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20 best movie weddings

In honor of the closing of wedding season – and the hectic craziness with my own experiences this summer – I thought I’d share with you all my 20 favorite movie weddings. Now feel free to chime in with the ones I missed in the comments. [POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD??]

20. Notting Hill (1999)
Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant

19. Father of the Bride (1991)
Kimberly Williams and George Newbern

18. Steel Magnolias (1989)
Julia Roberts and Dylan McDermott

17. The Little Mermaid (1989)
Jodi Benson and Christopher Daniel Barnes

16. The Princess and the Frog (2009)
Anika Noni Rose and Brunos Campos

15. Love Actually (2003)
Keira Knightley and Chwitel Ejiofor

14. My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)
Nia Vardalos and John Corbett

13. Sense & Sensibility (1995)
Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman, and Kate Winslet

12. Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)
Emily Browning and Jim Carrey

11. In & Out (1997)
Joan Cusack and Kevin Kline

10. Fiddler on the Roof (1971)
Rosalind Harris and Leonard Frey

9. Beetle Juice (1988)
Winona Ryder and Michael Keaton

8. Up (2009)
“Ellie” and Ed Asner

7. The Sound of Music (1965)
Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer

6. Rachel Getting Married (2008)
Rosemarie Dewitt and Tunde Adebimpe

5. While You Were Sleeping (1995)
Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman/Peter Gallagher

4. The Philadelphia Story (1940)
Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant

3. Kill Bill, Vol. 2 (2004)
Uma Thurman and Chris Nelson

2. Muriel’s Wedding (1995)
Toni Collette and Daniel LaPaine

1. The Godfather (1972)
Talia Shire and Gianni Russo
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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…

reel weddings: FATHER OF THE BRIDE (1991)

Sara here, and I am so honored to be guest blogging on Journalistic Skepticism! While I don’t know a lot about movies, I’d like to think that I’ve become somewhat of a wedding expert while planning my own wedding, which is quickly approaching this summer. So over the next few weeks, Luke has asked me to chat a little about movie weddings, and what exactly makes them so magical. I decided to begin with (literally) my favorite film of all time – Father of the Bride (1991).

In this remake of the Spencer Tracy classic, Steve Martin’s portrayal of George Banks manifested the typical father of the bride character. George Banks struggled to squelch his Papa Bear protective instincts, as displayed by A) throwing his in-laws’ bank deposit book into the pool, then falling into the pool himself; B) suggesting that his daughter Annie and her intended, Bryan, “call up Gabe at the Steak Pit” and have him cater the wedding; and C) getting arrested for disrupting the supermarket by refusing to pay “for the superfluous [hot dog] buns.” He’s manic, he’s desperate, and yet, he’s lovable.

Another character that warmed my heart from the instant I met him is none other than Martin Short’s brilliant portrayal of the wedding coordinator. Short’s interpretation of Franck Eggelhoffer is witty, passionate, confident, meticulous, and brilliant, everything a wedding planner should be. The accent that Short takes up in the film kills me every time I hear “nuffy blue tuxado.” Brilliant, that Martin Short. [I would argue that Short’s character is even more lovable in the sequel, Father of the Bride – Part II (1995), but I consider Father of the Bride to be an endearingly perfect introduction to the Franck character.]

Now on to the (budget-crushing, jealousy-inducing, freaking gorgeous) part: the wedding! Annie’s long sleeved, vintage-inspired lace gown and cathedral length veil literally gave me goosebumps as a little girl. I love the scene in the movie right before George and Annie head to the church; George knocks on Annie’s bedroom door, and Annie turns around in her wedding gown and veil, just beaming. Annie then shows off her kicks (bedazzled sneakers that would even make Joan Rivers jealous), and the two take off for the church.

When imagining the quintessential American wedding, I instantly think pink, violins, chicken or beef, “The Way You Look Tonight,” and a bouquet toss, all things that Annie’s wedding to Bryan had. However, this wedding had something that all other movie weddings didn’t have (for me): completely sweet and honest vows. As Annie and Bryan exchanged rings, the words they uttered will forever be cemented in my brain (and, truthfully, these words will also be recited at my own wedding this summer): “With this ring, as a token of my love and affection, I thee wed.” So simple, so perfect, and (literally) the only way I could think of to slip my love for this film into my own wedding ceremony. And yes, as a little girl, I knew that in some way, I needed to pay tribute to this film on my own wedding day; it shaped me that much!

Apart from the majestic tent set up in the Banks’ backyard, which was stuffed full of flowers, grand crystal chandeliers and buzzing conversation, it’s the honesty and the heart of the film that makes it one of my favorite movies of all time. Take, for example, these words from George Banks, as he prepares to give Annie away. I’m certain my father (and every father, for that matter) will have some of these thoughts as he walks me down the aisle. “Who presents this woman? This woman? But she’s not a woman. She’s just a kid. And she’s leaving us. I realized at that moment that I was never going to come home again and see Annie at the top of the stairs. Never going to see her again at our breakfast table in her nightgown and socks. I suddenly realized what was happening. Annie was all grown up and was leaving us, and something inside began to hurt.”