Soapland’s seven steps to wedded bliss

Wedding bells are ringing for Janine in Friday's EastEnders - here's our guide to having your own soap-style ceremony


As Janine Butcher-Evans-Malloy heads down the aisle for the fourth time in Friday’s hour-long special of EastEnders, we mark the occasion by showing you how to celebrate your nuptials in true soap style… 


1. A stag night to remember 

Forget leaving the lucky groom lashed to a lamppost in a mankini. Instead, organise for a tram to crash into your chosen venue. Remember the look of surprise on Peter Barlow’s face? Or, if you’re having second thoughts about the choice of best man, do a Tony Gordon and hire a hitman to run him over. Problem solved.

2. Don’t get to the church on time 

Make sure your route is as tortuous as possible. If you can’t go the whole Rita Sullivan (getting kidnapped by a loan shark), then strand yourself in a field in the middle of nowhere like Ricky Butcher. He thought he was in France. He was really in Kent. An unconventional mode of transport is obligatory – police car, HGV, you decide. 
3. Ditch the wedding march

Who needs Mendelssohn and Bach when you can process down the aisle to power ballad Suddenly by Australian rocker Angry Anderson? Sounds unorthodox, but it put pep in the step of Scott and Charlene in Neighbours. Note to groom: we can’t all swan around like we’re Jason Donovan, so give the feathered mullet a miss.
4. Beware the “lawful impediment”

Because the answer is always “yes”, especially if Steve McDonald is anywhere near an altar. The ructions that follow – think Tracy Barlow at the business end of Karen’s stiletto heel – will make The Jeremy Kyle Show look like a meeting of the Mothers’ Union. Put it this way, it’ll be insults being thrown rather than confetti. The action kicks off around nine minutes in… 
5. Til Death Do Us Part 

Weddings can be deadly – just picture Stella Crawford with her mascara-streaked Alice Cooper face free-falling from a factory roof. Or Fred Elliott, whose special day came to a sudden end when he keeled over and smashed Audrey’s nest of tables. So enjoy every moment of your time together, it could be all too brief.  6. Enlist the local militia

No one who attended the union of Dynasty’s Amanda and Prince Michael of Moldavia will forget the occasion. The flesh wounds and bullet scars took care of that. So, if you have the resources to hand, why not get paramilitaries to stage a coup, abseil into the chapel and fill it with gunfire? For the full effect, make sure Joan Collins is on the front row in a Nolan Miller power suit. 
7. Don’t bother booking a honeymoon

You’ll only be wasting your hard-earned pennies. Ever since Emily Nugent ran out on Leonard Swindley in 1964, brides have been legging it in a blur of lace and tulle. Some do it before the service (Mandy Salter), others wait until they’re at the church (Kat Slater, Shelley Unwin, Chas Dingle), while Mel Healy chose to dump her husband on Millennium Eve just a few hours after she’d married him. Well, it was Ian Beale.


Watch Janine and Michael’s wedding on Friday at 7:30pm on BBC1.