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First rule of wedding TV: it’s all about the bride

It's remarkable how many people still labor under the illusion that weddings are simple, happy occasions. Doesn't anyone watch television? Doesn't anyone watch “Bridezillas”? “Bridezillas” aired as a FOX special in early 2004, and has lived on as a WE show ever since. At first, it focused primarily on apparently normal women who became wildly overinvested in wedding planning. But in subseq
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It's remarkable how many people still labor under the illusion that weddings are simple, happy occasions. Doesn't anyone watch television? Doesn't anyone watch “Bridezillas”?

“Bridezillas” aired as a FOX special in early 2004, and has lived on as a WE show ever since. At first, it focused primarily on apparently normal women who became wildly overinvested in wedding planning. But in subsequent seasons, it's become a lunatic fringe free-for-all. Not content to snipe at wedding planners, caterers, and photographers, the Bridezillas now shriek at family members, friends, members of the clergy, and whoever else stands between them and the weddings of their sweaty, fevered dreams.

There is other bridal-themed television, of course. WE alone carries not only “Bridezillas,” but also “Bulging Brides” (in which brides try to slim down for their weddings), “Platinum Weddings” (a gauzy fantasy piece about the weddings of people who are so rich that they don't have to yell at anyone), and “Rich Bride, Poor Bride” (focusing on non-fancy weddings on cramped budgets). TLC offers “Say Yes To The Dress,” which invites you to spend an hour watching other people shop for clothes, while the Style Network has “Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?”, an examination of the secret lives of wedding planners.

But what all these shows have in common is their capacity to educate. Many of us have never been inside the wedding of a crazy person, or an extremely rich person, or a person whose dress doesn't fit. What can you learn from wedding television?


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truetruefalsetruefalsetruefalsetruetrueGroom, shmoom. First and foremost, wedding television teaches that the wedding is the bride's day. Not the groom's day. The groom can have some other day. It's not clear when in the next, say, 50 years that day may come, but it is certainly not his wedding day, when the appropriate thing for him to do is quiet down, get a haircut, and thank his lucky stars he's being allowed to go at all. In one recent episode, a bride educated her husband-to-be by threatening him with a “knuckle sandwich” if he didn't sit down and write his vows. There's nothing like a threat of physical violence to place your special someone in the perfect frame of mind to sit down and compose those warm words of love. For better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, before and after I receive a knuckle sandwich — the way it should be. The way a princess has always dreamed.

The correct time to start worrying about fitting into your dress is about a week before your wedding. Very often, a Bridezilla will have a final fitting and learn that her dress does not fit. It fit before, but it does not fit now, which can mean only one thing: she did not yell loudly enough, and her dress grew smaller.

Note that this is very different from what it means if your bridesmaids' dresses do not fit. That means your bridesmaids should be placed on strict diets at once (you may need a whistle for this) and told that they will not be in the wedding unless they manage to lose, say, five pounds in a week and a half. On one memorable occasion, a bride also locked the refrigerator so that none of her bridesmaids could eat during her shower. Because really, nothing endears you to the hearts of your close friends like depriving them of food so that you don't have to look at their flabby arms in your wedding pictures.


Hot trends in celeb weddings

May 7: Rosie Amodio, editor of InStyle Weddings, shares this season's top matrimonial trends with TODAY's Natalie Morales.


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trueH6falsetrue1At a really good wedding, what people remember is the food. Many people who have attended weddings do not actually remember the food. Instead, because of bad planning on the part of the couple, guests remember irrelevant details like crying at the ceremony, having fun, dancing, or being happy. This means that the food was poorly chosen. Perhaps the cake was wrongly paired with raspberry glaze instead of boysenberry glaze. It turns out, we learn from wedding television, that if you spend enough money on the food, then in a year, everyone will be talking about how good the food was, instead of talking about trivia like how happy you looked.

(None of this applies, of course, to your bridesmaids, who should continue not eating during your reception if you are planning to have additional pictures taken later. This also may save money.)

If God wanted your loved ones to make their own fun, he would have made them disc jockeys. Your friends need your guidance. At the rehearsal, they need you to tell them where to stand. At your wedding, they need the guidance of announcements so that they know when to make toasts in your honor, when to watch you cut the cake, and when to dance. In fact, on one recent episode of “Bridezillas,” several individuals who had been tasked with expressing their love for the couple in the form of toasts fell down on the job and had to be disciplined. Unstructured free time is for small children's birthday parties, not for weddings. Telling everyone what to do during every moment of your reception is the best way to ensure that everyone has the good time you intend for them to have.

Nothing is ugly if it costs enough. “Platinum Weddings” is especially helpful in teaching the lesson that the mere fact that something looks ugly doesn't mean it actually is ugly. Often, it is not ugly; it's just very expensive. In one episode, the floral designer was very excited about several large tree-like structures in the reception hall that appeared to be made from deceased roadside bushes and plastic flowers. When it was revealed, however, that the floral budget was $40,000, it became perfectly clear that these trees could not possibly be ugly.

Similarly, from time to time, you may spot a dress that makes the bride look lumpy or washed-out, but when you learn that she paid more for it than you did for your car, you realize that you have a long way to go before you have good taste.

There is no one who maybe should not wear a strapless dress. You will notice that in day-to-day life, many women choose not to go strapless. But a few episodes of “Say Yes To The Dress” will show you that almost everyone should wear a strapless wedding dress. A good wedding dress, after all, does not just flatter; it grabs, wrangles, shapes, hoists, and buttresses. People love to stare at interesting feats of engineering and physics; why do you think the Eiffel Tower is popular?