The Wedding Coach
WHERE TO WATCH:
WHAT IT'S ABOUT:
Comedian Jamie Lee uses her experience to help struggling couples do some last-minute wedding planning.
WHAT WE THOUGHT:
I've been a bridesmaid four times. Each time was different and stressful, but ultimately it was a joy being there on someone you love's special day. But the thing is that the day is stressful, regardless of its size; anytime you are hosting an event, it is stressful. The Wedding Coach follows comedian Jamie Lee as she tries to alleviate some of the stress from couples as they make their way down the aisle.
The series follows six couples (one each episode) as they navigate the final few days before their wedding as Jamie Lee helps them through it by advising them and sometimes even doing the labour herself. Jamie Lee introduces herself by saying that she had her fairytale wedding a couple of years ago, and even though the day was magical, it was extremely stressful. In 2016, she released a book called Weddiculous: An Unfiltered Guide to Being a Bride, and a point from the book that she often makes in the show is that a lot of wedding stress comes from outside and social media pressure, which is clear.
In the first episode, the couple is so busy with the wedding that they don't have time to have sex, and Jamie Lee soon discovers that they plan to have so many games at their wedding that it's almost like a carnival. Another couple were planning an outdoor festival with 1000 attendees. Jamie, with the help of her 'plus one', who is usually a comedian friend, helps the couple decide what is important, their relationship, and what better serves that.
I was a bit nervous going into this because reality shows presented by comedians often tend to make things about themselves and not the subject. But while Jamie Lee did spend a lot of time making the couples laugh and bantering with her celebrity friends, it was also clear that she was there to help, whether it be finding an officiant or putting up paper lanterns, she is there to make the load lighter.
But Jamie Lee seemed less of a 'wedding coach' and more of an emergency helpline. Because she comes in at the end of the wedding planning process, most of the things are already done, and she just needs to either help with last-minute plans or just support the couple. This is lovely, but it kind of feels like too little too late. Perhaps if Jamie was there from the beginning, a lot of the issues that are causing the couples stress would not have been a factor at all – perhaps she would have advised the bride against arriving in a canoe or the couple against a 20-minute dance routine that they had been practising. Perhaps it added to the drama, but I could not help but feel sorry for the couples who had arrived at this point with very little help.
In most of the episodes, the couple just assigned a duty to Jamie Lee. She focused on that, whether it be babysitting an unruly guest or training up a replacement bridesmaid, but one episode had her working overtime — episode four, which is titled A Royal Pain. Markesha and Brandon are planning a royal-themed wedding, but everything goes wrong.
First, Markesha's friend that was going to be the wedding singer bails on her. Her friend, who was supposed to do her hair drops out; her photographer takes unflattering photographs of her. There is drama between her biological father and her stepfather about who will do the father/daughter dance with her. Her bridesmaids flake on her wedding day. She has to do her own hair and makeup. I almost got angry that Markesha had to deal with all of this on her own, and a more interesting story would have been seeing Jamie Lee advise Markesha from the beginning to go with a better photographer, to make sure her bridesmaids are shaping up, to axe the father/daughter dance. But there is very little that Jamie Lee can change when she comes in at the point that she does.
Perhaps it is the lack of big weddings during the pandemic or just the fact that these are emotional times in people's lives, but I found myself shedding a tear a few times in the show. It does not quite reach the emotional depths of Queer Eye, but just like that show, it is about real people dealing with real issues. However, The Wedding Coach does not seem to know how to balance the lightness and comedy of Jamie Lee and her friends and the emotional depth of what the couples are dealing with.
It is disappointing because Jamie Lee seems to really care about making the wedding day as special and stress-free as it could be, but she has a limited ability to do so. The problem with the show lies in the production, and I do think that if they come back for a second season, they should relook the premise of the show and how late in the wedding process Jamie Lee comes in. However, it was a very short and easy watch to pass the time with.
WATCH THE TRAILER HERE: