9 Songs You Might Want To Hear On Your Wedding Day

You don't want to enter that gate accompanied by a wrong tune

I’ve been saving love songs and lullabies…
and there’s so much more no one ever had before

Something’s telling me it might be you
Yes it’s telling me it might be you
All of my life
(It Might Be You – Stephen Bishop)

This post is developed to avoid musical faux pas I often witnessed in wedding parties. Singing “Someone Like You” at the top of your lung at someone’s wedding? Some wedding singer just got no sense of decency. It’s even more suspicious if the one who sang it was not wedding singer, but friends or relatives of the bride or the groom. Hmmm…was there a hidden feeling or love affair we weren’t supposed to know? I wonder.

Some  -okay, most- of the listed song can be qualified as “oldies”, since this list is compiled by yours truly over here. Some are so mainstream, and some you might never heard before (especially if you have been living under a rock for the last fifteen years or so). By no means this is the list of best wedding song ever, but you might find one or two that suit your taste.


1. What Are You Doing The Rest of Your Life

Recommended version : Barbra Streisand

What are you doing the rest of your life?
North and south and east and west of your life
I have only one request of your life
That you spend it all with me

This is for you who want to scream “WHERE HAVE YOU BEENNNN?” at your one true love when you finally find him/her. What was he/she doing while you were sailing through an ocean of unfortunate love stories and creepy exes? What was he/she doing with his/her life at that time, really? But then, he/she will spend the rest of his/her life with you from now on, and that's what matters.

Composed by Michel Legrand with lyrics written by Alan and Marilyn Bergman, this song was a soundtrack for 1969 movie The Happy Ending. This song was nominated for Academy Award for Best Original Song, and later received two Grammys for version sung by Sarah Vaughan and Chris Botti and Sting. My favorite version, though, is sung by Barbra Streisand.

I want to see your face in every kind of light
In fields of dawn and forest of the night
And when you stand before the candles on a cake
Oh let me be the one to hear the silent wish you make…

2. How I Remember You

Recommended version : Michael Franks

Do you believe in soul mate? The one who is destined for you since the very beginning? This song captures perfectly the feeling of amazement when you heard your heart whispers, "This is it, I know it's him/her all along."

We are tuned to a sound
That displays creation that our life revolve around
that searching for each other
From a million hearts we choose
You remember me and I remember you

Yes, isn't it amazing, that from hundreds of thousands people we meet in our entire life, we choose this particular person? By some miracle, he/she chooses us too. We might have known each other only for months, or perhaps years, but these two hearts seem to know each other forever.

Gentle strum of guitar and occasional sound of flute gave this song an airy touch, fit with the nature and season reference in this song. Although the lyrics should be altered a bit to fit with people living in tropical environment, this song is overwhelmingly sweet nonetheless

A chorus of sparrow in summer is how I remember you
The fire of maple in autumn is how I remember you
The silence of snowfall in winter is how I remember you

3. ‘Til There Was You

Recommended version : The Beatles

There were bells on the hill, but I never heard them ringing
No, I never heard them at all, ‘til there was you…

This song would be perfect if you are going to marry your first love. Then it is literally "the first time the bells on the hill ring". But even if you are not fortunate enough to marry your first love, this song is still very relevant. Yes, perhaps you have fallen in love hundred times before, but this is the one who touches your heart in the most special way, the way no one ever touches your heart before. It's time for celebration in hopes of good days ahead.

And there was music and wonderful roses
They told me in sweet fragrant meadow
of dawn and dew

Originally written by Meredith Wilson for 1957 musical play The Music Man, my recommended version was the accoustic ballad version from The Beatles, included in their 1963 album, With the Beatles. 

There was love all around
But I never heard it singing
No I never heard it at all
‘Til there was you.

4. It Had to Be You 

Recommended version : Frank Sinatra

This song is begun by some kind of rant :
Why do I do just as you say
Why must I just give you your way
Why do I sigh, why don't I try to forget?
Rather than a song for recently married couple, this song seems more relevant for a couple who has been married for 10 years. But still, for those who already know their loved ones for quite some time, and realized that he/she is a lovable bossy type, this song is just the right one. Perhaps you had occasional "why did I marry this nagging tyrant" feeling. But then love did her irrational finger-snapping, and you realize that you cannot live with this person after all. Perhaps this is not all-praise-for-my-beloved type of song, but sometimes the sweetest thing is when someone admits that you have so many weakness and he/she sticks with you nonetheless. 

Some other I’ve seen might never be mean
might never be cross or try to be boss, but they wouldn’t do
For nobody else give me a thrill, with all your faults I love you still
It had to be you, wonderful you
It had to be you.

