There are a few reality TV weddings that will go down in history: Kim Kardahsian and Kris Humphries; Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag; Trista Rehn and Ryan Sutter. Together, these three weddings attracted an audience of about 30 million because people love weddings, especially weddings on reality TV shows where all the behind-the-scenes freak-outs and reception party blackouts are revealed for a full-course feast of wedding day content. So, why then, does Selling Sunset season 3 abandon the tried-and-true formula of indulging viewers an opulent wedding? For a show that spent nearly half a season dealing with Mary Fitzergerald’s gorgeous last-minute nuptials, it felt a little disappointing to only see less than 15 minutes of Christine Quinn and Christian Richard’s million-dollar extravaganza.
Quinn, who is one of the three recently, or soon-to-be, married real estate agents (and one of two female brokers) at The Oppenheim Group, feels the same way. “I was so upset,” she says over a Zoom call. “I skipped to my wedding [episode] and I was extremely disappointed in the lackluster interpretation of what my wedding was. I was sad and crying. I felt horrible.”
And while it is not surprising that Quinn would have something to say about the matter (she is never at a loss for words, which is why fans love her), it is a little surprising that the gothic, over-the-top event that has been teased on social media and in previews since earlier this year was totally side-lined in favor of roundabout discussions over Chrishell Stause’s divorce from Justin Hartley.
So, I asked what exactly we missed. And it’s a lot: “It was all one great moment, starting from when you walked in, the fucking gothic chariot with the guy in the top hat — I feel like it wasn’t really showcased and it was a cool moment. When you walked into the venue there was a wall that we customized with slits and people had Swarovski crystal gloves and when people walked by they would pop out with black Champagne. We had these custom LED panels that were all throughout the church, even on top of the ceiling, where we had projected thunderstorms, lightning, rain, and all this crazy shit. We had actual fireworks; we had confetti drop. I walked down the aisle to ‘Sweet but Psycho’ by Ava Max, the violin version. We had custom made chocolate gargoyles as table settings. Every water glass had black roses inside the ice cubes. We had caviar. The drinks were the Marilyn [Monroe] and the John F. Kennedy. We also had ice couches and ice sculptures. It was so fucking theatrical, so when I watch it I’m so disappointed because it isn’t my wedding.” (Quinn would also like to clarify that the swans honestly “weren’t drugged,” for whoever was concerned.)
Luckily, for the wedding-deprived, Quinn released a video from her intimate (less than 80 guests, though the venue was massive) gathering on People of her own footage. And if anyone is wondering, Richard, who appears briefly in season 3 again, was down for Quinn’s extremely specific vision, black wedding dress and all. “Christian is into whatever I am into, and he just trusts me,” she says. “That’s why my budget is love.”
Her disappointment with Selling Sunset producers isn't limited to the wedding footage, or lack thereof. Drama between Fitzgerald, Stause, and Amanza Smith takes up most of the first four episodes until the bombshell of Stause’s divorce takes centerstage. Seeing Fitzgerald and Smith relive their own divorces in emotional conversations with the devastated Stause is hard to witness, and it’s even weirder when the audience is abruptly placed in Quinn’s home as she’s putting finishing touches on her wedding. Yes, we see the juxtaposition of the two experiences, but shouldn’t we then be treated to a little bit of the happiness and opulence of a rich person’s wedding we’ll likely never get to attend IRL in between the very real vulnerable moments of a relationship ending? I want a reality show that can give me both, especially three seasons deep, when viewers like me are emotionally invested in all the stiletto-wearing and Botox-getting O Group businesswomen.
A highlight from the end of season 3, though, did manage to make it in the final cut: Karamo Brown’s surprise appearance as a potential buyer and friend of Quinn’s. The Queer Eye personality shows a new side of himself while viewing a tree-lined multi-million dollar home when he expresses his apprehension about the bedroom’s ceiling height because he’s 6’3” and likes to get a little freaky; he’s worried about hitting partner Ian Jordan’s head on the ceiling and knocking him out. “I was a little nervous that he was going to be a little shook [because of his Queer Eye image],” she says, “but he was like ‘I loved it, that was so great, and I’m glad I got to be seen a new light and be funny.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh, okay, good, because it is the opposite for me. I’m glad when I’m shown being nice!’” The scene also gave way for another idea: a Selling Sunset and Queer Eye collaboration. “I would love that,” she says. “What a great crossover!” (Netflix, are you listening?)
As a day one fan and skeptic of the show — you can be both! — I’m holding out for a redemptive season 4 which follows through on season-long drama (Did Davina Potratz sell the $75 million compound? Did Romaine Bonnet apologize for bringing women to his hotel room in Las Vegas? Will Jason Oppenheim ever apologize for giving Fitzgerald every listing?) and high-profile weddings will be when it returns…someday? Quinn isn’t sure when that would be — they’re all still not going into the office or filming — and doesn’t think they’ll be receiving equipment to self record like the Kardashians for Keeping Up with the Kardashians, or be able to fight over Zoom like Bravolebrities. So, viewers will have to be patient to hear about what’s next for the group of friends and frenemies. Although, I do have an idea for a fun twist. Since Fitzgerald got to bring in Smith, shouldn’t Quinn be able to call in reinforcements for season 4?
“One of my girlfriends, she’s my best friend. She’s Armenian and she is spicy,” she offers. “She’s funny, and she’s so great. She’s in real estate, and she’s like me, very no bullshit. She may be harder than me actually…”
As long as her friend isn’t planning her own Phantom of the Opera wedding, that should be just fine.