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

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this is your last chance to run alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
*Insert sound of my soul being crushed by these “last chance to run” wedding signs* Product image courtesy of

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 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
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.

game over wedding tshirt alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
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. Brilliant analysis! And the fact that kids are holding this sign is frustrating, too. Everything we do and say teaches kids values. By actually having these kids holding this sign, it is *teaching them* that people should run from commitment and marriage, and that it’s funny to do so. Just when I think the world is making progress I get reminded that it’s only in our little bubble.

    • I agree completely. I grew up with a mother who told me (when i was 13) that the only reason she married my father was he had money, and she wanted kids. So i have a hard time finding anything like this funny.

      I’ve gone so far as to have discussions with a friend of mine about how i disagree with the concept of bachelor/ette parties for the fact of “one last night of freedom”. A soon as you were in a commited relationship with someone, you’re no longer single, married or not. And if you’re looking for that last night of freedom, why are you getting married?

      (Sorry for the rant)

      • I talk about this in my book too! My point with bachelorette parties was that if you really love strippers and penis cake, maybe you should find a way to keep enjoying those things AFTER you’re married.

        And if you don’t enjoy them, then why are you doing them at all!?

        • I totally agree with you Ariel. I recently went to a bachelorette party where the bride-to-be was mortified having to drink out of penis straws and do stupid games. Personally I don’t like that idea at all.

          • ugh ugh ugh! I have had a stern talking to my maid of awesomeness and she has assured me that the only male “members” present will be my 2 Brideguys!

          • I’m so worried my ladies of honor are going to do this to me. It’s not a “last night of fun.” It’s just an excuse to go out with my girls, because we live in separate states and don’t see each other enough. I don’t enjoy penis cakes and straws any other day of the week, why would I enjoy them this one time? Unfortunately, one of my ladies of honor is one of those “But that’s just how you do it! EVERYONE does it that way!”

        • Yes! I hate the concept of “last night of freedom”. So it’s not ok to mess around for all of your relationship prior to the wedding, but cool to blow it all off on one night? Sorry, I just don’t get it.

          For my own bachelorette party, I just had a girls night in – movies, junk food, girly stuff. So much more fun, and contained. I made it very clear to my girls that was all I wanted, because I thought the rest was stupid.

          And my husband just went over to a mate’s place and did a similar sort of thing just hanging out with his mates without the need for any of the strippers and crap like that (not that I made him promise he wouldn’t or anything, his plans were his own decision, but we think alike – you know one of the many reasons we got married! πŸ™‚

          • We have a semi open relationship arrangement… Marriage doesnt mean the end of that! So we are turning “one last chance to do whatever with whomever” on its head by having separate parties and then ending together at a swinger party. Oh yes, not the end of anything….

          • Nice.
            I had a ladies night in, with sparkling wine and snack foods, chatting and dancing, sing-alongs and smoking.
            It was perfect.
            My husband and his fellas had a very TAME visit to a classy strip club, with pre- and after- partying at home. Totally chill. πŸ˜‰
            (I was totally fine with their choice of entertainment–and was actually at home for the before and after, heh.)

          • This!

            I’m having a girl’s night in, beautifying, and romcom fest the night before the wedding. And we won’t even be up very late. The boys are going to a MAGIC the Gathering game 2 nights before since we’re putting them to work setting up the venue the day before.

            And we’re both psyched about it all. At best, we might have some drinks. The Maid of Win’s fiance does mead… >..>

        • I sort of saw the sex toy party and pole dancing lessons and not so much a “last blast” as a “we know you’re sexually adventurous and we’re celebrating that you get to continue that with someone who it too.” Though… the guys did give my husband one of those game over shirts. Not so much because they think it’s game over (they’ve known us since before we started dating and really know how happy we are together) but because it was a shirt that involved gaming and they didn’t have much more imagination than that.

        • On my bachelorette (which involved dinner, a save the planet walk and movies with Ben & Jerries, stuff that I totally plan on keeping doing) I was amazed how many rowdy comments I got from random men who invited me for a last ‘bit of fun’ and who actually seemed to believe this was not just ok, but also a fairly good offer. Weird. (And yes, they recognized me by the crappy veil, without penisses of course.)

        • My husband actually had his best man step back from the role after being told ‘no strippers, no drinking (for him)’. My husband has never drank and had a change of look outlook on life a few years before we started dating on the whole stripper thing (mainly meeting them and hearing that they felt negative about it- not that many don’t enjoy it, but he couldn’t get it out of his head when he visited, ruining the experience for him).

          Instead, he wanted to do an ‘epic game night’, but his best man refused. No longer best friends as the best man said ‘you have to either drink or have strippers’ and wouldn’t compromise as it was ‘his prerogative’ to plan.

          On the other hand, I do fear commitment. I’m committed, but the act of being proposed to and walking down an aisle just filled me with fear. Not being married, etc. Just me being a ‘shy bride’ I guess. Excellent posts and notions and ideas you have laid out in this though!

          • I can relate to the “shy bride” comment.
            *I* was the one who was the committment-phobe.
            *I* was the one to say “yes, I am finally ready to get married”.
            *He* is the one pushing the time-line, wanting to get married sooner.

            Isn’t it great we’re all different!

        • “…if you really love strippers and penis cake, maybe you should find a way to keep enjoying those things AFTER you’re married.”

          And here people were, giving me strange looks as they ladle’d out the cranberries and gravy from my penis cake pan on Thanksgiving. I’m just resourceful, is all.

        • Exactly! If someone is *so* afraid to commit, DON’T PROPOSE then turn around and blame the other party for forcing them into a monogamous relationship.

        • we had a joint pre-wedding party and played stripper bingo at the club. Neither of us was comfortable with the concept of a gender-segregated bachelor/bachelorette do tho.

      • When my sisters got married, we skipped over the normal bachelorette nonsense for a more personal approach. For the first sister, we went mini-golfing, then out to dinner, and then settled in for a movie, slumber party style. For my 2nd sister, we had a hard time deciding on something worthwhile to do based on her interests and the amount of money we could each contribute. Then my mom pointed suggested that we pool our money, give my sister the cash, and then we do an all-day antique shop run and make her spend ALL of the money on stuff she wouldn’t normally allow herself to splurge on. So, we did that. She found a sterling silver cake platter that was perfect for her wedding cake, a side table with an inlaid chess board, and a few other things. Overall, we had fun, and she got stuff that she’d actually use.

      • OMG, that is exactly why we’re not having bachelor/ette parties. We have decided to have a joint pre-wedding celebration with our friends together instead. My sister hates this idea, but to me I have been in a committed relationship for 10 years already. Why go out and have a night of ‘freedom’ I mean if you’re getting married you should already be committed to each other. It just seems weird to me.

    • I agree completely. I grew up with a mother who told me (when i was 13) that the only reason she married my father was he had money, and she wanted kids. So i have a hard time finding anything like this funny. I’ve gone so far as to have discussions with a friend of mine about how i disagree with the concept of bachelor/ette parties for the fact of “one last night of freedom”. A soon as you were in a commited relationship with someone, you’re no longer single, married or not. And if you’re looking for that last night of freedom, why are you getting married?

      (Sorry for the rant)

    • This is something not a lot of people think about, the kids in these sorts of weddings/unions. I myself am getting married next month and of course I’m in ultra stressed out mode but when I’m in any store now I always make it a point to go down the wedding aisle just to poke around. The last time I was there I saw a cake topper of the bride dragging the groom by the collar behind her and he had a very scared look on his face. Of course I took a picture and immediately shared it on social media to broadcast my utter distaste for it. Something along the lines of “you want to remember your wedding day as an event of your life that you had to drag him to?” Yeah that spells out happily ever after. Anyway, it does teach these outdated ideas of gender roles to kids and that commitment is something to not be taken seriously. It makes me cringe.

  2. “somber-eros” made me choke.

    otherwise, this is why I love OBB. Thank you for not being afraid to talk about this kind of stuff.

  3. for what it’s worth, Ariel, my sense of humor on things wedding-y adheres pretty closely to yours. Certain things that people find hilarious squick me out a little bit. Which is so funny, because not much is squicky to me. I can eat my lunch in the corner of a working veterinary surgery (so as not to miss the good stuff, even though I was HUNGRY!) Sooo, there you have it, that sign squicks the hard to squick over here.

    • This is absolutely what I was thinking of while reading the article. I HATE those! Why is it funny that the man doesn’t want to be married?

