July 11, 2007

Weddings: Let's Do The Snarky-Snarky

It is astonishing how bad you can feel if your hair is greasy and there are wet milk circles on your pajama top, and the baby first refuses to nurse and then screams steadily throughout the rest of the events of this paragraph, and then your son calls from the bathroom that you have an opportunity to look for the metal ball he swallowed two days ago, and the ball is still not there and then the toilet clogs and you can't unclog it, and you go back out to the living room and notice a cat has barfed on the couch, and there's a bad smell coming from somewhere in the house, and remember that baby has been screaming this whole time.

So let's not talk about that! I have a different topic. My mom and I were trying to pin down which elements of a wedding make it seem tacky or tasteful, over-the-top or lovely, etc. My mom and I are similar in many ways, but we didn't agree completely.

We have to tread a little carefully here, don't we, because the things one person considers tac-KAY, another person thinks are awesome and romantic. On the other hand, it's the snarky comments about the tackiness of weddings we've attended that make this conversation the dirty little pleasure it is, so, you know, don't hold back too much. My day could use some happy snarking.

54 comments:

Sam said...

Hmmm. The only thing I can think of is when people smooch A LOT when they go to light the unity candle. I love people being in love and all, but the whole smoochy unity candle thing just seems inappropriate at the time. (Note, the majority of weddings I attend are in sanctuaries of churches, which calls for a bit more propriety, I think. I am such an old lady for someone who is 28!)

Sara said...

My mother wore a white dress to my brother's wedding. 'Nuff said? I think so.

Ed and I refused to kiss for all of the people clinking their glasses. We think it is ridiculous.

Tessie said...

In my hometown, the shameless pleas for money are fairly common (dollar dance, auctioning off the garter, etc.). Tacky AND not particularly helpful to the bride and groom, who have to find a place for $500 in singles.

Shannon said...

Fake flowers. But I don't like them regardless.

We had a very simple wedding...ceremony, sit down dinner. No dancing, no flower toss, no garter toss. Just eating, drinking (maybe too much), and talking.

Penny said...

I don't know that I've been to enough tacky weddings to know what possibilities are out there, but I'll say that purple neon crosses at the alter, groping the bride/bridesmaid during the garter ritual, and anything suggesting your guests should give you money is, in my opinion, tacky. Also anything MTV shows.

MrsGrumpy said...

Not that I'm talking about it, but I found a neat little tip on the internet for unclogging a toilet. Pour a little bit of dish soap down the toilet and wait about a half hour. Then plunge and it goes right through...I kid you not. Tackiest wedding happening? The smooshing of the cake in the face. I always wonder what the divorce rates are between people who do that. In my opinion (and this is just my opinion) it's really sad to watch because it feels a little disrespectful of one's newlywedded spouse.

Devan said...

I'd say the decorations & look of the bridesmaids dreses are the things that can put an wedding over the edge from beautiful to tacky.
Anything too bright and obnoxious, mis-matched or just plain ugly.

velocibadgergirl said...

OK, I realize a lot of people really love super-religious weddings, but it was sort of awkward when a friend of mine got married in a Baptist church, and at the rehearsal, the pastor asked everyone to pray to accept Jesus into their hearts, right then and there. Two of the bridesmaids were lapsed Catholics, the girl standing in for the other bridesmaid was an agnostic, and the girl she was standing in for is a lesbian's baby-daddy's wife (LONG story). So we all felt pretty out of place, and that was BEFORE he asked all those who'd accepted Jesus into their hearts just then to raise their hands. (Only one person did.)

Also? The pastor was sort of clueless, and he mucked around with the procession order, and the bride's mom ended up being escorted down the aisle by her ex-husband's son--the son he'd fathered with the woman he'd cheated on her with and then left her for...luckily the mother of the bride handled it with admirable grace.

