The Bridal Chorus, a.k.a. “Here Comes The Bride” or the Bridal March is the most popular bridal processional of the last 50-100 years. Originally part of the opera “Lohengrin”, brides have been joyfully walking the aisle to this immediately recognizable classic for as long as most of us can remember.
There are no lyrics sung to the Bridal Chorus (except perhaps by children playing ‘wedding’ and singing “Here comes the bride, all dressed in white.)” The lyric used in the original opera began with these words:
Faithfully guided, draw near to where the blessing of love shall preserve you
Triumphant courage, the reward of love joins you in faith as the happiest of couples
and ended thus:
- Triumphant courage, love and happiness
- join you in faith as the happiest of couples.But no translation of these words is ever used in an English language wedding.
In decades past the Bridal Chorus was most commonly heard as an organ or piano piece, or perhaps as a duet for these two instruments. In modern times, there have been many creative and beautiful arrangements of this classic wedding march for string quartet, solo piano, wedding cello, or wedding violin, and about any other ensemble or solo treatment you can imagine. To hear the Bridal Chorus in many different styles and tempos, and in various lengths to suit your wedding style and location, click on the words “Bridal Chorus” in the first line of this post.
Do you recall hearing this classic bridal processional at any weddings you have attended? If you have been to very many, you’ve probably heard it at least once and perhaps more often. Years ago brides and bridesmaids would often walk very slowly, in time with the music – one step for every two beats of the music. The organist or pianist would usually try to improvise something so that when the bride had reached the front of the church, the music would stop. Sometimes this worked fine; other times it was a bit of a crash and burn musically. That was contingent on the ability of the musicians to make up an ending at a random place in the music. This is one of the reasons we offer the bridal chorus in many different lengths; we think it’s a beautiful thing when the music comes to a natural and satisfying conclusion at the proper time.
The term “wedding march”, which is sometimes what the Bridal Chorus is called, can be a misleading term, since it properly refers to any piece with a measured and perhaps march-like tempo to which the bride (and perhaps bridal party) either enters or leaves. This is especially true of Mendelssohn’s famous exit music for many weddings (his Wedding March), which is probably as widely recognized as the Bridal Chorus.