What 'Shotgun Wedding' and 'Marry Me' say about us : It's Been a Minute It's basically spring - which means wedding season is starting to rev up. And no one does weddings quite like Jennifer Lopez - both on-screen and off. Host Brittany Luse is joined by New York Magazine features writer Rachel Handler to break down J.Lo's wedding planning movies (the Jennifer Lopez Wedding Industrial Complex Canon), how they add to J.Lo's brand, and what they say about our investment in the real-life wedding industrial complex.

Breaking down the Jennifer Lopez Wedding Industrial Complex Canon

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You're listening to IT'S BEEN A MINUTE from NPR. I'm Brittany Luse. Spring is basically here. And for many of us, it marks the beginning of wedding season. And nobody - nobody - does weddings quite like Jennifer Lopez. She's been engaged six times in real life. And on screen, she's tied the knot a lot.


JENNIFER LOPEZ: (As Selena Quintanilla) So let's just do it. Let's just get married right now.


LOPEZ: (As Kat) I do.

LUSE: And I'm not the only one who's noticed this pattern, which brings me to today's guest, New York Magazine features writer Rachel Handler.

RACHEL HANDLER: Not only had I seen, like, 10 movies where she got married, but I had seen four movies where she planned a wedding. And I was like, that's really strange and fascinating.

LUSE: Yeah. It's kind of like your Jerry Seinfeld moment. Like, what?

HANDLER: Exactly.

LUSE: What's up with that?

HANDLER: What's up with that?


LUSE: What's up with that?

In an article she wrote for New York Magazine, Rachel calls these four movies the J.Lo Wedding Industrial Complex Canon. It starts with "The Wedding Planner."

HANDLER: Nothing is going to come close to the heights of "The Wedding Planner," which to me is like rom-com perfection.

LUSE: And then "Monster-In-Law."

HANDLER: There's definitely just this idea about, like, sort of women warring with each other, this idea of, like, striving. There's only room for one woman in a man's life.

LUSE: "Marry Me."

HANDLER: "Marry Me" was just, like, built by an algorithm.

LUSE: I do not speak on that film.


LUSE: And her latest, "Shotgun Wedding."

HANDLER: "Shotgun Wedding" was, like, fine.

LUSE: So I know that J.Lo looks incredible in white. She's in her power when she wears white. But Rachel says it's a lot more than that. We get deep into the messaging behind the J.Lo Wedding Industrial Complex Canon, looking at what these films do for J.Lo's brand and what they say about us.

Rachel, welcome to IT'S BEEN A MINUTE.

HANDLER: Thank you. I'm very excited to be on.

LUSE: Let's dig into this canon.


LUSE: What were some of the aesthetic or emotional themes that you noticed?

HANDLER: I loved that in each movie, she had a sad dinner when she was single. Like, they sort of painted her as this, like, tragic figure. Like, in "The Wedding Planner," she sat down in, like, hard jeans, like, hard denim in front of a TV, alone, and ate a microwave meal.

LUSE: (Laughter).

HANDLER: I also loved, in each of her films, there was a best friend whose sole purpose was to say something along the lines of like, I'm really worried about you. You haven't been laid in six years.


LOPEZ: (As Mary Fiore) I don't trust a man who gets regular pedicures.

JUDY GREER: (As Penny) Mary, you haven't been on a date in two years.

LOPEZ: (As Mary Fiore) Your point?

LUSE: (Laughter).

HANDLER: That was their primary job. And in each one, someone says something like, I wish it was just the two of us getting married alone on a beach.

LUSE: OK. Let's talk...


LUSE: ...About this beach...


LUSE: ...Theme because something that comes up in the canon a lot, even in "Shotgun Wedding," which was...

HANDLER: Is on a beach (laughter).

LUSE: ...Made to feature a beach wedding. It's, like, I was paying attention at that point because I had read your piece...


LUSE: ...Before I watched "Shotgun Wedding." So it's like, OK. I'm like, what is she going to say in this film? Because she's already getting married.

HANDLER: (Laughter) She's already on the beach, exactly.

LUSE: So what does she want?


LOPEZ: (As Darcy Rivera) I wanted it to just be you and me in the middle of the ocean.

JOSH DUHAMEL: (As Tom Fowler) And for the 400th time, that would have killed my mother.

LUSE: I was dead.

HANDLER: I died when that happened. I was like, no way.

