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wedding attitudes

I haven't talked wedding for the last couple posts, so here goes.

I caved and joined weddingplans because, well, it's damn helpful. And every once in a while I do just want to gush and don't feel like I can do it here... it feels to bridey. Anyway I was looking around the tags today and found this post from a few months ago about "what's tacky in a wedding" and it's awesome, not just because it's a poll, but because it started some drama, and is there anything more delish than bridal drama?

anyway I went to a party last night and talked to some guys there about my wedding, and it was funny because they actually asked about it, wanted to know details, and gave me tips. These men are all homosexuals and I often feel like this wedding is a celebration of my straightness, so I was surprised they were so into it. But they were. They had a lot to say about the dress, they were glad I bought a "real" one because one of them said the wedding dress sets the tone for the whole wedding, a bride in a tacky/ugly dress is the first things that sends the message about what this whole thing will be like. I thought wedding gowns were, like, the one thing that was never screwed up. Although when I thought about it, the last wedding I went to, the bride wore this halter-top dress with not much fabric involved at the top and a huge pouffy skirt with miles of ballerina toule that could have hidden all five of her size 2 bridesmaids. And it sent a message. I'd forgotten about that, because sometimes I try not to be judgemental (but let's face it, I totally am). So anyway, I thought it'd be interesting to poll all you random friends about what you think makes or breaks a wedding. Because when you ask these things to a community of people planning a wedding, nobody wants to call anybody tacky (well, I do, but again, love bridal drama too much). On the outside we've all got our gloves off. So maybe list 3-5 things. I'll go first.

Three wedding things that make me CRINGE:
1) When I know the bride and groom, and know they have a fucked up relationship and shouldn't be getting married.
2) Too many bridesmaids. It shows a lack of being able to keep it simple.
3) Gift-grabbing, usually indicated by a couple who feels it's acceptable to print their registry information and sent it with the invites.

Three wedding things that make it all worth going to:
1) Good reception music
2) Lovely invitations
2) Food and drink

oh and just so you know, if someone comments anonymously here and mentions "good timing and a strict schedule" as something that makes a wedding lovely, that would be my mother.

Comments

( 31 comments — Leave a comment )
litlebanana
Jun. 17th, 2007 06:35 pm (UTC)
I went to a wedding recently that had two things that made me cringe:

1) The bride was wearing a cape. (Albeit a white cape.)

2) I didn't recognize one dance song they played at the reception. I think at one point "Hey ya" came on and everyone got so excited that they recognized a song that the dance floor filled up... then quickly emptied out afterwards. I don't think there's anything wrong with staples like "Jump Around". People may think it's corny but it gets everyone dancing.
spacefem
Jun. 17th, 2007 06:54 pm (UTC)
I agree that it takes some cornyness. We're having some major controversy right now over the cha-cha slide... it's high on marc's "PLEASE NO" list, but his mom thinks it's fun. things could get ugly.
easter
Jun. 17th, 2007 06:59 pm (UTC)
Five wedding things that make me cringe: (In order of least to most obnoxious.)

(This is ME, personally. What other people do=not my problem.)

1. "Party favors" such as paper hats, leis, plastic instruments, etc. handed out at the reception, especially if the reception is in a formal place. A lot of people like that, but it's not my style.

2. The chicken dance, macarena, electric slide, etc. being played. Again, cool to a lot of folks, and that's fine, but not especially my style.

3. The bride requiring the bridesmaids to pay for anything other than the dress and possibly the shoes. It's obnoxious to be asked to drop $100 for an ugly hairdo and a mani-pedi after having to contribute another $100 plus for the shower.

4. Registry information being included anywhere. If you want to know, ask my mom or my bridesmaids. I'm not wearing a banner saying "Buy me sh*t."

5. Having a fancy-pants wedding with ice sculptures and four hundred guests but not having enough food. Yes, I was to one of those!
tabloidscully
Jun. 18th, 2007 07:21 pm (UTC)
3. The bride requiring the bridesmaids to pay for anything other than the dress and possibly the shoes. It's obnoxious to be asked to drop $100 for an ugly hairdo and a mani-pedi after having to contribute another $100 plus for the shower.


