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Random Wedding Reflections

November 13, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Yesterday was the wedding day of the daughter of friends of ours.  The venue was beautiful, the weather quite nice for November, and the reception an immensely enjoyable occasion.  All in all, it was a long but fun day.  Sitting in the Chapel, we were treated to delightful music from a chamber ensemble and harpist, setting a serene and tranquil mood as we waited for the big event.  Our friends are accomplished musicians and I just knew they would deliver a first rate experience musically with their selections; they did not disappoint.  When the time arrived for the wedding procession, a full choral group of singers along with the chamber orchestra and harpist delivered a perfect rendition of Wagner’s “Treulich Geführt”, otherwise known to just about everyone else in the Western World simply as the “Bridal March.”

Opera geek that I am, I knew it came from Lohengrin, a Wagner Opera written and performed in 1850, more than 160 years ago.  For people of today, the melody is immediately recognizable and is etched in just about everyone’s conscious mind, linked to the image of bride proceeding down the aisle to her groom-soon-to-be husband.  It’s familiarity is so strong that my mind began wandering as it so often does.  I began to wonder, what kind of reaction did Wagner’s first audiences have to this music when they first heard it, with virgin ears and no familiarity with the melody; with no frame of reference other than visual cues from the stage?  What kind of impact did it have?  How delightful must it have been to hear something new and so beautiful?  What kind of emotion did this music evoke from a first time listener?  Did the music compliment the visual betrothal on the stage?

Thankfully, my wandering mind was brought back to attention by the beautiful bride and the wedding ceremony.  Either that, or it was my wife nudging and elbowing me in the ribs, snapping me back to attention.  I suppose she’s seen that day-dreamy look on my face before…

Treulich Geführt, from Lohengrin (R. Wagner 1850)



  1. November 13, 2011 at 8:06 am

    Would you mind if I borrowed your wife every so often to elbow me too? If for different reasons.

    How thoughtfully, gently, you lead your readers not so much up the aisle but back down the path of history. Love it.

    And then there is the ring …


    • November 13, 2011 at 11:31 pm

      Ursula, I have to wonder what different reasons you might have in mind for an occasional elbowing.

      Oh my, the wedding ring has quite an interesting history! Yes, take this ring as a conditional token of my marriage to you, provided your father provides the promised dowry. Not exactly romantic now, is it?

      That is topic enough for another blog entry altogether.

  2. November 13, 2011 at 8:41 am

    You have the heart of a romantic!

    That shot is lovely.

    • November 13, 2011 at 11:37 pm

      Thank you ladyfi. I cannot take credit for that shot, although it is a favorite of mine. While I have some really nice pictures from the actual wedding, I didn’t have time to get permission from the couple that was married and now out on their honeymoon holiday, so I looked to some images on my computer, selected one, and touched it up to give a blur effect outside of a focal point of their kiss.

  3. November 13, 2011 at 10:38 am

    No elbowing, I think that’s just wonderful. It sounded as all weddings should start to progress into a long and blissful marriage. Well told Phil!

    • November 13, 2011 at 11:37 pm

      Carol, thank you for stopping in. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Hope the NaNoWriMo is going well for you.

  4. November 13, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    It sounds like it was a beautiful wedding. I think I would go for the traditonal Bridal March song too, it makes that big announcement of the bride beginning her walk down the isle like nothing else can. Have a wonderful Sunday Phil. Hugs, Nikki

    • November 13, 2011 at 11:44 pm

      Nikki, it was indeed a beautiful and fun wedding. I’m sure you too will make quite the lovely bride and make quite a big statement in your own way some day, be it traditional or unique.

  5. Androgoth
    November 13, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    I think that your day of celebration for your friends daughter
    was a most delightful time, not only for the joining of two love
    birds but for you to enjoy the delights of Wagner, which I am
    sure that you took great pleasure from hearing 🙂 Of course
    your wife had other ideas but still it was a very pleasant and
    most delightful experience…

    Thank you for offering such a well informed posting, oh and
    do watch out for that twitching elbow my wickedly fine friend 🙂


    • November 13, 2011 at 11:46 pm

      Always a fun time to be with friends Andro. I hope you had a wickedly delightful weekend.

  6. November 15, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Such a lovely post, Phil. I’m impressed with your ruminations about Wagner and what virgin ears might have heard. Your imagination is one that, while it may lead you off to dreamy-faced places, most people don’t have. But look what they’re missing. You go on adventures of the mind that hardly anyone would think to go. I really admire that.

    The Buddhists encourage us to look at the world with a “child’s eye”–you illustrated that. And, no, I don’t mean childish, I mean looking at everything with a fresh perspective rather than letting moments slip by unnoticed. We need to do more of what you do.

    • November 16, 2011 at 8:38 am

      Lorna, I’m touched by your kind words. Thank you.

      Children really do have a marvelous sense of wonder. As adults, we need to keep sacred that flame of wonder inside all of us.

  7. November 19, 2011 at 2:01 am

    I have nominated you for the award please have a look as given below; http://justsimplyinlove.wordpress.com/2011/11/19/the-liebster-blog-award/
    Thank you

    • November 20, 2011 at 8:53 am


      First let me thank you for your kindness and generosity in recognizing me for such an award. I realize these kinds of awards are important ways to get some of the writers on WordPress some recognition and readership. I hope you won’t mind if I pass on this however. I am not very good at doing these kinds of awards. I barely have enough time to write the very few articles that populate my blog, and in reality, I would be passing along these awards to back to virtually all who have received this recognition already.

      I do thank you for the recognition however, and hope you will understand.

      • November 20, 2011 at 3:24 pm

        You are most welcome, I am glad we will hear more from you in near future. Appreciation plays a vital role in our lives i guess. 🙂

  8. November 20, 2011 at 10:58 am

    I am always fascinated by operatic music. My friend is an opera singer. She will come for visits and begin singing for us in her gorgeous voice. There is no way that listening to opera cannot take you to other places. It is that kind of music.
    It is a good thing your wife nudged you. You might have missed the kiss that seals the deal.
    Nicely written account of a speical day.

    • November 29, 2011 at 1:54 pm

      Thank you Isadora. Music always has affected me personally more so than any other art form. It just resonates within me.

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