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The Definition of Tacky

February 1, 2009

“Tacky” is a touchy subject.  Usually it’s a word employed by highfalutin wedding guests (the parents, for example) or professional critics who want to grouse about some deviation from tradition exercised by the bride and/or groom.  Just as often it’s used by more common guests to express their displeasure at some way that the bride did not bend over backward to fit their whims.  Occasionally it’s used properly.

(What does “highfalutin” mean, literally?  It’s fun to type, and I get what we use it for, but the word confuses me.  It sounds like some made-up redneck word for stiff-upper-lipped people.  High-falootin’.  That’s how I picture it in my head.)

Offbeat Bride, as I mentioned, holds that there is no such thing as a tacky wedding.  I have to disagree with that.  Don’t get me wrong; I hate tradition as much as the next guy and I couldn’t give a rat’s rear end if the napkins don’t match the invitations or the bride’s dress is made of balloons.  But there are some things that have been done at weddings that are just… atrocious.

Things that make the list of tackiness:

  • Dressing the bride in a slutty/exceptionally revealing outfit.
  • Dressing the bride in anything that completely clashes with the wedding theme.  Not that her dress needs to match the invitations, but if you’ve decked the whole church in camouflage print, don’t dress the bride in white faux satin.
  • Putting a heavy-set bride in a poofy dress.  Seriously, it makes the poor girl look twice as big.
  • Cheap faux satin wedding dresses in general.  This is a very minor offense, but still aggravating.  These dresses do not look good.  They look like frosting.  Nice faux satin dresses – that fit the bride well and are not covered in bows and such – are okay.  (I hate faux satin, but I won’t be a Nazi about it.)  Inexpensive dresses of any material are great, too.  But anyway…
  • Failure to provide adequate refreshments.  Not that you have to have a full-out buffet, but if you invite a lot of people, provide enough food to at least keep them nourished.  And for goodness’ sakes, use enough cake.  (I admit, I got stiffed this way once.  It wouldn’t have been so bad if the officiant wasn’t late, but I was starving by the time I got out.)
  • Failure to provide adequate seating.  If you’re going to invite everyone you know and everyone they know plus anyone else you can think of, BRING ENOUGH CHAIRS.  I don’t care if they’re hideous metal folding seats, just bring them.
  • In any case, inviting more people than you can support.
  • Spending loads of money on a wedding and then expecting guests to spring for the debt through pay buffets or “dollar dances”.  Asking for donations I can tolerate.  Demanding money just for attending is absurd.
  • Insisting that everything has to match perfectly, then forcing your attendants to pay for their own dresses/shoe dyeing.  Believe it or not, coordination is enough.  Everyone’s shoes do not have to be the same shade of lilac as their dresses.  If you want everything coordinated, pay for it.  If you don’t want to pay for it, give the group your color scheme and let them match for themselves.
  • Forcing your attendants to lose/gain weight in order to fit into a certain size of dress.  I just don’t even know what to say about this one, other than: way to be a witch.
  • Getting sloshed before, during, or after events, whether you be the bride, the best man, or a random guest.  Drunken vows = not cool.  Drunken toasts = not cool.  Drunken fights = terrible.
  • Enabling the bride, the groom, the best man, or any attendants to get sloshed.  No matter how “tacky” they say it is not to serve alcohol, it is infinitely more tacky to enable someone in your party who has a drinking problem.
  • Redneck pride.  You can get married as rednecks, but don’t make your wedding a display of beer and shotguns.
  • Anything to do with either sex or penises.  And I mean ANYTHING.  Vows, toasts, gifts, etc.  LEAVE THE PENISES AT HOME.
  • Low-quality music (or music that sounds bad in general).  The right music can make a wedding, but not if it sounds like it was recorded in the 1970’s.  This is also a low-grade offense, but tinny music is awful.
  • Full-sized cartoon characters.  Well, this is more a personal complaint than actual tackiness, but grown people look ridiculous getting married next to Hello Kitty or Cinderella mice.  Frsrsly.
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