Don't Tell The Bride
Don't Tell The Bride
Don't Tell The Bride is a BBC Three tv show that provides engaged couples with £12,000 (around $19,200 at the time of writing) to get married with. Only snag is that the couple must live separately for 3 weeks leading up to the wedding and have no contact with each other. The groom must plan and organise the wedding without any input or help from the bride.
It may sound a bit like madness, but for couples who can't afford to get married in a traditional manner, i.e. with a service and reception for family and friends, it's the difference between being a wife or husband, or a long term fiancée or fiancé. It's not something that I personally could ever enter into because I'm a very private person, but for people who don't mind cameras following them for 3 weeks and the end result being a much desired union, it's an option.
The Missing Groom
The Bride Without An Invite To Her Own Wedding
Appearing For 15 Minutes Of Fame Or True Love?
The show is now into it's third series and there has always been much debate on various forums and sites about the intergrity of the programme makers and the couples talking part. I purposely chose which category to put this hub into very carefully. I could have gone down the Entertainment - TV - Reality Shows route, but I didn't because it just didn't seem right. I choose the categories of Gender & Relationships - Weddings - Wedding Stories.
Despite the show quite clearly being that of the reality format, I chose the latter category because I'm a romantic. There has been lots of things written on the internet about how the couples talking part just want to appear on tv, to get that elusive 15 minutes of fame. I do believe that in a very few cases that has been true, not necessarily by both parties, but definitely by one in some instances.
However, I have read some really heartfelt comments on sites from people who want to appear on the show for no other reason than the desire to be married and to celebrate with family and friends. Most couples genuinely just want to be on the show for the £12,000 to get married with. But you've still got to have the desire to be on tv right?
The third series which is currently showing on BBC Three is pulling in 600,000 viewers for it's first showing on Tuesdays at 9pm, according to data for October. That's a lot of people watching your wedding. Still, I do think that I was right to put this hub into the category I did.
If you're ok with being filmed, maybe even happy that the planning of your wedding is being documented for posterity, then I can understand that the couples who apply to be on Don't Tell The Bride do so not for 15 minutes of fame, but for the chance to get married in a way in which they couldn't possibly achieve otherwise.
The Bride Without Wedding Transport
Homemade Wedding Invitations
Bridal Make Up Disaster
Now About That Groom!
So once the couple have been chosen to appear on the show, once filming begins, they have to sign a legal document stating that they will have no contact with each for the three weeks leading up to the wedding ceremony. For couples who live together, one has to move out.
A groom has three weeks to plan a wedding from scratch. I have had my doubts in the past about this. Some people take years planning a wedding, venues are booked well in advance for security, so how the hell does a groom book a venue with just three weeks to go? From the shows that I've seen, it works out either due to compromise on the venue - a hotel instead of a stately home or a wedding not on a saturday, or luck - cancellations.
I've seen comments from people who have appeared on Don't Tell The Bride and they say that the BBC or production team do not get involved in any aspect of the wedding preparations. Everything is down to the groom.
So skepticism aside, how do these grooms do so well? It always results in a wedding with the bride often saying she couldn't have done better herself. My theory was the wedding book. I have a friend who has been compiling a wedding book since she was in single figures. If she gave that to her groom, there would be no chance of him messing it up right? The exact dress would be in there with photos, her measurements and where to buy it. Same with the flowers, the transport, the ceremony, reception venue, everything!
But what it seems to me is that these guys aren't very often given a wedding book. Maybe you aren't allowed a wedding book on Don't Tell The Bride, but if I were the bride I would have my groom memorising every last detail if that were the case. One simple file on a laptop could provide all the details needed, so unless it is the case that the groom is just not allowed any prior information other than that in memory, I kind of understand how they get it so wrong on occasions.
Brides Hates Grooms Choice Of Dress
Potential Venue Disaster
When Everything Goes Right
Planning Or Luck?
What I find so amusing about Don't Tell The Bride is that you'll see a shot of a groom picking out bridesmaid dresses in red, and as the viewer you know full well that the bride absolutely hates red because she just told her friend so in another clip. Yet much like on a recent show, despite hating the colour red, when the bride sees her somewhat nervous bridesmaids for the first time in their dresses they know she hates the colour of, she's fine about it. Suitably pleased even.
These grooms can do no wrong!
You'll see a bride trying on wedding dresses and falling in love with a particular one, only for the groom to choose the complete opposite and on the day of the reveal, the bride will think it's the best dress ever! Okay, so not every groom has got the dress spot on, but most have, despite it not being remotely close to the style of that which the bride fell in love with.
Are the brides lying to us, the viewers?! Or are the grooms just lucky in their choices? I don't know, but just when it's all looking like going so horribly wrong because the bride has quite clearly stated all the elements of the wedding, and how she wants it to be to us the viewer. The groom then goes and does the complete opposite, but it's all ok on the day.
How do they do that?! Just when you're thinking, oh that poor girl, she's going to have a fit at what he's chosen. She then whoops with delight, despite telling us that she wanted to get married in a castle but ends up in a hall adjacent to a pub. Okay, so that hasn't happened, yet!
Applying For Don't Tell The Bride
I've seen these details asked for time and time again on different sites, if you're in the UK and want to appear on Don't Tell The Bride here are the contact details:
Telephone: 0207 479 4210
Mail: Sarah May, Renegade Pictures, 3 - 4 Portland Mews, London, W1F 8JF
I'm not sure when or if they will be doing another series, but if this one has been a success, as I'm sure it has, it's most likely.
According to comments I have read from people who have got through to the audition process, you will be interviewed separately by phone first. Not exactly sure of the application process after that.
If you want to apply for don't tell the bride, a tip! Like I was saying about the wedding book or computer file, this may not be allowed which explains a lot about why the groom doesn't get anything right on paper. If during the interview process you seem too in tune with each other, you probably won't get selected. If your groom knows exactly what you want that isn't going to make 'good tv'. Couples who are selected are chosen because the producers know the viewers will have a few hands over face moments when the groom gets something wrong.
If you're asked what would you do if he got you a dress you considered to be hideous? Don't say "he wouldn't!" Probably the best answer would be something along the lines of "I wouldn't wear it, he'd have to get me another one", thus creating a potential drama for the tv show because the budget would be severely dented if another dress had to be bought.
You have to think outside the box it seems if you want to appear on Don't Tell The Bride according to the people who have applied and been too knowing of each other.
If anyone has applied or been on the show, I'd love to read your comments. If you're applying, good luck with your Don't Tell The Bride Application!