Has there been a same-sex wedding on television with as much anticipation as Mitch and Cam’s nuptials on “Modern Family”? The drum has been beating louder and louder over the last couple of years for the frequently squabbling-but-lovable couple to finally tie the knot — in fact, the ACLU even started a petition in May 2013 insisting that the longtime pair make it official.
“The freedom to marry is spreading. So it’s time for America’s biggest, red-beard-iest prime-time couple to get hitched in front of millions of American viewers,” the organization wrote at the time. (“Love this! Thank you ACLU! Maybe once Prop 8 is overturned!” tweeted Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who plays Mitch. Two months later, the Supreme Court struck down Prop 8.)
Perhaps feeling the pressure, “Modern Family” writers had Mitch and Cam get engaged during the Season 5 premiere last fall — in a wacky way, of course. And on Wednesday night in the season finale, they finally said “I do.”
Naturally, it took awhile to get there. At first, so many things went wrong with the wedding that Cam started to worry that it was all a sign they shouldn’t get married at all. All the disasters resembled Biblical plagues: A fire (at the original outdoor wedding venue near the woods); a dark sky (from the fire); a flood (their officiant Sal’s water breaking); a swarm of Lucases (the family who stormed the second venue); and four hoarse men (their pals who sang too many Broadway show tunes on a road trip). “It’s kind of apocalyptic-y,” Cam fretted.
By the way, can we get a guest star Emmy nomination for Nathan Lane? He was hilarious as their frazzled friend and wedding planner: “I can see you want to run again, don’t you? Follow your heart! On your mark, get set, live, baby!” he pleaded with the runaway bride who changed her mind and returned to take over Mitch and Cam’s second venue option.
Anyway, by the end of the half hour, after switching ceremony locations four times, they finally settled on the perfect spot: the golf course at Jay’s country club. It was a sweet ending, as Jay, Mitch’s dad, had made some unfortunate comments in the last episode that he was worried about what his golfing buddies would think of his son marrying another man. Like a good sitcom ending, Jay realized the error of his ways and called in a few favors for Mitch and Cam to have a beautiful wedding on the golf course. As Mitch got ready to walk down the aisle alone, Jay held out his arm to his son: “Actually, I thought you and I would take a little walk.”
And no, for those wondering, Ann Romney did not show up to officiate — Phil did the honors when Sal went into labor. (Remember the story that went viral in 2012 when Mitt Romney’s wife said “Modern Family” was her favorite show, and creator Steve Levitan offered her a role as officiant at the Cam/Mitch wedding once gay marriage was legal?) “I am proud to pronounce you spouses for life,” Phil said proudly at the altar. “You may now kiss your husband.”
At a recent Television Academy event in Los Angeles celebrating the milestone, Eric Stonestreet (who plays Cam) told fans, “We hope [the wedding] creates a conversation with viewers and also their families and friends to see that Mitch and Cam are just like everyone else.”
“The show has never been political,” co-creator Christopher Lloyd added, according to the Hollywood Reporter. “But our hope is that people who are a tiny bit squeamish about a gay wedding might find themselves getting caught up in the show, thinking, ‘That, in a strange way, invokes emotions in me that I wasn’t expecting.’”