For years, La La Vazquez has been VH1′s bridesmaid. She’s shown up in various roles — hosting reunions, guesting on show challenges, serving as the dean of Charm School with Ricki Lake. Throughout her time as on-air support, she has remained visible but just off to the side of the action. All that will change when La La’s Full Court Wedding debuts on VH1 this weekend (its premiere will air Sunday, September 19 at 10:30/9:30c), giving La La the starring role in both a reality show and a wedding.
We interviewed La La about her transition from single lady to wife as well as the one from host to centerpiece. Below, La La talks about preparing for a wedding in front of cameras, her celebrity friends, the band-versus-DJ dilemma and her husband’s pickiness when it comes to wedding-planning.
To me this show seems like the most extravagant wedding video that you could possibly produce.
That’s how I look at it too! It’s a whole TV series. This is incredible, how many people can say that?
Was having a film crew around while you were trying to plan your wedding oppressive at all? Did you feel like you couldn’t be the bridezilla you’re allowed to be?
Not at all, because that is not who I am at all. I am totally chill and calm and everyone’s like, “La you’re going to have this moment,” and I just didn’t have it because that’s not my personality. My problem is that I am always worried about everyone else. I just want to make sure they have fun. People were like, “La, you’re getting married. It’s about you.” I’m like, “No, I don’t care about me I want everyone else to have a good time.”
I thought of this analogy when preparing for this interview: you’ve been VH1′s bridesmaid for years. Through your hosting, you’ve facilitated action and helped make it run smoothly, without actually being the center of it.
(Laughs) I totally agree with you. That is a great analogy. I’ve been on that network for years and do many shows, the crazy moments the crazy people yet I have been standing strong there through it all.
Have you been wanting your own show throughout your time on the sidelines?
Absolutely not. At first I was a little unsure[about this show]. My thing was that I knew people knew who I was they are familiar with me as a TV host, but I didn’t feel as if anyone knew who I was, as far as my personality goes. I really thought this was a great opportunity to get people to actually take interest in who I am. I thought that was very important.
Were there any reservations at all with opening your life the scrutiny of cameras and editing?
I knew what it was going into it. I was hosting so many reality shows and reunions and being you know close friends with Kim Kardashian and seeing their lives that I knew what to expect. If you’re going to have reservations or you’re going to want to like edit yourself, reality TV is probably not the thing you should do. On this show, I worked with 51 Minds, a production company I’ve worked with before. I knew they knew me, I trusted them and I felt like they weren’t going to try and sabotage me in any way. I had all the pluses going in my favor.
An issue that comes up in the first episode is your disagreement with Carmelo about having a band play the wedding. He wants it, you don’t. I’m on your side: DJs are so much better.
I am so happy somebody understands that. I just thought a band was such a bad idea. The band symbolizes corny to me, older to me. If I can’t get whoever originally sang a song to sing the song, then I don’t want a cheesy band to sing the song. It doesn’t make any sense to me, everybody told me I was crazy. I am like everyone else is crazy — I am not crazy.
I just don’t see how cover bands magically become this classy thing when you throw down tons of money on them – they belong in bars playing for frat guys taking shots of Jager.
I feel like there are so many other ways that we could use the money, because bands are not cheap. They’re in the thousands. Yeah so I am glad you feel the same way.
You note that Carmelo is a lot pickier about the details of the wedding. Was that true just for the events of the first episode, or are we witnessing an unlikely role reversal, where the husband-to-be cares more about the particulars than the bride?
He was very specific on what he wanted. He knew he wanted a big wedding, he knew wanted red velvet cake. He wasn’t there nitpicking all these little things — he had an overall vision of where he wanted to be. On the other hand, I was like, “This is going to cost a lot of money. We can just go somewhere quick and get it done.” It’s usually the bride that wants all of that, while the whole time I was thinking about cost and I wanted to have a fun day. I didn’t want to go broke because of this over-the-top wedding. I don’t want to be still paying off bills three or four years later. You know, it was a bit of a battle.
