The Big Bang Theory is in its 11th season, and Amy and Sheldon are finally getting married. Years of Amy working to inch her way into his heart slowly have finally paid off. As a result, they are now planning their wedding. I am not going to critique the episodes but rather look at how Sheldon and Amy went about planning their wedding through the episodes that show elements of it in the series. I will also be looking at the scientific theories they used behind it (as they so famously do) to make their wedding planning decisions. I will delve deep and advise which ones would have been a more optimal choice (or just better practical advice). Now let us take a look at a big bang wedding preparations!
The Big Bang Theory & Wedding Planning
Amy & Sheldon Plan Their Wedding – Big Bang Wedding
- The Confidence Erosion
- The Matrimonial Metric
- The Athenaeum Allocation – To Be Reviewed
- The Reclusive Potential – To Be Reviewed
Big Bang Episode: Season 12 Episode 10 – The Matrimonial Metric
The Big Bang Theory episode in question entitled “The Matrimonial Metric” is the one we will be talking about today. Just to let you know that this episode aired in the US the the 4th of January 2018 but only just aired in Australia. This blog also contains spoilers for the episode and if you have not seen the episode feel free to watch it first then come back here.
Amy is having trouble deciding who to have as her maid of honour. She considers Penny her best friend but Amy was Bernadette’s maid of honour. As a result, they discuss that they are having trouble deciding who does what at their wedding including best man and maid of honour. To put it simply as Amy and Sheldon said:
Sheldon: What if we take emotion out of the process and base it on empirical metrics? Then we aren’t making the decision. The data is.
Amy: So we can hurt our friends’ feelings without taking any responsibility? Me likey.
Without getting super technical, empirical metrics (also known as Trust Metrics) is literally about examining / observing peoples mental / emotional abilities and skills. This is normally achieved by using surveys and games which are 2 popular options.
I will use the episode to give an example. The couple devised tasks with relevant skills that they perceived relevant to their wedding task requirements. They then had their friends unknowingly complete this task. They were measured on values such as time taken to complete the task, reasoning skills and so on. As a result, the data is imported and added upon their whiteboard. Hence when everyone confronted them in the apartment, Leonard was annoyed he ranked so low (as pictured below).
It’s Not What You Did But How You Did It
I think that this method works and all couples use this method whether they realise it or not. You see the reason why people are in your bridal party are that they have been a part of your life and you know them (generally speaking quite well). You know their strengths and weaknesses, where they excel and fall. Similar to our planning with your man or planning with your partner blogs/vlogs it’s all about understanding them/ knowing how to communicate, assign tasks and getting the best out of them. All Amy and Sheldon had to do were sit down and through the years of knowing their friends work out who is good at what. This way they would have achieved the same result but not have the backlash they experienced.
Making It Practically Better
Let’s be honest this is The Big Bang Theory, and they all love challenges and doing fun experiments. Amy and Sheldon could have still devised the task and assigned duties accordingly. While it was for the pursuit of their best man/maid of honour all their friends wanted to be involved. In the end, everyone came to their senses, and Sheldon and Amy made a choice based on emotion.
That being said Penny (if you look at the whiteboard) scored quite high and is Amy’s best friend so it would work out best for those two. Leonard, on the other hand, scored quite low and Sheldon (from my predictions) will go “full Sheldon”, and Leonard will be stumped on how to handle certain aspects.
The only thing I fully disagree with is that Amy made Penny tell Bernadette that Penny was to be the Maid Of Honour. It is a pretty crummy thing to do to someone, and Amy should have done this herself. I have seen this when friendships have been broken/strained by others dodging responsibilities when it comes to weddings.
All in all both Amy and Sheldon did it the best way they knew how and the method they used was effective. However, their application of empirical metrics was flawed to their abrasive application of it. Can’t wait to see what happens next.
Big Bang Episode: Season 11 Episode 10 – The Confidence Erosion
The Big Bang Theory episode in question entitled “The Confidence Erosion” is the one we will be talking about today. Just to let you know that this episode aired in the US in December 2017 but only just aired in Australia. This blog also contains spoilers for the episode and if you have not seen the episode feel free to watch it first then come back here.
When the show started to play it was Amy and Sheldon dividing their ‘wedding tasks’ ever so calm and blissfully. When that happened, I immediately paused the show and said to Dimitri “They are going to get into a massive argument and they will probably entertain the idea of a civil ceremony or elopement”. I then pressed play and watched the rest of the show. To my surprise, this exactly happened but not because “TV is predictable” but from years of working on many weddings.
