Television imitated life Wednesday night on the season finale of “Modern Family” as two of the show’s beloved characters tied the night. It was also a historical moment as the wedding nuptials between Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) was the first same-sex TV wedding since gay marriage was legalized in the state of California. Like with any wedding on a TV comedy, Mitch and Cam had to overcome some obstacles in order to finally make their way down the altar.
In the two-part season finale, a wildfire threatens the couple’s wedding, Sal (Elizabeth Banks) goes into labor and is unable to officiate the wedding, and shifting winds causes everyone to evacuate the premises. After being moved to another venue conveniently left vacant by a runaway bride, the wedding party and guests have to move again when the couple returns and kicks everyone else. With no place left to get married, everyone is moved to Mitch and Cam’s house where the couple starts to have their doubts about their wedding day.
Just as they are about to call off the wedding, Jay (Ed O’Neill), who initially had doubts about his son’s wedding, comes to the rescue telling the two that they “deserve the kind of wedding” they’ve been talking about. The final location of the wedding takes place outdoors at a golf club. With a sunset as the backdrop, Mitch and Cam exchange intimate nuptials sealed with a kiss.
The same-sex marriage symbolized the marriages that have been taking place across the nation and the continuing battle of same-sex couples to be seen as equal. The normalcy of the ceremony and the eventually approval and happiness shared with family and friends was important to be shown on television. Ferguson, who married his long-time partner Justin Mikita in 2013, talked about the social ramifications of a gay wedding on a popular primetime show.
He told PEOPLE before the wedding aired, “I think it’s a safe ‘in’ for people. They’ve gotten to know Cam and Mitchell for the past five years and have fallen in love with them, hopefully. And I think they’ve stopped identifying them as a gay couple, and identify them as just a really great couple who are in love.”