While today’s teenagers have Gossip Girl, the 1990s was the age of Beverly Hills, 90210, a teen drama equipped with its very own on-again, off-again couple, Donna Martin and David Silver. Teenagers across the nation rooted for the couple, yet with Donna’s abstinence and David’s singing career in the way, it seemed the two would never end up together. But in 2000, on the series’ two-hour finale, Donna and David announced their engagement. In front of the entire original cast, the wedding went on without a hitch, proving to 25 million TV viewers that true love does exist.
Rick Rockwell and Darva Conger (Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millioniare? 2000)
If the union between 90210‘s Donna and David reaffirmed audiences’ belief in love and destiny, the Fox reality show Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire? worked to dispel all those romantic notions. The show saw 50 women competing to wed multi-millionaire Rick Rockwell without ever having met or seen him. At the end of the two-hour broadcast, Rockwell chose Darva Conger, an emergency room nurse, to be his wife. Following a number of controversies, including the revelation of a restraining order against Rockwell for domestic violence, Conger annulled the marriage after two months.
Carmen Electra and Dave Navarro (2003)
After MTV filmed a documentary following their courtship, Carmen Electra and Dave Navarro allowed a film crew to record the preparations for their upcoming nuptials. The result was ‘Til Death Do Us Part: Carmen & Dave, a seven-episode reality series that featured scenes from the bachelor and bachelorette parties, the wedding ceremony, and the reception. The wedding was certainly unforgettable, combining talking parrots, stumbling Playboy Playmates, and a ton of leather. Unfortunately, the couple wasn’t able to avoid the “MTV romance curse” — Carmen and Dave divorced after three years of marriage.
Trista Rehn and Ryan Sutter (The Bachelorette, 2003)
The first season of The Bachelor introduced America to Trista Rehn, an Indiana-born professional dancer who seemed to be sincere in her search for love. She may have lost the competition for the bachelor’s heart, yet her charm and sweet demeanor won over the audience and led ABC to create the spin-off series The Bachelorette. This time Rehn was more successful in her search — her ultimate selection, firefighter Ryan Sutter, proposed to her on the series’ finale. The couple’s wedding ceremony was televised in an ABC special and became one of the most widely viewed reality shows ever. They remain married in Colorado, making them the series’ most successful pair.
Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly (The Office, 2009)
After five years of a sweet and awkward courtship, America’s favorite Dundler Mifflin lovebirds were married. The Office had been toying with audiences for seasons — the tenuousness of Jim and Pam’s relationship generated many of the series’ story lines — so the Niagara Falls nuptials were truly a victory for fans who had fallen for the unconventional TV couple since the very start. With a last-minute breakdown and a sentimental half-elopement, the wedding retained the realism and complexity that made the couple so beloved.
My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding (2010)
As demonstrated, reality television and weddings are certainly not a new pair but no series is quite as ridiculous or hilarious as TLC’s My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. The show centers around Britain’s gypsy and traveller community, each episode documenting the wedding of a different gypsy girl. The ceremonies are lavish and extravagant — you could measure the dress trains in stories, tiaras are several feet high, and bridesmaids are clad in hot pink taffeta.