Disaster vs ‘Disaster’


Diann Valentine is coming to rescue you! Well, if you had a wedding that didn’t turn out so well, that is. The celebrity planner who has worked for Usher, Toni Braxton, and a host of other famous folk is now doing her WETV series I Do Over to help the hapless whose wedding dreams crashed into a solid wall of reality.

So I watched an episode.

The Santinis had been married for eighteen years (hey! that’s how long Mr. Twistie and I have been married!) but never got over the horror of their wedding day. You see, they hired someone to make the bridesmaids dresses who didn’t get them done in time. She had promised delivery on the day of the wedding to the church… and apparently nobody thought that plan to be potentially fraught with disaster.

The big day arrived, but the bridesmaids dresses didn’t, much to the consternation of all aware of the situation. For some reason passing all understanding, when the bride’s grandmother began foaming at the mouth about having the bridesmaids wear the groomsmen’s shirts, nobody pressed a cold compress to her forehead or called the paramedics. Instead, they listened to her.

And so it was that the bridesmaids marched up the aisle wearing the now bare-chested groomsmen’s shirts and matching high heels. One bridesmaid was tall enough that the shirt tails didn’t entirely cover her underpants.

Mrs. Santini left the church howling ‘I need a drink!’ and has been distraught over her wedding photos and video ever since.

Then Diann Valentine swooped in and fixed everything… eighteen years later.

I had some hope for this show, based on the fever dream that it might not wind up a painful hybrid of My Fair Wedding and Queen for a Day.

Also? While I detest My Fair Wedding with a passion beyond description, I do have to admit that when David Tutera gets done planning a wedding, it’s usually a pretty nice wedding. It may be provided with scads of eye-rolling and paternalistic weasel crap, but it’s a pretty event in the end. As much of a complete set of tools as Mr. Tutera comes off, he would never allow a groom to arrive at his wedding wearing a hat that was obviously too large for his head. Ms. Valentine picked that hat. Then she showed up wearing a gown that looked like something I saw Morticia Addams donating to Good Will recently.

And of course this show – like so many other wedding reality shows – wants you to swallow a huge dose of ‘see? it’s impossible to do this without a professional planner because you’re really just a gibbering idiot’ without even noticing you’re doing it. Valentine has said in press releases that if only these couples had had a real event planner on hand, these disasters would never have happened.

Okay, I can see how a planner might have helped in the case of the missing bridesmaid’s dresses. She could have counseled the couple to buy from a shop, or not give over the work to someone who didn’t intend to deliver before the actual wedding day. If the dresses didn’t turn up, she could have come up with a much better plan B than turning a church wedding into some sort of intramural strip club theme… but then again, so could one single random person with their head screwed on straight.

All it would have taken would be one person telling all the bridesmaids to run home, get their nicest dress in roughly the same length as the original dresses (or a similar color, or whatever was going to pull them together visually at the altar), and hurry back dressed in those. Would it have been utter perfection? No, of course not. You can’t guarantee that any five random women – even in 1992 – would all have tea length teal dresses in their closets. But would it have been a bazillion times better than what granny came up with? You bet your sweet bippy, it would!

So, yeah, not really absolutely necessary to have a wedding planner to come up with a solution. And I can’t think that having an event planner running the show would have helped in particular with the groom with a heart condition who flatlined during the vows. I’m thinking the paramedic best man at that wedding was a lot more useful. He got the groom’s ticker back on track with CPR.

So with all of this leaving a bit of a bad taste in my mouth, I have to say I love the story I ran across this morning about Mike and Nancy Rogers. The happy couple hails from Nova Scotia and this is a real photo of their wedding day:

See that burning building behind the beaming couple? Yeah, that was to have been their wedding venue, otherwise known as the late White Point resort.

The eighty-three year old mostly wooden building caught fire while Nancy and Mike were getting ready for their big moment in two of the outlying cabins on the property. The couple still wanted to get married that day, no matter where they had to do it. The quick-thinking staff moved the event to another outlying building that was in no immediate danger, and the ceremony went on as planned… or at least as close to as planned as possible.

This is the second marriage for both Mike and Nancy, and that might have made them just a bit more philosophical about the whole incident:

“Our last weddings were picture-perfect; nothing went wrong. But the marriages didn’t work out,” she says. “Rocky wedding, fantastic marriage is the way we see it.”

The general manager of the resort is also confident that they can rebuild and reopen. I wish them every luck with that plan!

As for Mike and Nancy, I think they’re creating their own luck. But I wish them well, too.

Somehow I don’t think they feel the need to call anyone in to fix what happened to them.

One Response to “Disaster vs ‘Disaster’”

  1. Katie November 18, 2011 at 5:56 am #

    Well, the photo in front of the fire is pretty amazing. And you can pretty much guarantee that no one else will have one like it!