Don’t Tell The Bride is probably one of the most stressful programmes on TV. In case you've never seen it, picture one groom trying to plan the perfect wedding - in three weeks, with absolutely no contact with the bride-to-be. We're not sure we could put ourselves through it...
On this week’s episode, Harry pulled off an Indian-themed extravanganza in Brighton without too many hiccups, complete with mechanical elephant and Bollywood flash mob – but what really went on behind the scenes? Blushing bride Rosa spoke exclusively to InStyle about her experience on the show…
What made you want to apply?
I’d never seen the show before, we don’t have a TV! I was at my friend’s house, we’d had a couple of glasses of wine and I thought Harry could do loads better then the groom on TV, so I applied there and then. Harry didn’t know anything about it until we got a phone call two weeks later.
Did you apply online?
I did the application online and sent in a few pictures. Then we did a phone interview, and had to send in a video. I thought there was no way we we’d get it, but we got the call 20 minutes later!
Fast! What next?
They asked to meet us at the BBC offices in Brighton, where we did some screen testing. After that, the series producer came to our house and interviewed me and my bridesmaids.
THEN did they confirm you’d got it?
They were really cagey for ages. We went to their offices again, and I said to Harry “I bet we’re signing the contract today”. He thought it would be another interview, but when we got there, they laid out the contract.
When did you start filming?
We went on holiday to Berlin the day after we signed the contract, then as soon as we got back we started filming, so four weeks from the contract to the wedding.
It had to be within three weeks. I’d seen people online saying what’s the point in going on the show if you always have a registry marriage at the end, but you have to. If you get married in a different venue, you have to post your notice to marry a month before, and I would have known where the wedding was.
Was that in the contract?
The contract said that any plans we originally had for our wedding had to be scrapped, we weren’t allowed to discuss anything before filming, we weren’t allowed to contact each other or use social media, and that if we breach anything we’d have to pay back the whole £12k, plus £3k a day production costs.
Do they transfer your money into the bank account?
It’s on their company card, so they don’t hand it over. Harry had to call up every time he wanted to spend money, and then they’d pay the money. We were only allowed to spend £1k on alcohol as well, for the hen and stag dos and the wedding.
What did you film first?
We had to re-enact how we met…They filmed me and Harry running into a toilet and added ‘sound effects’.
It’s all going to be on TV, we met when we had a shower together at Secret Garden Party… We had to re-enact our proposal on Brighton beach when it was really cold and windy in September.
And when did you film?
We started at the weekend, then I normally work 7am-3pm so they’d pick me up after that. I was going to bed at 1am, getting up at 6am, putting on make-up and an outfit to be ready to film after work was stressful.
Can you really not speak for three weeks?
They took away our phones as soon as we got split up, and were given a tiny Nokia pay-as-you-go phone with about £10 credit. We had to deactivate our Facebook accounts, and they do check. When you temporarily deactivate Facebook, it reactivates after seven days, and I got a call from the producer telling me to deactivate it again.
I think everyone watching wonders why you don’t just tell the groom what you want before you start filming?
Well, first of all you sign the contract. And second, you don’t have enough time. When you apply for these things, you never think you’re going to get on it, so from when you’re interviewed to when you sign the contract, you just don’t have time.
Surely Harry knew what you liked, though?
In the first interview, they get you to tell them all about your perfect wedding. They’ve got all that from the first interview, and you signed the contract…
Were you happy with the sari?
You normally see the dress the day before the wedding, but I got a child’s pink dressing gown from Asda. I cried when I saw the sari – an hour before I was being picked up for the wedding - because I didn’t know how to put it on!
Were you ever worried?
Yeah! I thought what the f*** have I done. I was more worried that I was stressing the guests out. I didn’t want it to be rubbish and for people to think it was Harry’s fault.
Is this how you pictured your wedding?
I’d always wanted to get married at The Pavilion, but Harry would never have known that because the wedding we planned was totally different. Also, I always wanted an Indian wedding when I was younger, but after the vintage styles weddings became fashionable my idea of a perfect wedding changed to that, so Harry would never have known about the Indian theme. It was perfect, the best day of my life.
What did the cameras not see?!
The carnage at the hen do…
Would you have changed anything?
To not have the camera crew there! But it’s no less special, it’s a once in a lifetime experience that not many people will have gone through before.
Are you scared to watch the episode?
Terrified! They might make me look crazy with the editing, but I was so chilled. Sometimes you just had to give a reaction to get the camera out of your face.
Would you recommend it to other brides?
I would, as long as you’re prepared for your wedding to be exactly how you wouldn’t expect it. I think your other half has got to be strong and determined, because otherwise the production company might influence them.
So when’s the honeymoon?!
We’re going to South America next year for six months. We’ll have been together for two and a half years in January, and I don’t feel like I’ve ever loved anyone properly before Harry. We haven’t had a plain sailing relationship by any means, but the fact that things have been hard and we’ve managed to get through them has just shown more than anything that we can get through anything.