This is your last chance to run: why commitment comedy falls flat for me

*Insert sound of my soul being crushed* Product image courtesy of Bellestyles.com

Every once in a while, I peek my head out of the safe, offbeat cave I've carved for myself here in this corner of the wedding industry and I get a terrible shock. See, I spend so much time over in my little niche that I forget about the rest of the wedding world and how icky it often is.

Case in point: this HARDY HAR HAR hilarious sign that you can buy for your ring bearer and flower girl to carry down the aisle, announcing that HO HO HO, this is your last chance to run!

Now, I get it: this is comedy. It's meant to provide a little moment of levity in a serious ceremony. But it hurts my head, and it hurts my heart, and here's why…

This sign says to me, "Any commitment before marriage doesn't really count."

This sign says to me, "Commitment is terrifying and awful."

This sign says to me, "Marriage sucks."

Also, while there's nothing explicit about gender in this particular sign, in a traditional western wedding, the groom is the one who sees this coming down the aisle as he waits for the bride to make her entrance — so, you can extrapolate that this is extra HARDY HAR HAR because OH THOSE MENFOLK: THEY JUST HATE TO COMMIT. (Other versions of this "Last chance" sign concept are much more explicit in their gender-grossness.)

Ok, ok. I know I'm being a grump here, and taking this silly shit way too seriously. I'm completely confident that some of you find this sign hilarious, and that's cool: if cracking jokes about commitment tickles your funny bone, by all means keep giggling.

Far be it for me to say that weddings shouldn't be hilarious, or that we all have to put on our Somber Hats (somber-eros?) and our Very Uncomfortable Humorless Panties to talk about the sanctity of marriage. I just find comedy like this problematic because it plays into and enforces so many stereotypes and generalizations about couples and commitment and marriage. That marriage is awful. That you should run. That you've got up until the moment you say "I Do" to just be joking around, and that everything changes after you get married.

It all just reminds me of the Game Over tshirts, where it's hardy-har-larious that the groom "lost" the game by having to get married.

Again, I get it: it's comedy. We all have different tastes in HA HAs, and that's cool: there's no need to defend yourself if you think this sign is awesome. But I think I'll just stay hiding over here in my corner of the wedding world, where our comedy is stuff like this or this.

  1. Brilliant analysis! And the fact that kids are holding this sign is frustrating, too. Everything we do and say teaches kids values. By actually having these kids holding this sign, it is *teaching them* that people should run from commitment and marriage, and that it's funny to do so. Just when I think the world is making progress I get reminded that it's only in our little bubble.

    87 agree
    • I agree completely. I grew up with a mother who told me (when i was 13) that the only reason she married my father was he had money, and she wanted kids. So i have a hard time finding anything like this funny.

      I've gone so far as to have discussions with a friend of mine about how i disagree with the concept of bachelor/ette parties for the fact of "one last night of freedom". A soon as you were in a commited relationship with someone, you're no longer single, married or not. And if you're looking for that last night of freedom, why are you getting married?

      (Sorry for the rant)

      112 agree
      • I talk about this in my book too! My point with bachelorette parties was that if you really love strippers and penis cake, maybe you should find a way to keep enjoying those things AFTER you're married.

        And if you don't enjoy them, then why are you doing them at all!?

        99 agree
        • I totally agree with you Ariel. I recently went to a bachelorette party where the bride-to-be was mortified having to drink out of penis straws and do stupid games. Personally I don't like that idea at all.

          31 agree
          • ugh ugh ugh! I have had a stern talking to my maid of awesomeness and she has assured me that the only male "members" present will be my 2 Brideguys!

            8 agree
          • I'm so worried my ladies of honor are going to do this to me. It's not a "last night of fun." It's just an excuse to go out with my girls, because we live in separate states and don't see each other enough. I don't enjoy penis cakes and straws any other day of the week, why would I enjoy them this one time? Unfortunately, one of my ladies of honor is one of those "But that's just how you do it! EVERYONE does it that way!"

            21 agree
        • Yes! I hate the concept of "last night of freedom". So it's not ok to mess around for all of your relationship prior to the wedding, but cool to blow it all off on one night? Sorry, I just don't get it.

          For my own bachelorette party, I just had a girls night in – movies, junk food, girly stuff. So much more fun, and contained. I made it very clear to my girls that was all I wanted, because I thought the rest was stupid.

          And my husband just went over to a mate's place and did a similar sort of thing just hanging out with his mates without the need for any of the strippers and crap like that (not that I made him promise he wouldn't or anything, his plans were his own decision, but we think alike – you know one of the many reasons we got married! :)

          32 agree
          • We have a semi open relationship arrangement… Marriage doesnt mean the end of that! So we are turning "one last chance to do whatever with whomever" on its head by having separate parties and then ending together at a swinger party. Oh yes, not the end of anything….

            34 agree
          • Nice.
            I had a ladies night in, with sparkling wine and snack foods, chatting and dancing, sing-alongs and smoking.
            It was perfect.
            My husband and his fellas had a very TAME visit to a classy strip club, with pre- and after- partying at home. Totally chill. ;)
            (I was totally fine with their choice of entertainment–and was actually at home for the before and after, heh.)

            2 agree
          • This!

            I'm having a girl's night in, beautifying, and romcom fest the night before the wedding. And we won't even be up very late. The boys are going to a MAGIC the Gathering game 2 nights before since we're putting them to work setting up the venue the day before.

