For most people, August means the end of summer and the last chance to take that vacation. But for excited brides, their jealous friends, and dedicated Pinterest users everywhere, it's when wedding season is in full gear. While it may seem like a personal experience that should be between the engaged couple and their families, planning the "perfect" ceremony has become a gold mine for reality TV. Some are so good they deserve a champagne toast, but others -- well, we'd rather leave them at the altar.
Best: "My Fair Wedding With David Tutera" (WE tv)
There are tons of things to love about this last-minute wedding revamp show, especially given that it consists of Tutera working his magic and turning even the tackiest ideas into beautiful, classy affairs in a matter of weeks. Our favorite part: seeing Tutera try to hide his shock and disgust as brides show him their actual plans for the big day. From black wedding gowns to a swamp theme, watching a wedding planning pro attempt to find the good in a craft-store supplied mess starts every episode on a high note.
Worst: "Bridezillas" (WE tv)
The whole point of this show is watching crazy brides act like monsters, but it gets irritating quickly. Planning a wedding is stressful, but shouldn't being in love and celebrating your nuptials make you at least little happy? We'd like to join the bridesmaids, friends, and unassuming strangers who encounter the brides in rolling our eyes at the antics of these women scorned by imperfection (not to mention what must be overwhelming pressure). And we express our greatest sympathy for the men who are stuck with their wives for the rest of their lives...or at least a few months.
Worst: "My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding" (TLC)
Both the original show that follows modern-day "gypsies" (which isn't the most politically correct term anymore) in England and the newer American version qualify together as one of the worst. Each episode is an explosion of glitter and tulle, which probably shows a wedding planner's worst nightmare come to life. Sprinkle in some strange family drama -- like one bride marrying her cousin -- and you've got two stereotype-creating shows. But hey, when there's a derogatory term right there in the title, what else can you expect?
Best: "Say Yes to the Dress" (TLC)
"Say Yes to the Dress" is like the gateway drug of wedding shows. Someone recommends it to you, and next thing you know you have a DVR filled with anything featuring "wedding" or "bride" in the title and have started begging your friends for an invite to Pinterest. Who knows what's so addicting about watching women pick out wedding dresses...maybe it's the hidden insults of family members or the rotation of consultants? Our best guess: fashion director Randy Fenoli, who's now got his own equally delightful series, "Randy to the Rescue."
Worst: "Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids" (TLC)
This is actually the third spinoff of "Say Yes to the Dress," following the short-lived "Big Bliss," and takes place in the same bridal salon as the Atlanta version, which is one of the show's main problems. Bridals by Lori is no Kleinfeld, and here-to-save-the-day male employee Monty is a very poor bride's Randy. But not even a move back to New York could warrant sitting through horrible bridesmaids being unnecessarily mean to their best friends and sisters over which exact shade of emerald green they prefer.
Best: "Four Weddings" (TLC)
Maybe it's just fun to watch people insult others' parties, but this wedding competition is addicting. Four brides attend each other's big days and grade them on different aspects of the wedding -- standard stuff like venue and food. The brides only have to give a number score, but with a dream honeymoon at stake, there are plenty of snide remarks and false compliments thrown into the process. While most wedding shows focus on the planning aspect or bring in professionals to help, "Four Weddings" just shows four authentic bride-planned weddings, from ceremony to reception, with a little bit of real life "Mean Girls" thrown in.
Worst: "Amazing Wedding Cakes" (WE tv)
It seems like there are a hundred shows on TV right now about cake, and while "Ace of Cakes" will always be missed, this is not the way to fill that void. Wedding cakes are pretty, but let's be honest -- they can get boring when there's a weekly hour-long (hour-long!) show about them. None of the bakers are especially interesting, the engaged couples are barely seen, and it has none of the ridiculous-but-entertaining drama of "Cake Boss." There can only be so much televised frosting and fondant, and this is certainly not worth the airtime.
Worst: "My Big Redneck Wedding" (CMT)
Does this really require any further explanation? Take the completely stereotypical Jeff Foxworthy character, multiply it by 100, add in people overacting for a reality camera crew, and you've got this mess of a show. It doesn't seem to be meant for an audience who is actually interested in weddings, because for those viewers, it's almost painful to watch. Between the road kill-turned-entrees and, um, unusual attempts at formalwear, the only thing that could possibly make it worse is an annoying and unnecessary host. Oh wait, there's Tom Arnold.
Honorable Mention: "True Life: I'm Getting Married " (MTV)
Since this is actually an episode of a show, it can't make our official list, but the one-off definitely deserves to be mentioned. This is arguably the greatest installment of "True Life" of all time. The standout subjects are Charlie and Sabrina, who started giving Staten Island a bad reputation way before "Mob Wives" came along, thanks to Charlie's infamous limo driver freak-out. But the other couples chronicled on the show need recognition, too: A same-sex couple with a story that actually had heart, and the ultimate princess bride who was the biggest spoiled brat this side of "Toddlers & Tiaras."
More from Television Without Pity:
- 'Glee': Deleted Scenes We Want To See
- 'Bunheads': How To Make It Even Worse
- New Trivia Game: Test Your TV IQ
- Arts & Entertainment
- Family & Relationships
- David Tutera