LUSE: I died.

HANDLER: No way.

LUSE: No way. But, like, literally, every single film, it comes up...

HANDLER: (Laughter) Yeah.

LUSE: ...That the main character or her partner, they're planning this big wedding. But privately, privately, they want an intimate beach wedding.


LUSE: It's mentioned or inferred in some way in all four of these films. What is up with that? What does that mean?

HANDLER: I think it's sort of a way of telegraphing, like, they love each other so much they don't need any of this bull**** sort of extra stuff going on. But they're being forced by the sort of powers against their will, whether it's their families, whether it's societal expectations. Like, someone is like, I don't actually care about the wedding, which is, like, a way of sort of telegraphing an inner depth. Except, of course, in "The Wedding Planner" wherein that's her job to plan these big weddings. But she...

LUSE: Right.

HANDLER: ...Still has a sort of sardonic, like eyeroll-y (ph) vibe about the whole job the whole time. She's like, this is important, but also, these people are insane.


LOPEZ: (As Mary Fiore) "I Honestly Love You" by Olivia Newton-John was their wedding song, puts them in the 14-month divorce range.

LUSE: Like, she's just so cool. Like, she...

HANDLER: She's a cool girl.

LUSE: ...Just doesn't care. She's a...


LUSE: ...Cool girl.

HANDLER: But actually, in one of the movies, it's the groom who wants to have the one on the beach, too. So he's a cool girl, you know? And that's - as I stand, for me, that's feminism.


LUSE: But also, like, the other kind of wedding, as you mentioned, like the - we love each other so much. We don't need anything else. We're so cool. We can just get married on the beach in linen suits. Like, it's fine. That's another type of perfect wedding.

HANDLER: Oh, 100%. It's like an Instagram perfect, right? It's like, oh, we just want the two of us on this private beach. It totally - it all feeds into the same idea, really. Like, the real sort of, like, galaxy-brain take is, like, you can go to the courthouse. Don't photograph it. Don't tell anyone. That - if she's doing that in a movie, I'm like, all right, you know, she really does love this guy. But other than that, I'm like, all right, there's some part of you that really wants to have this wedding, this production.

LUSE: If a tree falls in the woods and no one's there to hear it...

HANDLER: Exactly.

LUSE: If Jennifer Lopez in a film got married at court, invited no one, did it really happen?


HANDLER: Well, that almost happens in "The Wedding Planner." She, like, goes to the courthouse to marry her, like, weird childhood crush.

LUSE: Right, Massimo.

HANDLER: Yep. Yep. She doesn't do it. She can't bring herself to do it. It's too sad.


MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: (As Steve Edison) And you didn't get married.

JUSTIN CHAMBERS: (As Massimo) She did not get married.

MCCONAUGHEY: (As Steve Edison) She's not married.

CHAMBERS: (As Massimo) She does not love me. She loves you, Steve.

LUSE: In your pre-interview with our producer, Liam, you mentioned that you also think that each of these films are distinct products of their eras. And I agree with you, and I love that take. But I want to hear more about that. Can you start with "The Wedding Planner" on that?

HANDLER: So I think "The Wedding Planner" has a very clear pre-9/11 sensibility.

LUSE: Right, because it ends so positively and, like, wraps up in this uncomplicated way.

HANDLER: Yes. It feels hopeful. It feels like all the rom-coms feel before 9/11 - right? - because after 9/11, it's, like, you can't really sell something like "The Wedding Planner" to a jaded, you know, traumatized population in the same way.

LUSE: Right. Right.

HANDLER: And so I think there's, like, an innocence and a hopefulness to "The Wedding Planner" and to those earlier rom-coms that just - you just can't do that anymore. You know, it just wouldn't sell. It wouldn't work.

LUSE: You know, also in this first movie, Jennifer Lopez plays the titular wedding planner...

HANDLER: She does.

LUSE: ...Which was kind of a new job at that point in time. And that job is very much in service of the wedding industrial complex. Like, you know, 50 years ago, weddings weren't as big of a thing. Like, you wouldn't even get a wedding planner because they'd be planned by the bride's mother and possibly done at home. And, yeah. It's interesting to me that the job itself was becoming glamorized right at the moment that Jennifer Lopez is playing the role of a wedding planner in a film.

HANDLER: Absolutely. I think it's 2000 or 2001, but it feels really '90s. It feels really, like, "Father Of The Bride." Let's spend all our money on this one perfect day.


