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The wedding movie: a micro-subgenre that often gets the romantic comedy treatment, but isn't immune to being bathed in horror or awash in drama. Sometimes, a film with nothing but a pivotal, momentary iconic scene dedicated to the nuptials shared between two characters can earn the entire film a spot in the tiny category. Indeed, the greatest wedding movies aren't married to a formula—they are committed to emotion, authenticity, and truth.
Ahead, we've curated a list of splendid matrimonial films—some obvious and devoted entirely to all that the big day entails (The Wedding Planner, Father of the Bride, Bridesmaids, naturally), others perhaps a bit more ambiguous, but no less worthy (yes, A Walk to Remember is on here, so get your tissues). You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll most definitely score some inspiration for that dreaded toast you are supposed to give at your best friend's wedding. So here are 45 of our favorite wedding movies that will make even the most hard-hearted person feel the love.
Sex and The City: The Movie (2008)
We're not sure it gets more big-city extravagant than a Vivienne Westwood wedding gown fit for a bride (Sarah Jessica Parker) who's getting hitched at New York City's iconic Public Library. Factor in her bridesmaids (Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis, Kim Cattrall) each rocking their own bold-toned Zac Posen design, a groom wrestling with cold feet, the fateful death of a floral bouquet, and a bird on the bride's head (paired with a cathedral-length veil), and you have one of the most iconic and heartbreaking wedding scenes to ever grace the big screen.
Usually, nuptial-centered films spend their reels building up to the big day. Here, it's the opposite. Near the beginning of this film, interracial couple Richard and Mildred Loving (Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga) marry in a sincere, understated justice-of-the-peace-officiated ceremony in Washington, D.C. They then head home to Caroline County, Virginia, and the battle for their love begins. Finding themselves in the crosshairs of 1960s anti-miscegenation laws, the Lovings must fight jail time, court cases, and even sickening racism to stay together.
The entire narrative of Jane Austen's 19th-century tale pivots around marriage: snagging a suitor, scoring a proposal, and finally saying "I do." Luckily, we get a pair of lavish Regency-era celebrations in Autumn de Wilde's lovely adaptation of the classic same-name novel: one belonging to Miss Taylor, the other to our leading lady, Emma, a meddling matchmaker who wants to couple up all her friends.
Palm Springs (2020)
The cinema-tested, audience-approved time loop shtick that worked beautifully for films like Groundhog Day, Happy Death Day, and Edge of Tomorrow gets the wedding treatment with the hilarious Palm Springs. A nihilistic comedy that flirts with the science fiction and horror genres, this Hulu gem stars SNL's Andy Samberg and How I Met Your Mother's Cristin Milioti as a pair of wedding guests who find themselves living the same day over and over again and—as all romantic comedies require—falling in love.
Coming to America (1988)
No stranger to the arranged marriage, African Prince Akeem treks to Queens, New York, in search of a wife he actually wants to put a ring on. Co-written by its star, Eddie Murphy, Coming to America is an '80s classic most of the world has seen by now, but on the off chance you, dear reader, have yet to hit play on this must-see, then we'll just say that the pretty pink wedding dress featured in the film's climax isn't the only surprise. Plus, there's even more royal revelry to be had in the recently released sequel.
Looking: The Movie (2016)
Fans of the HBO series Looking were gutted when the series got the ax. But fortunately, co-creator Andrew Haigh (director of the stellar Weekend) had their backs, as he got to work on giving his characters the nuanced send-off they deserve. His film follows its main trio of San Francisco gay men (Jonathan Groff, Frankie J. Alvarez, and Murray Bartlett), along with their friends, as they gather for a wedding. Loose ends are tied, romantic connections are made, and "I dos" are finally said.
Ali's Wedding (2018)
Ali’s Wedding is a thoughtful autobiographical jewel that pulls from its star-slash-screenwriter's own experiences. The film begins with a tuxedoed groom (Osamah Sami), riding a tractor, then crashing into a cop car. But the slapstick, for the most part, ends there. This little indie film is full of wonderful surprises: a sincere, yet humorous, deep dive into the upbringing of Ali, an Iraqi immigrant living in a Melbourne Muslim community; the arranged marriage he agrees to; and the actual love of his life, an Australian-born Lebanese lovely.
