Monday, February 20, 2012

Shauna Evans Shares Her Experience on Four Weddings

On February 17, 2012, TLC aired an episode of Four Weddings that featured four women with very different visions for their weddings. From traditional gowns to a daring dress and high-budget affairs to brides on a budget, this episode of Four Weddings is definitely one that all wedding fanatics should take the time to watch.

The show brought us Shauna, whose wedding featured men in kilts, Juli, whose wedding had a fall theme, Ashanti, a sweet, kind hearted person, and Tarisha, a wild child in a red wedding dress.

Less Than Reality caught up with Shauna Moroney Evans to learn what she has to say about her nuptials, her experience on Four Weddings, and her advice for anyone who wants to be on the show.

1. Do you think your wedding and the other girls’ weddings were accurately depicted on Four Weddings? Is there anything you wish the show featured but didn’t show, or anything they showed us that you wish they’d skipped?

There are so many things that were left out of all of our weddings, to be truthful. You know going into the edit that a lot will get cut since they have to take 5 or more hours of wedding down to about 7 minutes. Some things that were left out were for the best; for example, one bride (I won’t say who) was 1 ½ hours late to her ceremony. We were all very upset for her because we knew that it was out of her control, but our director made us comment on the fact that she was late a lot. For her sake, I was glad that this was left out of the show. She certainly didn’t want to have to relive that!

However, we all had really cool bits at our weddings that didn’t make it in. First of all, the show made a big fuss over Juli’s dessert room. However, Tarisha had a candy bar, I had a HUGE Viennese hour (my entire cocktail hour space was filled with desserts), and Ashanti hired a cupcake truck called The Cupcake Stop to give out cupcakes after her wedding. No one’s cocktail hour was focused on, other than Juli’s (and that was mostly to say that there wasn’t enough seating), and everyone knows that cocktail hour is where the best food is! (Honestly, who’s still all that hungry by the time the entrees come out?) I was glad that our Lovespoon favors were shown, but it wasn’t mentioned that Jon (my husband) brewed a special beer, a Chocolate Raspberry Stout, of which guests could take home bottles, and, due to the size of the Viennese hour, we boxed our wedding cake so guests could take that with them, as well.

Also, I was really upset that the show said our guests only had two choices for their entrée! We had four – there was fish (which was actually my favorite) and vegetarian lasagna as well as chicken and steak. The choice of entrées was one of the main reasons that we picked our venue. The fact that we had a drummer and a saxophone player to accompany our DJ was toned down, as well, even though Juli’s drummer was featured prominently in the Four Weddings episode.

Basically, since we knew that Juli had won, a chunk of the show was biased towards the better parts of her wedding. Don’t get me wrong – her wedding was awesome, and I pretty much knew that she was going to win, but the editing made the competition appear a little more one sided than it actually was.

There was one thing that I truly wish the audience could have seen - our wedding bands! They only showed us looking at Juli's, but we each admired everyone's. I really wanted them to show ours, because we had them custom made by a Celtic jeweler, R.E. Piland, based on a design that Jon drew. They have a shamrock and a dragon on them to stand for Ireland and Wales. They're gorgeous, and they're something unique that we're really excited about, yet they got left out entirely!

2. What were your favorite moments from your episode of Four Weddings? I loved hearing the other girls say that the men in kilts at your wedding were sexy, and laughed when one of the girls noted her concern about Tarisha’s upper body staying covered.

Despite a lot of things being left out, I was pretty happy with the way the episode looked in the end. I was really glad that none of the girls said anything too negative about anyone. I LOVED Tarisha saying that kilts are sexy and that “bagpipes would have been dope.” Her attempt at English and Welsh accents was also hilarious! Juli also had me laughing when she said she was “tired of hora-ing,” but it came out sounding like something completely different and not as decent! I giggled when there was footage of me noting all the “babymaking talk” during Ashanti’s ceremony. I also loved the footage of the crazy guy dancing with us at Juli’s wedding. That was actually her groom’s brother, who had just turned 21. He was nuts, a lot of over-the-top fun. And who wouldn’t love having your awesome Star Wars themed entrance into your wedding being the opening shot of the episode? That was fun.

3. Now that you’ve seen how the other girls scored each of the weddings, do you agree with the scores? Do you think Juli deserved to win?

At the first wedding we went to, our director told us that we should think of the scores as grades – a 7 would be like a 70, a C, an 8 like a B, a 9 like an A. I really took that to heart with my scores. It prevented me from giving anyone a 6, because that would mean that they had a failing wedding. The bride who’s wedding came first (the weddings were not shown in the order that they occurred) did not get that speech, so I don’t know if her ratings were lowered slightly because of that. So with that in mind, I thought the scores for my wedding were a little bit low. It was like getting two Cs and an F, and considering I ended up coming in second place, I thought that was strange. You could see, though, that for the most part, everyone’s overall scores were within the same range, so I think they were pretty accurate. As I said before, I sort of knew Juli would win. I came home from her wedding and raved about it to my mom. It was a lot of fun.

