What are the "traditional" lyrics to "Here Comes the Bride"?

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.)

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

“Treulich geführt
ziehet dahin,
wo euch der Segen
der Liebe bewahr!
Siegreicher Mut,
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:

Here comes the bride,
All dressed in white.

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

It has words?

I remember, in the movie “The Best Years of Our Lives” there’s a home wedding at the end of the movie. As the bride descends the staircase to the first floor a chorus of little kids sings to the accompaniment of a piano. Let’s see how much I remember.

Here comes the bride
All dressed in white
Sweetly, serenely (can’t recall)
Lovely to see
Marching to thee
True love united for eternity.

Forgot to add, the scene of the groom placing the ring on his bride’s finger in that movie is very moving. The camera pans around to all the faces of the guests watching. There are no words, but you can see the strain on their faces, desperately hoping it all goes well. See, the groom is a WWII navy veteran who has lost both hands, and he delicately holds the small gold band clamped between two hooks, as he puts the ring on the bride’s ring finger.

Trivial hijack: The disabled veteran was played by Harold Russell, who really did lose both arms in World War II. He won a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for the role, along with an honorary Academy Award for being an inspiration to disabled veterans, making him the only person to win two Academy Awards for the same role. Oh, and it’s a great movie.

And to get the discussion off of all that nice sensitive movie reviewing, I also learned a verse that started

Here come the ushers
The (something) toilet flushers!

But I can’t remember past that, does anybody else?

Here comes the bride
All fat and wide
Here comes the groom
Skinny as a broom
Here come the ushers
The old toilet flushers

That’s what I remember from gradeschool. :slight_smile:

Contemporary composer John Rutter did a translation of the Lohengrin “Bridal Chorus” lyrics (click on the example link to view it) that goes like this:

“Led here in faith, draw near with joy,
Love’s guardian angel will watch over you!
Joined in a bond none can destroy,
Now you are one in your love ever true!”

But that was as late as 1995, apparently.

Since Wagner’s opera Lohengrin was first performed in 1850, and the movie The Best Years of Our Lives in which Baker remembers hearing the non-parody “Here comes the bride” English version dates to 1946, that gives us about a century in which the English version must have originated. By the way, I spotted somebody else’s recollection of the English lyrics over on a wedding messageboard:

The folks over at STUMPERS-L have had a big fat discussion about this very question:

Tin Pan Alley composer Albert Tizer wrote a song in 1912 called “Here Comes the Bride” using bits of the Lohengrin march, although the Lew Brown lyrics are actually a girl’s lament about another girl who stole her man:

So evidently the “Bridal Chorus” theme was already familiarly associated with the English words “Here comes the bride” as early as 1912. But we still don’t know when or by whom that “all dressed in white, Sweetly, serenely” etc. verse was written.

Here comes the bride
All fat and wide
See how she waddles from side to side.

Here comes the groom
Skinny as a broom
He’d waddle too if he had any room.

I am obviously wasted here on everybody but the OP and Baker.

[…stomps off muttering…]


The OP did ask for the traditional lyrics, not necessarily the original ones.

Here comes the bride
All dressed in pink
Open the door and let out the stink

I believe the original music is by Mendelsohn and has no words at all.

Here comes the bride
40 feet wide
Slipped on a banana skin
And went for a ride.

oh wait… I think I’m thinking of that other traditional wedding music. Nevermind!

My dad always said, “Here comes the bride, please step aside, here comes the groom with his pants too wide.”

I’d been wondering all this time if that was accurate.


Yep, you were thinking of the traditional Wedding Recessional music, also known as the Wedding March from Felix Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The Wagner Lohengrin “Here Comes the Bride” wedding march is the traditional Wedding Processional. It’s the song that indicates, to the groom, that it’s still not too late to back out.


According to theweddingmarch.com, those are all the lyrics to “Here Comes the Bride”.

And here I was hoping there’d be traditional English lyrics for the “Streiter der Jugend, schreite voran!” part, and stuff.

C’mon, tracer, ya gotta give us a hint as to what you are talking about.

I was raised Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, a very conservative denomination,(I’m Episcopalian now) , and the LCMS does not allow the Lohengrin Chorus to be used as a wedding march. The reason given is that it’s too distinctly secular, with pagan overtones.

Yeah, in the opera Lohengrin the “Bridal Chorus” is actually a post-wedding march sung by the attendants escorting the newly married couple into the bridal chamber for their wedding night. Not really appropriate for the ceremony, unless the happy couple is planning to get down to it right there at the altar.