Lohengrin Wedding March

 

There are many superstitious wedding traditions, but some have pretty clear origins.

One of those is the music most commonly associated with Western weddings. The “Wedding March” and the song perhaps best known as “Here Comes the Bride” are both believed to have been first performed at a wedding that took place 160 years ago this Thursday, when Princess Victoria Adelaide Mary Louise, Queen Victoria‘s oldest child, married Frederick William IV of Prussia on Jan. 25, 1858, in the Chapel Royal at St. James’ Palace.

A Wedding March Traditionally Accompanies The Entrance Or Exit Of The Bride At Her Wedding, Most Notably The “Wedding March” By Felix Mendelssohn. Discover releases, reviews, track listings, recommendations, and more about Mark Andrews - Lohengrin - Wedding March / Wedding March at Discogs. Complete your Mark Andrews collection. Wedding March, Bridal Chorus, Here Comes the Bride: this famous piece is known by all those titles. From the opera Lohengrin, this arrangement is for Violin and Piano. By Richard Wagner. Classical sheet music for Violin PDF download.

But neither song was actually composed to be performed at a wedding. Rather, German composer Felix Mendelssohn wrote the “Wedding March” for an 1842 production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and “Here Comes the Bride” was the Bridal Chorus from Richard Wagner’s 1850 opera Lohengrin.

Bridal Chorus From Lohengrin

It was the 1858 royal wedding that is thought to have started the practice of a “full choral processional from the church entrance to the altar” and playing music as the bride walked up the aisle, “a change from the usual practice of having music only at the reception,” according to Elizabeth Hafkin Pleck’s Celebrating the Family: Ethnicity, Consumer Culture, and Family Rituals. “A patron of opera who loved Mendelssohn and Wagner, the princess chose the music for her ceremony.”

Wedding

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As still happens at many weddings today — though many couples now choose to branch out, for reasons both personal and political — the Wagner chorus was played as the Princess processed to the altar, and the Mendelssohn march was played as the newlywed couple recessed back up the aisle. Once the royal couple used that music in their ceremony, it caught on more widely.

Plus, starting Western wedding traditions clearly ran in the family: the Princess’ mother, Queen Victoria, was the one who popularized white wedding dresses.

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EDIT POST

When I was growing up, I learned “the” lyrics to Here Comes the Bride at summer camp:

“Here Comes the Bride
All fat and wide;
Where is the groom?
He’s in the dressing room.
Why is he there?
He lost his underwear.
Da da da DAAAA da da da, da da dah.”

(Nobody ever accused summer camp kids of being sensitive to the feelings of people with weight problems – or of knowing how hard it is to lose your underwear after you’re dressed, for that matter.)

March

Lohengrin Wedding March Lyrics

Since I am now a mature adult (cough cough), I know that the true lyrics to that song are really:

Lohengrin Act 3 Wedding March

“Treulich geführt
ziehet dahin,
wo euch der Segen
der Liebe bewahr!
Siegreicher Mut,
Minnegewinn
eint euch in Treue zum seligsten Paar.”
But that’s not what I’m looking for.

I figure that, some time between the time when Wagner wrote Lohengrin and the time when I attended summer camp, somebody somewhere must have come up with some “Traditional English” lyrics for this song that start with the magic words:

Lohengrin Wedding March Music

Here comes the bride,
All dressed in white.

So … what are the “real” English-language words to “Here Comes the Bride”?