The best weddings always end way too quickly.
This was especially true for Lani and Eli's wedding on Days of Our Lives during the week of 6-29-20.
All of the uninvited guests and assorted nonsense dominated nearly two days of airtime, only for the actual ceremony -- which was beautiful -- to be over in five minutes.
Days of Our Lives weddings are always dramatic, but this one set the standards for years to come.
We didn't need quite so many interruptions.
Tamara fainting seemed pointless, although it did give her the opportunity to come back at the right moment to convince Lani to go on with the nuptials.
Gabi's 9000th speech viliffying Lani was also unnecessary.
Vivian's entrance dwarfed Gabi's pathetic attempts at causing trouble, and it might have been more dramatic had Vivian cut into the couple's relief that Gabi didn't try to interfere after all.
I had mixed feelings about Vivian trying to kill Lani on her wedding day.
Days relies on gun violence far too often, especially during weddings and other celebrations. After all, it wasn't that long ago that Marlena was shot and nearly killed at her wedding to John.
It's unoriginal and unentertaining, especially considering all the real world shootings at nightclubs, places of worship, and other places where people are minding their own business.
But Vivian is so damn classy even when she's doing something utterly despicable that her attempt to attack Lani was somewhat enjoyable.
There was no grander entrance she could make, and as a bonus, the violence was short-lived. For once, someone was able to quietly summon help and put a stop to the whole thing almost as soon as it began.
By the time Vivian was arrested, I was as exhausted from all the interruptions as Lani and Eli were!
The short ceremony more than made up for it, though.
Eli: I will never regret one second of our life or our love. We fell in love because of the child we shared and we lost. David Abraham. We will love and remember him every single day. We will also make sure his little brother or sister knows how brave and beautiful he was. Just like his mother. Last time we were here, you sacrificed everything to make sure my grandmother was okay. You even let me think you broke my heart and blame you for it. But you won't have to sacrifice anything ever again. You will never be alone again. I love you and I can't wait to be your husband now and forever.
Lani: Eli, you are the love of my life and my dreams come true. It took all my strength to walk away that day and I never got to say the vows I wanted to say, but I knew I couldn't live with myself if I didn't do everything I could to save your grandmother because I love who you love. Your friends are my friends, your family my family. David Abraham will always be part of us but our heartbreak over losing him will make us appreciate and care more deeply for this child we are bringing into the world, a world that you make brighter and bigger for me every day. You are my world, my everything, and the best person I know. I love you for your kindness, your gentleness, your humor. You. make me feel special and safe and I promise I will be the best wife to you and mother to our child. You make me feel like the luckiest girl in the world and I can't wait to love you for the rest of my life.
I'd been looking forward to this.
Sal Stowers (Lani) was excited to participate in Days of Our Lives' first on-screen Black wedding and had shared that she and Lamon Archey (Eli) had added some Black culture to the wedding as written, and I couldn't wait to see that.
Eli and Lani's vows were beautiful enough to bring tears to my eyes, even if I did disagree with Eli's assessment of their failed previous wedding.
Sorry, but Lani's decision to go along with whatever Gabi wanted and tell nobody what was going on when she was a police officer who could have easily put a stop to this by arresting Gabi was not brave. It was cowardly.
Nevertheless, Eli's heartfelt declaration that Lani would never be alone again, her promise to be the best wife and mother she could be, and both of their declaration to keep their late son's memory alive as they moved forward were emotional, romantic promises.
The jumping the broom ritual and the emphasis on community support were also wonderful declarations of love and celebration of diversity.
I also loved that Lani's father and Eli's mother were in charge of the rings. That was a beautiful. symbolic gesture demonstrating that the two families were now one.
My only quibble with the wedding was that the audience was too damn small.
Lani and Eli wanted a small wedding, and Days of Our Lives probably didn't have the budget for a big affair.
But there should have been some other couples giving each other knowing looks when Marlena talked about love enduring over the years or when Lani and Eli said their vows.
It was especially strange that John was absent. Since Marlena was officiating, surely he could have been her Plus 1!
Julie was the only representative of the Horton side of the family, too, and since Eli worked closely with both Hope and Rafe there was no real reason they couldn't have come. Rafe's discomfort with going because of his relationship to Gabi was silly, and it was ridiculous that Hope came to help clean up afterward but not to the ceremony itself.
There was one guest who couldn't be there: Kristen.
Her surprise visit to help Lani get ready was fun, though. If things were different, she would have been Lani's maid of honor, and she fulfilled many of those duties during the few minutes they had together.
Of course, if things were REALLY different, Kristen and Lani would have been the ones getting married. Their chemistry continues to be off-the-charts, and Kristen risked her freedom to see Lani just like Lani risked hers to protect Kristen from the cops.