            And we're both psyched about it all. At best, we might have some drinks. The Maid of Win's fiance does mead… >..>

            2 agree
        • I sort of saw the sex toy party and pole dancing lessons and not so much a "last blast" as a "we know you're sexually adventurous and we're celebrating that you get to continue that with someone who it too." Though… the guys did give my husband one of those game over shirts. Not so much because they think it's game over (they've known us since before we started dating and really know how happy we are together) but because it was a shirt that involved gaming and they didn't have much more imagination than that.

          8 agree
        • On my bachelorette (which involved dinner, a save the planet walk and movies with Ben & Jerries, stuff that I totally plan on keeping doing) I was amazed how many rowdy comments I got from random men who invited me for a last 'bit of fun' and who actually seemed to believe this was not just ok, but also a fairly good offer. Weird. (And yes, they recognized me by the crappy veil, without penisses of course.)

          5 agree
        • My husband actually had his best man step back from the role after being told 'no strippers, no drinking (for him)'. My husband has never drank and had a change of look outlook on life a few years before we started dating on the whole stripper thing (mainly meeting them and hearing that they felt negative about it- not that many don't enjoy it, but he couldn't get it out of his head when he visited, ruining the experience for him).

          Instead, he wanted to do an 'epic game night', but his best man refused. No longer best friends as the best man said 'you have to either drink or have strippers' and wouldn't compromise as it was 'his prerogative' to plan.

          On the other hand, I do fear commitment. I'm committed, but the act of being proposed to and walking down an aisle just filled me with fear. Not being married, etc. Just me being a 'shy bride' I guess. Excellent posts and notions and ideas you have laid out in this though!

          6 agree
          • I can relate to the "shy bride" comment.
            *I* was the one who was the committment-phobe.
            *I* was the one to say "yes, I am finally ready to get married".
            *He* is the one pushing the time-line, wanting to get married sooner.

            Isn't it great we're all different!

            5 agree
        • "…if you really love strippers and penis cake, maybe you should find a way to keep enjoying those things AFTER you're married."

          And here people were, giving me strange looks as they ladle'd out the cranberries and gravy from my penis cake pan on Thanksgiving. I'm just resourceful, is all.

          34 agree
        • Exactly! If someone is *so* afraid to commit, DON'T PROPOSE then turn around and blame the other party for forcing them into a monogamous relationship.

          6 agree
        • we had a joint pre-wedding party and played stripper bingo at the club. Neither of us was comfortable with the concept of a gender-segregated bachelor/bachelorette do tho.

          2 agree
      • When my sisters got married, we skipped over the normal bachelorette nonsense for a more personal approach. For the first sister, we went mini-golfing, then out to dinner, and then settled in for a movie, slumber party style. For my 2nd sister, we had a hard time deciding on something worthwhile to do based on her interests and the amount of money we could each contribute. Then my mom pointed suggested that we pool our money, give my sister the cash, and then we do an all-day antique shop run and make her spend ALL of the money on stuff she wouldn't normally allow herself to splurge on. So, we did that. She found a sterling silver cake platter that was perfect for her wedding cake, a side table with an inlaid chess board, and a few other things. Overall, we had fun, and she got stuff that she'd actually use.

        30 agree
      • OMG, that is exactly why we're not having bachelor/ette parties. We have decided to have a joint pre-wedding celebration with our friends together instead. My sister hates this idea, but to me I have been in a committed relationship for 10 years already. Why go out and have a night of 'freedom' I mean if you're getting married you should already be committed to each other. It just seems weird to me.

        10 agree
    • I agree completely. I grew up with a mother who told me (when i was 13) that the only reason she married my father was he had money, and she wanted kids. So i have a hard time finding anything like this funny. I've gone so far as to have discussions with a friend of mine about how i disagree with the concept of bachelor/ette parties for the fact of "one last night of freedom". A soon as you were in a commited relationship with someone, you're no longer single, married or not. And if you're looking for that last night of freedom, why are you getting married?

      (Sorry for the rant)

      3 agree
    • This is something not a lot of people think about, the kids in these sorts of weddings/unions. I myself am getting married next month and of course I'm in ultra stressed out mode but when I'm in any store now I always make it a point to go down the wedding aisle just to poke around. The last time I was there I saw a cake topper of the bride dragging the groom by the collar behind her and he had a very scared look on his face. Of course I took a picture and immediately shared it on social media to broadcast my utter distaste for it. Something along the lines of "you want to remember your wedding day as an event of your life that you had to drag him to?" Yeah that spells out happily ever after. Anyway, it does teach these outdated ideas of gender roles to kids and that commitment is something to not be taken seriously. It makes me cringe.

  2. "somber-eros" made me choke.

    otherwise, this is why I love OBB. Thank you for not being afraid to talk about this kind of stuff.

    27 agree
    • i am fighting so hard not to erupt in a fit of laughter in my office right now over somber-eros.

      so so hard

      16 agree
  3. for what it's worth, Ariel, my sense of humor on things wedding-y adheres pretty closely to yours. Certain things that people find hilarious squick me out a little bit. Which is so funny, because not much is squicky to me. I can eat my lunch in the corner of a working veterinary surgery (so as not to miss the good stuff, even though I was HUNGRY!) Sooo, there you have it, that sign squicks the hard to squick over here.

    6 agree
    • This is absolutely what I was thinking of while reading the article. I HATE those! Why is it funny that the man doesn't want to be married?

