Is Netflix’s Mother of the Bride Based on a True Story?

With Mark Waters at the helm, ‘Mother of the Bride’ flies us to a destination wedding where the bride’s mother and the groom’s father unexpectedly turn out to be former lovers. The film introduces us to the titular mother, Lana (Brooke Shields), as she discovers that her daughter Emma is preparing to get married in a month. Despite the abrupt declaration, Lana is supportive of Emma and sets about planning for the joyous occasion to be the mother of all destination weddings. As they meet the groom’s family at a beachside resort, Lana is shocked to discover that the groom’s father, Will, is the man who broke her heart in college.

The Netflix romantic comedy follows the wedding events as Will and Lana come to terms with their painful past and feel a spark between them once again. At the same time, Lana is also courted by an attractive young doctor, introducing a love triangle and romantic tension. Lana’s extraordinary circumstances at her daughter’s wedding create a tingling sense of familiarity, encouraging a deeper look into the inspirations behind the movie.

Mother of the Bride: A Second Chance at Love

Despite its exotic setting and unlikely circumstances, Mark Waters manages to make the film and its characters resonate with the audience, bringing it closer to reality. The fictional story of ‘Mother of the Bride’ is written by Robin Bernheim, and is lauded by actress and producer Brooke Shields for adding to the films with women over 40 being in rom-coms. “This one is from the heart, It was a blast to write,” wrote Robin Bernheim on X. The movie may feel familiar to some because of its destination wedding themes and resonate with others for its tale of finding another chance at love. Furthermore, characters like that of Will are essayed in a way that fosters universal appeal.

Speaking on the subject, Waters explained his deliberate crafting and casting for Will. “I find that romantic comedies, they often go for men who aren’t liked by other men in the male leads.” He continued, “And since I am a man, I (want) somebody who is not only going to be beloved with women, but also men are going to see the movie and see, ‘Oh, I also like that guy. And that’s a guy that I could see being friends with.'” According to him, Benjamin Bratt and his disarming charm were perfect for the role.

Older viewers may have noticed that the movie’s title puts a new spin on ‘Father of the Bride.’ The 1991 comedy stars Steve Martin as the titular father whose daughter returns from Rome and announces abrupt plans to get married. The narrative weaves a hilarious tale that explores the flux of emotions felt by any father at the time of his daughter’s wedding. While it does not have a romantic arc focused on the parents, the premise of the film is mirrored by ‘Mother of the Bride’ in what one can assume to be a homage.

Like many films of its genre, ‘Mother of the Bride’ immerses us in its world and invites us to reflect on our own experiences of love, loss, and second chances. The movie serves as an escapist reminder that life is full of surprises, and sometimes, the most unexpected encounters can lead to the greatest discoveries. Whether it’s rekindling an old flame or embarking on a new adventure, the film touches upon emotionally fulfilling themes of love, connection, family, and the pursuit of happiness.

And while the scenario painted in ‘Mother of the Bride’ seems fantastical, something similar has taken place in real life. In Surat, India, an upcoming marriage was put on hold after the groom’s father and the bride’s mother went missing. The textile businessman from Katargam and the woman from Navsari had apparently been former lovers who had lived in the same neighborhood at a younger age.

The woman’s father had rejected his proposal to marry her, and they went their separate ways. Years later, the two met while arranging their children’s marriage and rekindled their romance as the wedding approached. However, unlike the situation in ‘Mother of the Bride,’ they were not single parents and were already married. Thus, knowing that society would not accept them, the two eloped.

They were able to spend seventeen days together before being found and brought back to their respective families. Despite the drama, other family members decided to carry on with the wedding while trying to persuade the eloping in-laws to forget about each other. However, the middle-aged loved birds eloped for a second time, and each of their families refused to search for them, allowing them to return of their own accord a month later.

‘Mother of the Bride’ captivates us with its blend of romance, comedy, and familial drama while also offering a glimpse into the enduring power of love. Through its fictional narrative and relatable characters, it inspires reflection on themes of second chances, forgiveness, and the unexpected twists of fate that shape our lives. While the scenario depicted in the movie may seem fantastical, real-life stories like the one in Surat, India, remind us that reality can indeed be stranger than fiction.

Read More: Netflix’s Mother of the Bride: Exploring All Filming Locations