I was looking forward to A very British Wedding on BBC2. I adore any sort of real life story on TV and thought it was a great idea to feature different weddings from different cultures – that today are to be found in multicultural UK.
But unfortunately half way through I was so disenchanted, that I ended up switching off.
The producers must have been delighted when they thought of this concept – A very British Wedding – which actually turned out to be a look at weddings in Britain but not usually associated with the UK.
So rather than a white church wedding, we followed an eastern european couple and a sikh couple in the UK.
I actually thought this was a good idea and the couples they chose were delightful. So from the outset it seemed really promising. But unfortunately what should have been interesting turned out being anything but.
For a start the Ukranian couple – particularly the groom – struggled with English so it was hard for the interviewer to really dig deep into what brought this couple together, why they were in the UK – and for viewers to really connect with them.
Instead groom Vlod ended up describing his day in cliches – “It’s like my dream” was a typical quote.
There was also, for me, far too much detail about the intricacies of these weddings – about the culture and history of them – and not enough in-depth detail about the emotions of the brides and grooms.
Unfortunately as it was filmed in the UK – one couple were, as I switched off, looking at a sports hall as a venue for their grand reception – but it lacked the exotic backdrop. The Ukranian wedding would have been far more interesting if it were filmed in their native Ukrane rather than in the dull as ditch water UK.
It was also talked over by a bizarre narration that went so deep into the history of these weddings I was lulled off to sleep on the sofa.
Perhaps it would have worked if the programme had interspersed through it some traditional British church weddings – or civil unions – as well. So we could have seen the Bride and groom for a white wedding visit the church and then then seen where the Sikh ceremony would have taken place. WE could have had a typical stag night and then looked at how a single about to be married groom celebrates his last night of freedom in another culture. These would have added contrast and more interest.
Having turned this programme off, I then started watching a recording of that night’s episode of One Born Every Minute on Channel 4. The way that was done made me realise what was missing from this wedding programme.
Like weddings, each birth is unique, each couple has a different experience. The difference with One Born Every Minute is that even when the couples in that don’t speak much English, the programme somehow teases out those little details between the two of them that endear the viewer to them. The viewer finds themselves moved by the occasion.
Such a shame A very British Wedding hasn’t worked as I was so looking forward to it.
Did you watch this programme? Let us know what you thought below…