Author Topic: Dear Abby and the Wedding Cake Smashers  (Read 14277 times)

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Tabby Uprising

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Re: Dear Abby and the Wedding Cake Smashers
« Reply #75 on: October 01, 2012, 10:57:42 PM »
Would I be offended to see cake-smashing? No, but I'd be disappointed to be shown that any of my friends had such a coarse sense of appropriate fun for a serious occasion, an occasion at which formal dress is required. If smashing fits the occasion, perhaps afterward we should put on the television and watch "Lizard Lick Towing", maybe get everyone to sing "99 Bottles of Beer On the Wall".

I feel the same way about garter-removal ... maybe it fits in its basic form, but when you have a rowdy DJ/MC insisting that the bride push the garter waaaaaay up and then have the groom remove it with his teeth, well...

I still look back with a few regrets at my own wedding day. I couldn't tell my bride "no" about anything and make it stick ("but it's a tradition, everybody expects it" was, apparently, irrefutable logic). FFIL expected not only a dollar dance, but the obligatory downing of hard-liquor shots by participants (of which there were about three, all of them her relatives). She never had heard tell of anyone objecting to their car being "decorated" (by her brothers, of course), but I was able to get that single offense off the table.

If the whole-gosh-darned-please-let-it-be-over-soon event is solemn enough to make my wife believe an invitation equals a royal command to attend, then drop the boorish behavior. At least, that's my feeling.

Bolding mine.  Is formal attire required?  I've been to mostly dressy weddings, but I've certainly heard of people holding more casual ceremonies.  And would it really be bad to watch a TV show or sing 99 bottles at the reception?  Aren't those things more a matter of personal taste and preference rather than etiquette?

Maybe I'm a little weird to start with because I just loooove weddings, but I don't put this much thought into how other people organize their own life ceremonies.  I get an invitation and I think "Yay, Kim and Alex are getting married! I can't wait to go!".  So long as I know when it is and what the dress code is, I don't care about if they chose formal v. casual wear, if a garter will or will not be tossed, if it's on a beach, in a church or at a monster truck rally, if pushing cake into the new spouse's mouth equals assault or tradition or whatever.  I may think "Hmm, pretty church" or "Oy, not the cake smushing thing", but that's about the extent of it. 

I get the invitation, I get all warm and fuzzy for the couple and I look forward to attending.  I don't have a very rigid code about what should transpire at the event and what the ramifications are if it is not followed.  (In terms of taste vs. etiquette that is and consensual smashing is not an etiquette violation in my opinion)

Addy

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Re: Dear Abby and the Wedding Cake Smashers
« Reply #76 on: October 01, 2012, 11:03:22 PM »
Just because it is a wedding custom for some, doesn't make it less rude.
The dollar dance is a wedding custom too.

The dollar dance is rude because it solicits money from guests. This is apparently rude because 'it's unpleasant to watch'.

'Unpleasant to watch' is not a good litmus test by which to determine what things are rude. What if many people find medieval/renaissance style weddings unpleasant to watch? What about that infamous goth wedding from the archives? What about a bride with a purple mohawk and extensive body tattoos?

What if the couple decided to have a water gun fight on the lawn for photographs? (Well away from guests so there's no accidental spray.) Would that be rude also?


Because, to me, it looks like assault, even if they've both agreed to it.  Having "obey" in the wedding vows simply is not in the same field, or having a "goth" wedding where I don't find the WP's attire to be appealing.

I would definitely think less of a HC who did this, and might consider whether I wanted to continue the friendship.

You would reconsider a friendship with a couple that got a little frosting on each other's noses playfully during a mutually agreed upon 30 seconds of silliness during their wedding?

Well, to be fair, the original Dear Abby letter spoke of smashing cake that ruined makeup and dress, so not really a little frosting on the nose.

Personally, for me, I might not intentionally reconsider a friendship, but I  would definitely think less of a couple who did a full on, commando assault cake smash.

kareng57

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Re: Dear Abby and the Wedding Cake Smashers
« Reply #77 on: October 01, 2012, 11:04:22 PM »
Just because it is a wedding custom for some, doesn't make it less rude.
The dollar dance is a wedding custom too.

The dollar dance is rude because it solicits money from guests. This is apparently rude because 'it's unpleasant to watch'.

