Post # 1
I want to address something that came up in the comments to a post recently. It really bothers me when people say that decisions a bride made based on budget constraints are "tacky." Things that I have variously heard people address as "tacky" include: not having an open bar, not paying for bridesmaids’ dresses, not giving all single people plus-ones, not having wedding favors. Honestly, in some way, it really hurts my feelings when people toss off these judgments on others, labeling other brides "tacky" for doing these things. The fact is that many of us do not have any family or other help in paying for our weddings. We have to put together our entire weddings on our own. This involves a level of fiscal responsibility and stress, and doesn’t allow us to get everything we want. In a perfect world, my husband and I would have included all of the above things in our wedding, but we simply couldn’t afford it if we wanted to have all of our families and friends with us. And in a lot of ways I feel really guilty about the things we had to pare down for our budget. Like I’m some sort of terrible selfish person because we didn’t have the money to do these things. When commenters label these choices — without knowing anyone’s circumstancs — as TACKY, it really stinks. It makes me feel judged and guilty and depressed about the apparently "tacky" wedding I had.
We tried to put together a party that was wonderful for our guests, and we did a lot of research and hard work to fit the important things into our budget. I hope that some commenters (including bees) can be a little more sensitive to us "poor relations" when they think to pronounce a blanket judgment of "tacky."
Post # 3
Mrs. Bee also noticed the power of the word "tacky" in that thread, and will be writng a post about it soon!
Post # 4
Not everybody is Melania Trump and can afford a 1,000,000 $ wedding. This economy is leaving something to be desired. I think in a time/day like this, that creativity and effort can overcome alot of preconceived notions with regard to wedding planning. I haven’t read that thread but it sounds like you had a lovely wedding Chicagowife !
This site has plenty of creative brides out there (and a few grooms) and I can tell you! One of my coworkers is getting married soon. Her parents are not cooperating due to an ethnicity issue which is very sad. They are lovely people (my friend and his fiance) and they are paying for their own wedding. It is gonna be about a 10k wedding..maybe even a bit less! They have a gorgeous venue, good food, not having an open bar, but will have lovely flowers and I think it’s freakin’ amazing on their own to have that! He’s been such an active part of their wedding planning along with her and it’s a team effort to keep their costs down. But if you are creative and work with the $$ you have, I think preconceived notions (aka tacky) can be tossed out the door!
Post # 5
Thanks Mr. Bee! I’ll be excited to read it. Just had to get that off my chest. 🙂
Post # 7
I wrote a really short post about the use of tacky not too long ago, because I felt the same way you do! I loved that this post over at offbeat bride was brought back up:
Just remember that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure…what one person thinks is tacky is someone else’s idea of a perfect idea!
Post # 8
As a bride, you absolutely are not required to purchase bridesmaid gowns. You should, however, consider your bridesmaids’ ability to pay and the potential reusability of your dresses before choosing a gown.
Similarly, if a couple cannot afford a sit-down dinner with an open bar, it is perfectly acceptable to have another type of wedding. A mid-afternoon brunch could be quite intimate and lovely. A wedding held at a time other than a Saturday night or off-season can help a couple save on costs. Favors are not required, and traditionally plus ones are not required unless a couple is engaged or married (although today one should consider needing to invite couples cohabitating and those in a deeply committed relationships who have chosen not to get married).
Post # 9
Aww, Chicagowife, I know exactly what you mean. We don’t have all the money in the world to put into our wedding, but we are doing the best we can with the resources we have available. We are making an effort to follow traditional wedding etiquette, but there are a few "nice to have" items which we cannot include. As I’m sure you know, these were VERY difficult decisions to make and were not taken lightly. When these decisions are labeled with any negative term (in this case, "tacky") it’s very upsetting and insulting.
If someone on weddingbee (or anywhere really) disagrees with a wedding-related decision I have made, it would be more helpful (and less hurtful) if he/she could avoid labeling the decision with a negative term and instead focus on offering alternatives or even just an explanation for why they don’t agree with the decision.
I LOVE WeddingBee because it allows me to get feedback from others. If I post about an idea that another person thinks is terrible or could be improved, I really do hope that he/she will tell me his/her opinions! I just hope it will be done in a respectful, sensitive manner.
