This past weekend, Josh and I had the privilege of attending a most lovely wedding. And just like at every other wedding I’ve attended, I wept tears of joy. The air at weddings positively radiates with high energy and a spectrum of emotions. Being in the middle of a sea of people, who have all come at the same time and place to bear witness to a couple declaring their promise of love forever, it gets me…every time.
I don’t remember exactly when I started watching the television show Four Weddings on TLC but I feel like it was in the latter portion of 2010. I stumbled upon it, somehow, but remember being immediately hooked. I’ll be the first to admit that I have a love of terrible, terrible reality shows. For, don’t be fooled, although weddings are wonderful, the show Four Weddings is terrible… but in the most awesome way possible.
The show follows four brides who are all getting married at roughly the same time period in roughly the same location as they attend each others weddings… and then judge/critique them on a scale of 1-10. The judging is comprised of four categories: dress, venue, food, and overall experience. The winner receives a “dream honeymoon”.
The show is broken up into seven segments: the contestant intro reel, the initial meet-and-greet luncheon for the brides, packages from the four separate weddings, and then the winner’s surprise reveal. At the meet-and greet, there are champagne toasts of best wishes for “four beeee-you-tiful weddings,” but don’t be mistaken… the game is ON.
The contestant intro reel introduces us to each bride, showing snippets of them planning their weddings and telling the story of their relationship, and their plans for the big day. It also reveals their budget and details: i.e. $18,000 and 300 guests. The package is cleverly edited to show the juxtapository nature of the brides. And, to their credit, the show tries to get four very different brides.
Spoilers: there is much cattiness. Not all brides are catty, but it is certainly funny to watch. Which is terrible, I know. My guilt is assuaged by the fact that these ladies volunteered for this, knowing exactly what was going to happen. Though I always feel bad for the bride who places last. Although there are concessionary refrains of “I got to marry my husband, so I’m already a winner”, I can’t imagine it feels great to know that three other people HATED your dress. The winner is revealed as the brides wait curbside at a beautiful location. A limousine pulls up containing the winning groom with a bouquet of flowers and an envelope containing the location of their destination honeymoon. I will give this show credit… they are not handing out rinky-dink honeymoon packages. There is no “you will be staying at the Pink Flamingo Motel in beautiful, downtown Cincinnati…”. It’s preemo stuff: like Bali, and Tahiti.
Some humorous things for which to look: since the show doesn’t have enough money to pay for music licensing, the editors super-impose generic, sound-alike music on top of say, a bride dancing with her dad to “Butterfly Kisses”. If you listen real hard to the audio between sound bites, you can generally pick it out. Additionally, there have been two seasons shot in Canada. Which means there are some hijinks- mainly in the judging, though… with the scores being tallied using the metric system– j/k… though they are scored using quarters (i.e. 6.25, 7.5, 8.75). Josh and I also enjoy watching the apparently universal debate between buffet and plated dinners. The one thing I’ve learned from this show is that there is no perfect wedding. Nothing ever goes without a hitch.
The show is in it’s seventh season, with reruns airing on TLC frequently– for those of you with cable. For those of you without cable, there is a season of it on Netflix, as well. For those of you with neither, as Jeff Probst from Survivor would say, “head back to the camp, I’ve got nothing for you.”
What do you think? Are you a sucker for weddings? Does the concept of this show sound unpalatable? As always, let us know!