Posted: 06/16/2009


Wedding Day Series Premiere On TNT


by Laura Tucker

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I’m starting to think the next time I’m suffering through insomnia, I need to call in Mark Burnett to tell me a bedtime story. The Executive Producer of Survivor, The Apprentice, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader, Expedition Africa, and now Wedding Day among many others. Every time I think I might not like a certain show, I find out Burnett is behind it, and I watch it anyway, and find a story that completely draws me in. The man knows how to spin a good one with his editing.

With Wedding Day, I didn’t expect to like it, thinking it would be a lot of fluff, and I put off watching the early premiere. While on the new series Hitched or Ditched couples are forced to … do it or get off the pot, this one only celebrates the good relationships out there, instead of the ones that are questionable and hanging on a thread. The show features couples who have been waiting for awhile to get married, but have been putting it off because of illness and other time commitments. By the time I was done with the premiere episode, I had tears in my eyes, knowing that Burnett had done it to me again.

The hosts of Wedding Day, Alan Dunn and Diann Valentine, are very supportive. At times they seem almost too sweet, but for those planning the wedding of their dreams, they’re probably perfect. Dunn is an event planner and also appeared on TLC’s For Better or For Worse. This guy definitely knows how to get it done. Valentine is a wedding and events coordinator, working for clients such as Toni Braxton and Boyz II Men, the latter of which suddenly makes sense for why they appear as special guests at one of the weddings.

Typically on each episode, Dunn and Valentine surprise a couple that has been waiting to get married, show their back story, then onlky give them a few days before the exchange of vows. Everyone sets to work, the hosts themselves, the bride and groom, as well as thir friends and family, getting everything ready really quickly, from preparing the venue, to purchasing the wedding gown. Before the bride is walked down the aisle, Valentine faces the bride and asks, “Are you ready to get married?” The brides, of course, are more than ready to get married. At the reception there are pictures of the special preparations of family and friends to prepare for the event, bringing it all full circle.

In the premiere episode airing Tuesday, June 16, four days before the bride and groom were originally going to be married, the bride was involved in a near-fatal car accident, damaging one of her legs, as well as her hips, really badly. She spent a long time in a wheelchair, and it was doubtful at one point if she’d live, and if she did, if she would ever walk again. Her fiance took a lot of time off work to help her in her convalescence, and because of the support, she beat the odds, and is walking again.

It’s now a year and a half since their original wedding date, and Wedding Day wants to help them do it up good. The bride had a passion for couture, so they set the wedding up Sex and the City style, and while the bride dreamed of a having a Badgley Mischka wedding gown, yet knew she couldn’t afford it, Wedding Day did get her a pair of Manolo Blahnik shoes, just like Carrie Bradshaw. Her choice was the bejeweled flat sandals, knowing that her hips and bum leg wouldn’t do well throughout the big day in heels. While this was going on the fathers of the bride and groom were rebuilding a stained glass window, both symbolic and beautiful.

In fact, everything about Wedding Day was symbolic and beautiful, and that’s the beauty of the Mark Burnett production. It takes something that is a usual occurrence, like a wedding, and puts a unique, heartfelt story behind it.

Laura Tucker Laura Tucker is the webmaster of Reality Shack, and its accompanying Reality Shack Blog, and is a freelance writer providing reviews of movies and television, among other things, at Viewpoints. She is also an Associate Instructor and 2nd dan black belt in tae kwon do with South Elgin Martial Arts. Laura can be reached at

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