Tour the Home in the Movie, Father of the Bride
Recently, we took a tour of some beautiful neighborhoods and homes in the south. This house, located not far from my home, was included in that tour. Each time I drive by it, I’m always reminded of a famous movie home we all know and love. Do you know the one I’m thinking about?
Yep, it’s this one! Recognize it? It’s the house from the movie, Father of the Bride. I’m happy to say this much-loved movie house is a real house and not a just a movie set. So nice when that happens! I hadn’t realized it, but Father of the Bride is actually a remake of a 1950 Spencer Tracey classic by the same name. Did you know that?
Many years ago, I read an article in a magazine where they interviewed a young couple who bought this house in real life when it became available a few years after the making of the movie. They had some pretty wild stories to tell about folks walking right up to their door, ringing the bell and asking for a tour. One of the things they said that really stuck with me was that some of what we saw in the movie was constructed just for the movie, like the white picket fence.
In the interview, the couple said the fence was just barely standing up and about ready to fall over any second. It had not been installed/built the way a real fence would have been so they had to pay to have it taken down and replaced with a real fence. I remember there were also some things in the kitchen that had to be redone. They spent a fair amount getting the house back to real livable conditions, as I recall.
Now, in case you somehow managed to accidentally stow away on a space ship just minutes before it blasted off to the moon in 1991, causing you to miss this super popular and well-loved movie, here’s a little synopsis from Wikipedia to bring you up to speed:
“George Banks (Steve Martin) is an upper-middle-class owner of an athletic shoe company in San Marino, California, whose 22-year-old daughter, Annie, (Kimberly Williams) has decided to marry Bryan MacKenzie (George Newbern), a man from an upper-class family from Bel-Air, despite only knowing each other for three months. George can’t think of what life would be like without Annie and becomes determined to make the upcoming ceremony as inconvenient as possible (especially when he finds out the wedding will cost him $250 per head), although his wife, Nina (Diane Keaton), tries to make him happy for Annie. When the wedding takes place at their home, along with an eccentric wedding planner named Franck (Martin Short) taking over the ceremony, George tries to handle the fact that Annie has grown up and has a life of her own.”
Do you remember this scene from the movie? A freak snow storm hits the day of Annie’s wedding. Of course, the snow is just pretend snow since this home is located at 843 S. El Molino Avenue in Pasadena, California.
Let’s go inside and take a little tour of this famous movie house.
I’ve always loved the built-in cabinetry in this room. This is the same look I am going for in a room in my home that I’m hoping to one day turn into a library. You can see the vintage shelving I found for my “someday library” in THIS post. It looks almost exactly like the shelving shown here, doesn’t it? Maybe it is the same…if not, it’s pretty close. I hope to bump my fireplace out from the wall like they have done here, too.
Here’s how the room looks when it’s redone for Annie’s wedding.
We get a view of the other side of the room in this scene where Annie (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) is introducing her fiance, Bryan (George Newbern) to her parents Nina and George Banks played by Diane Keaton and Steve Martin. The rooms in these old homes are so nice and large, you can pull the furniture to the center, add sofa tables behind the sofas and still have plenty of room for chairs and for walking around behind the sofas. Love that!
We never get a great shot of this wonderful grandfather clock, but it adds so much to this otherwise very neutral interior. Doesn’t it look Swedish or Danish? It reminds me of a Mora clock but it doesn’t quite have the “pot belly” proportions of the Mora. Ummm, anyone know the origins of a clock like this? It’s not really a Bornholm clock like I have HERE in my upstairs family room. Somebody help me out here…I’d love to know what kind of clock this is!
A glimpse into the dining room. The lighting throughout this movie is so warm and cozy…very soothing.
Another view of the dining room when Nina and George are cataloging all the gifts Annie and Bryan have received.
Another view across the entry into the dining room. I really love the heavy wainscoting in the entrance. So pretty!
The dining room leads us into the kitchen. You have to admit, this does look just like a real, working kitchen. Personally, there’s a little too much “stuff” in this room for me, but it does feel like a real home. It’s amazing how quickly a kitchen can get cluttered in real life. How do you like the pot rack? We get another view of it in a sec.
I like the glass front cabinets with the lighting inside. When I had the centers of my kitchen cabinets cut out and installed glass in them, I really wanted that “window pane” look like we see here. But that just wasn’t going to happen since I was DIM (doing it myself). It appears to have butcher-block counter tops, which seem to be making a comeback today. I’ve seen them on several home tours, but usually they are a bit darker. Interesting how things just cycle right back around again, isn’t it?
Another view of the pot rack in the distance as Annie and her parents gather in the breakfast/eating area of the kitchen. This house has a back stairway and we get a glimpse of it on the right side of this scene.
One more view looking across the kitchen into the dining room of the home. I love the various sets of French doors we see throughout the home.
So, what do you think that room is in the background? Laundry room? Pantry? I see a cuckoo clock. Ummm, wonder if I was subliminally influenced to put a cuckoo clock in my kitchen because of this movie.
Let’s go upstairs and check out the bedrooms. Love this gorgeous leaded-glass window on the staircase!
A view of the upstairs hallway as George talks with his son, Matty, played by Keran Culkin. While watching the movie, I was thinking how much Matty reminded me of another “child actor” in another favorite movie house movie. Yep, I’m talking about Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone. You guessed it…they’re brothers.
This is pretty much the only view we get of the master bedroom. Wonder if that’s wallpaper or just a faux wall treatment. Ragging and sponging were pretty big back around the time this movie was made. Are folks still doing that? I never hear much about it anymore.
George goes into Annie’s room to console her (and talk some sense into her) after she and Bryan have a huge disagreement. Somehow the romantic iron bed just fits with the name Annie, doesn’t it?
Annie is an architecture student, so as you might expect, she has a drafting table in her bedroom.
We get a brief view of one of the bathrooms here with the “wedding swans” floating in the tub. The unexpected snow storm has made it too cold for them to be outdoors.
I love it when movies include an attic scene. I don’t know what it is about attics, but (to me) they always seem to add a little mystery and nostalgia to a movie. Maybe it’s all those Nancy Drew Mystery Stories like The Secret in the Old Attic, I read growing up.
Annie and Bryan have a backyard wedding in the movie, but the backyard where this wedding scene is filmed is actually the yard of another home and not the one where all the interior scenes were shot. The wedding actually takes place in the backyard of this home at 500 North Almansor Street in Alhambra, CA. The home has just gone on the market recently. You can read about it in THIS post where you’ll find a link to the real estate listing.
The wedding takes place underneath a wonderful pergola built just for the movie.
Isn’t this just the sweetest scene? Notice how Annie and Bryan are silhouetted against the huge photographer’s light. It looks like a big, full moon behind them, doesn’t it? So romantic!
In the scenes where Annie and her dad are playing basketball, this same house is used, again.
And in this back deck scene, too.
Here’s how it looks in the daytime. I wonder what the backyard looked like for the Molino Avenue house where all the interior scenes were shot. Perhaps it wasn’t large enough for a wedding. So interesting that they used two houses for the making of The Father of the Bride isn’t it?
Why do you think this house captured the hearts of so many? Was it the storyline of the movie or the actual design of the house itself? Or, maybe it was both? Was this a favorite movie house of yours?
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