Hold onto your seats, because we’re about to hit you with a truly surprising revelation. Romantic comedies don’t always accurately represent what it’s like to be involved in a relationship. I know, I know–we’d love to live in a world where you can stand outside your beloved’s house with a boom box and have her be charmed instead of calling the cops. But in the real world, hardly anything goes the way it does in romantic comedies, and that includes weddings. Here are a few examples:
No One’s Going to Object (The Graduate, Made of Honor)
We all know how the story goes. The bride and groom are just about to get married, but right before the pronouncement that will officially wed them, the officiant asks if anyone has any objections. Someone stands up and gives a heartfelt speech, and boom! The wedding’s off.
But in actuality, hardly anyone goes for the “speak now or forever hold his peace” bit at the wedding. It’s just inviting one of your comedian friends to throw in an ill-timed attempt at being funny. And presumably if someone did have an objection, they’d take it to you in private instead of torpedoing the wedding. But just to be on the safe side, skip straight to the “I now pronounce you” part.
Your Bachelor/Bachelorette Party Doesn’t Have to be a Blow-Out in Vegas (The Hangover, Bridesmaids)
We don’t know who started the idea that bachelor/bachelorette parties have to be weekend-long, extravagantly expensive affairs, but let’s bring things back to earth, okay? Your friends love you. They’re happy you’re getting married. But they probably can’t afford to take a long weekend to fly to Vegas for your bachelorette party like they do in those romantic comedy movies.
And even if the cost isn’t an issue, that’s a pretty serious time and effort commitment to ask of people who are going to also spend time and money helping put your wedding together. Especially if you’re one of the last to get married, and everyone has spouses and kids in addition to full-time work. No one’s saying the party shouldn’t be all about you–but maybe keep it to one evening or at most a single overnight close to home.
The Credits Don’t Roll (Pretty much every romantic comedy)
So you’ve had your picture-perfect wedding, even though the mother of the bride tried to nose in on the preparations, and the groom got lost on the way to the church, and one of the bridesmaids got food poisoning and threw up on the officiant. But it all came together in the end, and as you go off to live happily ever after with your new spouse, the scene fades to black and the credits roll.
Even though we know intellectually that life doesn’t stop right at the wedding, that fade-to-black is so engraved in our minds from years of pop culture that it’s hard to think past it. In reality, what happens is you go sign the wedding certificate, head off to the reception…and then the credits also fail to roll as you leave the reception and hop in the limo. Instead, you now go off and have an actual marriage with your new spouse. Despite what pop culture tells us, the wedding is the beginning of the story, not the end as romantic comedies would have you believe.
There’s nothing wrong with a good romantic comedy. But it’s good to stay grounded when you’re putting your wedding together and thinking about your life after the big day. No matter what Sandra Bullock or Julia Roberts try to tell you, getting married is nothing like it is in the movies.