reel weddings: RUNAWAY BRIDE (1999)

Sara here from Eco-Vintage Weddings, presenting another exciting film wedding. In earnest of being completely honest with myself, I have a mad crush on one Richard Gere. He’s always been my old-guy fantasy (don’t even ask my fiancé Jordan about my fascination with balding men), and, to tell you the truth, he’s my absolute dreamboat of a dude in this romantic flick with the effervescent Julia Roberts (who I adore).

The premise of the film is this: journalist and jazz music aficionado Ike Graham, played by the drool-inducing Richard Gere, writes a column about a bride in Hale, Maryland, who has a penchant for leaving groom after groom after groom after groom after groom (count ‘em, that’s FIVE grooms!) at the altar. Maggie Carpenter, the lovely runaway bride in question, takes offense to the column (and rightly so), and promptly gets Ike fired from his job. The rest of the film follows Ike as he travels to Maryland and spends time with Maggie, who’s preparing for yet another wedding ceremony.

Maggie’s failed weddings range from a Catholic wedding in which Maggie drags across the church a young altar boy who is carrying her train (to future priest Brian) to failed nuptials on a trampoline (to rocker-wannabe Gil). Throw in a wedding that involves the reproductive patterns of locusts (“bug guy” George) and another that’s an exercise in spiraling a football (football coach Bob), and you’ve got Maggie Carpenter’s life…until she met Ike Graham, of course.

Wedding-wise, my absolute favorite of all of Maggie’s weddings is the one that actually garners her a husband at the end. Her off-the-shoulder, traditional white gown with lace embellishments is swoonworthy to say the least, and with her hair down (and no veil!), Maggie looks like herself. No more debate about which eggs she likes, or which dress she should wear this time – this time, it’s just Maggie. And it’s perfect. Plus, walking up to her groom over a path of fallen autumn leaves … that kind of stuff only happens in film (how would those leaves stay there in an outdoor wedding, people? One gust of wind and it’s buh-bye, aisle…), but somehow feels so authentic, so achievable (gluing leaves to an aisle runner?) and BEAUTIFUL.

The best part of this wedding, the one that sticks, is that it’s just Maggie, her groom and the officiant. In an open field. And after the wedding, Maggie and her new husband ride away on horseback…so dreamy. The most honest and true lines of the film come from none other than the journalist himself, Ike Graham. When talking about how Maggie’s various beaus proposed marriage to the runaway bride, Ike mentioned his idea of the perfect proposal: “Look, I guarantee there’ll be tough times. I guarantee that at some point, one or both of us is gonna want to get out of this thing. But I also guarantee that if I don’t ask you to be mine, I’ll regret it for the rest of my life, because I know, in my heart, you’re the only one for me.” SWOON…

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