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Wedding Day

"Nothing solves everything forever like a wedding!"
Marge, The Simpsons

Celebrating two people's lifelong commitment to each other? Aw, the love... the peace... the joy... the groom who panics at the last minute, leaving his friends desperately searching for him as they try to keep this under wraps... the Bridezilla who has a conniption fit over a single misplaced frill... the Beloved Smother who insists on hovering over every single aspect of the ceremony... the drunken priest... the awkward moment at "Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace" when the long-forgotten Love Interest says "I object!"... Some day we'll look back at this and laugh. And laugh. And laugh. Hoooo boy.

These are tropes have been subverted to the point of destruction. Yet, they aren't really discredited, due to Rule of Funny and Rule of Drama. And they can be played straight, too... you're just as likely to find a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming of one sort or another at the Wedding Day as a series of hilarious mishaps. Though if nothing unusual happens, we probably won't see it.

There is also the Off-Again/On-Again wedding. But then, that one dates back all the way to William Shakespeare and Much Ado About Nothing.

Specific variants: Bridezilla, Citizenship Marriage, Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace, Runaway Bride, Wedding Deadline, Wedding Smashers. Often a good opportunity for a reveal of an Embarrassing Middle Name (we're looking at you, Rodney Charlton Trotter), and you're likely to find at least one Fairytale Wedding Dress floating around.

Compare The Fun in Funeral.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Ranma 1/2 — the Grand Finale, known to Ranma fandom as "The Wedding Fiasco", which involved Ranma being bribed with Jusenkyo water and forced to marry Akane, four fiancees, assorted would-be lovers, at least one ninja, many pounds of explosives disguised as Oriental fast food, assorted murder attempts not related to the rest of that, and a pre-adolescent school teacher eating the wedding cake. Among other things. And thanks to Status Quo Is God, they still didn't tie the knot!
  • In the Robotech universe, Rick Hunter and Lisa Hayes have a Wedding Day in Robotech II: The Sentinels. Lynn Minmay, even though she's saddened that Rick has moved on without her and still has feelings for him, is, in fact, very happy for Rick and Lisa.
  • GUN×SWORD has several flashbacks to Van's wedding day... which came to an abrupt halt when he and his bride were cut down by the Claw. He lived. She didn't. Throughout the entire series he's still wearing the tuxedo.
  • The Grand Finale of the manga version of Sailor Moon ends with Mamoru and Usagi's long awaited wedding, with all the main Sailor Senshi in attendence. It's implied that their Kid from the Future Chibi Usa has been conceived.
  • The finale of Gurren Lagann, has Simon and Nia's Wedding Day... Heartbreakingly subverted when it's revealed as a result of the death of Anti-spiral, Nia, formerly their messager, must die with them. It takes all of her willpower to keep her body alive for Her and Simon's special day before Dissapearing into light after they speak their vows.

