Maybe it was because the film took place in a perfect house continually bathed in the warm glow of the late afternoon sun. Or maybe it was because of the curved banister that any kid would want to slide down. I can’t be sure, but as a young and impressionable child watching Father of the Bride (the Steve Martin remake, sorry Spencer Tracy) all the way back in 1991, I could practically feel my ideas about love, marriage, weddings and adulthood being formed. Or maybe that’s just hindsight, but either way I know it had a profound effect on me. That might sound silly, in fact, I’m sure it does, but hear me out because there are lessons to be learned. So for a special kind of Throwback Thursday I give you the important things that Father of the Bride has taught me.
There are Weddings at Home and then there Are Weddings at Home
My parents had a casual backyard wedding when they got married and originally it is this kind of low-key wedding Steve Martin’s character envisions for his daughter. The end result, however, is much different and much more extravagant. What it really illustrates is a generational shift in wedding expectations. These days there are just so many more things that go into weddings than they did twenty or thirty years ago, and Father of the Bride very clearly foreshadowed that. Are all of the new details important? That’s up to you to decide.
Blenders Are Bad
If you are not familiar with the plot, just days before the wedding the bride is given a blender by her groom. Big. Mistake. As a kid I didn’t catch any of the 1950’s wife in the home attitude the blender represented to the bride. I just honestly and earnestly thought it was rude to give a blender. The real lesson of course is not that blenders are bad, but that gift giving is about being thoughtful. And if you’re a fiancé in search of a wedding gift something that sparkles is probably better.
My Girl is the Best Song Ever
The song is so engrained in popular culture that it is hard to pinpoint when I first heard it. The obvious choice would be the film of the same title, but when I really remember it is during the basketball montage of Father of the Bride. The two are linked in my memory, and it is a song that never gets old. I never get tired of hearing it, and I never feel annoyed that it always tops the lists of wedding songs, so don’t be afraid to add it to yours.
Thank Your Parents
I was a supremely sensitive kid and even though I love Father of the Bride I always found the story kind of heartbreaking. Steve Martin’s character suffers all film long from the thought that he is losing his little girl and meanwhile she doesn’t seem too concerned with his feelings on anything, especially budget. He barely gets to see her at the wedding and never gets a proper goodbye before she leaves on her honeymoon (the airport phone call does not count). It serves as a good reminder that your wedding day is not just about you, and it is not just about your future. It is about your family and both its beginnings and endings. It is wise to be sensitive to both and include the special people in your life as much as possible in the big day.
Now, let’s all watch it, shall we?!