      • Yup… I was watching a TV show with a lot of jokes like these… and my hubs -who wasn’t really watching, but happened to be in the same room- pointed out that he didn’t get the kind of humor that portrays ALL men as commitment phobic, not to mention marriage phobic!
        It struck me that I hadn’t noticed the ‘jokes’ before… I guess is all that conditioning we take on constant basis.
        So marriage might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for us two is freakin’ awesome!

        • And a bit OT: the somber-ero thing is quite accurate! I couldn’t resist to post this since spanish is my native language. sombrero comes from ‘sombra’, the word we use for both ‘shadow’ and ‘shade’ πŸ™‚

    • Oh! oh! How about the one where the groom is holding a fishing pole with a ring dangling on it and the woman is below reaching for it. That’s all women want out of a marriage is jewelry, right?

      • I have to comment on this, because I hate the ball and chain ones and dragging the groom, and that sign? Ugh… BUT, I have that fishing cake topper for our wedding next year. I love it, because we love to fish together, that country song about “My Baby Loves to ‘Fish'”, and we joke about catching each other ALL the time. We always refer to each other as “my catch”, and our wedding theme is “Country couple goes on a fishing trip/picnic”. I’m customizing it with a tutorial I read on here to be more “us”. But, yea, just gotta have love for the first wedding thing we bought!! lol

        • If it references actual fishing the message is totally different! And nice. <3

        • Of course if it’s meaningful to you, then you should use it! I didn’t mean to offend your choices. On the surface I don’t like the symbolism behind that topper, but it sounds like it’s a cute fit for your wedding. Rock it!!!

          • It’s fine!! Wasn’t offended at all!! I saw the other fishing one, too, where the groom is trying to get away… Hated that one. lol.

          • Similarly, if a really kinky couple got a cake topper with the groom wearing a ball and chain…because they’re into that sort of play, and want to share that with their guests…that’s a completely different story.

            Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s usually the case with these toppers.

    • I was going to mention the cake toppers, also. Ariel, I’m so glad you wrote this post. This kind of thing makes me cringe, if people crack jokes like that to my fiance it hurts my feelings, as well as his. We are getting married because we love each other, not because I nagged him until he grudgingly bought a ring.

      • The worst part is that I know couples who DID do this: the man finally gave in because the woman gave an ultimatum because she wanted to get married NOW (no matter to whom). Ugh. And that’s why these things aren’t funny!

        • I know it’s been a while since this was posted, but I have thoughts, so I’m posting :P. I have known many people (including my fiance’s ex-boyfriend) who have decided that marriage is NOW and they don’t care who is waiting at the end of the isle. I find this appalling. In my community (which includes a lot of Latter Day Saints because my fiance used to be in the church) this tends to be a religio-cultural thing, where the church and the family and everyone are constantly pressuring women and men to get married. I have not seen this work out well, almost ever. Some of them are still married (and having loads of kids) but after about the 3rd of 4th child, these marriages have been disintegrating.

          By the way, I was one of those brides who badgered her partner into getting married, but it sure as hell wasn’t for the jewelry. Her response was “We have a dog together. I moved to Indiana for you. What other signs of commitment could you want?” πŸ™‚

      • This has hurt my feelings as well. When we went to visit our ceremony site, the director smiled at us and said, “So you want to get married?” Ecstatic about our recent engagement we agreed enthusiastically. He then turned to my fiance and said, with a chuckle, “Now, if she left the room would you answer that question the same way?” I was appalled. The implications about me as a person (Pushy and demanding marriage? After jewelry and money? Not worth giving up his manly “freedom”?) are hurtful, not funny. Fortunately my FH finds these comments offensive as well and won’t go along with them.

    • like everyone else in this particular comment thread, this is precisely what came to mind.

      i would never in a million years have either one of those stupid cake toppers *or* the sign pictured…because i respect my partner more than that. but i get there are people out there who find it funny, and more power to them for it. i just fail to see the humor.

    • I am SOOOO happy that you posted about those. I go into a rage every single time I see them!! I’m angry now just thinking about them.

    • the only redeeming quality of those cake toppers is how easily they are repainted so the chasing spouse is a zombie.

    • Another reader who thought immediately of those awful cake toppers. A friend posted a picture of them on facebook and said he “had to show the wife. Too funny!” Ugh.

      • And let’s not miss the choice of words here: these are the people who go on to call their spouses “the” wife, which drives me berserk. Ah yes, the inanimate object that sounds like a big heavy burden. Guess you don’t have to express emotions when it’s a thing not a partner-soulmate-best friend-love of your life.

    • I hate those, too. I find them to be very immature. Women aren’t the only ones who want to get married, and if a man feels like it’s “Game Over” and marriage is a trap, he shouldn’t propose! Or accept a proposal!

    • THIS! I was thinking about those damn cake toppers while reading this. They really bug me because of the message they are implying.

    • Ugh, my friend had the worst topper: it was a bride with her arms folded looking grumpy with the groom sitting in a La-Z-Boy chair with a foot up a coffee table looking at a TV screen that read “GAME OVER”. I was horrified. They have been married just over a year and still go on about how much they loved the topper though, so I guess they get the last laugh, haha.

      • Heh, that one I actually like better. As a video game widow, I can totally relate to the “Not until I finish this match, honey” mentality. I don’t really see it as the wedding being “game over” so much as the poor bride having to wait until he finished his game – even on their wedding day.

        Note, I solved this problem by just having video games at the reception πŸ˜›

  4. GAWD, this image comes up once in a while on my Pinterest feed and it makes me gag. Same with the “Here comes your girl!” ring bearer signs (although that one is more cutesy but I still have feminist issues with it). I’m glad you wrote this post, bravo!

  5. Having kids carry a sign down the aisle to signal to the groom that now’s the time to run away and sew his wild oats? Not funny.

    Having kids carry a sign down the aisle to signal to the guests that now’s the time to arm themselves for the impending zombie apocalypse? Offbeat hilarious.

  6. I completely agree! For me, this falls in the same category as those ‘hilarious’ cake toppers with the bride dragging the groom by his tux collar. Humor is great (we had a Simpsons inspired wedding cake), but it shouldn’t be at the expense of the love and commitment of the people getting married!

    • Oh, wow, I just had a huge nerd moment. I literally got shivers when I read “Simpsons inspired wedding”. That is awesome.

    • Well, I’m not even engaged yet, but I now know what my cake toppers are! Marge and Homer from my parent’s simpsons chess set (They are the ‘king’ and ‘queen’). SO My partner and me lol.

  7. I totally agree with this! It’s so frustrating, in most cases it was the groom was who proposed and planned that proposal, making the commitment (mostly) THEIR idea. I find it odd that people think it’s hilarious to think the groom wants nothing to do with this huge step in their life. Or that the commitment the couple has already been in wasn’t anything. I’ve been with my fiance for almost 6 years now and I’m pretty sure those years meant just as much as our marriage will. Unless it’s a shot gun wedding, I’m pretty sure weddings are a fully mutual choice and commitment, mine was. So why basically tell them (joking or not) it’s a mistake or that they’re doomed? Because that’s what it sounds like.

    • > the groom was who proposed and planned that proposal, making the commitment (mostly) THEIR idea


      Ideally, I’d say the commitment is equally the idea of both partners and the result of many long, productive discussions about their hopes, dreams, practical matters, lifestyles, etc. The partner that proposes isn’t solely responsible just because they do the asking.

      • traditionally though, even if both parties are keen, the bride usually waits for the groom. I don’t know anyone in real life that hasn’t done it that way! I’m pretty baffled why!

        • Obv you don’t know me IRL, but I am one of the few (females) who proposed to their (male) SO’s. I guess that’s part of what makes me offbeat.

          We had talked about getting married, but until I was ready it wasn’t going forward. He left the ball in my court, and that’s how I decided to tell him I was ready. (:

  8. For some reason I thought I was the only one who wasn’t amused by wedding humor that makes marriage seem suckish. Glad to know i’m not. I too am not a fan of signs like these, those awful cap toppers, or those awful shirts. In a speech the best man gave at a friends wedding he said “it’s all down hill from here. You’re her bitch now.” They thought it was funny but I couldn’t find the humor in it. It’s just not for me.

