Documentary maker Doug Block: 11.2 things I've learnt from filming 112 weddings

When he's not making documentaries, Doug Block films weddings. Here he reveals what he has discovered

In his new film 112 Weddings, Doug Block goes back in time to meet some of the 224 people whose big days he's filmed. For many, there's been happiness; for others divorce, illness and mental health problems. Through his initial wedding films, and having revisited the couples, he's learnt as much as anyone about marriages. Here are his 11.2 lessons:

1. There are few things more fascinating than to be a fly-on-the-wall with an ordinary couple on their wedding day. Because for them it's the most extraordinary day of their lives, and how can you not be moved by that?

2. Weddings aren't just about one couple getting married, they're about two families merging, with each bringing their own complicated histories to the mix.

3. Weddings are a somewhat bittersweet experience for parents. On the one hand, they're thrilled for their sons and daughters. On the other, it's the ultimate letting go of their child. When I see buckets of tears being shed, I don't presume that they're always tears of joy.

4. There will never be a more acceptable place to fully express > your emotions publicly than at a wedding. I'll never understand why some brides and grooms seem so determined not to cry, as if it's a point of pride.

5. Most brides and grooms describe their wedding as dream-like or even surreal. I think that has to do largely with the wide-ranging mix of people who are invited. I mean, where else but in dreams do you see your childhood friends, college buddies, work colleagues and relatives all together in one place?

6. People tend to conflate weddings with marriage, so all this attention and energy goes into the wedding day with very little thought is given to what comes after. But the wedding is just Day One.

7. There's a reason Hollywood love stories always seem to end at the wedding altar. Happily-ever-after is complicated.

8. I have a wise rabbi friend who has officiated at well over 100 weddings. He maintains that weddings are easy to make happy, you just throw a bunch of money and liquor at it. Whereas marriages are hard to make happy, because if you throw a bunch of money and liquor at it, it usually makes things much worse.

Read more: Anatomy of Kate Moss's wedding dress
Kate Moss's dress takes centre stage at V&A
The first wedding dance arms race
Wedding collateral damage explained
The best make-up for brides
11.2 things I've learnt from filming 112 weddings
Busting the BritWedCom boom
Gay couples reflect on married life
Hen and stag-do strippers confess all

9. You can never tell how a marriage will work out from how 'in love' the couple appears on their wedding day. It's fun to guess but you'll be wrong a lot.

10. The wedding day isn't all about the bride; in the end, it's about the couple.

11. I used to think 'the money shot' was the bride walking down the aisle, all radiant and glowing. I've come to understand the real money shot is the recessional, when the couple walks off bravely, hand-in-hand, into the unknown future.

11.2. There's no such thing as a wedding toast that's too brief.

Doug Block's '112 Weddings' screens at the Sheffield Doc Fest tomorrow and Monday, and is on general release from 13 June. See 112weddingsmovie.com

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Sport
Harry Redknapp. Mark Hughes and Ryan Shawcross
footballNews and updates as Queens Park Rangers host the Potters
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
New Articles
i100... with this review
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
New Articles
i100
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Cover Supervisor

    £75 - £90 per day + negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Are you a cover supe...

    Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

    Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

    £22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

    SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

    £1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

    Day In a Page

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam