You’ve made it to the top-tier (get it) of our best movie weddings countdown, which means you are a real movie hound, or just love the character work of Eugene Levy (who makes three appearances).
Either way, while admiring the quantity of our list, you may have missed the quality. Eight of these films took home the Oscar for Best Picture: Gone With the Wind (1939), The Sound of Music (1965), The Godfather (1972), The Deer Hunter (1978), Out of Africa (1985), Dances With Wolves (1990), Forrest Gump (1994), and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003). These films earned a combined 41 statues.
Without ado (but with lots of I do), we present the 20 best movie weddings.
Table of Contents
Best Movie Weddings: 20-1
20) Steel Magnolias
Steel Magnolias is great for many reasons: a supportive community, zingy one-liners, and one of the best girl gangs in movie history. But the wedding in this movie takes the cake—the armadillo cake, that is. Filled with the best ’80s Southern fashion, there’s loud prints, big hair and a lot of pink. The entire affair is a community effort. They work hard, and play even harder. A wedding is, above all, supposed to be fun—so take note, and take to the dance floor.
19) Monsoon Wedding
This movie about a large Indian wedding proves that while traditions may vary across cultures, some things about wedding planning are universal—particularly: stress, status anxiety, the tension between keeping tradition and “the modern age,” budget worries, the awkwardness of bringing two families together, broken hearts, new romances, and lots and lots (and lots) of emotional baggage. Monsoon Wedding serves up wedding planning realness—in heaps, set to Bollywood music, and drenched in marigolds. Because if your big day’s gonna cause your entire extended family to spiral out of control, it should at least be gorgeous, colorful, and get everyone on the dance floor.
18) My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Everyone and their mother loved this movie when it came out (literally, my stepmom made me go see it with her three times—moms love this shit). Frankly, the plot is about as predictable and rom-commy as it can get: frumpy girl meets handsome guy, takes off her glasses, plucks her eyebrows, finally gets noticed, and falls in love—that is, until her overbearing Greek parents try to break up the relationship because her new man ain’t Greek, and—perhaps even worse—is a vegetarian. Cultures clash, hilarity ensues, and—surprise, surprise—everyone ends up getting along in the end. The final wedding scene is actually pretty touching, with the father of the bride making a cute speech about apples and oranges, and teaching us that in this big produce stand we call Life, “We’re all different, but in the end, we’re all fruit.”
17) Sex and The City
This movie has two wedding scenes—well actually, one and a half. Thing is, the first wedding doesn’t actually happen—Carrie gets left at the altar (and because this is Sex & the City, she gets screwed over while wearing some ridic Vivienne Westwood gown that no actual part-time sex columnist would ever be able to afford, ever). When her would-be groom, Big, tries to reconcile with her on the Manhattan street, she pulls a badass woman-scorned move and beats him with her wedding bouquet before an audience of friends and random onlookers. Nothing like a good ol’ public shaming to bring life to an otherwise kinda idiotic movie. Spoiler alert: Carrie and Big make up at the end, he proposes to her with a diamond-encrusted shoe (as one does), and they get married in an intimate City Hall ceremony that frankly seems a little too tasteful for someone who’s been known to wear voluminous blob dresses and 6 inch stilettos that cost double my rent.
16) The Godfather
When you marry a Corleone, your wedding is guaranteed to be a hit. You get it.
Idea: Hire a Marlon Brando impersonator to bartend your wedding. The bar is open, but they must ask for each drink as if it’s a favor. Do not disrespect the bartender. God I love this movie.
15) Raising Arizona
We love a good odd couple—and Hi, the multiple offending ex-con, getting hitched to Ed, a police officer, is about as strange as it gets. Then there are the wedding guests: half are in police uniforms, while all the others sport the very bold look that is Hawaiian shirts paired with mullets (we’ll let you guess which guests belong to the bride, and which belong to the groom). Top that off with some wood paneling, dirty red carpet, and a whole lotta VFW Hall patriotism, and you’ve got yourself some weirdo wedding perfection.
14) Father of the Bride
Dude, George, chill out. Why you so obsessed with your 22 year old daughter? Most of this movie centers around a dad acting like a total bozo as he struggles to accept “giving away” his “little girl” to another man, and complaining that he “won’t get to see her at breakfast in her nightgown anymore.” Ew. Latent creepiness aside, George’s heart really is in the right place, and it’s nice and heartwarming to see him finally come to terms with the fact that his baby girl is now a grown woman who can make decisions for herself (and make her own mistakes, too, cuz getting married at 22 after 6 months of dating has “divorce” written all over it). You go, George!
