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Don’t Tell the Bride – Series 5, Episode 3 – Sarah Jane and Cameron

25 Sep

Welcome back to my weekly recap of Don’t Tell the Bride, where this week our lucky groom has to please not one, but two brides to be…!

The episode will be available for a little while longer on iPlayer, but if you’re busy (or just plain lazy) here’s my take on what happened.

*Disclaimer – this is an entertainment show. The narrator is mean, the editing is mean, and therefore I’m disproportionately mean. If you appeared on this show, please install your sense of humour chip before you read on… or just stop reading now ūüėȬ†

From the start, it’s clear we’re onto another winner with the groom. His heart seems to be in the right place as he proudly admits he’s wrapped round Sarah Jane’s little finger. Quite right too.

However, this time, the stars of episode three weren’t the bride and groom – but the two supporting acts – the world’s most encouraging and loving sister *cough*sarcasm*cough*, Katie, and bearded aspiring poet, best man, Jay.

Sister Katie is getting married later in the year – and has clearly lost all grip on reality. Clearly unaware that she’s coming across somewhat bitter and irrational, Katie spends most of the episode breathing fire, crushing buildings – and complaining about her pink gerberas. Within a couple of minutes of the show starting, Katie’s banned Cameron from planning a traditional church wedding and a country house reception… so… most weddings then…

Pausing for a little rant – I’d get this whole “it’s MY wedding – MIIIINE” thing, if Katie was doing anything remotely original. Now, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a church wedding and a country house reception – but it IS what lots of people do… you can’t claim a monopoly on the format. It’s not like she’s marrying a goat up a mountain in a nudist ceremony or something…

Rant over.

Anyway, here comes best man, beardy Jay, while Sarah Jane inexplicably goes to stay with her sister – right that’s three weeks of subtle jibes and bitchy undertones to look forward to then.

Cameron decides on an Indian / Scottish theme. My first thought is that the colours are going to clash horribly. Jay fondles Cameron’s ear for some reason. Cameron asks him not to. Everyone is uncomfortable.

Moving on to choosing the venue, and I switch off my brain for a while as we go through the usual “she wants a church wedding and he’s oblivious process.” Tea, anyone?

Cameron books a very pretty castle. But, of course, he doesn’t think of any practicalities – the ceremony room only holds 50 guests at a push – something that’s obviously going to cause problems later on… Having decided on the ceremony venue, Jay and Cameron stop for some Mr Whippy ice cream in the park. Mulling over the decision, Jay informs Cameron “it’s your balls on the line, not mine!” He seems a little too excited about this.

For the reception, Cameron books a very expensive, but very appropriate (for his theme) Indian tent. Jay says something sensible: “you don’t have to make everyone happy.” I agree.

After deciding on a reception venue, Cameron marches straight to the florist – and buys ¬£800 worth of Katie’s signature pink gerberas. In a messed up, sadistic way, I’m quite pleased.

Meanwhile, the bride to be is going wedding dress shopping. And, again, for some reason that’s beyond my comprehension, she’s brought along the jealous sister – who’s probably singed every dress in the shop with her fire breath! At least, every dress that remotely resembles her own.

Cameron and Jay are doing some dress shopping of their own. Another yawn fest as he goes in totally the wrong direction with a traditional A-line gown – when she’s after a big princess dress. Whoops.

In one of the cringiest scenes in Don’t Tell the Bride history, Cameron has to face up to his venue choice and tell his future mother in law she can only invite about fifteen people to the wedding. She’s not pleased. He’s not pleased that she’s not pleased. He draws a little cartoon of himself looking sad under a cloud. I forgive him. Mum breaks the news to Sarah Jane in front of the sister – is that a smirk I detect Katie? Hint, try to save looking really smug for when the camera’s off you.

After sending the girls paintballing for Sarah’s hen do, Cameron buys her a stripper. But only so he can justify getting his own stripper. I’m unimpressed.

