It was a big year for romantic comedies featuring weddings considering the monumental success of Crazy Rich Asians. The Knot takes a look at all the movie weddings that had us sobbing, laughing, and most importantly, dropping our jaws over the sheer extravagance. From Carrie and Big’s would-be first wedding in Sex and the City to the tradition-infused ceremony in comedy classic My Big Fat Greek Wedding, here are the 10 most elaborate on-screen weddings of all time.
Father of the Bride, 1991
The bride and the groom aren’t the only people who matter at any given wedding. Quite the contrary, in fact. And if all weddings go the way of the 1991 cult classic Father of the Bride, the, well, father of the bride, would get a lot more time in the spotlight given just how stressful his job is (read: giving away his daughter). Steve Martin plays George Banks, the owner of a successful athletic shoe company, who is shocked when his beloved daughter Annie (Kimberly Williams) returns from studying abroad to announce that she is engaged to Bryan McKenzie (George Newbern), whom she met in Europe. George has a hard time letting his little girl go, and shenanigans ensue as he attempts to put a stop to the wedding. But luckily for all of us, he was unsuccessful, and the gorgeous, totally-90s ceremony is allowed to go forth.
Sweet Home Alabama, 2002
When you’re engaged to the supposed future President of the United States, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that your wedding is an extravagant affair—and that you’ll have little say in how the ceremony itself goes down. For Melanie Carmichael (Reese Witherspoon), her impending wedding to Andrew (Patrick Dempsey) is fraught with plenty of drama, thanks in no small part to Andrew’s mother, the current mayor of New York (Candice Bergen), who just doesn’t think Melanie’s good enough for her son. The ending is a memorable one (think: thunderstorms and a good ole fashioned confrontation at the altar), but before that happens, it’s noteworthy to point out just how beautiful the wedding setup was.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding, 2002
Speaking of films that revolve around weddings … no such list would be complete without My Big Fat Greek Wedding, one of the most involved family weddings in recent Hollywood history (Crazy Rich Asians could change that). In the wedding scene, Toula Portakalos (Nia Vardalos) and her soon-to-be betrothed, Ian Miller (John Corbett) are feted by a packed Greek Orthodox church full of family (Ian’s side is notably less packed), as well as a whole army of bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls and ring bearers. In the end, of course, both accept the craziness as a part of their lives—but perhaps better kept at a slight distance.
Sex and the City, 2008
There’s no denying that Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) has what some might call “expensive” taste. So it was only fitting that her wedding to Big (Chris Noth) would be the most extravagant of affairs. The on-again, off-again couple was set to wed in a lavish wedding at the New York Public Library, with Carrie in a dreamy, strapless Vivienne Westwood gown, and a guest list that ballooned from 74 to 400. Fans of the series (and the 2008 film) know what ultimately happened, but in the moment, in the preparations leading up to the huge fete, we were all swooning.
27 Dresses, 2008
There are a lot of wedding scenes that took place in 2008’s 27 Dresses, mostly involving people other than protagonist Jane (Katherine Heigl). But the one that stands out the most is the one that she was very much a part of: her own. At the end of film (spoiler alert!), the always-giving Jane finally gets her moment in the sun when she walks down the sandy, boardwalk aisle toward Kevin Doyle (James Marsden), the love of her life.
“That day, I woke up and put on my 28th dress,” Jane narrates her long-deserved walk down the aisle. “I went to a wedding where no one told me to hold a bouquet, fold a place card, or hold their dress while they peed.” Talk about the best kind of karma!
Mamma Mia!, 2008
Weddings are a time for family to gather, to celebrate, and to eat, drink and be merry. And for Sophie Sheridan (Amanda Seyfried), it also seems to be the ideal time to figure out which of three men in her mother Donna (Meryl Streep)’s life is actually her father. The premise is something out of, well, a song-and-dance musical: Sophie invites the three men—Sam (Pierce Brosnan), Bill (Stellan Skarsgard) and Harry (Colin Firth)—to her wedding, unbeknownst to her mother, and over the course of the next few weeks leading up to the wedding, Sophie attempts to figure out which of the three is her father. But by the end of the story, it hardly matters, given that Sophie doesn’t end up getting married, though her mother very much does—to which man? You’ll have to watch to find out.
Bride Wars, 2009
If you’ve never seen two brides duke it out in an explosion of tulle and lace, with their bouquets thrown asunder, then you’ve never watched the 2009 rom-com Bride Wars, starring Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson as two longtime friends who just happen to be planning their wedding for the same date, at the same location (the Plaza Hotel), and who also just happen to have a lot of tricks up their sleeves to try to passive aggressively get the other to reschedule their wedding.
The two Hollywood veterans play Emma (Hathaway) and Liv (Hudson), two childhood friends who will stop at nothing to make sure each of their wedding days is unique, with antics to sabotage the other woman’s wedding including blue hair dye, bright orange spray tan, and some tasty candy that renders Liv too fat to fit in her dress. But never fear, the film ends on a happy note; it’s just the journey getting there that’s a headache.
Nothing says romance quite like flowers strewn throughout a sunlit forest, or a forbidden love between a vampire and a human. In Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) are finally able to make their love known to the world in the most elaborate of settings, with wisteria cascading down from the trees, a grand flower arch, and petals littering the aisle where Bella walks nervously down toward her love.
The wedding scene is a highlight of the action-packed fantasy series, and one of the few times when Bella and Edward are able to revel in their love. And the reception? Centerpieces comprised of delphiniums, viburnums, white lilacs, ranunculus, and sweet pea, plus stones, ferns, and moss.
There are a vast number of Hollywood flicks that directly revolve around the preparations for a single wedding, but none does it with as much class and sass as 2011’s hit Bridesmaids. When Lillian (Maya Rudolph) taps Annie (Kristen Wiig) to be her maid of honor, things get a little hairy when the other bridesmaids descend upon the planning process with opinions (and criticisms!) abound. But after all the shenanigans are said and done, the actual ceremony itself is an outrageously elaborate one, with the bridal party standing on structures in an oversized fountain, Wilson Phillips performing live mid-vows, and perhaps best of all, an impromptu lip sync by the bride and maid of honor.
There’s rich… and then there’s crazy rich–which has been the tagline in Kevin Kwan’s bestselling book-turned-film, Crazy Rich Asians. The plot itself is centered on NYC-based economics professor Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) and her hunky-but-mysterious boyfriend Nick Wu (Henry Golding), who finally invites her to meet his side of the family in Singapore.
While there, Nick serves as best man in what’s described as the “Royal Wedding of Asia,” and Rachel gets swept up in the luxurious world of the upper echelon of one of the world’s wealthiest families. Of course, the wedding itself is exactly in line with what you might expect from people of this pedigree especially in terms of fashion, design and entertainment.
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