Love & Hip Hop: The Wedding

As you all know Memorial Day is a time of remembrance and gratitude for those who lost their lives serving our country. It is also the day that VH1 upped the stakes by hosting not just a reality wedding, but a live one at that! That’s right, folks! Yandy Smith and Mendeecees Harris of Love & Hip Hop fame tied the know last night in a live two-hour special.

Nina Parker and Stevie J. are hosting the festivities for the live wedding extravaganza. The guest list runs the gamut from legitimate reality star powerhouses and music moguls (Kandi Burruss being both) to the cast of Mob Wives. Karen Gravano is mildly flirting with Big Tigger who is emceeing the cocktail hour before the ceremony. The venue is complete with a red carpet for Joseline Hernandez and Rasheeda Frost, a coiffed and made-up Yandy joins Nina in an oversize robe to share the exasperating dress debacle and wrong shoe size shenanigans that have been plaguing the bridesmaids for the past twenty-four hours. So much for Yandy getting some R&R the night before her big day!

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Downstairs, Tigger has caught up with Mendeecees who looks a tad bit nervous. Is he anxious about making it official in such a public manner or is he more worried that he’s heading back to jail? Regardless, he reveals that if he had his way, the wedding would have been a much smaller, very private affair. Just Yandy, him, and the prison chaplain. I kid, I kid. Y’all know I’m a bit sweet on Mendeecees! At least the groomsmen are excited, and best man Juelz Santana shows off Yandy’s blinged out band. Mendeecees picked out the ring himself, which was nice given that Yandy didn’t give him input into much else as far as planning the fete.

Stevie is schmoozing with his old friend Renee Graziano and they walk down memory lane having known each other for over sixteen years. Renee has known Yandy almost as long, and she’s thrilled to see her “god sister” walk down the aisle. In the dressing room, Yandy’s maid-of-honor/wedding planning is checking off the boxes with the Type A bride. Guests are arriving, the favors are ready, the table are set. Her remaining bridesmaids are primping and taking selfies in the background with the exception of one…where is Kimbella? Doesn’t she realize this is live? And don’t they realize that they aren’t really actors and actresses so the manufactured drama doesn’t play out well when they aren’t afforded additional takes! We’re treated to Yandy, her mother, and friends spending the day at Panina Torne, a name I’m quite familiar with given that my sad social life consists of a lot of Say Yes to the Dress on Friday nights. That said, after trying on several dresses that don’t quite make the mark, Yandy falls head over heels with a dress that all the big spending brides flock to at Kleinfelds. Not surprisingly, there is a second dress that Yandy loves just as much. How to decide, how to decide? Well, guys, that’s up to you! Those live-tweeting throughout this two hour special will vote on which dress Yandy should wear down the aisle.

Kandi joins the bridal party to revel in the craziness that a televised wedding can create. Forget prenups and family drama, the tailor was sewing Kandi’s bridesmaids into their dresses moments before the ceremony started. Kandi’s story is interrupted when Joseline Hernandez comes swooping in like some bird in a floral silk bathrobe that may or may not have had a run in with a shredder. I am so confused by the length and the sleeves, but not the cleavage–it’s par for the course for the Puerto Rican princess! Kandi gifts Yandy with some of her infamous sex toys, and Joseline goes a bit too into detail regarding how Stevie likes to use it on her. Um, again, this is live! Thankfully, a two second delay spares us from where Stevie really loves to put the lipstick shaped vibrator.

Ray J and Stevie J are waxing poetic about how much they’ve learned from being on this franchise, and how they need be respectful of their women. When Ray J speaks, I always tune out because his voice grates on my nerves. I did hear Stevie suggest a show starring the two of them called the Gentlemen’s Club. Ray wants to name it “The Js.” Please don’t, Mona. Please. We get to see footage of Yandy and Mendeecees heading to the jeweler to pick up their wedding bands. Collectively, they cost close to $45,000. Chump change. Mendeecees almost blows a gasket when he learns that Yandy is spending $90,000 on flowers for their wedding. Can’t she get fake ones? The rings can be pricey because they are an investment, but the flowers? They’ll be dead by the end of the night! Sadly, Mendeecees quickly learns that his role in this wedding is that of a mime.

Mendeecees introduces his adorable sons to Tigger. His middle son will be the ring bearer, and Little Mendeecees is sharing the best man duties with Juelz. In yet another pre-recorded scene, Yandy and Mendeecees are writing their vows, and Yandy is less than pumped to learn he’s using Google as a creativity aid. She presses him about her desire to have more children…slow down, Yandy! You JUST had a baby! Mendeecees wants to table that discussion given the uncertainly of his future. He knows he’s living on borrowed time and doesn’t think it’s fair to add another child into their family that he may not be around to raise. Yandy doesn’t care. If they focused solely on his pending incarceration, they wouldn’t have daughter Skylar or the upcoming wedding. Speaking of precious Skylar, Yandy is holding her precious baby while telling Nina that she doesn’t even allow herself to think about what could happen with Mendeecees sentence. That won’t end well!

