Tick, tick, tick tock…Seems like it was only yesterday that I got engaged, and now it’s one year to go. 12 months. 52 weeks. “It will fly by”, friends tell me. I’m not sure if I’m excited or anxious by this prospect. Probably both. I like to imagine myself as a runner sprinting from the blocks as the starting gun is pulled. But hold on – what if the metaphorical hamstring of this primed athlete pops, leaving me a staggering, limping, weeping, deflated ball of bridal chaos? I’ve had a tendency to whizz off at the speed of light ever since that ring slippped on my finger. Church. Booked. Reception. Booked. Snapper. Done. Dress. Bought. Planning genius. Apart from when I panic. Which is all the time. So, what do I do now? Wait, I guess. And you know what that means. Television wedding shows. Lots of them. I’ve been soaking them up faster than the British public has absorbed Royal Baby hysteria.
Four Weddings. Don’t Tell the Bride. Say Yes to the Dress: US Bridesmaids Version – a personal favourite and terrifying programme. Think ‘uh uh uuuuhhh’ (*whilst shaking head and finger-wagging*). ‘You know you wanna…’ ‘Mama-in-law knows best’, ‘It’s just a goddamn hot mess’..’No waaay. mmm mmm, I ain’t wearing that dress unless they have it in honeydew melon…etc etc. Best episode was when the sister of the bride, who was also getting married, started picking dresses for her own bridesmaids. Ensue pushing, shoving, just the right dose of hair pulling and sulking on a mammoth scale. Excellent.
Wedding Wars. Ok, I made that one up. But that, in essence is what the other three programmes are about. It’s a battlefield out there.
Now this isn’t just a mild obsession. It’s got to the point where I’ve recorded so many of them I fear the Sky Plus Box is about to explode, Fatboy Slim video style. (See link below).
“I’ve had enough Louise – please don’t make me absorb any more data containing these utterly pointless programmes that you’re addicted to. Mayday, mayday. We have a problem. Freak. Boom.”
Four Weddings is a despicable programme encapsulating everything that’s wrong about our society. In a nutshell, crazy brides mark each other’s weddings. I love it. The sole premise of the programme – winning a luxury honeymoon – gives it a fatal flaw and predictable outcome: clearly each bride is going to give her competitors very low scores. “I didn’t like the food. “I’m a fruitio-hydro-octogenarian.” “It was too chavvy.” “It was too snobby.” “Her great great uncle was drunk.” “If I had her figure I wouldn’t have worn a dress as big as that.” Ouch.
Don’t Tell the Bride is also a cracker. If any of the brides had a shred of intelligence – and let’s face it, that’s unlikely in most cases – they would tell their betrothed exactly what they wanted before being whisked round to the lawyer with TV camera in tow to sign those papers obliging them to go ahead with whatever befalls them. Which is usually a hungover groom, a dress that wouldn’t look out of place on one of my granny’s toilet rolls and the mother of the bride pretending those tears from the front pew are ones of joy. Just don’t let her get her hands on the cake knife.
My favourite episode is the Las Vegas one, where the groom thought blowing half the budget on a week-long stagger in Sin City was a good idea. Better still, he held the wedding there. Just a wee problem: not enough pennies for the bride’s family to come. Including her brother. And one of the bridesmaids. Result? Sister of the bride at airport clutching phone to tear-stained face: “You’ve torn this family apart.” Ladies and gentlemen, I give you that well-known industry phrase, TV gold.
Ah, but it was happy ever after (grammatically this makes me baulk. Eurgh). Because she still travelled thousands of miles to marry him and his gambling ways. And who says love is dead?