The bride's dad bitched because his new wife wasn't seated with the bride's mother and ex-stepmother (he cheated on and left the second wife, too). He made a fuss at the reception before the bridal party arrived. He made a big deal about giving a speech at the reception even though he's been basically an absentee for most of the bride's life.

And the groom's mother showed up to the rehearsal in acid washed jeans, had to be taken to the mall by the bride's sister for appropriate pants to wear the next day (she refused to wear a dress), and then had to be frantically tracked down the next day when we were lining up to go into the church.

The groom's sister's kids ran WILD at the reception, to the point where I had to tell them to back the eff away from the wedding cake, pre-cutting, because none of the parents in the room were paying attention.

They had a dollar dance, too, but by that point we were just glad no one had started a McCoy-Hatfield style feud in the middle of the buffet table.

For all of that, the bride was the picture of grace and dignity, and it was a really lovely wedding, even though it made me SO GLAD mine was super uneventful in contrast. I'll cop to having fake flowers, though. My sister and mom have allergies, and I didn't have the money to spend on real ones anyway. Besides, they weren't that bad ;)

anita said...

Hmm...people who are supposed to give toasts who are unprepared and can't think of anything to say...plastic champagne glasses that the bottoms fall off of..ugh, hate those! I went to a wedding once where the bride got the giggles and could hardly say her vows and it was outside and there were bees swarming everywhere, but the biggest thing I hate...butt bows! you know those wedding or bridesmaid dresses with the humongous bows right on the butt that everybody stares at during the wedding because the only thing they're looking at is your backside!

The sweetest thing I ever saw, though, was when the bride and groom washed each other's feet. It was a beautiful outdoor summer wedding and the bride wore flip flops so she could slip them off. I loved it.

JayJenny said...

The tackiest thing I've heard of was expecting the wedding party to pay for the transportation "party bus" from the church to the reception hall. It's not their wedding!

But the #1 spot goes to anyone wearing white but the bride. I agree w/Sara. It's just tacky, tacky, tacky!!

Flibberty said...

Placing those cards stores give you (to indicate you are registered there) in the wedding invitations. So tacky!

Banana said...

Too much breaking for songs in the middle of the ceremony. It gets repetitive and boring - and often the bride and groom look as uncomfortable standing up there and staring at each other as the guests feel.
Also, I totally agree that sending the cards telling people where you are registered is totally takcy.. big no no!

Swistle said...

MrsGrumpy: I'm filing away that useful information! Without talking about it.

Swistle said...

Velocibadgergirl: HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. HA!

Kristin said...

I have never been much for the dollar dance, but that's nothing compared to the wedding I was at where the groom started in with taking off the garter, rummaged around under her dress for a minute, and then pulled out a rubber chicken. I kid you not.

Misguided Mommy said...

i hate hate hate the chicken dance. i hate weddings that are all stuffy and pompus, i hate when they dont smash cake in each others face, and i hate pretentious food, oh and did i mention the chicken dance

nowheymama said...

A pinata filled with condoms at the reception. Of a medieval-themed wedding.

el-e-e said...

Okay... hope this doesn't offend anyone but the one outdoor wedding I went to, where the DJ had to do the "procession" music, and it was all synthesizer-sounding instead of proper and regal... I think I made a "how tacky" face.

Also, the dollar dance. Ugh. I had forgotten that one.

I think condoms anywhere in the vicinity, but especially blown up like balloons on the "getaway" car are super tacky. When we got married, my uncle smeared Vaseline under the car door handles so we got all sticky with... goo... before we got in the car. That was more than inappropriate, it was downright gross.

Christine said...

I went to a wedding when I was 19 in college and it was in Texas. The bride and groom paid for it themselves and were my age, so I forgave them it at the time. But they had a keg. And no champagne. And there were many many a beer toast.

Dawn said...

I have to add two awful things I witnessed:

At my husband's cousin's wedding, it was the garter toss. Not only did they have the chicka-bow-wow music, the groom stuck his entire head/shoulders up inside the bride's dress (BLECH), and came back out with an enormous pair of purple satin panties in his teeth. Classy.

