- TV News -‘The Wedding Coach’ Host Jamie Lee On Wedding Drama, The Cha Cha Slide, & Her Bride Or Die Coveralls
Netflix's new reality series, The Wedding Coach, follows six different couples days before their wedding, all with their own wedding speed bumps that require an expert's interference. And by expert, I don't mean a wedding planner with years of experience deciding between votive candles and metallic charger plates. I mean comedian Jamie Lee, the host of The Wedding Coach, who wrote the book on the ridiculousness of wedding planning. (No, seriously, it's called Weddiculous, and it is an unfiltered handbook to getting married.)
With Lee's help, couples are able to spend the last 72-ish hours leading up to their wedding with peace of mind. Or, if peace is unattainable, a helping hand who is willing to get down and dirty setting up tables, decorations, and mediate family issues better than most FBI hostage negotiators I've seen on TV.
Read on to hear all about Lee's experience making the show (which filmed before the pandemic, FYI), why you should let your grandpa dance to Rihanna, and getting drunk at bachelorette parties. (And how to buy your own Bride or Die coveralls. You're welcome.)
The Dipp: First things first. Are you a fan of the wedding genre on TV?
Jamie Lee: Yes, 100%. I find them very calming. Especially Say Yes to the Dress, just looking at people in beautiful outfits feeling excited about their upcoming nuptials, there is something just very hopeful and simple about it all … I’ve always loved the wedding TV space as a type of television. I was feeling, though, like there was room to maybe breathe some fresh air and life into that genre, so I was really excited to be someone who has done that.
I love wedding shows, too. And it could be because I'm just a bad person, but I love watching hot messes completely implode in front of me. That's not really the case with The Wedding Coach. You make it way more fun and you’re the person I’d want to hang out with if I were pulling my hair out while planning a 300 person wedding just to appease the in-laws. You’re so positive and no one is ever complaining about how dry the chicken is…
Positivity was the least I could do. Even though there were so many different types of weddings and different sizes of weddings, everyone I was meeting with was so burnt out. So I think naturally I was put into a position where I wanted to make people feel better and let them know that you will get through this. Ultimately it is a really sweet, wonderful thing to marry someone you love. Hopefully, I can step in as someone who is objective and I can really call it like I see it because I don't actually have any biological DNA-sharing skin in the game.
On so many wedding shows it’s often like, “What drama can we add?” In The Wedding Coach, it’s actually “What drama can we remove from this?”
I think that when [I saw] an actual tough dynamic between family members, or between bridal party members, you are truly forced into a position of being like, "Do not let this escalate. Because if it does, it's going to get so, so ugly. And granted, there was one conversation in particular where it was dealing with a bride and her soon-to-be husband's sister, so her soon-to-be sister-in-law. And I could tell like, "Oh, this is an objectively really hard dynamic and I don't fully understand everything that is going on behind closed doors when I'm not here, but all I know is it's super icky and it's super hard."
The only thing that I'm actually able to contribute in this situation is to make sure that maybe they actually start talking versus acting like everything is fine because truly nothing good comes out of avoiding confrontation, even if it feels more comfortable in the moment.
You talk a lot about your own wedding on the show and how it inspired your book, Weddiculous: An Unfiltered Guide to Being a Bride. What was it about your wedding that you were like, “Oh… fuck this.”?
[Wedding planning] was really, really hard, really ugly at times. I definitely saw sides of people that I wasn't thinking I would ever have to see. I was seeing sides of myself I never thought I would have to see. They were definitely seeing sides of me that I was embarrassed that they saw.
All of it just made me rethink weddings and what they actually mean, what they're actually supposed to make you feel like. Am I doing this right? Am I doing it wrong? What I could I change if I did it again? It makes you inherently very introspective when you go through something like that.
What’s something you consider a wedding faux pas?
I think the biggest no-nos are things that really feel like you're not thinking about your guests. I don't mean spending thousands and thousands of dollars on candles for every table or whatever it is. I mean stuff like, if it's a summer wedding, are they going to be hot? Or did you think to maybe have it in a space that has decent air conditioning, or is there at least a shaded area they can go to, or are they going to be roasting in the sun?
It's just some foresight about like, "Well, if you were a guest at this wedding, would you feel good?" It's arrogant to think that your love is so beautiful that people are willing to be uncomfortable for you.
And then my other thing is that I think that it's very shortsighted to think that you have to play older music if you have older people at your wedding, I love to tell the anecdote of how my 98-year-old grandfather didn't start dancing at my cousin's wedding until Rihanna came on. He was sitting down for all of the other hits. The Earth, Wind & Fire, and all of that, he was sitting down because a lot of that music is, while it's excellent and it's classic, and it brings about a lot of nostalgia when people hear it, it doesn't actually makes you want to fucking party.
So, don't feel like you have to have a certain vibe. Just make sure people are having a good time and play music that you actually want to hear.
Where do you fall on like the Cha Cha Slide and other organized dances?
I think if you try to get those organized dances happening too early, people are not alcoholically lubed up enough to take the risk of looking like a dumbass. So I think for the sake of your guests, put that stuff a little later, once they've had time to get a little lit.
Speaking of alcoholically lubed up, the bachelorette party… Why did I want to be there so badly?
It was so fun. I was so drunk. Yeah, I was so fucking drunk. I don't really drink a lot, so whenever I get drunk, I always feel cool. I still have that high school kid, "Wow, I have a hangover. Whoa." I really felt so cool. I took so many tequila shots. It was a blast. I really loved that bride, Erin. She was so lovely, and funny, and sweet, and cool, and it was actually so fun hanging out with her. I was so happy to be able to do that for her.
OK last question. Where are the Bride Or Die coveralls now? Do you still have them?
Yes I do, thank you. I would like to shout out the company that makes the coveralls. It's this company based out of L.A. called Big Bud Press. They basically have those coveralls in every color you could ever want.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.