The Good And The Bad

This week, I feel compelled to write a little list of things I’m loving and hating around the wide world of weddings. Disagreement is fine, as always. Rock your opinions in the comments (kindly):

The bad:

  • The new trend of mandating your guests attire. Sure, you can tell people it’s semi-formal, it’s casual, it’s a garden wedding, and let them run with it. They’ll be grateful for the guidance. But by the time you are telling people that the dress code is “seersucker suits for men and brightly colored cocktail dresses for women,” as the New York Times reports this week, you can stick a fork in it, because you’re done. Your wedding is not a fashion shoot, and you are not a dictator.
  • Gay Weddings By The Knot. I suppose you can say that you know we are making progress when same-sex couples are being subjected to the ridiculous dictums of the wedding industry, and goodness knows gay couples need more resources. But here is the thing: this is separate but equal, and we learned in the last civil rights movement that separate is not equal. The Knot is not linking to its new gay weddings site from it’s main page. It’s not featuring gay weddings on its main site. It clearly doesn’t want to offend its “more traditional” brides. I’m sick and tired of how the wedding world consistently sweeps LGBT weddings under the rug, and I’m not going to be quiet about it.

Now, on to the happy. I’m loving:

  • Peonies and Polaroids unexpected splurge on wedding shoes after creating the world’s most beautiful, most budget, most heartwarming wedding. In particular, I love her Aunt’s comment “No pockets in a shroud, as Granny says.” It takes a little of the pressure off, and makes me smile and breathe more deeply.
  • This idea for a “Being the Change You Wish To See In The World” party. How great would that be for a shower, or a bachelorette party? Nothing makes you feel better then doing something kind, and a scavenger hunt where you deliver flowers to a nursing home, give canned goods to a soup kitchen, and give a candy bar to a security guard on duty? That’s my kind of party (especially if you end the night with cocktails).
  • These kind words from the new blog The Sweetest Occasion made my day.
  • The New York Times scores one with a quirky simple wedding in the vows section. The best part: “In November 2006, 11 months after they met, he gave her a ring box — with the yellow stone inside. “I told her, ‘You are my yellow stone,’ ” he remembered. Then, magician-like, he opened his other hand, which held an engagement ring. She accepted, though she does not think of him as her yellow stone. Instead, she said “He is a piece of sun-warmed granite I can lean my back against.”

Other then that, all I can say is that with all the economic turmoil going on right now, it’s nice to re-focus on the point of getting married – sharing your life with someone you love. We may not all be able to have wildly expensive weddings right now, but you are just as married if you go to city hall and have a picnic in the park to celebrate.

Photo via the New York Times

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  • I hate that so many brides view something going wrong or someone changing their mind as a personal attack on them.

    I have a funny feeling that wedding ruin more friendships than anything else.

    I like to view my bridal party as my trench mates. We’re all in this together.

  • I had been umming and ahing about the bit on our wedding website that suggests it would be cool if people wore jewel tones. I can’t remember where it came from and thought there must have been a reason… you just made me realise that matters not a jot and I’m going to take it off now.

    What was I thinking?! I’m going to change it to something about fabulousness, or perhaps sass…

  • Oh God, I had no idea about the gay and I am sickened. Part of the fun of being a lesbian couple is that we get to avoid the yoke of tradition weighing them down. Grr. Thanks for pointing this out.

  • Liz

    I am so offended by the Knot’s separation of gay weddings from hetero-weddings. I don’t know much about them (the site overwhelms me, I’m a pretty simple bride), but I have looked through some of the really helpful pictures they have. I’d hate to write them off completely (which was my initial reaction to your post) since they have such an impact on so many brides, and really do offer some great services, but I won’t be a part of their thinly veiled discrimination.

    Do you have any suggestions for contacting them to express disappointment in the implementation of an idea that I’m sure started out being really excellent and exciting (for gay couples that want to sign up for the oppression of the wedding industry)? Thanks, Liz

  • Also, all of the articles directed at gay brides and grooms are SO patronizing. They’re like: “a registry is…,” “a bouquet is…,” “a veil is…” … We’re gay… we’re not from another planet!