I hate the dollar dance too, but the wedding I was at last month (another cousin of my husband, sensing a trend here?) took the cake. Instead of a dollar dance, where at least we'd get to talk to the happy couple for a few seconds, they did a "dollar dash." The bride and groom ran around the room holding out bags with which they were supposed to obtain as much money from the guests as possible in two minutes. Oh and the bags? Wrinkled plastic grocery sacks. Again, class-ay.

desperate housewife said...

I have a couple tacky stories recently witnessed at weddings. First, my own aunt's second marriage, during which she marched down the aisle to some country song playing on someone's portable stereo. Then we all had to stand in silence for five minutes, the wedding party fully assembled at the front, and listen in reverence to Lonestar's "Amazed" before the actual ceremony got underway. I about wet my pants trying not to laugh.
Second, in a wedding I was at about a month ago, the bridesmaids all wore brown, knee-length dresses with BLACK shoes, not matching, either, and they were all backless heels, and they sounded like a pack of color-blind mules clip-clopping their way to the front of the church. VERY distracting.

desperate housewife said...

Oh, and I totally agree with some of the other commenters here. One, it is the height of tacky to try to CONVERT people at a freakin' wedding ceremony, and I'm saying that as someone who would be considered fairly religious! Save the vacation Bible school tactics for another time, people. And dollar dances are super tacky, yes, as is the chicken dance.

cindy said...

If you are looking for wedding snark, check out http://www.etiquettehell.com. My own tackiest wedding story is there at http://www.etiquettehell.com/content/eh_wedding/weddingsfhell/weddingfromhell2001arc.shtml, if you scroll about halfway down the page to the tag Wedhell0509-01.

Jana said...

The money dance irks me everytime, but it's the clothes that really get me going. Like the bride who wore the whitest dress known to man even though she had been married before and had two kids out of wedlock. Or my brother-in-law and his wife who wore "Groom" and "Bride" t-shirts (with jeans and flip flops) to their ceremony and reception. Or my mil who wore a low-cut, black sequined dress to our 11 am wedding. Ick.

Shelly said...

I have to agree with the kissing. I don't mind a nice smooch during the "you may kiss the bride", but full on tongue wrestling is something that no one wants to see.

My worst tacky wedding was my step-sister's wedding. They already had two small kids (she got knocked up when she was 16), had already bought a house together, etc., yet insisted on the big, white dress full-blown wedding, complete with dollar dance. Of course, I also knew she'd been screwing around on the husband-to-be for years (still does), so maybe that had something to do with my distaste.

Jodi said...

We just announced we will be having a vow renewal wedding next year and reading this has got my panties in a bunch. Who knew there were so many don'ts at a wedding. :)

And I am slipping away that little soap trick. With five kids, our toilet hardly stops flushing all day.

Mimi said...

It really bugs me when an older bride who has been married before and/or has kids has to have a poofy fairy-tale princess wedding. I mean, act your age, people!

Also, my list of tacky includes running out of food at the reception (it's always better to have way too much than not enough!), guests wearing jeans to weddings, and plastic "silverware". Oh, it's also super tacky when the bride and groom get waaaaaay too drunk at their own wedding. Nobody likes to see a wasted bride.

My Buddy Mimi said...

Pre-printed thank you notes next to each place setting. Either write them yourself so that they are personalized, or don't write them at all. Also, at the same wedding... home-made silk floral arrangements where the strings from the glue gun looked like cobwebs.

laughing mommy said...

I went to a wedding once where during the dollar dance someone pinned a dollar to the grooms, um, dingdong and then someone pinned a dollar to that, and then another dollar, etc.

He had a giant swinging dollar dingdong.

I'm not positive but I think the bride had dollar boobs too.

Can you imagine?

laughing mommy said...

I hate it when wedding party doesn't wear clothing appropriate for the season.

