I’ve only seen two episodes of WETV’s My Fair Wedding with David Tutera. I don’t think I’ll be watching more. Here’s the description on the official website:
Our all-new original series, My Fair Wedding, brings in a dream team, led by celebrity party planner David Tutera, on behalf of beleaguered friends and family members, to transform what could be a disaster wedding into a platinum style affair.
In other words, this party planner and his team swoop down at the last minute to inform brides that their plans make less sense than Ozzie Osborne attempting to read James Joyce aloud to a roomful of otters on speed, changes everything about the wedding (gown, cake, bridesmaid’s dresses, flowers, catering menu, music, yes, even the location) to make it more tasteful. Possibilities are dangled before the bride, but on her wedding day she wakes up not even knowing where she’s getting married, let alone any of the other minor details. You know, like whether David picked the gown she really loved or one that she didn’t particularly like.
And in the tradition of makeover shows that seriously steam my corn, it appears to be the case that it’s a friend or family member who has ratted out the tasteless bride. I’m fine with shows like Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style where the makeover-ee has personally requested the help and is given tools that will aid her in making more flattering style choices that fit her life and personal tastes. My fury knows no bounds over shows like What Not to Wear and How Do I Look? wherein the person being made over is hijacked into the experience, given little – if any – control over the process, and then released into the wild knowing mostly that she needs to pay more attention to someone else’s sense of style than her own.
Guess which sort of show I think My Fair Wedding more closely resembles?
The thing I think I hate most, though, isn’t the hijacking, the lack of control, or even the ritual humiliation of the silly bride who thinks that it’s possible to plan a wedding by herself because she’s laboring under the sad delusion that women do this every day and hey, it’s not exactly rocket science. Don’t get me wrong. I detest all these things with the flaming fury of a thousand avenging vengeance weasels.
So what annoys me most about My Fair Wedding? You’ll have to follow the cut to find out.
It’s the conflation of taste and budget.
In one of the two episodes I saw, the bride had a princess vision for her wedding. She really did want to be Cinderella. Okay, I’m down with that. Not my thing, but I had my wedding and this is her wedding. If she wants pink and tulle and to feel like she’s dancing with Prince Charming, I have absolutely no problem with that. Neither did Mr. Tutera. I think. He rolled his eyes a lot, but I think it was mostly because of the way the bride was going about achieving her dream.
For one thing, she was going to scatter faux rose petals on the tables as her centerpiece. I’ll agree with Mr. Tutera that as centerpieces for a fairy princess go, that could leave something to be desired. It’s primary advantage, however, is obvious to the meanest intelligence and even the meanest person: it doesn’t cost much to do.
Come the wedding day, the bride was led into her reception hall. It was much larger and much fancier than the place she’d originally booked for her big day. It was also filled with thousands upon thousands of pink roses and white candles in hugely tall golden candlesticks. Mr. Tutera chided her again about her pitiful handful of fake petals and informed her that this is what a little taste can do.
He’s wrong. Taste might have improved upon the fake petals, but it doesn’t pay for three foot tall golden candlesticks and massive clusters of perfect pink roses. Taste does not pay for fancy halls or designer dresses. Taste does not pay for the difference between rubber chicken and perfectly seared filet mignon served with tiger prawns. Taste doesn’t pay for a live band or a cake designed by a famous name baker covered in pink fondant and gold dust. It doesn’t pay for dance lessons or Jimmy Choo shoes.
Taste is something you cannot buy. It also does not require a budget of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Obviously a big part of the charm of this show for the bride is the fact that between the show’s budget and the product placements, she’s going to be getting a much fancier wedding than she’d originally expected. Going from that budget line bargain gown and a reception dinner consisting of the least expensive items off the low-end caterer’s menu to a fabulous designer gown and caviar apps followed by an elegant meal by a fabulous chef is a pretty tempting proposition. And to the show’s credit, they do follow the original theme of the wedding, whether it’s Disney princess or South Beach.
What I would really prefer to see, though, is a show where the bride calls in the helpful team herself, gives the planners the same budget she had to work with, and can nix any ideas the planners come up with that she dislikes, no matter what her reason. Oh wait! That’s how weddings are done every day. Silly me.
Good taste can, indeed, work miracles. It just can’t make the budget fifty times what it was in the beginning. I’d really love to see someone out there acknowledge that fact when it comes to weddings.