Don’t Tell the Bride Review – Series 5, Episode 1: John and Jackie

What happens when you give one man who never listens and seems to have all the competence of a mushroom £12k to plan a wedding – without any involvement from his control-freak bride? Yes, Don’t Tell the Bride is back on the BBC and – because I’m a complete fanatic – I’ll be reviewing every single episode.

Now, usually with Don’t Tell the Bride, I’m sort of rooting for the groom. OK, he was probably chosen for being somewhat of a dunce, but at least he tries. Sometimes he gets it horribly wrong, like the infamous Vegas episode, where a groom chose to send his poor bride-to-be to Las Vegas – leaving the majority (OK, pretty much all) of her family and friends behind! Sometimes they get it very right. OK, I can’t think of any examples off the top of my head – but honestly, they do (even if they mess up a few times along the way)!

However, this episode (available on iPlayer for another week) awakened some sort of inner Bridezilla in me. Pretty much foaming at the mouth with rage, by the end of the episode I was hovering on the edge of the sofa, chanting “jilt, jilt, jilt”! This is the first groom I can honestly say thought of nobody but himself in the entire process. So let’s get to business.

Jackie and John are different – apparently. In that they like to drink at different places: Jackie likes cocktails and John likes the miner’s club. See how different they are? Apparently this gives the BBC license to call her “trendy Jackie” for the majority of the episode. “I want her to be in total shock from start to finish” says thoughtful John. This pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the episode.

Within five minutes of her leaving, John’s said the words every bride wants to hear. “Sky dive down to the ceremony…” Just what every girl wants for their wedding day – to put on an orange jump suit and be thrown out of a plane.

While Jackie wants a erm… “modern” stately home, John would rather have his wedding reception down at the miner’s club. At first I think he’s joking. This is surely one of those things where they show him dithering between a good choice (a stately home) and a bad one – before inevitably choosing the good one. No, miner’s it is – complete with light-up fruit machines. But first, he’ll drive his bride an hour into the countryside (after having thrown her out of a plane) to her dream venue so she THINKS the whole day will be there. But SURPRISE! There’ll actually be a short ceremony followed by an hour’s coach journey to the miner’s club. At least the decor will be classy… right?

“I’m going to get a Christmas tree” he says, proudly. I die inside. Yes, our clever groom is going for a Christmas theme. In the middle of May. Not even a nice, elegant, winter wonderland theme. Nope, neon lights, tinsel, the works. But don’t worry, he’s thought of Jackie too! He’s bought some toilet seats (I kid you not) with pictures of cats to class the place up a bit. Yup.

Other achievements include choosing a nose-shaped wedding cake – for no apparent reason other than he seems hell bent on ruining everything, having a big, strippery, pukey stag do, spending all of thirty seconds choosing her wedding dress and, of course, eventually throwing her out of a plane.

Unbelievably, despite some initial reservations, the bride seems absolutely thrilled with her groom’s planning. So, either she’d seriously been at the champagne (well, wouldn’t you?) or there really is someone for everyone.

Episode 2 of Don’t Tell the Bride airs tonight (Tuesday 13th September) at 9pm on BBC3 – join me on Twitter for some live chat! 


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