Last week, Emmerdale aired the much discussed Robron Wedding as family and friends gathered to watch Aaron Dingle and Robert Sugden legally marry. Guest blogger @LauraLovatic reviews the episode using the stunning quotes from the script.
At the end of a devastating week where Chas Dingle and Paddy Kirk lost their newborn daughter Grace, Chas was determined that she would still watch her son Aaron get married. And with the script written by Maxine Alderton, viewers knew the Robron Wedding episode was going to be something special.
Maxine has penned many of Robron’s finest moments, as well as memorable scenes such as the dream sequence between Ashley and Laurel Thomas. Her scripts always have a personal touch, highlighting characters’ thoughts and feelings and the relationships between them. Here’s the story of ‘Robron Wedding 2.0’, retold in quotes from the episode.
“Four years, and you can’t keep your hands off each other? Nothing bad about that sweetheart. You’ve hit the jackpot.”
As she helped Aaron get ready, Chas commented that the breaking of tradition was actually a good omen: Robert had not-so-discreetly snuck into the pub the night before. And as mother and son shared a quiet moment together, the pink flower Chas presented with the meaning ‘Grace’ was a lovely touch during this scene too.
“I got them back together”
“Don’t lie; you took Robert out on the pull!”
“And then you set him up with a chef.”
“Thus starting the chain of events which led us here”
“I wouldn’t hold my breath for a thank you note…”
An early funny moment. A reminder of the night out Robert Sugden was dragged along to with village ladies including Bernice Blackstock, Kerry Wyatt, Priya Sharma, and Vanessa Woodfield to a gay bar just hours before he was reunited with Aaron Dingle.
“You look incredible”
“Are you ready?”
“Suppose I’m not up to much else!”
Some very in-character, light-hearted teasing from Aaron before they headed off to the ceremony.
“I told myself it was to annoy you, but it wasn’t. It was proof that you never really lost me either”
In a short scene that was cut for time, Aaron gave Robert the watch he had ‘lost’ during their break-up, with the addition of the two Robron wedding dates engraved on the back. I loved this romantic line from Aaron, and it deserved to be in the final edit.
The episode had begun with the music from ‘The Love We Stole’ by Bear’s Den – the song playing at Aaron and Robert’s unofficial wedding last year. It was very appropriate to hear musicians playing the same track as the grooms walked down the aisle this time, too.
“Love when there is love to be had”
Victoria Barton’s reading at the beginning of the wedding ceremony was just the right tone for the kind of couple Robert and Aaron are. It was sweet but realistic, and the direction and camera work was perfect as there was a close up to the couple’s joined hands as they listened.
“…to be my lawful wedded husband”
One of my favourite moments. During their first set of vows last year, Robert uttered the words ‘wedded husband’ and Aaron looked a mixture of thrilled and overwhelmed. Danny Miller’s beautiful delivery made for a lovely parallel to that moment as Aaron’s voice swelled with emotion this time around.
“I give you this ring, as a symbol of our love”
“All that I am, I give to you. All that I have, I share
“I promise to be faithful, and to be loyal. To respect and cherish you…”
“…throughout our lives together”
While the registrar led the start of the declarations, it seemed as though Aaron and Robert needed no prompting as they were leading each other with their words and finishing each other’s sentences. I loved the traditional vibe as Robert pledged “All that I am…” to Aaron, and Ryan Hawley played it with such warmth. The word ‘cherish’ isn’t something I ever thought we’d hear Aaron say, but it fit so well and really highlighted how much his life has changed.
“I’m delighted to pronounce you husband and husband”
I loved the looks of happy disbelief on the grooms’ faces here. Cheers went up after the union was sealed with kisses, and as they walked down the aisle Aaron reached back to reclaim Robert’s hand. This is the sort of gentle intimacy that doesn’t come up often unless it’s a Maxine special.
“My husband and I would like to thank you all for coming”
Kicking off the reception scenes was this line from Robert, where everyone reacted with ‘oohs and ahs’ over his first official use of the ‘H’ word.
“I get to spend the rest of my life with this man. The bravest, kindest person I’ve ever known. He’s taught me so much about accepting myself, and about what love is. But mostly, that I’d be completely lost without him.”
Robert’s speech was another moment that shows the difference between then and now – the start of the relationship between him and Aaron, to the present day. Once unable to admit to loving a man and nowhere near up to the task of saying it ‘proud’ in a pub full of people back then, in this scene he did exactly that.
“When I was trying to write this down, I couldn’t think of anything that was enough, really. And then this week happened, and it was so hard. But you got me through it. That says it all for me. You’ve always been there for me; you always make stuff better
…I love you.”
A public speech from Aaron has to be one of the things that viewers couldn’t predict with any certainty. So it was all the more heartwarming to watch him follow his husband’s words. Addressing it directly to Robert, Aaron’s speech was filled with gratitude and love.
“I wish I could bottle the love in this room and take it back as proof”
Emmerdale showed all of the wedding speeches in one long scene without those annoying cuts to the secondary stories, which meant a lot of happy tears for Aaron in the space of about five minutes! Paddy’s speech was all about the old days and the transformation in Aaron. The father/son scenes between long-time co-stars Dominic Brunt and Danny Miller are always a wonderful watch, and this one was particularly special as Paddy declared it an honour to call Aaron his son.
“The first time I met Robert, I kicked him in the balls!”
“To the best, most beautiful son in the world”
“To Mr & Mr Sugden-Dingle”
And as she toasted the newlyweds, Chas broadcast their married name to the guests – and the viewers. This hadn’t been revealed ahead of the episode, and was a sweet surprise.
“We’re so lucky you know, Robert. To have him; to have each other”
“Yeah, I know”
Cuddling stepson Seb in the backroom of the Woolpack, Aaron was thankful for the love in his life as he reflected on the painful loss in the week.
“You aren’t going anywhere, Husband”
“You reckon, Husband?”
A great parallel to Robron Wedding 1.0 in more ways than one. Just as they had done before, the two men enjoyed the thrill of using the word ‘husband’ any chance they got as Robert told Aaron he was going nowhere. This was a welcome contrast in tone from the unofficial wedding, where he was heading to prison the next day.
“I quite like it being Mr Sugden-Dingle first”
“I love you, Mr Sugden-Dingle first.
…Come on, put your foot down. ‘Cos my real present’s getting you out of that suit.”
There was a bit of teasing about the order of their surnames, before Aaron admitted he was quite happy with the way it was. And another blatant mention of Robert’s lust for Aaron in a suit, before they drove off towards their honeymoon.
After waving the couple off, Chas suffered a panic attack and collapsed into Paddy’s arms as she gave into her grief for their baby girl. The performances from Dominic Brunt and Lucy Pargeter have been exceptional in this traumatic storyline, and the portrayal of a mother keeping it together to put her son’s happiness first was incredibly moving.
With a mixture of overwhelming sadness and pure wedding joy that was true soap style, Emmerdale produced what I think is British soap’s first iconic same-sex wedding. Bravo to director Paul Copeland and scriptwriter Maxine, as well as actors Danny Miller and Ryan Hawley for their flawless performances.