I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I put my hand up to watch a whole lot of reality wedding shows and then rank them, but here I am after countless hours of pure wedding mayhem, realising once and for all what I think we all secretly know: these shows are about drama, big hair, false eyelashes and so.so.so much botox.
*Accurate portrayal of me watching reality TV wedding shows*
So here it is my ranking of reality wedding shows:
1. My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding
You have not experienced a wedding till you have seen this show. If you are looking for a show about classy, elegant weddings that you can pin to your mood board then you will be very disappointed. If you are looking for drama, spray tans that make the Oompa Loompas look normal, horse-drawn carriages, families in all-out brawls, and hair and eyelashes so big they need their own entrance, then this is the show for all your wedding dreams!!!
Highs: The hair, the fake tans, the bride and most of all the wedding dress. The whole thing is outrageous from start to finish.
Lows: 9-year-old girls getting spray tans and Lady Gaga nails and looking absolutely ridiculous in outfits that Miley Cyrus would be at home in.
Iconic moment: It amazes me how many times they say they take such pride in their appearance and then they turn up on their wedding day in a dress they have designed themselves that literally make them look like a pineapple with a human head.
2. Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings
From what I can tell, you just have to get engaged or married at Disneyland or on a Disney cruise or something Disney related to be featured on this behind-the-scenes show. The cameras follow a happy couple from engagement all the way through, sometimes to the wedding itself. How fun. One groom says that he has a personal relationship with Disney and my stage five clinger and creepy radar is going right off!!
Highs : Nothing ever goes wrong in a fairy tale wedding. I get that people aspire to have this but it’s not real. There are no passive-aggressive mothers-in-law turning up in a white dress or drunk groomsmen falling over on the dancefloor or bridesmaids clawing each other to death over who will catch the bouquet. It is too perfect and too scripted and boring, so I hate it!!
Lows: Everything is too much. I hate to say it but we want to see a bit of drama. The closest thing I saw to drama was when a groom said he couldn’t dance!! But don’t worry, that was fixed up pretty quickly with three dance lessons a week for six months before the wedding.
Iconic moment: When the bridesmaids and groomsmen put on cowboy hats and boots and do a dance-off with the Disney castle in the background. Those dancing lessons paid off! Thanks, Disney
3. Married at First Sight (Channel 9)
A whole bunch of influencers … I mean men and women get paired up by a panel of completely legitimate matchmakers and a sex therapist and they meet each other for the first time at their own fake wedding. From there they get to know each other by cleaning the toilet with each other’s toothbrushes and seeing if the other notices, flirting with other women/men, having awkward dinner parties and convincing everyone they are not a stage 5 clinger. Such a wholesome show for the whole family to watch.
Highs: This show is high drama, and apparently my mother—who till Covid had never seen a reality show—is now hooked. So what can I say without utterly regretting it?
Lows: Every minute of this show watched is a minute of my life I’m never getting back. The people they have chosen are so strategically terrible, that it’s compelling viewing. And I’m disappointed in myself but I’m watching this because it’s my job. What is everyone else’s excuse?!
Iconic moment: I know what moment you want me to say, but I’m going for something else. It was from the 2019 season, when good old Lizzie put her pizza in the toaster! There were many iconic Lizzie moments but that takes the cake. That toaster will smell like pizza every time you use it!!
4. Australia’s Cheapest Weddings
Champagne tastes on a beer budget! The producers of this show scoured all of Australia and have found some really interesting couples who have decided to have a wedding on a strict budget. I actually quite like this premise—after all the extravagance of the other shows, this is something that talks to a lot of people. Not everyone can afford an expensive wedding.
Highs: Some of the things these people do to keep their weddings cheap is hilarious and really innovative. One woman bought her dress online for $250 and didn’t see it before she tried it on the day before the wedding. And oh dear—it was really bad! Her friend says ‘It’s hideous’! I concur!! What a disaster.
Lows: The wedding dress was so bad that she ended up having to buy another dress, so the budget was blown!!
Iconic Moment: In order to save money, one of the women’s fiancés waxes her legs, dyes her hair and gives her a manicure and pedicure and – I think he really enjoys it . . .
5. Don’t Tell the Bride
The groom is given the wedding budget and has to plan the wedding. The whole wedding. Absolutely everything that’s wedding related. Am I sounding nervous … because I’m breaking out in hives thinking about what this show (and these weddings!) is going to be like!
Highs: Here is a fun story. Boy and girl meet in the UK, it all starts out well. The bride is expecting a lovely small wedding at the local castle!! Cue images of draped curtains, pink bows and immaculate floors. Unfortunately the groom has a very different idea of what the wedding will be. Now I don’t want to alarm anyone, but he decides that having a darts-themed wedding at the local pub is best. Even the bridesmaids had themed dresses.
Iconic moment: Every single episode when we see the Bride’s face as she realises what the groom has done!!
6. Love is Blind (Netflix)
An experiment where contestants don’t see each other but get to know each other over 37 days through a wall by just talking. At the end of the 37 days they then decide if they will get engaged. It’s only after that they emerge into the real world, see each other and spend time with each other, and decide if they will get married at the end of it all. Sounds easy, right?
Highs: This is one of the few shows where people really get to know each other without looks being an obstacle. Which is a nice change, or is it?
Lows: I think in a couple of instances not seeing the person till the end can change people’s personalities slightly. They might seem more adventurous and friendly behind a wall and then in real life be the complete opposite.
Iconic Moment: When they bring in the exes it completely throws a spanner in the works, and it makes for some unintended drama!
7. Say Yes To the Dress
One dress to rule them all. Brides-to-be go shopping for their perfect wedding dress. Will they find the right one or will their mother say they look like a chicken? It’s anyone’s guess!!
Highs: Wedding dress shopping can be fun and exciting and stressful. But this show takes finding a wedding dress to the next level. One lady brought her entire family to give opinions and that’s one sure way to end in tears!!
Lows: We don’t really see the bride in her final dress on her wedding day.
Iconic moment: When one bride’s aunt started channeling the dead grandma, and Granny did not like any dress the bride tried on. Seems Granny got her way from beyond the grave—this particular bride wanted to wear black and Granny wouldn’t have a bar of it!!
8. Say I Do
Couples who have suffered unbelievable hardships yet overcome them end up having an amazing wedding, helped by three fantastic gay guys.
Highs: This is probably the most genuine show of the whole lot and the only show I shed a tear over. There is no drama but it was definitely something worth watching— it puts all other wedding shows to shame.
Lows: The lows are not necessarily about this show but more the expectations around what weddings are meant to be. It should be about happiness, not who has the better dress or location or who looks the best.
Iconic Moment: When one bride and groom each wear a cape with half of a painting on it, painted by the groom. When they stand together as they say their vows it’s a complete picture!! This is an absolute shining light in among those other horrible shows.