LOVE/HATE: The Auto Abuse Tradition Edition

What do you get when a bunch of boisterous boys pop out of your wedding reception with car markers, silly string, and sticky notes? You get this:

wedding getaway car

According to the blurb written by the anonymous bride or groom, most of the sticky notes survived the drive home and it took more than an hour to remove them all from the getaway car.

Is this funny or cause to be furious? I suppose it depends on how easily sticky note adhesive washes off of a car’s exterior. The Beard and I did not get to experience the “pleasure” of driving back to our hotel post-wedding in a humiliatingly decorated vehicle because the vehicle we were using was my dad’s and he would have given anyone who dared to sticky it up the serious beat down.

Now I’m all for being the center of attention… I love standing in the spotlight, in fact! But the tradition of decorating the wedding day transportation the bride and groom will use to get home, to a hotel, or to the airport has always struck me as a little bit less than thoughtful. If it’s a hired car, the newlyweds may have to pay a cleaning fee when returning it. If it’s their own car, they’ll have to clean it themselves or pay someone else to do it. My guess is that new brides and grooms have better things to do and better things on which to spend their money.

Me? I hate this silly tradition. Still, I know that it’s all in good fun and that many newlyweds (and their wedding attendants) view decorating the getaway car as an integral part of the wedding day. What say you?

15 Responses to “LOVE/HATE: The Auto Abuse Tradition Edition”

  1. I’m with you on this one, NtB. Not a fan of this tradition AT ALL. We had a rental car for our getaway car and also had a ridiculously early flight the next morning. Our groomsmen/bridesmaids had decided not to do decorate the car at all so we woudln’t have to clean it up after the wedding or before our flight, but my older brothers were not having that. The groomsmen managed to keep the “damage” to a minimum and they gallantly offered to clean it up quickly during the after-party we had, which I thought was awesome. But, captured forever on our wedding video is me, after walking through clouds of bubbles (also not my idea but the pictures are really cute) uttering the phrase “Oh Sh!t that sucks!”

    We like to keep it Klassy… 😉

  2. Natasha says:

    I like small decorations. A bow or banner tied to the bumper. A sign in the window. Something cute and tasteful. If I came out of the reception to something like the above picture, I would be annoyed and insist that someone else do the dirty work of cleaning it up.

  3. blablover5 says:

    I’d say that it depends on the person and the level. Neither of us wanted it and thank God no one did it.

    But for our friends wedding two weeks after ours we had a window marker (I have no idea who thought to give us one or why but I guess every newlywed needs a car window marker to make other peoples likes miserable) and we just wrote some simple things like “Just Married” on the back window.

    It was less of a let’s try to embarass and make their lives hell than it was a lets help them celebrate.

  4. Twistie says:

    Mr. Twistie sent out the word well in advance to ANYONE on the guest list he thought capable of hatching a plan to sully his beloved classic Mustang that there would be bloodshed if anyone did ANYTHING to that car.

    Funny thing. People listen when Mr. Twistie says stuff like that. Maybe it’s because he’s very big and looks threatening to people.

    Me? I’m not a fan but I wouldn’t have gotten too bent out of shape at a couple crepe paper ribbons or balloons. Much more, and the perpetrators would have had one seriously pissed off Twistie to deal with. As it was, I was just as glad not to have to spend my wedding night cleaning a car. We had far, far better things to do. And we were taking said car to Canada in the morning.

    One cautionary word to those who do like this tradition, though: make very sure you have the right car. Mr. Twistie and I attended a wedding once where the wedding party did a sneak attack on a guest’s car by mistake! It looked just like the groom’s car, but he’d parked well away in hopes of foiling the folk who wanted to cover his baby in crap.

    And so it was that some poor random guest drove away in a car covered in junk that proclaimed his just married state.

  5. Kai Jones says:

    At my first wedding they did our car twice. Once at the wedding and cake reception, which we cleaned off by going through a car wash on the way to visit his grandmother in the hospital, then again after the dinner party that evening, at which point I burst into tears of exhaustion.

  6. Melissa B. says:

    Hate it, hate it, HATE IT. Do I want to be cleaning crap off my car on our wedding night? No, I do not. At all.

    If someone writes “Just Married” and puts balloons or bows on the bumper, OK, that’s cute. But if someone went all out and completely trashed the exterior of our vehicle, I would be seriously annoyed.

    Another tradition I hate: trashing the bride and groom’s hotel room. When my now-matron of honor got married, the bridesmaids’ gift to her was a honeymoon suite at a local hotel for the wedding night. We all arrived at the hotel that morning to decorate the room with candles and roses and put a bottle of champagne in the fridge, but the woman at the desk was very nervous about letting us in the room because previous bridal parties had caused mischief and mayhem, in some cases doing things like stripping and hiding the bedsheets. Not the room a tired couple wants to come home to. And who ends up cleaning the dirty drawings off the mirrors? The staff, of course.