      29 agree
      • Yup… I was watching a TV show with a lot of jokes like these… and my hubs -who wasn't really watching, but happened to be in the same room- pointed out that he didn't get the kind of humor that portrays ALL men as commitment phobic, not to mention marriage phobic!
        It struck me that I hadn't noticed the 'jokes' before… I guess is all that conditioning we take on constant basis.
        So marriage might not be everyone's cup of tea, but for us two is freakin' awesome!

        3 agree
        • And a bit OT: the somber-ero thing is quite accurate! I couldn't resist to post this since spanish is my native language. sombrero comes from 'sombra', the word we use for both 'shadow' and 'shade' :)

          8 agree
    • Oh! oh! How about the one where the groom is holding a fishing pole with a ring dangling on it and the woman is below reaching for it. That's all women want out of a marriage is jewelry, right?

      25 agree
      • I have to comment on this, because I hate the ball and chain ones and dragging the groom, and that sign? Ugh… BUT, I have that fishing cake topper for our wedding next year. I love it, because we love to fish together, that country song about "My Baby Loves to 'Fish'", and we joke about catching each other ALL the time. We always refer to each other as "my catch", and our wedding theme is "Country couple goes on a fishing trip/picnic". I'm customizing it with a tutorial I read on here to be more "us". But, yea, just gotta have love for the first wedding thing we bought!! lol

        7 agree
        • If it references actual fishing the message is totally different! And nice. <3

          18 agree
        • Of course if it's meaningful to you, then you should use it! I didn't mean to offend your choices. On the surface I don't like the symbolism behind that topper, but it sounds like it's a cute fit for your wedding. Rock it!!!

          8 agree
          • It's fine!! Wasn't offended at all!! I saw the other fishing one, too, where the groom is trying to get away… Hated that one. lol.

            4 agree
          • Similarly, if a really kinky couple got a cake topper with the groom wearing a ball and chain…because they're into that sort of play, and want to share that with their guests…that's a completely different story.

            Unfortunately, I don't think that's usually the case with these toppers.

    • I was going to mention the cake toppers, also. Ariel, I'm so glad you wrote this post. This kind of thing makes me cringe, if people crack jokes like that to my fiance it hurts my feelings, as well as his. We are getting married because we love each other, not because I nagged him until he grudgingly bought a ring.

      16 agree
      • The worst part is that I know couples who DID do this: the man finally gave in because the woman gave an ultimatum because she wanted to get married NOW (no matter to whom). Ugh. And that's why these things aren't funny!

        10 agree
        • I know it's been a while since this was posted, but I have thoughts, so I'm posting :P. I have known many people (including my fiance's ex-boyfriend) who have decided that marriage is NOW and they don't care who is waiting at the end of the isle. I find this appalling. In my community (which includes a lot of Latter Day Saints because my fiance used to be in the church) this tends to be a religio-cultural thing, where the church and the family and everyone are constantly pressuring women and men to get married. I have not seen this work out well, almost ever. Some of them are still married (and having loads of kids) but after about the 3rd of 4th child, these marriages have been disintegrating.

          By the way, I was one of those brides who badgered her partner into getting married, but it sure as hell wasn't for the jewelry. Her response was "We have a dog together. I moved to Indiana for you. What other signs of commitment could you want?" :)

          10 agree
      • This has hurt my feelings as well. When we went to visit our ceremony site, the director smiled at us and said, "So you want to get married?" Ecstatic about our recent engagement we agreed enthusiastically. He then turned to my fiance and said, with a chuckle, "Now, if she left the room would you answer that question the same way?" I was appalled. The implications about me as a person (Pushy and demanding marriage? After jewelry and money? Not worth giving up his manly "freedom"?) are hurtful, not funny. Fortunately my FH finds these comments offensive as well and won't go along with them.

        16 agree
    • like everyone else in this particular comment thread, this is precisely what came to mind.

      i would never in a million years have either one of those stupid cake toppers *or* the sign pictured…because i respect my partner more than that. but i get there are people out there who find it funny, and more power to them for it. i just fail to see the humor.

      3 agree
    • I am SOOOO happy that you posted about those. I go into a rage every single time I see them!! I'm angry now just thinking about them.

      5 agree
    • the only redeeming quality of those cake toppers is how easily they are repainted so the chasing spouse is a zombie.

      72 agree
      • Ahh! You just fixed those for me! I have to see them all the time 'cause I work at a craft store that sells wedding supplies, so now I can just think of them as zombies and they will be funny! Thank you! :D

        6 agree
    • Another reader who thought immediately of those awful cake toppers. A friend posted a picture of them on facebook and said he "had to show the wife. Too funny!" Ugh.

      1 agrees
      • And let's not miss the choice of words here: these are the people who go on to call their spouses "the" wife, which drives me berserk. Ah yes, the inanimate object that sounds like a big heavy burden. Guess you don't have to express emotions when it's a thing not a partner-soulmate-best friend-love of your life.

        19 agree
    • I hate those, too. I find them to be very immature. Women aren't the only ones who want to get married, and if a man feels like it's "Game Over" and marriage is a trap, he shouldn't propose! Or accept a proposal!

      13 agree
    • THIS! I was thinking about those damn cake toppers while reading this. They really bug me because of the message they are implying.

      2 agree
    • honestly, i've only known one person to have one of those toppers. i found it really off putting & over a decade later, that topper pretty much describes their marriage. there is something to be said for setting the tone.

