Dear Jezebel, Love Tacky Weddings….June 29, 2009
Your wedding is your day, do what you want, do what makes you happy and to hell with what anyone else thinks. Be proud of your day, shout it from the mountaintops!! What one person thinks is tacky another person may see as fun and innovative. My opinion is no better (and no worse) than anyone else’s. It’s not the end all be all, me liking or not liking a perfect stranger’s wedding does not change a thing. The moral of this story? Who cares what I think about your wedding Yanna, I am nobody. Just rock it.
Last week, the extremely popular website Jezebel featured a piece about Tacky Weddings, titled “Who Do We Feel Entitled to Mock Other Women’s Weddings?” It was an editorial by Sadie Stein based on an article that appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald about Australian bride Yanna Elfes’ wedding becoming an unexpected internet phenomenon. Yanna’s wedding photos were pulled off of a friend’s Facebook page and quickly went viral over a period of a few weeks, and Yanna was apparently so upset by the comments people were making, she contacted the police, who of course told her that anything uploaded to Facebook is part of the public domain. I had over fifteen people email me pictures of that wedding over a period of a few days, the most I have ever had , and I posted the pictures with minimal commentary. Of course, my site gets singled out by Jezebel as a life-ruining hate machine. Now, I think it is terrible that strangers contacted her personally via Facebook and were ugly to her, no one deserves that. However, even though she hadn’t planned on the publicity she received, I don’t think that her situation is a negative one at all. Jezebel argues that her privacy was invaded by the photo leak, but I think she should be proud that millions of people have seen her wedding. That’s the beauty and the curse that is the Internet. Newspapers are interviewing her, blogs are writing about her, and she’s even been offered money to appear on television. I’m sure that in addition to the negative comments, she has received an outpouring of support from people around the world. There are several positive comments about her wedding on the post that appears on this site; a lot of people think her wedding was really neat! There is no such thing as bad publicity.
When I first read Jezebel’s negative write-up, I admit I was a little angry because I thought it was incredibly hypocritical and heavy handed of the author to make moral judgements about me based on my blog but they are just as entitled to voice their opinion as I am. Do I think aspects of Yannas wedding were tacky? Yes, I do, and I’m not apologizing for thinking that. Is it the worst I’ve seen? No, not even close. But Sadie, if poking fun at someone for choosing Playboy-tagged champagne flutes, pink hummer limos, and a pink crystal-encrusted white boobie dress with a mini-skirt inspired by a Guns-N-Roses video qualifies me as a person who is “dismissing someone’s cultural and familial expectations or the context of her life,” then so be it I guess! This is a blog where I post pictures and comments based my own personal aesthetic, it’s not hard-hitting journalism. It’s not meant to be mean-spirited or to be taken seriously. The internet has become the most amazing apparatus for self expression ever invented, and this tiny little blog is my slice of that. Do I ever worry that I am hurting people or question myself? Of course I do. Whenever I do though, I always look at all the emails and comments I get from people that say they really enjoy my website and I carry on.
There is a website devoted to practically anything and everything under the sun, and weddings are certainly no exception. Weddings have become a multi-billion dollar industry with innumerable websites devoted to praising and showcasing pretty weddings, and others that are devoted to poking fun at them. Cake Wrecks, Ugly Dress and Etiquette Hell, are all great websites devoted to weddings gone wrong that I frequent daily. I started this blog in February of 2008 while I was planning my own wedding as a way to share some of the funny/ridiculous things I was finding on the internet with my girlfriends. I created an email address for submissions soon after that and the blog took off from there. I don’t spend my days trolling the internet for other people’s wedding photos. In fact, I spend very, very little time on this website. Every single photo or video on this site has been emailed to me by a fan, and I’ve never been contacted by a bride that was upset that her photos were on my site. The website has evolved considerably since it’s inception. I have often wished that I could change the name of this blog, because people assume that I don’t like every wedding I put on here. I post weddings that I think are interesting, funny, unique, and yes, tacky. If I think my readers will enjoy a wedding, or if it will spark a dialog, I post it. Most of the time, unless I feel utterly compelled to comment, I let the readers decide what they think about the photos or videos that I choose. Without fail, if there are 10 people that say they don’t like a wedding, there are 10 other people that counter back with positive comments.
Ultimately, I am grateful to Jezebel for writing about my little website, I went from a lowly 5k hits per day to over 45K in referrals after the article appeared. I’ve had to deal with rude and snarky comments in the wake of the article, but that’s totally okay. This is a public forum, and I don’t expect everyone to agree with me.
I think the Jezebel post failed to include the most important part of Yanna’s interview in the original article:
“Yanna said she could understand why people would perceive the wedding as outrageous but “at the end of the day all of my family and friends know that’s Yanna, I don’t want to change it because people will think different of me. Everyone walked in there and saw me and said Yanna, this is you, no one could pull this off like you have. From day one I said to my mum, `this is how I want to do it’ and my mum was like, `that’s great, that’s you’, why would you want to change that?”
It doesn’t sound like Yanna is regretting any of the choices she made on her wedding day, I think she was really happy with the way it turned out, and isn’t that the most important thing?
Your wedding is your day, do what you want, do what makes you happy and to hell with what anyone else thinks. Be proud of your day, shout it from the mountaintops!! What one person thinks is tacky another person may see as fun and innovative. My opinion is no better (and no worse) than anyone else’s. It’s not the end all be all, me liking or not liking a perfect stranger’s wedding does not change a thing. The moral of this story? Who cares what I think about your wedding Yanna, I am nobody. Rock what you’re gonna rock, and flip everyone the bird.