Thursday, August 16, 2007

CHAT FORUMS/MESSAGE BOARDS- TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING?: PART I

For a while now, I've been lurking on chat/message boards for brides-to-be (there are SO MANY out there, it's pretty insane). From The Knot to The Wedding Channel to LI Bride, thousands of brides are logging in and imparting wisdom and relaying their personal experiences with the planning process.

I've sort of burned out on these sites, though, as the endless chatter has become, well, overwhelming.

I also noticed something which bothered me -- people were very busy giving their opinions, but not realizing (or caring) that these thoughts might hurt other people's feelings with respect to the decisions THEY made.

One site in particular was quite interesting, as they have chat boards for specific brides-to-be in NY. As I excitedly did a search for the name of my ceremony/reception site in past "threads" (See? I have the lingo down too), I happened upon one comment that irked me.

The room in which I am having my ceremony and reception is a gorgeous, turn of the century old-world room, with floor to ceiling windows, a lace/lattice-like ceiling (hard to describe unless you see the architecture), wood floors, and beautiful columns. The room is classic and elegant, without being showy, and I adore it. Most people choose a different room in this particular location, called "the ballroom" -- to me, it's claustrophobic, generic, and boring. I specifically went with a room that suited me (which fewer people use), and I am really excited about it.

One feature of the room is that it has presidential portraits on the walls throughout the room. Not many, but a good few.

One of the commenters noted that those portraits seemed "creepy" to her. I read on another thread that someone else found the entire place "stuffy".

I'm not sure why these comments bothered me - I mean, everyone IS entitled to her own opinion!

I guess that, in reading the threads and participating in some of the chats, I felt as if my own choices were being questioned. If a chat board is more critical than helpful, what good is it?

Most of the time you see "ohhhhhs" and "ahhhhhs" and "that dress is so amazing" and "your hair looks fabulous in that style" and other positive comments.

I think commenters should realize that honesty is great, but tact is terrific too. People reading and participating in posts have made decisions that others may not have made. And that's cool. But the point of these sites is to HELP rather than MAKE OTHERS FEEL BAD.

My twinge of annoyance lasted about 15 seconds after I realized how kick-ass my wedding location is.

Just thought this was an interesting topic, since so many brides-to-be seem to be logging on.

Stay tuned!

PS-Some of you may wonder "Aren't you a hypocrite The Wedding Fairy, saying you don't like a particular wedding site, after saying how it made you feel to hear that about yours?" Good point. However, in the interest of remaining completely anonymous, I have not revealed any specifics about wedding locations, plans, etc. So unless someone is a really good detective, I don't think anyone knows where I am talking about!

4 comments:

Megan said...

The thing that is most annoying for me is when people say something like "No offense but your dress looks horrible." They think that because they prefaced it with "No offense..." that they can say anything and that if you do take offense then there is something wrong with you.

Lisa said...

I just found your site tonight and have been clicking around on it for a bit...I have to ask you something about this statement:
"...people were very busy giving their opinions, but not realizing (or caring) that these thoughts might hurt other people's feelings with respect to the decisions THEY made. "
IMO, you sort of do that a lot on this blog.
For example, I had a sweetheart table and did a grand entrance at my own wedding reception, and so i felt bad when read your post on how you hate sweetheart tables and think having both a sweetheart table and a grand entrance mean you're being a diva-bride. My parents paid for my wedding and we could absolutely NOT afford to invite everyone with a guest, so when i read your posts about how you think that's terribly rude, i felt bad.

I guess I'm just curious about how you reconcile these two things- that you don't like when people make you feel bad about your choices for your wedding, but you don't mind making people feel bad about theirs.

Lisa said...

I just found your site tonight and have been clicking around on it for a bit...I have to ask you something about this statement:
"...people were very busy giving their opinions, but not realizing (or caring) that these thoughts might hurt other people's feelings with respect to the decisions THEY made. "
IMO, you sort of do that a lot on this blog.
For example, I had a sweetheart table and did a grand entrance at my own wedding reception, and so i felt bad when read your post on how you hate sweetheart tables and think having both a sweetheart table and a grand entrance mean you're being a diva-bride. My parents paid for my wedding and we could absolutely NOT afford to invite everyone with a guest, so when i read your posts about how you think that's terribly rude, i felt bad.

I guess I'm just curious about how you reconcile these two things- that you don't like when people make you feel bad about your choices for your wedding, but you don't mind making people feel bad about theirs.

Rachel Harbin said...

The greatest thing about these people that offer the offensive comments is that they will not be at your wedding!!!!! Your wedding is your day not someone else's so celebrate it how YOU want to and don't worry about what other people think, the main thing to remember is that 15 years down the road what do you want to remember?????