For very good reasons, it's not the Done Thing to out and out criticise other people's wedding choices.
It's acceptable to offer constructive input when asked, and to show respectful interest in the different customs and traditions being observed. That's a good thing. When someone is trying to decide between bows and floral swags to decorate the ends of the pews in their church, it's a good time to offer any experience of those products, but it's not the time to spark a fundamentalist religious debate about whether they should be getting married in a church at all. Tolerance is important in a community and it's great that different people, in different countries, having very different weddings, can all support each other.
This, however, is not a community. This Is My Blog, just like it says at the top of the page, which means it's not inappropriate for me to voice my opinions, and this has been bubbling up inside me for months now. In the interests of civility, I must stress that I recognise that different people have different tastes and if you want any of this stuff at your wedding, you go ahead, it's your wedding. If you are planning a wedding, or you just had one, you may prefer not to read any further. This is your fair warning: you may be offended.
But at last, I must say that I find the following things hideously tacky.
- White hoodies with diamante transfers saying “Bride” or “Maid of Honor”. (American spelling intentional.) Yes, while getting ready for your wedding it's a good idea to wear something warm and comfortable that can absorb any spills. It's good to wear something that is fully front-fastening so it can be removed without disturbing your hair and makeup. But white with diamante? My dear, you will get enough attention today once you're in the dress. Be content.
- Flip-flops with soles that print “Just” and “Married” as you walk along wet sand. My PA spotted these in a craft store and proposed them as the winner of that store's Wedding Tat collection. And believe me, they had some tat.
- Hen parties with “naughty” games and gifts. Well done, it's a (whatever) shaped like a penis. It's not comical, it's not erotic, and the faint air of desperation is unsettling. Lingerie and sex toys can be great, but I can't imagine there's anyone who's actually turned on by pink plastic fluffy handcuffs, or anything with a picture of a cat and “Sex Kitten!” emblazoned across the front.
- Music on the wedding website. Internet access has reached a point where even your parents have it, so a wedding website is no longer necessarily a celebration of self-obsession viewable only by other geeks who aren't invited to the wedding anyway. But automatically playing music is a step in the wrong direction, as are hearts falling across the screen, or anything that won't properly load onto the smartphone of a guest who's got lost on the way to the venue.
- Vistaprint overdose. On the one hand, Vistaprint do a very good line in affordable, fuss-free printing that can be invaluable for things like invitations and RSVP cards. On the other hand, just because they can put your picture on more or less anything, doesn't necessarily mean it's a good idea. The overdosing idea also applies to people who went to a venue dresser for a few flowers/balloons/table decorations, and ended up ordering a twenty-foot-tall inflatable Bride and Groom in the belief that these would somehow look appropriate outside their elegant, classy venue.
- Pretending to be something you're not. This covers people getting married in churches who don't believe in God, people getting married in libraries who don't read, people who order glass carriages and aren't princesses (Kate Middleton got that bit spot-on), and people who order fancy formal meals that they're not sure how to eat. You make some pretty hefty promises on your wedding day - make them as yourselves.
Ohhhhhh, that feels better.