Category: Reality


If somebody offered me £12,000 for a wedding, I would be delighted. If the condition of this was that my fiancé had to arrange the whole event alone and that our special day would be filmed as part of a TV series, namely Don’t Tell The Bride, I might be less inclined to accept the offer. If £25 grand was on the cards but this was in return for sharing my wedding with an unknown couple and having to compromise on several aspects, right down to the dress, I would tell whoever suggested it they were mad.

It seems not everyone would take my stance, however, as this is the premise in Battle of the Brides, a new reality series currently airing on Sky Living. Two brides-to-be who have never met are offered £25,000 towards a shared wedding day, provided they can agree on whose dress they will both wear, whose transport they will both use, and whose theme and entertainment will shape the reception. Cue tears, tantrums and tension.

Call me old-fashioned, but surely the most important thing about a wedding is that it’s the day you commit to spending the rest of your life with the person you love? Yes, it would be fantastic if you could also afford to put on a gourmet banquet, arrive in style and wear the dress of your dreams, but these aspects often seem to overshadow the marriage itself in series such as Battle of the Brides. Now I’m not saying I wouldn’t like to have such wonderful things, I just wouldn’t want to broadcast my day to a percentage of the TV-watching public in order to get them.

In the event of ever getting married (not even remotely on the cards, by the way!), I’d really prefer that my husband-to-be and I planned the day together and took as much time as we needed, even if it did mean saving every penny for a few years. Perhaps I’m naïve about the financial realities of a wedding, but I also feel that in a time of economic difficulty for Britain, some of these programmes are causing engaged couples more stress than is necessary due to their desperation to tie the knot. If you love each other that much then why not wait – then you won’t have to share what you hoped would be a full on biker-themed wedding with someone who prefers a classy Caribbean twist.

As for Don’t Tell The Bride…well, I freely admit that I do tune in to watch it now and then. For some reason it doesn’t infuriate me as much as Battle of the Brides did, possibly because there’s not an underlying determination to eradicate someone else’s desired wedding theme. Nevertheless, it would take a lot of pre-briefing and nerves of steel before I ever let my hypothetical fiancé take the reins alone for planning our wedding…

Come Dine With Me

After my It Takes Two fix earlier, I somehow ended up watching four straight episodes of Come Dine With Me.  I often take an idle interest in the dinner party dramas, but this is the first time I’ve actively chosen to see how a whole week plays out.  Perhaps it’s laziness, the button box (sorry, remote control) was left on the other sofa, after all.  But despite the repetitive format, my only moments of boredom came in the ‘coming up next’ and ‘last time’ sections, where the same clip was sometimes shown three or four times.  It also helped that the contestants were reasonable human beings who didn’t deliberately antagonise each other, as previous disputes have been a factor in my channel changing after one or two episodes.

If I could watch Come Dine With Me without adverts though, I might tune in more frequently: there are always interesting recipe ideas and it’s intriguing to observe how different people host and behave at dinner parties.  Am I judging them for their actions at the table?  Yes, to an extent, but doesn’t everybody who watches reality TV form opinions about the contestants?  In turn I’m being judged by the boyfriend, for spending two hours watching what he considers rubbish.  It is a guilty pleasure, I’ll readily admit, but for the sake of £1000 I think I’d try my hand at entertaining strangers, even if it did mean being subjected to the sardonic narration of Dave Lamb.