Post # 10
Chicagowife I totally agree with you!!! Some people can just be rude! (Don’t know the post you’re referring to, but that’s prolly a good thing…) Both of my brothers had $1000 weddings. No, there’s no missing "0." And it would be hurtful to say that anything they did was tacky, just because they didn’t have the cash to put toward all the things people have come to expect nowadays. You should only ever expect three things at a wedding: a bride, a groom, and an officiant. The rest is icing on the cake (pun intended!).
Post # 11
Chicagowife, I’m pretty sure I know what specific thread you’re referring to, and I do think those comments were out of line. People will always do things differently, and only the bride and groom can decide where the intersection is between what they CAN do and what others WANT them to do. Just because that line isn’t drawn in the same place for every couple doesn’t mean their decisions should be looked down upon.
Thank you for reminding us all to consider our words carefully, and to be mindful of others’ feelings. I think this is especially true here, since weddings are so emotionally fraught in the first place, but of course it’s true in everyday life as well.
Post # 12
I will admit that in a recent post, writing "no boxed gifts" on cards, I replied that it was tacky. Actually, I repeated tacky a good 3 or 4 times. I am also not one to apologize either- and I am not going to here.
In my opinion, this site is supposed to be supportive but if you are asking for anonymous advice you are going to get a wide range of anonymous answers from people in different stations in life who have different opinions. The way I look at it, these are the best answers you are going to get from people because your guests certainly, or at least hopefully, won’t tell you what they are thinking.
But I would never call something tacky because of money constraints. That is rude. My wedding is going to be mostly DIY and my wedding budget is pretty teenie-tiny.
Just remember that it is your day and the only people who need to be happy in the end are you and your guy (or girl!).
Post # 13
I think this is a major reason why I have not posted much. Brides found out I was having a Monday wedding and I was told I was not being considerate of my guests. I think most brides and grooms do what is best for them while trying to be accomodating towards their guests. If I were to try to have a open bar, giving all single guests a +1, etc. I would never have been able to have a Saturday night wedding. Knowing my guest list made having a summer Monday wedding was easier for my guests than having a Saturday wedding during the school year. Unfortunately we have all judged others at one point or another, but in the long run hearing multiple points of views is helpful.
Post # 14
With all of the different cultures and customs in this country, its not unreasonable to assume that there will be differences of opinion when it comes to etiquette. People often forget the power of their words though. What’s tacky to one may be the norm for another. I would like to think that when people throw this word around, they aren’t delibrately trying to insult you or anyone else reading.
One example is the guest book attendant. I had never heard of this position, and was told it would be "tacky" not to have one. Well, maybe other regions, but where I live it would be an unusual thing to do.
I wouldn’t take it personally. You should be proud that you were able to plan and pay for your wedding on your own.
Post # 15
Thanks for everyone’s responses. I realize that it’s an online forum where one is likely to get a range of views. But I still hope and feel that weddingbee is a forum where we can be supportive of one another, especially those of us who are on a budget. In these times especially, it’s the rare bride who has a blank check for her wedding. I think that when people come out with the blanket judgment of "tacky" on a certain decision it takes the negative emotions up a notch. The judgment of "tacky" doesn’t explain why or how you would do it differently, it doesn’t give alternatives, it’s not supportive. It’s just a snide and judgmental thing to say to brides, 99% of whom are trying their darndest to provide all of their loved ones with the best party they can afford.
Anyways — thanks so much for all the kind words! And don’t worry anyone — I loved my beer and wine wedding, even if it WAS tacky! 😉
Post # 16
Chicagowife, I can be sensitive to things, so I think I know where you’re coming from. Why "tacky" is used so abundantly in wedding talk is a mystery. (I know I’ve used it too.) Maybe those weding etiquette gurus got us hooked on it.
I do think, that if someone is saying (xyz) is tacky, that is simply their opinion. I also think that is important for people to know, because they will understand what some guests might think at their wedding. (Now if your guests understand you had a cash bar because you couldn’t afford and open bar, then maybe they are fine with it. So try not to worry about that. But if some of them didn’t understand the reason behind it, based on some opinions that have been expressed here, they might have thought it was "t***y".) Maybe some people are being judgmental, but that is probably a sample of what people will be dealt from their wedding guests.
If I know the thread you are referring to, I think the one thing we can walk away from (big picture) is that almost NEVER, can you please every guest at your wedding. You see some people will be annoyed if you invite kids. While others will be aggravated if you don’t. Can’t win. Inevitably somebody will be too picky for the food choices. Or if you do a bouquet toss, on and on. You just do the best you can to be considerate and hope for the best.
I’m glad you were happy with your wedding. That is what is important.