    Comic Books 
  • Cyclops and Jean Grey's wedding in X-Men was surprisingly conflict-free (Logan made sure of that). Not to mention Jean's atypical wedding dress was absolutely gorgeous. The Crowning Moment of Heartwarming came when Jean chose to have the last dance with wheelchair-bound Xavier, and used her telekinesis to lift him up. One of the few joyful Tear Jerkers you'll see in a comic.
    • In contrast, the wedding of Reed Richards and Susan Storm quickly went from kink-free and blissful to a disaster of epic proportions when it was crashed by a very-pissed conga line of recurring Fantastic Four villains who tore up the Baxter Building and a large portion of New York while fighting over who got to kill the FF, tangled with all the FF's Avenger and X-Men pals who had been invited to the wedding, and turned the event into one of the most famous Battle Royales in all of comics history. It took the frickin' Watcher popping in with a machine that threw all the villains back in time to before the attack began to end the chaos. However, in retrospect the melee may have been a good thing, since the supremely dysfunctional FF are usually at their coziest and most loving whenever they're fighting off supervillains.
    • Save for some typical doubt/cold feet/nerves stuff Peter and MJ's wedding was also pretty mundane (heartwarming, but mundane).
  • The page image is provided by Archie comics that (in alternate fututre timelines) had wedding days for both the Archie and Veronica pairing and the Archie and Betty pairing.
    • More recently, Archie's buddy Kevin Keller had a wedding of his own, when he married his longtime boyfriend Clay. The comic received a good deal of media attention, as it was the first same-sex wedding in a mainstream comic book.
  • Superman and Lois Lane's wedding day is chronicled in Superman The Wedding Album. The wedding was planned for a long time, but Executive Meddling dictated that the wedding in DCU canon must coincide with the wedding in Lois and Clark. As a result the writers had to write many arcs to delay it, one of them being The Death of Superman.
    • When they finally did get hitched, DC made the smart choice of having Superman lose his powers a few weeks before the event, so he was physically equal to a normal man when he got hitched. At the time he was told his powers might never come back (of course, they did) but Lois insisted on going ahead with the wedding anyway. Thus reinforcing the idea that Lois was marrying him for his kind and caring nature, not for his superpowers or the glory of being "Mrs. Superman."

    Fanfic 
  • Soren's wedding to Teru in the Fractured Fairy Tale Arc of One Piece: Parallel Works.
  • The Warden and the Mistress's wedding in chapter 12 of Extended Stay.
  • Link and Zelda were supposed to be married in the beginning of Super Paper Mario X. However, Zelda was hypnotized by Nastasia to marry Ganondorf instead. Link was not happy, of course. (Of course, Link and Zelda did get married at the end of the story eventually.)
  • Lucky Star After Story has had three so far. In Chapter 2, Konata and Kagami got hitched. In Chapter 13, Tsukasa and Miyuki tied the knot. And in Chapter 28, Yutaka and Minami walked down the aisle.
  • The Infinite Loops — specifically, Saproneth's MLP Loops — has the two-part, multi-author collaboration featuring the wedding of Spike and Rarity. All of the Equestrian Loopers, plus many of their friends from across the multiverse, are in attendance, and even the Yggdrasil administrators in charge of Equestria get in on it, with Slepinir presiding over the ceremony.
  • "Empath's Wedding" in Empath: The Luckiest Smurf is about Empath and Smurfette getting married.

    Film 
  • High Noon has a pretty impressive wedding disaster: the minute it's over, Will gets the news there are three men in the town planning to kill him when their leader arrives, in just over an hour.
  • The Princess Bride. "Mawwedge is wat bwings us togevahh today..."
  • Will and Elizabeth from Pirates of the Caribbean. Not only does their first wedding get stopped at the altar by Lord Cutler Beckett, it gets postponed and nearly canceled altogether due to Will believing Elizabeth is in love with Captain Jack, until finally all love issues are resolved and they are married in the middle of a hurricane/battle by Captain Barbossa, after which they have a day to spend together before he has to spend ten years away from her ferrying the souls of the people who have died at sea back and forth.
  • The Philadelphia Story and its musical remake High Society feature an interesting wedding day: first, the bride wakes up hungover, having possibly slept with someone after drinking heavily the night before; the groom leaves, then comes back, then leaves again; and finally, she remarries her ex-husband when she realises they're still in love, just as she's about to tell everyone the wedding's cancelled.

