/ 24 October 2006

Here comes the bride

No matter how seriously those organising them view the whole matter, weddings can be an endless source of entertainment and amusement. Whether it’s a meddling mother-in-law demanding to invite long-lost relatives; the same long-lost relatives dancing that odd chicken dance and clapping to The Clap Clap Song; or the groom arriving at church still painted pale blue after his rowdy bachelor party, for the casual observer it’s like watching an episode of Survivor, only with better clothes. Who will be voted off for getting too drunk and falling down on the dance floor? Who will win the garter-dash challenge?From this week SABC3 presents The Wedding Show, a local production that offers one the chance to go behind the scenes (or behind the veil) at a range of weddings. The series is described as ‘a tour of multifaith, multicultural South Africa getting ready to say ‘I do’ in over a dozen ways”. The Wedding Show is presented by boisterous singer, songwriter and Popstars judge Ed Jordan, who is joined by television newcomer Chichi Letswalo. This 21-year-old from Alexandra was chosen as a presenter after being canvassed on the street for her opinion about some aspect of marriage. The producers were so impressed with her vibrant personality that they called her in for an audition.Each episode focuses on one wedding. Jordan and Letswalo join the couple who are about to be married as they prepare for the big day. While the bride- and groom-to-be rush about, ordering cakes and flowers and fetching tuxedos and dresses (or more traditional garb), viewers get to hear their views on issues such as love, romance, tradition, commitment and religion — an interesting way to explore South Africa’s many cultures. It’s all done in a light-hearted, slightly tongue-in-cheek manner: less wacky than the overseas show Marry Me (also on SABC3, about odd ways to ask someone to marry you), but still worth watching.The first episode features the wedding of Sandy and Adrian. When he was 16, Adrian fell in love with his neighbour: a married woman and mother of two. Twelve years later, they are getting married. His family is coming from London, but her mother disapproves and refuses to attend. It’s not a Catherine Cookson novel, it’s just suburban South Africa. Other episodes include a traditional Hindu wedding; the wedding of a couple aged 68 and 76, who met through a personals column and decided to get married nine days later; a woman from a traditional Chinese family marrying a sports fanatic and clothing designer; and a 55-year-old businesswoman, who does not seem about to give up her career for a family life, getting hitched to a former army major. More unusual matches are set to come. SABC3 has called for people to enter weddings for possible inclusion on the show — for example, the producers are still looking for a gay wedding. In the meantime, sit back and be glad it’s not you who has to deal with the nerves and jitters of getting married

The Wedding Show starts on SABC3 on Wednesday February 5 at 7pm. Those who’d like to enter their weddings for consideration can do so on the Internet at www.sabc3.co.za — just click on the show’s logo