Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Are there More Outdoor Weddings in Movies Than In Real Life?

The other night, my wife and I watched the film He's Just Not That Into You, based on the the non-fiction self-help book with the same title.

The film --- well, it was alright, self-help might not be the most adaptable genre.

In the film, Jennifer Aniston is a bridesmaid in her younger sister's wedding. The wedding is a beautiful outdoor wedding.

I started thinking, I've been to probably a dozen and a half weddings in my life. Of those, only one of them has been an outdoor wedding.

So let's say, about 5% of the weddings I've been to are outdoor weddings.

Yet, when it comes to film, I would think a much higher percentage of weddings on film are lush outdoor weddings. Whether it's the Godfather, 27 Dresses, Steel Magnolias, Sweet Home Alabama, Monsoon Wedding, You Me and Dupree, and Meet the Parents.

Certainly, there are a lot of films with popular non-outside scenes, but I just feel like I haven't been to many outdoor weddings?

Is it because when you're making a film you can change the scheduled shooting day if the weathers bad, so you're more relaxed about shooting an outside wedding day?

Or maybe it's about geography? I've been to weddings in Texas, Colorado, Alabama, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Kansas and Florida, but I've never been to a wedding in Los Angeles...maybe that's the problem?


AK said...

Um, very minor and unimportant correction - the Steel Magnolias wedding took place indoors (the reception was in the backyard of her parents' home). I do agree with you though - I can't even count the number of weddings I've been to and I can only remember 1 being outside (another was schedule to be outside but was moved inside due to weather). You could be right, though. I'm sure there are many more outdoor weddings in places with beaches and mild weather (although I would also think that would be the case in Colorado with the great summer weather. guess not, huh?)

Tucker said...

I was a wedding photographer for several years and more than half of the weddings I shot were outside. And of the rest, a large number number had their receptions outside. And I live in the rainy northwest. But, of course, outdoor weddings look much better on screen than indoor. I would guess is that overall there are more wedding indoors on screen, but the weddings we remember - the ones that are more central to the film's story and are presented as a big event - are the outdoor ones.

Unknown said...

As a wedding planner in Los Angeles, I would have to agree with Tucker that they show more outdoor weddings in movies because of the visual factor, BUT significantly more than half of my weddings are outdoors, or a combination of inside/outdoors. There is a slight seasonal factor, but not really.

Daniel said...

Interesting question, and you're right on (don't forget Forrest Gump and a million others). I've been to I think 6 weddings in the last couple of years, and half have been outside. I'm going to another in August that will be outside, on a lake in New Hampshire.

I really think it's probably a 50/50 breakdown, possibly affected by geography but possibly not. After all, many people get married during the summer, when it's nice weather wherever you are.

As it happens I'm going to be planning mine within the next year, and my guess is we'll end up outside.

Glenn said...

My brother's wedding was outdoors. I haven't been to that many, but it's been the only outside one.

I think it's more a matter of being aesthetically more pleasing for a film to do it outside. You can have a beach or a garden or so on. You can limit the number of extras/guests, you can have bigger set ups and such.

Plus, unless your characters are strict Catholics/Christians it helps to avoid awkwardness since most movie couples are from the church's ideal. Sex before marriage, gay friends, ungodly, etc.

Peter Chan said...

Haha. I don't blame you for thinking about other things while watching HJNTIY. But I do agree with what you're saying. It seems all the weddings in films I've watching lately are outdoors (Hangover, I Love You Man and etc.). I've only been to two outdoors wedding myself and it's nowhere near as romantic as films depict them out to be. It's often hot and muggy and served with a bottled water.

kat said...

I agree that movies have more outdoor weddings than not and likely this is due to a combination of being visually more interesting on screen as well as an avoidance of any particular religious ceremony.

In my life, I've been to far more outdoor weddings than indoor. Possibly people's indoor/outdoor experience is more dictated by their circle of friends rather than strictly geography. The vast majority of my friends (and, hence, their weddings) are non-religious people so indoor weddings at churches is automatically out. I've been to weddings that were indoor (because of time of year) and yet not at a church but this is very few and far between.