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How Have Soap Weddings Changed Over the Years?

There is nothing the UK nation loves more than to cosy up in front of the television and catch up with the latest soaps that have entertained the nation for decades. From Coronation Street, to EastEnders, to Hollyoaks, all are renowned in one way or another for creating those tense drama-fuelled scenes that have left the nation in shock many times before. But one drama in particular that remains persistent is the iconic soap wedding scenes.

From Carmel and Calvin’s roller skate extravaganza to Beth and Kirk’s 80s inspired ceremony, the Royal Station Hotel have revealed how wedding traditions have changed throughout the years from one soap to the next.

Over 25 years’ worth of EastEnders weddings

Since the launch of its first-ever episode on 19th February 1985, it’s fair to say the nation has fallen in love with EastEnders and all the drama it entails – with wedding ceremonies being a sight to see. Dating back to 1986, we saw Lofty and Michelle tie the knot at the altar. As far as a traditional British wedding goes, the ceremony reflected exactly this. Michelle was seen wearing an elegant white wedding dress, flattered with a veil, bridal bouquet, and headpiece to finish off the look. As for Lofty, he modelled a grey two-piece suit. From the stag and hen night celebration to the choosing of the bridesmaids and best man, this wedding involved everything that a traditional British ceremony connotes.

Fast forward to 1995 where Phil and Kathy got hitched in secret and we started to see a move away from a traditional wedding service. Rather than hosting a ceremony with all their friends and family at a church, riding in on a horse and cart, and having her dad walk her down the aisle, they opted for a quieter service at what appears to be a registry office with only a few witnesses. Not only that, the choice of clothing attire steers away from the traditional go-to as well, with Kathy seen wearing a more casual long dress with a scarf and a cashmere coat.

The latest wedding event that EastEnders presented to the nation was Stuart and Rainie’s wedding that took a rather humourous turn of events. What was intended to be a traditional British wedding was disrupted by modern technology – the car broke down and locked the groom inside! This didn’t stop the ceremony taking place though. It just took place in the middle of the road while the bride and groom spoke their vows through the car window – how’s that for romance?

Despite the wedding ceremonies themselves changing throughout the years, one thing that remains persistent is a trip to the infamous Queen Vic for an after-party celebration.

Coronation Street’s wedding history: from then to now

Renowned for being the longest-running soap opera in the world, Coronation Street has seen 110 wedding ceremonies take place, with many adding their own quirky twist to the event itself. From Alec and Bet’s wedding wish to take over the Rover’s Return in the late 80s, to Steve McDonald’s abundance of wedding events, Coronation Street has since then seen a move away from a traditional British wedding.

Take Beth and Kirk’s 80s-themed ceremony. This saw the couple tie the knot dressed in 80s style apparel including neon leg warmers, over-the-top hair volumes, and floral printed collars. Inspired by Madonna’s 80s hit ‘Like a Virgin’ and Adam Ant’s charismatic outfit and makeup choices, the two revolved their wedding outfits around everything the 80s had to offer.

But before Kirk and Beth brought the 80s into the 21st century, we saw Joan and Gordon Davies host the soap’s very first street wedding back in 1961. Moving away from the traditions of a British ceremony, the two replaced a church for the outdoors, and an aisle with a road. 

Hollyoaks’ knot-tying traditions with a twist

Considered to be one of the more recent programmes to be aired, Hollyoaks was first introduced into the soap opera world back in 1995 and has since then hosted many rather dramatic, and tragic wedding ceremonies. Despite Hollyoaks being renowned for hosting some of the most shocking wedding scenes the UK nation could possibly imagine, these ceremonies are a milestone away from being traditionally British.

In 2008, Hollyoaks stars Carmel and Calvin tied the rather unstable knot – in every sense of the word. Despite Carmel keeping up the tradition of a white flowing wedding dress, she ditched the heels for a pair of roller skates and wheeled her ways down the aisle. As for Calvin, he opted for a traditional copper’s uniform over a conventional suit and tie.

Since then, Hollyoaks have seen Tony and Cindy along with Doug and Ste tie the knot back in 2012. Although the day itself captured everything that a traditional British wedding entails, the two couples decided to share their special day together and host a double wedding. Why not share your day with your best friend?

Fast forward to 2014 and Porsche and Lockie chose to host their wedding reception on a train! Decorated with a cute and cosy aesthetic of fairy lights, draped curtains, and mismatched décor, the train was made to look like the perfect backdrop for a wedding to take place.

It’s fair to say that soap operas have provided the nation with an abundance of wedding ceremonies over the years – some traditional and some embracing the diversity this century has to offer. Whether you prefer an old-school take for your wedding and opt for a Brighton wedding venue to set the scene or want to add your own unique twist, soap operas are a gold mine when it comes to wedding ceremony inspiration.


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