Terrible when people your age start getting married isn’t it? Firstly because there’s the whole “crushing sense of mortality” thing, and then there’s also the whole “wow, the last time I was in a serious relationship was two years ago and I have grimly resigned myself to supermarket meals for one for the rest of my days” thing. Secondly because you actually have to go to the weddings.
I am not anti-wedding. I love buffets, I love free bars, I love pissed uncles with ties around their heads dancing to “Summer of ‘69,” and I love – I love – judging other people’s taste. But more often than not, weddings aren’t as simple as this anymore. Contemporary wedding culture is mutated, a rat king of flower crowns, cupcake towers, outfit changes, and, crucially, loads of fucking money.
I am puzzled by “Saying yes to the dress”, by going to Spain to get married in a villa and inviting 50 of your closest friends to spend £500 on accompanying you, and by shit like that bride who categorised her wedding's $1,000 dress code by the guests' weight, before threatening them with a “polygraph party” to figure out who leaked her Facebook post – the behaviour of someone whose brain has DEFINITELY NOT been rotted by the E! scripted reality roster!!
It’s long-held bullshit that your wedding is supposed to be the Best Day of Your Life (get an actually good Best Day of Your Life, like the day the Greggs vegan sausage roll dropped, loser) meaning that for decades now people have spent thousands on Their Big Day, the institution of which is essentially meaningless other than “for tax purposes.”
But now, social media and reality TV has turned getting married into a competitive sport.
For many weddings, the secret ingredient is basically just money, and lots of it, usually out of the pocket of the guests. All of which is to say: have the wedding you want, but don't take the piss. If only for the sake of my bank balance. But also for yourselves: I do wonder whether Insta brides end up spending all the out-of-shot moments round the back of the hotel screaming down the phone at artisan donut maker they hired for the reception who is currently stuck in his van on the M6? (Caption: “Til death dough us part!” followed by whatever they’ve decided is the official hashtag of their wedding).
Here are all the terrible Instagram weddings that you, me, and everyone we know will attend this year. Buckle up because I’m harbouring some resentments, baby!
You have been added to a WhatsApp group, which is a phenomenon that only ever fills any right-minded person with utter dread. What will it be this time? “Girls drinkies xx” started by someone very keen from your work? “Gym bunnies!” because you agreed to go spinning with some old mates after two glasses of wine at a Pizza Express? Obviously it’s worse than both of those, because getting added to a WhatsApp group is always worse than you think it will be.
You glance at your phone screen out of the corner of your eye as if it’s playing the really bad bit in Hereditary and then you see it:
“<3 MARRIED IN MARBELLA 2K19!”
You open the message.
“Hi guysss! So hopefully you all got our wedding invites in the snail mail – soo exciting (also sorry if the glitter went everywhere we just thought it was cute)! As you’ll have seen we’re actually having the wedding in Marbs as we just really wanted sunny weather for the photos *sun emoji* *sunglasses emoji* *little beach emoji*. We’ll need your deposit for the flights and accommodation this time tomorrow as we’re hoping to get it all booked up so I’ll pop my bank details below. Thaaanks guys! Clink clink bitch let’s get hitched xoxo”
You did harbour an idea of maybe going to Glastonbury or like, taking a trip to northern Italy in the summer. Say goodbye to your dreams, fucker – looks like you’re going to Marbella to spend hours at a time taking photos of your selfish, newly married friend getting drunk on a lilo for Instagram (caption: “Bride Time, Wine Time *wine glass emoji* Photo by: @you”).
Colour Theme Wedding
Fundamentally, theming anything is bad, because it is organised fun. Enforcing a theme about what people have to wear, however, is beyond the pale – but your pals have done it anyway!
“We’d love everyone to wear blue just because it’s a colour we both like. Also we’re accepting gifts of cash only :)!” reads their chirpy invite.
You, famously, look absolutely terrible in blue, but here you are dropping a smooth £50 on a respectable cobalt knee-length dress in which you will eat blue cupcakes which make your teeth feel weird, while necking wine and trying to forget that wedding hashtag is #BlueSaturday.
Manic Pixie Dream Wedding
Child bridesmaids with flower crowns, outdoor seating (despite the wedding being in February), tables named after healing herbs, a potentially culturally appropriative wedding dress: you guessed it, it’s a Manic Pixie Dream Wedding!
By this I mean it is one of those “rustic” weddings where everything is made of purposefully sanded down wood, the bride is wearing her hair in a messy plait that actually took two hours to achieve, and the groom, regrettably, has a man bun. This is the most insidious of the Instagram weddings because it’s meant to look like there’s been no effort at all, when really the bride was wearing a radio and headset until the moment she walked down the aisle, and will later spend 40 minutes art directing the photos.
The “We Don’t Really Care About the Institution of Marriage So It’s Just a Laugh Really! But Also You Will Need to Take the Friday Off Work” Wedding
“Hey everyone! So: weird one. We’re getting married?? We were just talking the other day and thought it could be kind of a lol – we’re not doing invites because why bother when you can just text (thinking of the environment obvs haha) – and it’s basically just going to be super chill, we’re not really into the whole ~Mr & Mrs thing obvs. We’re hiring out this country house in the middle of nowhere (nbd rly it’s only Grade II listed) and the wedding’s on the Saturday, BUT there are no local buses in the area at weekends, so you’ll have to come down on the Friday before 3PM, which is the time of the last bus. Also it’s £300 a night to stay in the only hotel nearby. Should be so funny! XX”
Wedding of Your School Friend Who Has Got Extremely Into Bride Facebook
You are looking at her, this friend of yours, this friend you have known for as long as you have known yourself. You grew up together, played together – you can’t remember the last time you went a day without talking to her. You thought you knew everything about her, you thought. And now here she is, this person you love and know so well – in hysterics, because the mason jars she has ordered for the table centrepieces for her wedding are different to the ones she saw on Pinterest.
Weddings are big, stressful events to plan, it’s true, and your mate has turned to Bride Facebook for comfort. At first she just went on a few of the groups for ideas, looking for bridesmaids dresses and venues that might work. Then it snowballed. You did not expect to spend entire days of your life talking about the differences between a fishtail gown and a mermaid tail; about which brand of confetti is the most optimal for images, but here you are. She is a woman possessed: you’ve never seen her angry in your life, but when the woman in the cake shop even suggested that they might not be able to replicate the cupcake and cookie castle she’d seen on Wedding and Bride Ideas [43k members] in quite as much detail, she essentially threatened her with the speech from Taken.