Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Four Weddings, One Angry Blogger

*Spoiler Alert - many words in this post will probably be in CAPS*

Usually I like just about anything on TV. I watch everything from the critically acclaimed Emmy winners to the guilty pleasure reality shows (c'mon Rehab at the Hard Rock.. best show ever... anyone with me?). About 9 times out of 10 I can find something redeemable about any show I'm watching. I just love television.

That's how I felt until this last Saturday when Rebecca and I watched TLC's "Four Weddings". In-fucking-furiating! When I think about that show.... show.... make.... David.... ANGRY!!!!!!! MUST PUNCH SOMETHING. (breathing into paper bag so I can write the rest of this blog....)

For those of you that aren't familiar with this show, allow me to tell you about it. Actually let me give you an unbiased description of the show. According to TLC, "Four Weddings" is a show in which "Four brides have agreed to attend- and score- each other's weddings. They'll be judging the food, dresses, venues and overall experiences. The bride whose wedding rates the best wins a fabulous five-star honeymoon."

Wow, well reading the description this sounds pretty good, right? At one point or another we've all gone to weddings and silently judged them to ourselves... not for prizes, but sure, we've left and said, "Gosh, it was a beautiful day, but the prime rib was SO bad!". Even though not to one another's face like "Four Weddings", that is judging... so this show, in theory, should be great.

Then I watched it.

First of all the major flaw of the show is that they pitted a woman that had a $15k wedding against a woman that had an $80k wedding. Look, I'm not saying that the woman with a 15k wedding can't win and can't have the best wedding in the world because look, my wedding is WAY WAY WAY closer to that amount than to 80k and I think we could easily be planning the best wedding in the world, BUUUUUUUT come on, this is not a very level playing field. I'll get back to the monetary discrepancies in a bit because the other problem I had with this show were the women on it. Oh my god, did I DESPISE the women on this show and the terrible things they would say about one another's happiest day ever. Their fucking FAKE friendships they had with one another, their over the top judgements, their "I'm on TV I should wear my emotions on my sleeve, and their "if I'm not having fun I should look like I'm being tortured" attitudes. These women were so fake and so unfair I couldn't believe it. The woman that had a $45k wedding had a SPREAD for her cocktail hour: many different food selections, lobster, etc etc etc. But because the woman that had a $15k wedding had a much more modest cocktail hour she OBVIOUSLY didn't try hard enough. What bullshit. Look, I will say this, in defense of the women (I can't believe I'm defending them) the bride that had the cheapest wedding really could have stretched her dollar further. She had no entertainment for her guests, there was no dancing, the food didn't look very appetizing, the wedding looked bland. And if you're in a competition where I'm forced to judge you, then your wedding lacked. But you know what, when you go to this woman's wedding, you can look a little happier. It's a few effing hours, you don't need to sit there acting like it's dental work. Some people wear their emotions on their faces and can't fake excitement - it's so immature. A few women on this show fit that category. I wish I could have shaken these ladies and told them that the bride didn't REALLY want you at her wedding. She wanted the chance to win an awesome honeymoon (the episode I saw it was a great trip to Bora Bora). There were most likely guests the bride had to cut from her invite list....legitimate family and/or friends that were were on the bubble, so she could accommodate three absolute STRANGERS for a chance to win a great honeymoon. The least you could do is blend in instead of sticking out as a woman nobody else knows TEXTING AT A GOD DAMNED WEDDING CEREMONY. (counting backwards from 100 so I can complete this blog post)

If I've laid out reasons 1 and 1a why I hate this show, here is reason 1ab (because I hate everything about it EQUALLY): the women refuse to accept any cultural differences! Like I mentioned before one woman was TEXTING during another bride's ceremony because "the whole ceremony was in a different language and therefore completely boring and according to her, they should have hired someone to translate." Um, REALLY? You're an adult. You can't enjoy experiencing a wedding that is culturally different than yours? You can't take ANYTHING out of a new experience? Furthermore she bagged on the bride's religion saying that she would never set foot in that denomination's church again because the ceremony was too long and if she was ever invited to another wedding of that faith, she'd skip it and only attend the reception. The bride then gave her rival a low score for her "long, boring, different language" ceremony. Later in the show, at another bride's reception she surprised everyone with a huge band of bagpipers, drummers, and authentic Irish dancers. It was a great personal touch and an excellent surprise for wedding guests. It was a pretty awesome experience for everyone EXCEPT for one of the rival brides! This woman complained that the performance wasn't appropriate for a wedding and not everyone likes bagpipes. Oh REALLY? Hey fuckface, you had STEEL DRUMMERS at your wedding and everyone went with the flow. I know that it's still a competition so you want to diminish your rivals' accomplishments, but at the end of the day this is their WEDDING. It's personal. You are a guest. Temper your judgements.

