The “wedding of the decade” has come and gone. Trista and Ryan are now married and most probably honeymooning on some tropical paradise compliments of ABC. I have to say, in spite of the huge spectacle aspect, with a million people and hovering helicopters, all in all, the wedding was beautiful. Just to prepare you for this recap, I didn’t try to make it humorous and I didn’t bag on the bride and groom. I just wrote the show as I saw it so you can maybe imagine how the wedding went if you didn’t get to see it. Normally, I am very irreverent when it comes to these reality TV romances, but since this is their wedding day, I’m going to just give the facts and wish them the best.

The wedding was held at the Lodge at Rancho Mirage. To guide us through the event are RoboChris, Charlie (the guy that lost out to Ryan on “The Bachelorette”) and Stephanie (a producer for “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette) who will be serving as wedding commentators throughout the show.

A day or so before the wedding, all the guests arrive. The parents are the first to get there, then past contestants from “The Bachelor/ette,” including yummy bright smiled Jamie, CreepyRuss and oddly, Brook. You remember Brook, right? The cowboy that called Trista shallow? Yeah, I’m guessing Trista had nothing to do with his invite, but the producers saw fit to invite him for sake of conversation and the chance to show one more time how Brook bagged on the bride. Other former contestants include Shannon, Amy and Angelique (or something like that) from the first installment of “The Bachelor.” And don’t forget bachelor Bob and Estella, on the last stop of their whirlwind media tour.

Next up are bridesmaids, groomsmen and an armored car carrying Trista’s wedding gowns, wedding shoes and jewelry provided by Tacori, including rings and necklaces to be worn through the ceremony. At this point, we find out that the ceremony costs almost a cool 4 million. This leads me to a question – this jeweler provided 2 necklaces for each Trista and her mother to wear through the ceremony, as well as Trista’s and Ryan’s wedding rings and a ring with 150 diamonds for Trista to wear on her right hand. Plus, Weitzman created the most expensive wedding shoes ever made for Trista, which are adorned in platinum and diamonds. When the wedding ends, I assume that Trista and Ryan get to keep their wedding rings, but do they get to keep the necklaces, the right hand rings and the shoes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars? My only guess is that the necklaces were kind of like how the actresses do it at the Oscars – they are on loan. But what about that right hand ring and those shoes?!! Anyway, I digress. Back to the spectacle!

Trista and Ryan meet with the man who will be officiating the ceremony. He has an Alec Baldwin overacting vibe about him and says everything with an air of reverence. In other words, he bugs the bujeebus out of me. The preacher asks them about kids and resolving conflict and why they love each other. I believe he has missed the boat by not asking the question that I believe every about-to-be-married couple should have to answer, “Are you sure you want to do this?” Anyway, that’s just coming from little ole’ cynical divorced me.

The day of the rehearsal dinner is upon us. The bridesmaids and the mothers of the bride and groom all gather for a day at the spa. Trista (or should I say ABC) gives each of the women gifts including a “Think Pink” pink robe and slippers, a pink purse and a makeup bag with a personalized picture of Trista and the bridesmaids. Then it’s off for manicures, pedicures and massages for everyone!

Meanwhile, the men have all met for a game of basketball. Each receives a gift for being a groomsman, which includes a backpack filled with ski passes for the lifts in Vail, a T-shirt that reads “Groomsmen” on the back and a really nice watch.

After this day of leisure is done, the wedding party meets at the wedding site to run through the next day’s events. The site for the wedding is amazing. It is being held outdoors in a gazebo with the ocean as a background. Trista complains about having to walk down the stairs by herself since she will be in a big gown and very high heels. I think she has a point and that she and her father should descend the stairs together, but the coordinator poo poos the idea, and Trista wobbles down them by herself, meeting her father at the foot of the stairs.

After the walk through, everyone meets poolside for the rehearsal dinner. I think it’s nice that all of the guests for the wedding are invited to partake in the rehearsal dinner instead of just the wedding party. After the meal, Trista’s father announces that there is a gift for the bride and groom – a home movie. There are pictures of Trista and Ryan through the years with their parents describing them individually and as a couple. It’s really a great sentiment. After dinner, Ryan walks his bride to the elevator and kisses her goodnight.

On to the wedding! The day of the wedding has millions of fresh flowers being delivered and pink being plastered throughout The Lodge. The chairs have been set up outside and are covered with pink slipcovers. The chairs at the front closest to the gazebo are covered in the palest of pink slipcovers and the color gradually gets darker and darker, ending with the back rows of chairs being a rich pink in color. I think it is a neat effect, but I’m really over the pink at this point.