Were your celebrity friends a complication for the production? I know it is great to have celebrity guests on a show, but it also seems like it could complicate things in this large gathering, just in terms of those who aren’t willing to be on camera.
One thing about the celebrities [on the show] is that they are genuine friends of myself and Carmelo. It’s not like we just pick them out of the sky and go, “Hey I want to be friends with Kim Kardashian, I want to be friends with that one.” These are really genuinely my closest friends and they were like, “Whatever we can do or whatever we need to do to make this day special, we’ll do. We can be a part of the show for you – we just want to be there.” I had Ludacris giving me a guy’s perspective about women and why they are scared about commitment and marriage. I mean you would never see something like that on TV or any other show. You just don’t see that and our history — I knew him in high school, so there’s a brother and sister relationship there. You have Labron, Sabrina, Spike Lee – people of that caliber come in there and they are like, “Sure we will be on camer. Whatever you guys need.” That says a lot about our relationship with them, you know?
Were you harassed by friends and family for being engaged to Carmelo for almost six years before tying the knot?
Absolutely, it was an ongoing thing of, “You’re never going to get married,” or, “He’s never going to want to stay with you.” People believe that if you’re engaged and you don’t get married right away, there is some kind of behind-the-scenes issue going on. It makes me laugh because we have been together for seven years. Where are the people that are going to compliment that or just being able to sustain a relationship in this environment for that long? We see people rushing into and then they are divorced because they didn’t even take the time to get to know who they were marrying. This way worked for us. It’s not for everybody, but it worked for us.
Were you able to let go of your need to please and indulge in your day?
It was hard. I tried to, but it was definitely difficult once the day started and I got in the moment. I had people like Kelly [Rowland] or Kim [Kardashian] working the wedding floor while I was in the suite. I was like, “Is everyone OK? Is everyone having a good time?” They were like, “I wish you would stop. Everybody is down there having a blast. They are all waiting for you.” I was glad I had them on duty just greeting people and saying hi and walking around making sure everybody was comfortable.
In the intro to the show there is a reference to you losing weight for the wedding; you didn’t have to loose too much weight did you?
I lost 13 pounds. I wanted to loose weight I wanted to look good.
I think by all standards, you already looked good.
Thank you, but the problem about losing weight is, once you do it and you feel great that you accomplished this goal, you forget that you got to keep the weight off. That is the hard part. Getting there is difficult, don’t get me wrong. But once you’ve reached the top, you’re like, “Well, I want the cookie now. I want the ice cream now. I want the Crunch bar now.” That is where I am at now.
Your son Kiyan is adorable. Did you have any reservations about having him on camera, though? Some people keep their kids away from their reality shows.
Everybody is very weird about that. But I figured that this is a reality show, which is supposed to showcase my reality. I am a mother before anything else. How could I have a reality show that didn’t showcase my son who is with me everyday? I don’t have a nanny that lives with me that I could just throw him off on, and I want people to see that aspect of juggling career and planning a wedding and motherhood and him. Not showing people the most important person in my life just seems weird to me. I don’t question people who think it’s a bad idea because they have their reasons but I had my reasons on why I wanted him to be a part of it.
After doing this show, is there anything to be said for being bit by the reality bug? Do you want to do more shows?
I am at a crossroads right now because obviously that’s going to come up: what’s next? This show was so much fun. I really enjoyed it. Would I consider doing more? Absolutely. The other side of it is, I really enjoy acting, and I really want to sink my teeth into that. Sometimes the world we are in makes it hard to do everything. It’s like once you step into that reality, that’s what you are. You are now a reality show star and that’s what they see you as. It’s like, we love La La but we know her as a TV host, we don’t see her as an actress, and you know, just now I’m finally being able to break down a lot of those barriers. I am not going to shoot down any opportunities that come my way because just to have them is a blessing in itself. Things are so poor for everybody these days, and to be working and doing so many great things, it is a plus. I kind of just have to think about it and decide when the opportunities present themselves, but I am not saying no to anything right now.