On that note here comes reason 1abc I hated this show. The women took it beyond judging the wedding. They started judging one another. One woman didn't like another woman's dress because it still showed her tattoos. Look (expletive) the other bride is different than you are! She has tattoos and even if you don't like them, SHE does. If she had worn a gown that covered all of her tattoos you would have complained that she was wearing a burka. One of the women was a bit older than the other three and her wedding was shit on because "the guests seemed a little on the older side, so there wasn't much dancing". I'm blind with anger.

If this show's aspiration is to give an immediate gut punch to a bride who thought everyone enjoyed her wedding then it succeeded with flying colors. I know that the person with the lowest point total at the end of the day claims, "I wouldn't have changed a single thing about my wedding" but she's going home thinking that 3 people truly didn't enjoy her wedding, and if THOSE 3 didn't like her wedding at all, who else didn't? That's horrible! I know she signed up for that abuse.... but nobody deserves that. I've seen how hard this wedding planning is, and how time and energy consuming it is and that's not fair to do to anyone... well maybe to the woman who lost because her wedding WAS the worst. OH GOD! It's rubbing off on me... I'm becoming horrible.

At the end the show they crowned their victor and it just reinforced everything I absolutely knew I hated about it:

1st Place Winner budget: $80k
2nd Place Budget: $45k
3rd Place Budget: $30k
4th Place Budget: $15k

Fuck you TLC. If you're going to have such a large monetary disparity maybe go the extra mile and find women that don't think the only way to have a successful wedding is to have a culturally bland wedding with a raw bar, live band, and a princess ball gown. It's extremely possible to have a $10k wedding outshine a $75k wedding so maybe do some leg work and talk to brides who are doing work to make the day special despite having a small budget. I'm a firm believer in the fact that a backyard wedding can be as magnificent as a black tie formal ballroom wedding. How bout trying to enforce that TLC? Additionally I'm not casting judgement on people that can afford big budget weddings! I'm fine with a big budget grand wedding too! They are great, and I love to attend them. I just think they should maybe have women that all spent $60-$80k go against one another instead of continuously beating the small budget wedding every episode (Rebecca commented that she's seen the person that spent the most win the other times she's seen the show).

One last note before I hit "publish". This is something I don't usually do. When I talk about someone, I usually make it as anonymous as I possibly can. This time I've decided differently. Nadine, I sincerely hope that you are into googling yourself. I hope that you do a search for "Nadine, Four Weddings, Blog" just to see if anyone has commented on your wedding. You ragged on 3 other women who had only nice things to say about your wedding. You were terrible. I hope you read this.

Anyone else ever seen this show? Anyone else have as many issues with it as I do?


  1. I'm with you on this one! I can't figure out why TLC would put such extreme ranges in budgets on that show and think that's fair...

  2. Haven't seen it, but that sounds like a really bad show. We try to watch Bridezillas (when it's on in Australia) and find that amusing/scary. But sounds like this one doesn't have any redeeming features.

    I think as a guest you are judging a wedding on the basis of what you know about the couple. If the couple are not normally fancy, an extremely fancy wedding feels wrong. If the couple are goofy, a straight boring ceremony comes off as fake. And there's no way four strangers could get to know each other that well.

  3. It's terrible. I only saw one episode where the most expensive wedding didnt win. They chose the heart felt church basement wedding, but every other time it seems the rich bitch wins.

  4. I only saw this show once.. and I hated it. It's ridiculous. Every wedding is different and that's a good thing! I'm really disappointed in TLC.

  5. One of the most difficult aspects of planning a wedding is wading through the confusing messages the wedding industry churns out. They've made it their job to tell you what you need to do, and I think we all have moments where we get suckered in to thinking we have to have or do something for the wedding because we've been told it's traditional. But then when you really look into things, you realize that most aspects of today's "traditional" wedding are less than 100 years old, such as having a white dress (thanks, Queen Victoria).

    Freezing the cake for your first anniversary is another one. I always thought this one sounded gross (freezer burned cake, yum!), but then when I really thought about it, I realized that this tradition probably only goes back to the 50s at the earliest. Whenever freezers were first widely commercially available to the home. So then I don't feel bad skipping out on those things.

