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

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*Insert sound of my soul being crushed by these “last chance to run” wedding signs* 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 LAST CHANCE TO RUN 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.

Some versions of these “Last chance to run” wedding signs are much more explicit in their gender-grossness:

Last chance to run… because here she comes sign from here

What about avoidant women? What about ladies who don't want to get married? Where are they in this joke? Why is the assumption that all women want to get married, and all dudes hate to commit? It's just not true, people.

If cracking jokes about commitment through “last chance to run” wedding signs tickles your funny bone, by all means keep giggling

Ok, ok. I know I'm being a grump here, and taking this silly shit way too seriously.

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'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. I just find wedding humor 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.

HA HA, this shirt is funny because I hate women, get it?!

Again, I get it: it's humor and it's subjective. We all have different tastes in HA HAs, and that's cool: there's no need to defend yourself if you think this stuff 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.

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

  1. Early-ish when my fiance and I were dating we told eachother who our celebrity crushes were. It was kind of a “he’s the one” moment for me when I realized I’d rather do him than Hugh Jackman 😛

  2. Thanks a lot, now I MUST HAVE somber-eros for the wedding…you know, take off for moment of levity, put back on so people know we’re gonna be serious now. One more to-do was the last thing I needed 18 days before my wedding! 😉

    Seriously, though, I agree with you 100%. I think my fiance would be insulted by a sign like this at our wedding, both because it implies he’s irresponsible and commitment-phobic (which he isn’t) and because it implies that the woman he loves and respects is manipulating or pushing him into this. And he’s the most somber-ero less fella I know–I expect much silliness at our wedding, but this ain’t the kind we find funny. Booger jokes, on the other hand…

  3. I agree completely! I’m getting married in the summer, and a lot of our parents’ dear friends have made comments like “When is it? Oh, 3 months! Still lots of time to change your mind! *wink wink*”. They always direct it to me (the bride-to-be), not my future husband, which I suspect means they’re aware of how sexist and antiquated the “men-hate-commitment” angle would sound. But then… why would it be better to say it to me? Especially at a celebration of our upcoming wedding? My fiancé proposed and I said yes: obviously, we both agree that we want to get married! Maybe people feel awkward about anything “mushy”, so instead of saying “congratulations; it’s so wonderful that you’ve decided to take this next step together” or something like that, their knee-jerk reaction is “OMG, I feel feelings! Must make a joke!”

    I enjoy humor. I love sitcoms. I think my fiancé’s Muppet impersonations are hilarious. I love puns. I don’t love people who have been married for a long time pretending that “marriage sucks” is the funniest joke in the world. I can’t wait to get married — don’t try to take that away from me in the name of a cheap punchline!

    (For what it’s worth, I’m more okay with the example in the OP’s picture — it’s not my thing, and I don’t care for the connotations, but at least the bride(s) and/or groom(s) presumably picked it themselves. If that’s their style, great. My issue is when it’s from an external source.)

  4. There is a suspicious part of me that thinks those signs, toppers, tees, etc are kept in circulation simply to get women to sub-consciously shell out more moolah to the mass market wedding industry. The idea that the more we question our desirability, beauty, etc the more likely they are to profit off of our insecurity.

    It’s overall disgusting. Makes me happy to have a sanity save point here with OBB.

  5. I seriously thought I was the only person that felt this way. I get so much crap when I express this opinion: “You’re too sensitive.” “Oh, come on, it’s funny.” “You can’t take a joke.” “Get over yourself.” And those hurt just as bad.

  6. some of you are actually discusted? Really? The comments on here just shows me how judgemental people can be and here I thought this is where I’d find people more open minded. I had this sign at my wedding. Does that mean I’m not a feminist? What’s wrong with poking fun? My husband and I were together for almost 12 years before we got married. To us the sign was funny because we had committed ages ago and the wedding was a formal way of saying to each other what we already knew. We both knew he wasn’t going anywhere and neither was I and so did everyone in the room. We are the type of couple that joke when I’m away for work that he’s with his other girlfriend (the dog). We like humor. Even dark, or ironic humor. I don’t understand how a site can proclaim valuing uniqueness and individuality and then shun a choice because it isn’t their cup of tea or feminist enough. Humor doesn’t lessen the sanctity of marriage. And I just saw it for what it was, a joke. Not perpetuating an anti feminist stereo type or demeaning our choice to marry each other. Is the sign unique? No. My sister in law picked it and honestly I needed something for my baby brother to carry because I wanted him to be a part of the wedding. And if I could add a flare of humor? Great! I just wanted him to be a part of our day and we wanted a fun light hearted wedding. Seriously our ceremony was 10 minutes and funny! Humor helped ease the stress. And at the end of the day, who cares about a sign. It’s not about the sign. It’s about the act of marriage. You don’t like it? Don’t do it, but don’t bash people’s choices. Too much haterade, I tell ya. 🙁

  7. I couldn’t agree more. I just saw this in my FB newsfeed (one of my friend’s son was wearing this sign as the ring bearer) and I couldn’t help but wonder “what bride would find this appropriate on her wedding day?”

    I think it’s tacky, but to each his/her own, I guess.

  8. Coming upon this post late. This reminds me of my first marriage. The groom’s best friend keeps saying “Dude, we can still run off to the coast! Let’s go, right now!” as we are walking into the JP’s office for the ceremony. We all had the same warped sense of humor, so no feelings were hurt. The best part of it was when the JP got to the “Does anyone object…” part of the ceremony. He points to the friend and says (with a straight face) “YOU, keep your mouth shut!” We all burst out laughing.

    I’m getting married for the second (and LAST) time. Again, I’ve got a guy whose sense of humor is as skewed as my own. But we both agree that those “Last chance to run” signs aren’t funny. I have no idea what my daughter or my bestie will have planned for my bachelorette party, but I’m an “old” Texas gal. I won’t hesitate to tell those “Hey, baby. I’ll be your last fling” guys to kiss my Southern Sass.

    Somber-ero…LOVED IT! Laughed so loud I scared the cat.

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