Stars of Canada’s first TV wedding still together after 28 years
If you’ve been to any weddings this summer, you’ve likely seen more than a few phones and cameras pulled out to capture the big moments.
That wasn’t the case 28 years ago – even handheld video cameras were a rarity back then – but that didn’t stop Trevor and Lynn Bright, who likely have one of the oldest wedding videos in the country.
On May 8, 1987, the two were married at the studio of CTV Kitchener, then known as CKCO – and the whole thing was broadcast live on television.
While weddings had been telecast in the United States, the Brights’ was the first to be done in Canada.
“How many people can say they got married on television? Not many,” Lynn Bright said in a recent interview.
“I always joke, I say that we started reality TV.”
Trevor was 26 at the time. Lynn was 21, and had recently crossed paths with CKCO broadcaster Betty Thompson.
Debbie Sue Elliott was a production assistant at the station at the time. She remembers Thompson rounding up an entire crew to put together the half-hour broadcast, which she co-hosted with Bill Inkol on her show 'Be My Guest'.
“Betty was the one who geared everybody up. She just started to say ‘We’re doing a live wedding,’” Elliott said.
In the weeks before the wedding, cameras followed Trevor and Lynn around as they picked out everything from their wedding cake to the dress Lynn would wear.
All of the items were provided to the Brights at no cost.
“The only thing we had to pay for was our marriage certificate, and that was $35 back in the day,” Lynn said.
Given those circumstances, Lynn picked the most expensive wedding dress in the shop – which was soon sold to a more permanent owner, who was watching the ceremony on TV.
Trevor remembers being “very, very nervous” in the lead-up to the big day – and the oddity of having a wedding being arranged by both a TV crew and a pastor.
“He wanted it to be natural, just like it would be in a church,” he remembers.
On wedding day, excitement was high among the wedding party and the broadcast crew – all of whom were in tuxedos.
The ceremony went off without a hitch until near the end, when Elliott realized everything was running ahead of schedule and some time would have to be filled.
“We had the bride and groom walk around the studio. They did about three laps … until we went into our commercial break,” she said.
While the Brights may joke about being the originators of reality television, they say they don’t actually watch much of it – and see one big difference between a televised wedding in 1987 and one in 2015.
“We were committed to it,” Lynn says.
“The ones now, I think they’re just trying to get on a TV show to make themselves become that much … more famous.”