Why the Wedding Industrial Complex’s “helpful” lists burn my biscuits

Guest post by Mayday

Oh, hi there, Wedding Industry. So we meet again. Mind if we sit down? I'd like to have a little chat with you.

Now, here's the thing. I can put up with hearing you tell me about how I need this One Thing to make my wedding Awesomer Than Everyone Else's because Everyone's Got One. I can listen patiently while I hear you prattle on about etiquette and about how Some Things Are Simply Not Done. And I don't like the fact that prices double every time I use the word wedding.

What I'm trying to say is, I get it. For quite a lot of people looking to get married, you fit the (rather large) bill. You formed all the stereotypes, after all! Who better to enforce them but the master?

But you know what I don't like? This trend of “funny” and “helpful” wedding planning articles I've been finding on Pinterest, wedding boards, and linked to on Facebook.

Don't give me that look. You know the ones I mean. Those sarcastic, mean-spirited articles that are meant to be “helpful tips” to new brides talking about how much wedding planning sucks and if you don't feel bad about yourself and your life while you're planning your wedding, you should hate yourself. Oh, Wedding Industry, I know you think they're funny. But they're not. They're passive aggressive and mean-spirited and downright hurtful.

Because here's the thing: Have you ever thought that maybe… just maybe… some of us are getting married because we're in love? That we're not using our weddings as a way to show off or one-up our friends and relatives and neighbors and Susan three blocks over, but because we genuinely love our partners and want to scream it from the rooftops? That it's not a desperate money-or-present grab, but that we've chosen people that we love and care about to be with us and share and enhance our joy? That everyone I have invited to my wedding is under absolutely no obligation to bring a gift or leave some cash or make a toast or even come if they don't feel like it?

I get passive aggression. I get guilt. They're my second-languages. Some days I speak them better than English. I know when someone is deliberately lashing out because it makes them happy to see other people who are already under a lot of stress (that you yourself put on them!) because they make easy targets.

Do you know who does that? Bullies.

I never understand why you want to pit brides against each other. Sure, it makes for better reality television, but if this is supposed to be the Most Important Part of a Woman's Life, why are you not making this about Sisterhood and building us up? Why do you tear us down left, right, and center — and now you're doing it under the guise of help?

Fuck you.

I refuse to let you steal my happiness, either through insistence or guilt. Telling me that I'm selfish or foolish for wanting — or not wanting — anything ain't gonna fly with me anymore. That shit is over.

So, to my fellow affianced:

Are you having the traditional church wedding? Are you getting married in the woods? Eloping? 300+ guest list? Wearing designer shoes and a gorgeous dress? Wearing a sundress and rocking bare feet? Covering tattoos? Showing them proudly?

Are you doing things because they make you and your partner (or partners) happy?

Awesome. Rock it. I can't wait to hear about it.

Having trouble with family or friends over something wedding or non-wedding related? Are you stressed because Life is Hard?

I am so sorry. You don't deserve to have ANYONE steal your sparkle, your sunshine, your smile, whatever it is that makes you happy. Please try to focus on the things that do make you happy. Your betrothed is generally a good one (unless they're the ones causing the problems — but fighting every now and then is supposed to be good for you).

It's definitely time to build up instead of tear down. I'm sick of hearing about how I'm not good enough, how I'm selfish and spoiled because I'm happy.

Obviously I am. I'm good enough for anything and everything, and hell fucking yes I'm happy. If you can't stand that, get the fuck out of my way. I don't have time for you. I'm far too busy being awesome.

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