  9. I agree, this kind of “humor” is unfunny, antifeminist, and downright rude.
    Ever since we got engaged, people have been cracking this kind of “joke” to my FH. Even strangers, upon hearing that we’re engaged, will say things to him like, “Party time is over, huh?”
    I know they think they’re hilarious, but it really hurts my feelings, and it makes me feel bad for those (usually male) people, because I guess their marriages must be unhappy.
    I think these kids should be carrying a sign that says, “Get excited, y’all. She looks really pretty!”

    • Even strangers, upon hearing that we’re engaged, will say things to him like, “Party time is over, huh?”

      The weird thing here is that if you like partying, YOU CAN KEEP PARTYING AFTER YOU GET MARRIED. Even if “partying” means “hooking up with other people,” there are plenty of folks for whom even THAT can be part of a healthy, functional marriage.

      • Thanks for acknowledging open marriage as a “healthy, functional marriage” Ariel!

      • I’ve been annoyed with this concept forever, that somehow marriage means “Serious married-people things” for the rest of your life. If you like zombies and tequila parties and cartoons before you’re married, you don’t suddenly have to like antique shopping and classical music once you sign that marriage certificate. The whole reason you’re marrying this person is because you’ve built a life together, and that life is awesome, marriage certificate or not.

        • Yes! When Gentleman and I got engaged, some of his family was immediately all, “Oh, but don’t rush it, you have to have Fun Being Single for a while, once you get married it is all Serious Business!” and we were like, “Um, no, we have already talked about how the adventuring and goofing and dirty jokes and everything we do RIGHT NOW are going to continue, preferrably until we die”.

        • Yes! I don’t know how many people made comments about how we would surely be closing our relationship once we got married. We’re like, “Umm, why?” We were getting married because we thought our relationship was SO AWESOME that we wanted it to last FOREVER. Why would we then go and change everything?

      • I was at a motorcycle shop today and talked about my upcoming wedding, saying I have to check on finances before I buy another bike. The sales person joked, ” well you’d better get it now before he says you can’t after the wedding!” Not funny. Not buying. In a capitalist society, we vote against stupid with our money as well as our ballots.

        • Don’t you just *love* when men and some women tell you that your spouse is the only one who decides what you can buy and in essence, save up for? Perhaps we should all throw away our non-domestic dreams and stay barefoot and pregnant until menopause?

        • Which is especially ridiculous given how many couples merge finances long before they tie the knot.

    • My FH has had friends and strangers tell him (in a jokingly manor) to take back the proposal and that he doesn’t want to get married because sex is rare and boring after marriage. WTH?! Maybe in their marriage. I just don’t find it funny to even say those things.

      • Hahaha, exactly. All my happily married friends are nothing but excited for us.

    • I want to add my vote to the “Get excited! She looks pretty!” signage- THAT is cute and funny!

  10. So much this! We’re absolutely already as committed as we will be once we’re marriedβ€”that’s just formalizing that commitment publicly. This sort of “humor” just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. And that picture is just like “The kids are so cute! But that sign! But they’re cute! But that SIGN! Gah!”

  11. Thank you for this, especially the part about how these jokes imply that any commitment before the wedding isn’t as valid as the magic aisle/altar. As soon as my man proposed to me, I was committed in my heart. I appreciated our ceremony because I had the opportunity to share that with loved ones, but I wasn’t any more committed to him as a result of that public display. And I certainly got sick of people implying that the days before our wedding day were some kind of countdown to the end of all fun.

    • Yeah, if you take it further, if it’s not valid and nothing “counts” until marriage, there’s also the implication that non-legal commitments don’t count. This means that, say, lesbians who’ve been together for 25 years don’t have a valid relationship — they could RUN at any time!! HARDY HAR HAR!

      • THIS!!!
        It’s also the reason why I hate people saying things about ‘starting a new chapter’ or ‘taking it to the next level’. Who really makes the commitment to another person while ACTUALLY standing at the altar anyway? Surely the commitment is made long before then, whether accompanied by a government/religion-sanctioned ceremony or not.

  12. Agree! If you still want a cutesie sign, I’ve seen signs that say “Hey Uncle ____, here comes your girl!”

    I thought those were way cuter than the last chance ones.

  13. I find it un-funny because it gives the two people committing no credit for having made a thoughtful, authentic, mutual decision.
    and all the other astute things Ariel said.
    but I would want to be warned of an imminent zombie apocalypse.
    maybe a better idea is the one with the flower girl carrying a sign saying “Here She/he/they Comes”! so cute!

    • I went to a wedding where they carried a sign that said (no joke, and it cracked me up): “Heads up, pay attention, the main event is about to start!”

  14. THANKYOU for writing this!

    I can’t believe I though I was alone in my thinking this way… that’s why I love this site. Why does the outside world think that I am more committed that my FH? And why is this committment a joke to them?
    I am at least glad my Dad told me he thought about byb DIDN’T get the Game over shirt for my FH when we got engaged.
    I love you OBB!

  15. This is comedy I’ll never quite understand.

    So they walk down with this sign. If the groom did up & “run,” who would be laughing. Oh ha ha ha, a destroyed relationship, hi-lar-ious.

  16. I think it’s funny.

    My take on your take on it:
    Commitment before marriage does mean something and is of value. But something does change after you get married. Maybe not everything, but something. In a practical sense, you are legally bound together. If my husband-elect and I broke up now, it would be ugly. We live together, we have a joint checking account. It would be painful in more ways than one. But divorce is a different animal. You are branded a divorcee. You have to hire lawyers and sign papers and pay a lot of money to put the marriage asunder. If marriage wasn’t a big step, we wouldn’t do it, we wouldn’t spend the money, put in months of planning time, read wedding blogs, join wedding planning communities, have so many complex emotions about this change in our relationship.

    Commitment IS scary. For me anyway. I don’t think it’s an awful thing, but it does terrify me a little. Maybe even more than a little. And I don’t think it’s a bad thing to admit that, even though you get a lot of knowing looks and you’ll sees and people who jump to wild conclusions about your relationship should you admit you find commitment a little scary. “If he was THE ONE, you wouldn’t have any doubts” type of stuff.

    I get your point, but honestly, I’d totally do something like this. And like all jokes, it’s not for everyone. And yeah, it plays into some of stereotypes that OBB stands against, but we all slip into stereotypes a little bit sometimes, and since I poke fun at everything, I’d certainly poke fun at the apprehension I personally feel about till death do us part.

    • Yay! Thanks for feeling comfortable sharing your perspective. I love this site!

      • Me too. πŸ™‚

        It’s kind of ironic that I hate the ball and chain cake toppers but find this amusing. Something to think on.

    • I guess I’m a weirdo for not planning it out months in advanced or anything like that. For me, marriage didn’t change anything – it just made us a legal relationship in the eyes of the government and made us eligible for grants as we were no longer dependents of our parents.

      Our ceremony was quick, we did dress up but no one was really invited. It was a civil ceremony on Hallowe’en so neither of us could forget the date. (I’m horrible at dates.) We had lunch and then cake, and we went trick or treating that night for our “honeymoon”. I have yet to actually go on a honeymoon, and it’s almost been two years. I’m looking at eventually taking him to Brazil with me, as I used to live there.

      As for divorce, I’m fairly certain that you can get a quick divorce if it’s uncontested and you go to the right places. Unfortunately, there are a lot of hurdles to get through still.

      • My divorce was uncontested and we had no assets or debts to divide. We agreed to everything ahead of time and it still took 6 months from the date of filing to finalize. It took him two years to agree to the divorce before that. It wasn’t quick.

      • Yeah, it all depends where you live. Some states allow for very quick uncontested divorce. When I got mine, in Maryland, it was uncontested but the law required us to live apart (while remaining legally married) for at least a full year before we could have divorce proceedings. And that’s in a very liberal state.

  17. When I tell people I’m getting married soon, the first thing they ask is, “Are you excited?” When my fiancΓ© gives people the good news, the first thing they ask him is, “Are you nervous?”

    What’s with the double standard? He gets really frustrated about it. “No, I’m not nervous. I’m excited. If I were nervous, I wouldn’t have asked in the first place!”

    I’m so glad to have found Offbeat Bride. I didn’t realize how rare it would be to have people inject some genuine thoughtfulness and feeling into this process.