They all go bridesmaids dress shopping. I get bored and sing to myself for a while.

Cut to Jay writing his best man speech. He apparently has a degree in English Literature specialising in “romantic writing”. Right. I already have ridiculously high expectations for this poem given that he’s ruled out the use of simile, metaphor or any other poetic device… because obviously the proles won’t understand it. Oh Jay. At this point, it’s fair to say I’m more than a little creeped out.

In my favourite part of the episode, the boys learn a street dance. I realise suddenly that Jay IS David Brent… I KNEW he looked (and sounded) familiar.

Annnyway Sarah sees her dress. She likes it. Even though it’s the opposite of what she likes. How predictable. But still, it’s nice to see her very happy. Aaaw. Even the sister musters some support. Some… but that’s a start.

The day arrives – Jay spends most of the morning stroking Cameron’s head… don’t pet him too hard there, Lenny! At the bride’s house, the pink gerberas arrive. Katie cries. It’s quite funny.

Sarah arrives at the venue by helicopter. Just be grateful you’re not jumping out of it, Sarah (remember John and Jackie from episode 1?) Anyway, she lands, she’s happy, he’s happy, everyone’s happy. Apart from Katie, who’s weeping into her pink gerberas. Just kidding.

Jay reads his poem. The good news is, he doesn’t have to worry about it being too highbrow. Seriously “My two best mates joined together, with a love so strong that lasts forever.” He then presents them with a macaroni picture and a pencil holder he made. Not really, he was all strung out from his literary efforts.

Long story short, she loves everything (even the marquee… kind of) and even the mother in law is pleased.

Catch the next episode of Don’t Tell the Bride on Tuesday 27th September at 9pm on BBC3

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Don’t Tell the Bride review – Series 5 Episode 2 – Josh and Stacie

15 Sep

What a difference a week makes! While last week’s Don’t Tell the Bride had me shaking my fist at the TV, and yelling at my own, poor, blameless hubby to be… just for being male… this week restored my faith in relationships!

Gloucester “rugby lad” Josh has to please his bride Stacie – who kicks off the show with the words “can we just remember it’s all about me?” Good luck, Josh.

Josh sets about choosing a venue – and from the start it’s clear he’s taking the process seriously. Good thing, Stacie isn’t very easy to please. She wants to get married “where lords and ladies used to live” – complete with a banner of… her own face! Oook… This is a bride who definitely knows what she wants. She wants canapes. She just doesn’t know what they are. No, seriously, she doesn’t know what canapes are… moving on…

Meanwhile Josh has found his dream venue. The only problem is it costs ¬£22k… that seems somewhat excessive to me… but then what do I know? Hiring it for two hours costs less – but now he’ll have to face the inevitable disappointment of having the ceremony there and having to cart everyone off somewhere naff. Say, like a rugby club? Yup. But I’ll forgive him, because he means well.

When I first hear the words “Jamaican and Irish theme”, I have to be honest, I’m not holding my breath for anything amazing. After last week’s tinsel and fluorescent lights fiasco, I’m expecting nothing short of semi-offensive tack. But hold that thought, because Josh is about to go dress shopping.

Walking into the wedding dress¬†shop, he announces: “we’re looking for a wedding dress.”

The usual Don’t Tell the Bride mayhem ensues – she hates sweetheart necklines. He goes for a sweetheart neckline. Some pantomime-style heckling ensues from my sofa. Hubby to be hands me a cupcake and I calm down.

After the painful dress shopping comes the hen night. He sends her to the bingo. But it’s OK, cause he’s just kidding! After the bingo comes the party. Basically, it’s everything I hate about hen parties, but she seems happy. And he didn’t go to a strip club and puke everywhere for his stag do – instant brownie points.

Anyway, this groom was very sweet throughout. He constantly thought of what his bride would want and he didn’t lose his cool – apart from when he had to pick eight bridesmaids dresses. But shopping with eight women would be enough to make any guy lose it right? There was a particularly sweet moment where he sent his bride to be a flower from each of their respective traditions.

