What’s more satisfying than seeing your favorite fictional couples tie the knot, prove that love conquers all, and give audiences a full circle ending (or beginning, in some cases)? Sure, marriage itself comes with its challenges, but at least when these couples get married, we know that they have each other. And for romantics all over, there is nothing more swoon-worthy than that.
So let’s celebrate the ultimate representation of someone’s devotion and commitment to that special person in their lives. These iconic wedding moments are rated according to audience popularity, significance to the characters/plotline, and, most importantly, my opinion.
10 . Forrest and Jenny, Forrest Gump 1994
Say what you want about Jenny stringing Forrest along, this wedding day was something our titular character had dreamt of all his life. And knowing that Jenny is on borrowed time (she had been diagnosed with AIDS at the height of its epidemic), there is something particularly tear-jerking about this nuptials scene.
9. Maxwell and Fran, The Nanny 1993-1999
We all cheered when Fran married Maxwell, especially since she spent the whole show up until this moment being the punchline of every unmarried woman joke. Besides, after five seasons of Fran and Maxwell’s undeniable chemistry and tension, he was the only guy we wanted to see her walk down the aisle with.
8. Amy and Robert, Everybody Loves Raymond 1996-2005
Some people rewatch The Office, and some people watch the same episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond over and over and over again. I fall into this category. This is the ultimate feel-good show, and when Robert, the ever-sulking brother of the titular main character, finally found happiness with Amy after a rollercoaster of on-again-off-again episodes, it’s hard not to be happy.
Besides, the wedding shows the Barone family at their iconic, chaotic best when the matriarch of the family Marie interrupts the wedding, but it’s all patched up in time for the dance party at the end of the episode with Elvis Presley’s “Little Less Conversation” blaring through the speakers.
7. Ross and Emily, Friends 1994-2004
A lot of people don’t like Ross for being selfish in his romantic relationships throughout the show, but there’s no doubt that Ross and Rachel are OTP. On the wedding front, some people like Monica and Chandler’s better. Some like Phoebe and Mike’s snowy marriage more. But nothing beats the part when Ross says Rachel’s name instead of Emily’s during his vows, and I think every fan of this show can agree.
6. Eric and Ariel, The Little Mermaid 1989
This movie features not one, but two weddings (one that gets crashed, and one where Ariel gets her man). This movie is a fan favorite for most Disney fans, despite the criticisms that Ariel has received in recent years for not exhibiting role model behavior. Growing up, Ariel was my favorite Disney princess and there’s nothing more satisfying than knowing that she got to sail off into the sunset with her prince. Sometimes, it’s okay to enjoy some cliches, and for me, The Little Mermaid’s wedding is one of them.
5. Ross and Demelza, Poldark 2015-2019
This show might not have been as popular as Outlander or The Office, but I had to include it on this list because I literally gasped out loud when Ross and Demelza got married. Meet Ross Poldark, the brooding, aristocratic lord who lives on the even more dramatic cliffs of Cornwall, England.
When he falls into bed with Demelza, his kitchen maid, he feels like he has taken advantage of her (and, for the time, that makes her ruined for any marriage prospects). Demelza knows this, too, and runs away from the house, but Ross follows her and says, “You can no longer be my servant”…and then the scene cuts to the two standing at the altar as a priest begins with, “Dearly beloved…”. The episode ends there, leaving audiences on the edge of their seat because who had been expecting him to marry her (and eventually fall madly in love, but you’ll have to watch the show for that).
4. Ben crashing Elaine’s wedding, The Graduate 1967
So this one isn’t a wedding per se, because it gets crashed by Dustin Hoffman’s character, Ben. This rebellious, coming-of-age film (and the scene itself) has been analyzed and adored by film critics for decades. Who doesn’t love it when Ben stops the wedding mid-nuptials to pound on the glass windows of the church balcony, desperately screaming Elaine’s name? After she answers with a resounding, “Ben!”, what ensues next is a dramatic escape as ben takes away the love of his life all the while fighting off her indignant family with a wooden crucifix. Poetic cinema, if you ask me.
3. Jim and Pam, The Office 2005-2013
I admit with some embarrassment that it took me a while to jump on The Office train. When the Internet is riddled with iconic GIFS and memes from the show, I decided in my freshman year of college to binge-watch the show before it was removed from Netflix.
Being the hopeless romantic that I am, Jim’s unrequited, angsty love for Pam in the first three seasons before they hook up had my tail wagging. As much as I love the rest of the show, Jim and Pam were the sole reason why I watched it. So when their wedding episode was riddled with mishaps (a ripped veil, failing at keeping Pam’s pregnancy a secret), and it did nothing to ease Jim’s euphoria, this became one of my top favorite episodes. As it ends with Jim and Pam on a boat under Niagra Falls, the look of contentment on the groom’s face (he finally got the girl!) is nothing short of heartwarming. And who can forget the entire office dancing their way up the aisle?
2. Jamie and Claire, Outlander 2014-present
If you ever see me on the street, stop me, and ask me about Outlander, I will melt into a tirade of how fantastic it is, how riveting its plotline is, how unparalleled the acting is…until you regret having ever met me. This scene was riddled with symbolism and kick starts the epic, cross-century, time-traveling Scottish adventure for the next five seasons.
For the first six episodes of season one, Jamie and Claire’s relationship was laden with sexual tension and the chemistry of the iconic romance that has yet to come. Seeing them get married in episode 7 (to save Claire’s life, how swoon-worthy), was unexpected, tender, and (after the nuptials) steamy as hell. The only reason why this wedding isn’t at number one is that its impact on pop culture wasn’t historical.
1. Luke and Laura, General Hospital 1963-present
Okay, there are shows that are better than this cheesy soap opera, which was cringy even in its hay day when the 80s were gripped by Luke and Laura mania. There are better TV couples who had better TV weddings, but I would be doing you all a disservice if I did not acknowledge how popular this show was simply because everyone was obsessed with this couple.
This TV couple went through all the soap opera tropes that we love: extramarital affairs, fake deaths, murder, betrayal, all the goods. So when they finally tied the knot after literally years of being together, then torn apart, then together again, their wedding episode was the most-watched episode in soap opera history (a record 30 million people tuned in).
So there you have it, the best weddings to ever grace our screens. It’s time to grab some popcorn because watching these romantic moments goes hand and hand with some feel-good viewing.
Get The Tempest in your inbox. Read more exclusives like this in our weekly newsletter!