  18. Yeah, I thought it was just me, as well. I frequently see the ‘game over’ tees, and those hurt my feelings. If that’s really the case in a particular relationship, then don’t marry that person! And for that matter, why are you dating them in the first place? If anyone has made comments of this ilk to El Duderino, they (wisely) didn’t do it in front of me, but if they had, I probably would have lashed out & called them out on it. And he would have laughed at them for being so assinine. Yeah, I asked him out, and I proposed, but it wasn’t because he wasn’t going to in either situation, it’s because he was (and he fully admits this) taking too long.

    Being married changed 3 things in our relartionship; I now have a husband (I never thought that would happen), he now has a wife (he never thought that would happen), and my last name changed (because /I/ wanted to, not because of some tradition, calm down).

    That’s it, those are the big changes from saying ‘I do’. We both still play video games and we both still go to Disneyland as much as possible and I still drink way too much Coca~Cola and he still loves craft beers and we’re both still a couple of old metalhead/punk/weird music people…

    That sign is hurtful. The attitude embodied in it is harsh. And yes, it sends a craptastic message to the child carrying it, and to the audience of your day.

    • My boyfriend-I’m-hitchin’ wants to make a version of the “Game Over” t-shirt where they’re both smiling and it says “You win!”

      • Make a whole bunch and sell them on Offbeat Bride Tribe classifieds!!! I want one!!!

      • Yeah, I want to make a t-shirt a that say “Player two has arrived” or ” A challenger appears!”. I hate hate hate those game over shirts.

      • I saw one not too long ago that said “upgrade” or “level up” I can’t remember exactly. I was trying to find it, but I can’t. πŸ™ They do exist, though!

        • Uhhh, super late but I did see wedding signage that said “acheivement unlocked” which I thought was pretty cute. πŸ™‚

    • I’m more into the Achievement Unlocked panties πŸ™‚

      The only “marriage” jokes we make are the “It’s half mine now” kind when it comes to food. Our friends too. We all see the value of the commitments we made. Love is a celebration, and things shouldn’t change too much between before and after the ceremony.

  19. Yes, that’s right, better get your running spikes on to escape the ole ball and chain as she rolls her way up the aisle. With any luck her expensive shoes are way too painful for her to even consider chasing after you, tearfully begging you to please, please reconsider and think of all the happy committed years of that have gone into the relationship so far. Gah. But I would like a somber-ero, though. Perhaps it would go with my dress?

  20. “Somber-eros” made me LOL . . . and then think, no, that’s what you experience on the Somber Wedding Night.

  21. Anytime someone would say that to my husband, he’d somberly look at them and say “she’s got more wild oats than me, do you think I should be worried?” Usually shut people up. What got me was when we financed a car together. Now, in November our house will be paid off, we’ve known each other for more than half of our lives, we’d been officially married for a little over a year (but “acting married” for three), and I was six months pregnant with our daughter… but people decided that buying a car together was the last stop, he definitely can’t leave –

    • Heh – I’ll have to show this to the ram (future husband). It’ll give him something to say as that certainly describes our relationship… (the woman with more wild oats part).

  22. I have fortunately not heard any of these things said to my fiance. I think if anyone did say it or imply it, I would be very hurt. I take our commitment to each other very seriously; if my fiance himself said or suggested anything along the lines of these “jokes,” I think I would be inclined to sit down and have a serious but gentle conversation about whether that joke came from a place of genuine fear of marriage.

    We are already committed to one another; it will not change once we’re married. I will still go out dancing from time to time, and I’ll dance with other men because I know he’s okay with it, and then I’ll come home and we’ll still love and trust each other just as much as before I left. Equally, if he wants to go out drinking or to more “exotic” locations, I’ll tell him to have fun and call me if he needs a ride.

    I will admit, I never would have thought of that sign as being hurtful to unmarried but committed couples, but I’m glad someone pointed it out. I can totally see it now. My second cousin and her partner, committed to each other for 25 years now, will be at our wedding – and I can’t imagine doing or saying anything to imply that our commitment is somehow more valid than theirs.

  23. I’m a little bit reminded of what I did for my sister-in-law during her bridal shower. >>

    I ended up getting her a card, but I wrote in it this little diddy about “warning” her about what she would be marrying into in regards to our family. Mostly that we’re all a bunch of insane nutso weirdos. Which…is something she knows already. XD Sort of a last warning to her.

    She got a big kick out of it though since it matches her humor style and has spawned little exchanges like:

    *brother acting super goofy*
    “He’s your brother.”
    “You married him.”
    “Yeah I know, and you warned me too.”

    And then we’ll burst into little giggles and he’ll look at us with a confused look on his face. :3

  24. To me if this is how anyone feels prior to marriage they should not be getting married. I do not believe being married means giving up control of your individuality to another person. If some people believe marriage is about giving up part of yourself or your spouse giving up part of themselves than you probably should run. I may be naive but to me marriage is about complementing each others life not giving up part of your self and/or controlling your spouse.

  25. I was just thinking along these lines this weekend. Every time marriage equality makes it big in the news, some “progressive” person “jokes” that of course the gays should be able to get married “so they can be miserable like the rest of us!”

    Ha ha. Not.

  26. Totally agree! I was just talking to my fiance about this the other day. As someone who values my relationship, as I hope any bride would, it makes me so sad to “make a joke” like this. There are so many other ways to incorporate humor into your ceremony while leaving all the love and commitment in.

  27. I completely agree that this whole “Men are being trapped in marriage” comedy business is not just offensive to the females “trapping” them, but also to the men who have to live in such an emotionless world of not getting attached to the women in their lives.

    I will admit that I bought my boyfriend the “game over” shit at a novelty shop, though. He thinks it’s hilarious because he tried to propose to me for years and I was the one who wasn’t ready, so it’s just kind of an in joke between us. He’s also the most commitment-loving dude in the history of ever, so it’s a funny jarring of who he is vs who he ‘should’ be as a man. And we’re both polyamorous gamers, so marrying won’t change much for how we live our lives. πŸ™‚

    • ” He thinks it’s hilarious because he tried to propose to me for years and I was the one who wasn’t ready, so it’s just kind of an in joke between us. He’s also the most commitment-loving dude in the history of ever, so it’s a funny jarring of who he is vs who he ‘should’ be as a man. ”

      Yes! Ditto for us. When we were first introducing ourselves as fiancee’s, people would make these “funny” comments to him, implying that he was forced into committing. In return he would say “She’s the one who proposed to me, I’ve BEEN ready!!” (Which is true!)

  28. One of my siblings got my hubby a “Game Over” shirt for Christmas the year before we got married and told him to wear it to his bachelor party. I laughed it off, in public, but I’m still fuming. He still has the shirt, and half of the letters have fallen off, but I can’t get him to get rid of it. He doesn’t understand why it upsets me so much.

  29. Oh my goodness! I have never seen that sign before, and I’m grateful for that because it just seems…sad. The stupid cake toppers also make me sad. There are a few other things that make me sad/mad: cake smashing, and the bride and groom getting so drunk they can’t remember their own wedding. Yeah, that’s a GREAT way to start a lifelong commitment. Both seem so disrespectful. There are more respectful (and funnier!) ways to incorporate humor and personality into a wedding.

    • I dislike the cake smashing, too – good money spent on that cake aside, it’s just not funny to me.

  30. I don’t have anything to add because I agree 100%. I just don’t find the “marriage sucks, har!” jokes funny. Maybe it sucks for YOU, but….

  31. I’m going to have to say that I completely and totally agree with you on this one. Humor like this makes me cringe and crawl into the nearest hole. Though I will disagree with you on one point; I don’t really understand how people find this stuff funny, but thats just me I suppose.

  32. I also absolutely hate this kind of humor. Along the same lines, half of my regulars at the bar upon hearing I was engaged, responded, “Oh, you’re off the market now?” Um, no. I’ve been off the market every since we decided to enter a committed monogamous relationship, kthx. It’s along the same lines that I made my fiance promise that he’ll never start making any dumb “ball and chain” or “yes dear” jokes. I wouldn’t want to be in a relationship with someone who thought it was funny to joke that being with me made him miserable.

    • Yes! My mother, even though she means well, frequently suggests that if I want my partner to do something my way, I should remind him that there’s no ring on my finger. Apparently, despite four and a half years together, I could still go on dates with other guys, because *I’M* not “off the market” yet. O_o

  33. OMG, how awful would those little kids feel if the groom (or bride) took the sign’s advice and dashed off right then?!
    “Mommy, why did Uncle Joe run away and make Aunt Susan cry?” “Because, little Oliver, your sign scared him off.” “Wahhh!”

