Going to the Chapel

Now that the calendar page has flipped to May, it is officially wedding season. I know that people can and do get married any time of the year, but May-September seems to be when most people decide to get hitched. The warmer weather opens up the opportunity for an outdoor wedding and makes it easier for travel for out of town guests. I’ve already noticed on Facebook the uptick of people saying that they went to weddings last weekend and I imagine that this is only going to become more and more prevalent as the summer wears on.

I am something of a professional wedding guest; I’ve attended over 30 weddings and have been invited to over 40. That seems like a lot to me, especially since very few of these weddings were family related and none of them did I attend as someone’s plus one. Nope – I earned my way into every one of these weddings on my own; no “plus one” coattail riding to pad my stats. Most of these weddings are for sorority sisters, but there are plenty of grad school friends, co-workers and other college friends sprinkled in there. I’ve been a bridesmaid twice, maid of honor once and have done a reading at one wedding. I take it as a compliment that so many people have asked me to be part of their special day, but that is a lot of electric sliding for one person to do and I’ll admit that I suffer from a little wedding fatigue. One particularly crazy summer I had six weddings to go to – between the bridal showers, bachelorette parties and the ceremonies, that’s basically all I did. This summer, for the first time since I turned 20, it appears that I won’t have any weddings to go to this year. There is always the chance that I’ll get an unexpected invite, but I can’t even think of anyone that I know that is engaged so unless some people are making some life decisions pretty quickly, 2013 may end my wedding streak.

May is often a busy time for weddings on television as well, as shows are wrapping up their seasons with big events. I’d be curious if anyone ever did any stats on this, but I’m willing to bet that most weddings on television fall during either sweeps weeks or season finales. Weddings tend to get eyeballs on a show, so it makes sense that they would want to get the ratings when it would help them the most. If done right, a wedding episode of a show can be among the most memorable episodes of the season, if not the series.

A lot of fictional characters have walked down the aisle over the years – if you include soap operas, that number probably triples – and some have found the right balance to stir something in the heart of even this seasoned wedding pro who has pretty much seen it all. The weddings below are among my favorite television weddings – all of them bring something sweet or memorable to the table or are just fitting for their characters. I may even re-watch these episodes to fill my wedding void this summer. I just wish they came with an open bar.

Jim and Pam’s wedding – The Office

In my opinion, this is one of the last great episodes that The Office has done; viewers have watched the courtship of Pam and Jim since the very beginning and it was the major storyline that drew me into the show. So it was only fitting that this episode incorporated the craziness of The Office, but also its heart. Added bonus that it took place in Niagara Falls, a place I am fairly familiar with. This is pretty much the gold standard by which I judge all television weddings.


Izzy and Alex – Grey’s Anatomy

I knew I was breaking up with Grey’s Anatomy when this episode aired – I was tired of all the melodrama and there were some very questionable story lines that just weren’t doing it for me anymore (ghost Denny was the worst). I’ll never forgive them for the ill-advised George and Izzy relationship, which made no sense at all. But damn it if this episode didn’t make me almost rethink my decision to abandon the show. The Meredith/Derek wedding was a big deal, but when they gave up their own wedding day to give Izzy her day, I’ll admit that there were a lot of tears shed at my place that night.


My only real beef with the episode is weren’t there guests at the wedding, presumably family members, that were only there to see Derek and Meredith get married? It was a nice gesture, but if I dropped some cash money on airfare and a gift and wound up watching two people I don’t know get married, I’d feel a little annoyed.


Phoebe and Mike – Friends

Friends has had its fair share of weddings, but I was always especially fond of Pheobe’s, which at first glance is a surprise as she was not one of my favorite characters. However, I thought the wedding was a nice representation of her kooky personality and I enjoyed the way they all pulled together to give Phoebe her special day, snowstorm or not. It was actually a beautiful ceremony – this coming from a person who doesn’t like snow – and it managed to both sweet and funny (my favorite line “I’ll be my something blue.”). In the end, all that mattered was that Phoebe and Mike were together and that she was surrounded by her friends. I don’t watch many Friends episodes in repeats, but if I see this one on I always stop to watch it.

Leon and Scott – Roseanne

A show that was always ahead of its time, Roseanne featured a same sex wedding in 1995 back before most people were even comfortable with the idea of gay and lesbian couples. The ceremony itself is played for laughs and has more than its fair share of stereotypes, but at the end of the day it was really about two people that loved each other being joined together. The fact that this was on television in the mid-nineties still blows my mind.


Robert and Amy – Everybody Loves Raymond

When Amy and Robert finally tied the knot, it is no surprise that the ceremony was kind of a train wreck. The two families don’t really get along and whenever the Barrone’s are expected to act appropriately, they don’t. But what I really loved about this episode was Amy and Robert’s wedding dance. It fit their personalities and allowed them to have a little fun on a day that hadn’t exactly gone according to plan.


April and Andy – Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation knows how to do a wedding – Leslie and Ben’s earlier this year was also fantastic, but I have to give the edge to April and Andy as this wedding was a surprise (or, was supposed to be a surprise, except all the NBC promos gave it away). But if there was ever a TV couple that was going to randomly get married after a few months of dating and do so in a Indianapolis Colt’s jersey, Andy and April were the ones to do it. Their vows are spot on and totally represent who they are.


Whitley and Dwayne – A Different World

One of the few things that I’ve never seen at a wedding is someone objecting or declaring their undying love for one of the people about to get married; in theory that’s pretty exciting, but in practice I’m sure that is more drama than I can actually handle and would just be awkward for a lot of people. But I can vicariously live that scenario out in Whitley and Dwayne’s wedding. This scene totally encapsulates their on again/off again relationship. They belonged together, though it would have been nice if they figured that out before Whitley was set to marry someone else.


What are some of your favorite television weddings? Sound off in the comments section below.


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