Weddings are satisfying in real life. They’re a beautiful culmination of one stage in a relationship and the first chapter of the next one. Attending weddings of family and friends is customary. In television, audiences have the chance to attend the weddings of characters they have never – and will never – meet.
Yet, these weddings are often considered to be just as valuable, emotional, and important as real ones for they, too, are indicative of a couple’s journey. Some television weddings are heartfelt, sweet, and satisfying, while others are disappointing or flat-out bad.
So here is Screen Rant’s list of the 15 Best TV Weddings of All Time.
Jesse and Rebecca – Full House
In the ’90s, there were many iconic two-part wedding episodes (and there were also plenty of two-part vacation episodes, a seeming trend for the decade) and few are more memorable or satisfying than that of Full House’s Jesse and Rebecca. Their wedding wasn’t just beautiful or rewarding because audiences had the chance to see two characters tie the knot after overcoming absurd and sitcom trope-y circumstances (Jesse gets cold feet and then winds up getting thrown into jail on his wedding day thanks to a series of humorous mishaps), but because it was a beautiful celebration of the couple and characters.
Plus, this wedding is one of the best because John Stamos serenades everyone with a version of the Beach Boys’ “Forever” at the piano with a gospel choir. It’s hard to not fall in love with something like that.
Maxwell and Fran – The Nanny
Maxwell and Fran were the textbook definition of a will-they-won’t-they couple. Their tension and romantic chemistry were palpable, and it seemed like The Nanny would revel in drawing their courtship out forever. But the show chose to have Max and Fran tie the knot before the series’ finale in a ceremony that was one of the most beautiful and serene on television in the ’90s.
The Nanny was a show that focused a lot on slapstick-silly shenanigans, mistaken identities, and silliness. It was refreshing to see Max and Fran’s wedding not only taken seriously but also directed and acted beautifully.
Chandler and Monica – Friends
Friends had a few iconic weddings in its run, but one of the most memorable and deserving of recognition was the wedding between Monica and Chandler. These two characters didn’t have an on-again, off-again relationship like Ross and Rachel. In fact, they were an unexpected pairing with minimal build-up and yet an extreme sense of plausibility. Monica was a type-A, high-strung woman who wanted marriage and a family; Chandler was a sarcastic man with commitment issues.
Throughout their relationship and engagement, the two proved to be not only compatible and sweet (tissues are still a necessity for many who watch the proposal scene), but hilarious. The wedding was a culmination of everything the couple was, at their core – it was funny, sweet, and ultimately character-building. Monica learned to better trust Chandler and Chandler learned that commitment isn’t scary, so long as it’s to the person you love and want to be with.
Rory and Amy – Doctor Who
“Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” took on an entirely new meaning on Rory and Amy’s wedding day in Doctor Who. Brilliantly structured, the show used their wedding as a way to not just solidify their commitment to one another – which was sweet, for a couple that often bickered and disagreed – but also re-introduce the Eleventh Doctor back into their lives. It was a wedding that worked on two very important fronts and it deserves recognition for that.
Criss and Liz – 30 Rock
Criss and Liz’s wedding was perfect because it was so very THEM – she wore a Princess Leia costume and they were surrounded by a host of wacky individuals. Liz didn’t just find someone who embraced her weirdness. That would have been too easy for 30 Rock to do. Liz, instead, found someone to be weird with forever in Criss.
By themselves, they’re quirky. But together, these two proved that no matter how weird or silly your wedding might be, it should always be a reflection of who you are as a couple. It should be a day of celebration and of fun because marriage is an adventure. Criss and Liz’s wedding definitely reflected that and was one of the best because of it.
Howard and Bernadette – The Big Bang Theory
Weddings in sitcoms like The Big Bang Theory are tricky things. On the one hand, they cannot be filled with too many jokes and laughs, lest they lose the emotion and sentiment of the ceremony. But they also can’t be too saccharine, either, and detract from the characterization of the couple.
The wedding between Howard and Bernadette perfectly balanced those two elements. It was a rooftop wedding, complete with Raj, Leonard, Penny, Sheldon, and Amy reading speeches to the couple (which earned both laughter and awws). Their wedding was simple and sweet, just like Howard and Bernadette are as a couple. And with their closest friends surrounding them, it was an intimate affair perfectly suited for The Big Bang Theory.
Grayson and Jules – Cougar Town
Grayson and Jules were a cute couple on Cougar Town, but their wedding is one of the most creative, sweet, and inventive ways the show could have brought the two together. Both long for a beach wedding, but their town doesn’t allow beach weddings. So the entire cul-de-sac crew disguises themselves on the beach and then – all at once – leaps up to rush through a ceremony. It’s hilarious and wonderful as the group ends up having to walk down the beach while the ceremony is occurring.
John and Mary – Sherlock
What else would happen on John and Mary’s wedding day than Sherlock trying to solve a murder? “The Sign of Three” was an episode that primarily focused on John and Mary’s wedding day. This wedding, meanwhile, wasn’t necessarily satisfying because we got the chance to watch a couple tie the long-awaited knot. It was, however, entertaining and touching because of what the wedding did to the relationships on Sherlock.
It was at John and Mary’s wedding that Sherlock softened, leaned into friendship, and gave the most heartfelt and touching speeches in the history of the show. The wedding was a conduit for character growth – Mary and Sherlock became closer and a major plot twist was also revealed.