  34. Ugh, yeah, it’s not my thing either.

    The ones I hate are the “sex stops after marriage” jokes. If we stop having sex, we’ll talk about why, and if that doesn’t work and the situation is unsustainable, we’ll probably go our separate ways, hopefully quite amicably. If you’ve stopped having sex with your spouse, don’t try to make it *my* problem too.

  35. I’m with you. I hate this kind of stuff also. Those cake toppers just make me cringe. I’ve been to many many weddings as part of my job. I simply cannot believe how many strangers think it’s ok to shout things like “don’t do it!!” and “run whilst you still can!”.
    What miserable lives they must have.

  36. Can’t agree with you more…when I saw that sign in the photo (and every time I see someone in a “Game Over” shirt), I frown/ed. Makes me feel icky! That’s not what marriage is about! Yeah, it’s “lololol funnies” but…not my taste!

  37. To me, this is the ultimate “YOU’LL SEEEEE“. It’s like somebody saying “My life sucked after I got married and yours will too!”

    But that’s not even the biggest reason I don’t like these jokes. I don’t like them because when the jokers are laughing all I can do is uncomfortably stand around and think “Oh ok. Your relationship actually sucks and you’ve chosen this moment to publicly announce that.” AWK-WARD!

    • Admittedly, I’ve been this person.

      I remember once I heard a girl I worked with going on and on about how wonderful marriage is and its so perfect waking up next to your best friend every morning, etc etc. I asked her how long she’d been married and, with the sweetest most in-love smile on her face (think Giselle from Enchanted), she goes “3 months.” And I said, very smugly, “Oh that’s why you still think its so great.” *face palm* Yeah that was me. I said that.

      That was several years ago, and I realize in hind sight that I only said that because MY marriage sucked, which made me think that every marriage sucked. Sadly that’s all some people know.

      I’m about to get married again, with a completely different perspective this time around. Marriage is a choice not a sentence. But honestly, some people marry the wrong person for the wrong reasons, and they just don’t know what it’s like to really choose marriage out of love, and to live a life happy with that choice. Some people don’t even know it’s possible.

  38. Another un-funny wedding joke: “J.S., congratulations! Mary B., my condolences.” WTF? This ‘joke’ falls in line with the stupid-husband lines for me. Arg!

  39. [Insert irate ranting here about equality, partnership, sex, and choice.]

    • lol, love your abbreviated way of saying it all, without having to type it!

  40. I am so with you on this!! I really don’t think that your wedding Ceremony should be a time to be cracking silly distasteful jokes! i don’t see the humour in it at all!!

  41. Me and my fiance are humorous people, its one of the biggest reasons we love each other. But this is just bad humor. I’ve been getting a lot of “why buy the cow…” comments since us having a son apparently makes those jokes appropriate.

    Also, it makes me sad cause those kids are cute, but that glaringly ill-humored sign just detracts from that πŸ™

  42. This sign keeps popping up when I’m browsing Pinterest, and I’m so glad you said all this because it is EXACTLY how I feel about it!

    I saw a Jeep today with the typical “JUST MARRIED” and “MR & MRS” and the date on the back window, and I smiled. Then I saw the “Game Over” sign on the spare tire cover, and I frowned. Then I thought, proper geeks wouldn’t have one of those signs, because proper geeks are the type of people at Offbeat Bride who seem to never make terrible “marriage is awful herp derp” jokes. Then I smiled again because I love this site. πŸ™‚

    • Yeah, this post was written after this picture popped up on Pinterest and I was horrified. I normally stay in my little offbeat corner of Pinterest, but I’d wandered into the main Weddings & Events sections…and quickly ran away screaming.

  43. Everything you said! so much! I kept seeing that photo on pinterest and it just irritated me so much every time I saw it.

  44. This kinda “Ball and chain jokes” and possible Wedding disaster move/shows is why I’m NOT going to see certain Movies and why I stopped watching one of my fav sitcoms (the 2 main characters are getting married)! I don’t think, along with all of the other “bad taste” jokes, that wedding disasters are funny. I mean, I’m already under a lot of pressure I don’t need a movie making fun of some of my worst nightmares.

    • As a random aside to your comment, The Big Bang Theory just had a really sweet marriage episode for Howard and Bernadette.

      • And as a random aside to your comment, I hated that Bernadette glowered at Sheldon for trying to say the wedding vows in Klingon… Um… they’re geeks & all & so I’m thinking that the bride should’ve allowed her man to have his day too…

        • I know this is waaaay belated, but Bernadette DID let Howard have the wedding invitations also printed in Klingon on the back…

  45. I’ve made numerous snarky “oh maybe I won’t have to marry you now” comments to my almost husband, but I’ve been cracking dumb jokes like that to him for the 10 years we’ve been together, so I don’t feel like the prospect of marriage has changed that.
    That being said, I really hate the cake toppers where the bride is dragging the groom or he’s trying to run away. Maybe I’d feel less irritated if they had gender reverse ones too. I think that’s probably my biggest problem with it – the fact that it’s always assumed that the groom is the one who is being somehow forced into marriage.

  46. My husband’s “hilarious” best man got him that Game Over shirt to wear on the stag. Granted, he’s a giant video game geek and that’s how they all keep in touch while living across the country. The gender stereotype crap is just not him at ALL though.

    Plus, I was infuriated that even my annoyance at the shirt was taken as furthering the stereotype. As if my feelings were “Oh noes, now the world knows how sad he is about getting married!” vs. actually being tired of bullshit, tired marriage tropes and gender stereotypes.

    On an awesome note, Very Uncomfortable Humourless Panties is going to make me laugh for days and days.

  47. I would love to buy this sign and then have the groom run down the aisle – to walk me back up to the front.

    • THAT is UHMAZING. Fake out your entire family. Not a wedding they’d easily forget!

  48. I guess my main concern is who chooses the signs? If one appeared at my wedding I would be devastated if my groom had known about it. I have no problem with a Stag Night / Bachelor Party but I just don’t find this image funny at all. To me it is out of keeping with the sacred vows about to be exchanged. So if my groom thought this was funny, he’d be the wrong guy for me. If we both thought it funny then guess that’s OK … cringeworthy for many guests but OK for the couple!

    • The majority of wedding products (especially in more traditional wedding purchases) are marketed to brides, and I’m betting this one is no exception.

      All the times I’ve seen it on Pinterest, it’s been pinned by women.

      • Part of that could be that the Pinterest demographic is somewhere around 70% female.
        That being said, I don’t see this being marketed to men (because it’s a wedding thing and why would you ever market those to MEN? it’s not like it’s THEIR BIG DAY too ::eyeroll::. It looks like the sort of thing they expect a bride to think will be a funny surprise for her partner or something. Frankly I think my husband would have hated it. or run away. you give him an opportunity for a joke…

  49. Thank you for posting this and to the other comments. I knew I wasn’t alone in finding this sort of humour not funny. I hate those cake toppers where it shows the bride dragging the groom away from something, or the ball ‘n chain shit. I find that the people who make the jokes at us, or think this stuff is funny come from horrible relationships. Where the female is trying to change him, doesn’t like him playing games, drinking beer etc.

    My fella had a guy at work basically tell him to run, took him to another guy at work who is currently going through a divorce and tried to jokingly show him what will happen. My guy and the bloke going through the divorce quite quickly told him to fuck off. Where do people get off? Anybody that knows us as a couple haven’t made one single trying to be funny joke at us. It’s everyone who doesn’t know us very well and is in a miserable relationship. Go away!

        • BAHAHA that just put a WHOLE NEW spin on those figurines for me. No longer commitment jokes, they’re bdsm-themed!

  50. I’ve just been googling these signs and seen that you can buy one that says ‘Last chance to run DADDY’. WTF?! If the parents are getting married, having the kids holding a sign encouraging the father to dump not just his WTB but his entire family is messed up! Or if the bride is the kids’ step mother-to-be, that’s just nasty! These signs are so depressing and insulting. Of course there should be fun and laughter at a wedding (and this site has loads of examples of that) but why not think of humor that’s unique to the couple and doesn’t make anyone feel like crap?

  51. Not even close to funny, and such outdated phyllis dinner/rodney dangerfield type humor – and I’m OLD! My daughter’s Big Event was last week and they had lots of laughter and surprises, but what pleased me so much were all the comments about how amazed people were that they looked like they were still on their honeymoon and having a ball, even though they’ve been married a year before their big shindig. Now that’s a message sent.