4. What was it like attending the weddings of three complete strangers? Were you uncomfortable at any point during the other girls’ weddings?

The four of us met briefly six days before we went to the first wedding. Even though we didn’t know each other well, we got along almost right away. I mean, we had something very major and very intimate in common with each other from the beginning. Within the span of a month and a half, we were going to be married, and sharing that formed a real bond between us. There wasn’t a lot of discomfort at the other weddings because a lot of what we did was dictated. We were told when to eat and where to go. It was weird the first time we did it, but we got used to it, and it meant that we didn’t really have time to think about how awkward it was not to know anyone. Also, everyone at all of the weddings knew exactly who we were, so they went out of their way to make us feel welcome, talk to us, dance with us. While you knew it was partially to make their friend’s wedding look the best, it never came off as fake. I think we’re all nice girls, we all have nice, genuine friends, and we all had a really good time wherever we went.

5. Did you get to spend time with the other girls aside from the time spent at the weddings? Did the show give you time to get to know them?

We were not allowed to see or speak to each other outside of the show while it was still going on. They don’t want you discussing any of the weddings or scores with each other. In fact, even when we were together waiting to go into a wedding or an interview, someone from the show had to be in the room with us to make sure we didn’t discuss our opinions. It wasn’t bad, though. That meant that we had to talk about things other than weddings, like jobs, friends, family. I think we had a pretty good sense of each other and got to know each other pretty well as things progressed. There certainly never seemed to be any unease or tension between us. One of the producers even commented that we got along really well.

6. It seems like being on Four Weddings could potentially cost you a lot of time and money. Did you have to provide your own transportation to each wedding? Were you responsible for all of the travel costs? Did you have to pay the per-person fee to have your three competitors at your wedding?

The monetary factors played into whether or not we would participate on the show. Obviously, with 175 or so people already coming to our wedding, my parents weren’t wild about the prospect of paying for three complete strangers to attend. As it turned out, the only thing I had to pay for was my initial trip to the bride meetings. After that, the show took care of everything. The paid for the other girls’ meals at all weddings, and they sent cars to take us to each wedding. Thank goodness! Wedding days averaged around 10 hours each. I’m not a big late night person, so driving back from a wedding that was an hour away at 2 in the morning would not have been fun!

7. Several months have passed between your wedding and the airing of Four Weddings. Have you stayed in touch with the girls on the show?

As soon as we finished shooting, we all exchanged phone numbers and full names so we could be Facebook friends. We’ve stayed in touch mostly through Facebook and text messaging. Tarisha did call me the morning after the show aired, as well, to discuss how ridiculous the editing was. We do want to get together again, but there’s a wide span in terms of where we live, so it’s been difficult. We do plan on at least meeting up in September to celebrate the anniversary of first meeting each other, as well as our collective wedding anniversaries. Hopefully we can find a way to see each other again before that, though!

8. Now that you’ve seen your wedding on TV, what advice would you give someone who wants to have her wedding featured on a television show?

I don’t really have any advice in terms of what you should do in your wedding. We didn’t make any changes to what we were planning just because of the show. The biggest piece of advice I could give then is that you have to know that major chunks of your wedding are going to be taken out for TV. No matter how awesome your wedding was; a show could make it look like a complete disaster, and you have to be prepared for their spin on things.

9. If someone were to ask you if they should apply to be on Four Weddings, what would you tell them? Why?

Personally, I would tell them to go for it. I had a fabulous time with the whole experience. Everyone that we worked with from TLC couldn’t have been nicer or more accommodating. I love getting dressed up and going to weddings, so obviously going to the different occasions was a blast for me. A lot of people I know couldn’t believe that we weren’t paid, but I know that TLC invested a lot of money in each of us – the cars, paying for us just to be at each wedding – and I was honored to get to see three other fabulous women start their married lives. We were lucky that all of the girls were very sweet and that we got along well, so we weren’t ever at each other’s throats or bored or anything like that. I guess you run the risk of meeting girls that you clash with when you apply. It was thrilling, though, to see ourselves on television. That was the first time we got to see any video footage from our wedding! I was really worried, when I got onto the show, that if I lost, my wedding would always be tainted by that a bit, but thankfully, by the time we taped the finale, I had been married for a month and a half, and I had that much time for the wonderfulness of my wedding, which really was the best day of my life, to sink in. It wasn’t ruined at all.

Want to know more about Shauna? Check out an article written about her and husband Jon's appearance on Four Weddings, and read her articles about American Idol here.

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