"The One with Ross' Wedding" is the fourth season finale of Friends, which aired on NBC on May 7, 1998. The plot revolves around Ross and the rest of the group flying to London for his wedding to Emily.
The episode was directed by Kevin S. Bright, with the first part being written by Michael Borkow and the second part by Shana Goldberg-Meehan and Scott Silveri (from a story by Jill Condon and Amy Toomin). Scenes for the episode were shot on location in London and in front of a British studio audience. For many broadcasts (and the DVD release) it's presented as a double-length episode, though sometimes it's aired as two separate parts.
Joey irritates Chandler during their voyage with his repeated cries of "London, baby!", and even while they're there - photographing everything all the time, as if 6 hours on an airplane with Monica wasn't bad enough. When Joey insists on buying and wearing an ostentatious Union Jack souvenir hat from a vendor (played by Richard Branson), Chandler refuses to spend the rest of the day with him. As a result, Chandler spends the rest of the day miserable in his hotel room while Joey has a great afternoon, even getting to meet Sarah, Duchess of York. He then makes up with Chandler, but gets really homesick after calling Phoebe and watching Cheers on TV.
Back home, Phoebe makes Rachel realize how much she still loves Ross, so she helps her make up her mind, by showing Rachel a photo of him and then smacking her on the head. Phoebe warns her it's too late to get Ross back - yet Rachel rushes to London as fast as she can, despite Phoebe's constant discouragement.
Emily show Ross and Monica her dream site for the wedding, but she is shocked to discover that the hall is already torn down, ahead of schedule. Ross hears Monica made her consider postponing and freaks out about their parents and transatlantic guests. Emily wants to call off the wedding altogether. Monica rushes into Chandler and Joey's room with Ross following, and explains to him how girls obsessively focus on their wedding. She comes up with a solution: a romantic make-over of the hall's ruins. The Geller siblings show Emily how they plan to design the hall ruins, and she is delighted.
Cast and Crew
Sarah Ferguson - Herself
Helen Baxendale - Emily Waltham
Richard Branson - The Vendor
Pamela Kosh - The Saleslady (DVD only)
Joe Fedio - Cute Airport Guy
Olivia Williams - Felicity, Emily's Bridesmaid
Mikkel Winther - Guy at Airport
Kevin S. Bright
- This section is (partially) copied from Wikipedia. There may be an updated version available.
During the summer hiatus of 1997 the producers were contacted by Channel 4, the British first-run broadcaster of Friends, with a proposal to film an episode in London. Producer Greg Malins is quoted as saying "We had to come up with a storyline that would cause all the Friends to go to London [...] and that ended up being Ross getting married, because they would all have to go to his wedding".
The episode featured numerous supporting roles from British actors. For her role as Andrea Waltham, Saunders "heard Joan Collins' voice in [her] head". Her Absolutely Fabulous co-star June Whitfield appeared in cameo as the housekeeper. Felicity, the bridesmaid who Joey entices, is played by Olivia Williams. Further cameos were made by Sarah Ferguson as herself, Richard Branson as the vendor who sells Joey a hat, Hugh Laurie as the man sitting next to Rachel on the plane, and Jane Carr as the ticket agent. Lisa Kudrow did not join the others in London as she was too heavily pregnant to fly. Elliott Gould inadvertently revealed that Rachel was to turn up at the wedding, upsetting Marta Kauffman.
Scenes not involving the main apartments were all filmed in London during the week beginning March 30, 1998. Location shooting was done mostly for scenes featuring Joey and Chandler; outside the London Marriott, Westminster Abbey, and the top of an open-top London bus as it crosses Tower Bridge (this scene was excised from the final cut but features in the opening titles of the next episode). Interiors, such as the restaurant, the Waltham's hallway and the hotel rooms, were all filmed on purpose-built sets at The Fountain Studios, Wembley. The reaction from the audience when Monica came out from under Chandler's bed covers meant the actors had to hold their position for 27 seconds. When filming ran late one evening, the production team ordered pizzas for the audience.
The episode was a coup for Channel 4, who erected crush barriers outside their building to hold back fans when the cast arrived for a press conference (though no fans actually turned up). The broadcaster also commissioned a behind-the-scenes program from Princess Productions. Hosted by British television personality Johnny Vaughan, The One Where Johnny Makes Friends features comedic tongue-in-cheek interviews with all six main cast (Vaughan contacted Kudrow by payphone, claiming that he couldn't make international calls from his dressing room) and was broadcast on Channel 4 on May 6, 1998.