In my case, I didn't pay for my girls' dresses, but because they were ordered from an out-of-state boutique, I paid for the shipping cost, so that each dress only ended up costing them about $100. I also paid for the alterations that they needed to have done, which cost approximately half of the dress. I didn't make them get updos or nail jobs or anything, and told them all to just wear whatever shoes they wanted and also gave them jewelry to wear. I ended paying for two of my attendants' dresses anyway and buying shoes for a third, so I feel it all got evened out pretty well. And I didn't have any big showers or bachelorette parties, so I think my girls didn't spend more than $200 apiece, which is a relief since many of them were still in their second or third year of college and broke.

I did it that way because I was in a wedding where the bride didn't pay for shit, despite having a HUGE, expensive-ass wedding. Like it was our fault she had nine bridesmaids? Anyway, we paid $380 for an ugly pewter dress (requiring us to get ugly pewter shoes, because black wouldn't match it) and in the end, she gave us some jewelry to wear that probably cost her $20. I was pissed because the night before the wedding, she reminded all of us to go get our hair done. Yeah, she didn't pay for that, either.
cassieeeee
Jun. 17th, 2007 07:37 pm (UTC)
Three wedding things that make me CRINGE:
1) When bride and groom get sloppy drunk.
2) People getting too close on the dance floor. Get a room! (Or go to it!)
3) Guests who complain about the music. It's not your party, friend!

Three wedding things that make it all worth going to:
1) The food. It's so personal and it reflects the culture and personality of the bride and groom.
2) FLOWERS. They're just so pretty.
2) Watching a bride and groom who are truly in love savoring every moment. I have a short video on my phone of 2 friends dancing their first dance as a married couple. I've had it on there for a year because the way they looked at each other made my heart feel whole and reminded how awesome love is.
severinatalyn
Jun. 17th, 2007 08:23 pm (UTC)
I don't get the registry hate. Are you against registering in general or just including the registry information with invitations? If it's the latter, where else are people supposed to get that information? I think giving your parents the responsibility of fielding all the gift questions is tacky. It may just be a regional thing, because I've gotten wedding invitations and engagement party invitations with gift registry cards and never once thought it was tacky. Maybe it's because the expected gifts in my neck of the woods are something off the registry AND cash to "cover the cost of your plate". Not that I'm down with the cash gifts, but I don't think it's gift grubbing to include a registry card in the invite.
okoshun
Jun. 17th, 2007 09:47 pm (UTC)
Friends of ours who are getting married in a couple of weeks didn't include the registry information in the invitation, but have it on their wedding web site, which I found incredibly handy.
severinatalyn
Jun. 17th, 2007 10:15 pm (UTC)
In my case, the people who want the registry cards are the ones who aren't internet saavy. And that would be my entire family and his entire family. Not to be offensive, but I think assuming that everyone uses the internet and would know to check a website for that information is more presumptuous than slipping a card with a store name on it into an invitation. I know (because I asked) that my grandmother expects a registry card and would be offended by being told to look that information up on the internet, because she doesn't own a computer and has no desire to use the internet.
severinatalyn
Jun. 17th, 2007 11:52 pm (UTC)
Well, it seems that I'm wrong and that this is considered incredibly gauche. I'm guessing that the NYC area is an etiquette-free zone and that's why I've been led to think this is okay.
blinkerbook
Jun. 18th, 2007 12:17 pm (UTC)
Hah! It's not just NYC, Kansas is apparently an etiquette-free zone as well. I would never be offended if someone slipped a registery card in with the invitation. I realize there's a taboo against asking/telling people what to get you as a gift, but would you rather run into the person two weeks after the wedding in the return line with your present because you bought them one of five toasters? There's something that seems a little gauche about printing it directly on the invitation, but including a registery card in the envelope? No big deal. What I DO think is rude about registeries is if you don't take into account the different income levels of your guests. Register for things in a variety of prices so your poor college student friends don't feel like they have to break the bank.
tabloidscully
Jun. 18th, 2007 07:24 pm (UTC)
Hey, the gift you and erev gave me is AWESOME and one of the only ones I took with me, as you well know. That was one I personally wanted and I don't think it ought to be knocked in favor of the more expensive gifts that were purchased (that we never used, wanted or needed) that are probably STILL wasting away in the closet in Peculiar.
blinkerbook
Jun. 18th, 2007 08:34 pm (UTC)
Thanks! :-) I'm glad we could get you get you something that you wanted. I wasn't knocking it. I don't think expensive is automatically better than cheap. I've never been to a wedding where the only gifts on the registry were out of some people's price range, but I'm told they exist. If you want expensive stuff, that's cool, but keep in mind that some of your friends/family are not going to be able to purchase it for you. (My friends Natalie and Jeffrey actually registered for jars of peanuts, because they knew one of their friends wanted to get them a present but was on a tight budget, and well... they like peanuts).