CHARLES KIMBROUGH: (As Mr. Donolly) Hey, wedding woman. You did some job. My girl's going to knock them dead, aren't you, Sluggo?

HANDLER: "Marry Me" is a good, you know, sort of horror-movie example of a wedding manufactured for social media.


CHLOE COLEMAN: (As Lou) Do you guys, like, talk ever?

OWEN WILSON: (As Charlie) It's just publicity. It's not real.

LUSE: That's a good point. And, I mean, also in "Shotgun Wedding," there's, like, the - I guess to give some background on the plot, it's about this wedding that Jennifer Lopez's character is having with her soon-to-be husband. And their wedding is interrupted by this band of pirates who are, you know, trying to hold the wedding party ransom.


PANCHO CARDENA: (As Pirate Leader) No need to be scared. As long as everybody follows directions, no one gets hurt.

LUSE: And, like, even that felt to me, like, metaphorically, like, how I think some people saw COVID as, like, an assault on their wedding plans, you know?

HANDLER: A hundred percent.

LUSE: Like, this...

HANDLER: That's an amazing point.

LUSE: ...Unforeseen thing that ruined your special day.

HANDLER: You're right. It does feel like a pure id expression of someone who had their wedding ruined by COVID.


LUSE: Also, I'll say "Shotgun Wedding" reminds me of, like, kind of a shift in what marriage used to be. Marriage was thought to be this, like, new phase of your life where you leave your parents' house; you begin your sexual life. Marriage, I imagine, was a pretty stark transition back then. But now many couples, you know, who arrive at the altar have already passed many of those milestones. They live together. They've obviously been boinking for some time. And some people get married long after they have children together.


LUSE: And even in the film, there's a point where Jennifer Lopez's character says, you know, like, I'm not some blushing bride.


LOPEZ: (As Darcy Rivera) I'm a grown woman. I don't want my daddy walking me down the aisle.

LUSE: It's interesting, though, because even though, like, you're not going to get, like, the cold ice bath of, I imagine, what married life might have felt like 50, 60, 70 years ago, there's still this idea that, like, it's fine for them to kind of be a traumatic experience.


LUSE: You see in the film that they say, like, we fought more in the past few months than we had in the previous four years of our relationship. That's something that I've heard from people...

HANDLER: Totally.

LUSE: ...You know, who get married. They fight more...


LUSE: ...When they're planning their wedding than they ever have.


LUSE: And people say this - there's this response, this common refrain. Like, if you can get through this tough time...

HANDLER: I know.

LUSE: ...Together, you've got a solid relationship. Kind of feels like on some level, culturally, there's meaning derived from the painfulness of planning a wedding. Like...

HANDLER: It's twisted.

LUSE: ...Do we still need a wedding to be a painful experience in order to make it meaningful?

HANDLER: I guess. I mean, I - that - it's very twisted. And I had the same experience, where people kept saying that to me. And, actually, a bigger reason I didn't want to get married is because I didn't want to engage in that process. And I didn't want to, like, stress myself out unnecessarily and all of that.

LUSE: Right.

HANDLER: So I made my husband planned the whole thing. I told him if he wanted to get married, it was on him to plan the wedding.


LUSE: That's the smartest thing I've ever heard in my life.

HANDLER: Thank you.


HANDLER: 'Cause he was...

LUSE: And it worked for you?

HANDLER: It worked, yeah. I mean, I got to weigh in on, like, fun things that I cared about. Like, I got to be like, oh, I want, like, this food, or I want, like, this DJ or whatever. But I was like, you have to do all the annoying stuff if you want to get married. And he was like, OK.

LUSE: You had the groom experience.

HANDLER: I did have the groom experience. But that - in "Shotgun Wedding," he's the one who also plans the wedding. So I really...

LUSE: Right.

HANDLER: ...I was like, OK, I see what you're doing here - like, you know, elder-millennial feminist energy for sure.

LUSE: Right. Right, right, where, like, the professional-baseball-player groom...


LUSE: ...Is, like, sitting and hot gluing, like, Christmas tree lights to pineapples...


LUSE: ...To make the centerpieces perfect.


DUHAMEL: (As Tom Fowler) I got to finish these centerpieces and rearrange the seating chart now that Sean decided to show up.

