Episode 417--"our wedding"


Jill Gordon


Scott Winant

Air Date

4/9/91, 8/13/91

Guest Stars

Len Lesser as Mr. Sidel; Rita Zohar as Mrs. Sidel; Lois Smith as Marjorie Warren; John Rensenhouse as [?]; Corey Parker as Lee Owens


The marriage of Ellyn and Billy takes place in the Steadman home.


The house begins to fill with guests for the wedding just as Ellyn gets upset and locks herself in the bathroom.

Flashing back in time--Ellyn goes to dinner with Billy's relatives and they do nothing but speak in some unidentified foreign language. Once they break into English, it turns out the huge argument was actually about Sylvester Stallone losing the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1976. Billy chooses that moment to announce his engagement to Ellyn. Melissa gets fitted for a perfectly hideous bridesmaid's dress. At that point, Lee Owen walks in the door to see Michael, she jumps and sticks herself in the eye, and they awkwardly try to catch up.

Ellyn begins laying out the hints that they can't find a place to get married and finally blackmails Hope and Michael into using their house, which causes Michael to fall off the ladder he was working on. Ellyn begins discovering that Billy's family has lots of interesting rituals, such as doing the polka at weddings regardless of whether or not there's room or even appropriate music playing at the time. At the house, Melissa runs into Lee again as he's painting the sun room to get it ready for the wedding.

Ellyn visits with her mother and it becomes apparent that her father is in London and might not make the wedding. Her mother shares that she was very lonely in the marriage even before they divorced, but probably stayed in it for the sex (which caused Ellyn to jump and crack her head on something). Ellyn, Nancy, and Hope go to hear the jazz group that Ellyn is interested in. As a result, the women are late for the rehearsal and Billy is nervous. Melissa is helping Lee to paint and they are more comfortable with each other now.

Finally, the women show up and Mr. Sidel gives a beautiful toast that causes all the couples to look somewhat gratefully at each other. The next morning, Ellyn gets a telegram saying that her father won't be coming and then Billy tells her that the flower arrangements are tulips, not roses.

Flashing forward to the wedding: Everyone is still clustered around the bathroom, when Ellyn shows up outside and it is revealed that it is actually Melissa who is locked in the bathroom. Ellyn goes in to talk some sense into her friend and discovers that there's an enormous (I mean the size of New Jersey) lipstick blotch on her dress. Melissa confesses that she slept with Lee last night, that she really still loves him, and that he said he loves her too.

Ellyn becomes upset for some reason and Hope is dispatched to talk to her. Billy ends up outside, talking to Britty about why one should always have horses at a wedding. Michael attempts to talk to Ellyn and she finally reveals that her father isn't coming to the wedding and that she's afraid that he will walk out on her the way that all the other men in her life have. She asks Michael to walk the aisle and give her away and he says yes.

During the ceremony, Michael sees Gary watching and hears him say that Melissa will marry Lee and have a great kid. At the reception, Melissa catches the bouquet, but it slips through her hands and lands in Lee's lap. The episode closes with a long montage of scenes from dancing at the wedding.




  • Someone slapped a huge airplane jacket pin on Ethan for the wedding.
  • Someone else attacked Hope's hair with a crimping iron and then later they put that stupid knotted headband on Hope again.
  • The original bridesmaid's dress was truly horrible--pale orange if there is such a thing. The dressmaker tried to call it Santa Fe Dawn, but couldn't do it with a straight face.
  • Melissa got the wide black elastic headband that makes her hair look like Mt. Vesuvius.
  • However, Ellyn's wedding dress is just exquisite. Someone worked off some bad fashion karma by picking a really great dress with a lace front and a high collar with a veil.
  • Quotes

    "My butt looks like a VW. A big orange VW." --Melissa on the bridesmaid's dresses

    --"Hey Ellyn, if you wear white does that make you a hypocrite?" --Michael

    --"Not if it's off-white." --Ellyn

    "Well, I'm about to go downstairs and make the biggest mistake of my life, but the food's paid for." --Ellyn

    The passage read by the minister, from Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1955, reissued in October 1991 by Pantheon books; ISBN: 0679406832; available at bookstores or via www.amazon.com)

    "The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now." [The passage continues in the essay: "For relationships, too, must be like islands. One must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits-islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, continually visited and abandoned by the tides. One must accept the security of the winged life, of ebb and flow, of intermittency."]

    Thanks to Bob Fahey and Mollie Bermudez for tracking this info down!


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