'Unpleasant to watch' is not a good litmus test by which to determine what things are rude. What if many people find medieval/renaissance style weddings unpleasant to watch? What about that infamous goth wedding from the archives? What about a bride with a purple mohawk and extensive body tattoos?

What if the couple decided to have a water gun fight on the lawn for photographs? (Well away from guests so there's no accidental spray.) Would that be rude also?


Because, to me, it looks like assault, even if they've both agreed to it.  Having "obey" in the wedding vows simply is not in the same field, or having a "goth" wedding where I don't find the WP's attire to be appealing.

I would definitely think less of a HC who did this, and might consider whether I wanted to continue the friendship.

You would reconsider a friendship with a couple that got a little frosting on each other's noses playfully during a mutually agreed upon 30 seconds of silliness during their wedding?


No - from what I understand, cake-smashing is basically grinding the cake into the other person's face, not a "little frosting on the nose".  In my day, "feeding each other cake" was quite common ( we did it) - just holding a little bit of cake for the other one to taste.  (Granted, this was easier with fruit-cake which was the most common cake in Canada 30+ years ago).

The cake-smashing - yes, I would.  IMO it indicates a lot of immaturity, obviously you don't have to agree.

Raintree

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Re: Dear Abby and the Wedding Cake Smashers
« Reply #78 on: October 01, 2012, 11:58:42 PM »
I had never heard of this custom until I read about it in a Dear Abby column. I can't see the humour in it myself, but to each his/her own.

JadeAngel

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Re: Dear Abby and the Wedding Cake Smashers
« Reply #79 on: October 02, 2012, 12:29:01 AM »
It would depend, for me, entirely on the context. In a case like weeblewobble's story where the bride clearly wasn't in on the plan (if there even was a plan) I would be offended on her behalf.

But if the HC mutually agreed to cake smashing - and left their unwitting guests out of it, then I would perhaps not find it charming, but since it was their decision to do it and they seemed happy with it, I wouldn't think it was my place to object.

Personally I can't see myself smashing the cake at my own wedding (and waste perfectly good cake? Are you mad?!) but each to their own I guess.

cheyne

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Re: Dear Abby and the Wedding Cake Smashers
« Reply #80 on: October 02, 2012, 01:07:59 AM »
Would it offend me?  No.  I am not offended by things people do to themselves, as it's not my place.  I do think it's a bit immature and many times is a PA jab at your new partner (especially when we're talking about a full-on cake slam).

This is definitely a "First World Problem" as the saying goes.  In the 3rd world countries I've lived in no one would dream of wasting food.   The costs associated with a wedding/funeral are often borne by the entire extended family and they would be highly upset at such wastefullness.

Emmy

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Re: Dear Abby and the Wedding Cake Smashers
« Reply #81 on: October 02, 2012, 01:13:12 AM »
I don't think the cake smash is rude if both parties agree with it.  A lot of things are uncomfortable to watch that are not technically rude, so I don't think that aspect alone would make it rude.  I also think there are degrees of cake smashing.  Slamming cake into each others faces or throwing it across the room at each other is obnoxious and crosses the line in my opinion.  Smearing a little icing on your SO's nose comes across as playful and fun.  Although it hasn't happened at every wedding, some degree of cake smashing seems to be typical at most weddings.  Reading this and talking to people, I think most people don't enjoy the cake smashing except for a vocal minority.  I also have to disagree that cake smashing is always a passive-aggressive way of expressing their contempt.  That may be true in some cases, but for others it may be a way of being silly and giving the crowd a laugh.

At my wedding, DH and I talked about it ahead of time and agreed on no cake smashing.  There were several reasons.  I didn't want to ruin my dress, hair, or make-up.  Cake smashing just isn't that funny to me and I wanted a loving gesture.  Neither set of parents liked cake smashing.  Some of DH's friends were changing 'smash' and then booed us when we didn't which was really tacky on their part.  I feel for brides who have husbands who want to be 'the man' to their friends and get a few laughs at the expense of their bride (and I feel for grooms in the same boat).  I would lose a lot of respect if DH had smashed cake in my face.  I think it is rude for either the bride or groom to smash cake against the other person's wishes or do it in a way that might cause injury or send cake flying onto bystanders.

Kendo_Bunny

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Re: Dear Abby and the Wedding Cake Smashers
« Reply #82 on: October 02, 2012, 01:14:05 AM »
Personally, for me, I might not intentionally reconsider a friendship, but I  would definitely think less of a couple who did a full on, commando assault cake smash.

