Things I Would Love to See… But Don’t Expect


Sometimes when I’m watching bridal reality TV, my brain isn’t sitting with me on the sofa listening to yet another woman whine about her controlling/uncaring parents/fiance/bridesmaids or concentrating too hard on what precise gown details will make or break her wedding. It’s off on its own dreaming dreamy dreams in fields of flowers about the things it would be so very refreshing to see on those same shows.

You see, after a while it’s easy to get terribly jaded about bridal reality, and then it becomes easy to get terribly jaded about weddings in general. The same tired tropes get trotted out in episode after episode as if they were brand new and shiny and oh so true… even when they bear no resemblance to any reality I’ve ever seen.

Here are a few things I’ve witnessed (or even done myself!) in real weddings that I would love to see on bridal reality… but I’m not holding my breath.


I’d love to see an involved groom who isn’t portrayed as either a blithering idiot or a control freak in training to play the Charles Boyer role in Gaslight.

In reality some grooms are involved in the wedding. Others absent themselves from the process. Most of the ones I know who absented themselves did so not because they didn’t have opinions or didn’t care about getting married, but because they had had it drilled into their heads practically from the day they were born that their job was to show up on time and shut up until told to say ‘I do.’ Most of the ones I’ve known who got involved had some really great ideas to add, and were perfectly capable of articulating them… even (GASP! CONSTERNATION!)carrying some of them out.

It still takes two people to get married, and there is no genetic reason men can’t participate fully in their own weddings. I’d love to see that acknowledged.

Extra points if a wedding planner ever sides with a groom… or indeed, any man on the planet.

Speaking of wedding planners, I’d love to see just one get fired for really screwing things up. There was an episode of Whose Wedding is it Anyway? a long time ago where the planner took an eight thousand dollar backyard wedding and managed to turn it into a thirty thousand dollar backyard wedding, even after the bride managed to borrow a lot of decorative items from friends with resources! Then, the night before the wedding, the planner realized she’d underestimated the amount of fabric needed for the huge curtain she had planned by some fifty yards. Every time the bride asked how much things cost, she was more or less told not to worry her pretty head about it.

If that woman had been in any business other than wedding planning, very few clients would have put up with that. But the bride said she would hire her all over again! I wonder if she said the same thing when the bills started coming in.

I’ve watched planners ignore their clients’ wishes, treat the groom like an annoyance, allow budgets to skyrocket without suggesting a single item to cut, deceive parents, and flat out treat the bride with contempt, all without any consequence to themselves.

Yes, I’ve also seen some tremendously talented people do excellent work and treat their clients like intelligent, responsible royalty. These people are great and terribly helpful and should get lots of references and be appreciated. I’d just like to see the ones who are rotten at their jobs get their proper comeuppance.


Wouldn’t it be nice just once on a bridal reality show to watch a bride talk about her DIY project and then not hear the wacky horns of impending disaster?

Whether it’s a dress, bouquets, invitations, favors, or a cake, DIY always brings out the skeptic in wedding shows. An expert solemnly intones that the project is doomed from the outset because it isn’t being done by a professional. Well, that’s just plain poppycock!

Obviously not all DIY projects turn out well. There are some things some people just plain shouldn’t try to do on their own. But it’s not because nobody who doesn’t have professional training can’t do it; it’s because different people are better at doing different things. Just make sure you choose something you have the skills and time to do well, and you’ll be fine.

For instance, I didn’t make my gown. I don’t sew well or quickly. But one of my bridesmaids – who wasn’t a professional seamstress – handled the job more than capably. Meanwhile, I made the lace for the gown, tied the bouquets, did a fair amount of the cooking for the reception, and made the favors. Those were all things I had the time and skill to complete well.


And the number one thing I’d love to see on reality wedding television?

David Tutera…

…and Diann Valentine wrestling to the death…

… in a vat of lime Jello.

I’ve never actually seen that one happen, but I bet it would amuse me tremendously.

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