Why reality tv is missing the boat with non-traditional weddings

Guest post by Laura Guerrie

I've written in the past about why there will likely never be an Offbeat Bride tv show, but I'm not the only one who's turned down doing a non-traditional weddings reality show… -Ariel

FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUU bridezillas alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
THIS shit is what's wrong with the wedding industry.

Television wants Offbeat Brides. They know you're out there, all gorgeous and colorful and smelling yummy. They covet you and see you as deliciously untouched virgin territory. The problem is, like virgins themselves, once they're anywhere near you — they're completely unsure of what to do with you!

As a Los Angeles-based wedding planner that specializes in unconventional weddings, I get approached from time to time regarding cheesy wedding show ideas. My typical response is the standard T-Rex defense: hold very still and hopefully they'll go away. Recently, however, a legitimate television production company contacted me and expressed interest in developing a show about my business.

They were intrigued by the alternative weddings I've been involved with and wanted to know more about them. They acknowledged that no one has yet done the genre justice, and sought my insight on how such a show might be done.

The skeptic in me gave way to the fantasy that this could actually be done right. How truly awesome would that be? A reality program dedicated to showcasing the unique challenges and amazing weddings of those who march to their own beat!

There were meetings, conversations and interviews, all through which I spoke of my great love of unconventional weddings. I told them how few of my clients were extremely over the top and that it's more often about the bits and pieces of personalization. I let them know that, although the tide is turning, it is sometimes difficult to fulfill offbeat desires in an industry that remains steadfastly traditional. I also reminded them that, at the end of the day, this is someone's wedding and not a time to be derogatory, no matter the style.

I kept thinking they might get bored, that I wasn't able to provide enough drama, but all along it appeared as if they were listening and the calls kept coming. However, several weeks in they handed me their initial show synopsis and I couldn't believe my eyes.

Naughty little buzz words like “weird,” “crazy,” “strange” and “bad-taste” peppered the paragraphs. I choked back a nervous laugh, and they assured me it was an early draft, that each episode would have a “happy ending.” But as I read further, the general gist unfolded like an acid-trip vision — bringing to mind images of vintage circus trains, calliope music pumping out slightly off-key, the animal cars full of rabid brides in tattered day-glo dresses, grooms wearing Chewbacca costumes under their tuxes, and screaming in-laws bearing pitchforks bringing up the rear. (OK, not literally — but that's pretty much what it seemed like!)

If producers would consider abandoning the freak-show format in favor of portraying these celebrations in a positive light, they might be pleasantly surprised to find a built-in, passionate audience who's hungry for more.

When my husband saw it and said it made him feel “squeamy,” I knew I was in trouble. I am one of very few wedding professionals focusing on the alternative and, as such, I felt like I was being Johnny Bravo‘d into a show that had absolutely nothing to do with me or my business. Worse yet, there was a total lack of reverence for the types of weddings I love.

Later that night, I re-wrote their treatment to be a bit more respectful and included it with an email stating that it was imperative that “any media involvement on my part comes from a perspective of celebrating, not denigrating, offbeat weddings.”

And then my phone got very quiet.

I certainly don't pretend to know anything about television production, but I do know that the huge popularity of sites like Offbeat Bride indicates an ever-increasing appetite for such material. If producers would considering abandoning the freak-show format in favor of portraying these celebrations in a positive light, they might be pleasantly surprised to find a built-in, passionate audience who's hungry for more.

I've always said there is a fine line between “having fun with” and “making fun of” one's wedding. By crossing that line, television discards the most important element: These are weddings. No matter how far they are from traditional, at their heart they are the joining of two humans to form a new family and that is not something to be made into a side-show spectacle. At least not on my watch.

If this topic piques your interest, be sure to read Why you should ignore trainwreck wedding reality shows.

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Comments on Why reality tv is missing the boat with non-traditional weddings

  1. I long had a job where my schedule left me with weekdays open, which was prime time for wedding reality shows. At first I sort of loved them for how trashy they were, but as I thought more of how I wanted my wedding to be, they started to make me angry. There was one particular moment where David Tutera was redoing one Texas bride’s wedding, and was just appalled that she wanted beer and BBQ and to wear her favorite cowboy boots under her dress. At the end he let her wear her boots, but acted as if it were such a generous act on his part to allow her that bit of offbeat-ness. I also remember an episode of Four Weddings where one contestant voted someone’s wedding down because she thought the fun, choreographed first dance wasn’t the “special, romantic” moment she thought it should be.

    Of course these women all applied to be on these shows, so they know what they’re getting into. It just would be nice to have a show where these offbeat ideas were celebrated in an honest way, not gawked at.

    • “There was one particular moment where David Tutera was redoing one Texas bride’s wedding, and was just appalled that she wanted beer and BBQ and to wear her favorite cowboy boots under her dress.”

      This is just… disgusting. I guess the whole “This is YOUR special day!!” ends as soon as you want something, you know, uniquely YOU.

    • I once saw an episode of Say Yes to the Dress where they were making a big to-do over how this bride wants a… RED dress??? Oh my god, how weird! What a bridezilla– why isn’t white good enough for her? Doesn’t she know how HARD it is for us to find a red dress? Who does she think she is? Someone who’s prepared to plunk down tens of thousands of dollars for one of our products? Ugh!

      …Yeah, I wanted to throw something through the TV.

      • YES! I saw that one. Or at least one with a similar theme. They were also shaming her so hard for wanting a red dress under $2k and basically bullied her into more than doubling her budget rather than saying, “You know, maybe Kleinfeld isn’t best suited for your needs” (ideally off-camera). If I recall, she was also having an Indian wedding, so their dismissal of her desire for a red dress was not only ridiculous because any bride should be able to request a colored dress without grief, but it was also a bit racist.

  2. I just want to stand up and cheer for you!

    Thank you for defending the right of every couple to have their wedding treated with respect, no matter how offbeat or “tacky” it may seem.

    And seriously,
    I wish someone *would* make a show about how amazing and awesome offbeat weddings can be.

  3. I watch some of the wedding shows. But never bridezilla. I love the shows based around one element like finding the dress or making the cake, but beyond that bleck.

  4. On behalf of all of us “off beat brides” (to any extent that may be) – THANK YOU!

  5. I admit that I’m guilty of watching the occasional Bridezilla… primarily to make myself feel more sane. But the shows that do wedding “makeovers” tend to make me really sad. I saw one with a couple that had a fabulous Halloween themed wedding planned and the show tore it apart. Their theme was made fun of and completely ditched. Such a shame!!!

    • You know, the first episode that I watched did a really cool job with it. The couple wanted a winter themed wedding, but they were really into horse-riding (or something) and had left it to family members to plan. the family members had Christmas decorations and the like, which wasn’t in line with what the couple wanted. The planner helped to get it more in line with what the couple wanted. It was heavily themed but not exactly “off-beat” so that might have made the difference. Then I watched a few more episodes and was really disappointment with the rest of what I’d seen.

  6. I agree with the first poster the Four Weddings might be one of the worst offenders. It practically screams “If you don’t toe the line with the way weddings are supposed to be, everyone is going to hate your wedding”

    • I think it depends, though. I’ve seen a few episodes where the brides marked each other down for not being unique or not incorporating personal touches. It’s hit or miss… but mostly miss. 🙁

      • I’ve seen one or two episodes where the other brides actually appreciated the touches in one brides wedding that made it unique and special, and really spoke about that particular couple – but it’s sadly true that these are few and far between.

        I think the simple fact that we refer to ourselves as offbeat means that people are either going to love the unique factor – or, like the media, will point fingers and laugh and make fun of….Which is dumb. Media is dumb – they cancel the good shows, and insist on continuing to feed us junk.

      • Totally agree. I love watching Four Weddings because of all the ideas but it always ends up with something like:
        One of the brides says “Her dress was nice but not really my style so I gave it a two,” then I’ll yell at the TV “But your style isn’t important at HER wedding!” and then my boyfriend says “Why do you watch this when it always makes you so angry?”

        • I would just tell your boyfriend that it’s because you like to yell at the TV. I know that’s why I like to watch those.

    • I admit I’ve never watched it but I think the big problem with shows like that is that the judges are also contestants. So it’s in their interest right from the start to find fault with everything, and therefore give a lower score, to give themselves a better chance of winning. I suspect it might be the case that anything out of the ordinary is easier to criticise.

    • I watched Four Wedding for the first time last night and wanted to get all slappity on the one snotty wench who was spending $80,000 on her wedding and called everyone else “generic” when they chose anything that wasn’t 100% like her wedding.
      I am scouting ebay, local vendors and doing the most with the least for our Luau wedding. It’s going to be tacky and fun,and the guests will enjoy it more than an expensive stuffy snore-fest.

  7. Every time I watch one of those shows I can’t help thinking they were created by the wedding industry to sell me an ideal of what my wedding needs to be, specifically that it will somehow be less if I don’t go into debt spending thousands on my wedding dress and get that perfect ice sculpture. Weddings should be about who you are and who you love, not snarcky comments and low blows.

    • Sadly, you’re probably right. Those shows are usually sponsored by companies in the wedding industry.

      • Hmm… Now that I think about it, when have you seen a TV show or magazine about budget weddings of any kind? Everything seems to equate wedding with spectacle… and spending.

        • I only remember one budget wedding show, and it’s from a few years back: “For Better or For Worse”.

          One week to plan the wedding and a budget of $5000. The bride and groom each had 3-4 family or friends as the team working with a wedding planner to pull off the wedding. The catch was no one could tell the couple what was being done for them.

          Surprisingly few train-wrecks, and usually clever ideas.

          • Yes! I was trying to remember the name of that show…
            I remember it featuring a Moulan Rouge wedding, a fake fall wedding with guests seated on the ground on cushions, and some innovatinve money saving ideas.
            That’s pretty offbeat for a TLC wedding show…

            There’s also SToribook Weddings, where Tori Spelling and her husband help try to make a couples dream wedding a reality. One episode featured a Steampunk wedding – and of all wedding shows I’ve seen, they seem to be the most open minded and respectful to ideas that might be seen as different to the norm.

            Four weddings is awful, and I can’t even bring myself to watch it any longer.
            Oh man. I watch too many wedding shows.

  8. There was a program on RTE television in Ireland years ago called ‘How Do You Do’ which was a lovely make and do show that taught you to make robots out of milk cartons – I LONG for a similar wedding show, where you are show how to DIY your wedding crafts (I love make and do, but I need someone to hold my hand through the process!)

    You see it here in ‘Don’t Tell the Bride’ – where the groom does offbeat things like rent a VW camper van or decorate a room in a nautical theme or choose a simple, beautiful dress and the overwhelming theme of the program is ‘Oh no no no no no, that’s not what she’ll want isn’t he an idiot?’.

    Give me the van and the quirky decorations and the pretty, simple dress. That’s what I love to see on the telly ;0)

    • I personally love it on that show when the bride loves everything he’s done, even if he has made a few mistakes, especially when the show has been criticizing him the whole time, cause the point of the show is to make the bride happy, no the show sponsors. 😀

    • I *hate* that programme! The basic theme running through it is ‘aren’t these men really thick, huh ladies?’.

      Also – HOW DO YOU DO!!! I still save all my toilet roll holders. Bring back Mary Fitzgerald!

  9. You are all so welcome and thank YOU for your supportive comments. Sometimes, as a small business person in in a tough economy, choosing values over PR can be a little scary. I always knew it was the right decision, but reading about your personal thoughts and experiences on this topic makes me feel pretty warm and fuzzy inside!

  10. After my “blind women get married too” post, I’ve had one or two people contact me with the intent interest of wanting to get us on their show.

    The problem, is that nobody has ever said “We’d like to get the word out that you’ve got a unique experience, and one that we think others might relate to”

    Instead, they ask if there’s been any “drama” surrounding my event. I feel like we’d actually let someone into our world (maybe) if they approached it, and treated it like it is – a situation which doesn’t get covered by the wedding industry often enough.

    • Yeah, in addition to the casting call emails I get almost weekly, I know that casting agents trawl Offbeat Bride posts for leads. Over the years, they’ve contacted dozens of people we’ve featured… not always with the best of intentions. There’s nothing I can do about it, of course, but it definitely makes me uncomfortable.

  11. Well said Laura!! I’ve removed all wedding shows from my DVR, specifically because they make fun of the unique ideas rather than embrace them. As you said, these people are really getting married. It should be about celebrating that, not making fun of their choices!!

  12. I’ve just been reading an article on a comedy industry website about why televised stand-up is less interesting than what you see in the clubs. I think it’s the same principle at work here. Basically, TV executives are reactionary, behind the times and generally pretty clueless. Maybe the change will come in, ooh, ten years. It’s already late.

    On a slightly more political note, Sara makes a very good point. I suspect that a lot of wedding “rules” exist or are perpetuated with the aim of frightening people into spending more money than they otherwise would have done. “If you don’t buy this phone everyone will laugh at you/If you don’t have this beauty treatment no-one will find you attractive…If you don’t do this your wedding will be crap”. It’s corporatocracy, man. I say: this aggression will not stand.

    Good on you for sticking by your principles, Laura.

  13. I don’t really like wedding shows with one exception: Say Yes to the Dress. I think I might enjoy a show that was about an offbeat wedding vendor and their dealings with brides and grooms. That could be kinda fun.

  14. Thank you!!! I was very proud to read this article. I have always respected people that aren’t afraid to venture off the beaten path, and one of the reasons is that they don’t sell out. Unique does not equal negative spectacle, and I am continually impressed with this website (and those that are actively involved in it)! Everyone here rocks.

  15. As a military spouse, I can’t help but apply this to our current situation. Different branches have been releasing statements to active duty and their spouses about how to respond to producers who contact them about being on a new string of reality military “Housewives” shows that they are pushing. A lot of us feel the same way, if they were actually interested in portraying us in an honest light, we would love to share our lives and our experiences with others. I think there are a lot of misconceptions about our lives as military families, and who better to clear these up than us? But due to the way these shows are put together, we don’t want to be put in contrived situations that will make us or our active duty spouses look bad. I’m going to refer to points you have made in this post the next time someone complains that we are being discouraged from participating in the shows. Thank you.

  16. The sad thing is this doesn’t just apply to weddings. I rarely watch TV these days and part of that is everything seems to be about drama these days.

    Aside from reality TV shows half of everything seems to be cops hunting psycho killers whilst sleeping with each other and yelling about it in the office and hopsitals where everyone is screaming at each other all day long. (Note: This may be an exaggeration.)

    It’s like the old rule about the news – they always report the worst of what’s happened because bad news sells – has been carried over to everything else.

    I’m not totally against drama in all forms. The majority of stories of any kind don’t work without some form of tension or uncertainty, but especially with weddings where there’s a million and one things going on already and plenty of challenges along the way I really don’t understand why they feel like the need to focus entirely on the negative aspects.

    What I think I’d like to see is a wedding show that’s more like a cooking show, where there is that element of “Oh God, is it all going to go wrong? Will they get it done in time?” but everyone is hoping it does work out and it’s about how they make it happen rather than everyone tearing them down.

    • I used to work at a TV production company and thought an Offbeat Bride show would be a great pitch. But then I saw what they (producers, network heads, etc.) do to happy pitches: they take them to a dark, dark place. “People don’t want to see women getting along. They want to see women ripping each others’ throats out.” And I thought “Who the hell are these ‘people’?” No one I know or want to know. I don’t watch much reality TV, but I don’t see why no network seems to take chances on feel-good reality shows. I’ll watch “It’s Me or the Dog” or “The Dog Whisper” or “Extreme Make-over Home Edition” (if I’m wearing water-proof mascara). Reality TV can be happy and life-affirming and people will watch it. Why does no one believe this?

      • Also, I understand the whole schadenfreude of watching train wrecks on reality TV (these people don’t have it together or are all together terrible, which makes me feel better about my life). But shouldn’t we strive for more? Would it be so terrible to see some reality TV and think “These people are doing amazing, creative things and I can too!”

        • Would it be so terrible to see some reality TV and think “These people are doing amazing, creative things and I can too!”

          Oh, god, I wish. I am a costumer/cosplayer and that is my goal in my community — I hosts panels and workshops and whatever else TO INSPIRE. I wish reality TV would inspire. Cooking shows inspire, why can’t wedding shows?

      • “People don’t want to see women getting along. They want to see women ripping each others’ throats out.”

        This might be the most depressing thing I’ve ever read. Feminism? Girl power? Paying it forward?

        That’s why I feel very at home on this website – nice ladies being nice to each other. No oneupmanship, just genuine regard for each other. I mean is four brides making mean eyes at each other and slating each others happy days really what the feminist movement was about? I mean how can we hope to achieve equality if we are bitching at each other?!!!

  17. I completely agree with you. When I first started watching David Tutera’s show I loved him. I still like him enough but have seen him guffaw at so many ideas. Bridesmaids not wearing the same color dress or same shoes?! Bride wearing pink?! SKULLS at a wedding?! All things that I thought either didn’t matter or were a great expression of those particular people – shot down for being outlandish. Makes me sad – I certainly won’t be applying to that show for help anytime soon – every piece of us would be gone!

    Thank you for sticking up for us and standing your ground. Hopefully some day, a very intelligent producer will recognize that latching on to the OBB market AND respecting it would be a gold mine so these weddings too can be shared with the world.

  18. The reality tv format is just bad when you respect what you do. My neighbor is a designer and got pulled into one of those design shows. He’s a very calm, low, no-drama man and this does not work well in a format that needs drama like our bodies need water. From him I learned they manufacture drama when none appears organically, which is not good for anyone.
    Find a tv format that isn’t drama dependent and respects everyone involved. Which I think would leave you with the straight cooking-craft show (as opposed to the Iron Chef format)with a PBS feel.
    And thanks for standing up for Offbeat Brides.

    • Ugh. I used to love David, but after watching that show for a while, I noticed all of his weddings look exactly the same….I know he’s trying to do a good thing, but sanitizing the wedding and making them all cookie cutter copies is just so boring!

  19. I suffer from understanding completely why it’s not good money sense for television to invest in a respectful offbeat wedding show. While the mantra for most offbeat weddings is “don’t buy into the wedding industry hype”, there’s a definite undertone of “don’t buy anything, whenever possible.”
    From Ariel’s own experience
    So, this is a youth luxury network — let’s focus on your $500,000 weddings instead of the weird goth ones.” I whispered back “Uh….what $500,000 weddings?”
    It’s hard to sell a show like that to advertisers. It’s the same reason that shows with huge DVR fanbases and zero live-viewing fanbases get cancelled. As much as we’d like to believe that quality content is what sells, that’s just not true in media. We love to see loving, happy couples in love, but really we’re looking for what we can replicate, buy or be inspired by. While the offbeat fanbase may be dedicated, it’s not necessarily the fanbase that advertisers are targeting. Fan-aticism is not a quantifiable product in media, most often. So unless the fanniness of the fanbase scores its own media buzz (ala Justin Bieber), it’s a moot point.
    Offbeat weddings are intensely personal–if the viewer doesn’t like hot pink, black lace, crystal skulls and pirate swords, there’s a huge potential for there to be nothing the viewer can take away from the episode. With the posts on Offbeat Bride, it’s easy to click into a post, scan the photos and be like “aha, I love those toasting glasses” without committing a full 30 minutes or hour. Television doesn’t benefit from that immediacy.
    White, traditional weddings have more universal appeal. Even if you hate peacock feathers, crystal napkin rings, glass vases and satin bows, there’s less to immediately turn you off in a church swathed in white.
    So, to sum up this novel in a single point: there’s a reason Offbeat Bride exists! The bridal revolution will not be televised! The media is not interested in representing you because you’re the anti-media darling. You’re your own self, your own product. Support advertisers who support you, march with the tribe that marches to the same drum and stick your tongue out at the man. And it’s great to keep demanding a presence in media, but this author is right on–do not settle for negative media representation!

  20. Hasn’t anyone seen “Big Easy Brides?” It’s about weddings by a chapel in the French Quarter of New Orleans. It seems a bit exploitative, BUT it’s definitely what I would call an offbeat wedding reality show. The owners of the chapel are all about off the wall wedding themes, and the staff seemed to have alot of fun with different subcultures.

  21. Personally, I like the shows that do wedding cakes more than anything else, cause the bakers are up for anything and will make just about any kind of cake. I especially love when Cake Boss has to make some elaborate confection for a wedding and just brags about how he loves to see how happy the bride is.

    • Huh. My immediate reaction to this was “but my husband was more excited about the cake than i was!” He kept feeling put out because people would always say how much it’s about the bride, and if the bride’s happy, that’s all that matters. Like he wasn’t a part of it at all.
      Anyway, that was my knee-jerk reaction, sorry. 🙂

  22. There used to be a TLC show called “A Wedding Story”. It simply showcased, in a half-hour semi-documentary format, a couple on their wedding day. Many of the weddings were very traditional, many were offbeat, and a few were exceedingly offbeat. But none of them was treated as a freak show. They were just presented as they were. I really enjoyed the show, and I was sad, when I got back to the States, to find it was gone.

    • (I think) TLC used to have another “offbeat” wedding show. The premise was that the couple’s family and friends were given a budget of $1000 to get everything for the wedding–venue, dress, food, cake, EVERYTHING.
      These shows tend to air during the day (before 5PM and certainly before prime-time viewing) wherein ad sales are sold by bulk rather than time slot. Fancy that.

  23. First of all, thank you Laura for sticking to your principles and refusing to exploit yourself and your clients for monetary gain. It’s just too bad that you are only based in LA and I’m all the way over here in NZ or else I’d be begging you to help me plan my wedding lol.

    The only wedding show I could stand was Girl Meets Gown, mainly because I could drool over beautiful dresses. But the others like Four Weddings just vexes me. Is it so wrong for someone to have a wedding that doesn’t fit into your personal aesthetics but fits into theirs? People in general are so diverse yet when it comes to weddings, there’s this ludicrous expectation that you have to meet standard criteria or else you’re branded for being weird.

    I’m planning on having a black wedding dress (thank you to OffBeat Bride for finally giving me the guts to pursue this!!) and it irks when people on this forum I frequent tell me and other offbeat brides that if one does not wear a dress in white, ivory, etc. then you won’t look “bridal”. Ahhhh!!! Because one’s guests won’t be able to figure out that you’re getting married on your wedding day (which you invited them to) unless you’re wearing the princess ball gown.

    • That whole idea: “but people won’t understand if you don’t do everything the same” is such a WEIRD one. I mean will your guests really be that confused? At some point you actually get married to the bride/groom – presumably that will kick in at some point. One of the people I work with complained that if I didn’t change my name my future children will be confused. My reaction was “Seriously? If they are that easily confused I think I have bigger problems.”

  24. Good for you, Laura.

    I say someone who genuinely wants to do this, should by-pass mainstream media and go with a web series.

    Done right, I imagine it’d be super popular.

    I can’t watch wedding shows, especially ones where brides criticise each other. I could NEVER bag on someone’s choices about their wedding. They want their wedding party dressed as clowns? Sure, terrifying, but do whatever floats your boat, in my opinion.

  25. Time for an offbeat bride to start making this show and posting it online! Who watches TV on the TV anymore anyway? 🙂

  26. I am so excited for Laura to be our wedding coordinator. Thank you to OBB for introducing me to her company and thank you for sharing this awesome story.

  27. I do watch some of these shows if only to remind myself NOT to get caught up in the mundane details.
    There was an episode of My Fair Wedding where he covered up the bride’s tattoos with makeup. She did seem willing to do so, but it made me furious. If that was done to me I’d feel like I was being covered up and toned down and not ~~briiiiidey~~~~~~ enough.

  28. I always feel weird posting to an article over a few months. But I did find it interesting. Although I don’t entirely agree with everything the writer said. For example, I find it oxymoronic to expect “reverence” for the deliberately unconventional. I think it is fine for people to be alternative and buck tradition, but I don’t understand becoming defensive and offended at other people’s natural responses to your strangeness. If you don’t like people calling you weird or a freak, you have control over your image. Is it that you really aren’t that unique deep inside?

    Personally, I think people get carried away with the style of their wedding. I’m planning for my wedding and I find it ironic to spend very much time on trying to make it personal because I don’t dwell on my personality in day to day decisions. Why should my wedding be different? I’ve caught myself thinking, for example, “how can my table centerpieces convey my personality?” only to subsequently realize that it’s just some stuff sitting in the middle of the table. Weddings are weird. I think, do what you want but it’s only one day out of your entire life. Prioritize the parts that will last beyond the day itself: the people and your commitment.

  29. The exploitative nature of this reminds me of “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding,” which is hugely disrespectful towards the Roma. One or two shows that don’t do this notwithstanding, it seems to me like anything different from the mainstream is going to be seen as a sideshow, which is even worse once race gets involved.

    • I’ve watched a few of these shows and they’ve been about Irish Travelers, not Roma, and it didn’t seem disrespectful to me. Whether the people it filmed are representative of all Irish Travelers or not, I couldn’t say. Most of the show is people talking about themselves and their culture, so unless the participants are misrepresenting themselves, I don’t see the show could be misrepresenting them.

  30. Now that this article/discussion has been resuscitated, maybe PBS is the way to go? I’m sure they’d like to have a wedding show, too…

    ***I don’t have a TV so I don’t know if this exists already or not.

  31. I was going to say our culture values conspicuous consumption over frugality – but there are plenty of shows about people redecorating their homes on a budget. So I don’t get it. All I can think is that advertisers who would be interested in the show would want to see frugality downplayed and “selling the dream” encouraged.

  32. I tried to watch My Fair Wedding. It filled me with rage!

    My bf and I have only been together for a couple months, but my ex and I were in the planning stages before we broke up. I already know I want to rock a blue dress with a white shrug, a handmade paper flower bouquet, and the smallest wedding I can get away with. A reality show would destroy everything I want in the name of ratings. I personally wouldn’t let a TV personality plan my wedding.
    Also, I don’t want my future spouse to be kicked out of the room for the planning. The day’s about celebrating OUR commitment, not celebrating me. That’s what my birthday is for. 😀

    There definitely could be a web series. A tribe run web series that CELEBRATES and encourages couples as they plan their wedding instead of offbeat-shaming them into submission.

  33. I remember an episode of Four Weddings and seeing a wrestling couple, where he made her dress, they had a wrestling match and theme and it was so awesome. It didn’t have a “better than thou” feel to it from the editing, and it was def the best wedding (uhhh being objectively subjective there) on that episode and I think it could work… in a few years.

  34. I am so glad you stood up for off-beat brides and caused the tv people to lose interest. The last thing tv needs is another show degrading people having fun and pushing their buttons in order to cause drama for the purpose of ratings. I am really sickened by these shows and the last place mean bullies should be is at a unique and loving wedding.

  35. I am glad too that people feel strongly that an Offbeat show would be AWESOME if it celebrated our individuality instead of mocking it. I can’t watch wedding shows anymore after seeing an episode of one on TLC last year. One of the bridesmaids dresses in drag and wanted to match the other bridesmaids for the wedding. Every time she came out to show off the dress she was wearing, the producers played this comical sexy music. I was so offended.

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