The Calm Before The Storm – Decision Theory
Amy and Sheldon are shown planning their wedding. Sheldon mentioned in a prior scene that for their wedding they would use Decision Theory. While Decision Theory is literally about making decisions, is it the best decision-making tool for planning a wedding? Decision Theory is defined as:
The mathematical study of strategies for optimal decision-making between options involving different risks or expectations of gain or loss depending on the outcome
The way that Sheldon and Amy use this theory is to put all the tasks on their computer. They would then randomly assign a task to each of them. The problem with Decision Theory for weddings is that a wedding is a collaborative effort. It is not like a job where you assign a task to an employee with pre-defined expectations. If a bride and groom did do this approach then as shown they will technically get the ‘job’ done but with their own style. This would literally fragment the wedding style and not compliment them. A wedding is about both the bride and the groom and by having separate individualised styles, they will not match.
As you can see from the clip above that while it started off fun and exciting it quickly turned into an all-out war. While there is no wrong or right in their personal styles this theory amplified any and all issues because it was based on the individual without needing to consult the other, Amy and Sheldon felt they were entitled to their choices based on decision theory. They shortly realised that the other’s ideas would interfere with their own. In fact, Amy said it best when she said to Sheldon referring to her American Pioneer styling and his Star Trek theme:
Do you think that might be jarring going from wholesome pioneers to space nazis – Amy Farrah Fowler (The Big Bang Theory)
A Better Scientific Way – The Nash Equilibrium
This becomes exceedingly popular and brought into the mainstream by the movie A Beautiful Mind. In one famous scene, Professor John Nash was in a bar and all the men wanted to hit on ‘the blonde’. He explained that they should instead all go for the brunettes (friends of the blonde), so all the men ‘get laid’ and everyone gets what they want. Wedding planning is about compromise and while it is popular to say ‘its the brides day’ the fact is that it’s about both the bride and groom. Check out the clip below showing the theory in full swing.
When planning a wedding, compromise is the key. You can have entirely conflicting styles, BUT if Amy and Sheldon work together to incorporate their differences in taste then they both get what they want. While they do not get exactly what they want 100% (EG the Blonde), they both compromise and still get the desired outcome without one taking over or making one left out.
A Better Way In Action – Real Life Case Study
A few years ago we had the pleasure of styling Rachel & Peters wedding. Rachel loved rustic, but Peter loved Star Trek. Interestingly enough Amy wanted a more Victorian era feel, and Sheldon wanted to incorporate Star Wars. The difference is that while Rachel did not like Star Trek, she compromised and had various elements of the wedding Star Trek Related.
While it is true that Rachel would have preferred a full rustic wedding and Peter a full Star Trek wedding, this way they both got what they wanted but did not get in each other’s way, plus by incorporating the two different style the wedding turned into something unique and became a physical representation about both of them.
Feel free to check out the full Star Trek inspired blog here. There was talk of the Star Trek Insignia’s (the badges they wear on their suits on Star Trek) and other items.
Going To The Courthouse
Interestingly Mayim Bialik who plays Amy on The Big Bang Theory has a YouTube channel and discussed the episode. She said that it was a ‘total surprise’ they ended up at city hall. For years Amy has always wanted to be married to Sheldon. Sheldon on the other hand while extremely quirky has had tradition ingrained into him from a young age.
However, two things played against them in this episode that leads them to city hall for their wedding. Firstly TV formula was predictable that this would happen. The couples start off fine than fight and then decide THE ONLY WAY is to go to city hall. This is quite common and predictable, and while elements may differ from show to show, they often consider this option.
The second reason why they were going to end up at city hall is from years experience. Many couples often get stressed or feel that they hit a roadblock when planning their wedding. For a brief moment, they decide let’s throw in the towel and elope or have their wedding at the Births Deaths and Marriages of NSW registry. Many couples will work through it so that all their family and friends can be present, but even for a fleeting moment, the idea is considered by many couples. Even brides who have always wanted a traditional wedding have considered this. We have had clients come to us saying they just want to elope before engaging in our services but after meeting us realise we take their stress away.
Decisions Theory In Practice
While I enjoyed the episode and understand it was just a TV show, it was fun to take a look at these two characters and delve into how they were working on their wedding planning and bringing it to the real world. In the end, I would like to see how the wedding turns out and glad they did not go with the courthouse wedding. It would have felt anti-climatic, and we would have missed out on one interesting wedding that would have taken place.
What did you think of the Big Bang Theory episode? Do you think that The Nash Equilibrium or Decision Theory was better? Perhaps you have a scientific theory that would have better suited Amy and Sheldon to plan their wedding? Let us know and join the discussion down below 🙂