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Lohengrin and Mendelssohn

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"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 Lutheran with Jewish ancestry, by the way, and was disliked by Wagner).

If it's not one of these pieces of Classical Music being played at the wedding, odds are pretty good it's either Pachelbel's Canon, the Prince of Denmark's March by Jeremiah Clarke (sometimes incorrectly called the Trumpet Voluntary,note  and notable for being used at Princess Diana's wedding), Handel's Water Music (specifically the second movement), "Sheep May Safely Graze" from Johann Sebastian Bach's "Hunting Cantata", or "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring", also by Bach.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Asian Animation 
  • Boonie Cubs: In Season 2 episode 17, the kids sing the tune of "Here Comes the Bride" during the renewal of Violet's parents' wedding vows for their anniversary.
  • Bread Barbershop: The Mendelssohn piece is played during weddings on two occasions, in "Cake Princess's Wedding" and in "Chocolate Wall".
  • Happy Heroes: In Season 7 episode 1, Smart S. sets up a ceremony for when the Global Leader establishes a diplomatic relationship with Dog Planet. The whole thing plays out like a wedding, complete with the Mendelssohn music playing.
  • When the titular Seven of Scissor Seven is trapped at Dali, he is forced to either kill the Ugly Master or get married and have kids. Right after he asks what would happen if he can't kill the Ugly Master... the Wedding March starts to build up to Seven's confusion and abruptly cuts to Seven in a suit about to be married to a random girl. The music stops as he quickly rips off the suit and asserts he'll kill the Ugly Master.
    Seven: Ok, fine. Give me a few days and I'll kill him.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animated 
  • In Cinderella, after seeing the Prince and Cinderella share their Dance of Romance, the delighted King hums a little of Mendelssohn as he leaves the ballroom, confident that their wedding (and the birth of his grandchildren) is imminent.
  • In an Anachronism Stew example, Gaston hires a band to play the Lohengrin bridal march in Beauty and the Beast when he's about to propose (unsuccessfully) to Belle. The film takes place in the late 18th or early 19th century, and the bridal march was composed in 1850.
  • In Mr. Bug Goes to Town, the two ladybug children perform Lohengrin at Honey and Mr. Beetle's wedding, one blowing on a giant harmonica and the other singing a cappella. Later, when Smack and Swat crash the wedding to warn their boss of the approaching humans, Smack hijacks the harmonica to snap up the pace, while Swat whispers a warning to the tune...
    We've gotta scram! We've gotta scram! Trouble's a-comin' and we've gotta scram!
  • In The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Mendelssohn is played at the forced wedding between Bowser and Peach.
  • In Thumbelina (1994), each verse of the song "Marry the Mole" starts with the same four notes as Lohengrin, and the first verse opens with the words "'Here Comes the Bride' is a lovely little ditty." Later, an organ rendition of Lohengrin plays as Thumbelina walks reluctantly down the aisle at her wedding to Mr. Mole (before she realizes her mistake and becomes a Runaway Bride).

    Films — Live-Action 

  • An aversion from Dorothy L. Sayers' Busman's Honeymoon: "Lord Peter set his foot down resolutely on Lohengrin and Mendelssohn, and we were played out with Bach."
  • Discussed in I Will Fear No Evil by Robert A. Heinlein, when Johann/Eunice is planning the wedding to Jake. The Eunice personality is adamant that the Mendelssohn not be used, because, she says, it always sounded to her like the triumphant clucking of a hen that's just laid an egg.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Used in the Murdoch Mysteries episode "Holy Matrimony, Murdoch!", for Murdoch and Julia Ogden's wedding. Including Mrs Brakenreid insisting that everyone hum Lohengrin during the rehearsal.
  • In the classic Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Balance of Terror", the wedding that opens the episode uses Lohengrin as the processional prior to the ceremony, which is then interrupted by a distress signal. We never hear the Mendelssohn after the wedding...because the groom is killed before the wedding can resume.
  • Used in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Course: Oblivion" during the wedding of Tom Paris and B'Elanna Torres, which during the latter song when the rice gets tossed during the newlywed couple's departure we see the rice sink into the floor and fall down into the Jeffries tube below, cuing us in to what the crew will discover in the episode.
  • In the Broad City episode "The Matrix," the invite to the dog wedding is soundtracked by the Wedding March as sung by barking dogs.
  • Friends:
    • In one episode Joey greets Ross at the coffee shop by humming a few bars of Lohengrin as Ross has just got engaged to Emily. Phoebe mistakes it for the Olympic anthem.
    • During a trip to Las Vegas, Chandler and Monica decide to get married at a chapel. As they're sitting in the waiting room Chandler hums what he thinks is the wedding march, only for Monica to tell him it's actually Pomp and Circumstance a.k.a. "The Graduation Song". He's immediately shown up when the actual wedding march starts playing from inside the chapel as Ross and Rachel exit after drunkenly getting married.
  • In the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers episode "The Wedding: Part 3", Rita sings the Wedding March during her wedding with Zedd with Snizzard playing the tune on the organ, she changes the lyrics from "Here Comes the Bride" to "Here Comes the Queen".
  • How I Met Your Mother: Averted at Barney and Robin's wedding which instead uses a piano version of "Sandcastles in the Sand", a song Robin recorded during her Teen Idol days. Barney learning of the song is what led to them sleeping together for the first time, so the song has particular significance to the couple.

  • "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.


    Puppet Shows 
  • The classic Sesame Street episode of Maria and Luis's wedding used Lohengrin at the beginning of the ceremony and Mendelssohn at the end.

  • In Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Lorelei's wedding song, "Button Up with Esmond," begins with the Mendelssohn snippet.
  • Hamilton: Lohengrin plays at the end of Helpless to signify Alexander and Eliza's wedding. This is a case where the song is used for a time period far before it was actually composed (1780), but Hamilton in general is a very, very deliberate Anachronism Stew (the rest of the song is R&B, after all) so it's not too jarring.
  • 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.
  • Six: The Musical: In Anne Boleyn's song "Don't Lose Ur Head", Mendelssohn is played on electric guitar while Anne beatifically walks across the stage and the other queens act as the sobbing attendees, signifying her marriage to Henry VIII. As with Hamilton, it's only out of place historically speaking, considering the Anachronism Stew otherwise present in the play.

    Video Games 

    Western Animation 
  • Arthur:
  • 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.
  • In the Disney propaganda short "Education for Death" plays over a Book Burning.
  • 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.
  • 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".)
  • In a 1938 Merrie Melodies cartoon, "The Mice Will Play" after a boy mouse rescues a girl mouse from an experimental lab, the two mice get married to a swing rendition of "Lohengrin".
  • 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.
  • The wedding in the Rugrats episode "Let Them Eat Cake" uses Lohengrin for what should have been the bride's walk down the aisle.
  • Played with in the Kim Possible episode "Car Alarm". As Kim and Ron pursue the stolen Kepler rocket (converted to a road dragster by Motor Ed), Wade remotely opens a panel containing a couple of gold rings. Ron becomes flustered and Rufus starts humming "Lohengrin". Wade then explains that the rings are "magno-rings" to help Kim hang on after jumping onto the Kepler.
  • In the Disney Adventures in Music Duology short Melody, during the "Steps of Life Sequence", when it gets to marriage, the students sing "Here comes the bride...", to which Bertie Birdbrain replies "...and there goes the groom."