This whole thing made me decide that if/when I get married, my best friend's brother is not on the guest list. He's generally a nice man, and his wife is sweet and charming, but during the one wedding I attended where he was also a guest, he was loudly encouraging a cake smash, for the groom to take the garter off with his teeth, and tapping his glass to get the couple to kiss whenever he could. He was not drunk, but he's always been a boisterous type, and I could tell his wife was getting embarrassed. I wouldn't reconsider friendship with him, but I would definitely leave him off my own guest list, as I do not want to participate in any of those "traditions", and I would be uncomfortable having any guests loudly encouraging me to engage in them.

squeakers

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Re: Dear Abby and the Wedding Cake Smashers
« Reply #83 on: October 02, 2012, 01:21:00 AM »
_I_ smashed him.. minimally.. and would have been fine with him going overboard.. it was all in fun. He smashed me a tiny bit. It made me a bit sad cos all the weddings I had been to before then both parties had smeared the cake across both people's faces. But he tends to the cleaner side of life.. and not as spontaneous.  Which is ok cos he balances my spontaneity and carefree out.

He had already been married.  He had already had the full Catholic wedding.

This was my wedding.  A JoP and a reception for friends and family. No white dress, no veil, no honeymoon.

The smash to me represented the fact we would never take much seriously (other than those pesky adult things we had to).  That we had decided to marry in joy, laughter and fun. And that now and then either of us would have to take and do the not so fun crap: vomit cleanup, job loss, disease, diapers and oh so many other things. It sort of represented the marriages I had witnessed .. and most lasted 20 to death years.

Must have worked out ok.  This January will be our 20th anniversary.
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poundcake

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Re: Dear Abby and the Wedding Cake Smashers
« Reply #84 on: October 02, 2012, 04:36:40 AM »
Quote
Cake smashing just isn't that funny to me and I wanted a loving gesture.  Neither set of parents liked cake smashing.  Some of DH's friends were changing 'smash' and then booed us when we didn't which was really tacky on their part.  I feel for brides who have husbands who want to be 'the man' to their friends and get a few laughs at the expense of their bride (and I feel for grooms in the same boat).  I would lose a lot of respect if DH had smashed cake in my face.

I think this is the essence, not parsing out the specifics of how "serious" or "formal" a wedding and reception are supposed to be.

Like I said before, I'm sure some couples could mutually Cakesmash and it would be fun and funny for them. But more times than not, it seems to reflect some sort of aggression, hostility, or power play on the part of one partner over another, or a buckling to peer pressure over respecting the wishes of one's partner. That doesn't seem like a healthy reflection of the marriage. I also mentioned before that most of the family weddings I've been to involved the Cakesmash, and it wasn't just the smashing that was a problem, it was the demands after (usually toward the bride) that she "lighten up and learn to take a joke!" A couple times, there was also the Groom's friends' follow up that the Groom was now "whipped" and "all the fun is dead now!" since the bride was unwilling to let herself be violently covered with food when she'd taken great care with her appearance, and then be photographed like that. At my aunt's wedding to her second husband, he very aggressively smashed the cake in her face, and she immediately retaliated, both of them laughing. She made a big point afterward of telling everyone how funny it was and how glad she was that the groom could be playful like that, etc. She even said that laughingly years later, how cute it was and lightened the mood. It was only years later, after they divorced, that she told me that, at the time, she was really very disturbed by the Cakesmash and felt pressure to spin it as funny and cute, because she didn't want to ruin their wedding day or upset her guests. So she "put on a happy face" and acted like it was some special rite of passage instead of a very disrespectful and unloving act that indicated scores of other disrespectful unloving acts from her Ex.

In related news, I have decided that Cakesmash is my new band name.

MariaE

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Re: Dear Abby and the Wedding Cake Smashers
« Reply #85 on: October 02, 2012, 04:39:17 AM »
If both parties are in on it and like the idea, then I think it's fine, and while guests might think it's tacky, I can't see how it's rude.

