Here, judge the bride….Snarking in the Wedding Community

Here, Judge the Bride….

Women are always pressured to fit into someone’s box…

…but what if you don’t fit into the boxes 
that are handed to you?

As a bride, I am somewhere between traditional and offbeat. I read articles or threads on various Facebook pages and websites and sometimes I stare at my screen, downright offended by our culture’s propensity to judge a bride’s choices for one of the most important days of her life. I have found this to be true on both traditional message boards and offbeat sites. The popularity of “snarking” is rattling me to the core.

What is a snark? Snark is mix of “snide” and “remark”=a snide remark that is said only to be mean spirited and has no base in actual fact. Snarking is damaging because it seems to be totally acceptable to talk about people as if they are just images or robots that have no feelings. It’s okay to snark. And if you like to snark, you will find yourself in great company on the internet. As a humanist, I have realized that it’s not okay to judge people in this way. I used to snark people all the time, until I met people that educated me about why we snark (to project our insecurities on others) and how damaging it is to other women and ourselves. They pulled my card and I had to change my ways. 

It seems to be a socially acceptable norm to haphazardly throw around words like “tacky“, “ugly“, “fat“, “skinny“, “anorexic“, “tasteless“, etc when commenting on all things wedding. Judging brides seems to be an extension of the judgment that women face on a global scale. Judging a bride, though, seems heartless on every level because in essence it is attacking the expression of someone’s way of being…and how they choose to celebrate what I consider to be a great victory in life: To meet someone, fall in love, make a life-long commitment, and to celebrate that commitment in the presence of those who will support that union. It is an attack on womanhood as a whole. Telling a woman her wedding is ugly is like telling her that her baby is ugly. Now don’t get me wrong…I’ve seen what I consider to be ugly wedding choices, and I’ve seen a few ugly babies too…but to tell someone that their choices are wrong or that their children are ugly is just as tasteless and tactless as the wedding choices they are attacking. I wish someone had told me that as a bride, I would spend many nights confused, upset, and questioning myself and my decisions because everyone and their mom wants to judge my choices for my day. 

The 5 Snarks that need to be exposed…


The Five Deadly Snarks of Weddings: Snark #1–Creative Expression

The Five Deadly Snarks of Weddings: 

Creative Expression

1. Snarking a bride’s taste or competency in making decisions for herself. I’ve spent more than a few moments of my life since I’ve gotten engaged second guessing myself. At first, I was easily influenced by what people thought. Now I’ve realized that I am a competent woman who is creative, intelligent, and pretty organized. I don’t need to rationalize every decision I make when it comes to decisions about the wedding I am throwing and paying for to someone else. 

Why is this sore subject so fresh on my mind?? Well, mainly because some reality star (I use the term “star” loosely, mind you…) got married and everyone began attacking her because of what some consider to be poor taste in wedding attire and dinner selection. “Momma June” Shannon (Mother of child-pageant participant Alana, aka Honey Boo Boo) and Mike “Sugar Bear” Thompson got married. Now mind you, I have never once watched their show and I don’t care to. I did read about their wedding though. Their spread sounded pretty good for a Southern Down-home BBQ wedding. They had a whole roasted pig that was made into pulled pork sandwiches and ribs. They had corn on the cob, mac and cheese, baked beans and sweet tea. Hey…we wouldn’t serve this, but I don’t know many Southerners or fan of comfort food that would turn this down. 

Miss Alana wore a pretty cute pageant dress made up of pink and orange ruffles. Momma June wore a camouflage dress with bright orange accents. I admit, this dress is not for me at all…but who am I to judge what Honey Boo Boo’s mom does? What authority do I have to tell someone they can’t have Airheads and Sour Patch Kids at their candy table? I happen to like those candies. I would probably snag a few, even though I would worry about all the high fructose corn syrup that I would be consuming for the day. No one is under my jurisdiction. If you want a camo dress, and your daughter wants to wear some frilly pageant dress, why not? It’s your day to do as you please. I’m wearing a blue peacock embroidered dress. I’m sure someone will think it’s tacky…and guess what? I don’t give a fluffy bunny fuck about what they think. I even had a friend tell me my engagement ring was tacky. Who cares? She doesn’t have to wear it; I do. 

