How Realistic Is Father of the Bride? Fact-Checking the Classic 25 Years Later

Let's see just how well this holds up.

By Seija Rankin Dec 20, 2016 12:00 PMTags
Father of the Bride, Steve Martin, Diane Keaton, Martin Short, Kimberly WilliamsTouchstone/Kobal/Shutterstock

Every party has a pooper and that's why we invited you, George Banks!

It was 25 years ago today that the nation first learned that glorious rendition of the classic song. 25 years ago that we realized cake could be pronounced both "cayke" and "cahk." 25 years ago that we learned Armani doesn't make a navy blue tuxedo. 25 years ago that we learned that our own parents weren't the only ones who went crazy over nothing. 25 years ago that, as George Banks would say, the storm broke. 

Father of the Bride was an instant classic. It didn't quite match the critical success of its peers that year (The Silence of the Lambs and Beauty and the Beast, to name a few), but it launched its director, Nancy Meyers, into full-on stardom (she would go on to bring the world The Parent Trap and It's Complicated, among other) and earned itself a place in the pop culture hall of fame. 

Mention to a friend that this movie is a quarter-century old and we guarantee nobody will believe you. It feels like just yesterday we were rewinding our VHS to watch the Banks family meet with the wedding planner over and over again. There's no way we've been saying "Don't forget to fasten your condom" for 25 years, right?

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But alas, we have. And besides from the realization that we really need to get some new catchphrases, we've also decided to take a closer look at this all-important movie. So many of its moments we accepted as cold, hard fact—like the hot dog-to-bun proportion at grocery stores—but on this very special anniversary it's time to find out for ourselves just how realistic it was. Was that really a crazy expensive wedding, or is George just a crab apple? E! News detectives, at your service. 

San Marino is the kind of place where people still smile at each other. Okay, so this one is kind of arbitrary. George Banks loved this town because it was, well, a tiny town. It hadn't changed in 25 years. They had businesses like local bike shops and tennis shoe companies that miraculously aren't put out of business by Nike. While we can't speak for every resident of San Marino and their facial expressions, it's definitely just as annoying picturesque and quaint as it is in the movie. Although, we have to point out that 24 Maple Drive is actually in nearby Pasadena.

Annie is 22. The jury is still out here. We know it's hard to look back on a character when you are now much older than them, but man...that is one mature 22-year-old. We totally buy that she was off doing a grad school semester abroad in Rome. Great. But would a 22-year-old wear pearls and a black sheath dress on her first dinner back home after study abroad? No. She would wear Lululemon and unwashed hair. 

George is an irrational person having a panic attack. Guys, maybe this means we're getting old, but we're totes on his side here. His 22-year-old daughter just came back from Rome and announces she's engaged? He's lucky he didn't have to be carted out in a body bag. 

Bryan's job is code for "unemployed." Wrong-o, George. In today's world, a communications consultant means he's totally rolling in it. And honestly, being freelance isn't weird...George needs to get on board with that. 

Rich people have brunch and live in Bel Air. You don't have to be rich to have brunch, but you definitely have to be rich to be doing it while living in Bel Air. Contrary to George's belief, there are no shacks in that place: It's all mansions. According to Zillow, the median home price is $3.2 million, and the fictional McKenzies live among the very real Kim KardashianKanye WestRenee Zellweger, Madonna and Meg Ryan, to name a few. We'll let you form your own conclusion as to whether this does in fact make them pretentious snobs. 

The bride's family pays to fly the groom's immediate family to the wedding. Do you have any idea what a round trip ticket from Denmark costs? Let alone eight (slash nine) round trip tickets? Way too much freaking money. We can't attest to this tradition's popularity in the early 90's, seeing as we were more focused on elementary school than nuptial etiquette, but we've definitely never heard of this in today's world. McKenzie family, you trippin'. 

Hallooooo that's five months! Franck was correct, January 6th is five months away from the month of August.

$1,200 is a very reasonable price for a cake. This really depends on perspective. In the LA area the average price of a wedding cake is almost $600—and this is in 2016, not 1991. And George was right that a cake is just flour and water. But Franck is a professional wedding coordinator so let's all take his word for it. 

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572 is too many people for a wedding. Somehow this fact escaped us every single time we watched this movie until now. $250 per head was bad enough (it was a wedding at home, in 1991, for Pete's sake), but 572 people? That is truly absurd. Annie Banks is not Kate Middleton. How could they possibly even know, much less care about, 572 people. George is supposed to be a ruthless invitee-slasher, but he could not be more justified. No one needs to invite 572 people to their wedding. For her part, Annie is a total brat. She doesn't have much right to get upset when she isn't forking over any change. 

Some big shot over at the bun company got together with some big shot over at the wiener company and they decided to rip off the American public. We believe it. How else do you explain eight wieners and 12 buns in a package? But you probably would never get arrested for getting rid of the superfluous buns. 

Snow in Los Angeles. While the mountain ranges outside of LA regularly see powder (albeit slightly pathetic amounts of it), the last time snow actually fell in the area was 1962 (which means George's math was a little off). And thanks to climate change, well, the wedding day weather scenario was a lot more likely in the early 90's. 

Elementary school kids parking cars. Legally, we're not allowed to say that this is a good idea. So we'll just say that Matty seem surprisingly mature for his age.