We recently got an email from a reader about her website, called Fuck Weddings. Here's how she describes it:
I got engaged this past summer, and I started Fuck Weddings to give voice to everyone who's thought “what the fuck is this nonsense?” while planning a wedding. Readers have called it “cathartic” and “a public service.” I take a critical, feminist, comedic look at contemporary wedding trends, archaic traditions, and Pinterest horrors, with some original satirical pieces thrown in.
This feels like something we should like! We have a good sense of humor about ourselves and about weddings. All of us planning weddings need a bit more humor and lols in our lives, right? A good skewering can be good for everyone!
At the same time, we're a bit torn about comedy that feels mean-spirited. Is it possible to make fun of weddings without making fun of the people planning those weddings? Is wedding comedy by its very nature just sorta cruel?
This is also a great example of how the more things change, the more things stay the same. Way back in 2007, we interviewed the author of a blog called Godawful Wedding Crap.
Godawful Wedding Crap featured “the worst of the wedding industry,” mocking stuff like this:
In fact, amusingly, Godawful Wedding Crap and Fuck Weddings take on literally the exact same topics:
- Wedding snark 2007: Introducing bridal boudoir photography.
- Wedding snark 2015: Bridal boudoir photos: who are they for?
(Aside: we totally see the value of boudoir shots — but to each her own!)
Ok, so clearly frustrations with weddings are the same, whether it's the mid-'00s or mid-teens. But we can't help but recognize that our celebration of Godawful Wedding Crap is from a different era of Offbeat Bride… an era when we defined “offbeat” as a reaction against “mainstream.” A time when the subtitle of the first edition of the Offbeat Bride book was “Taffeta-free alternatives for independent brides,” before we realized that some people LIKE taffeta, thank you very much. (The subtitle of the second edition was “Creative alternatives for independent brides,” because really, we have nothing against taffeta.)
2007 was a time before we realized that planning a wedding is not a contest, nor is “offbeatness” an either/or thing, and that we're all along a spectrum and there's no need to diss a wedding choice just because it's different than the choice that you might make.
…But maybe 2007 was also a time where things were just plain old funnier? Maybe we've just gotten sensitive about our feels in our old age. I swear we still believe that there can be a release-valve value in snark. As we said way back in 2007:
Offbeat Brides need their snark — sometimes it's the only thing that will protect you from the creeping “white blindness” of wedding-planning dementia.
There's a place for voicing frustrations with an industry that sometimes works to exploit your insecurities. Recognizing the ridiculousness of the entire wedding planning process can be cathartic! But is there a way to do it that doesn't feel mean-spirited?