I know Offbeat Bride has talked about why it's bad to hate-read, which I have taken to heart. (And yet cannot seem to stop myself…) There have been lots of conversations about being a Judgy McJudgerson, and hating on other people's weddings, and why it's Not Okay to be a dick just because someone has stars on their stomach. (Yeah, I went there. #Seussingitup).
I feel happy in the Tribe and reading Offbeat Bride, because we're all on our best behavior. We're supportive, even when someone does something we wouldn't do. Featured weddings always get me excited, even when they're different from what I want. Even when it's different from what I want. Those pictures of people on their wedding days… everyone looks so happy and so in love, and everyone on this blog has exactly the wedding that meant something to them, and it's so fucking beautiful and inspiring.
But sometimes, I go and do the Bad Thing where I read Other Websites that Make Me Feel Bad. Why do I do this? Why can't I stop? I think I do it because it feeds the Insecurity Monster inside of me.
Sometimes, I read the sort of websites where they love to talk about Etiquette. Where things that are totally 100% okay on Offbeat Bride are Bad Etiquette. Oh how they hate the idea of legalled before the wedding. They hate honeymoon registries. There are no excuses. There are no exceptions. It's their way or the Bad Etiquette Everyone Hates You Die in a Fire highway.
The worst part is that they are extremely self-righteous. They are spreading the word because otherwise brides would behave Selfishly. (And thank you, Offbeat Bride, for reminding me it's all selfish.) Otherwise, brides would take advantage of their guests. Their mission is to remind everyone that “just because you think no one will notice doesn't mean no one will notice. Everyone will notice and they will talk about you behind your back and they will hate you. So be nice and proper or be shunned.”
I should say that I struggle with mild social anxiety. A touch of paranoia. That abiding fear that all my friends secretly hate me, and talk about me behind my back, and barely want to come over to my place for dinner. Why would they ever want to come to my wedding? Oh god, they're all going to be laughing at me.
So those Other Websites are bad for me. They fuel my feelings of inadequacy and paranoia. Things that I think are okay are NOT OKAY, and I will be voted off the island. And rightly so, because I am breaking Etiquette.
But then I started thinking. Some rules of etiquette that I read on The Other Websites seem fine. For the benefit of the guest. Trying to tell otherwise entitled brides (it's always brides) that they really should not go around saying “It's my day, it's my way.” The Other Websites object when the bride and groom (by the way: gay weddings do not happen, and everyone is cisgender) eat a Good Meal while the peasant guests eat a Bad Meal. Okay. But then, high on self-righteous indignation, they share other horrors…
“…not only were the couple already legalled (SHAM WEDDING), not only did they have better food than the guests, they wrote ‘bride's parents and groom's parents request the pleasure of your company.' For a church wedding. Can you imagine? Who would be so uncouth?!”
I mean, I would. I would be so uncouth. I do not give a flying fig if the honor of my presence is requested for a park wedding and the pleasure of my company is requested at the church. I think it is ridiculous that anyone cares about that.
BUT WHAT IF EVERYONE I KNOW IS A SECRET WEDDING SNOB AND THEY WILL CARE?
That's my fear. I try to respect other people's feelings. I do not think I am an Entitled Bride who Expects My Guests To Make Me Feel Like A Princess While I Abuse Them. But I also don't have any patience for guestzillas who think that the day is all about them. And sometimes, the dark, insecure part of me is afraid that my friends and family will be laughing behind their hands that I don't have an inner envelope. What if my nearest and dearest aren't like the lovely Tribe who support what makes each other happy? The Other Websites are always reminding you, “hey lurkers, if you think you can get away with x and no one will judge you, THINK AGAIN.”
So why am I so afraid of it? I guess because sometimes, I can be a a Judgy McJudgerson. Never to people on Offbeat Bride. Oh no, I love strangers on the internet. But judging my own family? SIGN ME UP. I have not been to very many weddings — none of my close friends have gotten married. Which means mostly I've been to family weddings. And I mean, my family is a big mess o' drama, but I Wedding Judged at my cousin's wedding. It was maybe five years ago. But I rolled my eyes and thought “how awful.” She promised to honor and obey. She and her husband were pronounced man and wife. And there I was, thinking “Gross, gag me with a stick, see if I ever promise to ‘honor and obey' gross gross gross.”
Anyway, that was years ago, and I've since discovered Offbeat Bride, and I regret being that awful judgebox. I was happy for my cousin. She looked beautiful in her traditional, strapless, long white dress, and tiara. Just because her ceremony wasn't my jam doesn't mean it wasn't exactly what they wanted. And even while I was cringing at her vows, I was still happy for her. I didn't like her any less.
So, okay. The worst that will happen is that one of my friends, through love, will think “God this wedding is NOT what I want.” I think I can live with that. Right?