10 Behind-The-Scenes Facts From The Father Of The Bride Movies

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The Father of the Bride movies are among the best wedding movies that came out during the 90s. They’re also among the funniest movies, overall, that were released during that time. The franchise features an endearing cast that includes comedians Steve Martin and Martin Short. They are also joined by Diane Keaton, who played Martin’s wife and Kimberly Williams-Paisley, who played Martin’s daughter and the titular “bride.”

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Today, the Father of the Bride movies, especially the first one, are seen as true rom-com classics. And there are plenty of behind-the-scenes tidbits from the franchise.

10 Steve Martin Signed On To Do The Movie Before A Script Was Written

Father of the Bride - Steve Martin

Anyone who has followed Martin’s career knows that he is a funnyman at heart. After all, we’re talking about an actor who once had a successful stint as a stand-up comedian. Since then, Martin has starred in several unforgettable films. These include the Father of the Bride movies, wherein he signed on to do the film even before a script was even finished.

For Nancy Meyers, who co-wrote the screenplay of the first movie, Martin coming onboard early on was a gift. According to IndieWire, Meyers remarked, “It’s a gift because you know you’re writing for Steve Martin, so you know you can be funny and you can be loose and you can do all these twists and turns in the scene.”

9 Disney Didn’t Want To Cast Diane Keaton In The Movie Because Her Previous Film Flopped

Father of the Bride - Diane Keaton Steve Martin

By all accounts, Keaton is one of the greatest actresses of our time, having won an Oscar for her performance in the 1978 film Annie Hall. But despite all her best performances on the big screen, Keaton recalled that “Disney didn’t want anything with me” around the time that they were casting for the first Father of the Bride movie. And this was all because her previous film, The Good Mother, had been a “big failure.”

While speaking with Film Scouts, Keaton revealed that Meyers and director Charles Shyer “had to beg to get me into Father of the Bride.”

8 When Kimberly Williams-Paisley First Auditioned, She Didn’t Get The Part

Williams-Paisley started out as a virtually unknown actress. Hence, she wasn’t at the top of the casting director’s mind when they were looking for the right woman to play Martin’s engaged daughter. And after the actress traveled to L.A. to audition, she was told that she didn’t get the part.

While talking to Nashville Arts though, Williams-Paisley revealed that she was asked to return for a screen test. Soon after, the actress booked the part. Reports also indicate that actress Phoebe Cates was the original choice for the role, but she was unavailable.

7 The Character Of Franck Was Modeled After A Famous Wedding Planner

Short’s character, a flamboyant wedding planner named Franck Eggelhoffer has always been one of the funniest and most unforgettable characters in the Father of the Bride movies. And it turns out that the character is based on wedding planner to the stars, Kevin Lee. His clients include Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Drew Barrymore, Lisa Vanderpump, Brad Pitt, and Kim Kardashian.

When asked about Short’s portrayal of him on the big screen, Lee told Bravo TV’s The Daily Dish, “He captured my character so well and I was overwhelmed. Officially, I am the Franck.”

6 The Cast Dealt With Long Shooting Days During The First Film

Father of the Bride - Dinner Table Scene

Production on any film can always be demanding, something that actors who also work behind the scenes are especially aware of. In the case of the first Father of the Bride movie, Williams-Paisley may not have been working behind the scenes, but her schedule was, nonetheless, grueling.

RELATED: 10 Groundbreaking Rom-Coms To Watch If You Love 500 Days Of Summer

While speaking with Nashville Arts about the movie, the actress explained, “It’s so hard to keep your energy up when you’ve got 16-hour days back to back to back.” Williams-Paisley also revealed that she became “really ill” during production.

5 The Bride’s Real Mother Was At The Wedding Reception

Father of the Bride - Wedding Reception - Real Mother

For Williams-Paisley, Father of the Bride was a particularly memorable movie. The film wasn’t just a big break for the actress. Rather, the first Father of the Bride movie was one in which she got to star with her very own mom, who had a minor role in the film.

In an article for ABC News, Williams Paisey revealed that her late mother “lives on as an extra in the reception scene, smiling and laughing for a few seconds in a glittery gold top next to my movie-mom, Diane Keaton.”

4 In The First Movie, Kimberly Williams-Paisley Struggled To Cry During The ‘Blender’ Scene

Father of the Bride - Steve Martin & Kimberly Williams-Paisley

In the first movie, Williams-Paisley’s character, Annie, gets emotional after her fiancé, Bryan, decides to gift her with a blender. For Annie, it seemed to imply that Bryan was expecting her to become a housewife, instead of a career woman blazing her own trail.

As it turns out though, Williams-Paisley struggled to film the scene because she couldn’t get herself to cry. In her article for ABC News, the actress recalled working on the scene, writing, “I’d cried many times in my life, not to mention recently, why couldn’t I do it now?”

3 Martin Short Decided To Soften Franck’s Accent For The Second Movie

Short’s character, Franck, may have been inspired by a real-life celebrity wedding planner. Nonetheless, the character somewhat differs from his real-life counterpart when it comes to his accent. And during the second Father of the Bride movie, Short decided to soften it a bit, essentially because the joke around the accent had already been done by that point.

RELATED: The 10 Most Iconic Rom-Com Outfits Of The 80s

While speaking with Charlie Rose, the actor explained, “It had kind of been successful, and you didn’t want to taint it with an appearance.” Despite the softened accent, Short’s portrayal of Franck was still a huge hit.

2 The Part 3 Short Started With An Email

Father of the Bride 3 Short Zoom

In her New York Times article, Meyers revealed that she realized that she “needed to go back to work” in the midst of the current situation and all the horrific and heartbreaking news that has become all too familiar today.

“That’s when I emailed Steve Martin and asked him if he had time to chat,” she wrote. “He wrote back, ‘I have nothing but time.’” From there, Meyers managed to quickly assemble the rest of the main cast together. In doing so, she also managed to add some new actors to the group, namely Robert De Niro, Florence Pugh, and Ben Platt.

1 It Took Everyone Several Days To Shoot Father Of The Bride 3

Scene from Father of the Bride 3 Zoom Call

For years, fans had been wanting to see a third Father of the Bride movie. In 2020, their wish was finally granted, although there was no actual full-length feature film released. Instead, Meyers got the cast back together to virtually film a short entitled Father of the Bride 3.

The work involved may not have been as intense of a production as Meyers’ most popular films, but it still took several days to put everything together. In the same NYT article mentioned above, she revealed that filming took four days.

NEXT: 10 Great Rom-Coms You Didn’t Know Were On Netflix


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