    Literature 
  • The Baby-Sitters Club: Kristy's mother and stepfather, Mary Anne's father and Dawn's mother, Dawn's father and stepmother, two sitting clients, Kristy's father and stepmother ...
  • Miles Vorkosigan's wedding is almost spoiled by an enemy attempting to assassinate his bride in "Winterfair Gifts".
  • Finnick and Annie's wedding in Mockingjay.
  • Harry Potter: The last book has a wedding that's been hinted at for three books, the groom's mother takes the role of Bridezilla, all's going well, plot points are introduced, then the Death Eaters show up.
  • The Chronicles of Prydain ends on what turns out to be Taran and Eilonwy's Wedding Day. It being medieval fantasy, however, the wedding is a simple matter of them joining hands and pledging their troth in front of some witnesses. It takes up approximately three sentences of exposition on the next-to-last page.
  • We see a couple in The Savannah Reid Mysteries: Savannah's sister Marietta (attempts to get) married for the third time, but it falls through when her fiance's ex shows up at the rehearsal with a gun and the fiance decides to go back to her. Savannah herself is later a bride, but it doesn't go quite the way she wants: the first wedding day is ruined when an arsonist burns down the building, and the second is put to a halt when the wedding planner is found murdered right before the ceremony. Third time's the charm, apparently.
  • In the Left Behind book Kingdom Come, Irene Steele (one of the Christians who have been Caught Up in the Rapture) recalls the wedding day of Jesus Christ with His bride, the church, in heaven.
    • And of course, there's the humble Wartime Weddings of Rayford Steele and Amanda White, Buck Williams and Chloe Steele, Ming Toy and Ree Woo, and from The Kids series, Judd Thompson Jr. and Vicki Byrnes.

