TV review – Bridezilla and the butternut

2014-06-01 15:01

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The liveliest wedding reality show with the most colourful characters on TV right now is the local one, Our Perfect Wedding. But what is it saying about marriage, asks Grethe Koen

Our Perfect Wedding

Mzansi Magic

Sundays, 7pm

Wedding shows are popping up all over our TV screens. In any one week, we can choose from Say Yes to the Dress, Brides of Beverly Hills, Whose ­Wedding is it Anyway? and our very own Our Perfect Wedding.

But it seems like it has become more about getting your wedding on TV than about celebrating your commitment to each other.

Two weeks ago on Our Perfect Wedding, we saw Pertunia and Pastor get married in the most over-the-top ceremony I’ve seen in years.

Pastor’s entourage included 12 motorcycles and he changed his suit three times. Not to be outdone, Pertunia changed four times. She had two wedding dresses, an outfit for the ceremony and her traditional wedding attire.

The ceremony featured a three-flavoured cake iced with gold and crystal detailing, and every inch of ground in the wedding tent was padded over with fake grass.

After Pertunia had presented Pastor with a plate of food in the Venda tradition, he handed her the keys to a new car, with a 4 U PERTU numberplate.

I can’t help but wonder, with all this money just blown on this single day, whether the young couple will have enough to start their life together.

These shows deliver the message that if your wedding is not glamorous and gigantic, you have failed. No wonder brides-to-be turn into ­Bridezillas. There is so little emphasis on meaningfully celebrating your commitment to each other.

Our Perfect Wedding is my favourite of the reality wedding shows, though. Trust South Africa to dish up enough crazy scenarios to make an American TV producer drool.

The fact that each wedding has Western and traditional elements makes it far more interesting than the American white weddings we see on TLC and The Style Network every day.

Last week’s episode of Our Perfect Wedding saw Sindile and ­Siziwe, who have never met and didn’t even have each other’s cellphone numbers, getting married.

It was all ­arranged by the couple’s bossy pastor, who picked out everything from the décor, food and venue, to what they wore on the day. When it came to the part where the pastor was supposed to say “you may kiss the bride”, she instead proclaimed: “No kissing! We don’t kiss in this church! Hug each other in a holy manner!” Sjoe!

This was also the episode of the butternut. In his excitement over the wedding, Siziwe, who is a 44-year-old virgin, told the camera: “Tonight we are eating the butternut! Butternut is always nice, no matter what!” It was the weirdest line I had ever heard on reality TV.

Now, I don’t know what Siziwe meant by “night of the butternut”, but I can’t help but think of all the sexual connotations.

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