Tag Archives: registry

On the pitifulness of traditional wedding media

For ages now all the wedding reading I do is in blogdom, and I’ve gotten so used to it that even when I disagree with stuff, there are still a number of certain mutual understandings among the blogs that turn out not to exist yet in the traditional media of magazines and newspapers., and I fear, therefore the general non-wedding-obsessed public too. Maybe it shouldn’t come as a surprise: wedding magazines are necessarily part of the WIC and their dependence on advertising means they can’t remain bias free; meanwhile, any column about weddings that a newspaper spits out is probably written by someone who has spent, let’s just say, WAY LESS time thinking about weddings than bloggers have.

So perhaps I should forgive the author of this article about the supposed new, 2012, rules of wedding ettiquete. Some of it she gets right, some of it she gets painfully wrong, and some of it she phoned in to buff up the word count.

I mean, just take a look at this stuff:

“If the bride pays for the bridesmaid’s hair, makeup, dresses and shoes, she has every right to make them look as gorgeous or as heinous as she likes.” I think the idea behind this is it’s supposed to be the corrolary to the fact that you shouldn’t force your bridesmaids to pay for an outift that wasn’t of their choosing. But that doesn’t mean that just because you’re paying for it, you get to be totally inconsiderate to your friends that, by the way, you care enough about to have in your wedding.

“If they have a registry, use it. At the very least you know that your gift is wanted.” Nope. Most couples have a registry not because they want to make sure they don’t get any gifts that aren’t good enough, but out of consideration for the guests who aren’t quite sure what to buy otherwise. And that means non-registry gifts are likely to be some of the most welcome of all.

“Asking for money is now not considered rude. In fact, it’s pretty convenient.” No, it’s still fracking rude.

“If you’re on a budget, how much should you spend on a gift or cash? A good rule of thumb is ‘how much would this event cost me if I had bought a ticket?’” AAAAAAAAARGGHHH! NOOO!! You give people presents as a way to show love and affection, and what in the world does that have to do with how much money the couple happened to have available to spend on their wedding? This woman seems to be under the impression that weddings are fundrasiers. Way to go on making an important life event devoid of meaning.

I can’t imagine any of the wedding blogs I read saying this kind of stuff, and if they did, a bunch of people in the comments would call them out. But in the traditional mainstream media, a poorly thought out, top-of-the-mind article like this can be gotten away with. And what’s worse, most likely swallowed whole by most of the readers, and this crap then becomes the received wisdom. When someone you know thinks your wedding is not meeting the guidelines of propriety, this is why.

Thank gods for blogs!




You probably need a wedsite

First, an update: Yay we have found a venue and set a date, you guys! Nothing has been officially signed yet, and we still have some details to hash out (primarily menu stuff), but it’s definitely happening on that date and in that place. I’ll write about the process in a future post, but basically, oh man was it a relief to find a place that could do what we wanted at a reasonable budget. I’m so excited knowing that it’s actually possible now. When I received the quotes that made me happy, I told my dad and instead of getting psyched he reiterated the importance of not cheaping out the guests. Dad I promise everyone will have plenty to eat and drink, ok? I think the poor guy is maybe a little in shock at the extent to which I’m willing to pare things down, and bears pretty patiently the fact that I don’t want a Wedding Dress. So maybe he’s allowed concerns about food 🙂

So I’m preparing to send out the STDs mass email to all the guests so they can start booking flights and so on. And there will be a lot of questions. I can see them now:
Where can we stay?
How do we get there?
Do I need a visa?
Just exactly how ridiculously hot and humid is it, over there?
Will it be monsoon season? What happens in monsoon season?
What should we wear?

Back in the days when people lived in the same town as everyone they knew, these questions would have mostly been non-existent. And if there were any questions (What present should we give you?), Miss Manners tells me this kind of stuff was handled by the guest asking the mother of the bride. Especially when it comes to gifts, there was this system of discreetly approaching someone close to the couple. Kind of like how your Mom discusses with you what to get your fiancé for Christmas. It’s a very civilised practice, relieving the giver from admitting to the recipient they’re not sure what to get them, and relieving the recipient from the rudeness of demanding something from the giver. Win win.

But alas, here we are with our darn modern lives again, having friends and family in places other than the same town we live in, dammit. So, many questions will happen. And each person asking them will all be given the same answers. It just makes a crapload of sense to put this information together for people to check on at their convenience. Hence, wedding websites.

Wedding websites are in the same category as save-the-dates*: a recent wedding innovation that actually makes sense, but is very vulnerable at this cultural juncture to getting out of hand and being more stupid than useful.

For instance, a wedding is not a PR event. Not a PR event. Not a PR event. Here are some things that are not required at things that aren’t PR events:

  • branding
  • a background story about how the company was founded how you met
  • profiles of the keynote speakers people getting married
  • how to make donations to the charity people adult enough to get married

The people you invited already know who you are. Frankly, to imply otherwise is kind of weird and alienating, no? The wedsite should be for logistical purposes only. It is not a branding exercise. But probably, if you have lots of traveling guests, it’s a good idea to have one.

The good news, wedding websites are free! Yay! Offbeat Bride for example offers several templates. 

If you were going to have a registry, this would probably be the place to tuck that information, in as non-obnoxious a way as you can think of. To be honest my jury is still out on that one, but I lean heavily towards no registry – we’re asking people to travel, for goodness sake, plus they’ll be obliged to spend the night at a resort of my choosing. I think that seriously maxes out my demand quota.

Ok, I’m going to go ahead now and spend some time putting our wed site together, so the link is ready dissemination when we email everyone the date. Yay! We have a date!

*Does that term need hyphens or not? Kindly place your vote.