- 13 years ago
I think the big problem with the word "tacky" is that people throw it around and use it both indiscriminately and incorrectly. Too many people say, "That’s tacky!" when what they really mean is, "I don’t agree with that" or "That’s not what I would choose to do."
As an example, I was recently discussing linens with friends, and someone declared chair covers to be "tacky." I asked how they were tacky, and she said, "I hate them! I think they look terrible." I pointed out to her that her not liking them didn’t make them tacky; it only meant that they weren’t right for her.
Tacky literally means "in poor taste." So, yes, taste varies between cultures and socio-economic classes, but it’s not about PERSONAL taste. It’s pretty much about adhering to the standards and mores of the culture within which you’re operating. Choosing not to do so (a la the offbeat bride post) is fine, too. That’s more of an active way to rebel or make a statement.
Really, I think that "tacky" is one of those words that has gotten thrown about so much that (for me) it has lost all its power and meaning. Do what’s right for you, host a beautiful wedding, and remind yourself that if someone calls your choice of a beer and wine bar "tacky" then they’re just misusing the word, anyway. 😉
(And no, I don’t think a beer and wine bar is in poor taste at all – it’s your party, and you have every right to serve whatever you want for whatever reason!)
driftslikesmoke–thanks for saying exactly what i wanted to say!! very well put!
Too many people say, "That’s tacky!" when what they really mean is, "I don’t agree with that" or "That’s not what I would choose to do."
driftslikesmoke, this is so true! And I agree with everyone else that the term has been completely overused. Here is a partial list of things various people have told me are "tacky" when they really meant "I don’t like that choice."
* Having a buffet reception
* Having a seating chart
* Not having a seating chart
* Using an iPod
* Hiring a DJ
* Sending out flat-print invitations
* Serving hard alcohol ("mixed drinks belong at frat parties, they are so classless and tacky," I believe, was the exact quote).
* Not serving hard alcohol
Notice how many of these are contradictory! No wonder brides are stressed out.
I think the only choices that could fairly be deemed "tacky" are the ones that reflect greed or thoughtlessness on the part of the couple — e.g., if I received an invitation with an insert that said "each plate at the wedding will cost $100, please make sure your gift is equal or greater in value to that amount," that would be pretty tacky! But in most cases, I agree that we should scale the use of this word way back and try to say "I prefer X instead of Y" instead of "Y is so tacky!"
The above posts are great points.
I think "that’s tacky" is a lazy comment to make. You’re making a blanket statement instead of specifically describing why you don’t like something.
"Cash bars are tacky"– well what specifically bothers you about cash bars and why? Is it because you think alcohol is mandatory at celebrations? Is it because that’s the norm at the weddings you have attended? Would it bother you less if they provided free soft drinks and sparkling cider? What if they subsidized the drinks so that beers were $1 and wine was $2/ drink? What if they did not provide any alcohol at all, only soft drinks rather than have a cash bar? That’s much more helpful for someone trying to decide what to serve at their wedding.
I love Off-beat Bride even though my wedding isn’t too off-beat! I like the fact that she’s skeptical and questions a lot of stuff that the mainstream websites say is mandatory.
I don’t think any of the things you mentioned in your post are tacky. I do think there are plenty of things that are though! I don’t care what kind of budget you have, but things such as a cash bar and straight out asking for money as gifts is tacky.
By The Way, since somebody asked. What I think is tacky about cash bars is that as a guest at a party, you should never have to pay for something.
Things I’m doing that are "tacky":
-Serving a light, finger-food buffet instead of a sit-down dinner
-Using the ugly, venue-provided chairs for the reception
-Including registry information in some of the invites (my fiance insists that his technology-illiterate family will not be able to find it on our Web site)
-Not inviting out of town friends +1
As much as I would love to have the picture perfect wedding, I’ve come to realize that it just can’t be done on our tiny budget and at our venue! There are lots of people who want to come to our wedding and support us that we just wouldn’t be able to invite if we served a full meal. There wouldn’t be the money or the space for them! So if people think our cook-out themed buffet meal is tacky, that’s their problem. My real friends don’t care.
I totally disagree that a cash bar is tacky. Where I was raised, no one had cash bars. It wasn’t until I moved to Chicago years ago that I found out that the ‘norm’ is to have open bar – but then when you do that, people b*tch and moan when it closes for dinner. So I don’t care either way – I’m personally having open beer and wine for everyone to enjoy, as well as signature cocktails.
If I go to a wedding and have to pay for drinks – that is fine. If I go to a wedding and get free drinks and just have to tip – that is fine. One way or the other, I’m there for the people getting married and celebrating their sacrament.
I think it is tacky to expect a bride and groom, or their parents, to go broke for you to get drunk at an open bar. And yes, when you host a party you don’t expect people to pay for anything. But I’m assuming that is a small party, not some 100+ get together where you’re already paying for their invitiations, programs, food, favors, etc.
I’ve participated in a couple of threads on the plus one discussion and both times someone has thrown out their "tacky" judgement.
It disappointed me, because I switched to these boards from another site, specifically because the members seem to be very respectful and leave the judgements behind.
In any event, I still think this site has plenty of wonderful and creative members and I continue to involve myself and promote it to others. But I do cringe and exit immediately when I see the judgements, because to me that’s truly tacky.
Chicagowife, thanks so much for saying this. I think it’s too bad that people make judgements and call other people names for doing certain wedding related things. I think that we all do the best we can within our own budgets and families and to each her own.
I know we’re paying for our wedding on our own and we may make decisions that other people might not have to make. I couldn’t believe the resopnse I got from some of my family members when I told them that we might do a limited bar (beer and wine) instead of full-open, simply because I didn’t think it was worth my money to spend a ridiculous amount of money on alcohol. My aunts must have said tacky about 100 times, but you know what, I think that’s what we’re doing. They can deal with it!
I think we all just need to realize that we’re all free to make our own choices and not criticize our fellow brides when they’re probably just doing the best they can. 🙂
I’m on the side of limited or cash bars not being in any way what so ever tacky. Why on earth would it be. I personally entertain almost every week. We always have some kind of alcohol in the house to share. However, my friends still bring their own alcohol. Whatever alcohol is left stays at our house and is broken back out for guests at the next get together. Only in the most formal of situations do people expect all alcohol to be provided and even then everyone knows that they are at the whim of their hosts / hostess. (and the guests still sometimes bring a bottle of wine to the party).
AbbyM i completely agree with you. I’ve never been to a recpetion where they had an open bar. Most weddings had wine and beer and the beer was self-serve out of a keg. I know in different parts of the country this would seem completely classless but that’s just how it’d done down here. I, for one, will be going with wine and beer. There’s no way in Hades that I’d have an open bar. The majority of our friends can put back massive amounts of alchohol, and if it’s free booze watch out! I don’t want to pay a ridiculous amount of money and have a bunch of drunks staggering around my reception.
I was told that all of the following things I did were "tacky" by either bees, family, friends, and even strangers:
I could keep going… I guess the point is that it was our wedding and we made the decisions we made because it is what worked best for us. I did all of this DESPITE the fact that I was told it was "tacky" — but it would have been much nicer to just have been given opinions and advice without being judged as "tacky"!
Chicagowife – you make a good point here. I wouldn’t take it personal but I know what you mean when you say it’s hurtful.
Everyone’s "perfect day" is different. Our visions, ideas, what you see as important or not are all different. We have to respect that. I think it’s great and very impressive that you and your fiance are financing the wedding alone. It’s a very hard thing to do and for you to make it work with your budget is really awesome!
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