    The more I look at the pretty wedding blogs, the more I realize that even the "indie" weddings have certain recurring themes. How many times have you seen the stupid mustaches on a stick photos for the wedding party? Or hiring a photobooth? And how many invitations have the lame "Eat, Drink, and Be Married" pun? These aren't bad things, but it's easy to be led into thinking that you have to have them to make your day charming.

    There's so much pressure. When you see 100 posts talking about how important it is to hire a good photographer, it can be hard to convince yourself that it really is ok to have a family friend/amateur do it.

    After 8 years in a professional string quartet, I've seen many variations on brides' styles, and the more extravagant the party, the more likely the wedding will spin out of control to the point where it is no longer about committing to a lifetime together. It's about napkin rings and feeling like a princess for a day.

    Honestly, I want to pare things down as much as possible. To me this means I am probably going to forego expensive floral arrangements, let my bridesmaids wear whatever dress they want (I don't want them spending tons of money on my behalf), have my film major friend shoot the ceremony and my friend's dad take the photos, bake cupcakes instead of hire a baker, and have pulled pork sandwiches instead of fancy catered food that nobody likes that much anyways. The important thing is that John and I are truly going to grow old together and we are so lucky to have found one another so young.

    If more brides thought along these lines, shows like this and Bridezillas wouldn't have a place in our culture. Weddings should be a solemn promise, and a joyous celebration of love and commitment. The rest is superfluous.

  6. I've seen the episode in question. I really think that they are playing to the camera - and they look like fools.

    What angers me the most is that the "traditional" wedding - no matter what the budget - usually wins out.

    Usually the brides on that show regard DIY as cheap, tacky, and un-traditional so usually it loses.

    But, yeah, I'll keep it on in the background. Sometimes I'll get an idea to use. That is, to use in my "very simple, pretty, flowery, the most important thing is we are in love, making a commitment before God, and with the people we cherish most" DIY wedding. *grin*

  7. ok first off - i love you. this post is beyond awesome. second - totally agree that even though they "signed up for it", no one should have been able to sign up for such abuse in the first place! this show is HORRIBLE and should never have been created. third - what's with all the Platinum Weddings, Four Weddings and other crap like that, where's the DIY Divas or Awesomely Cheap Weddings or something that normal people without $80k to spend on a wedding might enjoy?? is there only a market for showing weddings the majority of us could never ever afford?

    PS if such a show exists and I haven't seen it, please clue me in.

  8. i am really with you. every time i watch that show i know who is going to win because they had the biggest budget.
    if TLC is listening - there are a bunch more people out there with "small" budgets - less than 20k -who would love a show about REAL weddings such as the titles Cyndi mentioned above. When i watch that show with David Tutera - he totally rags on the ladies and their DIY weddings and budget cutting methods. it really sends the message that your wedding isn't good enough if you don't spend more that $50,000

  9. I'm with you guys. I was very annoyed that someone else was judging a brides personal style without knowing her and her husband. It's horrible. I'm having a DIY wedding in an outdoor location, with a friend/family photog, a friend BBQing, potluck for the sides, aunt officiant, and no flowers, because I cant afford them. When I discuss this with my friends and family, they understand all say, "It's so casual, like you and Jason."

    If one of those $80K brides came to my wedding, she would for sure think my wedding is tacky, and be upset I didnt have flowers. But we're not having a wedding for her, we're inviting our friends and family to share a very important time in our lives. If you dont like my wedding, leave, dont eat my food, dont listen to my music, and take your present. I dont need the negativity.

    As for the wedding shows, I become so angry when I see David Tutera tell a bride her DIY ideas are horrible, and completely re-do her wedding without letting her know what her dress/BM dresses/decor/etc. looks like until the day of. Or the bridal stores where the lowest budget for a dress.....YES, A DRESS, is $3000. That's my total budget. I want to see a show where they visit that bride, take her $3000 and show her how to make that her entire wedding budget.

    When I've voiced these opinions, I am always challenged with, "If you had the money, your wedding budget would be more." I thought about this, the only thing I would even consider changing, is hiring a caterer, so no one had to work at my wedding. Other than that, I love everything I've chosen and planned. As long as I'm with the man I love, nothing else matters.

  10. The way I look at it, there are certain people out there who would actually take a show like this -- and the criticisms that the contestants leveled at each other -- seriously. That type of person? Is not invited to my wedding.

    With a show format like this, you can never have a even playing field. As you and others have pointed out, TLC sets these contestants up to be as disparate as possible in order to create more drama. They are made to play to the camera. That's what gets the ratings. And of course, because they're so different (and arguably shallow), none of the contestants are ever going to truly enjoy each others' weddings -- not least because they didn't even know each other before the filming began. In that environment of rancorous self-promotion, the "cheaper" weddings are, unfortunately, never going to get a fair shake.