The Wedding Planner (2001)
A throwback romantic comedy, The Wedding Planner plays by all the rules and tropes of the genre before its recent evolution, but that didn't stop it from launching a solid rom-com era for each of its leads, Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Lopez. Here, in Adam Shankman's 2001 film, Lopez plays Mary Fiore, a wedding planner who falls in love with someone else's groom, played by McConaughey.
Though it's not the titular character here whose wedding is in the works, it is, however, that of a man who is in love with her. Let us explain. Starring Old Hollywood's It-starlet Audrey Hepburn (in a marvelous organza Givenchy gown), Billy Wilder's 1954 classic tells the story of a love triangle occupied by Hepburn’s Sabrina and the wealthy brothers Linus (Humphrey Bogart) and David (William Holden). It's younger brother David, a forever bachelor, who is on the verge of tying the knot—until, of course, he meets the new Sabrina. Sometimes the climax isn't so much "I do" as it is "I choose you."
The Wedding Plan (2016)
The dress has been chosen, the menu set, and the guest list decided—there's just one problem: Michal no longer has a groom. Blindsided by her fiancé a month before their big day, Michal gets a bit of news no bride wants to hear: her man doesn’t love her. Awful, yes, but this is a comedy after all—and writer-director Rama Burshtein's Hebrew film is brimming with reasons to laugh. Namely, Michal is certain that God will manifest her a new fiancé just in time for her wedding day. No postponements here!
Father of the Bride (1991)
Strategically released around the date of Elizabeth Taylor's real-life wedding to Conrad Hilton Jr., the 1950 version of Father of the Bride—a romantic comedy dedicated to the titular patriarch pegged with the nagging irritations the big day requires—was a massive critical success starring Taylor and Spencer Tracy. And the same can be said of the 1991 Nancy Meyers remake (pictured here) starring Steve Martin and Kimberly Williams-Paisley. Honestly, it's a toss-up regarding which one we recommend you watch first.
My Best Friend's Wedding (1997)
Julia Roberts plays Julianne, a feisty, big-haired food critic, in love with her longtime best friend, Michael (Dermot Mulroney). Meanwhile, he's a local news sportswriter engaged to Kimmy (Cameron Diaz), a filthy-rich daddy's girl sweeter than the buttercream on the couple's multi-tier wedding cake. Hell-bent on sabotaging their nuptials, Jules lies, deceives, and gets downright Machiavellian in her schemes, resulting in an amusing and charming rom-com that manages to reinvent the genre's requisite happy ending.
Love Actually (2003)
We know, Love Actually is actually an essential holiday classic. But it's also an essential holiday classic that begins with one of the best wedding scenes to ever have been spooled into a reel can. You have Chiwetel Ejiofor's Peter and Andrew Lincoln's Mark bantering over prostitutes and making a no-surprises promise at the altar as groom and best man, before turning around to Keira Knightley’s Juliet proceeding down the aisle in a supremely British wedding gown. Of course, there's a surprise. And, of course, you're responsible for reminding yourself of what that is with another viewing.
Steel Magnolias (1989)
A film for every season, holiday, or special occasion, the 1989 classic from director Herbert Ross covers every base from saying "I do" to hunting for Easter eggs. About the goings-on in a small Louisiana town, its yarn is spun through the gossiping friend group who chinwag at a local beauty parlor. Embodied by a crew of prized powerhouse actresses, including Sally Field, Julia Roberts, Dolly Parton, Olympia Dukakis, and Shirley MacLaine as a wickedly glorious curmudgeon, their first order of business is getting Shelby (Roberts) ready for her big day.
Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
The all-Asian cast, led by Constance Wu and Henry Golding, in Jon M. Chu's film adaptation of Kevin Kwan's same-name global bestseller was a beautiful thing to see when it premiered. And so was the star-studded, dripping-in-opulence Singaporean wedding come to life—from the aisle made of flowing water and the gorgeous wedding procession rendition of Can't Help Falling in Love by Kina Grannis to the otherwordly wedding dress. It's also worth pointing out that this film, punctuated with a wedding scene, actually ends with a proposal—promising yet another crazy rich wedding in the second part of the three-film series. While we wait for China Rich Girlfriend, this film is still worth watching on repeat.
Ready or Not (2019)
Dearly beloved, the cast members in this contemporary "mumblegore" thriller were gathered here today to run for their mother-loving lives. Samara Weaving, the rising star in Ryan Murphy's Hollywood, stuns as Grace, a bride who marries her dream man and then spends her wedding night trying to survive her in-laws. Literally. It's the result of a savage tradition: The newest member of the family's gaming dynasty draws a card, and the fam then plays the game on the card. Simple as that.