  52. god, i cant agree with you more. i hate all that stuff as well!! thats why i love this website, even though im really nowhere near my own wedding. here there is love that is just that- love. there is no tricking into love, there are no men trying to run (omg, can we talk about those TERRIBLE CAKE TOPPERS!!!!) and there are no phycho women who are the ones who are doing the holding-onto-the-neck of the men in the cake topper. this is why i love this website. thank you.

  53. Boy do I agree! I have a good sense of humor and am planning a lot of little humorous things for my wedding, but these kind of jokes that insinuate lack of previous commitment or that a man’s life ends at marriage really gets my blood going.

    • It is a serious ceremony and a little bit of off beat humor is great, but to me these signs are in poor taste.

  54. I must be the only one who finds this concept funny. But that said, he’s the one more into the whole wedding thing than myself. Maybe its the irony I like

  55. AMEN! I’m so excited to get married and so is my hubs to be. I don’t get things like this. I get some people find it funny, but really? I love and respect all the comments here too.

  56. I agree with everything said here with the exception of the message it supposedly sends to the kids carrying the sign. The flower girl looks too young to read, and even if the ring bearer can read he’s probably too young to get the “joke.”

    • You think the kids aren’t going to ask what the sign they are carrying says?

      And even if they don’t get the joke now, it might well stick with them.

      Or they might just ask what it means.

      As a grade 1 teacher I gotta say, things don’t go over kids heads nearly as much as people think.

  57. My Nan is quite the funny/grouchy lady, and we are very close. I found out days after the wedding that in the moments before the ceremony she took my soon-to-be husband aside and told him that this was his ‘last chance’… as in, last chance to bail. He laughed it off (she is kind of an odd duck) but WTF!? My poor guy was nervous enough, he had just met my family and was about to get married! (we both are a little nervous around lots of people… even at such a happy occasion!)I’m so glad I didn’t know it happened until days later and i was even able to chuckle… but omg…out of place and a yucky thing to say! Sigh… crazy old Nan.

  58. Before I even finished the article I was like, now if they were kids dressed as the mario bros “GAME OVER” written in a pixel font it’d still be awful like those shirts but awful with thought put into it… When I told my friend I was going to ask my girlfriend to marry me, my friend said he wanted to buy me the bride & groom game over tshirt but then he said ‘but you’re both women, do they make them for bride & bride?’ he still doesn’t get the whole trans thing but he’s a nice boy, he just doesn’t think… If someone had to be all ‘har har weddings suck’ they should do it at the bachelor party or stag & hen or whatever parties are had for ‘light fun’ still potentially offensive but if you’re putting up a front for your dude friends that’s one thing, I understand how sometimes you need to be macho to fit in, but if you continue to put on the same show in front of the brides parents and your collective families, then that’s going too far and should maybe make you question your maturity? If you don’t want to get married why are you? I wouldn’t want to marry someone who didn’t want to marry me, and vice versa. It’s sad though that guys can’t just be like, ‘ball and chain? no she’s great I like being in love and not having to wonder about awkward tension like a ticking time bomb until she passive aggressively dumps all my clothes on the lawn or if I’ll die alone… I’m okay if she’s the last girl I sleep with’ but they have to be like ‘oh I know, I hate this, I feel smothered, she likes me to text her back, what’s this about?’ I don’t get it.

  59. Yuck, what an awful sign.

    Then there’s those awful cake toppers where the bride is dragging the groom behind her.

    I just don’t get why anyone would want to use these.

  60. actually, I love the sign! Not for humor but because of all of the reasons you mentioned (just that you got to the exact opposite conclusion than I did!). You may or may not over think this a little too much?

    • Didn’t really over-think … just instinctively cringed personally! BUT each to their own and if the bride was happy with the sign then that’s fine for her.

  61. To me, this just reinforces the stereotype that weddings are non inclusive of men. Although women ‘have’ to wait for his proposal, once that is done, he is no longer part of the planning and just has to show up on the day. Even then it appears he doesn’t even have to do that.

  62. The celebrity freebie thing has always seemed pretty harmless to me, but that might be because my future wife and I have similar taste in (fantasy) women. I didn’t realize until I read your comment that the freebie list concept likely works much differently for most straight couples!

  63. Agreed. I didn’t actually realize how much stuff like this bothered me until those last few weeks before getting married! People kept asking if I was nervous about being tied down ALL the time and saying it was my last weeks of freedom. Weird, since we have been together and committed for like 6 years now and I never felt like my “freedom” was being inhibited then.
    Luckily my Maids of Honor (yes I had two) were awesome and my bachelorette party was a girls night in chicago just hanging out, going to a musical and eating yummy food not shaped liked penises. My husband’s bachelor party was a metal concert with his friends (male and female) and then bar hopping.
    At the rehearsal dinner though, people kept wanting to get pictures of us on our last night as single people, to which we just replied that we hadn’t been single for quite some time….

  64. I agree, I agree with this profusly. My husband agrees, we both didn’t find that game over t-shirt amusing. I’ve given mine away. I don’t think a game is over. Uck! I hate these jokes.

    So I agree. Now other people found that funny, I find it simply stupid. And I don’t really go along either. I just simply stare and say “Not funny” and walk off on a good day. On a really bad day (such as the one I had when i got that shirt, planning a wedding is so stressful) I can rant for hours, and get really pathetically mad.

    Oh well. Its good to know, I’m not alone on this.

  65. There’s another thing this sign says to me that bothers me:

    “If the marriage gets bad, you can’t run.”

    The reason this underlying assumption disturbs me so much: U.S. society is deeply contradictory: even though such a high percentage of marriages end in divorce, talking about the possibility of divorce if you are engaged feels oddly taboo. I enter into this marriage committed to continuing a healthy, functional, happy, joyous relationship. But I make the promise to myself that if our relationship is no longer healthy, and if we cannot find a healthy path back to a strong relationship, I can and will leave it. Just as marriage is not necessary for a healthy long-term commitment, marriage does not guarantee a healthy relationship, and for me a commitment to any future has to also be a commitment to take care of myself.

    • I agree. I’m planning my second marriage, and I learned a lot from my first, which was emotionally, mentally, and borderline physically abusive. I can not honestly promise my fiance that I will stay with him forever no matter what, because I don’t believe in no matter what any more. There has to be a line. It isn’t healthy not to have limits. Marriage is not awful, and if it is, fix it or get out! I am so glad you touched on this!

  66. My husband got one of those stupid ‘game over’ t-shirts from a friend when we were first going out. He has never worn it. We tend to find a lot of the same things hilarious (he wears the ‘firefly’ inevitable betrayal t-shirt I got him all the time). When he got the game over t-shirt (in front of me) we just smiled politely. There was an embarrassed silence which continued in spite of the ‘no offence, Nadia’ joke that went with it. I’m usually a bit of a laugh-slut so whoever came up with it must have failed pretty badly.

  67. Admittedly, We will probably say something ‘aloof’ at the wedding like ‘oh gee, I guess I’m stuck with her now’ or ‘oh we just stay together for the pets’ but really, we’ve been living together for 7 or 8 months and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I think society almost pressures you to act reluctant like if you’re truly happy it scares people so they want to scare you out of it. We’re just both deeply sarcastic and kind of bitter about everything other than our relationship, but our freedom isn’t over, in fact I feel like I have more freedom now. Plus she ran off with her best friend to go camping labour day weekend and I wasn’t officially living here yet and I house sit, I watered plants and fed the rabbit because I wanted to stay here and experiment with if I could ever live here. I mean I’d like to take trips with her, but sometimes I think it’s good to have someone here while the other runs an errand or goes on a trip too. I dunno.

  68. Marriage is so sacred to me, I hardly find this funny. And I really hate seeing the kids carry this! It kind of goes along with those cake-toppers where the bride is dragging the groom away. I’ve always failed at finding those funny. Marriage is so beautiful, why even do it if you’re going to feel like it’s “game over”, or as if there’s something horrible to run from?

  69. I’d never really noticed any of this stuff until 5 years ago when I went to buy a card to go with a wedding gift. The only options were along the lines of ball-and-chain jokes or featuring a white dress (the couple is Jain and had a Jain ceremony). I ended up getting a pretty blank card. Seriously, who thinks it’s a great idea to “celebrate” someone’s wedding by saying that marriage is this awful thing?

