The average wedding now costs £20,000. TWENTY THOUSAND POUNDS. That’s the AVERAGE. Not, however, for the participants in C4’s new show. For them it’s free, and they don’t have to do any of the preparations either. They do, however, have to want a ‘theme’ of some kind and write their own vows. They give the Wedding House team a wish list but don’t get to see any of the clothes or decor until just before the wedding ceremony.
The first couple to enter the house are Sam and James, who have opted for an Alice in Wonderland theme. They seem very sweet, with James charmingly chilled about being plastered with make up to match his Mad Hatter outfit, and Sam thrilled with her steampunk Alice outfit complete with teeny miniskirt “I can feel a draft on my bum cheeks!”. Their wedding was entertainingly bonkers (all the guests were in costume as assorted Alice characters), but it suited them and they clearly loved every second. I will admit to tearing up a bit.
Next up were Hus and Sen. This was a very different kettle of idiots. Theirs was a Turkish theme, to reflect their heritage, and problems occurred from the start as they were an hour late arriving at the house. Neither of them seemed to be looking forward to getting hitched, with Sen stressing about becoming a wife and mother (she was 4 months pregnant) in the space of a few short months and Hus upset that his father would not be at the wedding. Any sympathy we may have felt toward Hus was quickly shattered by the hissy fit he threw at being given a pinstripe suit to wear instead of the blue he had put on the wish list. He threatened to call everything off, and delayed the wedding by almost an hour before he was talked round by Sen’s father. In fact, the wedding nearly didn’t take place – it was scheduled for 5pm, and legally weddings must take place by 6pm in the UK. The lovely Registrar Cynthia had to race through the ceremony and they were pronounced husband and wife at 5.59pm. I have one word of advice for Sen: DIVORCE.
Phil and Lou had been engaged for 4 years but hadn’t managed to find a venue that would let them include their 6 Dalmatians in the ceremony. Lou felt that telling her she couldn’t have her dogs with her was the same as telling someone they couldn’t get married with their children present. Hmmm. I’m not a dog person so I wasn’t really with her on this one. There were 30 dogs at the ceremony. 30! Think of the poop (ewww). It was pretty clear that though Phil loved Lou, if given the choice she would choose the dogs over Phil – not once did she look like she was excited to be getting married to him. I found this segment really sad – they’d been together for 16 years but didn’t seem at ease with each other at all.
On to the last wedding of the episode, that of am dram enthusiasts Barry and Delia. I was relieved that they were another sweet couple, excited about their big day. Poor Barry was a bag of nerves as they had decided to sing as part of the ceremony, and he kept bursting into tears. The theme was Moulin Rouge, with Barry (in top hat and tails) singing Come What May as he walked down the aisle, joined rather less tunefully by Delia in a beautiful vintage dress. This bit made me wince a little (ok, a lot), as the singing really was rather bad, but their vows were heartfelt and lovely and I found myself damp of eye again.
I thoroughly enjoyed Wedding House – anything that has me weepy one minute and swearing at the telly the next gets my vote! I do hope though that, as entertaining as hurling abuse at Hus was, the percentage of the next 28 participants who are just in it for a free wedding is low. What made the show work was seeing the delight of those who really were after a unique experience.