"Your wedding is tacky"
“You're tacky” mug available on Etsy

I am officially decreeing myself done with the word “tacky.” It's a word thrown around a lot in the wedding world — even the non-traditional wedding world!

People are worried their centerpieces will look tacky. People decree honeymoon registries tacky. There's muttering over etiquette: “I want to do things this way … but is that tacky?” brides whisper in terror. Tacky: the dark evil that sneaks into your bedroom and eats your face at night.

I'm here to tell you that, YES: everything you want to do for your wedding is tacky. All of it. The red dress is tacky. The handmade paper flowers are tacky. Your custom-designed invitations? TACKY.

Because you see, “tacky” is in the eye of the beholder and there is always, always going to be someone who sees things differently than you.

Your handwritten wedding vows? Tacky!

Using old mugs as favors? Tacky!

Your ribbon veil? Tacky!

Your father reading a poem he wrote instead of Corinthians? Tacky!

There is no end to the tackiness. It is ALL tacky, according to someone. Someone will tell you it's tacky to get married in your backyard. Someone will tell you it's tacky not to decorate your chairs with large bows and organza. Someone will tell you it's tacky to have portapotties at your wedding. Someone somewhere thinks sequined wedding shoes and button bouquets and Wai-Ching dresses are all tacky.

…This website? TACKY!

I'm exhausted by the tacky debate. I'm sick of people asking if some component of their wedding is tacky. (Sure it is! …to someone. Do you care? Is that why you're doing it?) I'm sick of commenters decreeing certain wedding thangs as tacky. (Sure it is! …to you. Do I care? Are you invited to my wedding?) Tacky: the dark monster that creeps in at night … tacky is the manifestation of your fears that people won't approve of your wedding.

Moving forward, I'm decreeing a moratorium on the word. When it's ALL tacky, none of it's tacky and we can finally stop talking about it.

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Comments on Your wedding is tacky

  1. To Samantha:

    You actually make a really great point (as Ariel already observed), which actually serves as a really good segue for what I wanted to say. Because a lot of times people say “will this be tacky?” instead of asking the relevant questions. Tackiness implies people disapproving because it’s odd or lowbrow. So most people will just respond “Who cares!” By removing the colloquialism from your vocabulary as Ariel suggests, you have to figure out what question you’re really answering – and a lot of times that will give you the answer as well.

    The question you want to ask is “Will it be tacky if I ____?” If you can’t phrase it that way you start reexamining it. If the question you replace it is “Will people think I’m rustic if I ____?” then you can go ahead and go “You know what, screw them if they do! I’m proud to be a country girl.” Or whatever your thing is. If the replacement question you come up with is “Will this make people uncomfortable?” or “Will this cause me to lose the respect of people I care about?” then you know you have a legitimate concern that should be addressed.

  2. I’m sure some of the guests at my wedding (TONIGHT! ACK!) will find some of our choices tacky, but I don’t much care. We’ve approached this with a good dose of humor, and if folks aren’t amused, it’s their problem, not mine.

    (Don’t mean to sound harsh; I’m just at the point where the plans have been made and it’s time for their execution. Uh. Well, you know what I mean.)

  3. THANK YOU for this entry! It’s what I keep trying to remind myself through this whole process, and it’s nice to hear it coming from someone else!

  4. IMO:

    I come here often- well actually I google read from afar most of the time but every once in a while I make it to the site…

    I enjoy seeing how brides are taking it upon themselves to step outside of the box. I commend their efforts. I will, however, say that there are other times when I do feel like brides take it a bit too far. The entire reason for wanting an off-beat wedding was because the “traditional wedding” is not indicative of a couple’s relationship or the way in which their friends and family will celebrate the day. But at what point does one draw the line and say that “in our efforts to be different, are we now making decisions for the sole purpose of being different and causing a shock factor”?

    While I completely agree that everyting is subject to various aesthetics… I do think that when a bride is ready to have an offbeat wedding to whatever degree that this may be… that they must still hold themselves to a level of standards and taste… so as to not have their wedding be a mockery. Sometimes trying so hard to be different can lead to a wedding which no longer focuses on the marriage itself. Throwing away a traditional element of a wedding because it is not relevant is fine… redefining every element in order to shock guests… well that is when I think that “tacky” is an appropriate word.

  5. Dragonsyr, that was a point I was going to make.
    ‘Tacky’ is a vague term without concrete boundaries. When yu worry or say something is ‘tacky’, what do you really mean. I’ve been guilty of using it when I should have said “that may make gruest uncomfortable”

    Perhaps by forcing ourselves to use different words we can clarify for ourselves and others what we really mean.

    It can also make us examine ‘why’ we are making the judgements that we are.

  6. It never even crossed my mind that my glittery (stripper-ish) shoes, backyard-porta-pottied, action figure cake topper, red-dressed wedding might have been tacky!
    I like Sidewalk Monkey’s idea of reclaiming the word. xo

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