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Possibly the only thing more sinister than the wedding industrial complex itself are the Instagram captions of those who participate in it. Such was the topic of a Twitter thread started today by writer Caroline Moss, who asked the internet for its most egregious marriage-related captions, and, well, it delivered. So naturally, it needed to be turned into a March Madness-style bracket.
Moss, who is the co-author of the highly anticipated forthcoming book Hey Ladies! along with Michelle Markowitz, happens to be the expert on this particular type of social media voice (e.g. “Can’t wait to do life with you!”, “My forever wedding date,” or, say, posting a photo of your bridesmaids at your wedding with the caption, “Happy International Women’s Day!”). We chatted with Moss and Markowitz over email about the immediately iconic thread, the super exciting upcoming book, and which captions are actually the most terrible, below.
But first, the official March Down the Aisle Madness bracket (and do be sure to send us your answers on Twitter):
Tell me about Hey Ladies!
Hey Ladies! is a book about a year in the life of eight friends told through a slight exaggeration of extremely relatable reply-all emails all culminating in a New Year’s Eve wedding. We started writing Hey Ladies! after we both bonded about being on what seemed like hundreds (if not thousands) of never-ending group emails surrounding friends’ weddings that all began with that familiar and terror-inducting phrase: Hey Ladies! We started writing the column five years ago for The Toast, and soon realized that writing about the stress (and also excitement!) surrounding planning one of your good friends’ #blessed events was something that bonded and was cathartic for so many women. Hey Ladies! emails usually feature one of the following: an overuse of exclamation points, an 86-deep thread regarding logistics on purchasing matching tank tops for a bachelorette party, and there’s always one friend who wants to go all out and spend a ton of money versus the one friend who is trying desperately to keep costs down.
What was your boiling point for annoying Instagram captions that you felt like, “WE NEED TO MAKE A BRACKET ABOUT THIS?”
We’re just obsessed with the weird Pinterest-y language we all tend to use on social media about weddings and proposals and engagements. It comes up a LOT in the book. Like one of the characters is constantly ending her emails with #CantWaitToBeMarried, like, girl, you’re emailing about where we’re going to brunch, we’re not even talking about your wedding.
Michelle and I have been obsessed with, “can’t wait to marry my best friend” and “can’t wait to spend forever with this one” for a really long time, but even when we did the call to action on Twitter we kept seeing the same phrases over and over again. Like, when this this happen? Someone will write an amazing anthropological deep dive on this one day but until then I’ll just be over here with my forever wedding date.
What about this tone is particularly grating?
It’s just disappointing that these are the options we’re faced with. Hey Ladies! and this bracket are both so much about the inescapable basic bitch that lives inside of all of us, like it or not. So when you’re forced to caption a really nice picture of you and your significant other, try coming up with literally anything clever. “Me and Dan on the mountain” kind of sounds like your mom labeling the back of a CVS-printed photo with a Bic pen. But then the other side of the spectrum becomes, “Lookin out into forever with this guy!” :(
Which ones are your top 2 picks?
He put a ring on it! It’s short. It provides information (it was he who proposed, not vice versa). It shows that you are cool and familiar with a popular Beyoncé song from ten years ago. You are familiar with the promo of Bethenny Getting Married where she said this phrase six million times. It’s the perfect engagement announcement caption.
So this happened... This one is playful and a bit bashful. You’re showing that you don’t wanna make a big mushy declaration of love in your engagement announcement, but you maxed out the ten swipe pics limit on Instagram so you could let the photo(s) speak for themselves.
Have you ever been guilty of using any of them?
Michelle wants me to take this question because I landed on “we’re getting married!” when I got engaged last year. I really went back-and-forth about making it funny. I almost posted “Can’t wait to do life with this guy, my forever wedding date and best friend and dream come true partner in crime and man crush Monday” but you know what, not everything has to be a joke.