    I probably sound stuffy and uptight — I’d like to think I’m neither of those things, but creating giant messes that other people have to clean up really doesn’t appeal to my sense of humor!

  7. Twistie says:

    Melissa B., I know a couple who refused to tell even their parents where they were spending their wedding night for fear of retribution for all the short-sheeted beds, shaving cream legends on bathroom mirrors, strategically hidden rude noisemakers, etc. they had inflicted on other couples over the years.

    I’m with you. That stuff is Simply Not Funny.

  8. MEt says:

    I don’t mind it if it is tasteful and doesn’t damage the car. We used white bars of soap on the windows of my friend’s car and it was taken well. Soap is great because it is water soluble so it comes off fairly easily. The best part of our design was writing a word backwards ont he sunroof sot hey could read it when they were inside.
    We also tied cans to the back license plate frame (the bumper was plastic) most of which came off in the drive we made them take around the block.
    Of course, we did it the day after the wedding at the fiesta, when the bride and groom were less stressed, well rested, and not in a hurry to get anywhere.

  9. Toni says:

    Ugh. HATE. People used spray whipped cream on our car, and when we went through the carwash it just got all smeary.

    If you MUST do something, get those plastic cling window decals.

  10. carrot says:

    Oh, God. The shame, she returns. I once participated in “decorating” the getaway car. Between the wedding and the reception a few of us snuck off to the drug store and bought some shaving cream. During the reception, I had the job of distracting the happy couple while the others defaced the car. As it turned out, “defaced” is exactly the right word. Someone smeared some of it and realized the shaving cream was EATING THE PAINT. They immediately started frantically cleaning it off, so the damage was minimal, but we still had some explaining (not to mention apologizing, self-abasement, and abject begging for forgiveness) to do. Luckily it wasn’t anybody’s dream car, just the bride’s ancient college-years clunker, but still!

    Since then I’ve been firmly in the camp of NOT decorating the car.

  11. La BellaDonna says:

    I LOATHE any and all “pranks” which are supposed to be so funny, and depend for their impact on humiliating, embarrassing, inconveniencing, or otherwise distressing people. You want to tie ribbons onto the handles and some flowers on the antenna? Awesome. Easily removed, pretty, inoffensive. Anything else, and you’re not doing it for the bride and groom. Can anyone PLEASE explain to me how you are “helping a couple celebrate” by reducing one or both parties to tears? That’s no kind of celebration, to me. Preventing exhausted people from getting some sleep? Destroying property? Maybe making the bride and groom miss a connection on a trip? The hell? What’s the purpose of that?

    Kai, I am SO sorry. That was really cruel of them. What was that supposed to accomplish? Make the bride cry? Very fucking festive, I’m sure. I’m sorry about the swearing, NtB, but I’m NOT sorry about the sentiment. And I don’t care if it makes me sound stuffy, either. If anyone’s idea of humour is based on cruelty, it doesn’t appeal to me, and a LOT of these pranks seem to be based, ultimately, on thoughtlessness at best and cruelty at worst.

  12. Melissa B. says:

    Twistie — so they’d inflicted these “hilarious” gags on other couples, but when it was their turn, they suddenly didn’t think it was cool anymore? Figures.

    I get that people who pull these pranks usually aren’t trying to be malicious, they just find these things really funny, but seriously, put yourselves in the couple’s shoes (or the hotel staff’s shoes) before you start plotting about how to fill the backseat of their car with whipped cream and cover their bed with Silly String. Someone’s gonna have to clean it up, you know!

  13. Twistie says:

    Yeah, Melissa B., I thought that was interesting, too. Though in the bride’s defense, she’d done a heck of a lot less pranking and on a far less intrusive level than the groom’s. I think he was flat out terrified of what might be done in retaliation for some of his less savory ‘jokes.’

  14. La Petite Acadienne says:

    Let me join the stuffy choir on this one. Some balloons tied to the car antenna, and maybe a few tin cans tied to the bumper for an old-fashioned touch? Festive and fun. But, like ALL wedding traditions, you always have people who just have no sense of appropriateness, and always take things way too far. It definitely pays for the groom and bride to tell any potential pranksters ahead of time that there will be no tolerance for those types of shenanigans. And if the groom and bride aren’t intimidating enough, get the groom’s and bride’s fathers to do the job.

    And if worst comes to worst, hire somebody very large and scary-looking to guard the car. It’d be worth the $100.

  15. Valirae says:

    I always thought I was the only one who honest-to-God hated this “tradition”.
    This. This is why I love Manolobrides. You guys are awesome.

    These people come to the wedding and/or reception, enjoy themselves, eat the food, and then disrespect their hosts. I’ve never understood why people tolerate that. Especially when you’re talking about the ones that are really nasty about it. Decorating the car with condoms and drawings and phrases when they know there’ll be children at the wedding/reception.