When Don’t tell the Bride first appeared on our TV screens in 2007, we thought it was a truly insane idea – give up all control over our big day, to let our betrothed take the reigns? No thanks.
However, there were many braver brides than us, and they’ve taken us on a journey through ceremonies that have become increasingly bizarre and brilliant.
In this latest series, 10 years on, we’ve already seen a wedding on a banana boat on a public beach in Spain, and a ceremony on a pig farm (you read that right)!
But it turns out not everything is as it seems, and some of the newlyweds from the show have come forward with what really goes on behind the scenes.
You’re not going to believe some of these…
1. The ceremony isn’t legally binding
That’s right – after all that fuss, couples on the show are not legally married after saying ‘I do’, and are told to make their way to a registry office afterwards to make things official.
One of the grooms for this latest series revealed to The Sun: ‘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.’
2. There are strict rules about contact during the planning process
The couples, and their wedding parties and families, are contractually obliged to have ZERO contact during filming – and when the bridal party does call the lads camp, it’s all on camera so no sneaky conferring goes on.
It’s been reported by Closer Online that in the event of breaking the terms of the contract, newlyweds have to pay back all of the budget at a rate of £1,000 per day.
3. It’s all super last minute
Some couples have been thrust into the planning process with as little as a week’s notice.
And the they really are expected to plan their dream weddings in just three weeks – one groom from season 12 told Cosmopolitan that planning could only take place during filming, and as production only happens 4 days a week, he only had 12 days!
4. The bride isn’t completely powerless…
One bride from 2015 explains that she point-blank refused to wear her hair in an ‘Elsa’ plait, to complement the ‘Frozen’ theme of her wedding.
‘I knew it was the producers who would want that,’ she told Cosmo. ‘So I just said, “Look, I’m not doing it.” And at the end of the day, it was my wedding day, and I’d signed a contract with them saying that there’s got to be a wedding at the end of the day. You can’t not get married, so they had to go along with it. I could have got whatever I wanted, basically.’
5. The grooms don’t do quite as bad a job as producers would have us believe
One part of the programme that inevitably gets our goat – and, understandably, the brides – is the part where the husband to be organises a slap-dash, entirely underwhelming hen do which the hen then has to pay for out of her own pocket!
But there’s been multiple whispers from past participants, including one couple who spoke with Wedding Ideas, that things are not as they seem – past grooms have said that they’ve been instructed that hens pay for their own bridal parties, and that they’re expressly forbidden to pay anything toward it.