Eddie Murphy can take some credit for the theme wedding of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" star and former Xscape member Kandi Burruss to Todd Tucker. The bride and groom have patterned aspects of their nuptials after Murphy's 1988 cult classic comedy, "Coming to America."
SEE "COMING TO AMERICA" WEDDING THEMES AT THE 1:26 MARK:
Burruss says the African theme has a special significance. "We first had a real conversation in Africa," she notes about Tucker, who was a producer for the "Housewives" series during a segment filmed in Africa. "So I wanted to do something inspired by Africa for the wedding."
Burruss borrowed ideas from "Coming to America's" famous wedding scene, when Murphy's character Prince Akeem calls off his arranged marriage to instead travel to America to find a bride of his choice.
"I went far with it," she explains. "We had the lions when you came in; we had the rose-petal girls. I had the dude singing 'She's Your Queen to Be.' I wanted it to be full-out 'Coming to America.' It was fun. It was the best wedding ever. Everyone that was there was like, 'This is the most amazing wedding that I have ever been to.'"
Burruss is especially proud of the elaborate ceremony, because she and her team pulled it off in four and a half weeks. The five-episode "The Real Housewives of Atlanta: Kandi's Wedding" special, premiering on Bravo on June 1 at 8 p.m., chronicles the planning of the event and all its related drama, including Burruss's mother's conflict with Tucker.
In the trailer for the wedding special, Mama Joyce gets into a heated argument with Tucker's mother, with whom Burruss has maintained a good relationship.
"We get along great," Burruss says. "Todd's mom is fun. She's really nice, and she's like the life of the party."
But Burruss understands why Tucker's mother has taken offense to things Mama Joyce says about her son-in-law, saying: "I guess it was inevitable, somebody speaking badly about your child. Of course you're going to have a problem with that, so her and my mom, they bump heads."
Staying out of the drama is the strategy that has works best for Burruss. "If his mom wants to vent, it's only so much I want to listen to," she says. "I'm like, 'Can we talk about something else?"
Burruss and Tucker's relationship is also the subject of their production "A Mother's Love" that played five sold-out performances in November at the Rialto Center for the Arts in Atlanta. Based on dynamics of Burruss's mother Mama Joyce and her disproval of her daughter's relationship, the play stars Burruss, Eddie Levert, Shirley Murdock, Q Parker, D. Woods, Chandra Currelly, and Porsha Williams, and is available as a DVD and soundtrack.
Burruss says Mama Joyce approves of the play, especially the title song. "She's always been a big fan of anything that I write, but I have to especially say she was more in love with the 'I love you more than I love myself' part that Shirley Murdock sings," says Burress, who famously wrote the TLC hit "No Scrubs."
"In the song she says, 'I love you more than I love myself.' That's something I've taken straight from my mom because she says it all the time."