      7 agree
    • Ugh, my friend had the worst topper: it was a bride with her arms folded looking grumpy with the groom sitting in a La-Z-Boy chair with a foot up a coffee table looking at a TV screen that read "GAME OVER". I was horrified. They have been married just over a year and still go on about how much they loved the topper though, so I guess they get the last laugh, haha.

      3 agree
      • Heh, that one I actually like better. As a video game widow, I can totally relate to the "Not until I finish this match, honey" mentality. I don't really see it as the wedding being "game over" so much as the poor bride having to wait until he finished his game – even on their wedding day.

        Note, I solved this problem by just having video games at the reception :-P

        8 agree
  4. GAWD, this image comes up once in a while on my Pinterest feed and it makes me gag. Same with the "Here comes your girl!" ring bearer signs (although that one is more cutesy but I still have feminist issues with it). I'm glad you wrote this post, bravo!

    7 agree
  5. Having kids carry a sign down the aisle to signal to the groom that now's the time to run away and sew his wild oats? Not funny.

    Having kids carry a sign down the aisle to signal to the guests that now's the time to arm themselves for the impending zombie apocalypse? Offbeat hilarious.

    33 agree
  6. I completely agree! For me, this falls in the same category as those 'hilarious' cake toppers with the bride dragging the groom by his tux collar. Humor is great (we had a Simpsons inspired wedding cake), but it shouldn't be at the expense of the love and commitment of the people getting married!

    3 agree
    • Oh, wow, I just had a huge nerd moment. I literally got shivers when I read "Simpsons inspired wedding". That is awesome.

      7 agree
    • Well, I'm not even engaged yet, but I now know what my cake toppers are! Marge and Homer from my parent's simpsons chess set (They are the 'king' and 'queen'). SO My partner and me lol.

  7. Hear, hear! This brand of humor makes me downright sad for the world.

    1 agrees
  8. I totally agree with this! It's so frustrating, in most cases it was the groom was who proposed and planned that proposal, making the commitment (mostly) THEIR idea. I find it odd that people think it's hilarious to think the groom wants nothing to do with this huge step in their life. Or that the commitment the couple has already been in wasn't anything. I've been with my fiance for almost 6 years now and I'm pretty sure those years meant just as much as our marriage will. Unless it's a shot gun wedding, I'm pretty sure weddings are a fully mutual choice and commitment, mine was. So why basically tell them (joking or not) it's a mistake or that they're doomed? Because that's what it sounds like.

    6 agree
    • > the groom was who proposed and planned that proposal, making the commitment (mostly) THEIR idea

      wat.

      Ideally, I'd say the commitment is equally the idea of both partners and the result of many long, productive discussions about their hopes, dreams, practical matters, lifestyles, etc. The partner that proposes isn't solely responsible just because they do the asking.

      8 agree
      • traditionally though, even if both parties are keen, the bride usually waits for the groom. I don't know anyone in real life that hasn't done it that way! I'm pretty baffled why!

        2 agree
        • Obv you don't know me IRL, but I am one of the few (females) who proposed to their (male) SO's. I guess that's part of what makes me offbeat.

          We had talked about getting married, but until I was ready it wasn't going forward. He left the ball in my court, and that's how I decided to tell him I was ready. (:

          1 agrees
  9. For some reason I thought I was the only one who wasn't amused by wedding humor that makes marriage seem suckish. Glad to know i'm not. I too am not a fan of signs like these, those awful cap toppers, or those awful shirts. In a speech the best man gave at a friends wedding he said "it's all down hill from here. You're her bitch now." They thought it was funny but I couldn't find the humor in it. It's just not for me.

    9 agree
  10. I agree, this kind of "humor" is unfunny, antifeminist, and downright rude.
    Ever since we got engaged, people have been cracking this kind of "joke" to my FH. Even strangers, upon hearing that we're engaged, will say things to him like, "Party time is over, huh?"
    I know they think they're hilarious, but it really hurts my feelings, and it makes me feel bad for those (usually male) people, because I guess their marriages must be unhappy.
    I think these kids should be carrying a sign that says, "Get excited, y'all. She looks really pretty!"

    26 agree
    • Even strangers, upon hearing that we're engaged, will say things to him like, "Party time is over, huh?"

      The weird thing here is that if you like partying, YOU CAN KEEP PARTYING AFTER YOU GET MARRIED. Even if "partying" means "hooking up with other people," there are plenty of folks for whom even THAT can be part of a healthy, functional marriage.

      16 agree
      • Thanks for acknowledging open marriage as a "healthy, functional marriage" Ariel!

        10 agree
        • Of course. Don't want to be a hypocrite. ;)

          3 agree
      • This made me happy! Open marriages can be healthy and functional! :D

        5 agree
      • I've been annoyed with this concept forever, that somehow marriage means "Serious married-people things" for the rest of your life. If you like zombies and tequila parties and cartoons before you're married, you don't suddenly have to like antique shopping and classical music once you sign that marriage certificate. The whole reason you're marrying this person is because you've built a life together, and that life is awesome, marriage certificate or not.

        20 agree
        • Yes! When Gentleman and I got engaged, some of his family was immediately all, "Oh, but don't rush it, you have to have Fun Being Single for a while, once you get married it is all Serious Business!" and we were like, "Um, no, we have already talked about how the adventuring and goofing and dirty jokes and everything we do RIGHT NOW are going to continue, preferrably until we die".

