Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Very Best of Period Drama Weddings

I love weddings. I think most girls my age do, and if you're a period drama nut like I am, a good movie somehow doesn't seem complete without a marriage (or at least the promise of one) at the end.The beautiful bride... the church bells chiming... the beaming groom... the adorable flower girls... the happy families... the silk and satin dresses (ah, old-fashioned fashions!)... the sunshine and birds singing (because, hey, it's a movie!) all combine to make a deliriously happy finish to a good film.

So now I'm curious. Which period drama wedding is your favorite? I'm going to run through a list of my favorites and explain why I love them so much, then if you like you can drop me a line in the comments and tell me which one you love best.

I should probably begin with A&E's Pride and Prejudice, since this was the very first Jane Austen adaptation I ever saw. Of course I had seen weddings in movies before, but this one marked the end of the longest movie I'd ever seen (so far), the happiest ending I'd ever seen, and the best. movie. ever.

Um, I'm a little biased.

I just had to include two pictures here because I love both of them. The first picture shows Lizzy and Darcy leaving the Longbourn church amid a shower of rice (or is it snowflakes??). The obvious joy on their faces is the best part of this picture. Hooray for happy endings--and for Darcy's long-awaited smile!

What makes this wedding so special is the fact that it's a double wedding. This man and this woman... and this man and this woman. This picture is not as exuberant as the previous one (is it just me or does Darcy look a little too intense?) but it clearly shows how happy everyone is. Elizabeth appears to be holding some sort of white larkspur, from what I can tell, and Jane's bouquet is unrecognizable. (Bad quality picture, sorry.) I prefer Jane's dress, but I like Darcy's waistcoat better than Bingley's. You can see the soft winter sunshine streaming in the windows at the back--I just love the color scheme in this picture!

Moving on to Sense and Sensibility. Character has won out over charisma as Colonel Brandon and Marianne Dashwood are joined in holy matrimony. Hands down, the most wonderful part of this scene (for me) was the chiming church bells. Joy! Happy ending! Loose ends all tied up! Click here if you would like to hear Patrick Doyle's score for this scene, Throw The Coins. You can also hear it on my playlist at the bottom of the page.
I might add that this wedding is not a double wedding. Elinor and Edward do exit the church with Marianne and the Colonel, but as matron of honor and clergyman, not fellow newlyweds. It is assumed that they've already been married. Isn't Marianne's dress lovely? According to IMDB, it was trimmed with straw. Double points for creativity! Interestingly enough, she appears to be carrying hothouse flowers. :)

Bleak House came to a very un-bleak end with Esther Summerson and Alan Woodcourt's outdoor wedding. Though Esther's hairstyle throughout the second half of the movie was not to my liking, her hairstyle for the wedding was so pretty. The rosebuds in the back nicely complemented the sort of headband/wreath she was wearing in the front. And her dance with Alan... everybody say "awww!"
Bleak House may take the prize for having the funniest wedding scene--who doesn't laugh when Mr. Stinkbug Skimpole appears at the buffet, mooching as usual. Esther's reaction and Alan's pulling her back into the dance never fails to bring a smile to my face.

Fiddler on the Roof may not be on your typical period drama list, but it is one of my favorite movies and contains one of my favorite weddings. Tzeitel and Motel are such a sweet couple, and deserve a happy ending... unfortunately their wedding doesn't end too happily, through no fault of their own. But before the SPOILER Cossack soldiers ransack the village and ruin the villagers' party END OF SPOILER, the wedding celebration is an exuberant portrayal of Jewish family tradition. You can see a video of the famous Bottle Dance here.
Tzeitel's veil reminds me somewhat of a lace curtain--considering how poor Tevye's family is (why don't they have a surname??), it may very well have been a lace curtain once. Curtain or no, it's still beautiful, and her dress is simple Victorian elegance. (This movie is set in 1905.)

The best part of Dr. Harrison and Sophy Hutton's wedding at the end of Cranford was, for me, the fact that Miss Matty's veil was finally worn by a bride. Hooray for dear unselfish Miss Matty! Sophy looks so sweet in her bonnet, and though you can't see the veil too well in this picture, we know it's there. Poor Dr. Harrison waited so long to marry Sophy--what a perfect ending.
Miss Octavia "Spinster-carved-on-my-bones" Pole added a bit of fun to the wedding reception, as well. :) If you haven't seen Cranford, you may not understand that last sentence. To that I must reply, "If you haven't yet seen Cranford, what on earth are you waiting for?"

I can't describe the wedding scene of Little Dorrit. I really can't, because every time I watch it I'm left in a little puddle of happy tears (yes, I tend to cry during good movies). Arthur and Amy's wedding is sweet, it's tearjerking (who else cried when John showed up in his best suit?), it's visually stunning, it's funny. "She IS very beautiful." "Yeah. That's what I said."

