The moment that Downton Abbey fans have been waiting for since Season 1 finally happened Sunday night, and we’re still swooning from the romance of it all. We’re talking, of course, about the long-awaited wedding of Downton’s butler, Mr. Carson, and the housekeeper, Mrs. Hughes.
We all know that without Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes, the entire household at Downton would crumble to the ground. (I mean, those people can’t even dress themselves, much less make a pot of tea. And really, is all that wine going to decant and filter itself? Spoiler alert: No, it isn’t.) We also all know that Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes totally belong together. We knew it before they knew it. (Okay, Mrs. Hughes figured it out relatively quickly, but poor Carson was a little clueless there for a while.) The fact is, we’ve been cheering for this couple since the first time we noticed them making googly eyes at each other in the downstairs kitchen.
Sunday night gave us the romantic closure we so badly needed before the entire series ends in just a few short weeks. (Nooooo!) In the six seasons of Downton, we’ve seen quite a few couples walk down the aisle. (Sometimes only half of a couple…sorry, Lady Edith.) The wedding between Carson and Hughes may not have been the poshest ceremony of the series—there was no glittering tiara or flowing tulle gown—but it was without a doubt the sweetest. The producers of the show knew how much this moment meant to Downton fans, and they put the utmost care into the episode. Carson and Hughes’ nuptials got the royal treatment. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Downton Abbey producer Liz Trubridge explained just how much research and careful preparation went into planning the wedding. They spent a lot of time researching servant-class weddings from the 1920’s era, which apparently were quite grand affairs. “We were surprised at just how lavish [they] were,” she said. “It made us laugh because they were very lavish and very carb heavy.” (Ooh, Mrs. Patmore, get busy, girl.) Producers even went so far as to take note of the size of the button hole on Carson’s lapel. Trunbridge said, “Button holes were actually slightly larger for the servants than they would have been for the upstairs people, and that was just a little note that I hadn’t realized at all, but that we discovered and used in the story. Upstairs people would tend to have much smaller buttonholes, and because of that would just have a smaller rose head in their lapel than the servants.” We’re loving this! These kind of details are part of what make Downton so special. Each episode is like watching a beautiful painting come to life from a history book.
In addition to these painstaking details, we were treated to prolonged moments of anticipation leading up to the union of Carson and Hughes. There were fewer total plot lines than we usually see in a single episode of Downton. Ordinarily there’s so much drama going on in that house it makes our heads spin (but in the best way, obvs). According to Trunbridge, “The director actually put in some extra beats in the episode about the preparation for the wedding. We showed the gardener going and cutting some flowers and just little things like that that could really build up the moment and make it ours, because I think we along with everyone else wanted Carson and Mrs. Hughes to finally get together. We added little bits of visuals to help all that along.”
The end result was AMAZE. We’re still smiling, but perhaps not as much as Carson did when he finally made Mrs. Hughes his wife.
(Images via Twitter.)