Fun classic rock songs (Grateful Dead & more) to walk down the aisle to
November 9, 2021 1:30 PM   Subscribe

My fiance and I are getting married in June 2022 and are trying to come up with wedding ceremony music. It is a second wedding for both of us and while it will be a relatively tradtional ceremony + reception structure, we want to liven things up with the details. We want to have a lot of fun with the ceremony music but could use some ideas!

The two of us are huge Deadheads and I have been hoping to find a good Grateful Dead/Dead and Company song to walk down the aisle to. I had toyed with the idea of the intros or jam sections of Eyes of the World or Uncle John's Band. However, my fiance is an event planner and has worked tons of weddings, and he thinks that the bride's entrance should be more dramatic, instead of having me twirl down the aisle like a spinner at a Dead show. He also will defer to my final choice, but I trust his judgment and thought I would at least consider something more dramatic.

I am happy to branch out into more dramatic songs (preferably instrumental parts), but it might be pretty hard to find a Dead song that fits! So I'm totally willing to consider other classic rock songs/songs from the 70s. I don't care about whether the lyrics or title are wedding-appropriate, I just want to find a big song. Also, he will choose his processional song based on mine, so ideas for songs that go together are even better.

For ideas, here are the songs we've already chosen for the wedding:

Ceremony recessional: Let the Sunshine In from Hair (starts at 3:09)
Reception entrance: Shakedown Street by the Grateful Dead
First dance: Ripple by the Grateful Dead
Cake cutting song: Daybreak by Barry Manilow

And here are a few ideas we've tossed around so far. Most of them aren't totally serious contenders, but they give an idea of what we listen to and the vibe we're going for:

Groom's processional:
Root Beer Rag by Billy Joel

Bride's processional:
Frankenstein by Edgar Winter
Funeral for a Friend by Elton John (starting at 3:14)
2112 by Rush
The Eve of the War from Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of the War of the Worlds
Peaches en Regalia by Frank Zappa
Sirius by The Alan Parsons Project
Yours is No Disgrace or Roundabout by Yes

I would also be down with disco or 70s pop - it doesn't have to be classic rock, but we are the types to listen to old music. Nothing 21st century.

Please feel free to suggest anything, no matter how ridiculous!
posted by Neely O'Hara to Media & Arts (33 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
How about the extended instrumental opening to Genesis' song Behind the Lines?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:39 PM on November 9, 2021

She’s a Rainbow by The Rolling Stones for your processional!
posted by corey flood at 1:48 PM on November 9, 2021 [4 favorites]

How about Bob Dylan's Tangled Up in Blue?
posted by cakelite at 1:52 PM on November 9, 2021

Congratulations! i suggest Petula Clark for second dance.
posted by whatevernot at 1:53 PM on November 9, 2021

*smacks forehead* Oh, hang on.

Allman Brothers, Jessica.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:54 PM on November 9, 2021 [3 favorites]

Oh, and I came extremely close to walking down the aisle to John Cale's Paris 1919, which is suitably dramatic!
posted by cakelite at 1:56 PM on November 9, 2021 [2 favorites]

The Cure, Just Like Heaven gets you 50 seconds of fun rock intro before the lyrics start. A friend used this for her exit music, I believe, and it was perfect.

It's not 100% classic rock, but maybe 40%?)
posted by hydra77 at 1:56 PM on November 9, 2021

knee jerk answer: Sage and Spirit, but that might not be enough "dramatic."

Some Dead-ologist posted this thesis to Reddit 3 years ago, if you're up for a research project.

My dramatic '70s 1-2 punch for "opening numbers," though, would be ELP "Welcome Back My Friends..." and Aerosmith's "Make It" (which starts "Good evening people welcome to the show"). Neither of those read as "drama-free" to me.
posted by adekllny at 1:59 PM on November 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

my cousin and her husband used Led Zeppelin's All of My Love
posted by brujita at 2:22 PM on November 9, 2021 [2 favorites]

allman brothers "little martha"

no idea where you would put it but the kinks "all of the day and all of the night" or "you really got me" are fun.
posted by domino at 2:34 PM on November 9, 2021

If you want to go big (and more than a bit silly), perhaps the Emerson Lake & Palmer version of Fanfare for the Common Man. (Cheers!)
posted by eotvos at 2:48 PM on November 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

