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How to make your wedding more ‘Hollywood’

By Nina Harvey, for idocelebrant.com


If you could choose any celebrity to be a party of your wedding day, who would you pick?Image


Personally I would want Morgan Freeman or James Earl Jones as the marriage celebrants? Because let’s face it, anything said in either of those two voices sounds pretty epic, and just think – if you went with James Earl Jones you could say that you were married by the voice of ‘Lord Vader’.


How about Kristen Wiig (SNL / Bridesmaids) as Maid of Honour and Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover / Due Date) as Best Man. They would provide some great comic relief, and are certainly a better choice than Bradley Cooper (The Hangover) who might distract the bride from her groom, and Pippa Middleton, who is famous for diverting attention off the bride and on to her right royal bottom.


The reality is that whether your dream is to have Bruno Mars serenade you down the aisle, or Patrick Swayze to give your partner dancing lessons before the reception, very few of us will ever have anyone famous involved with our wedding day.


Instead we get to indulge ourselves by being amused, entertained, moved, and perhaps even inspired by those famous Hollywood wedding moments captured on film and planted in our memories forever.


Here is my Top Ten list of moments that every wedding needs in order to make it more “Hollywood”


1. The Catfight


Who can resist a good old-fashioned catfight? A couple of usually poised women getting out their claws and fighting it out is pure movie magic on its own, but if you add to it that the participants are dressed in designer wedding dresses, you just can’t go wrong. Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway not only provided comic relief in Bride Wars (2009) as two friends turned deranged brides, but also portrayed just how ruthless and crazy brides can be on their big day if they don’t learn to just relax.


2. The Tacky Bridesmaid’s DressImage


This is something that any girl who has ever been asked to be a bridesmaid fears. But when it comes to Hollywood movie weddings, none would be complete without the bridesmaid who looks like a cross between a cupcake and your grandmother’s doily collection. If you grew up in the 80’s you would have witnessed this in overdrive – although in those days the bridesmaid’s dress was only as tacky as the bride’s own oversized, frill covered, bow-adorned dress. These days it’s just out of pure malice that some brides torture their bridesmaids with ghastly dress choices. 

That is why we all loved Katherine Heigl’s ultimate revenge in the movie, 27 Dresses (2009), when she called in a favour from every bride she had ever played maid to, to stand by her when her own day came – and wear the dresses they had forced her to wear. Brilliant!


3. The Wedding Planner with ‘je ne sais quoi’


If there is anyone who can bring a bit of fab to any wedding, it has to be Franck Eggelhoffer from the 1991 remake of Father of the Bride. Most of the time no one could understand him, but his sheer fabulousness needs no interpretation. Whether he is putting swans in your bathtub to stop them from freezing, or reminding the father of the bride that Armani doesn’t make polyester tuxedos, Franck found his way into our hearts and if Hollywood style crazy is what you are after, he is just the man you need to plan your wedding.

“Get out of town!”



4. The Sentimental Daddy


Sticking with Father of the Bride (1991), Steve Martin not only showed how stressful a big wedding can be when everyone is reaching into your pocket to pay for it, but his portrayal of a father struggling to cope with the fact that his little baby girl is all grown up, melted our hearts and made many of us wonder if our own fathers were hiding a sentimental soul underneath those tough exteriors.


5. The SingersImage


That Boy George impersonating, boozy lounge singing, 80’s fashionista that is the wedding singer, is an absolute must for any Hollywood wedding. Adam Sandler and his band of failed musicians brought all the cheese they could to the stage to portray this image in 1998 hit The Wedding Singer. Why hire a DJ or a fancy swing band, when you can get mullet hairdos and cheap suits, a medley of bad 80s music and, if you are lucky, a drunken speech about how the singer’s life all went wrong. Now that is entertainment right there.


6. The Matriarch


What would the Hollywood wedding be without a bit of drama, advice and meddling from the family matriarch (usually self appointed). In Nia Vardalos’ brilliant My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) about the rollercoaster ride that ensues with a Greek wedding, she cast the superb Lainie Kazan as Maria – the ultimate matriarch who could sway every person and situation with the simple raise of her eyebrows and wag of her finger. If you don’t have someone like Maria meddling at every point of your wedding – it just ain’t Hollywood.


7. The Gate Crashers


Its hard not to think of Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson when you think of gate crashing a wedding, and that is because they are the guys every wedding needs to liven things up and cause a bit of trouble.  The Wedding Crashers (2005) saw this pair going through an awful lot of trouble just to gain access to all the good food, free drinks and beautiful women that a wedding can provide. In reality they may not be welcome guests at a wedding, but as far as Hollywood goes, why wouldn’t you want them there? Even if all it means is that you get to watch Vince Vaughn tear up the dance floor… it would be well worth it.



8. The Show Stopper


Even if you have never seen it, you have seen some version of it. The scene made famous by a young Dustin Hoffman as Benjamin Braddock, the recent graduate seduced by the ultimate older women, Mrs Robinson, portrayed by Katherine Ross, in the controversial 1967 movie The Graduate. Totally in love and determined to stop her wedding at all costs, Braddock rushes into the back of the church. Fearing he is too late he bangs on the glass, screaming “Elaine!” over and over. Ultimately she runs away with him, much to the horror of all of the guests. Now no truly in love wedding couple wants a crazed man banging on the window, stopping the ceremony. But for dramatic effect, this would be a classic!