    And you know, I know a lot can be done with DIY, but I think that perpetuates another standard I keep butting my head up against during wedding planning -- the standard of STUFF. What makes a $10k wedding ultimately outshine a $75k wedding, in my opinion, is not the hand-crafted centerpieces or the decorations, but the LOVE. The communal celebration. A universal truth like that can never, ever be fabricated on a television show like this.

    And that's why "real" weddings like ours still ultimately win, even without the contest.

  11. Thanks everyone for the very well thought out comments! I'm glad you all agree with my frustration about this show.

    I just want to point out, that I am definitely not against a big budget wedding, or a wedding where not one thing is DIY. What I'm DEFINITELY against is the obvious stance this show (and the women on this show) take against anything different.

    When women start criticizing a person's religion, physical appearance, or financial status in a show about WEDDINGS, I think it's just gone too far. The show is so overly judgmental and done in poor taste.

    I tried to think about what, in my head, would make this work. For a hot minute I thought, "what if they don't judge one another's wedding? What if TLC brought in popular wedding bloggers to judge it instead?" While I thought that would be a decent option, I stepped back and thought "No, their weddings should not be 'judged' in the first place, it's just wrong. Who are we, perfect strangers, to judge if a wedding is good or not?!"

    DIY, big budget, quirky mustaches, ball gown, etc if it makes you happy and it fits for you, DO it! Just don't invite 3 other bride-to-be perfect strangers to judge you because it's just a fucking train wreck piece of shit show. Ugh, I'm getting fired up again.....

    Really, thanks for all the comments everyone. I really appreciate the time and effort you've put in!

  12. Nice rant Dave. Nothing like a good rant to clear the pipes. I love it.
    You must be squeaky clean

  13. I can't wait for the spin-off series Four Funerals, where grieving people compete to see who can put on the best memorial services. Nadine will be appalled that Jeffrey played the lute at his father's funeral, while Jeffrey will question Nadine's use of tulips in the entryway arrangements at her grandmother's viewing. In the end scores on decor, eulogies, crowd size, amount of weeping, and obituary prominence will be tallied, and the winner will receive the fabulous prize of a designer urn. Other contestants won't go empty handed: they'll receive the Four Funerals at Home! board game, by Parker Bros.

  14. I just happened to stumble upon this blog by mistake and glad I did for I am happy to read SupderDave's comment on the show. What's a pity is that first a show like this was ever created. I do not understand why such demoralizing show are even thought of to begin with! I DO know how much money goes into wedding planning (I am single :) because of all my friends who are already wed. Besides I reside in the Middle East, so 45K is chump change. But, that is not the point. The point of marriage is coming together and celebrating a moment in life to be remembered forever and sharing that moment with friends and family NO MATTER the cost! However according to TLC, these weddings have to be judge by the Brides to WIN a honeymoon. WTF!? If you can spend 80K+ then you do NOT have to be on this show you can ferry yourselves on lavish Cruise in Cannes and back two times over!

    I just pity how pathetic people can be and their attitudes towards each other especially not accepting another CULTURE. Not everyone of us are AMERICANA, we have to embrace our cultures because it was makes this world DIVERSE! And if one is bored to death because she couldn't understand the language, then don't be so arrogant; learn to accept something new, be thrilled that you are experiencing something different and cherish what you have just witnessed!

    Glad you ranted on this show Dave, I do hope that TLC pulls the plug on this one and if not I do hope their producers get their butts PLUGGED until shit hits the fan, and realize how demoralizing this show is.

  15. So Davey, tell me how you really feel!!!!!

  16. I have never seen the show and I don't think I want to. How horrible to pit women against each other like this on a day that is supposed to be one of the happiest in their life. I agree, at least level the playing field. I also think the women chosen should stay authentic true to what they truly feel instead of hamming it up for the cameras.

  17. I haven't seen the show, but after reading your post, I'm glad I haven't because I would be totally irritated by it! Weddings are so personal, I don't know how one bride can rate it against another wedding. I think TLC needs to fire whoever came up with the concept.

  18. came upon this, one bride had $10k, $30K, $50, and $70k. We had already read this post and were angry about the show but we watched expecting the 70k to win. We still rooted for the 10K because as a diy budget bride myself I appreciate how much more it takes on a smaller budget. But also because the smaller budget wedding was just so much better than the others still and the bride was the nicest. We high fived when the 10K bride won! that is right won! I wouldn't rush out to see this show again but I was so happy that the deserving bride who probably can't afford a honeymoon got one.

