The reality of wedding planning is different than you've seen on the silver screen.

By Blythe Copeland
October 24, 2019
Touchstone/Getty Images

Everyone has their favorite wedding movie—from the holiday ceremony in Love Actually to Prince Humperdink's thwarted marriage to Buttercup in The Princess Bride—but have you ever stopped to consider how realistic these famous scenes actually are? We asked the experts to weigh in on whether these wedding tales are possible in real life, or just meant for entertainment.

Father of the Bride's George Banks couldn't have hosted his daughter's wedding guests inside his house.

In Father of the Bride, George Banks hosts 572 guests for his daughter's wedding at their home. Though the house used for the exterior shots measures up at more than 4,400 square feet that's still a lot of people for a residential area. "Inside, it would have been one tight squeeze, and who knows where the dance floor would have gone!" says planner Susan Norcross of The Styled Bride. "With a tent it is possible, but highly unlikely—as the biggest question I had was, where did everyone park?"

Norcross' final verdict? The movie wasn't realistic. "We love nothing more that an at-home, tented wedding but this definitely would have been very, very difficult to pull off," says Norcross, "as you would need a lot more space for 572 people—plus all the kitchen and service staff and other wedding professionals on site."

Wedding Crashers' John and Jeremy couldn't have crashed countless weddings.

In Wedding Crashers, John Beckwith and Jeremy Grey have showed up uninvited to dozens of ceremonies and receptions for couples they've never met. But is it really possible to crash a wedding without the couple (or their families) noticing? "With a decently sized wedding—more than 150 guests—it's actually quite likely that a couple and close family members might not catch on to crashers as much as people think they would," says Virginia Edelson of Bluebird Productions. "With that said, most of our weddings have assigned seating, or assigned tables at a minimum, so the likelihood of catching a crasher is much greater and makes the crashing that much harder."

With that in mind, Edelson says it just wouldn't have been possible for the infamous duo to crash so many weddings. "For Jeremy and John, it's relatively impossible to know if a wedding will be open seating, stations, plated, etc.," says Edelson. "This makes the actual feasibility of crashing a reception unnoticed much more difficult."

Love Actually's surprise musical performance was entirely plausible.

In Love Actually, Juliet and Peter have just started their walk out of the ceremony when a surprise musical performance—including horn and flute players sitting in the audience and a full choir and soloist unveiled on a balcony—replace their recessional music. Whether you can count on a wedding planner to keep a client in the dark about part of the day, though, depends on what kind of surprise you're trying to set up. "We love a good surprise and have helped execute them on several occasions," says Edelson. "For us, the surprise in Love Actually is one that we would help pull off in a heartbeat." But that doesn't mean all surprises are good ideas. Edelson says they wouldn't coordinate anything like that for a couple that prefers a great deal of control or if the surprise is too risky to execute unless done flawlessly.

Norcross and her team agree that ,when done properly, a memorable surprise is not only entirely possible, but it can also add a special element to the celebration. "We're all for a surprise, as long as it's not embarrassing to the couple or dangerous," she says. "It's really sweet to see friends and family go to the effort." Want to make that musical scene a reality on your big day? Your have our experts' approval!

Your fiancé probably can't shut down a jewelry store as seen in Sweet Home Alabama.

In Sweet Home Alabama, Melanie Smooter's boyfriend, Andrew, sets up the ultimate New York proposal: He walks her into a darkened Tiffany & Co., raises the lights, gestures at all the rings, and tells her, "Pick one." While picking a ring together gets the planners' stamp of approval, what are the chances of doing it on a private shopping trip? "The proposal scene at Tiffany is one of my favorite parts of the movie! It is so romantic and magical! It gives me the chills every time I watch it and I cannot wait for a man to propose to me like that," says planner Jove Meyer of Jove Meyer Events. "That being said, the likelihood of it happening is slim to none—unless you are a celebrity or person of notoriety. A smaller jewelry store may be more open to the idea if it is on a weekday or not during business hours, especially if you have a relationship with the owner. People who know people can make things like that happen!"

For that reason, Meyer says it's possible that the scene could be recreated in real life, but it's not that likely. "The goal of a jewelry store is to sell jewelry, and if people could easily or affordably close it down to buy one ring then they would go out of business," says Meyer. "It was a great promotional moment in the movie, but sadly not really something that can happen on the regular."

Your marriage won't be valid if your vows are interrupted as they were in The Princess Bride.

In The Princess Bride, Buttercup's "mawwaige" to Prince Humperdink is interrupted before she can say, "I do." Later, her true love, Wesley, tells her that the marriage is invalid, despite the officiant pronouncing them man and wife."The Princess Bride is a favorite movie of mine," says Diane Smith-Hoban, executive director of Journeys of the Heart, "and the short answer about that one is a couple must each individually consent to be married—that is the 'I do.'"

So, does that mean your vows wouldn't be valid if you don't get that "I do" out? According to the experts, that's exactly right. "Buttercup did not consent," says Smith-Hoban, "so Wesley is correct that it does not matter what the minister said." (The fictional country of Florin, where the story takes place, apparently has the same legal requirements as the United States—but it serves as a good reminder to double-check the rules for your destination wedding.)


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