    Live Action Television 
  • On Amen, when Thelma and the Reverend tried to get married the first time, the Reverend faints at the altar and then tells Thelma that he needs more time to think about marriage. She joins the Army. The second time (the following season), the minister that the Reverend gets to do the ceremony (a mentor of his from seminary) took too much cold medicine and passes out at the altar. Deacon Frye convinces the Reverend that since he IS a reverend, he can do the wedding himself. It goes off without a hitch and when Thelma and the Reverend are pronounced husband and wife, a drum corps (hired by the deacon) salutes the happy couple.
  • Brothers and Sisters has For the Robert and Kitty wedding — Kitty walking off the altar so she can tell Robert she blackmailed someone, Tommy commenting that he'd like to shoot Robert with a shotgun and getting held by the Secret Service and Nora's date smoking pot.
  • Xander leaves Anya at the altar in season 6 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
  • Coronation Street. Just Corrie.
  • CSI NY had Danny and Lindsay's wedding, although it was a quick, no frills affair down at the Justice of the Peace office.
    • There was also at least one that lead to the death of the week...the bride had bought her dress secondhand, not knowing it had been taken from a corpse by a shady undertaker looking to make money. The formaldehyde in the fabric was fatal. Then at the end, Mac has to interrupt another wedding to stop a groom from suffering the same fate due to his suit.
  • The Doctor Who episode "The Runaway Bride" has the bride spontaneously dematerialize on the altar and appear in the TARDIS due to Green Rocks in her system. Also, her husband-to-be is in cahoots with an alien spider queen who lives at the center of the Earth. Think of her when your bridesmaid's dress won't fit or when the ice sculpture melts. Not to mention the fact that when the bride returns to the reception, most of the guests are partying like nothing happened.
    • In contrast, Amy and Rory's wedding day went off spectacularly. The only thing that went wrong was when the bride cut off her father's speech to talk about her imaginary friend the Doctor, who then showed up, having missed most of the events.
    • Meanwhile, the Doctor and River were handfasted at the last second. This was mostly because it was the only way that the Doctor could get River's trust and reveal to her his plan to fake his own death, in order to save reality from disintegrating.
  • In Torchwood Gwen and Rhys' wedding day doesn't go too well what with her being impregnated by aliens and being stalked by the murderous mother of the fetus.
  • On that same note, EastEnders.
    • New Years Day 2010 saw Syed Masood's wedding to Amira Shah.
    • April 2011 — Tanya Branning and Greg Jessop, with jealous ex-husband Max Branning due for a car accident on the same day.
  • In Frasier, Niles and Daphne can't wait to get married, so they elope. Then, because everyone unwittingly mentions how hurt they'd be to miss the wedding before they can break the news, they have to get married again — and again and again and again as different people unwittingly raise more and more petty objections to the service they've just had.
  • Friends has had many weddings (and would-bes). Ross and Emily's, Monica and Chandler's, Phoebe and Mike's, etc.
  • The Golden Girls has several weddings. In one of the first episodes, Blanche is supposed to get married, but can't because the groom gets arrested and sent to prison. Other weddings include those of Dorothy's daughter Kate, Dorothy's son Michael, and an on-again, off-again wedding by a ditzy young couple who hired the Girls to cater their reception. In the series finale, Dorothy marries Blanche's uncle, Lucas Hollingsworth.
  • Gossip Girl has had two, both for Lily van der Woodsen. In the season one finally she married Bart Bass, and in early season three there was a wedding episode with Rufus.
    • Three, if you count the wedding of Eleanor Waldorf and Cyrus Rose in season two.
      • Four if you count the wedding of Dorota and Vanya in season three.
  • If you're getting married on Grey's Anatomy, it's not going to be a fairytale:
    • In the season 3 finale, Cristina is left at the altar by Burke as a result of Rea Life Writes The Plot from Isaiah Washington's departure.
    • At the time, the 100th episode's wedding of Alex and Izzie actually went off quite beautifully, as Derek and Meredith gave their friends their wedding due to Izzie's cancer. Cue another cast departure and yet another tally on Alex's doomed-romance total.
    • When the show's Official Couple Derek and Meredith finally did decide to get married, they first did it, now-famously, via Post-It note, then later as a simple courtroom formality.
    • Cristina and Owen got married on a whim, with their wedding happening at Meredith's house at the last minute.
    • Teddy married Henry in a business-like courtroom ceremony purely to give him insurance. Of course, they eventually fell in love, but still.
    • Bailey barely made it to her wedding to Ben after experiencing cold feet and dealing with surgery that very day.
    • April tries very hard to make her wedding to Matthew a perfect fairytale wedding. And it works- until Jackson interrupts.
  • Happy Days featured quite a few, notably Richie getting married to Lori Beth via phone (Ron Howard had left the series prior) with Fonzie as his stand-in, and the finale featuring Joanie & Chachi tying the knot.
  • Marshall and Lily's wedding on How I Met Your Mother descended into a disaster of epic proportions over a period of several weeks due to several small problems that had been piling up all coming to a head at once, until in the end, everyone involved was swimming in pandemonium while Lily frantically tried to corral an ex who was threatening to jump in at Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace and Marshall hysterically shaved himself half bald after accidentally getting slapped with the mother of all horrific haircuts. They wound up giving up on the wedding completely, and sneaking out for a private service with just the five of them out in the garden (Robin as maid of honor, Ted as best man, and Barney as officiator), so that they could relax and enjoy the catastrophic official wedding that followed.