          18 agree
        • Yes! I don't know how many people made comments about how we would surely be closing our relationship once we got married. We're like, "Umm, why?" We were getting married because we thought our relationship was SO AWESOME that we wanted it to last FOREVER. Why would we then go and change everything?

          6 agree
      • I was at a motorcycle shop today and talked about my upcoming wedding, saying I have to check on finances before I buy another bike. The sales person joked, " well you'd better get it now before he says you can't after the wedding!" Not funny. Not buying. In a capitalist society, we vote against stupid with our money as well as our ballots.

        18 agree
        • Don't you just *love* when men and some women tell you that your spouse is the only one who decides what you can buy and in essence, save up for? Perhaps we should all throw away our non-domestic dreams and stay barefoot and pregnant until menopause?

          8 agree
        • Which is especially ridiculous given how many couples merge finances long before they tie the knot.

          4 agree
    • My FH has had friends and strangers tell him (in a jokingly manor) to take back the proposal and that he doesn't want to get married because sex is rare and boring after marriage. WTH?! Maybe in their marriage. I just don't find it funny to even say those things.

      6 agree
      • what i DO find funny about people who say those things is that they just revealed how completely boring THEY are.

        26 agree
        • Hahaha, exactly. All my happily married friends are nothing but excited for us.

          5 agree
    • I want to add my vote to the "Get excited! She looks pretty!" signage- THAT is cute and funny!

      8 agree
  11. So much this! We're absolutely already as committed as we will be once we're married—that's just formalizing that commitment publicly. This sort of "humor" just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. And that picture is just like "The kids are so cute! But that sign! But they're cute! But that SIGN! Gah!"

    5 agree
  12. Thank you for this, especially the part about how these jokes imply that any commitment before the wedding isn't as valid as the magic aisle/altar. As soon as my man proposed to me, I was committed in my heart. I appreciated our ceremony because I had the opportunity to share that with loved ones, but I wasn't any more committed to him as a result of that public display. And I certainly got sick of people implying that the days before our wedding day were some kind of countdown to the end of all fun.

    7 agree
    • Yeah, if you take it further, if it's not valid and nothing "counts" until marriage, there's also the implication that non-legal commitments don't count. This means that, say, lesbians who've been together for 25 years don't have a valid relationship — they could RUN at any time!! HARDY HAR HAR!

      19 agree
      • THIS!!!
        It's also the reason why I hate people saying things about 'starting a new chapter' or 'taking it to the next level'. Who really makes the commitment to another person while ACTUALLY standing at the altar anyway? Surely the commitment is made long before then, whether accompanied by a government/religion-sanctioned ceremony or not.

        9 agree
      • Off topic but how do you manage to get your photo by your comments please??

        1 agrees
  13. Agree! If you still want a cutesie sign, I've seen signs that say "Hey Uncle ____, here comes your girl!"

    I thought those were way cuter than the last chance ones.

    2 agree
  14. I find it un-funny because it gives the two people committing no credit for having made a thoughtful, authentic, mutual decision.
    and all the other astute things Ariel said.
    but I would want to be warned of an imminent zombie apocalypse.
    maybe a better idea is the one with the flower girl carrying a sign saying "Here She/he/they Comes"! so cute!

    3 agree
    • I went to a wedding where they carried a sign that said (no joke, and it cracked me up): "Heads up, pay attention, the main event is about to start!"

      10 agree
  15. THANKYOU for writing this!

    I can't believe I though I was alone in my thinking this way… that's why I love this site. Why does the outside world think that I am more committed that my FH? And why is this committment a joke to them?
    I am at least glad my Dad told me he thought about byb DIDN'T get the Game over shirt for my FH when we got engaged.
    I love you OBB!

    2 agree
  16. This is comedy I'll never quite understand.

    So they walk down with this sign. If the groom did up & "run," who would be laughing. Oh ha ha ha, a destroyed relationship, hi-lar-ious.

    21 agree
  17. I think it's funny.

    My take on your take on it:
    Commitment before marriage does mean something and is of value. But something does change after you get married. Maybe not everything, but something. In a practical sense, you are legally bound together. If my husband-elect and I broke up now, it would be ugly. We live together, we have a joint checking account. It would be painful in more ways than one. But divorce is a different animal. You are branded a divorcee. You have to hire lawyers and sign papers and pay a lot of money to put the marriage asunder. If marriage wasn't a big step, we wouldn't do it, we wouldn't spend the money, put in months of planning time, read wedding blogs, join wedding planning communities, have so many complex emotions about this change in our relationship.

    Commitment IS scary. For me anyway. I don't think it's an awful thing, but it does terrify me a little. Maybe even more than a little. And I don't think it's a bad thing to admit that, even though you get a lot of knowing looks and you'll sees and people who jump to wild conclusions about your relationship should you admit you find commitment a little scary. "If he was THE ONE, you wouldn't have any doubts" type of stuff.

    I get your point, but honestly, I'd totally do something like this. And like all jokes, it's not for everyone. And yeah, it plays into some of stereotypes that OBB stands against, but we all slip into stereotypes a little bit sometimes, and since I poke fun at everything, I'd certainly poke fun at the apprehension I personally feel about till death do us part.

    14 agree
    • Yay! Thanks for feeling comfortable sharing your perspective. I love this site!

      8 agree
      • Me too. :)

        It's kind of ironic that I hate the ball and chain cake toppers but find this amusing. Something to think on.

        2 agree
    • I guess I'm a weirdo for not planning it out months in advanced or anything like that. For me, marriage didn't change anything – it just made us a legal relationship in the eyes of the government and made us eligible for grants as we were no longer dependents of our parents.

