Pack your finest formal wear, call your wedding dress designer/planner/friend, because wedding bells are ringing!
So get your invitations out of the garden, and let’s go!
We’re not in Melbourne this week! Courtesy of Gamble, we’re treated to a rare sight – the Housewives Destination Wedding™! These tend to come around once every five seasons per Housewives franchise, and it’s good to see that Australia is taking the crazy on the road for some sun, surf and sand – because the Real Housewives are in Byron Bay!
Near the lighthouse, Gamble is filling in her fiancé, Rick, on what exactly he’s been paying for the last couple of months. Apparently, Alin – the dress designer turned party planner – is running Rick’s credit card up on $350 cutlery, chandeliers shipped from Sydney as well as the wedding dress that not even the bride has seen. Anyway, Gamble’s more worried about the fact that she hasn’t received any paperwork for a pre-nup from Rick. She wants to know that if they ever separate, that they won’t have to fight over any assets, such as her massive collection of strapless, beaded dresses.
We dash back to Melbourne quickly to catch up with Gina packing for Byron. It’s a small town on the beach in Northern New South Wales, so naturally Gina packs all of her most rhineston-iest, sequinned and fur-trimmed attire.
She’s has been asked to officiate the ceremony (alongside an actual celebrant, because she couldn’t be bothered to get a license), so she has to make sure she stands out next to the bride, possibly by blinding the wedding guests on the beach with an expertly placed diamante.
Anyway, back at the product placed The Byron at Byron Bay Resort, all the Housewives minus Janet, who’s coming later, arrive. Even Pettifleur is there, despite her reservations that Gamble was insincere about the invitation – because everything revolves around Pettifleur and her feelings.
Gina splits to head to the wedding rehearsal with Gamble and Rick, and despite warnings from Lydia and podiatrists around the world, decides to wear heels on the beach. But don’t worry because Gamble also decides to risk her ankles by wearing six-inch heels on very soft sand.
After the baby lambs struggle to take their first steps on the beach, it’s apparent that Alin – in his first ever wedding planning gig – is not a master of the contingency plan. Gina railroads him with quite sensible questions, none of which Alin seems to be able to give a solid answer; he is relying on positive thought – which is great, but also not what Gamble and Rick are paying for.
Through all this, the wind has kicked up and Rick’s son, Luke, using all his skills as a millennial checks a weather app to tell that there’s a massive storm brewing. Alin, of course, doesn’t have a plan B – so hope everyone’s packed a poncho and gumboots!
Back at the Byron at Byron Resort and Spa (a proud sponsor of the Real Hipflasks of Melbourne, exclusively on Foxtel), Gamble catches up with the rest of the gang for some drinks and to fill them in on the wedding day. After telling them the less than smooth rehearsal, Chyka – whose professional day job for the last three decades is to organise and run events – worries that there might be a problem with Alin, whose main skill is sewing beads on fabric, planning a significant event that requires so many things to work in sync with each other.
Gamble decides not to hear this, saying that she’s had it all up on her vision board – and storms were definitely not pinned on there. Jackie, who is a proponent of visualisation and positive thinking, gives Gamble a pat on the back – which gets her and Lydia amped up to hear a psychic reading on Gamble’s wedding.
Jackie, quite rightly, doesn’t want to perform like a dog on command, and politely declines, but Gamble and Lydia cannot let it go, what good is she anyway if she can’t appease them with a party trick? Lydia compares it to giving out free interior design advice, since she graduated from RMIT about thirty three seconds ago. Okay, Lydia, yep, everything’s about you, darl.
Gina, meanwhile, is planning to have a screening of Celebrity Apprentice – the only problem is, it will be the night before Gamble’s wedding. Chyka and Jackie wonder why she can’t just tape it, but Gina is adamant that she must watch it live in order to cross promote herself in every facet of her life other than the legal profession that was ostensibly her career before the Real Hotplates.
The next day, Gamble is hosting a breakfast for all her wedding guests, so that real humans can witness the entire breadth of how far plastic surgery has come for women. Gamble’s mum, Jennifer, is a cute old lady, and her sweetness is such a contrast to the bitter, twisted old Housewives. She also gives Rick her blessing to marry her daughter, so that’s lovely.
Jackie is still full steam ahead on the baby train, though, and quizzes ladies on what it’s like to have a baby. This devolves into horror stories about how much babies poop, pee and throw up and Jackie is disgusted. All the mothers of the group talk about the gross shit that babies do because they’re not in control of their own bodies and Jackie’s about to heave into the ice bucket – just another episode on the Real Facial Expressions of Jackie Gillies.
Gamble and Rick meet with the celebrant, Steve, who gives them the rundown of his role, and frankly it looks like he should be planning the wedding. Steve, mercifully, has a wireless microphone and a loudspeaker so they don’t have to yell on the beach, and generally has his shit together. Thankfully, someone in the wedding does.
That night, the wedding party heads to the Beach Hotel for the last night before the ceremony. As soon as they’re in, the weather turns bad, and not even just rainy – full on storms. It doesn’t bode well for the wedding!
