetsy at 2:18 PM on April 9, 2009

I walked down the aisle to Wonderwall, and our first dance was Sweet Happy Life by Peggy Lee. My sister and brother and law had a civil ceremony but they played God Only Knows by the Beach Boys when she walked in at their reception and it was really lovely.
posted by sugarfish at 2:51 PM on April 9, 2009

I'm not sure Wonderwall by Oasis will sound upbeat- it's in a minor key and has a somewhat simple melodic line that might sound a little dirgelike...

What about an instrumental version of It's Oh So Quiet as sung by Bjork?

You can ask the string quartet to make the dynamics changes less intense.
Or you can be REEALLLY cute and do little slo-motion / fast-motion action up that aisle during the slow & fast parts!
posted by pseudostrabismus at 2:52 PM on April 9, 2009

When we got married, my wife and I used the Magnetic Fields' It's Only Time.
posted by dseaton at 3:09 PM on April 9, 2009

Not to be the one to rain on your parade, but as a classical musician who plays quite a few weddings, consider that we can't neccesarily just "play any [popular] song". Sure, if the musicians are competent at all, they should be able to cobble something together, especially if you have a piano score to give them (arrangement for piano and voice). But it's not neccesarily going to sound like the Andrew Bird-meets-Ben Folds extravaganza that you have going on in your head.

Most Beatles stuff has been arranged for string quartet, though, and given enough time they can probably dig something up from the Fab Five.

If they say that they can do it, and they pull it off, definitely throw a nice tip in their direction.
posted by rossination at 3:49 PM on April 9, 2009

Madness's "It must be love,"
You mean Labi Siffre's.
posted by genghis at 7:26 PM on April 9, 2009

We did Music For a Found Harmonium from Napoleon Dynamite.
posted by electroboy at 8:01 PM on April 9, 2009

My cousin and her husband used Led Zeppelin's "All of My Love" played by a string quartet for their exeunt music. I thought it a bit odd, given it was a Jewish wedding (proud Aryan).
posted by brujita at 9:10 PM on April 9, 2009

"Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space" by Spiritualized.
posted by snofoam at 6:55 AM on April 10, 2009

You may not speak Arabic but Anay by Fairuz is great, poem of Gibran. A song that make me shed a tear every time I hear it.
posted by zouhair at 2:36 PM on April 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

The Beatles' "I Will."
posted by waldo at 5:11 AM on April 13, 2009

Best ones I've heard:

Indiana Jones Theme
Yellow by Coldplay
The Final Countdown by Europe
posted by jpdoane at 6:39 AM on April 13, 2009

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