However, in the cases where one person doesn't want to do it and is either 'convinced' or surprised then it's just horrible :(
 
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Corvid

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Re: Dear Abby and the Wedding Cake Smashers
« Reply #86 on: October 02, 2012, 08:12:28 AM »
I can't see the happy couple smashing cake into each other's faces as any more of a wedding custom than the Macarena.  It's a trend that only started what, maybe twenty years ago?  I agree with a previous poster, I think it's become cliche and trite.  It wasn't really that amusing when it first started but at least it had shock value then.  If someone decides to do it at their wedding that's their business, just as it is if someone decides to walk around with silky pink panties on his head, but yeah, I find it less than appealing.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2012, 08:40:31 AM by Corvid »

VorFemme

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Re: Dear Abby and the Wedding Cake Smashers
« Reply #87 on: October 02, 2012, 08:43:14 AM »
There are certain activities that are fine if two consenting adults engage in them.  But if one of the parties does not consent (we won't go into other changes to that sentence because they are no longer etiquette but legal situations) - then it is not "fine".

If the one member of the Happy Couple looks really distressed by having cake up their nose, in their hair, or all over their clothing -  then starts bleeding, crying, or having hysterics - then there should be an immediate apology from the other member of the Happy Couple.  If anyone says "Can't you take a joke?" that is a red warning flag - if it doesn't warn of a potential abuser, it certainly warns of two people having some extreme differences in their approach to life - so different that - well, that maybe they shouldn't have gotten married BEFORE they worked out how their personalities were going to interact day in & day out.
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ettiquit

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Re: Dear Abby and the Wedding Cake Smashers
« Reply #88 on: October 02, 2012, 09:12:12 AM »
I think cake smashing is mildly tacky, but it's not anywhere near the same thing as crude games during an inappropriate occasion (like a formal bridal shower where many of the guests would be uncomfortable). I've never liked cake smashing, but that's why we didn't do it at my wedding. Unless he shoves it down her dress and then licks it off, I don't see how it's anyone's business to be offended by it.

When you ask them to become your audience I think it does become their business to some degree.  A tradition of love and caring that is switched into a trick/aggressive act can be uncomfortable to watch.  I tend to find movies and tv programs where somebody is embarrassed  uncomfortable to watch, even when others think it is humorous so I usually opt out of those entertainment options.  I think it makes a lot of guests uncomfortable to be set up to witness cake smashing.

Haven't read past this - but I wonder if you have the same "syndrome" as my DH.  We call it the "Three's Company Syndrome".  DH can't watch that show because the majority of their humor is based off of uncomfortable/embarrassing situations.  He literally has to look away from any show that has that kind of humor because it bothers him so much.  It's definitely something we can control in our own home, but I don't think my DH would think that his issue with those kinds of situations can be catered to in the outside world.  I do sympathize with you though!

WillyNilly

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Re: Dear Abby and the Wedding Cake Smashers
« Reply #89 on: October 02, 2012, 09:19:38 AM »
I think there are two issues with the cake smash, and they are being squished into one and muddying the waters so to speak.

One issue is of consent.  To witness a cake smash when there is not equal and total consent, is an act of aggression.  And a terrible terrible thing to bear witness to as a guest.

The other issue is of appropriateness.  That one is a more fluid line as to what crosses the line - some people think the line lays between no smashing whatsoever and any smashing whatsoever, others think there is a degree of smash that is acceptable.

For me that line is based on the first issue (aggression level) but also an intimacy/casual level of the event.  I think what a couple can happily do in private or in a very casual situation (at home, at a picnic, at a beer-out-of-red-Solo-cups-party) is not necessarily ok to do at a formal wedding.  That level of intimacy/casualness isn't limited to cakesmashing either, although it includes it.  It also includes the type of kissing and PDA a couple engages in, the type of language used, the level of drunk one gets, the appropriateness of actions like licking ones fingers or using the sides of their fork to cut their food instead of a knife, etc.

So if someone is having a more casual, more beer-out-of-red-Solo-cups-wedding, a wear jeans and flipflops wedding, a back yard finger-licking BBQ wedding, well then so long as the first issue isn't an issue (both B&G agree on the level of smash) then ok, smash away... and maybe witness a groom pinch is brides butt, or an open mouth kiss, or shots or keg stands being done.  But I think once you start getting into ballrooms and gowns and tiaras and tuxes and limos, cakesmashing is behavior at odds with the event being held. 

And I think if the wedding is somewhere between the super casual event and super formal event, well thats where that fluid line - always first and foremost based on consent - starts moving.