LUSE: So Jennifer Lopez, obviously, famously a bride in both her real life and in her work - but she's not just playing these roles.


LUSE: She often produces these films.

HANDLER: Yeah, exactly.

LUSE: "Shotgun Wedding" is a film that would have to have been in motion either when she was engaged to Alex Rodriguez or engaged to Ben Affleck. So on some level, she knew that she was going to be planning a wedding in real life at the same time that this film was going to be in production or coming out. So I felt like with "Shotgun Wedding," there was sort of, like, a sly wink from Jennifer Lopez. Like, OK, yeah; I know what I'm doing in real life. I wonder, like, what is the communication through this over? Like, what is she maybe trying to communicate to us or possibly working out for herself? I mean, you can't know, right? I don't know if you guys are, like, on the phone texting or not.

HANDLER: Yes. We're texting right now. Yeah.

LUSE: (Laughter).

HANDLER: I'll ask her. Honestly - right - I can't know. But I have to imagine that - what's interesting about "Shotgun Wedding" is as - to sort of complete the four movies, it is the most sort of openly anti-wedding-industrial-complex film. It's sort of about how it's not worth it. It tears people apart. It's silly. It's very openly, like, against - even her character's like, I never wanted any of this, you know? And so I think on some level, she must be grappling with what that means and why she's so compelled to have these weddings over and over, to have these giant productions over and over. I'm sure she's, like, on a subconscious level, exploring that. So I - you know, I think she's got levels (laughter).

LUSE: Coming up, what J.Lo gets out of perpetual bridehood and why we need different kinds of stories about love. Stay with us.

You know, we've been talking - I got married last year. It seems that you got married very recently. And I don't know what your experience was as somebody who kind of took a back seat to their wedding planning. But I can attest that much of the modern messaging around being a bride, which really turned me off and made wedding planning miserable for me, is the idea that you can be a princess or a celebrity for a day.

HANDLER: Oh, God, yeah.

LUSE: But Jennifer Lopez is already - she's obviously already a celebrity.


LUSE: But she's also already functionally a princess...

HANDLER: I was going to say that.

LUSE: ...Like, every day (laughter). She's very rich, and she doesn't need one as a display of wealth...


LUSE: ...Which is what weddings definitely can be for a lot of people.

HANDLER: Absolutely.

LUSE: What might a person like J.Lo get out of being a bride, like, on screen, in that way, or wanting to be seen as being a bride?

HANDLER: I really think she sees these weddings as a direct expression of, like, love and worth. We've all followed J.Lo. We've all wanted her to be happy.

LUSE: Yes.

HANDLER: You know, like, we're all, like, rooting for her.

LUSE: (Laughter) Yes.

HANDLER: You know? And I think - now, she seems like she's happy with Ben, and that's great. But it took her, you know, four marriages to figure that out. And I really think she's, like, an old-school - like, she thinks that a big wedding is incredibly romantic.

LUSE: It feels like the natural end point of the idea that, like, success is nothing unless you have somebody to share it with.

HANDLER: Yes, which is my favorite Beyonce quote, by the way, where she says, like, you know...

LUSE: (Laughter).

HANDLER: I don't remember the exact quote, but she talks about, like, what's the point of any of this if you don't have someone to share it with? And I think it's fascinating to look at these movies, you know, juxtaposed with her life and think about, you know, what is she, like, roiling over at 3 in the morning?


LUSE: I wonder - you know, looking past the personal, what does being a perpetual bride mean for J.Lo's brand?

HANDLER: Maybe part of it is that she - to sell the idea of J.Lo - right? - it's, like, the personality, the persona that is J.Lo. I think she's, like, an amazing actress who doesn't often get parts that are worthy of her. Like, think about "Hustlers." She's so good in "Hustlers."


LOPEZ: (As Ramona) We got to start thinking like these Wall Street guys. You see what they did to this country? They stole from everybody. You ever think about when they come into the club, that's stolen money?

HANDLER: She rarely gets to do something like that. And I wonder if, like, she's sort of leaning harder into this rom-com J.Lo persona as she gets older because she feels like that's where she's going to get the most roles or have the most success. And part of that is this concept, like you're saying, of being, like, this traditional - the traditional girly bride who's selling that fantasy to people. I don't know. I haven't actually thought about that.

LUSE: I hadn't thought about that that way - like she's not getting the Amy Adams phone calls.

