Shedding for the Wedding

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Shedding for the Wedding TV Poster Image
Reality series with mixed messages about weight loss.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series highlights the importance of living a fit and healthy lifestyle, but it also sends questionable messages about losing weight and the importance of outer beauty.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The trainers and nutritionist genuinely want to help couples lose weight before their wedding. The couples themselves appear committed to each other regardless of their weight.


Trainers yell to motivate contestants to work harder. Some competitors gag and/or collapse during workout sessions. Arguments occasionally break out between contestants.


Contestants briefly talk about sex and sexual acts, as well as about feeling insecure about their bodies when intimate. Weigh-ins require the men to be bare-chested and the women to wear spandex and sports bras.


Words like "s--t" and "f--k" are bleeped, with mouths blurred.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

References to drinking beer and other alcoholic beverages. One couple wants a beer pong table at their wedding. Some of the couples are cigarette smokers and must commit to quitting.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this series follows engaged couples who are participating in a weight-loss competition for a dream wedding. It sends positive messages about living a healthy lifestyle, but the extreme weight-loss workouts featured here -- and the lack of focus on inner beauty -- offer iffier take-aways about what it takes to lose weight and what’s really important in life. Expect some brief sexual discussions, as well as lots of bleeped language (with speakers' mouths blurred). References are made to cigarette smoking and drinking, but these acts aren't visible.

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What's the story?

Hosted by Sara Rue, SHEDDING FOR THE WEDDING follows engaged couples as they compete to lose weight and win a dream wedding. The overweight pairs go to Los Angeles and submit to a rigorous weight-loss and fitness program that requires them to endure grueling workouts with trainers Nicky Holender and Jennifer Cohen and commit to learning healthy lifestyle and eating habits with the help of celebrity nutritionist Ashley Koff. The couples also get the chance to consult with renowned wedding planner Brian Worley about their wedding plans and to compete in fitness challenges for designer wedding items. At the weekly weigh in, the two couples with the lowest combined weight loss face each other in an elimination challenge. Those who lose big get to continue in the competition in hopes of winning a fantasy wedding.

Is it any good?

Like most weight-loss competitions, this reality show highlights the importance of exercising and eating right in order to lose weight and be healthy. But the show’s motivational tactics -- like stuffing the couples into wedding dresses and tuxedos that are clearly too small for them -- are sometimes more humiliating than inspiring. Meanwhile, important information -- like understanding the difference between gaining muscle weight vs. losing fat and the benefits of losing weight slowly -- are exchanged for oversimplified presentations of weight-loss successes and failures.

Nonetheless, the series does offer some limited long-term advice about the importance of making a lifetime commitment to living a healthy lifestyle after the wedding is over. It also offers viewers a chance to see couples attempt to empower themselves to make positive changes in their lives. It’s not always comfortable to watch, but some folks may find themselves getting motivated to make better life choices, too.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about health and fitness. What's the best way to get fit for a specific event and/or occasion? What are some of the misconceptions about exercise and weight loss? Do TV shows like this one reinforce these misperceptions, or are they inspirational?

  • How does the media impact the way we feel about how we look? Are the images of actors and models that we see on TV, in films, and in magazines realistic? When we think about being fit and healthy, are these the kinds of images that we should turn to for inspiration?

  • How can we strike a balance between liking the way other people look in the media and being happy with who we are even if we don't look like them?

TV details

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