For all these people thinking that her dress is ugly and tacky, remember beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder. Don’t think your toilet smells like roses. I am sure some of your guests might have whispers behind your back about how tacky your bridesmaids’ dresses are. Your grandma might think your makeup is too dark and looks slutty. Everyone gets to have their day the way they want it…tacky or not. And that includes your tacky wedding too…

The Five Deadly Snarks of Weddings: Snark #2–Body Snarking

The Five Deadly Snarks of Weddings:

 #2 Body Snarking

2. Body-snarking other brides or models. As I’ve surfed, debated and people-watched the internet, it’s apparent that women have been totally brainwashed by the media to not only hate themselves, but other women as well. There are two-sides of the nasty wooden-nickel of body snarking: Fat shaming and skinny shaming. It’s all body shaming in an attempt to make people feel guilty for what they look like. Simply put, when you shame other people’s body, it tells more about how you feel about your body than it does about how you feel about theirs. 

This post was on HuffPost Wedding’s Facebook page:

 The question was: Do you think this Reem Acra gown is too sexy for a bride?

 Then the nasty, hideous (and predictable) comments followed: 

“Yes and she is way too thin”

“Way too [sexy]. And she looks like an anorexic skeleton with chapped elbows!”

Yeah, evil bitches. Way to keep it classy. If you were one of these women making these comments–shame on you. I clicked through to the woman’s page who called the model an anorexic skeleton, and she had posted that she was working with a trainer, trying to get in shape after having 2 kids. It seemed to be, on her part, a bit of projection. She is not satisfied with her own body, so she attacks an innocent person whom she does not even know. It’s funny…I was on another site where this SAME WOMAN made nasty comments about another woman’s body. She just goes around trolling and snarking. How sad. You cannot judge someone’s health by one photo. This model is thin. But she is also a person. This person is not just a body, but a human being who has value and worth; no matter what her body looks like. You can judge the dress…sure. To each his own. But you really shouldn’t snark bodies. It shows a level of insecurity and ugliness that is unbecoming to anyone who chooses to do that. Clean up your own house. Hope that trainer is working for that trolly-snarker. 

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The Five Deadly Snarks of Weddings: Snark #3–Relationship/Engagement Duration & Timing of Marriage

The Five Deadly Snarks of Weddings: 

#3 Relationship/Engagement Duration
 & Timing of Marriage

3. Snarking a relationship for it’s length instead of admiring its strength. Now here’s where I’m going to get a little personal. I’ve felt a bit of snark about the length of my relationship in relation to us getting married and I’ve find it to be a tired and annoying subject to hear over and over again. 

After a few months of being with, a co-worker snarked me for saying, “I love you” to my beau as I was ending a phone call. She said, “You guys are saying I love you already? Haven’t you been together for like a week or two?”  How dismissive and crude. Actually, we had been together for 2 months. And I thought…of course I love him! I wouldn’t be in a relationship with someone I didn’t love! It seemed absurd to me that she would snark me for saying I love you to a man that I was in a committed relationship with and also having sex with! Not saying you have to be in love every time you have sex, but I would hope that you’re in a relationship with someone because you have grown to love them. 

Here’s the timeline of my relationship:
  • Almost 4 years ago we met through work. 
  • We were friends for about 1 1/2 to 2 years before we started dating. 
  • We were Facebook friends for that time as well. 
  • We realized we liked each other in 2011. 
  • We talked on the phone for almost 2 months before going on our first date. 
  • We went on our first date on July 8th, 2011. 
  • We became a couple 2 or 3 weeks after. 
  • We  first talked about marriage within our first month of being together. 
  • I gave him a key to my apartment after month one of dating. 
  • We moved in with each other after 2 months of dating. 
  • We spoke about engagement after 3 months of being together. 
  • We told a few people about our plans to get married after month 6. 
  • We officially announced our engagement after he met my parents for the first time after 1 year of being together. 
  • He officially proposed on March 21st, 2013 (my birthday). 
  • We booked our venue and our parents met for the first time in April of 2013. 
  • We have been together for 2 years now. 
  • We will be wed in the 3rd year of our relationship. 
  • We will have been engaged for 2 1/2 years by the time we get married. 
I heard a lot of comments about us moving too fast. But what does “too fast” even mean? What I knew in month 1 that is still true today two years later is: I love this man, he’s the best friend I’ve ever had, and this relationship is the best I’ve ever been in. It’s not like we just met and got engaged. We knew each other for almost 2 years before we even dated! That doesn’t seem whirlwind to me at all, as some people I’ve talked to made it seem. That seems like two people that took a long time to get to know one another before jumping into a relationship. Sure, I know him way better now than month one…but I have loved him from the beginning. I’ve liked him since the moment we met and he felt the same about me.