HANDLER: Exactly, which is crazy. I love her range, too. You know, I love Jennifer - I love her in "Enough." I love when she - you know, I love when she gets to hold a gun. You know, I want to...

LUSE: I was going to say. Like, maybe that's the next article.

HANDLER: (Laughter) Well, I said - in "Shotgun Wedding," I was like, this marries the two genres. She holds a gun, and she gets married.

LUSE: You know, we spent a lot of time in this conversation parsing J.Lo's artistic messaging. But she's releasing these films into an adoring marketplace. So what are these films telling us about ourselves?

HANDLER: Oh, my God. I mean, this is where I kind of - it gets a little dark for me. I do think it's a little bit malevolent to make these movies over and over (laughter)...

LUSE: Ooh.

HANDLER: ...Especially to sell this fantasy over and over to, like, a rapidly dying globe, where, you know, we're in the middle of a pandemic and an economic crisis. And I do think there's obviously a massive place for escapism and humor and joy, of course. But, like, you know, what does it tell us about ourselves when we just want to keep watching the same movie over and over again where, like, a beautiful, very wealthy woman has, like, an amazing wedding to the man of her dreams.

And like I said, it's unimaginative at best. It's claustrophobic at worst. Like, it's just - it's worth questioning everything. As I was writing this piece, I was thinking to myself, you know, like, damn, like, we need to - we need some new myths. We need some new stories.

LUSE: I'm, like, wondering. I'm like, what does that even look like? I mean, maybe it looks like, you know, the woman who refused a wedding...


LUSE: ...For 17 years...

HANDLER: I don't know.

LUSE: ...And gets her husband to plan the entire thing.

HANDLER: I think a lot about - this is going to get, like, a little maybe pretentious, but Elif Batuman wrote a profile of Celine Sciamma in The New Yorker that I think about...

LUSE: Oh, the filmmaker.

HANDLER: ...All the time. Yes, who did "Portrait Of A Lady On Fire." And she talked about this idea of, like, female storytelling. What does it look like when a - the traditional arc of a movie, the hero's journey is, like, the same exact as the arc of the male orgasm.

LUSE: Yes.

HANDLER: And she talked about storytelling as a circle - female storytelling as a circle, sort of concentric circles getting smaller and smaller and going in to the middle of a story. And that's the structure of "Portrait Of A Lady On Fire." It's not a male orgasm. It's a circle. It's, like, changed my life. It changed my brain. And I think it's powerful to reimagine this type of thing.

LUSE: Well, I mean, it's interesting because, I mean, literally the height of a story in...


LUSE: ...Traditional storytelling is called the climax.


LUSE: But, I mean, what is a wedding if not the - in story terms, the most climactic point of a relationship as we traditionally think about it? And the veil has been, I think, moved from - removed from most of society's eyes with regard to the fact that marriages, you know, don't last forever. We all know that, like, the meaty, juicy, exciting parts of a relationship are the things that take place long after that climactic point has been reached.

HANDLER: Exactly. And I do think, you know, to sort of put a finer, more annoying point on it - I do think that, like - that these movies about two people finding each other, having this wedding and then, like, going off into their lives alone - this is just sort of reinforcing this really toxic idea of American individualism that has arguably gotten us to the place that we're at now, at the - sort of at the beginning of a crumbling empire, because we're not taught about the collective. We're not taught - we don't watch stories where the romance is about a group of people coming together and helping each other. It's about two people being like, and now we're going to buy our house, and we're going to have our kid, and we're going to live our little life alone. You know what I mean?

LUSE: Yeah.

HANDLER: Like, love and success is so individualistic in these films, and we need to reimagine. I wish that we could move in the Celine Sciamma direction. Like, I want a J.Lo-Celine Sciamma collab.


LUSE: Well, Rachel, thank you so much for talking with me about this. This was, like, everything that I could have hoped for.

HANDLER: Oh, my God, me too.

LUSE: I've been waiting to unpack this.

HANDLER: (Laughter) This was so fun. I would do this all day. This was really, really fun.

LUSE: And congratulations.

HANDLER: You too.


LUSE: Thanks again to New York Magazine features writer Rachel Handler. Coming up, I have two of my wonderful colleagues, who both happen to be planning their weddings right now, on for a game to decide which wedding trends are tired, wired or inspired. Stick around.