  • It is hilarious that I had not heard about the gay knot yet, now I have something to write about today, Thanks Meg. I think the thing that bothers me most is the wedding industry in general not particularly caring about gay rights or issues, but kind of seeing us as walking bags of cash.

  • I agree 100% with Luis. The growing untapped gay marriage market reminds me of when the US economy looked at China as billions of new consumers. Not people, not individuals that they can help, but simply as billions of wallets they haven’t delved into yet.

    I don’t like the idea that getting married means you MUST have everything in List A with 5 things from List B or 7 things from List C. Why does a wedding HAVE to have everything that every other wedding has had? Do you need bridesmaids, a ring bearer, an engagement party, etc?

  • The Knot IS linking to their new gay weddings site – scroll down to the very bottom in the tiny links. That’s where I saw it today.

    I don’t like the idea of making gay weddings different from hetero weddings – but it’s a niche, and a growing one. Sadly it’s about $$$. To line THEIR pocketbooks with.

  • as a queer blogger for a mainstream wedding website, I too get quite tired of the separate-but-equal standpoint in the wedding industry. Generally though I am sick of the wedding industry- everyone trying to capitalize on what should be a simple celebration of two people’s love. I could write a book (and probably will!) on this crapola.

  • Thank you for this post! I’m right with you on the things that bother you, but since I’m trying to be positive, I won’t rant, and just say I LOVE the idea for the Be the Change Party!! I’m totally going to pass that along to my bridesmaids. I think they’d like the idea too, not that I’m dictating my bachelorette party or anything. :) Thanks again!

  • Aw, the NYTimes Vows column usually leaves me feeling slightly hostile and annoyed, but that one made me cry. Thanks for sharing so many interesting links!

  • Meg, I absolutely LOVE this post. You are right on with every point!

    TheKnot’s treatment of their gay weddings site makes me want to boycott them. So lame.

    But on the happier side, you are totally right about the silver lining in these economically turbulent times: that people are focusing more on the meaning of a wedding ceremony and marriage is really wonderful.

    Such a great post! Thank you!

  • What a great list. I had never thought about making an engagement party or bridal shower also into a make a difference event. I am going to pass along this idea to so many brides.

  • Cyd

    My initial reaction to Gay Weddings By the Knot was one of appreciation. Something along the lines of, “Wow, somebody is finally going to get this out in the mainstream and treat gay unions as something that should be a given, not something we should be fighting in the courts!”

    However, your point that it’s an attempt at separate but equal is completely valid and I now have a bit of a sour taste left in my mouth.

    If they want to be open and accepting, why isn’t this a component of the main website? Why wasn’t there some great fanfare to promote it on other maintstream sites? I could go on for hours, but the bottom line is that I’m glad you’ve pointed out this other side of it, and while the optimist in me would like to believe there were no intentions to “protect” the “normal” brides from the gay-friendly content, the realist in me recognizes it’s more than likely the case. Thanks, Meg!

    Also, I’m glad my humble little post helped inspire a smile and made the list of The Good! Your blog is inspiration for many and you deserve a little recognition here and there. :-)

  • Bea

    In defense of the Death Star a.k.a The Knot, they have been featuring same-sex committment ceremonies in the real weddings section for a long time.

    The gay knot site is not going to be as mainstream as The Knot because not all states recognize gay marriages yet (sadly). So really, what it comes down to is making a profit hence why it’s the Death Star.

  • i have to thank you. i am newly engaged and just starting to plan and of course my ideas are bigger than my budget. a few days ago i read some of your posts and on the same day spoke to another very practical bride and had an attitude shift. somehow i am clearer now on what the day is about and how it should happen. and i am able to rein myself in when i start looking at invites that cost 50 dollars each or caterers that charge 200 per person.