      Our ceremony was quick, we did dress up but no one was really invited. It was a civil ceremony on Hallowe'en so neither of us could forget the date. (I'm horrible at dates.) We had lunch and then cake, and we went trick or treating that night for our "honeymoon". I have yet to actually go on a honeymoon, and it's almost been two years. I'm looking at eventually taking him to Brazil with me, as I used to live there.

      As for divorce, I'm fairly certain that you can get a quick divorce if it's uncontested and you go to the right places. Unfortunately, there are a lot of hurdles to get through still.

      2 agree
      • My divorce was uncontested and we had no assets or debts to divide. We agreed to everything ahead of time and it still took 6 months from the date of filing to finalize. It took him two years to agree to the divorce before that. It wasn't quick.

        2 agree
      • Yeah, it all depends where you live. Some states allow for very quick uncontested divorce. When I got mine, in Maryland, it was uncontested but the law required us to live apart (while remaining legally married) for at least a full year before we could have divorce proceedings. And that's in a very liberal state.

        1 agrees
  18. When I tell people I'm getting married soon, the first thing they ask is, "Are you excited?" When my fiancé gives people the good news, the first thing they ask him is, "Are you nervous?"

    What's with the double standard? He gets really frustrated about it. "No, I'm not nervous. I'm excited. If I were nervous, I wouldn't have asked in the first place!"

    I'm so glad to have found Offbeat Bride. I didn't realize how rare it would be to have people inject some genuine thoughtfulness and feeling into this process.

    13 agree
  19. Yeah, I thought it was just me, as well. I frequently see the 'game over' tees, and those hurt my feelings. If that's really the case in a particular relationship, then don't marry that person! And for that matter, why are you dating them in the first place? If anyone has made comments of this ilk to El Duderino, they (wisely) didn't do it in front of me, but if they had, I probably would have lashed out & called them out on it. And he would have laughed at them for being so assinine. Yeah, I asked him out, and I proposed, but it wasn't because he wasn't going to in either situation, it's because he was (and he fully admits this) taking too long.

    Being married changed 3 things in our relartionship; I now have a husband (I never thought that would happen), he now has a wife (he never thought that would happen), and my last name changed (because /I/ wanted to, not because of some tradition, calm down).

    That's it, those are the big changes from saying 'I do'. We both still play video games and we both still go to Disneyland as much as possible and I still drink way too much Coca~Cola and he still loves craft beers and we're both still a couple of old metalhead/punk/weird music people…

    That sign is hurtful. The attitude embodied in it is harsh. And yes, it sends a craptastic message to the child carrying it, and to the audience of your day.

    3 agree
    • My boyfriend-I'm-hitchin' wants to make a version of the "Game Over" t-shirt where they're both smiling and it says "You win!"

      39 agree
      • Make a whole bunch and sell them on Offbeat Bride Tribe classifieds!!! I want one!!!

        12 agree
      • Yeah, I want to make a t-shirt a that say "Player two has arrived" or " A challenger appears!". I hate hate hate those game over shirts.

        22 agree
      • I saw one not too long ago that said "upgrade" or "level up" I can't remember exactly. I was trying to find it, but I can't. :( They do exist, though!

        6 agree
        • Uhhh, super late but I did see wedding signage that said "acheivement unlocked" which I thought was pretty cute. :)

          10 agree
          • +1 <3 , Congratulations you acheive rank: Husband!

    • I'm more into the Achievement Unlocked panties :)

      The only "marriage" jokes we make are the "It's half mine now" kind when it comes to food. Our friends too. We all see the value of the commitments we made. Love is a celebration, and things shouldn't change too much between before and after the ceremony.

      9 agree
  20. Yes, that's right, better get your running spikes on to escape the ole ball and chain as she rolls her way up the aisle. With any luck her expensive shoes are way too painful for her to even consider chasing after you, tearfully begging you to please, please reconsider and think of all the happy committed years of that have gone into the relationship so far. Gah. But I would like a somber-ero, though. Perhaps it would go with my dress?

    6 agree
  21. "Somber-eros" made me LOL . . . and then think, no, that's what you experience on the Somber Wedding Night.

    6 agree
  22. Anytime someone would say that to my husband, he'd somberly look at them and say "she's got more wild oats than me, do you think I should be worried?" Usually shut people up. What got me was when we financed a car together. Now, in November our house will be paid off, we've known each other for more than half of our lives, we'd been officially married for a little over a year (but "acting married" for three), and I was six months pregnant with our daughter… but people decided that buying a car together was the last stop, he definitely can't leave -

    1 agrees
    • Heh – I'll have to show this to the ram (future husband). It'll give him something to say as that certainly describes our relationship… (the woman with more wild oats part).

      2 agree
  23. I have fortunately not heard any of these things said to my fiance. I think if anyone did say it or imply it, I would be very hurt. I take our commitment to each other very seriously; if my fiance himself said or suggested anything along the lines of these "jokes," I think I would be inclined to sit down and have a serious but gentle conversation about whether that joke came from a place of genuine fear of marriage.

    We are already committed to one another; it will not change once we're married. I will still go out dancing from time to time, and I'll dance with other men because I know he's okay with it, and then I'll come home and we'll still love and trust each other just as much as before I left. Equally, if he wants to go out drinking or to more "exotic" locations, I'll tell him to have fun and call me if he needs a ride.