"...that we never used wanted or needed..."
This is precisely why I think registeries are so important when hundreds of people are going to be buying you presents.
cavok
Jun. 17th, 2007 08:29 pm (UTC)
This was in the poll on that wedding plans page I think, but cash bar. Or, if someone doesn't want to shell out $$ on hard liquor so everyone can get blitzed, fine, but at least provide a glass or two of free wine with the meal. Cause nothing says "I'm cheap" like, "Here's your complimentary tap water with your meal!" :)

And, I don't get the vibe you'd do this anyway, but paying for your own food at the reception. I've seriously been invited to one of these - "It's $25 a plate" - of cold food no less! Needless to say I didn't go to that one.
okoshun
Jun. 17th, 2007 09:48 pm (UTC)
Or, if someone doesn't want to shell out $$ on hard liquor so everyone can get blitzed, fine, but at least provide a glass or two of free wine with the meal.

Unless you're marrying into a Muslim family (as I did). I don't know what we provided in its stead..I hope we provided something. I wish I could remember.
metawidget
Jun. 18th, 2007 04:42 pm (UTC)
Excellent coffee and sahlab would more than make up for lack of booze if I went to a Muslim wedding.
peacegood
Jun. 18th, 2007 03:38 pm (UTC)
I know we had a hard time finding places where it wasn't basically all or nothing. We at least negotiated wine into the contract, but it practically took an act of God.
(Deleted comment)
tempus_aeterna
Jun. 18th, 2007 07:18 pm (UTC)
The problem with that is that often people are going to have to travel distances to come, no matter what the couple does, because their two families may not live close to each other. So it's not strictly a "does it take time/money" issue. I understand having the wedding in some place where *everyone* has to spend money, but in most cases some people are going to have to spend money.

I don't live in the same location as either his parents or my parents, so they are all going to have to travel to me, because I refuse to plan a wedding over a long distance, and the pastor is here.
velshtein
Jun. 17th, 2007 09:59 pm (UTC)
I get annoyed when the bride and groom get so into each other that they ignore their guests. It's understandable but I think that if you're doing a public wedding then paying attention to the guests would make sense.

And receptions can be wacky but if the food is fantastic then that makes up for it. I hate it when people dish out tons of money for catering without first making sure that the food is actually good.
(Anonymous)
Jun. 17th, 2007 10:03 pm (UTC)
Love, Mom
Comment - wedding planners who schedule things and make sure everything is on time so it all "flows" charge around 10% of the budget. Lucky SpaceFem has a mom who is donating planning service for FREE and taking the B & G out to lunch/dinner and buying good bottles of wine/champagne for them to enjoy during their engagement.

I'm all about good timing - the schedule doesn't have to be "strict", but in planning and identifying a start and end time - it has to be considered. Kind of like making Thanksgiving dinner and having everything ready to serve at the same time.

Things that make the mom cringe at weddings:
1. Waiting for something to start. When that happens it means nothing has been planned so
a) either the photographer or the dj becomes the party planner - they know things have to happen because they got there on time and they want to leave on time - especially from that kind of reception.
b) children present are turned loose on the empty dance floor to run around and provide entertainment - then the dj plays the hokey-pokey...need I say more.
2. Cash bars
3. Buffet food that makes me think - food poisoning
Love, Mom



aliki
Jun. 17th, 2007 10:45 pm (UTC)
Re: Love, Mom
Agree with Mom-- there is nothing "fashionable" about being late to your wedding, and there is nothing "endearing" about a couple that has no idea what is going on and leave their guests wondering why the event is so uncoordinated.
aliki
Jun. 17th, 2007 10:44 pm (UTC)
Wedding things that make me CRINGE:
1) Dollar dances or money dances-- I hear it's a southern tradition though I can't verify the source. Where people pay a dollar to dance with bride or groom.
2) Too many bridesmaids. In really ugly dresses that you know they'll never wear again.
3) Couples that inform guests that since they already live together, that instead of bringing gifts, they should just bring *CASH* or contribute to their honeymoon expenditure.
4) Obnoxious wedding photographer or videographer that insist on pushing guests out of the way

