We all love love, and nothing screams the L-word louder than a walk down the aisle. Once you take away all the logistics, it's just two people declaring that they'll love each other for ever in front of everybody they hold dear—it's enough to bring a tear to your eye, right? That's probably why stories about people tying the knot have literally been popular since the days of Shakespeare. Just like real weddings, movies about the big day can make you laugh, cry, or cringe (or, sometimes, all three). Here's a guide to some of our personal favorite wedding movies of all time. (You might also enjoy our hand-picked lists of the best musical movies (opens in new tab), murder mystery movies (opens in new tab), romance movies (opens in new tab), and Bollywood movies (opens in new tab) of all time.)
This Katherine Heigl rom-com (from the writer of The Devil Wears Prada, no less) offers an examination of the old saying "always a bridesmaid, never a bride." But even if you don't care about watching a smart, funny lady find love, there's plenty to love in the schadenfreude of the hilariously hideous bridesmaid dresses that co-star in the movie.
'My Big Fat Greek Wedding'
Some movies are about the general idea of weddings or people who happen to work in the wedding industry, and other movies are about the entire process of planning and executing a wedding. My Big Fat Greek Wedding is the latter and throws in some hilarious cultural commentary to boot.
We're honestly not sure what's more magical: Eternal love or the songs of ABBA. With Mamma Mia!, you thankfully don't have to choose. The riotous big-screen adaptation of the Broadway hit stars Meryl Streep as a mother of the bride who finds herself unexpectedly confronted by all three men who could be her daughter's dad.
'The Wedding Planner'
The Wedding Planner feels like it was created in a lab using only the known ingredients of classic, early-aughts rom-coms. Take one perfect Jennifer Lopez, add one charming Matthew McConaughey, stir in a wedding-themed plot featuring a woman torn between kicking ass at her job and following her heart and mix them together. Shake well and serve with a bottle of wine of your choice.
'The Wedding Singer'
Some rom-com leads just click with the kind of chemistry you can't manufacture on demand. Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler have proven, over the years, to be such a pairing. Their 1998 rom-com The Wedding Singer marks the beginning of their decades-spanning onscreen love.
'Father of the Bride'
Most wedding movies are a fantasy, but Father of the Bride gets brutally real about the stress that comes with planning a fairytale celebration of love. Steve Martin stars as a beleaguered dad struggling to watch his daughter grow up—and to stomach the skyrocketing costs of a "smallish" at-home wedding.
'My Best Friend's Wedding'
Sometimes, weddings are bittersweet—like if you love the groom and want him to be happy, but have recently come to realize that you love the groom and want him to be happy with you, specifically. That's the premise of Julia Roberts' wedding classic, about a woman trying to be happy for her best guy bud, while also low-key trying to stealing him away from his bubbly finacee.
Pop culture and decades of gender stereotypes tell us that women are supposed to love weddings and everything related to them. But some women aren't born with the perfect-wedding-planning gene and some women aren't happy to just put all of their own issues on hold for a year to plan their best friend's big day. Enter Bridesmaids, which captures the internal conflict and external stress that a lot of women go through not just during their own wedding planning process, but that of their closest friends too.
Every wedding has a few guests who no one really knows. The distant relative who got an obligatory invite. The out-of-town-friend that you invited to be polite and never thought would actually travel for the ceremony. Exploiting that awkwardness to party on other people's dime is the premise of Wedding Crashers.
Best friends tend to have a lot in common (duh) and that can include taste in wedding-related things like venues and vendors. That's all well and good unless you happen to find yourself planning a wedding at the same time as said friend and end up fighting over who gets what. The Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway vehicle Bride Wars follows two best friends whose bond deteriorates as they plan dueling weddings.
'Four Weddings and a Funeral'
This British classic stars a young Hugh Grant as a twentysomething at the peak of marriage season. In a year, he goes to four weddings and (you guessed it) one funeral—and the events of these weddings, and the funeral, are life-changing. Come for the famous line: "Is it raining? I hadn't noticed," stay for Hugh Grant in his prime.
'Crazy Rich Asians'
Big events like weddings are a chance to meet your S.O.'s friends and family. For anyone who has ever gone into the meeting-the-family step of the relationship feeling like they have a target (or a "kick me" sign) on their back, Crazy Rich Asians is here to remind you that you are not alone. And to anyone who just relishes in over-the-top, luxe AF weddings, the movie's actual wedding scene is truly next-level.
'Meet the Parents'
Speaking of the wedding as the excuse to meet your S.O.'s parents, we can't leave out 2000's Meet the Parents, which explores the comedy that comes with introducing the love of your life to your family all set against the backdrop of a wedding.
'The Five-Year Engagement"
Sometimes love takes priority, but sometimes life gets in the way. For every couple who has ever felt ready to commit, but then, for whatever reason, not been able to actually get the wedding planned and executed, The Five-Year Engagement is here for you.
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Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
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