  • JAG: Bud and Harriet’s wedding in the episode "Wedding Bell Blues".
  • Mash had a few, including one by telephone (similar to the Happy Days example above) between Klinger and his Toledo girlfriend Laverne Esposito.
    • In a subversion of this trope, Winchester comes back from R&R in Tokyo with two rolls of film from his marriage to an unknown woman. When she shows up at the 4077th, Winchester finds out that the marriage was performed by a bartender and was all just a long gag as part of a drunken binge.
    • In another episode, two of the local Koreans get married at the 4077th for some reason.
    • Margaret's wedding to Donald Penobscott took place at the 4077th, but most of their married life happens off-screen. The marriage is a plot point in several episodes, though.
    • In the finale, Klinger (long since divorced from Laverne) marries his Korean sweetheart.
  • McLeod's Daughters. Alex and Stevie's wedding day was almost ruined when a well-meaning policeman mistakes Alex for a cattle thief.
  • The best TV example of the Off-Again/On-Again wedding is Corky's wedding from Murphy Brown, where she gets cold feet at the last moment, the whole thing is called off, everyone goes home — and then she changes her mind and gets married with no one but the priest, Murphy, and the Temptations present. Oh, and the groom, of course.
  • Poor Phyllis on The Office gave Michael a part in her wedding. He proceeds to think that he's the most important part in the ceremoney, and Dwight, sure that he found a wedding crasher, kicks out her uncle who has memory loss. Pam is also frustrated since Phyllis stole everything from her wedding (that Pam broke off at the begining of the season), and seeing Jim dancing with Karen, gets back together with Roy.
  • One episode of Outnumbered had the family visiting the wedding of a relative. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Peep Show has two of those:
    • The Second series finale, called "Wedding", has Jeremy and Nancy's wedding. Nancy asks Jeremy to marry her in order to stay in Britain, but Jeremy takes it very seriously. Nancy goes to a job interview right after the ceremony, and Super Hans can't perform his best man speech due to his excessive cocaine consumption, and Toni convinces Jeremy to start an affair with her.
    • The fourth series finale also called "Wedding", revolves around Mark's wedding, which goes as bad as a wedding can : Mark has his clothes vomited on, attempts suicide, tries repeatedly to have the wedding cancelled and cries openly with the bride at the altar, while Jeremy loses Nancy and wets himself. In the end, Sophie bursts into tears and jumps out of the car on the way to the reception.
  • The Secret Life of the American Teenager: The Secret Wedding Of The American Teenager, obviously. Ben and Amy and their friends get fake I Ds and Ben and Amy use theirs to get married. It goes off without a hitch until their parents crash the reception and inform them that a fake ID marriage is an invalid one. The other weddings in the series (Adrian's parents, Leo and Betty, Ben and Adrian) don't get an entire episode focused on them, but parts of them are shown.
  • In the Stargate SG-1 episode "200," one of the ideas pitched for the movie was a wedding between Jack and Sam. Sam, however, is not actually seen at first; only Jack and Daniel are standing at the altar in front of the Stargate, noting that if Sam doesn't show up, people might think they're getting married. It was an obvious Shout-Out to both the Jack/Sam and the Jack/Daniel shippers.
  • Riker and Troi had Unresolved Sexual Tension all through the run of Star Trek: The Next Generation. They get married in Star Trek: Nemesis, the last movie with the Next Generation cast. We never get to see them say their "I do's", however — the movie just cuts to their reception after the Villain Opening Scene.
  • The Steve Harvey Show has Ced and Lovita saying their vows with a door between them. Bullethead locked Ced, Steve, and himself in the storage room of Ced and Steve's apartment building when Ced went there to retrieve a top hat that Lovita despised. When no one could pay the locksmith (Regina only had credit cards, and Romeo spent all of his money on the masseuse that Ced and Lovita hired) the only other option was to say the vows with the door between the bride and groom. They even slid the rings to each other through the crack in the door. Interestingly enough, once the minister (Raj from What's Happening!) pronounced Ced and Lovita husband and wife, Lovita kicks the door down (a la The Bionic Woman) and kisses Ced. Why couldn't she have done that in the beginning?
  • Third Watch had two weddings — Sully and Tatiana in Season 3 (which had to be postponed due to their wedding day occuring in September 11) and Carlos and Holly in the Grand Finale.
  • The third-season finale of The Middle (elliptically titled "The Wedding"), in which Mike's brother Rusty gets married. At the Hecks' house. With a week's notice.
  • Family Matters has "Mama's Wedding", wherein Estelle marries Fletcher Thomas.
  • In The Big Bang Theory, Howard and Bernadette moved their Wedding Day so that they would already be married by the time Howard was sent into space. After failing to find anyone willing to conduct the ceremony at short notice, all of their friends got ordained as ministers on-line (Sheldon apparently got ordained twice, once by the State of California and once by the Klingon High Council) and conducted the ceremony as a team. On the roof of Leonard and Sheldon's apartment, just as the Google Earth satellite was photographing the area. They timed it so that the photo was taken just as the newlyweds kissed.
  • The pilot for The Brady Bunch features Mike and Carol's wedding, and part of their honeymoon.
  • The season 19 finale of Sesame Street is Luis and Maria's wedding. Elmo is the ring bearer.
  • Downton Abbey has not one, but two episodes in the third seasons revolving around weddings:
    • Episode 3x01 focuses on Matthew and Mary's long-awaited marriage. They Do, to the delighted squeals of fans worldwide.
    • Episode 3x03 focuses on Edith's wedding to Sir Anthony Strallen. It doesn't go quite as well- he leaves her at the altar.