Since the first time Sam Lanin performed this song with his orchestra in 1924this song have been covered by a lot of notable musician, for example Doris Day, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, and my favourite, Frank Sinatra. The oldies-jazzy feeling of this song is just perfect for late night slow dance.

5. All of Me

Recommended version : John Legend

This song dug a hole inside my ear and curled there, refusing to go out. I could hear John Legend crooning “All of Me” almost all the time (and no, I am not schizophrenic). Knowing how random and annoying my cranial jukebox could be, this is actually very welcome, since this song is quite nice to listen to.

Personally, I love how the lyrics portrayed the loved one as "a magical mystery ride". Fun, snarky, sometimes insecure, but still the singer stated "All of me loves all of you." I'm not a big fan of "I love you just the way you are" type of song, but this time...I can resist. Even as I'm writing now, John Legend is singing "'Cause I give you aaaaaalll of meee" inside my brain. Sigh.

Some song can give you a perfect image of something and light up sparks of creative imagination. A beginning for a story, perhaps, or a poem. For me, this is one of the song that can trigger my flow (as in Csikszentmihalyi's concept of Flow), either in work or creative process or imagination of the moment when my husband-to-be proposes to me.

My head's underwater but I'm breathing fine
You're crazy and I'm out of my mind...

Yes, I even gave "Random" as a nickname or my brain, so it's already fit. Hahaha

6. Because You Love Me

Recommended version : Celine Dion

I believe that love should not be parasitic, that it should always lead you towards growth. Sadly, this kind of love is very hard to find (lyrics of most Indonesian love songs nowadays can be some sort of testimony to that). It's only right to say lots of thank yous when you finally found that person who gave this kind of love to you... and singing this song is really a good way to do it. Although the lyric "I'm everything I am because you loved me" is probably too mushy, but....hey, this is your wedding day, you are allowed to be mushy and too lovey-dovey. No one is  going to judge you.

You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn't speak 
You were my eyes when I couldn't see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn't reach
You gave me faith 'cause you believe
I am everything I am because you love me

7. I Believe (When I Fall in Love)

Recommended version : Josh Groban

For some of us, love and romantic relationship is especially a hard thing. Somehow we fell in love with wrong person, at the wrong time. Sometimes we thought it was right, it was perfect, but then life laughed at your face and said, "Nope! "

And then we meet this particular person, and suddenly there is hope again. We bravely stand up and said, "I believe when I fall in love this time, it will be forever."

This song was originally composed and sung by Stevie Wonder, but my recommended version was sung by Josh Groban. I like how the line "I believe when I fall in love with you it will be forever," was chanted again and again like an effort to hypnotized ourselves. Hope is not an easy thing to grow, and I think this song perfectly captured that feeling. And...oh dear, Josh Groban...have I told you how I adore this guy's soulful voice? Just....wonderful.

When the truths of love is planted firm
they won't be hard to find 
And words of love I speak to you 
will echo in your mind

I believe when I fall in love with you it will be forever
I believe when I fall in love this time it will be forever...

8. God Only Knows 

Recommended version : Beach Boys

What kind of person would put “I might not always love you” as the first verse of a love song? Well, Beach Boys did, and surprisingly, this song is still sweet nonetheless.

But it’s true, even in marriage, you might not love each other continually. Not in the same definition and degree, at least, since love has three components (for details, read Sternberg's Triangular Theory of Love) and all three might not be present all the time. Still, this is the one you choose for life, and even though life will still go on if this person is not beside you anymore, you'd rather not think about it.

God only knows what I’d be without you…right :)

9. (insert title of a song that means a lot for you and your wife/husband to be, or your love story in general)

A song you heard when you met your wife/husband for the first time? A song that always remind you to your loved one? Definitely qualifies for this category. Even “Someone Like You” might be  acceptable to be sung on your wedding day if it has some relevance to your love story! Perhaps in the past you planned to attend your ex’s wedding day (with big drums of fuel hidden in strategic places, so you can burn the whole building along with your ex and all the guest while you’re singing to Adele’s Someone Like You) but then you meet that particular person and *SNAP* your center of gravity changed. Okay, I’m getting cheesier (and creepier) now but you get the idea.

I would love to continue talking about love songs (No kidding, I saved lists of songs for my *still hypothetical* wedding day and anniversaries...LOL), but this post is already too long as it is. Besides, it's getting late and my mind has tendency to be cheesier and creepier in late hours. Better to stop it before it's getting out of control, haha.

Last but not least...

Congratulations to Salita and Aldi, who are going to be married later today! Thank you for giving me reason to post this...HAHAHA, no really, I'm so happy for you two! And of course, for the free food!

Honorary mention:
Everything by Michael Buble
Breathless by Shayne Ward
Time Enough for Tears by The Corrs


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