A Response To Katie Hopkins, And Anyone Else Who Thinks Weddings Need Reining-In

The wedding world is one of the most creative and expressive industries out there - and just like anything of this nature it’s faced a fair share of criticism. Recently however this seems to have racked up at an astounding frequency, with several publications reporting on the fact that weddings are becoming ridiculous, tacky and an ‘arms race’.

Quite frankly, I think it’s about time we called an end to these baseless reports and really just shamed them for what they are - lazy journalism. Every reporter has been round the block commenting on how much of a money-maker the wedding industry is, and what a boom it is for the British economy. They’ve commented on the up-coming trends and whether it really is ‘feminist’ to get married (last year’s buzz topic of choice). They’ve done all that. And now it seems they have come 180 degrees. They’ve said everything positive about the industry and now they want to be ‘cutting-edge’ and turn everything on its head. “I’ve got it”, someone in the Daily Mail reporter room declares in victory “let’s say the wedding industry’s a load of shit; we haven’t done that yet”. I get it; journalists always need to find that angle, but this one is just obtuse.

Even Katie Hopkins threw her two pence into the mix earlier this week, as she begged brides to “rein in the tacky Big Days that leave guests counting the cost”. Well I mean, brides, if you’re going to take anyone’s advice about weddings, it’s going to be Katie’s, isn’t it? I got sent the article by a friend who thought I’d be interested - and she wasn’t wrong! So not one to condemn a point of view before hearing it out I poured a glass of lemonade (I’m very Beyoncé like that) and had a read of what Ms Hopkins had to say on the matter. For those of you who have better things to do than read the article, I’ve provided a little summary below…

  • Firstly, she slags off people who online date and congratulates them on finding someone who loves them for their deeply flawed personalities.
  • She’s then bitter about couples asking for cash for their honeymoon, and her husband suggests that he might wipe your a** for you along with the big ol’ cheque he has to write. Pretty charming guy, I hope I get to meet him.
  • It’s going to cost her a lot of money, apparently, to take a day of work to come to your wedding on a Tuesday… so I’d consider that before inviting her if I was you. Because it’s not just going to be the Tuesday you see, it’s going to be a stay-overnight-and-travel-back-on-Wednesday-type-of-thing.
  • She’s super looking forward to the hotel pretending it’s a church (because everyone has to have a religious ceremony otherwise it doesn’t count) and the floor being really sticky. She tells us that she’s crying just thinking about it #DreamGuest.
  • “Why can’t I bring my kids?”

The only argument I can agree with is “who covers chairs?” Now with that I wholeheartedly agree. Let’s all take a minute to picture how much better our lives would be if no-one covered a single chair again. Okay, thank you.

I get that Katie’s article is tongue-in-cheek and provocative, deliberately so. But it’s part of the wider negative rhetoric that builds hype and ultimately leads to the unnecessary downfall of something that wasn’t broken in the first place. It’s exactly the type of hype that surrounded the pre-Brexit bashing of the EU that’s landed us as an isolated island, because some people decided the EU was ridiculous. Probably on whim. It happens all the time - someone starts slagging off a value, people jump on the bandwagon because it’s trendy and alternative to have the minority view for a change, everyone gets whipped up into an absolute frenzy in a ‘power to the people’ movement, and all of a sudden Donald Trump is the most powerful man in the world. Need I say more?

So before this gets taken any further down the frenzy-whipping route and someone tries to pass a bill to ban weddings, let’s all take a moment to calm down. And breathe.

I read an article in The Times yesterday that asked the question of whether weddings are now a middle-class arms race, rather than creative and innovative expressions of people’s love for one another. I shared it on Facebook and someone asked me for my view. I didn’t respond as I thought it would take up way too much of a Facebook comment to reply - so this blog post is in part my response to that.

In all honesty, I understand why the topic has made headlines. You do hear about some people who just seem to want to do anything to be different - getting married in a tank at Seaworld for example, having Owls fly in to deliver the rings, bloody anything that appears on Don’t Tell The Bride. But that’s just people wanting to stand-out from the crowd and do things their way. They probably try to do that in all other aspects of their lives too. They’re the ones with bright pink hair, or massive slogan t-shirts which demand to be read. They like to express themselves and they don’t need to be condemned for wanting to show their love for each other in that manner too - good for them, I think. Sure, some people may take it to the very limits of what is socially acceptable in this country but who the bloody hell cares? Do we really need to take it past the “aren’t they amusing” comments to the fully blown “the wedding industry is a joke” ones? What kind of a generalisation is that?!

I feel what’s currently happening is the equivalent of walking into the Tate Modern, seeing a piece of art that’s slightly more outlandish than the rest and declaring that the whole art world is ludicrous. All because one artist decided to be different. It completely disregards the other pieces of art that are simply creative, expressive and beautiful. Just like all of those weddings which no longer conform to the norm of tradition. But isn’t this something to be celebrated?

How much fun are weddings?! They’re an absolute hoot! And that really wouldn’t be the case if everyone got married in a church and then had the exact same reception where guests had a roast dinner, danced to Elton John, and then fucked off home. THAT’S NOT FUN. Weddings are fun because everyone, now, puts their own stamp on them. Even as a guest, not a planner, I love turning up to weddings and finding out what the favour is - it’s even more enjoyable when it’s something I’ve not seen before. It’s personal, bespoke, and authentic. These people are being themselves, and until now have had nothing to be afraid of by doing it. All of a sudden, because of slow news days, we’re scaring people into stifling their creativity. Everything more original and unique than Corinthians is declared to be tacky and over the top.

When I was younger I used to tell my mum off for pointing out people with an outlandish dress-sense, or OTT hair. I thought that they should be left to get on with their lives without people constantly gawping and staring. “Oh Charlotte”, she would to say to me, “if they didn’t want to be stared at then they wouldn’t look like that. They’re doing it for the attention, not to shy away from the crowd”. I was young and so I listened and thought that must be right. Nowadays I’m more convinced that I was right all along - they were just expressing themselves and that doesn’t always need to invite comment from strangers. It’s the same with weddings - they’re not fair game to take a swipe at, despite what Katie Hopkins may think.

And it’s not just the bride and groom who receive the stick for this. Us wedding suppliers are enablers, apparently. We enable you to pull off these crazy antics and allow you to have smoke machines, ice sculptures, and firework displays at midnight (although why is that being bashed? I’m having that at my wedding…)

But get this; I want to be an enabler. I want to enable you to carry out any creative idea you want for your wedding. This is why I joined the industry, and I’m here to make your dreams come true. At the end of the day, this is your special day to be the truest versions of yourselves, because you’ve found someone who loves the very core of you. Why, on the day when you are celebrating that, would you try and hide it and do something that’s expected of you rather than what you want to do?! Let out your inner weird, let it all hang out. Because if you can’t do it on the day when you’re marrying the person who loves you most for it then you’ll never be able to do it.

And if the Daily Mail writes an article about the crazy antics of your wedding day, hang that baby on the wall and know that you did it right! And if Katie Hopkins uses you and your ‘tacky big day’ as ammunition in an argument on the This Morning sofa, just know that you did you and no-one can take that away from you.

Love is meant to be expressed in any form that you want and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. If you’d like me to enable you to carry out your creative and innovative wedding ideas, you contact me here. And I would be thrilled if you did.

Charlotte xoxox