The joining of man and woman in the institution of Marriage is common to most cultures. The most wonderful part of marriage is the love and support the partners lend each other. However, weddings do not always lead to bliss, sometimes they run the other way.
In cultures that do not regularly practice arranged marriage, whom to marry is one of the most important decisions in a person's life. When the decision is the right one, the couple will support one another through a lifetime of happiness and trials. However, the heart is sometimes blind. This is the situation when Sgt Joe Friday comes across when he investigates the “wedding game” in “The Big Honeymoon” on Dragnet.
Marriage is such an important part of life that there is little wonder that a number of superstitions have grown up around the institution. The Origin Of Superstition explores three of them in our collection: “Something Old, Something New”, “Bad Luck For Losing A Wedding Ring”, and “Itchy Palms”.
Engagements can be nearly as stressful as being married. Just ask The Great Gildersleeve two weeks before his wedding to the Widow Ransom. Getting ready for married life means being ready for changes, and Gildy needs to get his affairs in order, not to mention planning a honeymoon. What does the Gildy think he and Leila will be doing with all that camping and fishing gear?
The honeymoon is supposed to be the big payoff for the stress of the wedding, and a harbinger of how life will be for the happy couple. Maybe it is for Peg and Chester on The Life of Riley. How many times can Riley get on the wrong train on the way to Niagara Falls?
It is a quiet time in Dodge City when Wedding Bells begin to ring, but somehow it is not a happy sound. In Gunsmoke, Matt Dillon returns from fishing to find that the stage has been robbed of $50,000, and Mr. Clark's fiancée! Matt has to find the money and the girl, but does the girl really want to be found? After all, she is a “Boughten Bride”.
Slate Shannon and Sailor Duvall never tied the knot on Bold Venture, but the "Noble Institution" is often on the minds of real life couple Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. In “Death At the Wedding” Slade and Sailor are throwing a soirée for their newlywed guests, only they are not really newlyweds, they are insurance swindlers and murderers, with a spice of blackmail for good measure.
Paladin becomes a reluctant matchmaker when an Armenian dancing girl runs off with a passing cowboy. The girl's father hires Paladin to bring the couple back for a wedding, but how to convince the reluctant groom on Have Gun, Will Travel's “Helen of Abjinian”.
“Until Death Do Us Part” is part of the marriage ceremony, probably most interesting part to the ghoulish host of The Inner Sanctum Mysteries. Joe and Nancy have only been married a few hours when they stop along the side of the road. A car pulls up to interrupt their necking by committing murder! Naturally, the killer realizes that he can now frame the honeymooners.
For romantic series, see: Curtain Time, Theater of Romance, Grand Marquee, Romance of Helen Trent, Romance, and Valentine's Day Collection. See also: It Pays to Be Married and The Upper Room (So You Want to Stay Married).