So that cake is insane. Do that cake if you can. It’s an edible diorama. What can I say here except there’s nothing sweeter than getting a bag full of cash at your wedding. You can’t predict this (unless you are in the actual mafia I guess) but it’s safe to assume you’ll get a respectable haul. So yeah, go ahead and spring for that ridiculous cake. Tacky? The fuck you say to me? I’m tacky? You’re tacky.
11) Forrest Gump
A VHS of Forrest Gump was a staple in every ’90s household, for good reason. A story of Tom Hanks’ pure, steadfast love overcoming various hardships, the movie ends with him marrying the love of his life. Their wedding is intimate and picturesque—a lesson that the only thing that really matters in the hectic whirlwind of modern-day wedding planning is the bride, groom and culmination of their relationship together. Maybe all you really need is a funky tie, a vintage dress and a box of chocolates.
10) The Deer Hunter
When you plan your wedding reception, you imagine the night becoming a giant dance party with everyone having the time of their lives. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen (more often with an open bar, though). If that’s the story of your wedding reception, don’t worry—you can still experience that idealistic post-nuptial revelry by watching The Deer Hunter. And it doesn’t hurt that we get some healthy exposure to non-hacker, non-oligarch Russian culture here, either.
9) Wet Hot American Summer
Really loving the way the flute music is actually happening as the officiant (slash summer camp director) wraps up the ceremony. As you know, we at The Black Tux love a good suit or tuxedo as much as anyone, but if you are to be wed standing mid-shin in a river, tunics are totally fair game. Glad to see McKinley and Ben are still together after all these years. <3
Tough enough watching your best friend move away and get married while your life goes to shit. Extra tough seeing another woman stealing your Maid of Honor thunder in a bid to become your BFF’s new best friend. There are some extreme dynamics at play, but any wedding with 1) a laser light show 2) golden retriever puppies 3) a live performance by Wilson Phillips is guaranteed to bring the wedding party together.
7) Wedding Crashers
The king of wedding movies, it would be reductive to say that Wedding Crashers is about crashing weddings. I mean, it is that, but it’s also a celebration of weddings, cliches and all. This movie perfectly captures the feeling of being two minutes into a too-long ceremony, or two drinks into a well-planned reception. And while some of the crude immaturity genuinely looks like fun (sorry), Wedding Crashers doesn’t let anyone off too easy for being sleazy. Except Will Ferrell.
6) Coming to America
The movie that pulls back the curtain on Zumandan wedding traditions and answers the questions: what does Eddie Murphy look like in full-on white tie with a cheetah stole accessory? Two ceremonies bookend this classic from the John Landis cinematic universe, and somewhere in between our prince finds a queen worthy of the title. Come for the dancing, stay for the greatest single wedding performance in pop-culture history.
5) The Royal Tenenbaums
The Tenenbaums are a dysfunctional family, typical of Wes Anderson’s storylines, but there’s no better place than a wedding to work through deep-seeded familial issues—parental abandonment, sibling rivalry, loss of innocence, and grief. The wedding scene marks a huge shift for all members of the Tenenbaum clan—from holding onto the past, to redemption and healing.
4) The Princess Bride
Whenever someone asks us if we would like to watch the wedding scene from The Princess Bride, we say: “As you wish.” We’re usually sticklers for keeping the wedding ceremony a reasonable length, but if a rambling clergyman with a speech impediment saves true love, then who awe we to awgue uhwuhwise? This ill-fated non-union also underscores the importance of words like “I do.”
3) The Five-Year Engagement
The world would be a better place if more weddings were executed like the one in The Five-Year Engagement. Specifically, it’d be a world with fewer anxious, stressed-out couples. Your wedding is a big deal, but if there’s one lesson you can take away from this wedding, it’s that you don’t have to agonize over every little detail to have an unforgettable ceremony. Do the damn thing.
2) Love Actually
How did Andrew Lincoln’s character get of-the-moment, neo soul artist Lynden David Hall to sing at this wedding? How did Keira and Chiwetel miss not one, not two, but three trombonists in the third pew? Are ministers really allowed to throw awesome high-fives? Love Actually isn’t interested in explaining any of this, but I’ll be damned if I care—when that electric guitar starts wailing from the pulpit, I get goosebumps. Thanks to Love Actually, the “All You Need Is Love” recessional has become a staple for couples who really enjoyed this scene in Love Actually and/or The Beatles.
1) The Graduate
There is no wedding scene more iconic than when Ben and Elaine make their great escape together—just moments after Elaine has said “I do” to another man. When the pair fight off Elaine’s parents (Oh, btw—Elaine’s mom, Mrs. Robinson, is Ben’s ex-lover… talk about awkward), trap everyone inside the church by jamming a giant gold cross through the door handles, then run off hand-in-hand and hop on a passing yellow bus, it really makes you believe in young love—even if it is a kinda twisted, effed-up young love.
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