Weasel words are phrases that appear to have meaning but convey nothing tangibly are my least favourite phrases. “Growth was solid last quarter,” or “many people believe,” are easy ways to show that you don't have all the words ready. Which is fine, but we're allowed to take time with our words so we say meaningful and beautiful things with this short life we've been gifted.
Weasel words are everywhere in regards to weddings and the wedding industry. Some of my favourites:
"Looking for an affordable (insert wedding vendor here) ..." as if we are to know what you deem affordable. Did you know there is an affordable Bugatti? It's the Bugatti Veyron for just under $3 Million which is an absolute bargain compared to the top of the line Bugatti La Voiture Noire for closer to $20 Million. Those prices make Britt and my Mazda CX-5 that we share look like a steal.
"We're on a budget ..." like everyone on the whole planet is?
"Weddings are so expensive ..." which is quite ignorant of the fact that when you host a wedding you're essentially opening a pop-up restaurant of your theming and style for one night only in your honour, on a night that many other people are taking the same action. But the main reason they seem expensive is because weddings aren't provided for by large corporations offering finance and credit deals, and wrapping it in well oiled sales materials. Weddings are created by small or solo businesses creating good, honest, beautiful work. They'd probably seem a lot less expensive if we had a finance officer in-house offering you a 10 year personal loan on the whole deal.
"It's just one day ..." which is true of every other day you'll spend on planet earth. The beautiful thing about a wedding is that we have - thanks to social convention - been given permission to speak truthfully, honestly, and nicely to everyone fir "just one day" which is something we should cherish before we get to the day after your wedding when we speak in platitudes and hide our vulnerabilities for a while.
"Destination weddings - because who doesn't want to combine marriage vows with a group vacation guilt trip?" Life is a sensory experience. What we see, smell, hear, feel, and taste all forms our lifelong memories, so sorry for creating such awesome exotic overseas memories?
My hope is that you can join me on the anti-weasel word train and we start finding the meaning and purpose in every sentence, that all our words would be a gift to each other, and that you might join me in the adventure of today.
I've been collecting everyone's email addresses for a while now, not wanting to be annoying or "just another email" in your inbox. I know I already have to apologise to my friend Steven for sending yet another email, but personally I love a good email and I hope mine are a blessing to you.
My favourite topic to write to is to solve problems, conundrums, or ideating around creativity. Hit reply with your wedding problems, let me help you find the good place.
My two favourite things to write about are weddings and storytelling - particularly around audio like radio and podcasting - but I'm feeling that this newsletter will focus on weddings, so if you're not interested then please don't stay subscribed for pity, your unsubscribe is welcome, you'll find the link to do so at the bottom.
💍 Josh Withers is an Australian wedding celebrant based in Hobart who travels the world every week creating meaningful, fun, and honest marriage ceremonies for adventurous couples just like you.