So what's your favorite period drama wedding?


Rachel Morland said...

I have to love the wedding from the 1995 Sense and Sensibility the best. It makes me all mushy inside, and I'm always slightly damp eyed at the end. We get to see Elinor and Edward, finally content, and then look at the Colonel and Marianne! Brandon is GLOWING literally, and he's so sweet and helpful throughout the entire film, you want to see him happy. And Marianne has finally realized what she wants, and has realized that her true hero has been there all along. Simply lovely. And it's such a PRETTY wedding too, with all the flowers and lace and everything. It's amazing.

Miss Dashwood said...

Rachel, you described the wedding perfectly. :) Exactly--Marianne's true hero has been there all along, and she's finally willing to admit it.

Alexandra said...

Ooh, weddings, my favorite! :-) And I love your choices.

I would list them, only now you've inspired me to do a post on this, so I'll save my answers for that. :-D

Miss Dashwood said...

Ooh, I'll look forward to reading that!

Mademoiselle Christine said...

How about Daniel and Mirah's wedding at the end of Daniel Deronda? I did not care for the movie very much as it strayed from the book quite liberally, but the wedding scene is one of my very favorite scenes in period dramas.

So glad to see someone else enjoyed Bleak House; another perennial favorite of mine! Allen and Esther were so sweet!

Miss Dashwood said...

Mademoiselle Christine, I haven't yet seen Daniel Deronda, so I can't offer an opinion on that. It sounds lovely though--from what I know of Mirah, she sounds like such a sweet character and deserves a happy ending.

Bleak House is lovely--as far as Dickens adaptations go, it's second only to Little Dorrit in my book.

Elizabeth said...

Ok, so i've never seen Little Dorrit (gasp) Should I? I like Matthew Macfadyen a lot, so maybe i should. Thoughts, Miss Dashwood?

Miss Dashwood said...

Oh, dear, I am not at all the person to give you a recommendation, because I am so very biased on this subject! But if you will take my opinion---YES YES YES! It's one of the best period dramas EVER and Matthew Macfadyen is superb in his role as Arthur Clennam. I hope to write a review of this movie sometime in January, so you'll get some more details then if you like. :)

Elizabeth said...

ok, i saw the trailer, and know I REALLY want to watch it! :) Is there anything objectionable in it? just wondering....i have no idea of the particulars of the story.

It looks SUPER exciting, and sense i REALLY like Matthew Macfadyen, i think i will see it soon! Oooh! now i really want to see it! Thanks for the recommendation Miss Dashwood!

~Miss Elizabeth

Eva-Joy said...

We just finished watching Little Dorrit. I loved every part of it...the ending was wonderful. I must admit, I cried too at the end. All the troubles and heartaches they went through and now they're finally happy together.

My siblings have been repeating 'she is very pretty' with an Italian accent over and over again. :)

And it was so sweet of John to show up for the wedding. :*)

Sunny Smith said...

I was going to comment on your movie page, but I didn't see a section to comment.

I was going to suggest that you watch Bright Star. Its about John Keats (the poet) and his romance with Fanny. It's really sad, but lovely, and fairly clean as well:)

Kate said...

Love weddings!!

Charity U said...

I'm reading very random posts...

I do love that P&P wedding! The music in that scene actually gives me goose-bumps. :) And the Little Dorrit one...and Fiddler on the Roof. *sniff* Good one, that.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE THESE!!! All of them are fabulous, but I'd have to say my favorites are Little Dorrit and Fiddler on the Roof. The ending on Little Dorrit is purely scrumptious. I love how no one could make Arthur smile like Amy could. *sniff*

Okay, can I just say that Fiddler on the Roof is the best. musical. evah? I mean, seriously, that bottle dance!! Woot, woot!! =) Tevye's dream always has me in stitches. And then Golde's "If you want hair, marry a monkey." =) LOVE that!

AnnaKate said...

I think Amy and Arthur's has to win for me. That was such a satisfying and wonderful ending to a marvelous, marvelous movie.

Katrina - Edelweiss Patterns said...

The 1995 P&P has always been my favorite, but Fiddler on the Roof is very dear to my heart because i am Jewish (& I believe in Jesus).

I always thought Tzeitel's veil looked like an heirloom lace, but whatever it was, I'm sure it was difficult for such poor people to afford. It could have been a family veil that was used through the generations.

Lovely post here!

Mizzie-Me said...

Marianne & Col. Brandon's and Tzeitel & Motel's weddings are among my favourite movie weddings as well. I wish I could have those bottle dancers at my wedding... If I ever get married, I mean.