Sunday, November 25, 2007

Things That Are Wrong: The Wedding Edition


1. Jordan almonds. One the trend spectrum (or circle, really since things just keep going away and coming back in like some virtuous circle), jordan almonds are so bad and so tacky that they are almost back. ALMOST. But not. And really, not ever. I just paid probably $100 or more for your gift. All I expect is a timely thank-you on nice stationery, and frankly, even if you forget, I won't hold it against you. If I came to your wedding, it's because I love you and I am thrilled for you. Save the $5 per guest that you invested in your silly little boxes and ribbon and forget the little candy you placed inside. I would rather have a bar of Scharffen Burger chocolate than the stale nuts or waxy chocolate, so do everyone the favor of bypassing the awkward little going-away gift. No jordan almonds, please. No M&Ms with your initials. Just a nice plate of beef or fish, please, and some good wine. That's all your guests need.

2. The accidental invitation. You know the one you get from the colleague with whom you are friendly and currently working on a short-term project? Just because we have hit it off, and because I ask about your nuptials (how can I not ask? You probably already mentioned it 9 times) please don't feel that you need to send me a belated invitation. I hardly know you. And now it's awkward for both people. I have to free up a Saturday, find a gift... you have to explain to your friends who the hell I am... it's awkward. Invite people you have known for more than 3 years and with whom you socialize outside of work. Anything less is just weird. You don't want a bunch of people in your wedding photos whom you won't know in another 3 years.

3. Tiaras. I am not even going to explain why.

4. Familial or social atonement. Have a big rift with poppa and think a wedding invitation is just the thing to mend the two of you? Wrong. Old bitchy friend you had a falling out with, and you think inviting her is the best olive branch you can extend? Forget it. Weddings are bad places to mend those fences, and a tacky thing, too. Mend privately before or after, and spare everyone the Dr. Phil-ness of it all.

5. Thinking it's going to be the most amazing wedding ever. It won't be. I guarantee it. So pack your humility and sweetness and aim for a fun party and don't think that custom-stenciled aisle thingy is so grand and that we'll all notice. We won't. I mean, come on... we're a culture that's watched behind-the-scenes-Colin-Cowie-fest footage of Oprah parties... we all know what grand (or vulgar, depending on your take) is. Most of us can't afford it. So don't try to stretch the dollar too far. Cut your guest list and make it great for fewer people. No one will be impressed with dry chicken served to 250 in the same way that they will adore you for renting out a restaurant for 50 and throwing the dinner party of a lifetime.

6. Too many attendants. I actually think the correct number is very close to zero, but that's me. Too many (esp the older the couple is) and it's just weird.

7. Planning a weekend-long wedding full of attendance-expected events. Look, people it's YOUR day. And just because it's massively special for you, this is one of MANY we will have to attend, so ease up. You get ONE day. You do not get the brunch the day before, and the clam-dig the afternoon before, or the cocktails-on-the-boat event the day after. You get one day, and you need to feed us and give us liquor and you need to show us a good time, but we are not at summer camp and we are not going to go to 5 different events the weekend of your wedding. I, frankly, have shit to do. Shit that has nothing to do with you.

8. Ghetto locations. Or predictable ones. There is a fun space in Seattle called Lake Union cafe. Inside it's good for a party... outside, it's next to a run-down old palm reader's shack. In 2 years, this street will be charming... but for now, it's rude, I think, to make people walk past squalor to get to your event space. Plus, I have a thing against places designed just to hold events. Call me crazy, but they are the worst. I would rather walk past squalor (and the palm reader, even) and go somewhere odd like a dim sum place, than go somewhere where everyone has their weddings. It's too factory-like. Impersonal.

9. Your big gross wedding registry when you're over 28 years old. Please add to this, any sort of "We have everything we need, so give cash please... or pitch in on our online vacation registry (which is just another way to save give cash, please). I will not, thank you very much.

I will have more to add to the list soon, I am sure. In the meantime, what are your wedding pet peeves?

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

oh, that Colin Cowie is creepy. I could see him being one of Satan's lesser minions (along with Antony Todd). I bet his breath is sulfurous. Oprah has the worst taste ever.

teaorwine said...

..including in the invitation, a list of stores where your registries can be located. Yikes!

Fairfax said...

...all of the above and bridezillas. if everything's not perfect and it's not exactly how you planned it, chill out. no one's going to know unless you make an issue out of it, and then you'll be the one who looks immature and petty.
... and super-duper over the top expensive weddings. why make everyone go into debt just to show you can have the flashiest (tackiest) wedding in the world? you'll probably get divorced before three years anyway.

decorno.blogspot.com said...

Fairfax - you so nailed it.

And teaorwine - yes! Agree. Isn't that just scary? Esp because you *know* people know better and they do it anyway. Ugh.

decorno.blogspot.com said...

Anon - "sulfurous." That is brilliant. And isn't his voice so slithery and creepy? "Yeeeeez, dahling, just sip this cup full of ruffies and lay back and enjoy your eeeeevening."

Eeew.

mamacita said...

6a. Matching bridesmaid dresses. It's not a chorus line -- let them wear real clothes.
6b. Tuxedos in broad daylight. They have etiquette books at the library -- consider reading one.

becoming-home said...

My wedding pet peeve is flower girls dressed like mini brides.. it looks so Jon Benet Ramsey.

Forever Chic said...

How about truly hideous bridesmaid's dresses? You know, the ones the bride picked out because she's terribly insecure ("if my bridgesmaids look hideous, they won't overshadow me!") and passive-aggressive. The type that are expensive and so ugly, the poor bridesmaids will want to burn them after the wedding. Come to think of it, 99% of bridesmaid's dresses fall into this category.

Also, theme weddings, especially Disney-themed ones. The fact that grown women still buy into the Disney thing ("I'm a princess!") and many actually get married at Disney World, which has a brisk business in selling exorbitant wedding packages complete with a Mickey Mouse cake, a Disney-inspired dress, and appearances by various cartoon characters. Personally, I think if the idea of a Disney-inspired wedding turns you on, you are totally unqualified to get married and should never be allowed to have children. (more on this crazypants phenomenon: http://jezebel.com/gossip/princess-brides/marriage-is-not-a-fairy-tale-324338.php)

Lastly, releasing doves at the conclusion of the ceremony. Nothing says love like killing helpless, dumb birds.

Forever Chic said...

whoops, blogger truncated my link: http://tinyurl.com/2tq4ua

fashiongirl said...

I loathe those ginormous engagement rings you can see from space. And the false humility they create, "Oh you like it? Well, it's only 2 and half carrots..." You just know he bought her a CZ.

Anonymous said...

I would admire them if they went with CZ (and spent the real money on a house). A big honkin' diamond solitaire you can see from space is pure Donald Trump.

nunu pepe' said...

I will be attending a wedding soon that was planned in two weeks, it's simple and lovely. My pet peeve is people taking 12 months to plan one day!!! Talk about creating the biggest anti-climaxes of your life!!

franki durbin said...

I have one... glitter or sequins in the envelope. I detest opening an invite only to have to sweep my floors afterwards thanks to a glitter bomb.

Buffets are another one. To me, if the budget doesn't allow for sit-down that one should plan it in afternoon and simply have cocktails and passed hors de vors. Much more tasteful, and gives your older, single cousin less time to hit on me as I wait my turn in line.

Anonymous said...

If the food is good, who the hell cares?

perfect bound said...

calling it the happiest day of your life. my happiest day will include cake and my man, yes. but let's leave the pinnacle of happiness for a more private moment, shall we? and matching anything- dresses, centerpieces or sentiments should be crossed off the list as well. oh Decorno, thank you, this is fun!

Wendy said...

Bravo to all of you brides who know good taste! Some of your comeents are a scream!! forever chic is so right!! If you are old enough to get married- do it somewhere besides Disney! Marriage is real life- as perfectbound points out so well!

beachbungalow8 said...

how about those lace wedding cowboy hats and lace turtleneck dresses of yore? god those were insane.

tiaras belong on nobody (unless you are royalty) i hate over done wedding invites. the kind that come in boxes. (did anyone catch real housewives of o.c.?)

i hate seeing parents paying for a wedding. do you come with a dowry too?


this is the one that nobody likes but me....kids (unless they're your own) don't belong in or at a wedding.i'd probably ixnay my own from mine, but i think it may cause trauma.

katiedid said...

