New Girl's two-part season five finale aired last night, and though it was centered on Schmidt (Max Greenfield) and Cece (Hannah Simone)'s wedding, which the series has been building to for quite some time, there were a few unexpected developments.
1. Schmidt missed the wedding.
That's right. Believe it or not, the same man who dreamed of his wedding his whole life and spent the entire season planning it with a level of fervor that can only be described as "the male Martha Stewart," couldn't make it to the ceremony. The groom had sweetly jetted off to Portland the day before the wedding to convince Cece's mom to come but wound up stuck on a plane. The show went on, though: the groom videoconferenced in to lead a conga line, hear the wedding speeches, and even kiss his bride.
"We wanted to show how much Schmidt's grown and how much Cece has helped him grow," show creator and executive producer Liz Meriwether told Entertainment Weekly. "What's surprising about it is the way he reacted to it, that he was kind of okay with it, that he made the best of it because he was just happy to be marrying this woman he loves. If you think about Schmidt in season one, that's such a huge growth for his character." Thankfully, the roommates still got to celebrate, loft-style: Upon Schmidt's return, they had a second ceremony and reception in the same apartment that brought the couple together.
2. Cece's dress turned out beautifully.
It's a given that Hannah Simone would look great in anything, but thanks to best maid of honor ever Jess (Zooey Deschanel), even the hideous, over-the-top, light-up wedding dress Cece purchased during a drunken dress-shopping excursion with Winston (Lamorne Morris) was transformed into a stunning bridal gown. Somehow, the crafty MOH managed to turn the gown inside out, top with a gold lace overlay, and add a train.
"The wedding was really trying to be true to both Cece's Indian heritage and also Schmidt's Judaism," Meriwether said. "I felt like the wedding dress [from costume designer Debra McGuire] should feel maybe not as traditional as her wedding with Shivrang, where she was wearing an Indian wedding sari. I wanted it to have Indian elements to it, so that's why we added the gold pattern over the dress, and then gave her the veil." As for the Indian tradition of wearing red on the wedding day? They worked the hue into Cece's gold veil, Jess's bridesmaid's dress, and the guys' ties for a wedding party look that felt traditional for both cultures.
3. The bride and groom's unique take on traditions.
Speaking of culture, Schmidt and Cece incorporated a few Indian and Jewish rituals into their loft ceremony, but they made them their own. Our personal favorites: Schmidt "breaking the glass"—the Douchebag Jar, to be exact—and the hora that wraps up the episode.
4. Sam didn't propose to Jess.
Though the commercials for the finale teased that Sam (David Walton) might be planning to pop the question to the New Girl herself, it ended up being quite the opposite, actually. He ended things the day before the wedding. The engagement ring Jess found in his pocket belonged to Schmidt's mom, who intended to propose to her girlfriend. All of this only makes Jess realize that she's still in love with Nick (Jake Johnson). Only, now Reagan (Megan Fox) has returned, and she and Nick are officially together. Until next season …