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Our Biggest Complaint About Hallmark Christmas Wedding Movies

Published Tuesday, Dec. 21st, 2021

Cover image: A Bride For Christmas promotional photo, Hallmark Channel

Hallmark - Stop leaving the ceremony out of the wedding ceremony



Ah, Hallmark Christmas wedding movies. You know the ones. 


Those over-the-top, saccharine-sweet films where an adorable woman (who’s lovable and talented but just a little too-smart for her own good) and a handsome young man (who’s confident and independent but a great listener when it really matters) overcome a series of small obstacles and misunderstandings to fall in love while sipping a cup of cocoa and finally seal the deal?


Yup, the trademark Hallmark happily-ever-after – a heartwarming winter wedding just in time for Christmas.


And once these two star-crossed lovers finally tie the knot, that’s it – roll the credits. They’ve made it to the finish line. They’re married, mission accomplished! 



But we’re not here to complain about how unrealistically tidy these two-hour love affairs are. 



Scene from the wedding ceremony in A Bride for Christmas, Hallmark Channel

Aiden and Jessie wed in Hallmark's 2012 holiday film, A Bride For Christmas



Sure, there’s not a lot of room for reality in a Hallmark romance, but that’s not why we watch them… right? 


We love the fantasy! (We do wish it came with more representation, though. Bring us more delightfully queer and racially diverse yuletide rom-coms please, The Christmas House, Hulu's Happiest Season, and Netflix's Single All the Way will only get us so far.)


No, that’s not it. We’re here to point out a major flaw in the Hallmark wedding ceremony scene itself. 


Or should we say the lack of ceremony. 



Hallmark wedding scenes miss the most meaningful parts of the ceremony!



Why, Hallmark Channel? What's the rush? Why leave so many important moments out of the wedding ceremony? That’s where the real romance is! 


The minister’s blessing. The words of devotion. The awkward passing of the rings. The heartfelt written vows that make our adorable bride and bashful groom tear up, or those ‘for better, and for worse’ promises that remind us that a whole marriage, complete with ups and downs, awaits these two kindred spirits. That’s the good stuff!


But if we're lucky, these tinsel-and-twinkle rom-coms only show us a glimpse of the main event -- an officiant's welcomemaybe, or the a flash of a wedding band, a few quick vows, or a father's knowing look. Where's the ceremony in that? 


When Hallmark misses out on these moments, we all do. 



Why does Hallmark get a couple to the altar, just to cut to the kiss? 



Take Merry Matrimony (2015) for example… 


Brie, our adorable advertising exec, is asked to design the perfect Christmas wedding for a fashion magazine, an opportunity of a lifetime, but realizes her success hinges on the help of her handsome ex-fiance, photographer Eddie Chapman. Luckily, Eddie is just the best, and our two lovers overcome their history to reunite in time for a holiday wedding! Cue the flower girl and ring bearer! 


But then, as Brie and Eddie step in front of the minister together, Christmas music begins to play and the ceremony itself becomes inaudible. We watch as two plucky side-characters (the best friend and the cute runner-up that Brie didn’t choose) feel a spark while connecting over how romantic Christmas weddings are. 


We get the ambiance, the setting, but none of the ceremony script! 



A scene from Merry Matrimony, bride and groom stand in front of the minister during the wedding ceremony   Two characters look at each other during the Merry Matrimony Hallmark movie wedding scene   The couple kisses at the end of the wedding in Merry Matrimony

Brie and Eddie step up to the altar...

The camera cuts to two quirky friends as sparks fly and the music swells...

And, the kiss! That's it, ceremony's over. 




Or how about A Bride For Christmas (2012)? 


Sure, Aiden and Jessie exchange rings on-screen, and say ‘I do’ for the audience. But heck, even the Reverend admits he’s leaving out the good part. He starts things off by saying, “Let’s just get right to it,” and then jumps straight into the vows! Then it’s quickly on to the pronouncement, and our lucky lovebirds kiss. Roll credits! 


Where’s the heartfelt invocation? The thoughtful words on the meaning of marriage? A blessing for the future? A romantic recap of the couple’s quirky love story? 



the wedding kiss in "A Bride for Christmas"

Do you? Me too. ...and Scene! 




Don't forget A Royal Christmas (2014) ...


After a dramatic will-they-or-won’t-they sequence, Emily and her dashing Prince Leopold finally make it to their wedding day with Queen Isadora's blessing. Still, seconds after Emily joins Leo at the altar, the scene cuts to the kiss. Now outdoors, snow begins to fall on the newlyweds, the camera pulls out, and… you guessed it. Roll credits. 



Emily and Leo meet at the altar in A Royal Christmas, photo via Hallmark Channel

We want to see them say 'I do' ! 



It's not just the holiday weddings, either, by the way. 


In A Country Wedding, the scene opens just as Sarah takes her vows, but Bradley doesn't have a single line! Did he already say 'I do'? We'll have to assume so, because the next thing you know, the minister pronounces them wed, and the movie ends.


This trend continues with Marrying Mr. DarcyDestination Wedding, and... Well, you see what we mean. 




Why not show the full ceremony?

It’s the heart of any wedding! 


That’s what we really want to see. 






Believe it or not, we haven’t seen every Hallmark wedding movie… although with holiday travel plans looking like they do right now (thanks, Omicron…), we might have a chance to catch up. 


What are your favorite Hallmark holiday movies? 


Which Hallmark wedding scenes leave in all the good parts? 



Tell us! Email [email protected]




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Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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