    I will admit, I never would have thought of that sign as being hurtful to unmarried but committed couples, but I'm glad someone pointed it out. I can totally see it now. My second cousin and her partner, committed to each other for 25 years now, will be at our wedding – and I can't imagine doing or saying anything to imply that our commitment is somehow more valid than theirs.

    6 agree
  24. I'm a little bit reminded of what I did for my sister-in-law during her bridal shower. >>

    I ended up getting her a card, but I wrote in it this little diddy about "warning" her about what she would be marrying into in regards to our family. Mostly that we're all a bunch of insane nutso weirdos. Which…is something she knows already. XD Sort of a last warning to her.

    She got a big kick out of it though since it matches her humor style and has spawned little exchanges like:

    *brother acting super goofy*
    "He's your brother."
    "You married him."
    "Yeah I know, and you warned me too."

    And then we'll burst into little giggles and he'll look at us with a confused look on his face. :3

    8 agree
  25. To me if this is how anyone feels prior to marriage they should not be getting married. I do not believe being married means giving up control of your individuality to another person. If some people believe marriage is about giving up part of yourself or your spouse giving up part of themselves than you probably should run. I may be naive but to me marriage is about complementing each others life not giving up part of your self and/or controlling your spouse.

    7 agree
  26. I was just thinking along these lines this weekend. Every time marriage equality makes it big in the news, some "progressive" person "jokes" that of course the gays should be able to get married "so they can be miserable like the rest of us!"

    Ha ha. Not.

    10 agree
  27. Totally agree! I was just talking to my fiance about this the other day. As someone who values my relationship, as I hope any bride would, it makes me so sad to "make a joke" like this. There are so many other ways to incorporate humor into your ceremony while leaving all the love and commitment in.

    1 agrees
  28. I completely agree that this whole "Men are being trapped in marriage" comedy business is not just offensive to the females "trapping" them, but also to the men who have to live in such an emotionless world of not getting attached to the women in their lives.

    I will admit that I bought my boyfriend the "game over" shit at a novelty shop, though. He thinks it's hilarious because he tried to propose to me for years and I was the one who wasn't ready, so it's just kind of an in joke between us. He's also the most commitment-loving dude in the history of ever, so it's a funny jarring of who he is vs who he 'should' be as a man. And we're both polyamorous gamers, so marrying won't change much for how we live our lives. :)

    3 agree
    • " He thinks it's hilarious because he tried to propose to me for years and I was the one who wasn't ready, so it's just kind of an in joke between us. He's also the most commitment-loving dude in the history of ever, so it's a funny jarring of who he is vs who he 'should' be as a man. "

      Yes! Ditto for us. When we were first introducing ourselves as fiancee's, people would make these "funny" comments to him, implying that he was forced into committing. In return he would say "She's the one who proposed to me, I've BEEN ready!!" (Which is true!)

      2 agree
  29. One of my siblings got my hubby a "Game Over" shirt for Christmas the year before we got married and told him to wear it to his bachelor party. I laughed it off, in public, but I'm still fuming. He still has the shirt, and half of the letters have fallen off, but I can't get him to get rid of it. He doesn't understand why it upsets me so much.

    3 agree
  30. Oh my goodness! I have never seen that sign before, and I'm grateful for that because it just seems…sad. The stupid cake toppers also make me sad. There are a few other things that make me sad/mad: cake smashing, and the bride and groom getting so drunk they can't remember their own wedding. Yeah, that's a GREAT way to start a lifelong commitment. Both seem so disrespectful. There are more respectful (and funnier!) ways to incorporate humor and personality into a wedding.

    9 agree
    • I dislike the cake smashing, too – good money spent on that cake aside, it's just not funny to me.

      4 agree
  31. I don't have anything to add because I agree 100%. I just don't find the "marriage sucks, har!" jokes funny. Maybe it sucks for YOU, but….

    1 agrees
  32. I'm going to have to say that I completely and totally agree with you on this one. Humor like this makes me cringe and crawl into the nearest hole. Though I will disagree with you on one point; I don't really understand how people find this stuff funny, but thats just me I suppose.

    2 agree
  33. I also absolutely hate this kind of humor. Along the same lines, half of my regulars at the bar upon hearing I was engaged, responded, "Oh, you're off the market now?" Um, no. I've been off the market every since we decided to enter a committed monogamous relationship, kthx. It's along the same lines that I made my fiance promise that he'll never start making any dumb "ball and chain" or "yes dear" jokes. I wouldn't want to be in a relationship with someone who thought it was funny to joke that being with me made him miserable.

    12 agree
    • Yes! My mother, even though she means well, frequently suggests that if I want my partner to do something my way, I should remind him that there's no ring on my finger. Apparently, despite four and a half years together, I could still go on dates with other guys, because *I'M* not "off the market" yet. O_o

      4 agree
  34. OMG, how awful would those little kids feel if the groom (or bride) took the sign's advice and dashed off right then?!
    "Mommy, why did Uncle Joe run away and make Aunt Susan cry?" "Because, little Oliver, your sign scared him off." "Wahhh!"
    Horrible.

    5 agree
  35. Ugh, yeah, it's not my thing either.

    The ones I hate are the "sex stops after marriage" jokes. If we stop having sex, we'll talk about why, and if that doesn't work and the situation is unsustainable, we'll probably go our separate ways, hopefully quite amicably. If you've stopped having sex with your spouse, don't try to make it *my* problem too.