The Graduate (1967)
In the annals of unforgettable film endings, nestled somewhere between Humphrey Bogart's "beautiful friendship" in Casablanca and the New Year's Eve love rant in When Harry Met Sally, there's Dustin Hoffman crashing his ex-girlfriend's wedding in Mike Nichols' '60s-era seduction comedy. A pleasurable, albeit awkward, watch, The Graduate follows the sexual prowess of Ben (Hoffman), a recent college grad who's getting schooled between the sheets by his ex-girlfriend's mother, Mrs. Robinson. How he comes to realize his need for a wedding objection? Well, just hit the below "watch" button to find out.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)
Nia Vardalos, the comedienne extraordinaire who borrowed from her real-life love story and Greek heritage to supply the garish antics and culture-clash hilarity for a rom-com that would become a big fat hit in 2002, stars opposite Sex and the City's John Corbett, a.k.a. the closest a mortal can get to a Greek god without being Greek. Produced by Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson (a Greek American herself), the film is a national treasure—no matter the nation.
Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo proved with their Oscar-nominated screenplay that the world was not only ready for female-fronted raunchy comedies, but it was starved for them. A bridal-themed laugh riot highlighting a squad of funny ladies, stars Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne, Wendi McLendon-Covey, and Ellie Kemper—each as comically unique as their own individual style. Bridesmaids ushered in an entire subgenre of films celebrating girls behaving badly—Bachelorette, Girls Trip, Ibiza—and asked the likeminded not-so-gentlemen of films, like The Hangover and Very Bad Things, to kindly take several seats and enjoy the show.
Royal Wedding (1951)
Toe-tapping phenom Fred Astaire and perky starlet Jane Powell play a brother-and-sister Broadway duo who trip the light fantastic across the pond to capitalize on Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten's royal wedding in London. While there, romance, challenges, and more splendacious encounters ensue (read: Astaire even dances with a monkey). A 1951 Technicolor classic, the film is packed with musical numbers and—without giving too much away—multiple weddings.
The Wedding Singer (1998)
The ever-popular culture salve of nostalgia takes on many forms: a post-"Material Girl" Madonna sporting coned underpinnings, a Clueless Alicia Silverstone rocking multicolored plaid. And then there's schmaltzy Adam Sandler donning his Sunday best as a cheesy New Jersey entertainer we, too, wanna grow old with. Starring opposite a doll-faced Drew Barrymore in a mindless gem with a soundtrack straight out of the '80s, it's one of those formulaic comedies from the '90s you find yourself wishing would still get made today.
The Best Man (1999)
Like any celebrated duo, what makes this 1999 ensemble classic from Malcolm D. Lee, brother to one Spike, work like a charm is chemistry. Starring frequent on-screen coupling Taye Diggs and Sanaa Lathan, along with Morris Chestnut, Nia Long, Terrence Howard, Regina Hall, and several others, the film hashes out old flames, friendships, and foe-ships before one of the main chums, Chestnut's Lance Sullivan, gets married. Fifteen years later, the crew reunites for an equally charming, holiday-set sequel.
Monsoon Wedding (2002)
Set in New Delhi and featuring an exclusively Indian cast, Mira Nair's Monsoon Wedding is a vivid family reunion bursting with joyous pomp and culture, popping off the screen with its palette of primary reds, bold oranges, and rich shades of marigold. Also a comedy of upper-middle-class manners akin to Indian tradition, the fast-paced film whips around a bungled arranged marriage and the clumsily organized four-day wedding everyone has gathered from all over the globe for, all while injecting joyous moments of Bollywood-esque singing and dancing. Put succinctly, it's simply glorious.
The Farewell (2019)
Awkwafina, who made us cry-laugh in Crazy Rich Asians, forced tears of a different breed when she starred as Billi in Lulu Wang's pump-fake wedding dramedy, a role that earned her a Best Actress nod at the 2019 Golden Globes. Borrowed from a real-life lie Wang and her family told her grandmother, the Chinese-American film is a feast for the senses, dishing meat pies, dumplings, and deceit, all while Billi and her brood conceal their Nai Nai's terminal cancer by telling her that they've all gathered at her home in China for a wedding, rather than to say their final farewells.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2020)
We may be flexing our editorial license by classifying Céline Sciamma's emotionally visceral gay romance as a "wedding movie," but one can't argue that all of the core components are present here: the would-be bride, the dress, the cold feet. Erotic, passionate, and brushed in a muted color palette, the film follows the soul-stirring love story between two 18th-century women: painter Marianne and her muse, noblewoman Héloïse who's promised to a man in Milan. Plus, we'll take any reason to recommend this masterpiece to anyone willing to listen.