LUSE: You're listening to IT'S BEEN A MINUTE from NPR. I'm Brittany Luse. Now, we are going to play a game. It's called Tired, Wired and Inspired. Before we get to it, I have to introduce my phenomenal guests, starting with our wonderful editor, Jessica Placzek, aka JP.


LUSE: And our incredible executive producer, Veralyn Williams.


LUSE: (Laughter) Welcome, Veralyn. Welcome, JP. They are both making their IBAM debuts. Welcome to the show.

WILLIAMS: (Imitating air horn).

LUSE: As you both know, you're here to play a game with me today. This game that we're going to play - it's very much like a different game that you may have played - Date, Marry, Kill. But since you're both planning your weddings right now - and I just got married last year, so technically, I'm a newlywed - we're going to talk about wedding trends. And you have to tell me whether you think they're tired, wired or inspired.


LUSE: So if you think something is tired, if you think a trend is tired, then, like, you hate it. Boo. It's tired. It's done. We're over it. OK? If you think the trend is wired, it's like, OK, I could get into this. You know what I mean? You're into the vibe, but you're not writing home about it. And if you think a trend is inspired, then it's like, this is stellar, can't get enough of it. Does that make sense?


PLACZEK: Got it. Amazing. Let's go.

LUSE: OK. Trend number one - wedding bands - not the rings, but the live band playing at the reception. Tired, wired or inspired?


LUSE: Oh, JP says tired.

PLACZEK: I'm going to say tired. I do love a live band. But if you have a band, then everyone is there to look at the band, and they don't actually dance with each other. And, like, my favorite weddings - we get like nasty, sweaty, glistening on the dance floor. And when there's a band, I feel I must perform for them. That said, I did go to a wedding that was friggin phenomenal 'cause the DJ played a trumpet accompaniment to all of the songs...


PLACZEK: ...And it just, like, elevated it.


PLACZEK: It was so fun.

LUSE: They actually sounds...

HANDLER: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

LUSE: That sounds amazing.

WILLIAMS: Yeah, that's my conflict too. Like, I personally would never hire a band for my wedding. But I have been to a wedding that had a band, and it was, like, one of the most lit bands I've ever experienced in my life. And they were playing all the jams, and the singer was incredible, made us cry.

LUSE: Made you cry?

WILLIAMS: Yeah, like, you know - but I will say that it took away from the couple because we're supposed to be paying attention to the couple during their dance, but I'm out here looking - seeing - listening to this woman that sounding like Mariah Carey, you know? So the attention...


WILLIAMS: ...Was, like, diverted. So I, too, am going to say that that is tired. No bands...

LUSE: Yeah.

WILLIAMS: ...At the wedding.

PLACZEK: I think if they're phenomenal, that's great. I have seen trends where brides are like, I'm a friggin phenomenal singer, so here I go. And I'm like, that's fun.


PLACZEK: You know, you go, girl. No?


PLACZEK: No. But there's - it's, like, your special day. You're showing off who you are.

WILLIAMS: You know, even the best singers have off days. Now you're at your wedding, and that's a part of your day forever.

PLACZEK: Oh, my gosh. OK, maybe for rehearsal night. What a nice thing to do on rehearsal night.

WILLIAMS: OK. There we go.


LUSE: There we go. So, OK, you heard it here first. Wedding bands canceled - canceled for 2023. The next wedding trend. Now, this is one I haven't personally seen, but at this point, I do kind of want to see it - adult flower girls or boys or non-binary folks.

WILLIAMS: I have seen this. I've seen this.

LUSE: Adult flower people?

WILLIAMS: I've seen this.

PLACZEK: Yes, I've seen adult flower people. My boo even was like, should we do this? And I was like, no.

LUSE: Your fiance was thinking maybe you should have an adult flower girl at your wedding?

PLACZEK: He's a sweet, basic man.

WILLIAMS: What is the thinking behind it? Is it because they don't trust the young, you know, like the young person?

PLACZEK: No, no, no. It's essentially a gimmick where, like, oftentimes when I've seen it online, let me tell you, my algorithm knows this girl is getting married. It's usually like bros wearing like, do you know, pit vipers, like, those like...

LUSE: Those sunglasses. Like, they kind of - like, like Randy "Macho Man" Savage kind of sunglasses.

PLACZEK: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. And they walk down the aisle with a little fanny pack. And they're just, like, jacked and throw in flowers. I think I would prefer a child flower girl.

