Lohengrin and Mendelssohn

It's never too late to Mendelssohn,
Two hearts are at Journey's Endelssohn,
Whate'er their future they must share it.
I trust they Lohengrin and bear it.
Charley Johnson, Lady in the Dark (Wedding Dream)

The two essential Standard Snippet wedding marches derive their music from:

These two pieces, commonly referred to as "Lohengrin" and "Mendelssohn," are often played at Real Life and fictional weddings, even if those weddings are in films set before the pieces were actually composed. The combination may have been popularized by its use at the wedding of Princess Victoria and Crown Prince Friedrich of Prussia (later Kaiser Friedrich III) in 1858. Some churches discourage the use of this and other secular music at weddings held in their facilities. Some churches and musicians also discourage their use because of the context: Elsa's wedding in Lohengrin is anything but happy, the marriage wasn't consummated, and by the end her beloved departs and her brother has been turned into a swan; and A Midsummer Night's Dream is not the most... shall we say "monogamous" of Shakespeare's plays. And some organists are just bloody sick of them. The former is also generally not used at Jewish weddings, due to Wagner's anti-Semitism (Mendelssohn was a Jewish Lutheran, by the way).

If it's not one of these pieces of Classical Music being played at the wedding, odds are pretty good it's Pachelbel's Canon.


  • Both Mendelssohn and Lohengrin are used for the polyandrous wedding at the end of Horse Feathers where all the Marx Brothers (except Zeppo) marry Thelma Todd.
  • Laurel and Hardy movies often used a swing-tempo version of Mendelssohn's tune in the background to underscore the woe of married life.
  • In My Dearly Beloved Detective (a Soviet movie about a Distaff Counterpart to Sherlock Holmes), Holmes and Watson go to a bachelor club disguised as men. The club's anthem, sung throughout the scene, is set to Mendessohn's music, but the words are... not exactly wedding promoting.
  • The opening notes of Lohengrin are sampled in the Wedding Song in Corpse Bride.
  • Lohengrin is played in Flash Gordon at Ming and Dale's wedding, for some reason...
  • It seems like The Graduate was an unintentional pioneer in making Mendelssohn work wonders for powerful dramatic wedding moments.
    Ben Braddock: ELAINE!!!
    Marty McFly: NOOOOOOOOO!!
    Wayne Campbell: CASSANDRAAA!!!


Live-Action TV
  • Used in the Murdoch Mysteries episode "Holy Matrimony, Murdoch!", for Murdoch and Julia Ogden's weddng. Including Mrs Brakenreid insisting that everyone hum Lohengrin during the rehearsal.

  • "Here Comes the Broad", a track from the Brian Setzer Orchestra's Wolfgang's Big Night Out (an album of swing arrangements of classical compositions) combines elements of both Lohengrin and Mendelssohn.


  • The Irrelevant Act Opener "Bride and Groom" from the musical Oh, Kay! begins with a longer version of the punny Ira Gershwin lyric quoted above; George Gershwin set the first line to a variation on Mendelssohn's tune.
  • Our Town plays this entirely straight for the wedding scene, though it's implied that these two pieces, along with Handel's Largo and a few hymns, are all the town organist may know, since "there isn't much culture" in Grover's Corners.
  • In Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Lorelei's wedding song, "Button Up with Esmond," begins with the Mendelssohn snippet.

Video Games

Western Animation
  • In an Anachronism Stew example, Gaston hires a band to play the bridal march in Beauty and the Beast when he's about to propose (unsuccessfully) to Belle. The film takes place in the mid to late 18th century, the bridal march was composed in 1850.
  • A vintage Fleischer Popeye cartoon had Bluto and Olive marching down the aisle behind Justice Wimpy to an appropriately broad and graceless version of the Lohengrin tune.
  • In the Futurama episode where Leela is getting married to another cyclops, Hermes does a rasta version of Lohengrin.
  • An episode of The Simpsons which parodies The Graduate ends with Grandpa Simpson and Mrs. Bouvier running out of her wedding to Mr. Burns while Mendelssohn plays in the background.
    • And in another episode ("I Married Marge"), in the flashback story, Homer has a wedding with the pregnant Marge, and as they walk to the chapel, one man is seen playing Lohengrin on a Casio electronic keyboard.
  • In "Rabbit of Seville", after a mutual escalation where each side points bigger and bigger guns at the other, Bugs instead offers Elmer flowers and chocolates, which causes him to reappear wearing a wedding dress. After Bugs rushes through a ceremony with himself as Justice of the Peace, Bugs carries his new "bride" to the threshold to the tune of the Mendelssohn Recessional. (Whereupon he drops Elmer off a very high ledge into a prop wedding cake reading "The Marriage of Figaro".)
  • Being an episode about a royal wedding, "Lohengrin" appears all over the place in the season 2 finale of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.