Let's challenge online bridal drama with "Operation: This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things!"

Guestpost by Rachel Wilkerson on Oct. 22nd
Bride and Bridesninjas' Fighting Skills

Brides and bridesmaids: let's fight the good fight! Photo courtesy of Kalen Marie Photography.

By now, I'm sure a lot of you have read the awful email from a bride to her future bridesmaids that has been going around the internet. Read and cringed. And while I definitely cringed while reading the email, I just wanted to go back to bed whenever I started reading the comments. Every discussion was a nasty, snarky, free-for-all where, hidden behind their anonymity, commenters felt free to not stop at calling the bride the "c" word, but also went on to share horror stories of brides they knew, declare "NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR WEDDING," and trash anything and everything related to weddings.

To the bride who wrote that viral email: This is why we can't have nice things.

It's not hard to find wedding snark on the web. And I don't disagree with the fact that there is a lot to dislike about the wedding planning and about how it makes some people behave. That said, I find it very hard to believe that most brides (and, coincidentally, no grooms, parents, or friends) behave badly when it comes to their weddings.

Maybe I just hang out with good people, both online and off, but in my experience, most brides genuinely are happy anyone wants to be a part of their wedding and would never want to take advantage of those people. But I know that defending brides, especially when you are one, is often futile. Much like being called "crazy," being called "bridezilla" is hard to fight without giving the person insulting you more ammo. But the few, the loud, the ones featured on reality TV are making us all look bad!

Offbeat Bride is a community of well-behaved brides and grooms, so I know I'm preaching to the choir here. But I'm starting to wonder if we can do something about all the negative wedding talk…

Sometimes I worry that by only hanging out with good people, and avoiding any bride, or blog, or wedding forum who appears to be promoting negativity, I'm actually not helping. I mean, if all the conscientious, kind, non-judgmental brides flee, who will be there to offer a voice of reason when someone starts acting like a dick toward her bridesmaids? Hanging out on Offbeat Bride makes it easy to think that brides and grooms are generally thoughtful people and to genuinely feel surprised when people hate on weddings. But maybe that's just because we're tuning out the selfish, wasteful behavior that so many people see as a defining characteristic of weddings.

So perhaps we need to take a deep breath and wade back into the areas of the web that are part of the problem so that we can be part of the solution…

Maybe we — other brides who totally understand wedding stress and yet are somehow managing to get down the aisle without behaving like total menstrual cramps to our nearest and dearest — could intervene before some bride hits "send" on another email like this.

Rather than letting bridesmaids bitch passive-aggressively on yet another anti-wedding blog post on a women's publication, perhaps we could speak politely but directly to other brides about why this kind of behavior is unacceptable before it goes viral.

Clearly, the Wedding Industrial Complex, snarky internet, and population at large isn't doing much to help (because really, when did calling someone a cunt behind her back ever lead to massive change?). So I'd like to challenge Offbeat Bride readers to lead the way in Operation: This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things.

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About Rachel Wilkerson

Rachel Wilkerson is a writer and community manager living in sin in Houston, TX. You can see more of her writing at RachelWilkerson.com and on her brand-new blog The House Always Wins.