Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Don't Tell the Bride

Have you seen the BBC television show, Don't Tell the Bride? 

The premise is that a groom gets $20,000 and has a month to plan a dream wedding for his bride. The catch is that they can have no contact prior to the wedding and the bride can have no input. As with any (un)reality TV show, you have to suspend your disbelief. Who would risk everything going wrong on their wedding day? And, it's been rumored that the producers purposely undermine the wedding day just enough to (gasp!) create tension which can result in a happy ending. 

I admit that I've seen parts of two episodes and there are some nuggets we can glean.

Lesson #1: The grooms do much better than you might imagine. Afterwards, they have a much greater appreciation of how much hard work goes into planning a wedding.

Lesson #2: The brides are more forgiving than you might imagine.

Lesson #3: The biggest sticking point seems to be selecting a wedding gown. Brides have definite ideas about what they want, and the grooms are usually clueless. 

One groom designed the dress himself, complete with RED boning on the corset bodice and red lacing in the back. It had a slightly goth flavor. His mother counseled him that ivory would be more suitable, and to his credit, he wisely took her suggestion. His bride still hated the dress when she saw it the day before the wedding. So, he scrapped his plan and bought the dress of her dreams. Good man. This marriage might last.

Lesson #4: Weddings are as expensive in England as they are in San Francisco and the $20,000 budget doesn't go very far. If the groom rents the castle (literally) of his dreams, there is very little left to pay for everything else. The invitations are likely to be flyers printed at Kinko's (but sealed with red wax), the decor will be balloons not flowers, the linens will be paper tablecloths not linen, the cake will come from a supermarket and the meal may be a BBQ. But the castle, horse drawn carriage, elaborate lighting and belly dancers will be great. It's always a matter of priorities. And goofy priorities make for lively reality TV entertainment. 

Lesson #5: In the end, it's all about how well the groom knows his bride's preferences and taste and how well both the bride and groom understand that starting with the wedding, marriage is all about compromise and pleasing the other person.

Lesson #6: Those British accents are so darned cute.

No comments: