Here Comes the Bride ... to U2?

Thinking Outside the Music Box

If you're like a lot of love birds, songs like the "Wedding March" or Pachelbel's Canon may not speak to your special relationship. Sure, they're classics. Generations of brides have chosen them for their processionals, and you'd be carrying on a time-honored tradition by selecting them, too. But do they set the tone for the journey you're embarking on together?

The song you choose for your walk down the aisle is an opportunity to articulate your love in a specific, personalized way. And playing music that complements your wedding's theme is another way to set the mood for the vows and the party to follow. Walking down the aisle barefoot and exchanging vows next to a rushing river? Saying "I do" in a forest with an Alice-in-Wonderland-themed reception to follow? Getting hitched in Vegas? These are all solid examples of weddings that deserve a special soundtrack.

And let's not forget the fun factor. Your guests will be expecting an organ or harpist -- your entrance will really blow them away when they hear the opening strains of a heavy metal anthem or even an a cappella choir.

Before you make your final selection, take a few things into consideration. Not everyone may share your enthusiasm for Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters." A little ditty off the beaten path may offend conservative relatives or friends -- and the ceremony site might have restrictions that limit your choice. Just remember that you're choosing a unique song to set the mood for the event, and part of being a good hostess is making sure that your guests are comfortable. Think about how your musical selection will be received. Accept the consequences, or pick something else.

It's tough to tell how your tastes or feelings may change years from now, but try to settle on a song you won't regret down the road (also good advice for whatever dress you choose for your bridesmaids!).

Have we convinced you to look beyond string quartets? We have a few song suggestions for you on the next page.

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