LUSE: Yeah. I mean, I can understand that.

WILLIAMS: And you're talking to someone that's literally going to the courthouse, so I'm opting out of all of - there will be no aisle.


WILLIAMS: So it's hard to wrap my mind around an adult person throwing flowers, being jacked. So I'm going to - sorry - say that this is also tired.

LUSE: A lot of tired wedding trends.

PLACZEK: We are some picky brides.


LUSE: Picky brides. OK. So another one, on to the next - destination or otherwise very expensive bachelorette celebrations. Tired, wired or inspired?

WILLIAMS: Inspired. Inspired. Inspired.

LUSE: Really?

WILLIAMS: I - yes. Yes. I love - first of all, I love a good trip. And when else can you actually, like, get your friends to have to go somewhere with you, you know, because, you know, trying to plan a girls' trip on a normal, at least in my friend group, can be a little bit of a thing. Like, life be life. And it's always a reason - people with babies, kids. So I'm going to say inspired.

LUSE: Interesting.

WILLIAMS: Inspired for the guilt and obligation. Like, that's the one part of wedding...

LUSE: Controversial, controversial, controversial.

WILLIAMS: I'm here for it.

LUSE: JP, what do you say - tired, wired, inspired - destination or otherwise very expensive baches (ph)?

PLACZEK: I mean, like, just you saying expensive, I'm like, no, thanks.


PLACZEK: So like, I think I'm just like being such a hater over here. I'm like, yeah, all down for trips with friends. But I also - I don't know. I don't know, man. I'm going to say wired. It's fine. I have no ill will towards a gals' trip.

LUSE: But you don't want to - you don't want to lay down the cash for it.

PLACZEK: No. No. I think also, like, I don't have that much PTO, man. I can't throw down - like, if Veralyn wants to give me a lot more, yeah, great.

LUSE: Wow. Look at that. Is this the start of the bride wars?

WILLIAMS: That's so funny.

LUSE: Veralyn, the ball's in your court.

WILLIAMS: Actually, I feel like when you do that, you're gifting your friends with the opportunity to take care of themselves while they're taking care and celebrating you. I actually - I think - the more I think about it, the more inspired I'm becoming, actually.

PLACZEK: You're like, yes. OK.

LUSE: I am tired on those. But what my best friends and I from high school did is like did like a happy medium. At that point, we're all living in different parts of the country. And we wanted to go to Palm Springs. And we were like, let's just call this our group bach. Like, I don't even think - no one was engaged.

LUSE: That's fun.

LUSE: Like, I don't even think everybody had like a partner or anything like that. It was just like, we're about 30. This is our group bachelorette.

WILLIAMS: I love it.

LUSE: And like, we're making a blood pact as friends to not do this again (laughter). Like, this is the group bach. We have done it.

PLACZEK: I love that. That's so good.

LUSE: It actually was amazing. And it's great because, like, now three of them have children. And so it's like - it's harder to put together a trip like that. So I don't know. I'm like pro-friend trip, but I also - I had a bachelorette dinner. I didn't - I just went out. And I was like, I want to have steak. I want to get drunk. And that's what I did. And lost my phone. And a good time was had by all. But yeah, no, to me, tired. I think, actually, I'm realizing through this conversation, I think that, like, almost all wedding trends are tired. But that's because I already got married. And when you all finish, you might feel the same way.


LUSE: I hope you both have wonderful weddings. And thank you so much for stopping in to play Tired, Wired, Inspired with me.

WILLIAMS: This is a bucket list dream come true. Thank you, Brittany (laughter).

PLACZEK: Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you.

LUSE: Thanks again to my colleagues, editor Jessica Placzek and executive producer Veralyn Williams. This episode of IT'S BEEN A MINUTE was produced by...


LUSE: Our editor is...

PLACZEK: Jessica Placzek.

LUSE: Our intern is...


LUSE: Engineering support came from...


LUSE: Our executive producer is...

WILLIAMS: Veralyn Williams.

LUSE: Our VP of programming is...


LUSE: Our senior VP of programming is...


LUSE: Did you like this episode? Did it make you think of someone who just planned a wedding? Send this to them. Sharing our show with your friends helps get the word out, and we really appreciate it. All right. That's it for this episode of IT'S BEEN A MINUTE from NPR. I'm Brittany Luse. Talk Soon.

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