I love these "worst of" posts. They are so devilishly fun! Luckily I am at a time of life after my friends have gotten married and before my kids, so haven't had to deal with all of the horrors for awhile!

studio wellspring said...

1. old acquaintance wedding invitations: being invited to a wedding by a very old not-so-close friend ~ as in some one you haven't seen or spoken to in 10 years and weren't that close to in the first place.
2. setting gift expectations in the invitation: anything related to gifts or registries or cash requests included in the invitation. ergh ~ where have all the nice manners gone?? sigh.

Anonymous said...

My wedding planner told me that making a bunch of single women line up to catch your bouquet is tacky, and she was right.

I'll add to the list sand ceremonies, groomsmen ties and vests in matching colors to the bridesmaids' dresses, almost any wedding favor except maybe candy, a sweethearts' table (you just signed up to be with this person for the rest of your life, sit with your freinds, buttholes!), dog ring bearers, anything involving public exposure of a garter, and not being considerate of the fact that your family, bridal party and guests have their own lives and they need not budget hundreds of dollars to be part of your wedding. If you can't afford it, don't expect them to pay for it! And in my opinion, this includes ugly dresses that will only be worn once. The bride should pay for them, or at least go half and half if she's letting the girls have some choice in the matter.

Anonymous said...

All this just increases my affection for all the great American wedding vulgarities. Disney cakes, dead doves... Where is your John Waters spirit, people? This stuff is hysterical!

Who wants to live in a world of unrelieved good taste? To me, the worst vulgarian of all is Martha Stewart, with her excrutiating class anxieties poking out everywhere you look. Makes me crave a nice big slobbery dog ring-bearer. Pit bull, ideally.

decorno.blogspot.com said...

OMG, Anon - you are hysterical. You're right too.. we don't want to class it up too much.

Forever Chic said...

Anon's up to something. Here's my theory: if you know and love the people getting married, then a few vulgarities are easily excused as quirks. But if you only go to the wedding out of obligation or for the freakshow factor - then any tacky touches will really rub you the wrong way. It's all about context, people.

However, Disney-themed weddings are not right in any circumstance. Friends don't let friends get married in Cinderella dresses.

Wendy said...

I am loving all the feedback on this post! It is hysterically funny and good- natured! Anyone who can't see the humor- that's a shame!! The bottom line is, every bride should do what makes her happy- Cinderella, doves, kids, garters... whatever! We all have different opinions. That's ok!!! Life is short-- laugh!

Alkemie said...

OMG, I had to hold my sides from laughing while reading this. The comments are equally as funny. Had a long day today, still at work and this has been a refreshing post!

Can you imagine that I've been a bride's maid 7 times. No Lie, no exaggeration. So now that it's time for me to think about my own wedding - needless to say I am completely traumatized. After wedding #5 I told myself I wouldn't be a bride's maid again. Didn't have the heart to say no. I tried to even get out of a ceremony but my mum and my guy think it's better to have one. Point taken.

Conclusion - I'm going to have it on a cruise so I can buy the "wedding" package and not plan for very much. Only tell my close friends and family a year ahead and send out the invitations as usual to everyone else. No registries and no gifts and no one I have to offend by excluding since it's sort of a destination wedding.

Fairfax was spot on about going into debt with flasy weddings. I had to laugh about the sequins in Franki Durbin's comment. I would have been upset too. It's like, now I gotta break out the vaccuum to clean this up. Forever Chic - I have a collection of hideous bride's maid dresses. Don't know whether I want to curse it on others or throw them out.

Karen

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Kate said...

Two words for you: chocolate fountains. Gimmicky food things at weddings make me want to vomit. I photographed weddings for a few years and have seen some crazy shit.

I think I regret my actual wedding more than my failed marriage itself. Thinking back on it makes me so embarassed! Brides truly do have temporary insanity and I promise you that some of us do wake from the coma.

Mary T. said...

Our wedding was plenty vulgar and lots of fun -- and the food was excellent. (My husband worked for a very great deli/restaurant at the time.) We served blue drinks from a champagne fountain (always loved that crap as a kid). I did insist on real plates and utensils though -- I just couldn't bear paper plates at my wedding.