Janet, as head of the coven, arrives with the thunder and lightning. Apparently, Brian is hot on her tail – figuratively and literally – coming up to Byron Bay, possibly for reconciliation. Everyone in the group wants her to give the old dog a chance, but Janet is still playing coy in a geriatric version of Ross and Rachel.
Pettifleur and Lydia also sit down to hash out their differences since Lydia told Pettifleur that no one in the group likes her. Which was true, but still mean to say. Lydia apologises, seemingly genuinely, for upsetting her and Pettifleur seems to accept it without reservation. So I guess they’re friends now? I don’t know. They’re both kind of boring together. Their report card should read: “Too pretentious. Must not sit together next term.”
Lydia shares that her husband was seriously ill last year (something that kept her from appearing on much of Season 2), with a blood infection that required surgery to replace a valve in his heart. It explains why Lydia hasn’t been fully invested in a lot of friendships, but let’s face it: she’s still a bit of a snob when it comes to friends.
Speaking of, Jackie rolls up to discuss why she and Lydia went at each other at Gamble’s invitation luncheon. Pettifleur tries to interject with her two cents, but Jackie doesn’t want her butting in. She, pretty rudely, cuts off Pettifleur who now has another reason to be outraged(!!!). Anyway, Jackie is worried that because Lydia gossiped to her so much, it wouldn’t be such a stretch that she could turn on her. She justs wants Lydia to own her behaviour and address any rumours either at the source or face-to-face with the subject of any gossip.
Over at another table, an Italian stallion, Marcello, is hitting on Susie, buying her a drink and chatting her up next to Chyka and Janet. The Muriel Heslop of the Housewives is all giggly and girly, and let’s all pray to god that she wasn’t Googling wedding venues under the table.
The weather really starts to smash down and Gina decides that it’s time to ditch this scene and head back to the hotel to definitely NOT watch Celebrity Apprentice. She gives Gamble a story about celebrating her son’s birthday, which is technically not a lie (there’s that legal training!) and hustles it back to the Byron at Byron Resort (10% off for all reality show stars!)
Gamble is kind of pissed off now, and Lydia and Jackie try to comfort her – but the damage has clearly been done for Jackie, she thinks that if Gina has ditched the party to go watch herself on TV then that’s a sad indictment on her friendship with Gamble.
The next morning, Gamble is wandering around the hotel with Alin to inspect the final touches for the wedding and reception. Heath, the assistant manager, is pulling everything together from Alin’s drawings on the back of a napkin – but Alin is not a happy camper, those napkin drawings must be followed verbatim – to hell with simple logic! Put all the chandeliers on the table, who needs to have space to eat and see the guests opposite!
Upstairs in the rooms, Jackie heads over to Janet’s with champagne to debrief about Gamble being so upset after Gina had left last night. Janet, investigative reporter that she is, saw a group of people with Gina having a bit of a party – some of whom confirmed that they’d been watching Celebrity Apprentice. They both agree that telling Gamble would upset her too much, especially on her wedding day, so they agree to hold on to that little tidbit for later.
Gamble and Rick sit down with Gina and the celebrant to run through the paperwork. Like any good friend, Gamble asks Gina quickly about Celebrity Apprentice, but the response she gets is insane. Gina goes on to list all the positive social media feedback she received, and how her appearance lifted the ratings so much and it’s all a bit self-centred. Gamble, Rick and the celebrant are left a bit stunned by how focussed she is on it; this is Gina’s world we’re all just living in it.
As much as she’d love to sit around the watercooler and chat about Celebrity Apprentice, Gamble is actually getting married – so Alin runs up to her room with her dress. After three months of hard work, and presumably thousands of FlyBuys points earned on the credit card charges, the dress is revealed. To be fair to Alin, it looks very detailed and intricate – but still not an excuse to let everything else in the wedding turn to shit.
As flustered as Gamble is, Rick and his son, Luke, are pretty calm about the wedding, reminiscing over how Gamble brought their family together after the death of Luke’s mother. Oh, Rick. You’re too sweet for this world.
It’s wedding time, peoples! The guests arrive; obviously all the women leave their heels on to walk in the sand because that’s sensible. Gina points out that the storm clouds are starting to reform just as Pettifleur sits down, but they part, and the sun shines down, in a little bit of TV magic as Gamble arrives.
It actually looks like a beautiful little moment, thank god a bunch of cameras were there to poke their lenses into it and capture it.
All the Housewives are tearing up, and Gina reads her bit and then celebrant does the blessings, and then the weddings done. The weather held out and the new Mr and Mrs Wolfe get to walk back up the beach into their happily ever after…until next week.
Next time, it’s the reception! The storm clouds roll back in, Lydia drunkenly shouts a toast and Gina is backed into a corner about Celebrity Apprentice viewing-gate! What will happen? Join us next time on the Real Housewives Presented by The Byron at Byron Bay Resort!