Plus One (2019)
PEN15's Maya Erskine ditches her seventh-grade bestie for a different kind of plus-one: This time, it's Jack Quaid, son of Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan. The two join comedic forces to play Alice and Ben, longtime friends who are single and staring down the gauntlet of formal black-tie and white-tie affairs better known as wedding season. Their plan: agree to be each other's plus-one and help the other get laid. The wrench: possibly actually falling for each other by season's end. What it lacks in premise reinvention, it makes up for with unfettered chemistry and unfiltered humor.
About Time (2013)
And the bride wore… red? A time-jumping fantasy celebrating life, love, and British comedy, Richard Curtis's rom-com stars Rachel McAdams and Domhnall Gleeson as a couple charting the choppy waters of their romance, with him using his genetic time-traveling skills to go back and perfect each moment of their relationship (just go with it). From the first date and the proposal to the disastrously drenched wedding day—which makes for a stellar Kodak moment and one of the best cinematic wedding scenes we've ever seen—this movie is not to be missed and will pull on each one of your heartstrings, one at a time.
Much Ado About Nothing (1993)
The title of Shakespeare's seminal romantic comedy is right on: There is mega drama materializing among the friends and foes inhabiting a Tuscan villa. And at the core are Hero and Claudio, the naive lovers who after very much ado (read: misunderstandings, manipulations, and musings) eventually say "I do" and get their happily ever after. And even though Kenneth Branagh's 1993 adaptation isn't a loyal reciting of The Bard's classic, the superb casting choices—from Denzel Washington to Michael Keaton to Emma Thompson—more than make up for it.
Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
As unbreakable the bond is between lovebirds Victoria and David Beckham, so is our love for a Richard Curtis romantic comedy. There are—count them—three on this list alone. Though he doesn't direct the film with five events in its title, as he does Love Actually and About Time, Curtis does supply the brilliantly British screenplay, weaving fairy-tale romance, kooky friendships, missed opportunities, and eff bombs aplenty into a comedy that solidified the scribe as someone to watch.
Mamma Mia! (2008)
What the brilliant songs of ABBA have to do with a bride-to-be named Sophie Sheridan (Amanda Seyfried) and the fact that her free-spirited mother (Meryl Streep) doesn't know which of three dapper suitors is her daughter's father is beyond our comprehension. But they sure do make for one exuberant wedding-themed musical. Set against the sparkling azure backdrop of the Greek isles, Mamma Mia! is the perfect antidote for any dancing queen bummed out by being stuck in quarantine.
The Wedding Season (2022)
While this Netflix film has Hallmark movie-esque predictability, the colorful outfits make up for it. Ravi (Suraj Sharma) and Asha (Pallavi Sharda) agree to meet and fake-date for a summer packed with family weddings in order to make their parents happy. Asha is a workaholic who is anxious to take the next steps in her career, while Ravi has a successful DJ career, but is worried about how his community will see his chosen profession. With all the love in the air, sparks begin to fly.
Red, White, and Royal Blue (2023)
This movie begins with a royal wedding gone awry, but inevitably, it kickstarts a romance. Alex Claremont-Diaz, the son of the president of the United States, fights with his rival, Prince Henry (grandson to the King of England), and the two manage to topple the $75,000 cake at the wedding of Henry's eldest brother. As a punishment, the two are forced to spend more time together and behave nicely in order to appease their parents and the press. Of course, they realize that they don't despise each other as much as they thought, but their star-crossed relationship is still frowned upon by the crown.
Ticket to Paradise (2022)
George Clooney and Julia Roberts star as bitter divorced parents who both fly to Bali to stop their daughter from getting married. While the enemies-to-lovers trope is pretty played out here, the stunning backdrop of Bali makes this one of the most beautiful weddings on film. And it's hard not to root for the younger couple, Lily (Kaitlyn Dever) and Gede (Maxime Bouttier), who are so very much in love.