Long sleeved dresses in summer? No.

Typically I think all brides are beautiful, but I went to one wedding in August, it was in the 90s outside, and the bride wore a high collar, long sleeved dress. She got emotional and bawled until her face was swollen and she turned beet red from being so hot in that dress. Oh, she had on a big old headdress veil type thing too... practially a hat. I thought she was going to have heat stroke.

Also, I don't know if this is true or not (someone help me out here if you've been to a wedding like this) but I've heard there are weddings where there is someone at the reception who opens your gift when you arrive and assigns a value to it... if it is not worth enough you give money also. Is this true?

AndreAnna said...

I always find cheap buffets tacky. Now, don't get me wrong, I think a buffet can be done well, and though not a personal fan, have seen some really nice ones. However, I have been to not one, but TWO weddings where they ran out of buffet food. Oh, so sad.

Julie said...

I have heard you should try to give a gift that equals the value of your plate at a wedding, but a gift is a gift, and if someone opened my gift at the wedding, and then asked me to make up the "difference" in cash? Uh, if that ever happened? They would not get the original gift, or the gift of my presence.

I love etiquette, it is so interesting, but so rarely used anymore. I am going home to read my Miss Manners.

Swistle said...

Jodi: I think weddings are situations where SOME people will hate ANY way you do it. Do it the way you like best and tell everyone else to suck it up buttercup.

Shannon said...

I'm guilty of some of these (payback for my fake flowers remark).

Well, I wore a white dress and we already had a baby and owned a house together.

I also put in my invitations that the guests should wear flip flops or sandals. I wore them, why shouldn't other people be comfortable, too?

Swistle said...

I like what Miss Manners says about a white wedding dress: that white is the traditional (well, current traditional) color for wedding dresses, and isn't meant to be truth in advertising.

Shannon said...

Love it!

Mommy Daisy said...

I am constructing a post about this. I have way to much to post here. I thought it was a good opportunity to share the wedding drama that is my sister. :P

So, will you tell us what you and your mom disagreed with as tacky?

Omaha Mama said...

When planning for my wedding I told my mother I only did not want two things. Tulle and ballons. That was all.

Although I've been to some lovely weddings that have included both. I just wanted neither.

Tacky? Too much bridal cleavage. A girlfriend of a groomsman giving him a lap dance during the reception. Bring a plus 3 or 4 to enjoy an open bar.

Mama Leone said...

The dollar dance.
Not the wedding itself, but to pay for the wedding and their honeymoon(In Italy) my SIL threw her own bachelor/ bachelorette party and charged an expensive admission fee, plus made money on the drinks, plus a raffle.
Never sending a thank-you note after you have received your gift. Although, I guess that's laquing class more than being tacky.

Marie Green said...

Well, my cousin had a wedding to top all tacky weddings. The music was from a portable CD player that skipped. She can down the aisle to "When We Make Love". I'm not kidding. In a church. I mean, I'm cool with the fact that most of us are not virginal brides, but to have a song about doing it at the wedding?

At a different wedding, the grooms men were all trying to be gansta's (this was before the Sopranos, but that kind of look.) They all carried fake machine guns around. Ummm? Huh?

I also hate it when the wedding party leaves to go bar hopping and then is gone for HOURS. Sure, sneak away for 45 minutes between dinner and dance, but come back, ya hear?

Also, if you are having a dance, the bride and groom need to dance. It's so uncomfortable when the dance is a flop.

Besides tacky weddings, I hate overly pretentious- like our affair is too fancy for children, or whatever. I can deal with people who don't have many children in their families not wanting any there, but don't be a snob about it.

angie said...

The most tacky thing I can think of is when people aren't invited...but they think they should have been invited and so they go ahead and invite themselves...this has happened TWICE in one week this week...I just think that is RUDE!!

jen said...

I hate the cake smash, we didn't do it.