Two brief behind-the-scenes featurettes were filmed, titled Friends Goes to London and Friends on Location in London, which were included on the DVD releases of seasons four and five. A tie-in book, Making Friends in the UK was published by Channel 4 Books in November 1998. Said book was bundled into a gift pack entitled "The One with the Whole London Wedding", which featured an extended cut of this episode merged with the next episode.
Ross and Emily's marriage was originally planned to last, but Helen Baxendale did not wish to remain in America while pregnant. The writers could not script a convincing story for why Emily would not be seen, despite being married to Ross, so Baxendale was written out in the next season, making only three cameo appearances after the season premiere.
- This section is (partially) copied from Wikipedia. There may be an updated version available.
Entertainment Weekly gives the episode an A rating, calling it a "near-perfect finale that finds everyone at the top of their game" with a "tantalizing cliff-hanger, and, in Chandler and Monica, a relationship that will have reverberations for seasons to come". The authors of Friends Like Us: The Unofficial Guide to Friends state there are "too many 'best moments' to list in detail", but single out Monica describing the perfect wedding to Ross, and Sarah Ferguson's cameo (though they call Branson's "embarrassing"). Following the broadcast of the episode in the UK, The Independent was critical, saying "Twice the length of a normal episode, last night's offering was approximately half as funny" and suggested the cast were behaving out of character.
David Schwimmer has expressed dissatisfaction that Ross was married again, saying it was "a mistake" and that Ross was not given "enough credit". He says that Ross' "taking on the world would just be shattered" following the character's first divorce and that he wouldn't have risked another divorce. David Crane has said that filming in front of a different audience "energized the actors and writers". The hall where the wedding ceremony took place would inspire the location for the wedding of David and Victoria Beckham. The events of this episode are revisited in the seventh season episode "The One With The Truth About London", where flashbacks reveal how Monica and Chandler ended up in bed together. The hotel room set was recreated for those scenes.
- This is one of the few two-part episodes. These episodes were originally aired in their entirety, but written to be aired separately in syndication. This is also the first season finale to have two parts.
- For this episode, and part 2 of the story, an exclusive title sequence would be used, featuring only one shot from the usual fountain intro and all the other footage from these two episodes.
- This episode and part two are partially filmed in front of a British audience.
- The hat salesman is played by Sir Richard Branson, the man who created the Virgin Group (Virgin Records, Virgin Atlantic Airways, etc.). If you look over Joey's shoulder when they are at the hat stand, there is a red baseball cap displaying the Virgin logo. Also the plane carrying Rachel to London belongs to Virgin Atlantic.
- The book that Phoebe asks Chandler to bring her, is the same book that Joey reads in the beginning of "The One With The Rumor" (S8E9).
- Lisa Kudrow was pregnant in real life during the filming of this episode, and was not able to travel to London. The writers had to find a way to keep her involved in the story while still in Monica's apartment. Lisa wears extra padding to create the illusion of having triplets.
- Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York was shown in this episode in a video recording with Joey, while the latter was showing Chandler his walk alone around London.
- The hotel where the Friends stay in this episode, the London Marriott, was the actual hotel that the cast and crew stayed in while filming.
- On the day this two-part episode aired (May 7, 1998), Lisa Kudrow gave birth to her son, Julian.
- This is the first episode to be filmed at three separate times: the apartment scenes were done first in L.A., followed by the outdoor London scenes a few weeks later. Finally, the scenes taking place indoors in London were filmed in front of a British studio audience.
- On the uncut DVD version of this episode, there are added scenes include a montage of Joey and Chandler on a double decker bus (with co-creator Marta Kauffman and writer Adam Chase sitting right behind them, the music playing in the background is "England Swings" by Roger Miller), and Monica getting fitted for her bridesmaid convincing Emily that they are going to find a place to get married. Part of the bus sequence is used in the closing credits to part one when the episode is shown in two parts.
- On the DVD there is also several extra dialogue:
- In the first scene after Monica runs into Chandler and Joey's apartment to tell them to hurry up, Joey notices condoms in Chandler's suitcase that is written in Spanish and Chandler tells him not to read his condoms.
- When Rachel forgets her passport she tries to bribe the flight attendant with her earrings, while the flight attendant tells her she doesn't barter.