The big day arrives Рand the castle ceremony goes down a treat. However, it looks like a quickie divorce is on the cards when she gets out of the car to see the rugby club Рcomplete with randomers having a drink at the bar. But lo and behold, Josh had the good sense to hire a venue dressing service! The poky rugby club was transformed into a veiled heaven Рand even the Irish and Jamaican theme worked out! 

Join me next Tuesday at 9pm on BBC3 for more Don’t Tell the Bride action! In the meantime, leave me some comments! What did you think of Josh’s efforts? Let me know!

Don’t Tell the Bride Review – Series 5, Episode 1: John and Jackie

13 Sep

What happens when you give one man who never listens¬†and seems to have all the competence of a mushroom ¬£12k to plan a wedding – without any involvement from his control-freak bride? Yes, Don’t Tell the Bride is back on the BBC and – because I’m a complete fanatic – I’ll be reviewing every single episode.

Now, usually with Don’t Tell the Bride, I’m sort of rooting for the groom. OK, he was probably chosen for being somewhat of a dunce, but at least he tries. Sometimes he gets it horribly wrong, like the infamous Vegas episode, where a groom chose to send his poor bride-to-be to Las Vegas – leaving the majority (OK, pretty much all) of her family and friends behind! Sometimes they get it very right. OK, I can’t think of any examples off the top of my head – but honestly, they do (even if they mess up a few times along the way)!

However, this episode¬†(available on iPlayer for another week)¬†awakened some sort of inner Bridezilla in me. Pretty much foaming at the mouth with rage, by the end of the episode I was hovering on the edge of the sofa, chanting “jilt, jilt, jilt”! This is the first groom I can honestly say thought of nobody but himself in the entire process. So let’s get to business.

Jackie and John are different – apparently. In that they like to drink at different places: Jackie likes cocktails and John likes the miner’s club. See how different they are? Apparently this gives the BBC license to call her “trendy Jackie” for the majority of the episode. “I want her to be in total shock from start to finish” says thoughtful John. This pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the episode.

Within five minutes of her leaving, John’s said the words every bride wants to hear. “Sky dive down to the ceremony…” Just what every girl wants for their wedding day – to put on an orange jump suit and be thrown out of a plane.

While Jackie wants a erm… “modern” stately home, John would rather have his wedding reception down at the miner’s club. At first I think he’s joking. This is surely one of those things where they show him dithering between a good choice (a stately home) and a bad one – before inevitably choosing the good one. No, miner’s it is – complete with light-up fruit machines. But first, he’ll drive his bride an hour into the countryside (after having thrown her out of a plane) to her dream venue so she THINKS the whole day will be there. But SURPRISE! There’ll actually be a short ceremony followed by an hour’s coach journey to the miner’s club. At least the decor will be classy… right?

“I’m going to get a Christmas tree” he says, proudly. I die inside. Yes, our clever groom is going for a Christmas theme. In the middle of May. Not even a nice, elegant, winter wonderland theme. Nope, neon lights, tinsel, the works. But don’t worry, he’s thought of Jackie too! He’s bought some toilet seats (I kid you not) with pictures of cats to class the place up a bit. Yup.

Other achievements include choosing a nose-shaped wedding cake – for no apparent reason other than he seems hell bent on ruining everything, having a big, strippery, pukey stag do, spending all of thirty seconds choosing her wedding dress and, of course, eventually throwing her out of a plane.

Unbelievably, despite some initial reservations, the bride seems absolutely thrilled with her groom’s planning. So, either she’d seriously been at the champagne (well, wouldn’t you?) or there really is someone for everyone.

Episode 2 of Don’t Tell the Bride airs tonight (Tuesday 13th September) at 9pm on BBC3 – join me on Twitter for some live chat!¬†