If I may come up with a "please don't do this" for participants: Don't bring a date when it's not listed on the invite UNLESS YOU ASK. We had a pretty tight space and having seven unexpected people show up made it really tricky to seat everyone.

~M said...

I'm on board with just about all of this except the Jordan almonds. My mother asked me to do 3 things for my wedding: 1) Change into a going-away outfit (I did, it was a white pique suit with chartreuse shoes & bag, orchid corsage for me, sport coat and slacks for him). 2) Have my father walk me down the aisle (I did, despite him having a freak-out about the time of day we were serving heavy appetizers and threatening not to come) 3) Have the Jordan almonds (I did). I figured, for how great my mom is ... these were really easy things to accommodate her on. Also, we're Sicilian and Jordan almonds are kind of a must. They're symbolic, more than anything [they symbolize the bitter and sweet of life, fertility, and typically you have an odd number that's not divisible (3 or 5)]. However, I did get Jordan almonds that actually tasted pretty good as they had marzipan in them and weren't too hard to actually eat. I don't look at it as a "gift" to the guest (I think it's ridiculous to position favors as enough of a gift for people coming to witness your wedding…they're giving you the gift by being there…you've just got to do your thank you notes!) Trust me, the Nanas expect it.

I did have too many attendants (in all fairness that was my husband's fault) and regret that a bit. My only consolation was that their attire was great (and some of them have worn their dresses again!) and well, at least 3 of them are lesbians and one a Chinese guy with waist-length hair…yah!

dannyboy said...

here i go again, not as long though
1- wedding favor hogs. you know who i'm talking about, the people walking around to the empty seats grabbing the favors or worse, the centerpiece before it's even over!
2- i used to work at this hotel and did weddings on ocassion, they'd get pretty witty at how to designate tables, like one had the tables numbered then every number had pictures of the couple at that age. pretty cute, especially the young ones. but this one couple chose to name all their tables after all their favorite restaurants! "oh bummer! you're at yard house, i'm sitting at p.f. chang, thank god we're not stuck w/ the kids at the i.h.o.p. table!"

Anonymous said...

Matching satin-clad clones with sausage curls and Gerber daisies... yes, I am bitter.

Arranged seating, shoving cake into someones mouth, reception lines and drink 'tickets'.
All imperative to making your wedding awful.

Anonymous said...

Wrong:

garter scene

bouquet-throwing

anything conga-like

chocolate fountains

annoying-fucking-DJ's

Precious Moments cake toppers

Videotaping any of it. I mean, really.

Oh yeah btw Oprah does have hideous taste. (Also, I think she loves Mr. Sulfur-breath.)

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah didn't see that; reception lines and cake smashing are god-awful.

Oh yeah also the always cringe-worthy 'personally-written vows'. I always fast-forward in my mind 10 years and it is just so...you know what I mean.

Preppy 101 said...

I also love this post. I would like to add parasols - yes, the bridesmaids carried these garish orange parasols. One of the worst things I have seen yet. And what about the video presentation {at the end of the ceremony!!!!} of the couple from birth until whenever. Horrible!!

Anonymous said...

Nothing says cheap like hosting your wedding in a space without air conditioning in the middle of the summer — no matter how quaint, antique-y or boathouse-y the space is.

Weddings scheduled on three day weekends because travel is easier. C'mon, if I want to attend I will regardless.

lISA said...

Love it, agree with everything!!! Sadly, ten years ago I wore a small tiara. Because of that little thing I have not been able to bring myself to put one picture of my misguided, Breakfast At Tiffany's loving ass on my walls. I cringe every time I look at my wedding pictures. Decorno where were you when I needed you?

Also, this is really unfair of me to say, but what the hell:

If you have already had a big wedding, you should be forbidden from ever having another. I have been to several relatives SECOND and (OMG, I'm not kidding) THIRD weddings. Are they fucking kidding. We are about to go to a wedding for a relative who is over 40 and has already been down that aisle. His "blushing bride" never had a real wedding because she was a teen bride. BOO HOO. So we all have to go along with a ridiculous joke to makeup for her bad choices. They are making their FOURTEEN, yes FOURTEEN, attendants (including my husband) wear tuxedos and (Davids Bridal, HEHE) gowns to a VFW Hall. ABSURD, ABSURD, ABSURD!!!!

