I’ll admit I was skeptical when EA announced The Sims 4: My Wedding Story game pack. After all, weddings have always been notoriously messy. Trying to guide all the guests to their seats without anyone dying, catching fire, or being struck by lightning is a total ball pain. The whole ordeal usually ends with your Sims exchanging vows while your guests are busy scratching in the middle of the road or eating the pizza they’ve been keeping in their pockets for a rainy day.
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I let go of some hesitation when I saw the gorgeous new world of Italian style, a collection of striking wedding dresses, and the depth of marriage that My Wedding Story had to offer. It’s not great for EA to monetize a feature that’s been in disrepair for years, but at least it’ll fix them and make them more immersive, right? no! The Sims 4 has packed up all the marital baggage and threw it in this bag.
The biggest problem is that, by its very nature, this package doesn’t work at all. While I’ve been tinkering with early access releases and repeatedly warned that the software isn’t final, I’m still having the exact same problem with this week’s official build. The real wedding — perhaps the most important part of the game pack around marriage — is an absolute nightmare. When planning your ceremony, you can choose your Sims’ wedding attire, set a theme for your guests, and even choose a color scheme, but when I entered the wedding venue, absolutely no one followed my dress code. Everyone wears everyday wear, even my own brides don’t wear the gowns I’ve handpicked for them. Thankfully, I was able to manually change my own sims, but the others looked like they were casually dangling from the wedding on the way back from the supermarket.
My Wedding Story presents a few ways to try and help you gather guests around the gaff. There is a fairly extensive menu with commands like “time to sit”, “time to throw rice” and “time to eat cake”. Unfortunately, almost none of them seem to work. Instead of wedding guests, I felt like I was trying to manage a bunch of misbehaving little kids. It proved difficult to get everyone seated – partly because my 20 guests only had 8 seats, but also because most of them preferred to stand in the aisle and chat. Attempting to send two of my honor sims down the aisle was fruitless, one of them didn’t even come close to any ceremonial events.
At this point, one of my brides has slipped into the other room, and I’m trying to convince the other bride to walk down the aisle herself. After five minutes I gave up trying to schedule normal things and started activating the “swap oath with officer” order. no. I could clearly see my referee sitting in the back row. But no amount of gentle coaxing could force him to actually stand up and preside over the damn thing.
In the end, I gave up hosting and decided to exchange vows without him. Only two sims seem to really pay attention to crunch time, and most people still crowd the aisles discussing is bla bloobs or whatever the sims say. Then my bride pulled out the ring and got stuck in a long loop, popping about 20 times on her new wife’s finger.
Surprisingly, one thing that worked was having my guests throw rice at the newlyweds. It’s the only command I don’t have to give repeatedly or eventually give up. Subsequent attempts to get Sims to dance or sit down to eat are a pain. I also didn’t have a cake due to pre-ceremony issues. It’s not really clear at first how you get your wedding cake, and even if you manage to get one, whether the game will let you actually designate it as a wedding cake is a gamble.
It’s a shame, because there’s a lot to like about my wedding story beyond the main ceremony. New World Tartosa is beautiful, full of romantic Italian lot names and scattered picturesque residential areas. It feels more like the world you see in the expansion pack than the game pack, and I’m pleasantly surprised at how much you can interact with it. The new create-a-sim products fill a much-needed void in formalwear, offering a wide variety of wedding dresses and suits that span many different cultures and levels of elegance. I also found a lot of great stuff in new build/buy projects. While they tend to be more activity-specific than everyday use, I can see myself incorporating new curtains and neat background pieces into my regular builds.
Despite the frustrating mistakes of the actual ceremony, the pre- and post-wedding shenanigans feel more fulfilling, with engaged Sims able to host a ton of events. There are gender neutral Bach parties, as well as engagement parties, rehearsal dinners and wedding receptions. You can also perform vow renewals for married couples, which is pretty sweet. Sims can ask their friends to be Ring Holders, Flower Friends, Master of Ceremonies or the coveted Sims of Honor. The prep phase is a lot of fun, I just hope the fun doesn’t turn sharply into frustration as you try to tie everything together.
In fact, I’m even more enthusiastic about the idea of a wedding package than when I first dived in. While I usually play The Sims 4 through the lens of a cynical millennial, the pack encourages me to try more romantically through some future Sims. I thought my wedding story might be a great way to further develop an immersive story for my little virtual human. But right now, my Sims’ dream of having a very normal wedding remains unfulfilled. This is quite possibly the worst package we’ve ever received, and I don’t want it to stay in a barely playable state similar to other game packages like Dine Out. Come on EA, my sims deserve better than this.