  19. This show is f*cking appalling. Four fat slags sitting in on and verbally sh*tting on each and every ceremony, scrunching up their ugly faces with disapproval at each minor detail that they don't agree with. F*ck television. Bring back The Villa.

  20. Okay....now, let's be honest...this show is better than bridoplasty!! That show just horrifies me...!! I started watching four weddings, because i have girls in their 20's and i know that i will be with them planning a wedding. So, hey, get some ideas...Few things i learned...
    1. Thanks to Say Yes To the Dress. Don't go to those stores and don't take half your family with you. Only take those that respect you and your taste and you can find the same dress cheaper elsewhere, although i do love watching brides try on dresses and pray that the b*tchy mothers see themselves on tv and lose half their friends.
    2. Remind people that this wedding is the wedding of the BRIDE AND GROOM...not of the guests, the wedding party of the friends...shut up and make the bride feel like the queen she deserves to be on that day.
    3. Friends and Family - Shut up.
    4. Wasting money doesn't make the wedding, the love in the room makes the wedding...so...yeah...shut up.

  21. I agree with most comments, the amounts spent on a wedding should be around the same and not $5k with $15k or above. Comments by the brides are too... negative and frankly judges should be from the outside and that would be fair.

  22. Someone here brought up a great point about that honeymoon prize and the high budget weddings. Why would anyone with tens of thousand of dollars to blow on a wedding, not just pay for a nice honeymoon? I can't imagine that the prize is particularly lavish or luxurious and they'd probably do better choosing and paying for their own honeymoon. I'd rather see couples with slim budgets compete against one another and win that prize. Seems terribly miserly and unfair for big budget couples to win/accept such a gift when the playing field is not level.

  23. Nadine's wedding was absolutely beautiful, just like her. What I didn't like was what I saw in the episode either. Her nasty attitude towards the other brides and her behaviour, as if she was better than all others, really made her wedding seem too cold and calculated. It seems that it was all only done for show, as opposed to having things that relate to them as a couple. There was just a general lack of feeling and love. Maybe it's just me though.

  24. I am watching this show and am angered by how judgement many people are. One girl is Indian and has a traditional Indian wedding and so one girl is being a B****, because the food is too spicy for her. When it comes to budget I was just married last May, and we had a small budget. Altogether including honeymoon we spend 6000$. We still had a beautiful wedding and reception. I cant imagine people being at my wedding with cameras judging my wedding like this. I think weddings are stressful enough without TV and girls who haven't moved on from high school!

    1. In could not agree more with you. Well said!

  25. Completely agree with your accurate take on this show. I really wonder, a lot these days, at the sheer nastiness with which SO MANY women treat each other these days. I hope that in future years, when they watch reruns of themselves on this show, at least some of these snotty women will be mortified by their own behavior. Sniping about cultural food served or lack of enough alcohol or too much food is just plain rude and tacky. They are showing the entire world how low-rent they are.

  26. I am certain that this show makes enough $$$ to foot the bill for all 4 brides...giving them ALL the SAME BUDGET!!! That would level the playing field! After all, they are all competing for the SAME "Dream Honeymoon"...aren't they???

  27. I don't think any of it is real. I use to watch it all the time but I started paying more attention at the beginning of the show when each bride is telling us about their wedding. Each bride will say something about the wedding and then the next lady will say well. Like I hate bands at wedding or fake flowers and the person before then was just saying well we are having a band. Or fake flowers. It happens everytime. That happens every bride every so. To be real. Also I'm sorry but it's very hard to believe. That all these brides spend so much money and time on a wedding. To uh oh. Not plan or go on a honey moon plz I think this show screams fake

  28. The person who wrote this blog has got to be the biggest drama queen alive. I was cracking up reading that. These brides volunteer themselves for the show. And you people are talking about the show being judgemental??? No people are judgemental and women are just catty on tv or off tv. You all judge the hell out of every wedding you've been to. The person who wrote this blog just seems pissed at people with a bigger wedding budget. And that's the last thing that should matter. Spend $1,000 or $100,000, that's not important. I don't feel bad for people who volunteer themselves and their wedding to be judged on national television. It's a competitor. The sad thing is there's women out there that would go on the show. Not the show itself.

  29. To the last Anonymous commenter. I really think you should go back and reread the post. You couldn't have missed the point of the post more than your comment suggests.