I’ve been thinking a lot about the hullabaloo that happened last week here on T30SB. I’ve read through all the comments over on Wedding Wire. Lots of people think I was wrong to comment and some folks supported me here on this blog, fewer on Wedding Wire. I knew when I hit the “submit” button that I’d end up with a shit storm of negativity and I was right. Not that creating a shit storm was my intent, mind you. Nor the negativity. There are times however, that I must write what I feel and that’s what I did.
What I saw afterwards is what compels me to write today’s post. It’s the thread of comments that happened on Wedding Wire afterwards as well as some comments made here on that post. The issue? Brides verbally beating the shit out of each other over the cost of a gown.
As I understood it, the original poster was hurt because her friend slammed her inexpensive gown. I think everyone can agree that kind of comment can hurt. Then someone slammed me saying that my $1300 was a waste of money for something I wore for half a day.
So wait a minute. Let me get this right. It’s NOT okay to slam someone for having an inexpensive gown but it IS okay to slam someone for having an expensive gown? How does that work?
I did some quick research. The Bridal Association of America listed the average cost of a wedding gown to be $1505 in 2006 (most recent info from them). The Knot and The Wedding Channel did a survey and in 2010 listed the average cost to be $1099. I got married in 2009, so the trending down of the price of a gowns puts me right about average, methinks. But this isn’t about me defending the price of my gown. It really isn’t.
What I want to talk about is why the cost of my gown matters? Or why the cost of anyone’s gown other than yours is important? My knee jerk response to this is that we’re jealous. We spend too much time on the eye-candy, comparing what we want to what we can afford. Do brides start to slam one another out of sheer jealousy?
I can only look to myself for these answers at this red hot second. Yes, I had wedding envy. ALL. THE. TIME. There were so many things I wanted. I wanted the wedding on a Saturday, but we couldn’t find a venue we could afford to do so. So we had it on a Sunday. I wanted to wear Louboutins. Silly, but true. I wanted letterpress. I wanted garden roses and ranunculus. I wanted I wanted I wanted. But, I did what I could afford and it ended up being fantastic for us, letterpress be damned.
I think we’re all quick to judge certain weddings. One of my besties got married ( you can see her Unfake Wedding recaps here, here, here and here) and the budget for my wedding could fit in the back pocket of the budget for her wedding. Her gown cost more than my entire reception. Now, am I mad at her for that? Do I think she’s stupid for spending that much money? Do I judge her for the vintage car that delivered her to the ceremony? Do I begrudge her the vodka ice luge? Of course not! First of all, she’s my friend. I’m happy she found the love of her life. I’m happy she got her dream wedding. Was I a little jealous? Of course!
Because she’s my friend I am privy to certain info. I know that her parents had been saving for her wedding since she was born. I know Marie herself saved for it. For her and her family, weddings matter. The celebration mattered. But what matters to one bride, may not matter to another, budget or no.
The only time I might personally pass judgment on a bride is of she and/or her family went into serious debt for a wedding. In this day and age, I don’t believe that’s the right thing to do. I certainly wouldn’t tell a bride I was thinking that because it’s really none of my damn business.
Which brings us back to the question. Why are brides lashing out at each other over the cost of a wedding? So you think it’s stupid to spend a lot of money on a gown. OK, you don’t have to. But WHY lash out at someone who does? Because it doesn’t fit into your personal belief system or idea of what a wedding budget should be?
Message boards are a snapshot. They don’t tell you what a person’s financial situation is, what they’re relationship status is. It goes back to a post I wrote a long time ago about things that happen behind closed doors. We can’t look at a snapshot, at someone from the outside and think we know it all. I know I’m guilty of this still, though I write about it. I try not to. I try to remember that I don’t know a person simply from a post on Facebook or what I see of a friend’s marriage from the night we had out together. How can we as brides (me, as a former bride) be so thoughtless to one another? And perhaps the defense of myself and the post I wrote was thoughtless (Yes, yes. I know there are many of you who think so.). I haven’t come to that conclusion yet though because I did put a lot of thought into it and how I felt, so my personal jury is still out.
It just doesn’t seem right though, this back and forth about what’s right, stupid, meaningful or otherwise. Is there something I’m missing that explains this away? Tell me, what are your thoughts on budget bashing?