Network TV's 5 Lesbian Weddings
On May 5, Callie (Sara Ramirez) and Arizona (Jessica Capshaw)
.' While they won’t be part of the first-ever lesbian wedding ceremony on network television, it’s certain to be the biggest one yet. The build-up to Calzona’s nuptials played out like any other would, but with twice the amount of intrigue as to what the brides will be wearing, who will be crying, and if Bailey (Chandra Wilson) can manage to marry them without shedding any tears herself.
The episode was filmed in March in the Descanso Gardens in La Canada Flintridge, Calif., and the brides wore Amsale gowns designed special for them. It’s not a small gathering, either - it’s a lavish affair in which their co-workers, friends and families are all invited, though spoilers indicate not all of their parents will make it to the Catholic ceremony.
Here are five other lesbian weddings of network TV, and how they will compare to Grey’s big lesbian wedding this week.
1. 'Friends' - “The One With the Lesbian Wedding” (1995)
The NBC sitcom gave us the first gay female pairing to get hitched on TV. Ross’ ex-wife Carol (Jane Sibbett) ends up marrying her lover Susan (Jessica Hecht), much to his chagrin. Monica convinces her brother that their relationship is like any other one, and they want to “celebrate that love with the people that are close with them." When Carol’s parents decide not to come and she thinks of calling the whole thing off, it causes a huge fight with Susan, and Ross comes to Susan’s unlikely defense, insisting the wedding must go on. He not only attends the wedding, but gives Carol away. Sniffle.
2. 'The Simpsons' - “There’s Something About Marrying” (2005)
That same year, Fox’s hit animated comedy had Marge’s sister Patty come out and quickly want to make it legal with her bride-to-be, Veronica. With some hilarious commentary on making Springfield a “gay marriage mecca,” the town happily supports “gay money” and the wedding goes on—until Marge discovers Veronica is secretly a man. Since she hadn’t quite accepted her sister’s sexuality, she kept quiet on Veronica’s true gender, until she realizes that Patty is truly in love, and she can’t forever hold her peace. Patty doesn’t end up a married woman, but she stays a lesbian.
3. 'The Simple Life' - “The Bowden Family” (2006)
Back when Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie were still friends, they went to live with a family headed up by a lesbian couple on their Fox reality show. To get out of the chores they were given to do around the house, Paris and Nicole decide to throw the mombians a lesbian wedding. They engage in every stereotype possible while planning, but never once question the validity of the women and their relationship. In fact, Nicole even refuses to call it a “commitment ceremony” despite the lesbian minister explaining the legality of it to her early on.
4. All My Children (2009)
Reese (Tamara Braun) asks Bianca (Eden Riegel) to marry her—and then kisses Zach the night before the wedding. The show goes on, with both brides looking beautiful in white with matching red rose bouquets. But immediately after, someone who saw Reese kissing Zach fills Bianca in, ruining the day/Bianca’s life. This episode did not pass the Bechdel rule.
5. Private Practice - “Heaven Can Wait” (2011)
Before 'Grey’s' filmed their gay wedding, executive producer Shonda Rhimes paired Addison (Kate Walsh)’s mom, Bizzy, (JoBeth Williams), with her partner Susan for a late-in-life lesbian wedding on her 'Grey’s spin-off, 'Private Practice.' Susan has recently survived cancer and her wish is to have a wedding. Despite Addison’s reservations (she wants her mom and dad to get back together), she helps plan the big day and everything is wonderful—until Susan collapses on the dance floor and dies. The following week Bizzy kills herself. It’s really up to Shonda to redeem herself on the upcoming Grey’s episode, or else lesbians might think getting married is a death trap—literally.
Considering only two out of the five didn’t end in some form of mild tragedy, here's hoping that 'Grey’s Anatomy' truly delivers a successful lesbian wedding. Who knew it’d be Paris and Nicole that provided one of the best? It’s likely the Callie and Arizona wedding won’t have much in common with 'The Simple Life' episode, but hopefully they keep the loving spirit that was at the heart of it.