The new Golden Age of Television has seen more marriages than Pamela Anderson’s Wikipedia page. But the best part of these weddings is not (just) rewatching them to relive the emotional moments, it’s witnessing some stunning weddings that you can use as inspiration for your own.
To help you harness everything you have learned, we’ve put together this list of tips for TV-worthy weddings so you can cover all the televisual bases in your own wedding planning.
Choose a cinematic venue
What’s the most important part of a good wedding episode? That’s right, the actors. Unfortunately for you, you have to cast your own family and friends in all the lead roles of your wedding.
What’s the second most important part of a good wedding episode? Sorry writers, the answer is the sets. A good set is what it takes to really make a TV wedding stand out, so you need to take some time to choose the real life version of a TV set for your wedding, known to most as a venue.
Only the best venues will live up to weddings on TV. Some stately homes allow happy couples to host their big days on their regal premises. Sandon Hall has become one of the best-regarded wedding venues in Staffordshire for its grand, old-school Downton Abbey-like pomp. It was even featured on an episode of Don’t Tell the Bride, making it an ideal choice for fans of period drama and reality TV alike.
If you are planning to recreate an even older-school, Sudeley Castle in the Cotswolds offers a more medieval wedding feel. Just make sure none of your guests betray you at the last minute, Game of Thrones-style.
Then there’s Tudor mansion Hengrave Hall in Suffolk, perfect for a wedding themed around The Tudors or Wolf Hall. (Again, watch out for betrayal.) Coronation Street’s Michelle Keegan and Countdown’s Rachel Riley both got married here. But not to each other.
Wedding planning down to the small details
Continuing our rundown of the most important elements of a TV show, we can now turn to set dressing. In wedding planning, set dressing manifests as a dedication to the little details of a wedding that make a huge difference. Details like realistic fake snow in a wedding based on Phoebe’s in Friends; realistic armour on the guards at your Game of Thrones ceremony; or realistic plastic raincoats in a wedding based on The Office (US) are what you need to bear in mind.
You can keep an eye on all of these details with your own eagle eyes, or you can hire a luxury wedding planner like Snapdragon, who themselves have appeared on a Channel 4 TV
program. For them, and others in the wedding planning industry, no detail is too small, no touch too unimportant to get exactly right. Craftsmanship will be as appreciated in the table centrepieces, in the room decor, all the way to the menu lettering, as it is by the bride in her wedding gown.
Taking into consideration the little details may be as simple as paying attention to a theme, making sure all costumes and equipment is period accurate (though, as we have seen with the recent hit Victoria, that is not something all TV shows are too concerned with).
Detailed wedding planning can also mean checking that everyone arrives on time, knows where to sit, has enough to drink and doesn’t get into any arguments. You wouldn’t want a family spat to ruin your wedding, unless you are trying to recreate something from Eastenders.
Dress the part
If you are still interested in keeping track of the hierarchy of TV needs, you need to know that set dressing is not in fact the most important type of dressing involved in a TV show. No matter how important it is, set dressing is dwarfed by actual dressing.
TV wedding dresses are so important to Nielsen-rated nuptials that Brides.com has an article on The Best TV Wedding Dresses, and another on The 24 Most Unforgettable Wedding Dresses in Television History.
From the eight traditional wedding dresses from Friends to the embroidered Game of Thrones gowns and Leslie Knope’s newspaper dress from Parks & Rec, TV wedding gowns can be glamorous, extravagant or quirky. Make sure yours suits your character. You may want to get a bespoke dress based on your specific tastes and preferences (or ‘character traits’ as they are known on TV) or you could even recreate the Parks & Rec newspaper dress yourself.