The piano ballad opens with a gentle piano version of Felix Mendelssohn's famous "Wedding March
," which commonly plays as the bridal party files out at the end of the service.
Mendelssohn originally wrote "The Wedding March" in 1843 as part of his suite of incidental music for a production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream
. He used it as the backdrop for the climactic wedding scene in the play.
We have Queen Victoria to thank again for popularizing its use in marriage services. "The Wedding March" was played at the marriage of the Queen's eldest daughter, Victoria, and Friedrich of Prussia on January 25, 1858, after which it became a popular wedding recessional.