When it comes to reality TV shows, Don’t Tell The Bride ranks pretty highly on our list of favourites.
The programme sees the (often conveniently hapless) partner plan an entire wedding in just three weeks, with a budget of £14,000 and absolutely no input from their future bride. The drama writes itself: there’s often a wayward best man pushing for an elaborate stag do leaving no budget for the bridesmaids’ outfits, and there is always, always a meltdown over the choice of wedding dress.
Best of all are the inexplicably hellish venues, with memorable past locations including a theme park for a bride who hates rollercoasters, a casino in Vegas with no leftover money for the bride to invite any of her family and – of course – a banana boat, which the bride was forced to parasail onto. It’s compulsive viewing.
However, fans of the show were left outraged this weekend when one of the past contestants came forward to admit that, actually, the weddings are all fake – with couples asked to arrange a separate, legally binding ceremony in order to actually get married.
Speaking to The Sun, a former groom said, “It was written into our contract that our ceremony would not be legally binding and so we should go to a register office later.
“That is what we did. But we had no follow up from anyone from the show after the filming, so we could easily have avoided it and had the party for free.
“It makes a bit of a mockery of the process that the bride and groom go through this huge ordeal for a ceremony which isn’t even legal.”
While some may have assumed this happened only when the vows are taken in a venue that cannot perform legal ceremonies, fans of the hit show – which first aired on BBC Three in 2007 and is now shown on E4 – have been surprised to hear it’s part of the contract from the start, and therefore many couples perhaps aren’t taking it quite as seriously as they might have.
Unsurprisingly, some diehard fans have been extremely disappointed.
“Can't believe Don't Tell the Bride is actually a sham. My entire life has been a lie,” lamented one user.
“The ceremony in Don't Tell the Bride not being legally binding is ruining the sanctity of marriage,” added another.
E4 responded to the claims with the following statement:
“All contributors sign notice to marry for their legal ceremony in the presence of a production team member but before filming starts.
“An update or photos from this legal ceremony is shown at the end of each episode.”
It’s official, guys: we have been duped.
Images: BBC Three