    9 agree
  36. I'm with you. I hate this kind of stuff also. Those cake toppers just make me cringe. I've been to many many weddings as part of my job. I simply cannot believe how many strangers think it's ok to shout things like "don't do it!!" and "run whilst you still can!".
    What miserable lives they must have.

    2 agree
  37. Can't agree with you more…when I saw that sign in the photo (and every time I see someone in a "Game Over" shirt), I frown/ed. Makes me feel icky! That's not what marriage is about! Yeah, it's "lololol funnies" but…not my taste!

    1 agrees
  38. To me, this is the ultimate "YOU'LL SEEEEE". It's like somebody saying "My life sucked after I got married and yours will too!"

    But that's not even the biggest reason I don't like these jokes. I don't like them because when the jokers are laughing all I can do is uncomfortably stand around and think "Oh ok. Your relationship actually sucks and you've chosen this moment to publicly announce that." AWK-WARD!

    8 agree
    • Admittedly, I've been this person.

      I remember once I heard a girl I worked with going on and on about how wonderful marriage is and its so perfect waking up next to your best friend every morning, etc etc. I asked her how long she'd been married and, with the sweetest most in-love smile on her face (think Giselle from Enchanted), she goes "3 months." And I said, very smugly, "Oh that's why you still think its so great." *face palm* Yeah that was me. I said that.

      That was several years ago, and I realize in hind sight that I only said that because MY marriage sucked, which made me think that every marriage sucked. Sadly that's all some people know.

      I'm about to get married again, with a completely different perspective this time around. Marriage is a choice not a sentence. But honestly, some people marry the wrong person for the wrong reasons, and they just don't know what it's like to really choose marriage out of love, and to live a life happy with that choice. Some people don't even know it's possible.

  39. Another un-funny wedding joke: "J.S., congratulations! Mary B., my condolences." WTF? This 'joke' falls in line with the stupid-husband lines for me. Arg!

    2 agree
  40. [Insert irate ranting here about equality, partnership, sex, and choice.]

    2 agree
    • lol, love your abbreviated way of saying it all, without having to type it!

      2 agree
  41. I am so with you on this!! I really don't think that your wedding Ceremony should be a time to be cracking silly distasteful jokes! i don't see the humour in it at all!!

  42. Me and my fiance are humorous people, its one of the biggest reasons we love each other. But this is just bad humor. I've been getting a lot of "why buy the cow…" comments since us having a son apparently makes those jokes appropriate.

    Also, it makes me sad cause those kids are cute, but that glaringly ill-humored sign just detracts from that :(

    2 agree
  43. This sign keeps popping up when I'm browsing Pinterest, and I'm so glad you said all this because it is EXACTLY how I feel about it!

    I saw a Jeep today with the typical "JUST MARRIED" and "MR & MRS" and the date on the back window, and I smiled. Then I saw the "Game Over" sign on the spare tire cover, and I frowned. Then I thought, proper geeks wouldn't have one of those signs, because proper geeks are the type of people at Offbeat Bride who seem to never make terrible "marriage is awful herp derp" jokes. Then I smiled again because I love this site. :)

    2 agree
    • Yeah, this post was written after this picture popped up on Pinterest and I was horrified. I normally stay in my little offbeat corner of Pinterest, but I'd wandered into the main Weddings & Events sections…and quickly ran away screaming.

      2 agree
  44. Everything you said! so much! I kept seeing that photo on pinterest and it just irritated me so much every time I saw it.

  45. This kinda "Ball and chain jokes" and possible Wedding disaster move/shows is why I'm NOT going to see certain Movies and why I stopped watching one of my fav sitcoms (the 2 main characters are getting married)! I don't think, along with all of the other "bad taste" jokes, that wedding disasters are funny. I mean, I'm already under a lot of pressure I don't need a movie making fun of some of my worst nightmares.

    • As a random aside to your comment, The Big Bang Theory just had a really sweet marriage episode for Howard and Bernadette.

      1 agrees
      • And as a random aside to your comment, I hated that Bernadette glowered at Sheldon for trying to say the wedding vows in Klingon… Um… they're geeks & all & so I'm thinking that the bride should've allowed her man to have his day too…

        1 agrees
  46. I've made numerous snarky "oh maybe I won't have to marry you now" comments to my almost husband, but I've been cracking dumb jokes like that to him for the 10 years we've been together, so I don't feel like the prospect of marriage has changed that.
    That being said, I really hate the cake toppers where the bride is dragging the groom or he's trying to run away. Maybe I'd feel less irritated if they had gender reverse ones too. I think that's probably my biggest problem with it – the fact that it's always assumed that the groom is the one who is being somehow forced into marriage.

    1 agrees
  47. My husband's "hilarious" best man got him that Game Over shirt to wear on the stag. Granted, he's a giant video game geek and that's how they all keep in touch while living across the country. The gender stereotype crap is just not him at ALL though.

    Plus, I was infuriated that even my annoyance at the shirt was taken as furthering the stereotype. As if my feelings were "Oh noes, now the world knows how sad he is about getting married!" vs. actually being tired of bullshit, tired marriage tropes and gender stereotypes.

    On an awesome note, Very Uncomfortable Humourless Panties is going to make me laugh for days and days.

    1 agrees
  48. I would love to buy this sign and then have the groom run down the aisle – to walk me back up to the front.

    7 agree
    • THAT is UHMAZING. Fake out your entire family. Not a wedding they'd easily forget!

      3 agree
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