You came to see Lani? And if I hadn't happened to run into you, you wouldn't have even seen me.Brady
As Brady pointed out, Kristen's priorities were backwards. She risked her freedom to see her friend and had no interest in seeing her lover. That whole thing would have made more sense if Lani was the one Kristen was in love with.
Brady did ultimately run off with Kristen, though. It's anyone's guess how long he'll be gone, but I can't say I'm sorry to get a break from him.
Another story I need a break from: this endless Gabi/Jake/Gwen triangle.
Gabi won points, or thought she did, when the DNA test results showed that Jake and Stefan were a 100% match.
But I don't care how reputable Jake thinks the lab is, the lab in Salem is never right the first time. And if the test is accurate, Jake could be an identical twin that Vivian didn't know about.
After all, she was told her son died in childbirth. Could the doctors also have spirited away a second baby she didn't even know she'd given birth to?
In any case, this story is annoying. We've already had so many dopplegangers, and if those test results are right, Gabi will be the third person to try to get an amnesiac love to recover his memory in the last couple of years.
Jake and Gabi both continually pepper their speech with slurs against people who suffer from mental illness, and the writers have chosen to make fun of viewers' concerns about that by having Jake apologize for doing it in a tongue-in-cheek way.
Plus, this story leaves Jake torn between two women who seem to be exactly alike. Gwen and Gabi are both schemers who claim the other should be scared of them, and neither one will take no for an answer when it comes to being with Jake.
He needs to get rid of both of them and find someone who understands he is a separate person from them with needs and wants of his own. Sheesh.
Meanwhile, this Claire/Ciara story has taken an absurd turn with this oh-so-fascinating case of who put nail polish on Ciara's wedding dress.
There are so many flaws in this silly plot that it's hard to know where to begin.
It's unbelievable that a bridal shop would let a customer borrow several expensive dresses to try on at home without paying significant deposits to protect against theft or damage. But even if we go with that for the sake of the plot, why did Claire bring the dress back that Ciara was taking?
Wouldn't it have made more sense for Ciara to pay for that dress over the phone and return the OTHER dresses?
In any case, ruining a wedding dress with nail polish doesn't seem like Claire's MO. Claire is a firestarter, so this kind of juvenile sabotage would be a departure from the norm for her if she was trying to sabotage the wedding.
Ben's attitude toward Claire is annoying and hypocritical, too. He is so determined to convince Ciara that Claire is up to no good that he is doing an amazing amount of mental gymnastics.
According to him, Claire being willing to pay for the ruined dress proves she ruined it. That supposition is silly enough, but his argument against Ciara's point that this is all too damn obvious was even more ridiculous.
Ciara: Okay, let's say you're right. But it's too obvious. Claire had to know she'd be the prime suspect.
Ben: Unless she knew you would think that.
So... Claire purposely planned to commit a crime she'd get caught for because she knew she'd get caught and therefore wouldn't get caught. Okay then.
At least everyone's objections to Ben were based in the reality that he had recently killed three people and didn't require tying your brain into knots to prove a point.
The point of all of this is probably that Claire has put a wedge between Ben and Ciara just by existing. It's not clear whether that's what she meant to do all along, but it doesn't matter. That's what she is doing.
I'd rather have more of Ciara trying to stop Brady from sabotaging the company, but Victor figured it out in five seconds and Brady left town, so I guess we're stuck with this inane story instead.
Finally, the Allie story continues to be the best and most realistic story, even though this whole reality-show-like competition for her baby is silly and predictable.
While Nicole was out of the house, Eric finally remembered his counseling skills and had an honest conversation with Allie where nobody yelled.
Allie's insistence that she was sure she wanted Rafe to take her baby might have been premature. I knew Rafe was going to need time to think about it, and with Will and Sonny making their own offer, Allie might change her mind just as Rafe decides to accept.
Will and Sonny put Allie in an awkward position by making their bid to be parents just after Rafe left her in limbo.
If she turns them down and then Rafe turns her down, she'll be left with no adoptive parents. But if she decides to forget about giving the baby to Rafe and then he decides to take it, there's going to be a lot of heartache.
I'm betting that the second one is exactly what's going to happen. Also, I'm not sure that Rafe will hold off on telling Sami that he's considering adopting Allie's baby.
Sami has to find out somehow, and he seems like the weakest link. Everyone else has promised to keep the news to themselves, and Rafe dislikes the idea of doing this behind Sami's back.
Allie's right that it isn't Sami's decision to make, but the mature thing to do would be to tell Sami and let the chips fall where they may.
Since Allie is scared to do that, there will be a huge explosion someday thanks to Sami finding out some other way.
Your turn, Days of Our Lives fanatics.
Hit the SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know what you thought of Eli and Lani's wedding, Allie's adoption decision, and the Jake/Stefan reveal.
Don't forget to check back on Sunday for our Days of Our Lives Round Table discussion.
Days of Our Lives continues to air on NBC on weekday afternoons. Check your local listings for airtimes.