If you’re into Romcoms, then you know how gargantuan weddings can get on the big screen. The experience portrayed on film can include everything from extravagant dresses to a large wedding party to a 10-tier wedding cake to a five-course meal.
These unrealistic weddings and concepts put ordinary weddings to shame. Still, they often glorify the celebration of the union but fall short of preparing you for marriage and the work that comes after the rice has hit the floor.
Sex & the City
Everyone got “Carried away” when “Sex & the City” characters Carrie and Mr. Big decided finally to tie the knot. She even had an entire editorial before her big day. However, as fancy as they planned that special day and glorified the wedding with the most expensive decorations, food and attire, inevitably the roses wilted alone as neither the bride nor groom showed up for the wedding.
Coming to America
Prince Akeem, born into royalty, was presented with a lavish wedding, preplanned and as over the top as they come. The abundance of flowers, dancers, a singer and even his arranged wife dripped in gold. As magnanimous as the wedding was, there was no pre-marital counseling, advice, or prepping for an actual marriage. The wedding was so extravagant that the marriage never had a chance, even though Akeem was after real love. Even then, we never get to see marriage, just the idea of what could be.
“Bridesmaids” is a fan favorite. It’s essentially a competition between the bride’s best friends from old and current life. One tries to outdo the other to show their love and how much they know the bride and what she likes. Fireworks, neon lights, and special guests appear as the maid of honor of the wedding celebrates and leaves her mark by displaying the lengths she’ll go for the bride. Yet, nobody is actually preparing the bride for the marriage; instead, they are arguing over where to eat and how much they’ve spent to represent their love.
The gap between fiancé and spouse is wide. Pre-planning and pre-marriage counseling often can help prepare for the transition of roles that transpire after the ink dries and last names coincide.
A test of 502 newlywed spouses and 251 marriages led by the Journal of Family Psychology showed that nearly all spouses predicted their marital satisfaction would remain stable or improve over the following four years. However, marital satisfaction declined on average despite this high overall level of optimism.
Wives with the most optimistic forecasts showed the steepest declines in marital satisfaction. These wives also had lower self-esteem, higher stress levels and physical aggression toward their partners initially.
Through the lens of a single girl who is constantly asked to be a bridesmaid, “27 Dresses” is wedding glorification galore. However, this film isn’t as big and boastful as the others, but it is dramatic and drawn out. When the lead (Jane) confesses her love for Kevin, they eventually marry on the beach. Romcoms only offer you a happy conclusion in most cases, and you’re left to create your own ending or leave it as it is unless there is a sequel.
Our Family Wedding
“Our Family Wedding” depicts a young lady’s mom planning the wedding of her dreams when it’s supposed to be her daughter’s. Things get out of hand, especially with the rival fathers, and the young couple tries to remind themselves that it’s “our marriage, their wedding.” Although they continue to say this mantra, in true film style, the marriage life isn’t revealed, only the wedding.
Why do films give you the wedding and no parts of the marriage? Is marriage that exclusive or strenuous that it shouldn’t be documented? Or is a happy ending just a better fit for society to live with?
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