The groomsmen are all gathered in their tuxes and Ryan’s dad gives him some last minute advice – “Trust and believe in yourself. Trust and believe in Trista. Trust and believe in your love.” Nice thought. Then woman are all gathered in their bridal suite and everyone seems anxious to get this show on the road. The bridesmaids are all wearing very pale pink gowns with black accents on the hem or bodice. The bridesmaids are all wearing strapless gowns and the matron of honor is wearing a V-neck gown. I like hers best.

Trista is adorned in her first of 2 wedding dresses maid by Badgely Mischka specifically for her. It is beautiful – white with pink accents and crystals sewn on to the bodice. I do not like how Trista is wearing her hair, though. It’s kind of in a low twist into a pony tail and I am wondering why she didn’t get her roots bleached prior to her wedding day. Plus, the necklace that she is wearing with her wedding gown is this very heavy platinum and diamond number, and I believe it’s way too strong a statement and does not compliment the delicate and feminine gown. But that’s just my opinion. On to the ceremony!

The preacher walks from the gazebo down the aisle and opens the flower and vine covered gates near the entrance to signal the beginning of the ceremony. Down the aisle walks the grandmothers of the bride and groom and the mothers of the bride. Next to enter from the side are the groomsmen. I have to comment that Ben has been on his best behavior throughout this entire episode. I wonder if he saw what an ass he was from the prior weeks and decided to tone it down, or if we are denied Ben the Ass through the marvels of good editing. Either way, I am grateful.

Next to walk down the aisle is Ryan, escorted by his mother and father. He takes his mother by the hand and puts his arm around his father’s shoulders and together they descend the stairs towards the stage. Overhead there are four or five helicopters hovering and Ryan seems surprised.

Now the bridesmaids walk down the aisle, followed by two little flower girls pulling a tiny red toy fire engine which carries the nine month old baby boy who is serving as ringbearer. Nice touch. The wedding march begins and Trista descends the steps and meets her father at the bottom. She looks nervous coming down the stairs - thinking about tripping and falling flat on her face at the bottom I am sure is her main concern. However, when she reaches the bottom and her father, she begins laughing at the hovering helicopters. When she looks down the aisle and sees Ryan waiting for her, a huge smile breaks out across her face.

Trista and her dad reach the gazebo and Ryan walks down the gazebo stairs to meet his bride. Together they ascend until they are standing in front of the Alec Baldwin wannabe. His voice begins to boom in the “I-am-preacher-hear-me-roar” kind of way and the ceremony is on. The preacher hands them what looks like menus from which the couple read my favorite poem to each other, Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s sonnet which begins, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height… yada yada.” Trista trips up on some words. So does Ryan. I firmly believe that first time brides and grooms should stick strictly to the “repeat after me” stuff.

Next in the ceremony is the new age substitution for the unity candle which includes 3 types of colored sand which is poured into this big glass vase individually by the preacher, then the bride then the groom, ending ultimately with the three people pouring in their sand simultaneously to represent their union. Yeah, I didn’t like this part. I would have preferred them lighting the unity candle or skipping that part altogether.

Before the repeat after me vows, the couple each reads a little something they wrote for each other. What Ryan has to say is actually lovely and heartfelt and sentimental, describing his deep love and connection to Trista. All I can remember from Trista’s was shtick, including something about how she has to get allergy shots to deal with his dog. How thoughtful. Seriously, I didn’t care for her words at all.

Finally, the preacher does the repeat after me, love, honor, cherish, blah blah blah, then announces the couple as husband and wife. Trista jumps into Ryan’s arms and kisses him and they basically run down the aisle together as the audiences waves sticks with pink ribbons tied to the ends. Odd, but Trista seems to love it as she yells, “Let’s party!!

Inside at the reception, the walls are covered in flowing fabric and the tables are adorned with pink table clothes and linen with amazing china, silverware and crystal glasses. For the first dance, Trista believes they will be dancing to the first song on which the couple had previously agreed, but Ryan steps up with his only contribution to the wedding (other than his white silk tie). Ryan tells Trista that he has invited a special guest who will be singing a song which was written from a poem Ryan wrote to Trista during “The Bachelorette” – “Something About Her.” Out walks Brad Paisley, who I have never heard of, but who Ryan introduces as “Country Music Megastar.” Trista hugs him and Brad hops up on stage, grabs his guitar and sings the song while the couple dances. It’s a really nice poem now that it is put to music and throughout the dance, we get to see scenes of Ryan’s and Trista’s romance throughout the year.

Congratulations to Trista and Ryan! May their love and marriage survive the years. All the happiness in the world to them both!

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