At cocktail hour, Stevie is hanging with Marlo Hampton and Rasheeda who is spouting marriage advice to Yandy. It’s incredibly important to carve out quality time with your spouse and maintain the friendship. Above all, if you need a story line, it’s quite alright to run over your husband’s motorcycle and feign pretend anger at his secret bachelor pad, as long as things are peachy when the cameras aren’t rolling. Okay, so I may have ad libbed that last part. Caesar from Black Ink, Yung Joc and Kirk Frost pose with Stevie J and wax poetic about how hard it is to find balance in relationships. For comic relief, we’re treated to a sullen Mendeecees and a giddy Yandy shopping for tuxes. Unbeknownst to Yandy, Mendeecees has invited his mother to join them, which doesn’t sit well with Yandy given their recent beef. His mother arrives to stir the pot and confront Yandy about the wedding. Yandy’s blocked Mendeecees mom from her phone, but his mom extends an olive branch. Can’t we all just get along? I’m happy to see that these pre-recorded scenes are every bit as scripted as the show. I don’t do well with change.

K. Michelle arrives to present Yandy with her “something blue” and their conversation is every bit as forced and random as one would imagine. With Nina, Mendeecees mother plasters on a smile and robotically relays how beautiful Yandy will be as a bride. Kandi interjects that she doesn’t need to channel Mama Joyce’s scowl in all of the wedding photos, and Momma Dee lectures on the importance of the women in their sons’ lives respecting the queens who gave them birth. The parade of VH1 reality stars continues, and Tigger teases Karlie Redd about her past relationship with Joc. He gets so tickled, he almost forgets to remind viewers to vote on Yandy’s wedding dress. Kimbella has made it to the bride’s dressing room, and she is one piece of double sided tape away from a nip slip on live television. Not live? Yandy and her maid-of-honor/wedding planner shopping for the flowers and bickering over the lack of a venue. I, for one, am glad that VH1 recognized that two hours of live television would be a stretch. Mendeecees doesn’t seem to care about price when it’s the $45,000 watch Yandy has Juelz present him just minutes before the ceremony. He toasts with his guys, including Rich Dollaz and Peter Gunz. We’re less than thirty minutes from the ceremony, and everyone is taking their seats. Someone neglected to Ariane that it’s in poor taste to wear all white to a wedding that isn’t hers. Stevie and Ariane are playing nice despite the fact they’ve been warring for season’s over the well being of Mimi Faust. Go figure! Nina is trying to calm Mendeecees’ nerves who compares his wedding butterflies to the births of his children. In another pre-taped segment, Mendeecees explains why he pled guilty to the charges alleged against him. While he’s innocent (he says), he doesn’t want to risk even more jail time by going to trial and being found guilty. He feels the plea deal is the best scenario for his family. Yandy is disheartened by the blogs and her friends thinking she’s crazy for planning this extravagant affair, but Mendeecees believes they need the wonderful memories of their wedding day to get them through the next trying times.

Pre-ceremony, Nina questions Mendeecees’ mom about her feelings on her son’s impending incarceration. She advises her son on not flirting with anyone after he says I do. Good call. Stevie J interviews Mama Jones who reminds him that she is her own person. Regardless of the fallout between Yandy, Jim, and Chrissy, she considers Yandy to be her daughter and she wouldn’t miss her wedding for anything. Tigger is catching up with Rich and Moniece who are now so in love. I am trying to remember how his season ended, but all I can recall are the crazies he attracted. Yandy’s father plans to walk her down the aisle, and we are shown highlights of her first time seeing her dad since he had his leg amputated due to a blood clot. He is also meeting Skylar and promises his daughter he will be proudly escorting her to meet Mendeecees at the alter. In real time, he jokes he’s more than ready to give away Yandy, and he is absolutely beaming. As the wedding party begins their processional, Nina gives us a play-by-play like she’s an Olympic commentator. The crowd cheers for Mendeecees’ mom and gives a standing ovation for Yandy’s mother. Mona Scott-Young is the next to enter before the bridesmaids who each garner whistles and applause as K. Michelle performs a song which I’m not ashamed to say I’ll be purchasing on iTunes.

After a commercial break (how does that work for the wedding party? That’s a lot of standing!), Mendeecees’ adorable sons make their way down the aisle before Yandy’s entrance with her father. Which dress did the Twitterverse choose? Why it’s the second more blingy gown that hasn’t been a staple on TLC’s wedding shows. Truth be told, it’s the one I hoped she’d be wearing. Yandy and her father slowly make their way to Mendeecees who is grinning from ear to ear. Damn. I’m so cliche! I always cry at weddings! The minister leads the ceremony, joking that he loves that the first wedding Mendeecees has ever attended is his own. Exchanging vows, Mendeecees cites his nerves before espousing what are pretty typical wedding vows. No judgment, I like tradition. Yandy takes out her cheat sheet, and her sentiments are a bit more unique. And I’m teary again. Gahhhh! Mendeecees goes in for a premature kiss so the minister speeds up the ring exchange. While I had to wait through almost two hours of fluff, it was a very heartfelt ceremony, and I am a bit bummed that we aren’t privy to the entire reception. You know with that many VH1 reality stars, all that alcohol, and a bevy of glassware, there’s bound to be some major shenanigans!

TELL US – WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE YANDEECEES NUPTIALS? DID YOU TURN INTO A SAP LIKE ME?

[Photo Credit: VH1]

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