What is the Meaning of Shotgun Wedding Title?

Netflix’s ‘Shotgun Wedding’ tells the story of a turbulent wedding that changes the life of the bride and groom. Tom had planned the entire wedding rather meticulously in the hopes of making his bride-to-be Darcy happy. From the decoration to the playlists to the napkins, the groom has controlled the outcome on every front. But there are only so many things he can control. He realizes this when a group of gunmen barges into the resort where the wedding is to take place. Things go very wrong very fast, and Tom and Darcy find themselves reevaluating the meaning of their relationship. In all of this, if you are wondering where the title comes into play and what it means in the context of the film, then here’s what you should know about it. SPOILERS AHEAD

Shotgun Wedding Title Meaning, Explained

Image Credits: Ana Carballosa/Lionsgate

In general, the phrase “shotgun wedding” is used to describe a union that takes place under coercion. The girl’s father forces the groom to marry his daughter and guns enter the picture when the groom shows special reluctance to go through with the wedding. The reason behind such a strong insistence on the father’s part is attributed to something that could be the cause of embarrassment for him if the wedding doesn’t take place. Pregnancy before marriage is usually the context, but there are several other reasons that could lead to this rather violent turn of events.

In the context of the movie ‘Shotgun Wedding’, however, this context doesn’t stand. For starters, Tom and Darcy’s union is taking place because both of them want it. No coercion is necessary here. There is also no reason for the embarrassment caused by an unwanted pregnancy. Even if Darcy were to be pregnant with Tom’s child, the events in the film suggest that Tom wouldn’t need to be convinced to marry her for that simple reason. On top of that, the film takes place in the twenty-first century, so pregnancy before marriage wouldn’t be that big of a concern.

As opposed to the traditional definition of the term, the film also has Darcy’s father not wanting his daughter to go through with the wedding. He believes that Tom is not the right person for Darcy because his career in baseball is over and he is not financially well off to take care of his daughter. He is so intent on breaking off their wedding that he forces Darcy to invite her ex, Sean, to the wedding. Her father hopes that meeting Sean again might reignite their feelings for each other, leading Darcy to break up with Tom and get together with her ex-boyfriend, of whom her father approves.

Image Credits: Ana Carballosa/Lionsgate

Considering all this, it is clear that the filmmakers weren’t too concerned with staying in line with the definition of the term. Then why did they choose it as the title of the story? Because “shotgun” and “wedding” are probably the two best words to describe the premise of the film. The story is set during a wedding, preparing the audience to find the couple in a very trying situation, where they not only have to deal with the pressure of getting everything right for the most important day of their lives but also have to deal with complicated emotions and unaddressed issues between them.

Shotguns, on the other hand, are found in every other scene of the film, once the gunmen enter the plot. There is a lot of shooting and violence, and it ties in pretty well with the complexities of the wedding. It is due to this reason that the filmmakers decided to put both these words together, to let the audience know what to expect from the film.

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