The romance between viewers and television weddings started with a bang in 1981. In July of that year over 750 million people watched as Lady Diana Spencer married Prince Charles. Later that same year the fictional characters of Luke Spencer (no relation to the former) and Laura Webber were married in a lavish ceremony with Elizabeth Taylor as a surprise guest. This is still the highest rated hour in daytime soap opera history with 30 million+ viewers.
Since then we were riveted while movies, seriesm specials and reality television took over the wedding venue. Of course reality tv is a guilty pleasure many watcha nd few admit. There are currently 20+ wedding-related reality shows on various channels ranging from extremely popular to struggling viewership. This doesn’t even include cake and decor related shows and specials, or The Knot on demand.
The hunger for these shows is never-ending and based on two things: trainwrecks and fairytales. We watch the trainwrecks to feel better about ourselves and we watch the fairytales hoping that could be us one day. Using that basic formula the networks know that if they build it – we will come. The highest rated shows tease us with the hope that there may be a trainwreck within a fairytale or vice versa. Sometimes it happens, and when it does……. it is a hit!
Say Yes to the Dress has a simple plot: Find your dream gown in a 35,000 square foot iconic Bridal Salon in Manhattan. Brides from around the world have flocked to Kleinfeld’s Bridal for generations in hopes of locating the gown of their dreams. The best part of the show is the interaction between brides, their family and the staff. Sometimes you get to see the happy ending and sometimes you get to see a near-catfight among the salon guests. Catfight? $25,00 gown? Happy ending? Where do I sign up?
This is a perfect mix of good and bad and I always walk away feeling satisfied. Not so much with the Altanta version.
Bridezilla is not as easy to watch. Maybe it is the years I spent in bridal retail, maybe it is my mother’s upbringing … I dont know. But there is something about this show that give me heart palpitations. If I have to listen as one more bride demands to have things “her way or the highway”, I think I might throw something at the tv. These women exist in real life as well as on tv and my advice is to avoid them at all costs. Watch if you must.
Amazing Wedding Cakes has only one down-side. Yes, it is exhilarating to watch as these talented pros create art from flour and suger. The problem is that they also give the illusion that baking and delivering a 5 tiered cake is not as hard as it looks. What I love most is watching the chefs and bakers work with their creations, how quickly their nimble fingers make a blob of icing look like an actual tea rose. They way they move their hands is hypnotic. This show should come with a disclaimer-” Warning: watching this show might give you the temporary impression that the tasks you are about to watch are easy. Do Not Try This At Home!”
Platinum weddings allows us to experience the wedding of the uber-wealthy. With colossal budgets come colossal demands and this show is a real tribute to the wedding planners and how well they are able to organize and execute these demands. You will not see any Bridezillas here. These women pay someone to get mad for them and it is usually the wedding planner. Watch as each planner delivers all of the couple’s request, whether it is the hand-monogrammed table linens or 600 flower centerpieces. This show delivers the goods every time and although there are rarely any nail-biters, the drama is still there. It’s in the details.
David Tutera made a name for himself as a highly sought-after wedding planner many years before his reality show began broadcasting into our homes. What this show accomplishes is genius. It takes one part trainwreck and sprinkles it with magic dust to turn it into a fairytale. Mr. Tutera can turn a swamp into something magical and he does this everyt ime. The lucky brides are so thrilled to have him on board and they trust his style so there is smooth sailing – usually. When you hear the crickets something is not right.
No re-cap of wedding shows would be complete without the ultimate trainwreck of all time; My Big Redneck Wedding. I dont think this needs much explanation. I can’t explain it anyway since over-all clad grooms andbrides in hunting gear makes no sense to me. Honestly I am not sure if this has any elements that I would recommendnd except one – it is a trainwreck every time. If you like trainwrecks, knock yourself out.
Don’t miss Fabulous Cakes tonight at 8 pm on TLC featuring Chicago’s very own fabulous bakers including Amy Beck who we are very proud to have as one of our preferred vendors. Best Wishes, Amy and to all of you who sacrifice to make our wedding viewing more enjoyable!
-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago