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Watch These Wedding Shows and Learn What [Not?] to Do
By Sasha Fastovskiy

The Assignment: Entertain our Pulse readers with my take on the veritable cornucopia of wedding/bride/engagement-inspired shows that are more prevalent (and, might I add, generally more annoying) these days than drunken guests at a reception.

The Plan: Set my DVR to record a bunch of wedding-themed fluff programs that, I reasoned, really wouldn’t be as bad as people said they were and would probably end up inspiring me and warming my heart. Well, they were, and they didn’t. But for you, I watched every second and now bring you a glimpse into the world of wedding trainwrecks, traumas, and terrible taste.

Dun dun da-dun, here comes the bride, and her name is Ashley Dionisi, courtesy of WETV’s Rich Bride Poor Bride. Ashley introduces herself and her groom, Frank “I want a gangster tuxedo” Camara, and explains that her mother is footing the bill for the Cinderella wedding that Ashley insists upon. “Cindy” then wants a fall wedding, which sounds nice enough until she tells us that it’s because “I tend to sweat a lot.” The love birds seem to clash on a handful of wedding details, including wedding rings (she wants bling, but he wants to find his godfather’s rings that he’s never seen), the wedding registry at Wal-Mart (he spends the entire time playing foosball and bouncing a basketball up and down the aisles while she opts to scan the necessary items, like hangers and air fresheners), and centerpieces (she: on a grass-like arrangement, he: goes and carves some very large pumpkins because he loves pumpkins and loves seeds). More drama ensues when Princess Ashley goes almost $2,000 over budget on her dress ~ which made her look like a Creamsicle ~ and a botched self-tanning operation. When we finally, finally, get to the wedding day, Frank is hung over from the previous night and Ashley keeps walking on and ripping her Mr. Frostee dress. By the time the show’s over, Frank is telling the viewers how happy he and his orange-tinged sweetie are, but that they’re glad it’s over. Frank, baby, I’m with you.

The first My Big Fat Fabulous Wedding episode I watched made me hate humans a little less as I watched a sweet Southern couple jump over the broomstick. Turns out, it’s Caroline Panther’s running back Eric Shelton and his newlywed Shamea. Nothin’ but the finest for these two as they spend $130,000 on jewelry, purchase two dresses, and enjoy knowing they have an entire team at their beck and call. Eric had extra shirts delivered before the ceremony because, like Ashley, he too was sweaty, and Shamea had a woman who bore a striking resemblance to Fantasia Barrino do her makeup. Their wedding location was the Keeneland Racetrack that has entertained the likes of Queen Elizabeth, the Prince of Dubai, and the late Princess Diana. What our couple was most fascinated by, though, was the fact that Seabiscuit was filmed there. The wedding turned out nice enough, and I was left genuinely happy for the couple and actually started watching the next episode with an open mind…Until I heard the bride open her mouth:

“I want an all-pink wedding, with hot-pink linens on the main tables.” For normal people, “main table” refers to the one for the main people ~ ya know, like the bride and groom. For Erica, a model/actress (surprise!) from Los Angeles, “main tables” refers to the head table, guestbook table, family wedding table, cake table, favor table, and cigar-bar table. So far, she’s the first bride I’ve watched that didn’t use a wedding planner. Her reasoning? She’s been planning since she was a child. Okay, Erica, when I was a child, I used to make pretend chalupas with water and air in my PlaySkool kitchen, but that don’t make me a gourmet chef. She’s marrying some guy named Shae whom she’s known for about eight months. He’s a billionaire, so I know…I just know… that she’s in it for his personality. He starts to object when she wants to spend $20,000 for a photographer to take 3,500 pictures of them, but she uses her intellectual powers to dissuade him by saying “Baby, C’mon. I used to do this with my Barbies…and my Ken.” Then she waves her little dog around and gets her way. The two get married in Hawaii, which is like totally expensive, but not before they have to deal with some very profound issues. Erica spent about eight hours gluing seashells to random items because she couldn’t just throw out the 5,000 pink shells she bought but then didn’t want “…because they’re so three months ago.” Shae must deal with clothing issues; Erica won’t let him wear Converse sneakers to the wedding. What a bitch. I hope these two get divorced, but we all know the likelihood of that.

I called my mother when I sat down to watch Platinum Weddings, since they were featuring a middle-aged Russian couple from Las Vegas (ah, a demure wedding. Finally!), Lana and Victor, renewing their vows after a year of separation. Lana laments that they’d been married for fifteen years, then went through problems, then saw a marriage counselor, then she kinda lost me since I was too busy staring at her enlarged lips and un-moving forehead. The theme of the wedding is “Russian Winter Palace,” and Lana says she has seven dresses that she will wear. This choice is not at all tacky, since she’s actually a couturier, and all of the dresses are made of tasteful satin, mesh, and yards of red fabric. There’s also a lot of glitter and Swarovski crystals, and her eight year-old daughter will have dresses to match, which Lana thinks is fabulous. By the time Lana the Great explained that their cost is easily over $850,000, my mother has called my father in to watch the chaos unfold. Victor and Lana spend a few evenings tasting $16,000 caviar, and she arrives at her wedding ceremony about two hours late ~ which is more than fine, though, because she feels absolutely fabulous. At the end, my mother said it best. “Well, I’m embarrassed for our people.”

After all was said and watched, I informed my parents that they were welcome to come to my wedding…at City Hall. I certainly learned a lot: no centerpieces that could double as pie-fillers, no horses, and no mini-mes in matching dresses. Most importantly, however, I learned that when it comes to wedding TV, I can say, “I do [hate it]!”

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