Don’t Tell the Bride Review – Series 5, Episode 10: Charles and Lauren

Scifi lovers everywhere, fasten your (spaceship) seatbelts – this is no ordinary episode of Don’t Tell the Bride

Before I start, let me say that this episode is precisely the reason I would never put J and I up for a show like this – because this is pretty much EXACTLY what he would do given the budget and the chance (he would like me to point out that he would have a Star Trek, not a Star Wars wedding – yes, I’m still going to marry him.)

I realise pretty quickly that I’m not going to be able to see where this episode is going – I mean, how predictable can a man be when his idea of romance is comparing his lovely bride-to-be to a baby bear? Now I’m intrigued. Lauren is a teacher and spends all day surrounded by children. Charles likes to shoot aliens and IS children… (shut up, that made sense.)

Lauren wants a beautiful, intimate castle wedding… Charles wants a massive scifi playroom with dry ice, aliens hanging from the ceiling and robots serving drinks. Need I say more?

So off goes Lauren, none the wiser – and the best men arrive with Charles. Within minutes they’ve rained on his parade by pointing out that Lauren might not like a scifi wedding as much as he will…

Anyway, from here you know the drill, while Lauren is cooing over a romantic, countryside castle venue, Charles is complaining that the most drab room in the country is “too girlie”… yes, girlie… so what isn’t too girlie? I know! A science museum, complete with a science maze for the ceremony and a kids’ canteen! In half term! That’s a good idea!

OK I popped out for a minute – I come back and the boys are Googling “robot at your wedding”. Charles is very disappointed at the fact that those don’t exist… I could have told you that without Google, dude! In the absence of a real robot (because they haven’t been invented yet) Charles auditions men in robot costumes to attend his big day… and there I was worrying about the flowers and favours for my wedding! I haven’t even started to look for my robot waiter!

While Lauren is drooling over her dream wedding cake at a wedding fair, Charles is busy briefing a cake maker on a special alien wedding cake… but that’s nothing compared to the wedding dress shopping! While poor Lauren is loving an oyster-coloured vintage-style number, Charles is doing a little shopping of his own. Hold on, are they being made to put on GLOVES before they touch the dresses? I know they’re boys, but they don’t look THAT grubby! They’re not conducting a forensic investigation here, they’re dress shopping… it’s kind of like when you take an ice-cream covered kid out shopping and they’re not allowed to touch anything…

Anyway, I digress. Charles would like (and I quote) “a futuristic princess” dress. Ah, the old Princess Leia fantasy! Just be thankful he doesn’t have a thing for Chewy! With the dress shop owners at a complete loss, the boys don their little shopping gloves and rifle through the dresses, desperately searching for a dress appropriate for a scifi theme…

Finally, he finds quite a forgivingly normal dress… with a really bizarre bolero… tiara… veil… well, it all looks a bit alien to me!

Well, with that out the way, Charles finally decides on a meet-and-great robot and the entertainment – a David Bowie impersonator and some luminous balls. (If this was my fiance, I’d advise him to be extra protective of those luminous balls). However, Charles now has to face his greatest challenge yet – the bridesmaids dresses.

Wait a minute, did he really just pick up a bunch of silver bikinis? Really? Just what every girl wants at her wedding – half-naked bridesmaids. Remember the dude who hired Vegas showgirls for his wedding? The words “welcome to your Vegas” will probably haunt him long into his marriage… possibly forever. Luckily, the girls take over and choose some nice, slightly less porn-tastic dresses. I can hear women across the UK breathing a collective sigh of relief…

With time running out, Charles suddenly remembers he’s planning a wedding, and not a Star Wars-themed Bar Mitzvah! He decides he wants it to be romantic… so how to make his industrial venue pretty? No, mister best man, I don’t think candles and fairy lights will do it!

So, will his sudden change of heart be evident in the hen night? Er, no he’s sent her for a curry. Bad groom! I’m sending him to a galaxy far, far away to think about what he’s done! Luckily Lauren is one bloody good sport and seems to find it amusing! Not sure how amused she’d be to see what the boys have done to poor Charles… oh well, at least he knows how it feels to be forcibly dressed up as Princess Leia… ha! Not nice, is it Charles?

Back at the curry house, the romantic surprises continue… Charles has bought his fiancee and her fifteen guests… five starters and one bottle of fizz. At least the invite arrives! It warns her that she’ll be boldly going where no bride has gone before. At this point, J is shouting at the TV, very upset and bemused that Charles has put a Star Trek line in a Star WARS-themed wedding invite. Again, yes, I’m still going to marry him!

Anyway, Lauren heads to try on her wedding dress. At first she’s totally overwhelmed by all the accessories on the planet (and possibly some from other galaxies), but once she takes off the freaky bolero, she looks lovely. It’s a bit like what she chose, except not the same colour.

It’s the morning of the wedding, and Charles has wisely booked some more traditional surprises to soften the scifi blow. Hair, make up, moet… even a traditional car. Lauren has a lovely moment with her dad, which makes me all soppy and tearful. OH MY GOD I love the bouquet… despite it not being what Lauren wanted, I’m starting to think he’s committed to the theme quite well!

Moment of the episode – poor Lauren walks into the venue to find hundreds of kids gawping at her as she makes her way to the venue. However, once she walks into the kids’ canteen all that melts away. No, I’m not kidding, it’s an utterly heartwarming moment, Charles has completely transformed the place. It’s now bordering on traditional but with a futuristic twist, covered in twinkling fairy lights complete with a stunning arch… I actually have a little “gasp”, definitely wasn’t expecting this… I actually can’t believe the three boys who weren’t trusted to touch wedding dresses with their bare hands have pulled this off!

Oh and the vows… *grabs a tissue*

OK, I’m a total geek girl, but I LOVED what he did with the reception space! WOW WOW WOW! You know what? I know it may not have been even remotely what Lauren wanted (you might say they’re on different planets – ho ho ho) but I’d rather he did something like this and committed to it in this spectacular way than try to pull off a romantic, traditional theme and do a half-assed job! Bravo!

Lauren doesn’t seem too sure at first, but once she gets over the shock of having boarded the death star (and the Chewy mask favours – maybe he DOES have a thing for Chewy after all) she quickly cheers up! The only thing I’ll say is the David Bowie impersonator was DEFINITELY a lookalike, not a soundalike, but the rest of it looked just phenomenal. Lauren took the whole thing with a laugh (if a slightly nervous one) where another girl might have thrown a proper tantrum! Good sport!

The guests are all blown away and I start to get a bit jealous that (even though this so isn’t shabby chic) Brides Up North got to feature this! Dang! There could be an awesome business idea in planning and styling scifi weddings… just a thought!

Join me next Tuesday, 9pm, BBC3 for more Don’t Tell the Bride fab-ness! (P.S. Yesterday, #dttb was trending on Twitter… I so want to sneakily take some credit so round up the troops and let’s get on it again next time). 

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