Hank and Sarah – Parenthood
There were a few weddings that happened on Parenthood and though Crosby and Jasmine’s wedding was beautiful, Hank and Sarah’s was one of the most important scenes and culminations of character growth and relationships on the series. Parenthood was a show, obviously, about family. But it was more than that and this wedding perfectly embodied it. This was a show about overcoming challenges and learning to consciously love other people.
Hank and Sarah’s wedding wasn’t just a beautiful expression of commitment between two souls who had to go through difficulties and failed marriages and hurdles in order to find their way to each other; it was also an example of how fractured families can sometimes be, but how weddings often repair those fissures for the better.
Marshall and Lily – How I Met Your Mother
Marshall and Lily were the anchor of How I Met Your Mother – the constant (mostly stable) coupling amidst Robin, Barney, and Ted’s partner-hopping. So their wedding was a testament to them as a couple. When everything went wrong on Marshall and Lily’s wedding day (Lily’s ex-boyfriend shows up, she has no flowers, no photographer, no harp player; Marshall has ruined hair and shaves half of it), it seemed like it was a sign that their wedding was falling apart. These two never doubted that they were meant to be together – they simply doubted that the timing was right. However, it is Ted that manages to convince the pair to hold a small, intimate wedding with just him, Barney, and Robin in attendance before the actual ceremony takes place. With the pressure to have everything perfect gone, Marshall and Lily are able to focus on what they truly needed to – each other.
Their ceremony was beautiful and touching, intimate and quiet in a show that was more often than not filled with loud, crazy shenanigans. The small ceremony was a reminder of how well the two functioned as a couple and how – in the end – all they really cared about was being together.
Ben and Leslie – Parks and Recreation
“I love you and I like you,” has become one of the most iconic lines from Parks and Recreation and it is an apt way to sum up Ben and Leslie’s wedding. After deciding that they do not want to postpone their wedding, the pair gather their friends together and manage to make it happen – Ann makes Leslie’s dress, Ron fashions the wedding rings, and marriage licenses are obtained. The couple even gets the blessing of Lil’ Sebastian. But when Ron gets thrown in jail for punching Jamm and defending Leslie’s honor, all hope of a wedding seems lost.
… Until Ben and Leslie’s friends come through for them, again. The two are married in the Parks department office, fitting and beautiful in demonstrating how their relationship came full circle. The vows are tear-inducing (and include the aforementioned “I love you and I like you”). There is a reason that this Parks and Recreation wedding is considered to be iconic. It contains all of the elements that made the NBC comedy such a success when it was on the air: funny and quirky, with an overwhelming sense of love and heart. This is definitely one of those TV weddings that requires multiple viewings (and multiple tissues).
Jim and Pam – The Office
Fewer TV weddings are as iconic as Jim and Pam’s from The Office is. The couple is one of the go-to examples of a will-they-won’t-they relationship and also one of the most arguably well-written pairings in a comedy in recent years. Audiences truly cared about Jim and Pam – they were sweet, pining co-workers who genuinely cared about each other from a distance for years. When the series finally brought the couple together, it was with a sigh of relief from the viewers. And then, in “Niagara,” Jim and Pam wed in Niagara Falls, in the presence of their closest friends, family, and co-workers.
The wedding episode – penned by Greg Daniels and Mindy Kaling – was the culmination of years of waiting and included everything that made The Office so special when it was on the air. From the Michael Scott-directed wedding dance to Chris Brown’s “Forever” (because he had seen it go viral on YouTube) to Pam’s torn veil and Jim’s cut tie, to the revelation that Jim and Pam actually got married earlier than the church ceremony, this wedding goes down as one of the best in television history.
Plus, the episode earns added bonus points because of Jim’s talking head outside of the church:
I knew we’d need a backup plan. The boat was actually Plan C, the church was Plan B, and Plan A was marrying her a long, long time ago. Pretty much the day I met her.
Cory and Topanga – Boy Meets World
Was there a more iconic couple for young viewers on television in the ’90s than Boy Meets World’s Cory and Topanga? As these childhood sweethearts grew up, so did their viewing audience, which is what made their wedding so important, and one of the greatest on television. Audiences felt like they knew Cory and Topanga – like these were their friends, too – and so the wedding was not just a satisfying step in their relationship, but extremely emotional.
Daniel and Molly – Ugly Betty
Though Molly died shortly after she and Daniel wed, this wedding is one that remains worthy to be on the list. Daniel truly fell in love with Molly and wanted to marry her, finding out shortly thereafter that she was sick and dying. Their wedding took place during a fashion shoot and was a perfect blend of weird and heartfelt.
The thing that makes this wedding so special is the genuine emotion and character growth it represented. Daniel set aside his womanizing ways when he began to fall in love. He opened himself up and it led him to joy and heartbreak. Nevertheless, theirs was a wedding to remember.
Honorary Mention: Shivrang and Cece – New Girl
Shivrang and Cece’s wedding gets an honorary mention in this list, mostly because the participants did not actually follow through with the wedding or marriage. However, the episode in which Shivrang and Cece very nearly tie the knot is one of New Girl’s funniest of season two. “Elaine’s Big Day” finds Cece on her wedding day with former love Schmidt scheming with Winston and Nick to ruin the ceremony.
There is a badger on the loose in the air ducts that ends up biting Winston, a guest appearance by Taylor Swift, and a few instances of “Cotton-Eye Joe” being played. The wedding itself is hilarious and memorable, in spite of the couple not following through with it.
Did we miss any other great weddings? Let us know in the comments!