No matter how much thought goes into your wedding floral arrangements, creative cuisine, abundance of food throughout the night, ease with which guests can get to the bar, how perfect the temperature in the room is... people are talking shit behind your back. I know this because I’ve done it at every wedding, and likely so have you. And if you haven’t, you hold things in and that’s not healthy. Check yourself.
The shit-talking varies from wedding to wedding, obviously. Some weddings it is a minimal throwaway complaint: “I wish they had passed more feta canapés. Oh, well, dinner is soon. I can deal.” Other weddings it’s more intense aggravation: “They’re only playing swing music? I want to dance, not feel like I’m in that Nazi movie with Christian Bale that I can’t think of its name!” (Swing Kids!) Other weddings it’s straight-up petty hate: “The bride’s hair looks ridic. She looks like trailer park Medusa with all those tendrils coming out of her head. Tendrils are just curls who thought they needed to lose weight but went way too far.”
Point is, shit will be said behind your back. “But I worked so hard to make everything perfect!” Doesn’t matter. In some way, you failed in the eyes of a guest or guests. But the good news is that that’s totally okay. When you consider the possible motivations behind shit-talking, you might be more at peace with it as an immutable fact of weddings and as a bonus…life.
Reasons for Shit-Talking:
- Jealousy. Your guest is jealous. Of you, of your relationship, of a scarf you found at T.J. Maxx that they’d kill for.
- Their partner thinks you’re hot. He said it to her only once and he claims he was kidding, but she can’t get over it. And at your wedding, you look more radiant than ever.
- They hate their job. Or they don’t have one right now. I once went to a wedding when I was very unemployed and literally all I could think about was how expensive gas would be for the car trip from LA to San Luis Obispo. Oh, and the friend whose wedding I “sacrificed” for got divorced less than a year later.
- They’re getting divorced. They are currently deciding who gets to keep the Pottery Barn wine rack, the West Elm party platter, oh, and their children.
- Friend-sion tension. You and your guest are not on great terms. If you can’t resolve it pre-wedding, be warned that if they make a rude comment about your bridesmaids’ dresses, your food, or your band— even if they don’t exclusively play swing music—it’s probably just that their anger from unresolved issues is spilling over onto your poor innocent “cute-iful” wedding.
- You actually messed up. You tried to save money by having a taco bar instead of a full three-course dinner. People are hangry. Get that MOH of yours to order buckets upon buckets of chicken on her credit card stat or be okay with people shimmying their way to Taco Bell as soon as the party is over, while ripping you a new one behind your back.
- Gossip is fun. If anything is “off” about a wedding I attend, my mom and I will delight in discussing it at length. Talking shit is our friendship glue. It’s friendship glue for a lot of people.
- Your wedding is not home. People would rather be in bed. Maybe not in bed, but near their bed, on a couch, watching documentaries, Pinteresting holiday side dishes because over the age of twenty-five, people get sleepy— or at least lazy—after, like, 8:00 p.m. I know this because I am this.
On a positive note, remember that talking shit when you are a guest is a relief, a release.... a verbal orgasm... a vergasm. Let your guests have multiple vergasms as long as they do it out of earshot of you and your husband. And your parents. And anyone else who is on Team You.
But just for fun…
Ways to Handle Shit-Talking at Your Wedding:
- Leave funny comment cards on the table. Something to the effect of “We know this wedding isn’t for everyone. What could we have done differently? We want the next one to be even better!” A joke about shit-talking and divorce! Killin’ it!
- Make one of your wedding details intentionally ridiculous, borderline insane, to satisfy people’s Shit-Talk Tooth. The way you give a dog a bone. Give your guests something to chew on, complaint-wise. Example: KidPrint as a menu font. They’ll whisper behind your back all night about that one so hard that they won’t even notice you spilled wine on your tits.
- Have a confessional booth where guests can go to vent about your wedding. Hire a priest to sit in it (or just a guy named Dave who needs some extra cash until his meditation app takes off), and let the bitchin’ begin! Call it the “Bitch Box.” Catchy!