Trista & Ryan: Bob D'Amico/ABC
Gary Susman
December 12, 2003 AT 05:00 AM EST

Trista Rehn and Ryan Sutter’s wedding, televised Wednesday, was an intimate little affair, with just 17.1 million of the ‘”Bachelorette” couple’s closest friends in attendance. That viewership figure, according to Nielsen, was enough to give ABC a win on Wednesday; it was also one of the most-watched shows on the network all season, second only to the recent ”Bachelor” finale.

Still, ”Trista and Ryan’s Wedding,” whose ceremony cost ABC a reported $4 million to stage (not counting the $1 million paid to the bridal couple), wasn’t even the most watched reality-matchmaking show of the week — that honor will go to NBC’s ”Average Joe” finale, which drew 17.4 million viewers on Monday. On the other hand, ABC says, it drew the biggest U.S. audience for a TV wedding since the marriage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana in 1981. No word on who spent more, the British royals or ABC.

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