I hate the messing with the car. My husband and I got married at his parents' beach house and my car was parked out front. Not only did they expect me to hand the keys over to some kid who was in charge of parking the cars way back on sand dunes to make room for the 80 people we invited (there are 6 parking spaces) but I had to worry about what people might do to it. I took both sets of keys and hid them and OOPSIE they couldn't move the car, and also told the husband I'd be in a Very Bad Mood if someone so much as touched my car. So there. I'm the bride! leave me (and my car) alone!

Dollar dance? pfft.

I H A T E when the videographer goes around and you're supposed to say something nice to the couple, especially if said vidiot has no social graces and doesn't notice some people totally fidgeting and not wanting to do it. I usually have to pee when I see him coming.. but they sometimes come back for me. The hell? Actually I think it's pretty dumb to have a videographer at your wedding. People With Video Cameras, sure. Professional with big blinding light walking around and getting in front of everyone to capture that special moment? bite me.

I also dont' really think much of weddings that are held in halls or hotel ballrooms, there is just something cheesy about them but maybe I've not been to a nice one :)

I must have been at the same wedding because I saw the rubber chicken thing too.

I hate buffets, and I HATE when they call you up by table like a bunch of 2nd graders. I'm always last, and there's never enough food, and half the people go up and cheat... or the first group gets up for seconds before we've gotten our chance.

I think all receptions should be rearranged so that you get to sit with your date, and no one is sitting in front of a giant jet engine sized speaker.

Don't show up very late and very drunk to your own wedding (yes, it's happened. It was the bride.)

Okay I know I sound cranky but it's 1:00 in the morning and I just spent 3 hours putting a tv stand together!

Brillig said...

Okay, my wedding was, apparently, SO boring--as was my day, compared to yours (even though we're not talking about it...)

Emblita said...

Hmm I have a tragi-comic wedding story; See, I got married in Vegas (I know I know, but my husband kinda set it all up without me knowing and flew me over there in shock and we had a nice wedding at home a year later) at The Little Chapel of the Flowers.

It was hysterical. First, the couple before us had apparently not had a good wedding. Notably, the pregnant bride was sitting in the reverend's office bawling, her mother and the reverend standing looking at her. Her father, and the grooms father standing around outside glaring at each other. And the groom? Nowhere to be seen. The lady at the reception desk whispered to us that this was "a shotgun wedding gone bad."
I realize we should have felt bad for her but it was just so well... theatrical. None of my wedding party (Me, Hubby and three friends) could help bursting out laughing after they left.

Plus, it was all sent live on the internet ow

We had to light a Unity candle too, which as Europeans we hadn't heard of so I thought that was a little bit too... mushy. That, coupled with the rev sounding like the priest in The Princess Bride (Maaaawidge is whaaat bwings us hewe tooodaaay)meant that I spent the entire (5min) of the ceremony trying not laugh.

But then again, I doubt that anyone can get married in Vegas without a little tackiness protruding

1hot&tiredmama said...

Crepe paper decorations including those paper wedding bells that you unfold and clip together. I not a huge fan of artifical flowers either, but I can live with them.

My dad is a floral designer. He's very talented. I didn't get an ounce of his talent. Naturally when I got married he did all my flowers. I really wanted to carry red roses for my bouquet but my dad kept telling me no. He said I had to carry an all white bouquet because it was "traditional" and that in 50 years when I looked back on the pictures I'd be glad I carried white flowers. Needless to say -- I carried white flowers. (My bridesmaids carried Tropicana roses which are coral colored.) They were beautiful -- white roses, lilies and queen anne's lace. Apparently my dad thinks brides carrying anything other than white flowers is tacky!

Swistle said...

Mommy Daisy: I'm scared to, for two reasons: (1) Maybe I will say something is tacky and it will be something one of you guys did, and it would be something I wouldn't have thought was tacky if it hadn't been my own relatives, and (2) You guys might agree with my mom.

Now I've made things sound overly interesting, when they weren't. The basic subjects were things such as "How many receptions should one wedding have?" and "If the couple spends $50/plate for a reception no one enjoys, is there any point to the whole wedding industry?" and "Souvenirs: sweet little gestures, or losing touch with whether people actually want something in their houses that eternally commemorates Your Special Day?"

Swistle said...

Emblita: I love the sound of "a shotgun wedding gone bad." Ha ha ha! Oh...I mean *sober look for seriousness of other people's sorrows*

CAQuincy said...

I went to a wedding as a kid where someone brought two "decorated" plants. One was a "money tree"--it had dollar bills dangling all over it. The other was a "rubber tree"--yes, with CONDEMS dangling all over it. GAAAHHHH!

Another wedding: not just tacky non-fitting bridesmaid dresses and flowers (one fake flower stuck in the middle of a pound of fake baby's breath. honestly!). But when it came time for the couple to open their gifts, the bride announces, "Let's see how cheap my new relatives are." It caused quite a little family feud in the years to come. And just to let you know how much she was loved.... When the bride at one point announced that she didn't want to have kids ("I'm not a baby factory!"), the father of the groom later said to another family member, "That's OK, he can have kids with his SECOND wife."

jen said...

oh, I just remembered. At our wedding, I was in charge of ordering the flowers. I worked with an awesome florist and I was so happy with everything. Except on the day of the wedding some numbskull thought they were deserving of a corsage, and took the one that was supposed to be my husband's. Then when I went chasing after him in a flipping rage... well let's just say he only got half of his corsage because we HAD to put one on this other guy for reasons I'll never understand.

And hubby is allergic to flowers, so the florist went all out to make sure it was some low pollen thing and didn't spray it with anything he might react to.

He still looked nice, but it's the principle of the thing.

MrsGrumpy said...

"Souvenirs: sweet little gestures, or losing touch with whether people actually want something in their houses that eternally commemorates Your Special Day?"

Ooooh, Swistle, I forgot about that! We have gotten CD's of the couple's favorite songs (blech, though kind of sweet (for them) to have, framed placeholders with the couples' wedding date and the little ribbon rings...BUT, if it's one of those personalized Hershey bars, I'm all in. If I can eat it, it's a good choice.

Finding My New Normal said...

I don't like the souvenier trend...unless it's chocolate. Why would I want something emblazoned with someone else's wedding date on it?

We had 2 receptions. One after the wedding (that featured an outdoor picnic buffet...there was too much food and most of it got thrown away after) and one a month later at my home church in the state where I grew up. It was lovely and we got to share some of the photos and the video with those of my friends and family who couldn't be at the wedding. Maybe tacky, but fun. I did NOT wear my wedding dress to the 2nd reception though. I thought that would be tacky. It was just an informal luncheon/open house thing that I mostly did to appease my mom. She did all the work and we just showed up.

Laura (coffee stained) said...

I'm late, but anything related to a pink champagne waterfall, a wedding "theme", a money dance, tiaras on flower girls, and oh so many other things... Pretty much my bff's wedding in a nutshell. Her reception was at a place called Casa Di Fiorre for cripe's sake! Picture lots of fake flowers and gold lame.

I'm a snob and my standards are high ;-)

Oh, and slutty looking bridesmaid's dresses or wedding gown.

Farrell said...

My ex's brother had a reception in the basement of a church, complete with plastic plates and utensils, YET the groomsmen all wore tails with their tuxes. If you want to have a relaxed, inexpensive country wedding, that's fine with me. But DON'T send out formal invites and have the groomsmen wear tails with their tuxes. be consistent.
not surprisingly, they also did the dollar dance, which i had never seen before (and did not like/appreciate).

Farrell said...

You know what else REALLY bugs me? Having an exceptionally long lag btwn ceremony and reception. ESPECIALLY if you are out of town and your only option is to go back to your hotel room and...wait. I also don't think it's smart bc if you have young people, they will just be smashed by the time the reception starts.