‘Shotgun Wedding’: How Jennifer Lopez’s Dress Was Made3 min read
For most of Jennifer Lopez’s action rom-com, “Shotgun Wedding,” she wears a wedding dress, and the challenge was to find the right color for her to wear in the new Amazon Prime film.
The main story behind the dress is that it once belonged to Jennifer Coolidge’s character, Carol, her future mother-in-law. Costume designer Mitchell Travers, who worked with Lopez on “Hustlers,” said she looked at how vintage wedding dresses aged when settling on the perfect color for the gown.
“I started to see what happens to them over time. What a 20-year-old dress would look like, a 40-year-old dress, and they have this beautiful patina that starts to happen and they yellow with age. When you work with JLO, we don’t,” explains Travers. “We went for a nice warm rose or as I call it ‘warm blush’.”
With that, Travers had the perfect canvas to cast “sweat, blood, dirt and everything else that comes with action.”
“Shotgun Wedding” has Lopez’s big day hijacked by pirates — literally. Set on a beautiful Filipino island, wedding guests, played by Coolidge, D’Arcy Carden and Chech Marin, are held hostage, while Josh Duhamel stars as the bride and groom to find out how to act. Protect their guests and their relationships.
Cue live grenades, ziplining, lots of sand, kitchen fights and more. Lopez’s wedding dress needed character. “It’s going through a lot as a bride,” Travers explained. “It has to be a reflection of how he’s changing and what he’s learning.”
To come up with the design and shape, Travers reverse-engineered everything. “I knew what I wanted for a slo-mo run on the beach, so I had to go to the beginning of it.”
Travers says there was only one perfect costume, and it needed to work with each iteration of the action sequence. In a sequence that involved riding a golf cart, Travers said the costume needed to “overwhelm and overwhelm her”. It’s the beginning of this day and she doesn’t know how she’s going to get through it.” Along with the ziplining scene, another costume change was made. “It needs to be trailing and chaotic behind her.”
At the end of the film, when Lopez transforms into full-action mode and prepares to take on the pirates, Travers says, “We were able to reveal it, where he’s missing his sleeve, he’s covered in blood, and I wanted the costume where he’s pulling his whip. And he’s locking and loading.”
Travers says they have seven different versions of the dress that went through numerous stages of construction and deconstruction, resulting in the act of pulling from the train, sleeves or skirt.
“The dresses were made from 20-30 layers of stretch mesh. It’s a superhero suit that looks like a wedding dress,” Travers says of the ideal fabric used for custom-made dresses. “It gives him the ability to bend his body and move his arms and legs.”
As for the other Jennifer in “Shotgun Wedding,” Coolidge shot the film shortly after finishing the first season of HBO’s “The White Lotus,” and Travers said she had no idea what the show was about because it hadn’t aired at the time.
Her challenge was to find the perfect outfit for a character who spends a large portion of the film trapped in an infinity pool. “I just wanted to keep him comfortable. I got a printed neoprene for her dress. It came with this huge shoulder, which we modified a bit. But it was a product of knowing the environment in which he had to shoot.” He added, “In a way, it was like putting her in a wetsuit because it was this perfect outfit that she could go in and out of the water, move around, and it still looked great both dry and wet. Having the extremely exaggerated hood and shoulders made me It helps to tell the story of someone who has never left her kingdom, and was so excited to attend a destination wedding.”