The Real Wedding Crashers

Well, we watched an episode of “The Real Wedding Crashers.” I’ll admit that we laughed at some of the stunts, but ultimately I just couldn’t shake the feeling that it shouldn’t be all that funny.

Please understand–I am not a total party pooper. I am all in favor of fun at weddings (if you’d been at our reception way back in 1992, you’d know that to be a fact!). A wedding is a celebration that’s intended to only happen once in a lifetime, so it should be light-hearted and happy. But the kind of fun they have on “The Real Wedding Crashers” doesn’t focus on the celebration, or the bride and groom, or the relationships represented by all the friends and family in attendance.

If you’re unfamiliar with the show, a group of actors–with full cooperation with the bride and groom–inserts themselves into the action, before and during the wedding, all the way into the reception. The show is advertised as being from the makers of “Punk’d,” so if you have any inkling of that show, you’ll get my drift. Some of the stunts on the episode we saw were:

*A guy with a leaf blower interrupts an outdoor wedding, blowing the rose petals around.

*A tow truck attendant attempts to tow away the father-of-the-groom’s car, which happens to have the ring in the glove compartment, and he will not allow them to get into the car to retrieve the ring until the father-of-the-groom agrees to give him a big hug.

*A waiter at the wedding takes people’s plates away before they’ve eaten even half of their food.

What really gave me pause was when the bride and groom repeatedly said things like, “We wanted this to be a day that our friends and family would remember, something that they’d never forget.”

I’m sorry, but shouldn’t every wedding be a day that the friends and family remember? I know that sometimes it seems like there’s a wedding every other weekend. Particularly when you’re “that age,” between 20 and 30, and all your friends are tying the knot. (I’m thinking we’ll be in “that age” again when we’re in our 50’s, going to all our friends’ kids‘ weddings–a frightening thought.)

I remember every single wedding I’ve been to, and they are all distinct. Yes, there were tuxedos, and a white dress, and flowers, and candles, and chicken floating in an unidentifiable sauce at pretty much all of them. But they also each took on the identity of the bride and groom, all without actors and tv cameras and national exposure. I’ve been to almost-irreverent weddings, too, when the groomsmen wrote “Help Me” on the bottom of the groom’s shoes, visible to all when he knelt for communion; when the best man, upon being asked for the ring, spread open one side of his coat to reveal a wide selection of rings with prices attached, like a street vendor; when the groomsmen (why is it always the groomsmen?) held up cards with ratings on them, from 8.5 to 10, after the first kiss. But all of those elements came directly from the friends of the couple, not a hired group of actors making a “reality” show.

Every wedding has its own identity which matches the identity of the bride and groom and their unique relationship. This is something that I noticed on the website of my friend, Sandi Evans, who photographs weddings (I swear, she’s not paying me to keep linking to her site. She’s just really good and her photos prove my point!). I don’t know personally any of the couples whose photos are showcased on her site, and yet I can get a sense of who they are just from their photos, from the fact that their weddings are so different. My favorite is the couple that dances in the midst of a flurry of bubbles. I need to meet these people.

So, we won’t be watching that show again. I don’t mean to condemn it entirely, nor will I hold it against anyone else that enjoys it. I just prefer to look at weddings as personal, unique, and lovely. And I’d rather remember them for the momentous promises that are made than the television ratings they might get.

UPDATE: I’m apparently not the only one who doesn’t love this show.

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5 thoughts on “The Real Wedding Crashers

  1. I think your points are very fair. But might it also be the personality of the couples cast for this show that they pull big stunts like this. The casting process is the couple submits a request to be on the sho or pro-activey show up at a casting call. The couple also collaborates with the show producers to determine what the gag is they want to pull and who or how rhey want it to happen. I am not sure it is different from the examples you gave (the rings with price tags, the kiss ratings, etc.) it is just a different way of going about it and they happen to do it on television. Their being on the show is a choice. I say, to each their own.

  2. Well, that’s why I said I don’t condemn the show, because I realize that the couples chose to be on the show and to cooperate with the stunts. My post is about my choice not to watch the show. I don’t view the couples as victims, I just wonder why they believe that this is the key to a wedding that will be remembered.

    It does call into question, to me at least, what the culture thinks of marriage if they think this is what needs to occur to make a wedding memorable. If the show fails, clearly the problem’s not that widespread.

  3. I’ve watched the show, and I do consider it funny. I agree with you, Mandy, and the the need to make memories this way is confusing to me. Wedding are initimate and personal reflections of the couple, or at least they should be. But, as a discussion point, how different is it from other reality shows, like the Bachelor (on dating), this does not portray real world dating – because what’s real in this world would never score ratings….it too boring! Too mundane! Too real! We, as a culture, use television and movies like this to escape the reality of our lives and enter into a “what if” or in some cases, an idealized variation of fairy tales. It’s no different to me then movies which portray romantic ideals that have no basis in most of our lives…we’ll never have a lifestyle like that. Anyway…there’s my two cents.

  4. Hey Helene! I have thoughts I would have elaborated on earlier when we talked, but they didn’t have red peppers and that just threw me all off. 😉

    Playing devil’s advocate…The difference for me with this show (while I find the pre-wedding pranks pretty darned funny) is that unlike the Bachelor or romantic movies – this show was portraying something very real. We all know what a joke the Bachelor is and that the movies are just a fairy tale being told, but with this show, those people actually got married and instead of focusing on the weight of what the ceremony and celebration was for, they wanted to be sure they paid $30k to make sure no one ever forgot the wool being pulled over their eyes.

    It’s more of a preference I guess when it comes down to it, because really, how is what any of those couples did any different from the couples that wear Star Wars costumes to their wedding. It’s a theme I guess. Not one I would want, but then again, I tend to have less of a sense of humor and am much more of a romantic. I need the fairy tale, so I dressed up like Cinderella while I said my vows.

    We didn’t see most of the actual ceremony and really the only thing that bothered me (i.e. was something I wouldn’t have chosen for myself) was the pranks going on during the ceremony – I’m with Mandy on all the groom pranks – I really think they’re very disrespectful (usually of the bride).

    I’m sure it’ll hit them about the time they’re required to fulfill those vows somewhere along the line. 😉

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