Top 10 Wedding Tropes That Make NO Sense
VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu
WRITTEN BY: Tal Fox
These wedding tropes make no sense! For this list, we'll be looking at things that always seem to happen in fictional on-screen weddings that are highly unlikely to ever go down in real life. Our countdown includes "I Object!," the vital missing item, a last minute venue change, and more!
Top 10 Wedding Tropes That Make No Sense
Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Wedding Tropes That Make No Sense.
For this list, we’ll be looking at things that always seem to happen in fictional on-screen weddings that are highly unlikely to ever go down in real life.
Have you ever been to a wedding where one of these tropes did happen? Let us know in the comments.
#10: Doesn’t Anyone Have a Budget?
If you’ve ever thrown a wedding, you’ll know only too well how pricey those shindigs can get. There’s the venue, the food, the vendors, the outfits — the price of flowers alone isn’t for the faint-hearted. This is why the ridiculously lavish events often seen on-screen leave us baffled. You might have been inspired by Uncle Jesse and Becky’s wedding in “Full House,” created a mood board based on Annie and Bryan’s ceremony from “Father of the Bride,” or dreamt of recreating Monica and Chandler’s walk down the aisle and reception “Friends.” Based on what we know about some of these characters, they went significantly over budget. They’d be better off saving their hard-earned dough for their futures.
#9: “I Object!”
It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for: the “I Dos.” But first, the officiant will say something like [“...Speak now or forever hold your peace”]. You might hear this at some strict Christian weddings, but generally, it’s with respect to the legality of the nuptials. In TV and movies, the exclamation is typically used as an opening to make a sweeping declaration of love or to stop someone from marrying the wrong person. Often, it involves a frantic race against time, and occasionally the culprit arrives at the wrong venue, interrupting some other poor happy couple’s special day. Of course, the drama’s just part of the entertainment, and those kinds of theatrics would certainly not be welcome at a real wedding.
#8: A Last Minute Venue Change
As Hollywood likes to remind us, venues can book up years in advance. So once you’ve penciled in that date and drop that dough on a deposit, it’s improbable that anything will drastically change (at least, this was true until the pandemic hit). Yet, in a common trope, the dream setting suddenly becomes unavailable due to unforeseen circumstances. Ross and Emily’s venue was torn down, while a vengeful nemesis turns Jake and Amy’s location into a crime scene. Meanwhile, unexpected weather nearly dampens both Phoebe and Mike and David and Patrick’s weddings. Normally, friends and family rally together to ensure the celebrations can still take place elsewhere. As heartwarming, hilarious, or just plain chaotic as these moments can be, it ain’t happening in reality because backup plans are usually made in case of such emergencies.
#7: A Disastrous Bachelor or Bachelorette Party
There’s a whole genre of movies dedicated to this trope, and plenty of TV shows have delved into the cliché as well. It’s the last hurrah as a single person, and they’re hoping for a night to remember. That usually ends up being the case… just for all the wrong reasons. While it definitely make for an entertaining watch, would you actually want to be at any of these parties in real life? Also, no one’s actually going on these wild blowouts the day before the wedding. Who wants to be exhausted, hungover, and desperately trying to piece together the previous night’s events as they walk down the aisle?
#6: You Can’t Plan (& Hold) a Wedding in Just a Few Days
Weddings take a lot of careful planning and precise coordination, and things have to get booked pretty far in advance. So, throwing together a wedding in a couple of days might save time in a film or your favorite TV show, but it is incredibly unrealistic off-screen. According to The Knot’s 2021 Real Weddings Study, an average couple in the U.S. will be engaged for 16 months. That’s a long time to plan your dream wedding. So, we’re not quite sure how Gammy Annie and the other Paxtons pulled it off in just one weekend. Sure, you could bypass all the fuss and just elope, but you still need to get your hands on a marriage license first.
#5: Vendors Aren’t Cancelling Last Minute
Besides the bride or groom being a no-show, having your vendors cancel last-minute is among the biggest wedding crises a couple could face. You wouldn’t want your guests to go hungry, and what’s a party without cake? Yet, fictional weddings like to amp up the drama with a last-second cancellation or several. The truth is that when you book your various services, you sign a contract that holds both parties accountable. The truth is that when you book your various services, you sign a contract that holds both parties accountable. Dropping out or coming across as flaky isn’t exactly a good look for the company either. Unless there’s some major emergency or extenuating circumstances like the pandemic, vendors tend to be reliable. However, it doesn’t hurt to go over your contract and make sure you’re covered.
#4: Must Something Always Go Wrong?
Understandably, an on-screen wedding serves to entertain audiences, so it would be a little dull if there weren’t a few mishaps here or there. In fact, we challenge you to find a memorable movie or TV wedding that isn’t hit by some considerable catastrophe. But ask any real-life married couple, and they’re unlikely to recount tales of a badger on the loose in the vents or a crazed ex tearing around the venue. There might have been one or two minor inconveniences at most, but nothing that will throw off the entire event. After all, for many, it’s one of the best days of their lives and something they’ll treasure forever.
#3: The Vital Missing Item
And while we’re on the subject of things going wrong, have you ever noticed how an important wedding article always manages to disappear at the worst possible moment? The missing ring is one of the biggest tropes, and we’ve also seen a few lost veils. Typically the careless perpetrator tries to relocate the missing item in secret. The truth is that the bride or groom isn’t expecting anyone to hold on to these keepsakes before the wedding. They’ll probably just hand it over on the day once they’re already at the venue. Who would want to take the chance of losing something so meaningful on their big day?
#2: Professing an Undying Love for the Bride or Groom
You know that saying that starts with “Tis better to have loved and lost …?” Well, this cliché would beg to disagree. An old flame or friend suddenly realizes that the bride or groom is the “one that got away.” Sometimes the feelings are reciprocated, and other times it’s totally misplaced. Can you imagine the drama if this actually happened in real life? It probably wouldn’t be viewed as the grand romantic gesture that it so often is in countless rom-coms. Rather, it would anger many people, ruin some friendships, and above all, be really embarrassing and something they’d never live down. However, if you’ve ever witnessed anything like this, please do share in the comments.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
Leaving Your Own Wedding to Go On Honeymoon
Most Couples Wait a Bit Longer before Jetting Off
Resolving Family Feuds
Your Wedding Really Isn’t the Forum for Unresolved Family Drama
Saying the Wrong Name
Even as a Joke, This Has No Place at a Real Wedding
Your Bridesmaid (or Maid of Honor) Is Your Nemesis
Normally a Bride Selects Her Nearest & Dearest for a Reason
It’s Not Fun & Spontaneous, It’s Just Rude
#1: Getting Left at the Altar
While getting cold feet is fairly common, it’s generally something the couple will address before actually getting married. The odds of attending an actual ceremony where someone gets jilted are incredibly low. But it does make for some entertaining viewing and certainly gives viewers something to talk about. Perhaps you never thought the couple belonged together anyway, and it comes as a relief. Or you thought they were a match made in heaven, and you can’t believe so and so would do that. It’s a pretty overused and relatively unrealistic trope. If we ever attend a wedding where someone’s left at the altar, we’ll eat the entire wedding cake, toppers and all.