9. The Dirty Money


It may not sound appealing to have every single mob boss and gangster in the area on your guest list, but if you can look past the rap sheets, the stench of cologne and overuse of the name Tony… you may find their presence rather valuable. When Henry (Ray Liotta) married Karen (Lorraine Bracco) in Goodfellas (1990), the happy couple are given gift envelopes, each containing thousands of dollars in cash. Okay so its dirty money, but if someone like Don Corleone (Marlon Brando The Godfather 1972) approaches your wedding table and offers you money and his blessings… its probably safe to say its “an offer you can’t refuse”.


And finally…


10. The Nervous PriestImage


He sweats, he stutters, he is nervous and he messes up his lines. But no Hollywood wedding would be complete without priest of Rowan Atkinson’s calibre, as seen in Four Weddings and Funeral (1994). But unless you are okay with mistakes like, “In the name of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Goat… er, Ghost,” – then it may be best to consider a more experienced, less nervous, and hopefully better looking, marriage celebrant.




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The Wedding Speech: how to know when you may have a problem

By Nina Harvey, for idocelebrant.com


 “As far as I’m concerned, my daughter could not have chosen a more delightful, charming, witty, responsible, wealthy, let’s not deny it, well-placed, good-looking and fertile young man than Martin as her husband. And I therefore ask the question “Why the hell did she marry Gerald instead?”

This, thankfully, is not an excerpt from an actual wedding speech, but rather a quote from ‘Rowan Atkinson Live’, a stage show the actor – better known to most as Mr Bean – performed in Boston in 1991. 


But while it may be a work of fiction, Rowan’s performance of the skit, ‘The Wedding from Hell’, does bring to mind the risk one takes when asking someone to make a speech at their wedding. 

There are a few questions you should ask yourself:


1. Does this person know me well enough?


You need to know that the person who stands up and honours you on your wedding day actually knows enough about you to make a heartfelt, honest speech. 


If they can barely pronounce your name correctly … you may have a problem!


2. Do they know a little too much?


At the same time, if you the groom, for example, decide to get your best mate of 20 years to do a speech because he knows you better than anyone else, you need to remember that HE KNOWS YOU BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE! This guy knows things about you that your parents don’t even know, and usually for good reason.  


If you don’t lay down some laws and limitations … you may have a problem!


3.  What type of drunk are they?


This question directly links to the answer to question 2; because we all know sometimes our best intentions can be replaced by next day, hangover regrets.


If the best man is the guy who always gets kicked out of bars before 9pm for disorderly conduct … you may have a problem!


If your dad – proudly wearing his father-of-the bride cap today – takes embarrassing his little girl to a whole new level after a few beers … you may have a problem!


4. Do they have any reason to object to your union?


This is a pretty big one. For instance:


If your best man has at some stage confessed that he: 

a) may be in love with your fiancé;   

b) dislikes your choice in women entirely;

or c) may be in love with you  … you may have a problem!


If the father-of-the-bride has expressed in the past that he:

a) dislikes his daughter’s choice for a mate;

b) may be bitter about having to pay for the wedding;

or c) may be in love with the groom … you definitely have a problem!


5. Lastly, have you ever done a speech for them?


Think carefully about this one. Have you ever publically ridiculed or embarrassed this person – the one who is, as we speak, preparing the ‘perfect’ speech for your wedding? You may think they have forgiven you already, but remember revenge is dish best served cold.


If you saw fit to include the story about the stag night stripper and the Ping-Pong balls in your best man’s speech … you may have a problem!


If you found yourself surprised when the bride did not approve of your presentation, which you proudly titled: ‘The Brides Most Embarrassing Moments Ever Captured on Film’, then (yes you guessed it) … you may have a problem!



So now that we have ascertained that you have a problem, how do you fix it?

After all you can’t change who the bride’s father is, and it’s too late to go out and make a new best mate.


Ÿ As mentioned before, set limits and lay down the law. Practice your game face and let them know you are serious.


Ÿ If the best man isn’t married yet, remind him that you will be taking note of his conduct and remember it when it’s his turn.


Ÿ Turn on your daddy’s-little-girl charm and kindly ask him to remember that you are his daughter and he needs to be kind or else.


Ÿ You could even attempt to get someone with a bit of weight behind them – i.e.: the mothers or perhaps even the wedding celebrant – to do the dirty work for you and gently nudge them in the right direction.

But if you prefer the idea of a more delicate approach, why not try putting a new spin on the old tradition of giving gifts to the bridesmaids.


A couple of months before the wedding, find yourself a gift bag and stuff it with chocolates; a six pack of beers or a bottle of wine; and any other knick knack you think will be appropriate.


Then make a visit to your local book store, or log on to sites like amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com, and take your pick from the host of wedding speech etiquette related books there are available – for example Philip Calvert’s, ‘Make a Great Wedding Speech’ or Dominic Bliss’ less subtle, ‘Being the Best Man for Dummies’.


Once you have made your selection take the book home; throw it into the gift bag; attach a card saying, “Just a little something to say thank you”; and head over to the best man’s / father-of-the-bride’s house to present your gift.


The recipient will either think you are acting really strange or be genuinely touched by your gesture, but either way the book is in their hands and with any luck the message will be received.


Problem solved … hopefully!

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