“Tacky” is a Scam.

“Tacky” is a Scam.

Let’s talk about “tacky”.

We’ve all heard this word used within a wedding context… whether it has to do with etiquette, décor, dresses, food, or elements of the ceremony itself, people seem to have extremely strong, deeply-held beliefs about what is and isn’t “tacky”. I’ve seen people argue about tackiness with the same intensity as hot-button political issues. The concept of tackiness is extremely polarizing, and honestly? I find it baffling.

Even while I was completing my certification, there were those who insisted with unshakable conviction that a small handful of things were “tacky” and never to be done under any circumstances whatsoever. If at any point in our careers as Wedding Planners, our couples showed any interest in doing one of the things our instructors deemed tacky, we were told to do our absolute best to steer them away from implementing the offending idea immediately.

One of the most notable cases: Cash Bars.

I decided to do a little research before writing this post, to see if there were any discernible trends, patterns, or methods to determine what exactly constituted as tacky.

I noticed some patterns, all right.

Quite frankly, the number of things that are considered tacky in some way or another VASTLY overwhelms the things that are seemingly immune to tackiness. This cemented the theory I had had all along, and lead me to a very firm conclusion:

“Tacky” is a scam. A con. A made-up concept perfect for making marketing easy in the wedding industry.

“Fake flowers are tacky- spends lots of money on real ones, instead!”

“Cash bars are tacky- spend plenty of money on a host bar, instead!”

“<Insert new trend, unusual aesthetic choice, or unconventional idea here> is tacky- spend more money on these widely-available, more traditional, timeless choices, instead!”

Listen. Do not fall for “tacky”. Tacky isn’t real. Tacky is an arbitrary, personal opinion that has no place at your wedding. Tacky is the wedding equivalent of the Bogeyman hiding in your closet. It is a myth, and it is not going to hurt you.

This is your wedding… do what makes you happy, and what makes the most sense for you. If anyone else has a problem with it… it’s exactly that. Their problem. And it has absolutely NOTHING to do with you. Your wedding should reflect you and your partner(s)… so go ahead:

Wear that revealing dress!

Do a Facebook status update at the altar!

Cover your tables with succulents or burlap or dollar-store flowers!

Have a themed wedding!

Take some cheesy, risqué photos with your adventuring party!

Do a choreographed dance!


Watch as the smiles on your uptight relatives’ faces slowly fade into looks of bewilderment and abject scandal as you cut into the top tier of your zombie-themed wedding cake… surprise! It’s a red lava cake!

Your guests are there to support you and to celebrate your marriage. Anyone who gets hung up on something as trivial as tackiness is missing the point.

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