The 5th series of BBC3's hit show Don't Tell The Bride has just come to an end. It's been lighting up our screens for 5 years now (hard to believe, isn't it?) It certainly makes for fascinating viewing on a dull Tuesday evening. Twitter lights up whenever it's on. #dttb But when it comes to wedding planning, is the influence of Don't Tell The Bride and other reality wedding shows a positive one?
When you watch DTTB, the determination to outdo everybody else, to be memorable, is ever present. But in a bid to be original, there ends up being a lot of copycatting between brides and grooms. I've lost count of the number of helicopters I've seen feature in DTTB, for example. Neither can I recall any of the names of the couples taking part.
Other shows such as Channel 4's Wedding House encourage couples to think big. They bring couples from all walks of life to a glamorous hotel in South East London and promise them the wedding of their dreams. Except that they don't, not really. They give them an outrageously over-the-top themed ceremony and then send them outside to have their pictures taken on the lawn with only a PLASTIC (yes, that's PLASTIC) glass of bubbly. Parties and receptions elsewhere, if you don't mind.
Perhaps I'm judging reality TV too harshly. After all, one could say that the royal wedding was one lived in the spotlight. For all the publicity and audience figures these reality shows tend to pull in, I don't think there is yet to be single 'trend' or influence over wedding style that can be attributed to them, which is not true at all of the royal wedding. Trees, lily of the valley, bridesmaids in white, floral headdress, sleeves... The trends that have sprung for Wills & Kate's nuptials are endless
Mostly these shows end up with couples talking about what an amazing day they've had and how it was better than anything they could have imagined. It's all a bit same old same old to me (call me cynical, it's been done before). It's seems a bit of a shame that the brides and grooms spend so much time trying to wow each other and their guests, not the mention their audience, that they often miss the point of what a wedding is really about: Two people who love each other and want to spend the rest of their lives together. Now if BBC3 did a series on what happens AFTER Don't Tell The Bride, now that I would watch!