From Kim and Kris to Vanessa and Nick, the couples who made it—and the ones who weren’t so lucky
Diana Spencer and Prince Charles
Though the 1981 wedding of Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles didn’t exactly begin as a made-for-TV affair, it was watched by an estimated audience of 750 million, the biggest live event in television history. And the cameras never left, which heavily contributed to the couple’s divorce 16 years later. But Charles and Diana passed along the TV ratings gene to their son Prince William. His 2011 wedding to Kate Middleton was watched by 18.6 million U.S. households—which eclipsed Mum and Dad’s American audience.
Khloé Kardashian and Lamar Odom
After dating for only a month, Khloé Kardashian wed Los Angeles Lakers forward Lamar Odom before 250 friends and family in a ceremony filmed for Keeping Up With the Kardashians. The couple soon had their own reality TV show, but when it came time for her older sister to fast-break down the aisle with an NBA player, Khloé was supportive but not optimistic. On the Today show, Kathie Lee Gifford claimed that Khloé whispered to her at Kim’s wedding, “I give it six f–king months.” Which, in retrospect, was optimistic.
Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries
They said it wouldn’t last—and they were right. After 72 days, Kim Kardashian’s fairy-tale marriage to Kris Humphries did not have a happy ending. Those who tuned in to E’s two-part four-hour special—which the network re-aired this week to capitalize on the divorce announcement —got a glimpse of trouble even before the couple walked down the aisle. “I have been planning my wedding since I was 10 years old!” Kim shouted at Kris. His charming response? “And you could just slot any guy into it!” Which is apparently true, as a source close to the Keeping Up With the Kardashians production told Radar Online, “It was pretty much an arranged marriage right from the start. Kim was looking for a husband, and Kris was selected for her, amongst others. She wasn’t really into him, but she hoped she would be able to develop some feelings. But it never happened.” So he was canceled.
Vanessa Minnillo and Nick Lachey
For three seasons on MTV, Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson shared their lives as newlyweds. Nine months after the final season, however, the couple filed for divorce. But that experience didn’t stop Lachey from letting TV cameras in on his second marriage. In July 2011, Lachey traded MTV for TLC and wed his longtime girlfriend, Vanessa Minnillo, in a two-hour special filmed in the British Virgin Islands. “Having done reality TV in the past, I didn’t necessarily want to jump right back into it without having thought it through to great length, and we did,” Lachey said at the time. “Vanessa and my wedding is for us, for the people in our lives who are close to us and mean a lot to us,” he said. “That’s the way we wanted it, and I’m happy we’re able to do it that way.”
Trista Rehn and Ryan Sutter
In 15 seasons of The Bachelor, not one man has gone on to marry the woman he selected in the final. (Though season 13’s Jason Mesnick did wed runner-up Molly Malaney in a TV ceremony.) But on the very first season of The Bachelorette, Trista Rehn, the runner-up on season one of The Bachelor, fell for Colorado firefighter Ryan Sutter and married him on an ABC special watched by an astonishing 26 million in December 2003. Though Trista eventually became the first contestant voted off the very first season of Dancing With the Stars, her marriage to Ryan had a better fate—they are still together and have two children.