  70. My EX husband wore a game over t-shirt at our wedding after-party and I hated it. I also hate those cake toppers of brides dragging grooms by the collar. Who the hell thinks these things are funny?

  71. Thank you SO much for this. I truly thought I was the only one who thought this was unfunny(and borderline tasteless, IMO). And the fact that one of these had something like 105 repins is disconcerting to me. I just do not understand the humor behind it. I find it incredibly disrespectful to your future spouse. Reminds me as others have said, the cake toppers with the man being dragged or when the groomsmen write “funny” things on the soles of the groom’s shoes like “Help Me”. Heaven forbid a man want to marry the woman he loves.

  72. I am SO glad that there are other people who aren’t enchanted with the whole “haha commitment sucks haha” social dialogue. If my fiance and I felt this way, we probably wouldn’t be getting married… And it is completely upsetting that men are stereotypically seen as phobic of commitment. I’m not sure who it’s more offensive forβ€” the men who are held to such a low standard, or the women who are essentially being told that they are not worthy of a committed partner (because everyone knows that women are just trying to woo you into marriage so that they can become nags.)

  73. I’m a bit late to the party, but I showed this post to my Mister just now. He said he’s gotten a few comments along the lines of, “I didn’t know you were engaged, why would you do that?” He looked at them with the face you make to someone who asks an extremely stupid question and said, “Because I want to.”
    I think I picked the right partner. πŸ™‚

  74. I’m actually surprised, with a site name of OFFBEAT Bride, that more people can’t find the humor in this.

    When I saw this, I thought about how my family would have cracked up if this came down the isle before me. I was actually ready to send it to my sister as she is considering marriage…until I actually read the post.

    Weddings don’t have to be proper. I was actually the one who bought my husband the “Game Over” shirt that everyone seems to hate. He tells me that I can be replaced with a newer model. Does that make us less committed? Nope.

    Then again, I grew up in a family where the ability to laugh at things, yourself included,is valued.

    Weddings are supposed to be fun. If this sign isn’t your style that’s great, but don’t hate on those of us who like humor like this.

    Someone said they fly into a rage when they see stuff like this. Really? It’s not worth getting upset over, especially since if it’s not your wedding.

    I found you through Pinterest and loved the name of the blog but, well, with this post being only the 2nd one I have read I’m not sure I want to read the rest.

    • I completely understand. I saw that my online wedding shop was getting a great deal of traffic from Offbeat Bride. I thought how cool, maybe they’ve included a link to my store or wrote a blog about my custom monogrammed aisle runners, rustic burlap runners, unique parasols, or other custom wedding items. I was further encouraged when I saw the title of the Offbeat Bride website says “Creative Alternatives for Independent Brides.” I love it, that’s my target market! I clicked the link and whoops, my item was posted in the WTF!? section of the website, excoriated for being explicit in its gender-grossness. There is a black-eye I certainly did not see coming! Lesson learned.

      I understand not everyone would appreciate the humor of the banner. As a bride-to-be, I never would have chosen this banner for my wedding. After years of marriage, I think its hysterical, especially because the day after our wedding, my husband leaned over to me, held his left hand up, pointed to his ring and said “Its too late now, you can NEVER get rid of me.” Everytime I put my hands on my hips out of frustration, he points to his ring and shrugs. We both break out in laughter. I guess we’re just the type of people that find a bit of light-hearted humor in these things.

      A few hours of searching the Offbeat Bride website, and I’m beyond confused. A wedding banner teasing about “running” before the wedding is considered icky, enraging and disgusting, but a giant unicorn that pees lemonade and should menstruate soft-serve ice cream is hysterical? I shrug my shoulders and say to each his own.

      A friend in the wedding industry said it best, “What’s beautiful about each wedding is that it is about two people who love each other. It is about celebrating their personalities, sense of humor, style, religion, and choices. Everything that they chose, from the colors to the venue, from the guest list to those who represent the bridal party, it is solely about reflecting the couple. Before you judge any wedding for not meeting your expectations, remember that it isn’t about you, its about them.” That’s an attitude I expected to see more of at Offbeat Bride, again, lesson learned.

      Side note- I do love the “no drama” comment policy. It was nice to see opinions expressed that did not degenerate into name calling. More websites should adopt a similar policy.

      • YES to business owners who are articulate, lovely human beings expressing opinions! There are all kinds of things on this site some like and some dislike… but just remember that “any publicity is good publicity”. Being in the WTF section of a site this big is better than being not on it- and I hope many of those clicks have turned into sales for you (if not of this item, of others).

        Well said, my dear.

  75. We were thinking of having one of these sign, until I read this, but mainly because everyone who knows us knows that it’s me who was dragging her feet to get married NOT him! may have to get one saying “Here’s Mummy” Jack Nicholson style πŸ˜‰

  76. Thank you for writing this! As a wedding photographer, it breaks my heart when I see this sort of thing. It’s so disrespectful to the groom, especially, turning a sacred moment into a joke about whether or not he really loves his bride. And it’s disrespectful to her, too, suggesting that she is so unlovable that her groom might want to run away from her.

    I never include these sorts of things in highlight albums. I’ll photograph them for the couple’s full gallery, but I don’t want to encourage or spread this type of unloving tradition!

  77. Thank you, beautifully put, as always. I think what is offputting about this kind of humor to many is that it kind of surrounds us. It’s ubiquitous. Sitcoms, advertisements, comedians etc. make these jokes about how the grooms ‘life is over,’ and now ‘the wife’ is a nag who keeps her husband on a short leash and so on.

    But to me personally, what I find most distasteful is having survived and left an abusive situation, I remember at the time guys making these HAR HAR jokes about how I must call all the shots behind closed doors and give him ‘honey-do lists’ of chores when truly the opposite was my reality. Now I’m sure that this was the furthest thing from the minds of whoever made this sign, which is just a very old joke people tell over and over, and in all honestly can have more than one meaning. Just saying this is what bugs me about it. I can’t shake that it really comes down to a pretty negative view of women, and also perpetuates what can be a harmful myth that it’s normal for marriage to be some kind of power struggle.

    • “But to me personally, what I find most distasteful is having survived and left an abusive situation, I remember at the time guys making these HAR HAR jokes about how I must call all the shots behind closed doors and give him ‘honey-do lists’ of chores when truly the opposite was my reality. ”

      Totally with you. I’ve lived with an abusive male partner, and grew up in a situation where my mother abused my Dad as well as me, so in addition to trying to help friends out of abusive relationships I feel I’ve seen abuse, coercion, lack of respect and lack of regard for consent from most angles by now. This stuff just freaks me right out.

      Re. your specific example: the idea that the woman coerces the man into marriage/monogamy so it’s ok for him to coerce her into other things to balance it out is alive and well, and until no-one is getting it flung in their face any more it just isn’t funny to me.

  78. Well said. I have always been burned by the whole celebrating the last night of freedom vibe people have too….really, aren’t we suppose to be celebrating marriage??

  79. Maybe I’m over thinking it (I over think everything), but this article made me consider how society really views the marriage relationship. With wedding jokes like this, and stupid cake toppers featuring bitch brides and unhappy grooms, and how so many people divorce willy nilly after a few years, it’s apparent that most folks don’t seem to believe in honest love. Why do people who joke this way even get married? A commitment should be a happy, honest, beautiful thing. I love reading all of these comments because it shows that I’m not the only one who feels like love should be an eternal, evolving, and glorious part of life. My own fiance feels the same way. Sorry for getting ranty, I guess seeing something like this sign kinda punctured my soul and brain.

  80. YES! A thousand times, yes. I am getting married in 6 months so I’ve done a lot of searching around for wedding stuff and I absolutely cringe every time I see one of these signs. Just like the cake toppers where the bride is dragging the groom, UGH.

  81. Amen thrice over.

    As a wedding photographer, I always take a deep breath and bite my tongue when I see this, knowing I have to photograph this “hilarious” and “adorable” moment, but cringing inside — and I never put these images on my blog or website, because I agree they’re tremendously disrespectful to men and to the sacredness of the day.

    • Why do you think they are disrespectful to just men? The sign is actually suggesting that the man has a reason to run away from his bride, suggesting that there is something about her that he should be running from, therefore insulting to her, no?