Wedding things that make it WORTHWHILE:
1) A couple that cannot keep their eyes off each other, and can't stop smiling all night because they are so happy
2) Delicious food and drink
3) Couples that take the time to greet every guest during the reception, and thank them for coming, no matter how large the party (it takes 2 minutes!)
wildirishrose80
Jun. 17th, 2007 11:49 pm (UTC)
Things that make me cringe:
1. Seating on different sides for "friends of the bride" and "friends of the groom". What's the point? If there is one, I don't know what it is...
2. People who bitch about the open bar/lack of an open bar/selection of liquor at the bar/etc. Honestly.
3. People who invite everyone they know, because they think it's a chance to get gifts. Or people who let their parents invite everyone THEY know for the same reason. It's not funny having to write 200 thank-you notes to people you don't know, believe me.
4. THE DOLLAR DANCE. I fought long and hard on that one.

Things that make it worth it:
1. Watching how happy the couple is, especially if they ARE really happy.
2. Good food and good music at the reception.
3. A beautiful cake. Those things are works of art.
naath
Jun. 18th, 2007 10:43 am (UTC)
Worst wedding thing evar - dragging your atheist friends to a high church (anglican) wedding service with much in common with a Catholic nuptual mass including *taking an entire hour*. Close second - getting a vicar/priest who will take the opportunity to attempt to convert your atheist friends in his sermon (rather than saying nice things about the bride and groom and marriage and things like that).

Bestest thing at a wedding I've attended - Champagne served with a variety of fun-coloured liqueurs to put in it (like making Kir Royale but with different coloured things) - stripy drinks! All the food at that wedding was local stuff, and it was totally fantastic. Another Good Idea someone had was to have a Ceilidh; which solved the 'bad music' problem.
aardvarklf
Jun. 20th, 2007 09:57 pm (UTC)
I'll second you on the ceilidh. They're perfect for getting everybody, young and old, to enjoy the music and dance.

Other good things about weddings I've attended:

1) Having plenty of opportunities to socialise with friends or family who've also attended. Weddings and funerals are at least as much about the families and friends as they are about the people they're supposedly for, and weddings are a hell of a lot more cheerful.
2) Disposable cameras at each table during the dinner/reception. The couple kept them and posted the photos online.
3) Being able to have a good time as a guest without constantly thinking "this must have cost a fortune, I hope they don't expect me to do this if I ever get married!"
metawidget
Jun. 18th, 2007 05:00 pm (UTC)
Problems I've experienced:

- Evangelism of the guests during the ceremony. Seriously.

- Overstructured party games to get the bride and groom to kiss at the reception. Glass-tapping, excellent. One reception required a short poem about the bride and groom, which was fun. Anything involving inflatable anything or a big "wheel of fortune" wheel… leave it at the student union retreat.

Things that were good:

- Reception with good walking close by. Weddings can be overwhelming. If you throw the reception at a farm or someplace with some grounds, the introverts can step out for 10 minutes and recharge.

- Good food, and something interesting for the vegetarians. Grilled eggplant would be good if it weren't served as the default vegetarian option everywhere.

- Small enough size for the bride and groom to interact with everyone.

- Pairing of bride and groom that is nearly indisputably good.

- A long enough reception that nobody is tempted to go out for drinks afterward.

- A mix of music that at least makes a nod to the tastes of the guests as well as the bride and groom (in my circle, that means at least a couple of mandatory country songs and some '90s rock).
spacefem
Jun. 18th, 2007 10:58 pm (UTC)
- A long enough reception that nobody is tempted to go out for drinks afterward.

See, I had someone else tell me that they hated receptions that never seemed to end, and that the B&G should be gone by 10:30 or 11 because so many guests want to leave at those times and don't want to feel like they're not missing anything. Plus I liked that idea because it'd mean I get to scram at the peak of the party, and never get that "where'd everybody go?" feeling. So ours will end early and people will go out for drinks afterwards. Hell, marc and I might go out for drinks afterwards.