If you need to extend the recessional, you could crossfade from the cast album into the Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & The Trinity version.
posted by offog at 2:55 PM on November 9, 2021

The Zombies, This Will Be Our Year

This video has the version with the horns. They’re both good but I prefer this version slightly.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 3:20 PM on November 9, 2021 [2 favorites]

For some disco: KC and The Sunshine Band’s That’s the Way (I Like It) and/or Keep It Comin’ Love.
posted by veneer at 3:23 PM on November 9, 2021 [2 favorites]

Ok, this might be too spinny, but the Zappa mention made me think of taking a chunk of Watermelon in Easter Hay, which is legit gorgeous and very dramatic and has a nice slow walking pace. Skip the weirdass intro voiceover, obv, but you can find versions without it.
posted by nebulawindphone at 3:33 PM on November 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

(I feel like Jessica is objectively the right answer, though.)
posted by nebulawindphone at 3:42 PM on November 9, 2021

How about D'yer Mak'er by Led Zeppelin. There's a verse about a break up letter, that might be able to be edited around, but aside from that, "oh baby, I love you so!" proclaimed so loudly seems like a good fit.

posted by China Grover at 4:05 PM on November 9, 2021

I walked down the aisle to a Brazilian jazz version of You Shook Me All Night Long.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:11 PM on November 9, 2021

One man I know used the Pink Panther theme as the groom's processional.
posted by Sublimity at 5:50 PM on November 9, 2021 [2 favorites]

cue up your favorite feel like a stranger so that the staccato finish lands as you reach the altar.
posted by j_curiouser at 6:23 PM on November 9, 2021

the one from without a net is clean and tight.
posted by j_curiouser at 6:24 PM on November 9, 2021

My sister-in-law, and years later her daughter, both walked down the aisle to Queen.
posted by bryon at 6:50 PM on November 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

A couple other quite random ideas, maybe less Dead-ish:
Seconding Paris 1919.
The Venture's Telestar
The middle parts of Thick as a Brick or Brighton Rock
Any version of Time is Tight.

(I got married in a government building where music wasn't allowed. It was nice. But, this sounds like fun. Do let us know what you chose.)
posted by eotvos at 9:57 PM on November 9, 2021

Surrender, especially if either of you have tween-teenage kids.
posted by Gorgik at 11:17 PM on November 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

I knew the Bride when she used to Rock n Roll
Tho he’s recorded better versions than this ...
posted by TDIpod at 12:26 AM on November 10, 2021 [1 favorite]

Get Together by The Youngbloods might be a good fit.
Or Something so Right by Paul Simon.
posted by rongorongo at 2:04 AM on November 10, 2021

For us, it was Switched On Bach.

I like the energy of Wipe Out.
posted by SemiSalt at 5:04 AM on November 10, 2021

What is Life : George Harrison
Wear Your Love like Heaven: Donovan
Sweet Talking Woman: ELO
Do Ya : ELO

All except Donovan have good "entrance" energy right at the beginning-- the ELO numbers could be a pair for both of you! The Donovan song is just so pretty
posted by travertina at 7:02 AM on November 10, 2021

Rolling Stones She Smiled Sweetly has a pretty nice sentiment for a Stones tune and starts with a bit of church organ.
posted by brachiopod at 2:23 PM on November 10, 2021

If you want something processional and not remotely serious then the first 2.5 mins of Hocus Pocus by Focus might work for you. Organ, yodelling and killer guitar. Or this!
posted by rongorongo at 3:09 PM on November 10, 2021 [1 favorite]

Hank C. Burnette's Spinning Rock Boogie is probably best saved for the reception...
posted by Paul Slade at 1:23 AM on December 1, 2021

So, this is not the right time frame for you, but - if I were to ever have a wedding, the recessional song would be the cut It Is Accomplished from the soundtrack Peter Gabriel did for Last Tempation Of Christ. Not quite the classic rock vibe, but - I mean, just listen to that thing.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:29 PM on December 1, 2021

Allman Brothers, Jessica.

Among Jeremy Clarkson's many transgressions is associating an otherwise perfectly good song with twits in motor cars.
posted by zamboni at 12:20 PM on December 2, 2021

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