      But that’s if you take it all so seriously in the first place. Honestly for two people to commit to each other on such a large scale and then have something like this as a little bit of light heartedness at the start of their wedding ceremony…and then move onto the serious business of getting married, it really does seem to upset a lot of people. I don’t understand the offence at it. I am getting one for my husband to be, I know he will find it funny and I don’t think any of the children in the room will suddenly turn into mysoginistic A-holes (unless they’re already being sent that way by an already unhealthy parent or guardian) It certainly won’t be a cheesy sign at a wedding that sends them off that way!!!

  82. I couldn’t agree more. Too bad my inlaws find this stuff to be hilarious and are constantly buying it for my partner. But considering the number of times her family members have divorced and remarried it shouldn’t surprise me that they don’t take it seriously. Makes me sick to be honest. Love my fiance, just wish she came from a different background.

  83. Seriously I think you all need to relax a bit, and give children the credit for having a sense of humour and irony as well as we do. If they have us, after all, to guide them in these things, then perhaps, just perhaps they will see it for the little bit of good humoured frivolous banter that it’s intended as, and not a sign of disrespect to the groom, the bride, the relationship, “relationships”… or anyone else for that matter.

    Nerves are frayed at weddings, a little bit of levity about the groom doing a runner is not going to teach a child that marriage and relationships “suck”. I really think it is the overall feeling of any event is what counts, so if the adults are arguing and insulting each other the entire day of the wedding, maybe then the children will come away with the message that marriage and relationships are bad. But if there is love in the room and people respect each other, a little card sign intended to relax everyone is not going to scar your children for life into believing that all long term romantic relationships are to be avoided…. complete over reaction to it, in my own opinion.

  84. Oh, I just see your comment at the end of your piece now….”there’s no need to defend yourself if you think this sign is awesome”

    Sorry but I’d responded with my opinion before I saw that one! That sort of sounds like “Only post an opinion if it’s the same as mine”….no? Happy life people, I know where the door is!

  85. Somethings in life are so serious you have to laugh about them. I think as the person in the relationship with commitment-phobia these things make me laugh and calm me down. I’m the one wearing the game over shirt. I’m the one being dragged to the marriage. I’m the one who needs one more chance to run. I think we also bring a lot of our own gender stereotypes to the table when we look at these things. Women get cold feet too and humor may be the door to talking about real thoughts and feelings.

  86. Thank you for writing about this! What’s really disgusting is that we are taught that as brides our wedding day is the biggest day of our lives and for many it is the one day that’s about us. To then make a joke of the bride (and all women, as men are clearly more valuable than us since we have to chain or trick them) is needlessly cruel.

    Reminds me of that meme going round with the couple kneeling at the altar and the groom’s shoes have “Help Me!” on the soles. I do believe that would be cause for me to stand up and leave. But then my guy knows that so that wouldn’t happen. I really think that women set their standards far too low. Better a bitch than a doormat.

  87. I think whether someone finds this funny or not, we can all likely agree that this kind of humor is just plain LAZY.

    I don’t have enough fingers or toes to count how many times I’ve heard a toast OR A CEREMONY HOMILY with some word-for-word wisecrack about how the bride is controlling the groom. When you Google your toast jokes, you end up with the same dregs as everyone else (and YET! they still go over well so often because most wedding guests don’t attend so many to hear them repeated.)

    Example A: “The 3 Rings of Marriage: the Engagement Ring, the Wedding Ring, and the SUFFER-Ring!” (yes, really, a priest said this in the middle of the ceremony)

    Example B: (starts sweetly) “Bride, if I can ask you to place your hand on the table. And now, Groom, will you please place your hand on hers? * (Optional insert about how well she has him trained to follow directions!) Now, I want you two to look deeply into each others eyes and enjoy this moment, because Groom, this is the LAST TIME you’ll ever have the upper hand!” har har har.

    *Bonus points to the groomsman who awkwardly continued the script even after the cute and unwitting couple responded with a giggle, “we’re already holding hands!”

  88. a family friend who was entering his third marriage had the number 3 on the bottom of his shoes so everyone would see when he kneeled – ick! I am all for other people having silly fun poking at each other, but I would be hurt if people came at my marriage with doom and gloom, even jokingly. ESPECIALLY if it were my FI!

  89. somber-eros


    ugh, and i hate hearing that stuff…no one EVER made jokes in front of me to my partner about our relationship before wedding-talk started, but now its open season.

    After a few months of pretending to laugh along or ignoring, my honey came up with a classic comeback…he asked about their marriages.
    The ones who kept making jokes about their marriages sucking, he took seriously and said he was sorry to hear it, had they tried counseling? The 30-day sex challenge? etc.

    But most of these folks did a 180 and started telling them why they LOVED being married, and even gave some good advice.
    My honey rocks.

  90. Love this, totally well said! I’ve always found those kind of jokes insulting to all involved. It’s weirdly self-derogatory and is almost like the ultimate compliment fish- “Are you sureee you want to marry me, you don’t have to if you don’t want to”.

  91. I’m so glad you wrote about this. I’ve always hated these signs but haven’t been able to say exactly why.

  92. I had to read through pages and pages of comments, and to be honest, most are exactly what I am thinking. Some people commented that those stupid jokes (last chance to run, ready to be tied down, etc…) are giving them a soft case of cold feet (am I making the right decision, do I really want to be tied down) and others said it was just a very negative way of people trying to get you down. I am a mix between both. I hate it that if you announce your engagement, people either say the usual “you do know over 50% of the marriages end in divorce?” – “Yes, I do know that and I am willing to take the risk as I believe we might be the couple that makes it!” or another good one “Wow, that will cost a lot of money. Are you ready planning yet or are you freaking out?” – “What, just because I am planning a wedding means I have to eliminate all our money to that one day and it should make me freakout, clearly you do not know me as well as you thought you did” and finally; “Come one, we’ll plan your bachelorette and let’s go to a strip club cause you are now still allowed!” – Well, I doubt my husband-to-be would be appaled by the idea of me going to a stripclub, whether we are married or not. We are both free in our relationship, but committed to making eachother happy. Are we going to let things happen without us, if it doesn’t make the other happy? No. We will however talk about it, just as we have done the last 3-4 years before our engagement and we will find a way.
    I do understand the humour behind it and I can get why some people might find these things amusing, but personally, for our upcoming wedding: a big NO! (Unless it’s in the positive way; e.g. a T-shirt where player 1 gains power via player 2)

  93. Arial, THANK YOU for this post. I wholeheartedly agree! I feel the same way about stag and stagette culture. I KNOW that it’s a great way for the soon-to-be bride and groom to have a night on the town with their friends, and I’m all about that. But the idea that it’s the “last night of being single” makes me want to wretch. I mean, what were the years that we spent together leading UP TO the wedding? Meaningless? I agree with you it makes my heart sad when I see things like this. Great post.

  94. I whole heartedly agree with the posts about how humor like this enforces stereotypes that marriage is an entirely unpleasant experience and that the woman has forced the man into this position. I personally will likely go to strip clubs for my bachelorette party, first a male strip club and then a female one as I am a bisexual and I have a mixed gender and sexually diverse wedding party. But I am going because I like strip clubs and I like having time out with my friends, not because these will be the “last chance” I have to view anyone else’s genitalia other than my husband’s (we are big fans of threesomes, so it most certainly won’t be.) And I don’t think that night makes me any less of a feminist. Feminism is about choice, so going out and seeing naked people for no other reason other than I want to and it sounds like fun, but not because that is what I am “supposed to do” is exactly what feminism is all about.

  95. Ive seen this weekend after weekend . All I can say is both bride and groom are nervous and the signs with the little kids are cute way to I guess ease and relax a bride and groom. Your suppose to be nervous because it is the most important and most crucial day of your life and you give yourself to each other. Great photo by the way

  96. I know I am way late commenting on this and not sure who else might read all the way to the end, but I wanted to add my perspective. As a second time bride, who was left unexpectedly by her first husband (after 11 years), this sign makes me feel icky and sad for very personal reasons. I also can’t bring myself to include anything in the wedding with the “love forever” theme, not because I have any issues with committing fully to this relationship, but because I have had a personal dose of crushing reality. Maybe it is just my broken edges haven’t been completely smoothed over by happiness yet.

  97. 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 πŸ˜›

  98. 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! πŸ˜‰

    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…

  99. 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 fiancΓ© 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 fiancΓ©’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.)

  100. 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.

  101. 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.

  102. 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. πŸ™

  103. 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.

  104. 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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