Pretty Songs About Not So Pretty Things: 3 Unconventional Bridal Processional Songs for Your Wedding Day

We’re halfway through the summer wedding shuffle and if I hear another bride walk down the aisle to Pachelbel’s Canon in D I’m going to loose it. Sure, it’s a pretty song with lots of harpsichord but it’s overdone, flowery and meaningless. Why not walk down the aisle (bride or groom!) to one of these rock classics with dramatic instrumental intros. Add a little intrigue to your ceremony as your guests faint from heat stroke.

What do these songs have in common? About 45 seconds of beautiful instrumental bliss! But just make sure the DJ fades out before the singing starts…your mother doesn’t want to hear Lou Reed sing “he entered her slowly/ and showed her where he was coming from/ And then sha-la-la-la-la, he made love to her gently/ it was like she’d never ever come.”

I figure it takes a person 20-45 seconds to make it down the aisle to join his or her companion in eternal shackles bliss.

1. Joy Division’s “Atmosphere”

You have a full 37 seconds to walk to the intro to this haunting ballad before Ian Curtis’s voice comes in with “walk in silence/ don’t walk away in silence/ see the danger/ always danger.” And then later “Your confusion, My illusion/ Worn like a mask of self-hate/ Confronts and then dies.” Not exactly warm wishes for the happy couple. “Atmosphere” was used in both 24 Hour Party People and Control to sort of signify and commemorate Ian Curtis’s tragic suicide at the age of 23. Tell the DJ to fade out around 00:35.

2. Siouxsie and the Banshees’ “Hong Kong Garden”
You’ll want the version with the strings intro used in Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette film. Pretty plucky violins make an excellent soundtrack to your trip down the aisle before the symbols crash everywhere. In an interview, Siouxsie explained the lyrics were about the rage she felt at the racist skinheads making fun of the Chinese workers at a local restaurant called Hong Kong Garden. But there’s harpsichord! Tell the DJ to fade out around 00:42.

3. Lou Reed’s “Street Hassle”

You could have the whole processional down the aisle in the minute and thirty seconds it takes for the intro to conclude before Lou Reed comes in to tell us about Waltzing Matilda. Maybe I’m just a sucker for violins but this song makes me cry every time. Don’t tell grandpa what the rest of the wrong is about, “Luscious and gorgeous, oh what a humpin’ muscle/ call out the national guard/ She creamed in her jeans as he picked up her knees/ from off of the formica topped bar/ And cascading slowly, he lifted her wholly/ and boldly out of this world” Tell the DJ to sit back and relax, you’ve got till at least 1:30 before the fade.

x The 33 1/3 Lonely Hearts Club

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