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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'll 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. 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. [1] The former is also generally not used at Jewish weddings, due to Wagner's anti-Semitism (Mendelssohn was a Jewish Lutheran, by the way).

Examples of Lohengrin and Mendelssohn include:


Film

  • 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.

Literature

Music

  • "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.

Theater

  • 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.

Video Games

  • In King's Quest VI, a minor-key variation of Lohengrin plays for the evil vizier's wedding to the fake Cassima ("Oh no, it's wedding music!"). When Alexander weds the real Cassima, the normal version of Lohengrin and Mendelssohn is played as usual.
  • In Matrimelee, the last Power Instinct game to be released in English, the reward for defeating Princess Sissy and winning the tournament is to marry her. Appropriately enough, a remix of Mendelssohn is played for this fight.
  • At the start of Haunted Castle, Mendelssohn plays over Simon Belmont heading out with his newly-married wife — only to die down when Dracula flies in and whisks her away.

Western Animation

  • 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.
  • 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 near a sign reading "The Marriage of Figaro".)

Notes

  1. Some churches and musicians also discourage their use because of the context: Elsa's wedding in Lohengrin is anything but happy, 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.
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