    Pinball 
  • Mayfair, based on the film version of My Fair Lady, shows the wedding between Eliza's father and his wealthy American matron.

    Western Animation 
  • The second animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series has one with long-time allies, April O'Neil and Casey Jones, getting married in the 7th Season Finale.
  • David Xanatos, villain of Gargoyles, invites his archnemesis Goliath to be best man at his wedding — and Goliath's estranged ex-mate Demona to be his wife's bridesmaid. This is so Goliath and Demona can reminisce about old times, so Demona can fool Goliath into handing over half of a ancient time-travel artifact he kept as a souvenir from when they were lovers, so Demona can reconstruct the artifact and open a portal to tenth century Scotland, so Xanatos can sneak through the portal and save Prince Malcolm's betrothed, so Prince Malcolm can reward him with coins, so Xanatos can mail his 1975 self the coins, so that his younger self has $20,000 in seed money to create a multi-national corporation. Xanatos.
    • It helps that Gargoyles has a fairly Stable Time Loop. He probably knew going in that he wouldn't fail, and told himself that in the letter.
  • The Fairly Oddparents: Jorgen and the Tooth Fairy.
  • Little Bill and a classmate are chosen to participate in their teacher's wedding.
  • Phineas and Ferb did it in the episode titled "Candace's Big Day", though the couple in question is actually the kids' Aunt Tiana and Uncle Bob.
  • ReBoot gives Dot and Bob a wedding near the end of the series. It gets interrupted by Bob (it's called "My Two Bobs" for a reason) and then Glitch interrupts it to reveal that the groom Bob is Megabyte. Then Bob and Megabyte trash the place and the wedding is canceled.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic had this for its second season finale, "A Canterlot Wedding", between two new figures from Twilight Sparkle's past: her older brother Shining Armor and her childhood foal-sitter Princess Cadance. The complication here is Cadance has been kidnapped and replaced by the queen of a race of shape-shifters who feed off love, as part of a scheme to invade Canterlot.
  • The Smurfs had a cartoon special "Smurfily Ever After" devoted to the wedding of Cute Mute Laconia and her beloved Woody. Woody wanted it simple, but the Smurfs were willing to make it a monumental event, which got ruined by Gargamel showing up with his Ghoulliope musical machine. By the special's end, Woody got the simple wedding he wanted all along.
  • Rocko's Modern Life featured Filburt marrying Dr. Hutchison. It took a lot to get the episode produced, because at the time, Nickelodeon wasn't too big on continuity. So it was the first in-series wedding Nickelodeon ever featured.
  • The Bakshi Mighty Mouse episode "Mighty's Wedlock Whimsy" is billed as a cautionary tale of Mighty Mouse marrying Pearl Pureheart. After a dream sequence he'd like to forget, Mighty Mouse is about to take his vow when he gets cold feet. The wedding is averted as the animator himself is unable to go through with it.
  • The Powerpuff Girls: "The City Of Clipsville" has a flashback scene of the Professor getting married (in presumed response to fan fiction). His bride turns out to be Mojo Jojo.
  • Futurama: The series finale is confirmed to feature Fry and Leela's wedding.

    Real Life 


Wartime WeddingWedding and Engagement TropesWedding Deadline
Viewers In MourningOlder Than SteamWhen the Clock Strikes Twelve
Wayback TripPlotsWell Intentioned Replacement
We Come in Peace — Shoot to KillNarrative DevicesWelcome to the Big City

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