The golden rules of movie weddings and marriages

As two of Den of Geek’s writers prepare to tie the knot, we find out what the movies can teach us about weddings and marriages…

You’re going to have to forgive us a mighty indulgence today, friends, as this weekend, two of Den Of Geek’s finest are tying the knot.

Serial Jason Statham aggravator Duncan Bowles is marrying Robert Downey Jr botherer Rachel Trippitt, in a wedding for which we pitched literally pounds for the rights to. Sadly, they knocked us back, muttering something about “restraining orders” and “bloody good security”.

Nevertheless, we felt we should still pay them a tribute.

Here, then, is the official Den Of Geek guide to movie weddings and marriages, which is dedicated to the mighty Duncan and the majestic Rachel. May you have many long and happy years together, something you can increase your chances of by following our top tips right here…

Ad – content continues below

Rule Number OneDon’t propose in the middle of a big blockbuster…

Couples in superhero movies rarely have the easiest path to the altar. And it’s not helped by making a meal out of a proposal that, really, should be kept behind closed doors. Take the many millions who shelled out to watch Spider-Man 3. In the midst of that film, everything stops, while Peter Parker dicks around with a wedding ring for what feels like a very long time.

Granted, he cunningly enlists the help of Bruce Campbell to try and buy some extra time. But it did lead to many audiences members checking neighbouring screens to see if their Spider-Man film had escaped next door by accident.

Rule Number Two…but it’s okay to get married in the middle of one.

Ad – content continues below

Don’t your worry your little heads if the world is under attack from aliens, and doom is impending. There’s always going to be a bit of time for you to slip a quick wedding in. And, as Independence Day proved, your guests will be fully on board with the idea, as not one of them suggests that there might just be other, more pressing priorities – like saving the planet, for example.

Rule Number ThreeIt’s best not to hold the stag night too close to the wedding.

There’s a rich collection of important, educational movies that document exactly why stag nights and bachelor parties are such a bad idea. Take poor Martin Clunes in Staggered, who finds himself dumped zillions of miles away from his wedding, with only a short amount of time to crawl his way to the ceremony.

The poor chaps of The Hangover? They can’t even remember what went on at their stag weekend, short of it involving animals and Mike Tyson. Even purer-than-snow Tom Hanks fell foul, in 1984’s Bachelor Party. One of the incidents had something to do with a stash of illegal substances and a donkey in a lift, if memory serves. Tsk. We had higher hopes for Tom.

A simple assumption, then: stag nights always go wrong. A simple, common sense piece of advice: make sure they’re planned at least two weeks ahead of the wedding.

Ad – content continues below

Rule Number FourIf Jennifer Lopez is planning your wedding, be aware that she secretly wants to get married herself.

Not a particularly useful tip, granted, but we include it in the hope that it’ll stop someone else having to suffer through The Wedding Planner.

Rule Number FiveVet The Guests.

Just be aware that anyone looking like one of the people in the image above (well, the ones standing up) are only there to eat your food, and sleep with your female guests.

Ad – content continues below

Rule Number SixVet The Guests.

Be on the lookout for this man, too. He will not be an asset to your big day.

Rule Number SevenVet The Guests.

Hopefully, we’re getting the message across by now.

Rule Number Eight

Ad – content continues below

Cut the “If anyone knows of any lawful impediment…” line from the service.

You’re just asking for trouble, there. The second the fateful line’s uttered, Dustin Hoffman will burst through the chapel doors and disrupt the entire ceremony. The cad.

Rule Number NineBe sure that the vicar is not Ted Danson.

Movie vicars have a reputation for screwing up weddings at the best of times (Rowan Atkinson in Four Weddings And A Funeral, for instance), but for the union to be successful, you should always be aware that Ted Danson has form for disguising himself as members of the cloth. He has, to our knowledge, never been ordained. It is thus worth tugging at the head of any prospective vicar, just to ensure that it’s not Ted in the midst of one of his wheezes.

Ad – content continues below

Rule Number TenIf you’ve married for the sake of convenience at work, you will have to go through one compulsory period of trial separation before finding happiness.

Couples in the movies sometimes get thrown together for all the wrong reasons. Take poor Tom Cruise. In Jerry Maguire, he plays a sports agent. A pretty good sports agent. Then he has a crisis of confidence, and finds a good-looking woman (the clip below explains more). However, what’s this? They get married, because it’ll be good for their new business? How can that work? Especially given that it’s happened early on in the second act of the movie?

Here’s the message, friends: you need to separate quickly. You need to go off and do other things, and maybe spend some time with Cuba Gooding Jr. Done that? You’ll swiftly realise you were better off at home. Even if it is with Bridget Jones…

Rule Number ElevenNo guns in church.

Ad – content continues below

Poor Uma Thurman’s wedding could have gone so much better had her husband-to-be, David Carradine, left his trusty revolver at home. Admittedly, he’d probably have just shot her once the wedding ceremony was over, but Uma would at least have had the opportunity to avoid getting blood on her wedding dress. The dry cleaning bill must have been horrendous, and the photos would have been ruined. (Pub trivia fact: Tarantino’s working title for Kill Bill was, in fact, Killer Dry Cleaning Bill.)

Rule Number TwelveBeware old mobsters as father-in-laws.

Not, as you might think, because they’re sinister. Rather, because they’re embarrassing.

There’s something about people who appeared in gangster films suddenly taking on a father-in-law role, though. To be fair, Marlon Brando managed to combine the two in The Godfather (wonderfully spoofed in Rugrats In Paris).

The problem, though, comes when said gangster alumni think they’re funny. Truthfully, it’s probably best just to laugh at their jokes. Take poor Robert De Niro. So upset was he at not being cast in any more Martin Scorsese films, he ended up wearing a fake breast in Meet The Fockers. In Meet The Parents, meanwhile, he’s the kind of father-in-law it’s wise to keep on the right side of. The same applies in Wedding Crashers, where up pops Christopher Walken. 

Ad – content continues below

The rule is this: have a look through The Godfather trilogy, Goodfellas and The Deer Hunter, just as a precaution. And politely enquire, should an opportunity arise, as to whether your future father-in-law has a thing for wearing the occasional fake chest accessory. As always, it’s best to be on the safe side.

Further tips:

If you missed out on your true love first time round, don’t worry. You might still get the chance if George Lucas needs a few quid. Just ask Karen Allen.

If all else fails, get James Bond to sing a song. Logic does not have to take centre stage at a wedding. 

Ad – content continues below

And one final tip: make sure your best man isn’t Steve Buscemi. And if he is, for heaven’s sake, don’t let him near a microphone…

And that, Rachel and Duncan, is our wedding gift to you. Glad we could help.