The biggest problem is that, at its core, the pack just doesn’t work. Although I fiddled with the early access build and warned repeatedly that the software was not final, I still ran into the same issues in the official release this week. A real wedding ceremony – perhaps the most important part of the game package dedicated to the wedding – is a nightmare. When planning the ceremony, you are given the option to choose your Sims’ wedding attire, set a theme for your guests, and even choose a color scheme, but when I logged into the wedding venue, absolutely no one followed my dress code. Everyone arrived in their normal casual attire and even my brides couldn’t wear the dresses I had carefully chosen for them. Luckily, I was able to manually change my own Sims, but everyone else looked like they had wandered into the wedding on their way from the supermarket.
My wedding stories have introduced you to some of the ways you can get your guests around the gaff. There is a fairly extensive menu filled with commands such as “time to sit”, “throw rice” and “time to eat cake”. Unfortunately, almost none of them worked. Instead of wedding guests, I felt like I was trying to manage a gang of tiny, naughty kids. Seating everyone proved difficult, partly because there were only eight seats for my 20 guests and also because most of them preferred to stand in the aisle and chat instead. Attempts to send two of my honor sims to the altar were unsuccessful, with one of them not even close to participating in any ceremonial activities.
By this point, one of my fiancees had gone into the other room and I was trying to get the other one to come down the aisle. I gave up trying to arrange something normal after five minutes and went to initiate the “exchange vows with executor” command. Nothing. I could clearly see my assistant sitting in the back row. But no amount of gentle persuasion could make him get up and lead the damn thing.
In the end, I gave up on the attendant and decided to do the vow exchange without him. Only two Sims seemed to really pay attention to the key point, while most were still crowding the aisle debating whether to be bla bloobs or whatever the Sims were saying. Then my fiancee grabbed the ring and stuck it in a very long loop, putting it on her new wife’s finger about 20 times.
Surprisingly, the only thing that worked was getting my guests to throw rice at the newlyweds. It was the only command I didn’t have to repeat or eventually abandon. Subsequent attempts to get the Sims to dance or sit down at the table were anguish. I was also left without a cake due to problems before the ceremony. It’s not very clear at first how you’re going to get the wedding cake and even if you manage to get it, it’s a gamble if the game will actually let you designate it as the cake for your ceremony.
It’s a shame because in addition to the main ceremony, there is much to like in My Wedding Stories. The new world of Tartos is gorgeous, filled with romantic Italian lot names and a sprinkling of picturesque residential lots. It’s more like the world you’ll see in an expansion than in a game pack and I was pleasantly surprised at how much of that world you can interact with. The new Sim Creation Items fill a much-needed niche for formal wear, offering an array of bridal gowns and costumes that span many different cultures and levels of elegance. I also found a lot of great stuff in the new build/purchase items. While they are more geared towards a specific event than everyday use, I see myself adding new curtains and a neat backdrop to my usual builds.
Despite the nasty bugs for the ceremony itself, the shenanigans before and after the wedding feel more concrete and the Sims involved can set up a lot of events. There is a gender-neutral bachelor party, as well as engagements, dinner rehearsals and wedding receptions. You can also renew vows for couples who are already married which is incredibly nice. Sims can ask their friends to be ring bearers, flower friends, an attendant or a coveted honor sim. The prep stage is a hell of a lot of fun, I just wish the fun doesn’t turn into frustration when you’re trying to tie it all together.
In fact, I’m much warmer about the idea of a wedding package than when I first dived into it. While I usually play The Sims 4 through the lens of a cynical, lonely millennial, the pack encouraged me to take my future Sims through some more romantic endeavors. I think My Wedding Stories can be a fantastic way to create exciting stories for my little virtual people. But right now, my dreams of my Sims having a very normal wedding are still unfulfilled. Possibly the most broken pack we’ve ever received and I don’t want it to be left in a barely playable state like other game packs like Dine Out. Come on EA, my Sims deserve better.