You brought up some good points though, I might poll some people about this one.
metawidget
Jun. 19th, 2007 01:00 am (UTC)
Hell, marc and I might go out for drinks afterwards.


Heh. Elizabeth and I will be a little way away from a good watering hole, but we may very well want to go off somewhere and enjoy the remainder of a bottle of good wine from the party next year.

I guess I just meant that it shouldn't feel unnaturally short, and should let people get their party on after supper. A couple hours after the main course is cleared away should be plenty.
tabloidscully
Jun. 18th, 2007 07:12 pm (UTC)
Some of the things I've seen at weddings that I loved:

1) The Attendant Dance. I know some people hate it, but it's totally a guilty pleasure of mine.
2) Buffet lines for great food. It annoys me when you have pre-served food because you never get the right portions, it's either too little or too much and with buffets, you can choose to make your own plate.
3) Open bars. I know this isn't always an option, but I hate going to super-formal weddings that don't at least offer you the choice of buying some wine.
4) A general atmosphere of fun. I think the weddings that are enjoyable to begin with make it easier for everyone to have a good tine.
5) Music.
6) A master of ceremonies. It helps the entire reception run more smoothly, I think. Especially if the person knows what they're doing. The Master of Ceremonies at my wedding was my college debate coach, and he really knew how to get the crowd's attention, keep them laughing and prevent people from talking too long.
7) Montages. I LOVE these! I like being able to see really well-made montages reflecting the couples' lives.


Things I've hated:

1) Having the guests set-up the reception. Talk about tacky! The worst wedding I ever went to, I had to help set-up the reception. Like, moving the tables and everything. It was ridiculous.
2) A person with only one attendant or no attendant. This is a huge pet peeve to me, like the people involved didn't have any friends they could ask. And unfortunately, most of the weddings I've seen this at, the people were so unpleasant you understood exactly WHY they only had one or no attendant.
3) An over-emphasis on religion during a ceremony. I mean, if you go to a huge Catholic wedding, you're asking for it, but I'm always less inclined to go if I can tell right away that religion is going to dominate the evening.
4) A payment envelope in the wedding/reception invitations. I think it's rude to ask guests to pay for their own food. It's really tacky and I've had my share of turning down invitations for that reason.
5) A ridiculous amount of "bride-only" or "bridal-party only" dances. Lame.
aliki
Jun. 18th, 2007 08:56 pm (UTC)
I don't get what is wrong with one or no attendants. Attendants, as spacefem has pointed out, is sometimes so cringe-worthy. The expense of buying a dress you'll probably never wear again, having to pay for your hair, nails and make-up, being required by some bridezillas to throw not only an elaborate bridal shower but also an engagement party and various pre-wedding ceremonies (not to mention post-ceremony brunches!), it's just honestly a burden in most cases than an honor.

I much appreciate a wedding that has few attendants, over ones where a bride insists on six, seven, eight, or even ten (at the last one I attended). Honestly, what is the sense in that, and where is the intimacy or honor? It was so large they couldn't even fit in TWO LIMOS.

I only had two attendants even though I could've forced more. I chose my sister for maid-of-honor and my cousin for a second; while my husband chose his best friend and brother as his two. We liked it small, it made it special.
tabloidscully
Jun. 18th, 2007 09:47 pm (UTC)
I think it's simply a preferential issue.

It annoys me to no end when people assume having a lot of attends lacks intimacy. In my wedding, I had nine attendants, because I absolutely couldn't have excluded any of them from being up there with me in good conscience. They all were and still are my best friends. With the exception of my matron of honor, who is my brother's wife, I talk to all of them all the time, we've been best friends for so many years, and we still have monthly sleep-overs. But people assume it's obnoxious, no honor or intimacy, and that's where they are misjudging. Would they like to be in my shoes and try to choose? I know I couldn't, and if I had to do it again, I would. I feel comfortable with my decision. I think it's wrong for people to assume that there was no honor, intimacy or a special feeling to it--it was.

Also, as I said, the majority of weddings I've been to with one or no attendants--rest assured, nobody would have wanted to stand up there with them anyway.
( 31 comments — Leave a comment )

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