I Love You, Man (2009)
The bromance between Peter (Paul Rudd) and Sydney (Jason Segel) may dominate this movie, but the entire reason that the two meet is because Peter is desperate for a best man. Sydney nearly ruins Peter's relationship and crashes the wedding on his scooter, but somehow, it's one of the funniest wedding movies out there.
Twilight: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 (2011)
The aesthetic of this wedding is really what dreams are made of. An outdoor wedding, with so many beautiful white flowers and lush-looking trees, paired with Bella's perfect dress, make for stunning visuals. The wedding alone might not make much sense out of the context of the trilogy, but the love triangle and teen angst all build up to this one really fantastic moment.
A Walk to Remember (2002)
This one is based on a Nicholas Sparks novel, so you know that means it's going to tug on your heartstrings. It's a traditional tale of a troubled bad boy (played by then-It-guy Shane West) and good girl (Mandy Moore) who meet and fall in love. Sounds simple and sweet, except Jamie (Moore) is dying of leukemia, so the duo make the most of their short time together, which includes getting married—hence the walk to remember. Seriously, stock up on tissues for this one.
Shotgun Wedding (2023)
As this list proves, Jennifer Lopez has starred in a number of wedding movies, but this one isn't your traditional rom-com. Instead, J.Lo is Darcy, a bride-to-be celebrating her destination wedding with her fiancé, Tom (Josh Duhamel), when a group of pirates attack the island and take all of their guests hostage. Darcy and Tom end up bickering the entire time they are fighting off the bad guys, and there are some surprisingly solid action scenes.
The Princess Bride (1987)
This film really has it all—from action scenes and pirates to comedy, and, of course, romance. It's almost impossible not to swoon when Westley (Cary Elwes) says, "As you wish," to Buttercup (Robin Wright). Unfortunately, she's being forced to wed the insufferable Prince Humperdinck against her will, but the ridiculous clergyman makes this wedding a classic, as he memorably says: "Mawage. Mawage is what bwings us together today."
Marry Me (2022)
Kat Valdez (Jennifer Lopez) is a megawatt pop star who finds out during a concert that her fiancé is cheating on her. In a weak moment, she sees concertgoer (Owen Wilson) in the audience with a poster that says "marry me," says yes on a whim, and the two get married on stage. Of course, his everyday life as a dad and a teacher doesn't go well with her glamorous life and media attention—but this is a rom-com, after all, where happily ever after always finds a way.
Made of Honor (2008)
This is a must-watch for Grey's Anatomy fans, as it stars both Patrick Dempsey (a.k.a. McDreamy) and Kevin McKidd (a.k.a. Owen Hunt). Dempsey is Tom, a perpetual bachelor who never plans on settling down, but slowly realizes that he's in love with his best friend, Hannah (Michelle Monaghan). Unfortunately, this realization comes right as Hannah has fallen in love and gotten engaged to Colin (McKidd)—and, of course, she wants Tom to be her maid of honor.
The Wedding Date (2005)
Kat (Debra Messing) is the maid of honor at her younger sister's wedding, but the best man happens to be Kat's ex-fiancé. She's single and can't face going to the event solo, so she hires an escort (Dermot Mulroney) to be her date for the weekend. Of course he's dreamy and she falls for him, but its not all smooth sailing.
Bride Wars (2009)
Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Olivia (Kate Hudson) are lifelong best friends who have both dreamt of having their weddings at the famous Plaza Hotel in NYC, but as luck would have it, their weddings are accidentally scheduled for the same date. Sabotage comes into play as the two brides try and snag the coveted date all for themselves.
27 Dresses (2008)
Always a bridesmaid and never a bride, Jane (Katherine Heigl) has a closet full of dresses from all the weddings she's been a part of. When she meets reporter Kevin (James Marsden), the two click—but Kevin is secretly working on an article about Jane's life as a bridesmaid after finding her lost day planner.
Adorable couple Charlie (Jennifer Lopez) and Kevin (Michael Vartan) are set to be married, but his mother, Viola (Jane Fonda), is against the union. Viola does everything she can to sabotage the nuptials—including trying to poison the bride!—and well, chaos ensues.
The Proposal (2009)
In this enemies-to-lovers tale, Sandra Bullock stars as a workaholic editor-in-chief (think a slightly toned down Miranda Priestly) who needs a green card to keep her job. She forces her assistant (Ryan Reynolds) to marry her, who agrees in order to achieve his career goals—but, of course, sparks ultimately fly.
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