January 7, 1990, I married the love of my life, Sara — whom I had just met 6 weeks previously. But you’ve already read about that.
One of the worst aspects of a winter wedding: an anniversary that is frequently frozen over, leading to cancelled plans, or going somewhere and subsequently freezing our butts off while wishing we had cancelled the plans. And don’t even ask about the aftermath of our 20th wedding anniversary trip out to Big Bend — that’s a whole other story.
This year, it is 20° this morning in balmy Austin, and we have cancelled our plan to go to the beach. That makes a perfect excuse to list off a few favorite wedding-themed movies we might watch this weekend.
Father of the Bride (1950)
Sure, we like both versions, but we prefer the Spencer Tracy-Joan Bennett-Elizabeth Taylor original, directed by Vincent Minelli. Steve Martin’s 1991 take is an inspired reboot but not at all the same type of enjoyment for us — we prefer a little heavier on the romance, and lighter on the comedy. Plus who doesn’t like watching young Elizabeth Taylor?
Bonus side player: Leo G. Carroll as the wedding planner
Oh, Stanley. I don’t know how to explain. A wedding. A church wedding. Well it’s, it’s what every girl dreams of. A bridal dress, the orange blossoms, the music. It’s something lovely to remember all the rest of her life. And something for us to remember too.
The Catered Affair (1956)
This marvelous movie gets sadly overlooked despite powerful performances from an incredible cast: Bette Davis, Ernest Borgnine, Rod Taylor, and a young Debbie Reynolds. Not at all a rom-com but a true love story nonetheless — written by Paddy Chayefsky and Gore Vidal, no less!
Bonus side player: Barry Fitzgerald as affable Uncle Jack
You’re going to have a big wedding whether you like it or not! And if you don’t like it, you don’t have to come!
Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
A whole host of familiar faces here from Hugh Grant to Andie MacDowell to Kirten Scott-Thomas, in a rollicking ride jam-packed with plenty of favorite scenes and lines as well as enough weddings to last awhile.
Bonus side player: Rowan Atkinson officiating one of the weddings
All these weddings, all these years, all that blasted salmon and champagne and here I am on my own wedding day, and I’m… eh… em… eh… still thinking.
The Wedding Singer (1998)
A wonderful piece of lightweight fluff featuring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore and well-worth watching for the extended cameo from Billy Idol. I haven’t seen this one in years so it may be due for a repeat soon!
Bonus side player: Steve Buscemi singing
I wanna make you smile whenever you’re sad
Carry you around when your arthritis is bad
All I wanna do is grow old with you.
This one surprised me the first time ’round but delivers the thoroughly enjoyable experience of watching Jane Fonda spar with daughter-in-law-to-be Jennifer Lopez.
Bonus side player: Wanda Sykes as Jane Fonda’s long-suffering personal assistant
Ruby, Ruby. Everybody knows that when a woman marries a man she marries his mother, too.
An honorable mention ought to go to Sixteen Candles (1984) simply for the wedding scene — not to mention the happy couple’s departure.
Well, that ought to keep you busy.