The popular cable network TLC is often the first channel people think of when it comes to shows about weddings. Their smash hit “Say Yes to the Dress” has changed the entire experience of shopping for a bridal gown. However, that’s not the network’s first experience with the wedding industry.

According to U.S. News & World Report, the network also has broadcast the series “A Wedding Story” since 1996, and airs a wedding competition show called “Four Weddings” where brides compete to have the best wedding in order to win a lavish and exotic honeymoon with their new groom.

These are just a few examples of the types of TV shows that have inundated the airwaves, and the impact on the industry has been big.

Do Wedding Reality Shows Affect the Wedding Industry

Brides and grooms want what they see on TV, and that’s expensive. This means the cost of the average wedding in the U.S. has gone up considerably. While brides and grooms are spending more money on their dresses and unique venues, they’re compromising in other areas. For instance, according to the New York Times, photographers are finding that more brides are turning to amateurs who are familiar with high-end digital cameras to take pictures at their weddings. As more people want digital files rather than photo albums, photographers have found that profits are dwindling, and the competition is becoming fierce.

Brides and grooms expect their wedding vendors to be nothing short of miracle workers, and to pull off the same last-minute changes that they see on bridal shows. As months of wedding planning are edited down into a 30-minute or one-hour series, seemingly last-minute snafus are fixed in a matter of seconds on TV. Brides and grooms, not necessarily taking into account the magic of television, expect their vendors to do the same. This isn’t always possible, which can lead to disappointed, frustrated and sometimes angry brides.

These TV series have given brides the idea that they’re the star of the show that day, and many brides emulate the controlling, picky women that they see on shows such as “Bridezillas.” Wedding-themed shows broadcast brides as the princess for the day. She is planning the wedding of her dreams that she has been waiting for her entire life, and the TV bride appears entitled to have whatever she wants on that day. Her bridesmaids are her minions, and her mother is like her slave. Because of this, it’s becoming more and more common to see real-life brides behaving this way as they want to feel that same sense of glory that comes with being on a TV show.

Why Americans Obsess Over TV Weddings

Quite frankly, Americans are obsessed with TV weddings — whether they are fake or real. In 2011, literally billions of people around the world turned into the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, who then become the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. This wedding changed the trends of the time immediately, with many women opting for classic ballroom gowns with sleeves and elegant hairstyles complete with tiaras. While the experience of planning a wedding in the U.S. has changed drastically because of the popularity of bridal shows, many industry professionals aren’t necessarily complaining.

In a way, these shows have served as a promotion for the industry and have allowed them to expand their horizons to capture brides who may not have been interested in a lavish affair if not for these types of shows.