On the third season premiere of Downton Abbey, Mary (Michelle Dockery) finally ties the knot with Matthew (Dan Stevens). Well, mostly. The producers opted not to show the couple’s wedding vows, which left many fans feeling unfulfilled, after the couple took so long to get together in the first place.
Executive producer Gareth Neame addressed the concerns in an email to Entertainment Weekly. “Funnily enough, we did consider how much of the wedding to show. But I figured that audiences have seen many hundreds of screen weddings and there isn’t much to show of that that’s new,” the email read. “The driving point of the episode was whether Mary and Matthew would hurdle over the final obstacle in their path to happiness in this opening episode of the new season. All that the audience needed to know was that Mary does, in the end, show up! And Julian Fellowes’ final little joke is in Mary’s last line. When Matthew says he was worried she wouldn’t show up, she replies that ‘I wouldn’t want to be predictable.’ Well, in a way, we didn’t want the predictable ending either (i.e. showing the whole wedding ceremony and vows and so on) and chose a hard ending the moment the audience could be sure that Mary and Matthew would finally tie the knot.”
So there you have it, the producers wanted to be narratively succinct and also shirk the expectations of a big TV wedding. I don’t disagree with that approach, given how economy of narrative seems to be a completely forgotten notion for many TV shows these days. That said, I wonder if a “wedding vows” scene was actually filmed or not. Should be interesting for the inevitable stateside DVD release once season three airs in full.
What do you think? Did you want to see more of Mary and Matthew’s wedding? Or were you satisfied with what we got?