Everyone seems to be in the grip of Royal Wedding Fever, but I remain happily immune.
It did get me thinking about depictions of weddings on television though, and how rarely they’re allowed to go ahead without a hitch.
So here are ten TV sets of nuptials gone awry:
Ross and Emily (Friends)
Everyone knew that Ross and Rachel were supposed to be together, including (eventually) Rachel who decided to fly to London to stop Ross’ marriage to Emily. Her trip was unnecessary as Ross ruined the wedding himself by saying Rachel’s name during the vows. Although they did actually get married their relationship completely broke down due to Emily’s embarrassment and Ross’ refusal to cut Rachel out of his life.
Their wedding did get Chandler and Monica together though, so it wasn’t all bad.
Daphne and Donny (Frasier)
Niles fell in love with Daphne at first sight, a fact which the apparently psychic Daphne never picked up on. Niles never told her about his feeling, in part because of his shyness but also because he was married to- and them embroiled in a messy divorce from- Maris, while Daphne had a string of boyfriends. In fact it was his brother Frasier who blurted out the truth about Niles’ feelings towards her while drugged up. She was initially shocked but found herself reciprocating. Sadly Niles had decided to get over his feelings by marrying his girlfriend Mel, so a heartbroken Daphne chose to go ahead with her marriage to Donny (Niles’ former divorce lawyer).
A busybodying Frasier intervened (with atypically positive consequences) and Niles confronted her with his feelings. This resulted in Daphne leaving Donny at the altar, and Niles and Daphne escaping in the campervan. And everything was fine and dandy…at least until Daphne’s colossal weight gain was written in to cover up Jane Leeve’s pregnancy, and the show went downhill from there.
House and Dominika (House)
While their wedding didn’t have all that much in the way of dramatic interruption (asides from the distress of his very recent ex-girlfriend Cuddy) it clearly wasn’t a particularly romantic union. House himself admitted as much to his best friend Wilson, she got a green card and he got a live-in maid, cook, massage therapist and general provider of services. Plus he got an opportunity to get back at Cuddy for dumping him.
While Dominika admitted that she likes him and he responded that he reciprocates but doesn’t sleep with married women (the fact that she’s married to him is apparently irrelevant), their wedding wasn’t exactly the joyous event of the season and the guests didn’t seem to take it seriously.
Buffy and Angel (Buffy)
Perhaps Xander and Anya’s wedding falling apart in ‘Hell’s Bells’ would be a more appropriate choice, but the melodrama inherent in Angel’s dream of his and Buffy’s wedding, shown in ‘The Prom’ is wonderfully teenage- and depressing. Their relationship seemed to be back on track after a series of bumps (him turning evil, her sending him to hell) but a slayer and a vampire being together was pretty much always doomed. This fact was especially pertinent at the time as she was about to graduate from high school and was being urged by her mother to consider college options and her future.
Angel’s dream, where their wedding ended with Buffy burning up in the sun’s rays, and a timely visit from her mother made him decide to break up with her and leave town so that she could move on with her life. Plus her dress in the scene was designed by Vera Wang so, y’know, it probably deserves some more attention.
Peter and Nancy (Weeds)
This short-lived marriage was one of convenience, at least on Nancy’s part. They met when her son Shane bit his son’s foot during a karate tournament, and although she initially liked Peter she was still getting over her husband Judah’s death. It was only after consummating their relationship that she realised he was a DEA agent- a rather significant detail given that she’d become a drug dealer in order to support her family and their lifestyle in the wake of Judah’s death. Peter won her trust by marrying her (so he could never be forced to testify against her) in an unromantic fashion, and by busting rival growers. However their relationship turned sour after he became obsessed with the idea that she was having a romantic relationship with her friend and business partner Conrad, and things became even worse after he physically abused her son Silas for being “insolent”.
Nancy betrayed Peter and ruined his attempt to bust Heylia (Conrad’s aunt and their supplier) and, after he threatened Conrad, Heylia had Peter murdered. Which kind of served him right, and Nancy received a huge life insurance payout which allowed her to get back in the dealing game.