- Before Joey comes into the room to show Chandler his video, Chandler kicks off his shoes, but says it's even boring in London.
- This episode features on the Friends - The One With All The Weddings DVD.
- At the part when Joey and Chandler leave the hotel, the music playing in the background is "London Calling" by The Clash.
- The opening sequence contains some pretty significant spoilers. For one thing, it shows Rachel leaving the apartment with suitcases, buying a ticket and showing up in London. The other one, perhaps the biggest spoiler, is a shot of Monica and Chandler in bed together.
- When Joey gives his speech, he quotes part of the theme tune to Cheers.
- When Joey says "I'm gonna go into the map," this is probably a Blue's Clues reference.
- In the very beginning of the scene where Phoebe and Rachel get the call from Joey, a crew member can be seen walking out of the shot on the left.
- When Phoebe is talking on the phone with Emily's mother and making a sandwich, she puts mayo on her sandwich. But at the end of the conversation there is no mayo on her sandwich.
- When Rachel and Phoebe are discussing if she loves Ross, Phoebe's necklace switches sides constantly between shots.
- When Ross, Emily, and Monica are going to see the church, Monica questions the food. After she claps her hands, the camera angle changes and her hands are down with no time to do so. Then Monica claps again.
- In the same scene, Ross shoves Monica and the strap of her handbag slips down and she pushes it up. The shot changes and Monica pushes the strap up again.
- When Rachel is telling Phoebe she's going to London, she comes out of her room with a sweater over her shoulders. It shows Phoebe and two seconds later it shows Rachel again, but the sweater is gone. Then she goes to the wall and grabs a jacket. It goes back and forth between Rachel having the sweater and not having it.
- During his best man speech at the rehearsal dinner, Joey says "I first met Ross in this coffee house back home...", but technically we learned in "The One With The Flashback" that Joey actually met Ross in the bar that eventually became the coffee shop, but was still a bar at the time.
- While at the airport Rachel shows her driver's license however in the episode The One With The Invitation it's shown that she didn't have a valid license and in season 7 episode The One With Chandler's Dad it shown that she still doesn't have a valid license. However, it's shown she validated sometime in season 8 or 9, as in The One With The Cake, Ross runs home saying "Rach forgot her license".
- In a cut scene of "Big Ben" a 109 bus goes past. This bus runs south of the river and does not pass the monument. In The One With The Truth About London, the route number has changed to 53.
- It's odd that Ross' son, Ben, wouldn't be in or at least at his father's wedding. He was in Carol and Susan's wedding in "The One With The Lesbian Wedding". It's possible he wasn't there because he could've been considered too young to travel by airplane.
- Even though Joey watches Cheers, Friends is in the same universe as Cheers and Frasier as Chandler appeared in Caroline in the City as did Dr. Niles Crane and Daphne Moon from Frasier.
- In reality you wouldn't be able to wander around a demolition site without a hard hat and hi-vis jacket. You certainly wouldn't be able to stage a wedding there either.
- In the scene where Rachel is looking at Ross's photo, the right strap on her dress changes position between shots.
- The One with Ross's Wedding: Part One at the Internet Movie Database
- The One with Ross's Wedding at Wikipedia
"The One With The Worst Best Man Ever"
|Series Four Episodes||Followed by |
"The One With Ross' Wedding, Part 2"
|<< Season 3||Season 4||Season 5 >>|
|#01||"The One With The Jellyfish"||#09||"The One Where They're Going To Party"||#17||"The One With The Free Porn"|
|#02||"The One With The Cat"||#10||"The One With The Girl From Poughkeepsie"||#18||"The One With Rachel's New Dress"|
|#03||"The One With The Cuffs"||#11||"The One With Phoebe's Uterus"||#19||"The One With All The Haste"|
|#04||"The One With The Ballroom Dancing"||#12||"The One With The Embryos||#20||"The One With All The Wedding Dresses"|
|#05||"The One With Joey's New Girlfriend"||#13||"The One With Rachel's Crush"||#21||"The One With The Invitation"|
|#06||"The One With The Dirty Girl"||#14||"The One With Joey's Dirty Day"||#22||"The One With The Worst Best Man Ever"|
|#07||"The One Where Chandler Crosses The Line"||#15||"The One With All The Rugby"||#23||"The One With Ross' Wedding, Part 1"|
|#08||"The One With Chandler In A Box"||#16||"The One With The Fake Party"||#24||"The One With Ross' Wedding, Part 2"|