Voiceover: Steve 'Sparky' Parker
ITV Studios for Living, 6 July 2009 to 7 June 2011 (41 episodes in 4 series)
as Four 21st Birthday Parties, 17 May 2010
as Party Wars, 18 October to 6 December 2010 (8 episodes in 1 series)
Doing for weddings what Come Dine with Me does for dinner parties, four brides attend and critique every aspect of each others weddings, with the bride who scores the highest winning an all expenses paid honeymoon.
We are first introduced to the four brides, who each give an overview of their upcoming wedding, and in particular details such as the venue and the dress that will later be marked by the other three brides. Oh, and the groom is briefly mentioned too. The other brides won't mark him later (although that could be an interesting twist for a future series). Following this, we see the four brides meet each other for the first time a few weeks before the weddings take place. Here each of them can tell their fellow brides a little about their wedding, and we get the first impressions from the others on their fellow brides plans. We then find out the budget of each wedding (nearly always a lot of money, occasionally enough to feed a small country for a few weeks).
We then move on to the first wedding. Over the course of ten minutes or so, we see highlights from both parts of the wedding day - the service and the reception - interspersed with comments and observations from the three guest brides. At the end of the night, the three guest brides score the wedding on the venue, the food, and the dress, and the overall experience. In the first series. the first three categories were scored out of 10, and the latter out of 20, for a maximum possible score from the three brides of 150. The second series changed the scoring, with each bride giving each of the four aspects of the wedding a score out of 25. For each aspect of the wedding, the scores from each bride were then combined, and then averaged to give a total out of 25, resulting in an overall maximum possible score of 100. We are unsure on the format of the scoring for the third series, however the fourth series tweaked the scoring again, with each aspect being marked out of 10, and then the totals averaged, resulting in a maximum possible score of 40. In every series however, at this point in the episode, the viewers are only shown one or two of the scores, meaning they are unaware who has scored what, and what is the score to beat.
Repeat the above for the other three weddings, and we arrive at the finale. Here, the four brides meet once more at the airport, where they wait to see who has won the all expenses paid honeymoon. As they are seen exchanging pleasantries, we see pre-recorded videos of them each talking up their own wedding. After this, a limousine with blacked out windows draws up outside. The groom of the winning bride is inside the car, and as the groom enters the building, the winner is revealed. Following this, the score each bride received for each aspect of their wedding is revealed, before, to the happiness, and occasionally jealously of the other brides, the winner sets off with their new husband for their honeymoon.
In May 2010, Living piloted a variation on the Four Weddings format, swapping weddings for 21st birthday parties, under the entirely descriptive, but not remotely catchy title of, Four 21st Birthday Parties. A full series was commissioned in August 2010, taking in landmark birthdays of all ages, under the more succinct, but no more catchy title of Party Wars.
Like its parent programme, four participants compete. However in Party Wars there is a twist. One of the participants is a celebrity (in other words they once made up the numbers on one reality TV show or another). Each host is rated by their attending guests in three categories, Host with the Most, Rate my Mates, and a Night to Remember. The host with the highest score after all four parties have taken place wins a holiday with three of their friends.
Devised by Amanda Wilson, Elliot Johnson, Danny Carvalho, and Peter Faherty.
Original music by James Banbury. The show's main theme is loosely based on "The Bridal Chorus" from Wagner's opera "Lohengrin".
Graham and Ivy, whose naturist wedding was voted the best in the first episode of the second series, previously appeared on series 3 of Coach Trip, and would go on to make the final shortlist of 81 potential housemates for the 11th series of Big Brother.
Localised versions of the Four Weddings format have been produced in Belgium, Italy, Germany, and the United States, while the original UK version and the American version have been sold to broadcasters in at least 75 territories.
In addition to the normal version, three celebrity editions of Four Weddings were also produced.
Celebrity Four Weddings
- Faye Tozer (ex-Steps singer)
- Carol Harrison (ex-EastEnders actress)
- Michelle Marsh (glamour model)
- Pete Bennett (Big Brother winner)
- David Van Day (ex-Dollar singer)
- Lizzie Cundy (WAG)
- Katie Hopkins (ex-Apprentice candidate)
- Francine Lewis (comedian)
- Paul Daniels (magician) and Debbie McGee (magician's assistant)
- Spencer Smith (ex-Big Brother housemate)
- Tina Malone (Shameless actress)
- Lyndsey Dawn MacKenzie (glamour model)
- Stacey Solomon (ex-X Factor contestant)
- Raef Bjayou (ex-Apprentice candidate)
- Lady Victoria Hervey (socialite)
- Ian 'H' Watkins (ex-Steps singer)