Lisa said...

I forgot these wedding pet peeves:

Bride/Grooms: FEED and INTOXICATE your Guests. I hate going to weddings with very little and/or not good food. And I have to pay for a fucking drink, are you kidding me. These are at wedding with brides wearing thousand dollar gowns and the photographer, invitations, and flowers cost many, many thousands of dollars.

Rule number one of wedding budgets should be: spend the bulk of the cost on entertaining/feeding your guests. If you can't afford to PROPERLY do this, then you need to cut the guest list down and/or cut the budget in other areas. Weddings are celebrations and the bride/groom are the host. Be the best host you can be and don't be a cheap ass in some ways (food, bar tab) and then a show off phoney in other ways (designer gowns, letter-pressed invites, lily-of-the-valley bouquets etc.) Respect your guests!!!! If you go cheap on the food, entertainment and drinks, you're not fooling anyone. No class.

Anonymous said...

Telling your bridesmaids that they will be able to wear the dress again. "Just dye it black" or "just hem it to the knee." Bullshit. I have agreed to be in your wedding and buy a $250+ dress because I love you. You don't have to sell me on the friggin' dress. We both know it is a bridesmaid dress that never will see the light of day until I send it off to the Salvation Army during my winter closet purge. I have been in 12 weddings in the past 7 years, and half of the brides have tried to pull this one on me.

Anonymous said...

How does everyone feel about bridal showers? I'm a teacher so I work with mostly women - who are always getting married or knocked up. Sooooo over the whole shower shit.
If we are just co-workers and do not socialize outside of work, please don't invite me. Showers are really just a reason to get gifts. It's rude to ask me to buy you a present if we aren't friends.
Unbelievably, I have been invited to a bridal shower for a woman who was married over the summer break - a wedding I was not invited to, thank God. Who has the nerve to invite someone to a shower and not the wedding? Although, if I haven't made it clear already, I don't want to go to the stupid wedding either.

Anonymous said...

Why on earth would one need to become an expert on jewelry, floral arrangements, cardstock weights,and dress silhouettes in order to make a love-you-for-life commitment to your significant other? Opted out of this one, thank you very much.

Anonymous said...

i can't believe anyone would want to marry such a sour puss like you.

Anonymous said...

I side with the person who opted out of most of the superficial trappings surrounding weddings.

I went to a wedding with a Disney theme. Each table was named after a character. We sat at the Pinocchio table. (!) Luckily we didn't get the Dumbo table.

Amy said...

I have to agree with this post - I followed the majority of all these rules for my wedding this year. We had ONE attendant each, I bought a sample dress, no tiara. Food and Drinks were plenty. One photographer. No videos or those horrible videographers with the microphones that go around and want the guests to all say a little something to the bride and groom. Blech!

I have to say, most vendors in the wedding industry i felt were slanted towards the BIGGER! BETTER! mentality. I actually had one horrifed wedding dress boutique saleswoman gasp "OH MY GOD!" when I told her I was getting married in four months and didnt have my dress yet. It was hard to plan around this mentality.

Traycina said...

Gotta say, my favorite weddings are at hotels..... especially when I have a room and the bar has something flowing freely :-)

High on my list of HATES: over-done, over-styled, over-planned, over-detailed weddings.

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Anonymous said...

I hate when I get invited to a wedding, especially one of the "I don't really know you but I want my wedding to be huge so I'm inviting you" kind, and don't get to bring a guest. You want me to come and witness your love without someone to gag to? You want me to go into the jungle without a buddy? No thanks! You need to have a date at a wedding, it's a couple's event! It's just rude to ask someone to face that alone.

Susan said...

goddamnit. I was so happy that i wasn't guily of any of this. but I got married at lake union cafe. but I didn't want to. I had to find a location that had free parking for our guests (so they didn't pay) and that was close to our church (or my dad wouldn't pay for the damn thing.) the fact that one of our groomsmen hung out with a homeless man in his TREEHOUSE during the reception only makes our wedding day that much more charming. Right? That's what I keep telling myself. :)