Jack and Rosario (Will & Grace)
This wasn’t a particularly horrible sham marriage, as far as they go. In ‘Object of my Rejection’, Jack agreed to marry Karen’s maid Rosario so that she could get a green card and stay in the USA. While the wedding wasn’t horrific, and probably pretty fun, it was obviously a complete farce given that Jack’s supposed to be the gayest thing since sparkly pink sliced bread. After a year the marriage was annulled anyway because Rosario wanted to get together Karen’s gardener.
At least this episode did manage to get the previously unseen Rosario on screen.
Bill and Karen (Californication)
Hank spent most of the first season of Californication trying to win back his ex-girlfriend (and mother of his child) Karen from her fiance, Bill. By the season finale however, Hank seemed to have accepted that Karen has moved on and even gave the union his blessing. This theme of time marching on was enhanced by him having to deal with their daughter Becca’s first period- and having to fight for the last box of tampons in the shop before the wedding. The friendly relations between Hank and Karen, and the wedding in general, were almost ruined by Bill’s daughter Mia drunkenly announcing to everyone that she’d slept with Hank, but she retracted the statement and claimed to be lying in order to protect Becca.
Just as Hank and Becca were about to drive away after the reception however, Karen jumped into the car with them. The reunited family made their escape, eluding an enraged and confused Bill.
Shane and Carmen (The L Word)
The notoriously promiscuous Shane seemed to have found the perfect woman in Carmen. Although Shane insisted that she “didn’t do relationships”, Carmen was able to win her over. They had to deal with plenty of problems- infidelity, Carmen coming out to her family, the death of a friend- but Shane finally seemed to want to commit, and Carmen accepted her marriage proposal. Their friend Helena whisked them off to somewhere in Canada where same-sex marriage was already legal, and all seemed to be going well. At least until Shane witnessed her father (with whom she’d only recently become acquainted) cheating on his wife, which made Shane believe that she’d be doomed to follow in his footsteps and make Carmen miserable by being unfaithful to her.
Shane left Carmen at the altar, which was absolutely horrible, but when you think about it she kind of got her comeuppance by having to date Jenny. Euuuugh.
Angela and Jack (Bones)
These two have had one of the most drawn out television romances ever. It took a while for their sexual tension to result in a date, and when it did it was so good that Angela was scared enough of the repercussions if a relationship between them ended badly that she refused to pursue one. Nonetheless it ended up happening organically, and while she refused his offers of marriage she eventually proposed to him. The big white wedding was all set up, with her ZZ Top father there to give her away, when it was revealed that Angela was technically still married to Fijian man. This obviously halted the proceedings, and their subsequent search to find the man so that Angela could divorce him was not only lengthy, but brought about the end of their relationship.
They later ended up getting back together, and having a very simple ceremony after being jailed in Maryland. Clearly the moral of the story is: stay away from fancy weddings.
Marshall and Lily (How I Met Your Mother)
It hasn’t all been smooth sailing for How I Met Your Mother‘s it couple as Lily got freaked out by the idea of settling down with Marshall without fulfilling her dreams. When they (finally) got back together she proposed to him, but then got scared by the idea of getting married in front of Marshall’s family who’d developed a dislike for her when she left Marshall. So they decided to elope to Atlantic City with their closest friends and organised the outfits, and the bachelor party, in a slapdash fashion. They worked hard at convincing a judge to waive the waiting period for a marriage licence, but it all came to naught when their friend Barney let slip that their impressive nine-year relationship had also featured an ugly breakup. This led to them deciding to get married by a boat’s captain in international waters (for a huge fee), but halfway through they realised that the ceremony was all wrong and that they want to have a proper wedding in front of their families. Unfortunately the captain finished marrying them, which they then insisted he “undo”. (Even though he probably had no power to marry them in the first place.)
Marshall and Lily did get to have their big wedding in the end, but everything seemed to go wrong. Lily’s high school boyfriend was invited by her family, there were no flowers, the harp player went into labour, and to top everything off Marshall had a hair-related disaster. But Ted dragged them off to have a small wedding in the park (officiated by Barney, and also attended by Robin) so they got to have their “perfect” wedding before launching into the official ceremony.
I’ve certainly been put off matrimony for life (unless it’s done in search of a green card perhaps), but have you got any more fuel to add to the fire? Tell us about disastrous television weddings and blatant marriages of convenience in the comments!