So why did we choose to get married within 3 years? Well, that’s very simple. I’m 32, he’s 38. We are two very grown people who are ready to settle down together. We know what we want. And with me being 32, I have to face the fact that my optimal child-bearing years are coming to an end. After 35, it’s harder to get pregnant. We want the option of trying for a child and we want to be married before bringing a child into the world. It’s important for us to be married because we want to express to the world our higher commitment. We aren’t just boyfriend and girlfriend. We aren’t just shacking up. We aren’t just here until something better comes along. We are a family. And I want legal documentation that says we are one. Period. We’re both old enough to know what we want and the gravity of the commitment we have made. Marriage just makes it legal.

Our relationship has had its own course. There is no one way to fall in love and get married. Some people I know have waited 9 or 10 years and had children and houses before getting married. Some have been together longer than that with no marriage. I know one couple that was married within a year of knowing each other and now have 3 beautiful children together. You can’t judge a relationship by the time is has existed. You have to judge it on the accomplishments, mutual respect, and happiness of the people in the relationship. 

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The Five Deadly Snarks of Weddings: Snark #4–Budget Snarking

The Five Deadly Snarks of Weddings:

#4 Budget Snarking

4. Budget snarking. Arrrghghh. This one bothers me almost more than anything else. The offbeat, DIY, I-paid-$7-for-my-wedding-dress-at-the-thrift-store-$500-potluck-hipster brides are the WORST when it comes to budget snarking. Hey, having a $1000 wedding means you are clever, crafty, and that you had certain resources available to you to pull it off. That’s it. Nothing more. Making all your invitations by hand doesn’t make your invitations more “real” than someone who had them made by an invitation artist. The fact that your aunt allowed you to use their backyard free of charge makes you LUCKY, not better than someone who puts $10,000 down on their venue. Not everyone has the same resources as you do. For instance, my family lives in the Midwest. I don’t have an aunt Sally with a big backyard for me to get hitched in. And the fact that you bought your entire wedding off of etsy just makes you…well, that makes you awesome…but that’s not the point. The point is: Get off your high-hipster-horse and realize that you’re not doing anything original in the sense of getting married. People have been having DIY weddings before there was ever a thing such as the wedding industry. With all due respect, please get over yourselves. Stop downing people for spending as little as $5,000 on a wedding for 100 people. And stop pushing those goddamned potluck dinners on the rest of us! Peacock Brides ain’t got time for that…

I don’t particularly like the idea of potluck. I got food poisoning at a potluck celebration for graduates at my childhood church. I spent my graduation weekend puking while I watched my friends party. So no. I don’t do potlucks and I generally don’t eat potato salad that someone else has made. Should I feel bad or less down to earth because I would rather a restaurant cater than have random food show up on the table? No. I don’t have to explain my budget to you. I don’t have to justify my expenses. This is my money that I’ve worked hard to save and I will spend it as I please.

You know what’s the best part of someone else’s wedding? The fact that you don’t have to pay for it. I applaud any bride who can pull off a wedding for almost nothing. Realistically, many people can’t or don’t want to. It’s none of your business what someone else spends and it’s not right to down people because they are receiving financial help from family members. 

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The Five Deadly Snarks of Weddings: Snark #5–Divorce Snark

The Five Deadly Snarks of Weddings: 

#5 Divorce Snark

5. Snarks eluding to inevitable divorce. I have encountered this mainly from people who have been divorced, or from people who are cynical toward marriage because of divorce rates. Divorce is not an easy thing and I highly doubt anyone goes into their marriage hoping for divorce (unless they are a gold-digger, but that’s another topic entirely). If you have been divorced, listen up: Don’t use engaged couples as the dumping ground for your divorce baggage. Just because you got divorced doesn’t mean that everyone else will eventually divorce too. 

The divorce statistics in the US are around 50%, give or take a few percents. That means that there are another 50% of marriages, give or take a few percents, that actually do stay together. That means your marriage has an approximate 50/50 chance of ending or not ending in divorce. Reminds me of a coin toss. 

Here’s the thing: Your situation doesn’t apply to everyone else. I’ve had a lot of examples of lasting and healthy relationships, including my parents and my in-laws. They have both been married for 38-43 years. I believe that relationships can last and I want a shot at lasting love. Don’t ruin other’s happiness because you had a bad relationship. You have to learn to separate your feelings from what others might be feeling. 

Engaged couples already are filled with fear and doubt. Your cynicism might lead someone to back out of a good situation because they fear ending up like you. Sometimes you need to really look at the negativity you are projecting onto others. 

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