Wedding advice: So you say you're not into the 'shabby chic' look
Having a planning problem, a matrimonial meltdown, a prenuptial crisis?
The male bag
I am the groom-to-be. My fiancee wants to plan a wedding in a barn with wood tables, potato sack table covers and flowers in old glass containers.
I hate the idea, and I have tried to tell her when she shows me pictures, but she is not getting it. I think it is cheap-looking, and who wants to eat in a stinky barn? Can you please tell my fiancee that it is not shabby chic; it is shabby cheap? I want a ballroom and steak and cake.
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding plans! What an exciting time for you and your fiancee.
Wow, you have a lot on your mind, don't you? I am happy to hear it. Normally, my grooms-to-be do not have many opinions other than they "want her to be happy." I know that you haver her best interest at heart, too, and want your bride-to-be to feel happy as well!
You bring up a movement that has been very popular in the last three to five years. That rustic or "shabby chic" style involves a more natural look, in a more natural setting. Just like most things in life, this is likely the response to many years of pomp and circumstance in ballrooms, with guests dressed to the the nines.
At a shabby chic event, you could expect to see lace, burlap (That would be the "potato sack" to which you are referring.), maybe some twine around the napkins and mason jars for everything from flowers to signature drinks. Often in an outdoor-type setting, you might see also some antique items, like galvanized steel buckets, old windows, etc.
I applaud the industry for doing something different, and for many couples, this wedding theme is a true expression of who they are. It can be executed well if it is authentic to the bride and groom's personalities.
To your point, I don't think "shabby chic" is "cheap," per se. But just like planning for any event, if you cut enough important corners, it could be perceived as cheap. For example, only serving one passed hors d'oeuvre for an hour and having one bartender for 200 guests could cause some problems.
Tom, what concerns me most is it sounds as if you feel pretty strongly that this look is not for you, but you haven't been able to communicate that to your fiancee. If this is going to be your wife in a few months, you will need to learn how to talk to one another and compromise.
This is great practice for your many years together! I suggest you speak to her as soon as possible before she gets too far into planning.
How do you talk to her?
Take her out to a nice dinner and tell her you want to talk about wedding plans. Or, if you know your woman and she's more of a stay-in lady, cook her a nice dinner and, again, make sure she knows you want to talk about the wedding.
Let her know that you love her, you are so excited to get married, but you want to talk about her vision for the wedding and what the day means for you. Just explain that from what she has shown you, it seems not to be in line with what you envisioned. Then, tell her your goals.
I know that if you approach the conversation in the spirit of love and resolve, you both will be able to work together to find the perfect style for your event.