If the wedding planning galaxy is a weirdo cosmic circus into which no woman is adequately prepared to be flung until it’s far too late, Martha Stewart Weddings magazine is that galaxy’s big fat Jupiter: Dazzling and marbled with soft, undulating peachy-pink colors on the outside; turbulent, full of hot air, and marred with an ever-churning gaseous storm system that could swallow the entire Earth whole without even batting a single spacelash on the inside.

Here are the insanest things from the Spring 2015 issue.

1. A Cubism-inspired Escort Card Display (Page 103)

This is the intro page for the Good Things section, but it is really more of a Distressing Thing. What, what, what am I looking at? I’ve stared at the photo of this escort card display for probably three hours (at an airport, on a plane, in a subway—all places where I do my best thinking), and it still makes no sense to me. Where does it end, where does it begin? Why does it have to be so sharp? Who has time for this? Why anything at all? This wedding is over.

2. This Step-and-Repeat with the Bride and Groom’s Name All Over It (Page 104)

Right around the corner from Cubist hell, we see the second-worst idea Martha has had this spring: A wall covering emblazoned with, what else? The names of the happy couple! In this photo alone, “Allison and James” appears what feels like 40 times, and one can only imagine what lies beyond the step-and-repeat. An Allison and James tattooing station. An Allison and James virtual reality booth, where you can pretend to be Allison and James for 15 three-dimensional minutes. An Allison and James face transplantation pod, where you can finally become the Allison and James you’ve always wanted to be. Plus Allison and James napkins, photobooth props, and Cubist Escort Card Display.

3. This Flower Crown-Wearing Donkey at a Real Wedding (Page 128)

What went into this decision? Was “put a flower crown on donkey” on the showrunner’s to-do list? Probably right after “Set up ice sculptures in toilets,” but before “Nail all chairs and tables to ceiling and set DJ on fire because literally 0% of anything matters anymore now that I have designed a wedding where a farm animal wears a flower crown.” In the writeup for this wedding (North Carolina, 100 guests, rained but was so much fun no one noticed!), the bride says, “The wind was blowing and the cows were mooing… You could feel the love.” But what of the donkeys, you ask? They remained silent and still, their heads heavy under the strange weight of ranunculus and eucalyptus, feeling a mysterious, dark sensation they, mere donkeys, couldn’t define: shame.

4. This Advertisement for a Casket-Liner of a Wedding Dress (Page 264)

There is so much to fear about this dress, featured in a Cristiano Lucci ad. Its skinlessness. Its plush shantung skirt, with pleats so deep and defined they look like fingers reaching up from a hand in a hole that reaches all the way down to hell, where Satan himself is grappling at this poor woman’s torso, mistaking her for dead, like, “Girl, you belong with me!” Oh, and that sad little built-in beaded belt, which is struggling and failing to define this woman’s waist, and that sad little illusion lace top, which I know was sketched up in a boardroom. You can hear the designers now: “This is subtly sexy! This is a modern bride!” Even the color of this dress is a hollow white—empty like a corpse’s eyeball. No, no, no, a thousand donkeys in flower crowns no.

5. This Palm Springs Real Wedding Featuring Synchronized Swimmers (Page 312)

If you have a low tolerance for some real bullshit, please stop reading, because this 4,000-day wedding bonanza in a desert will blow your brains out and replace them with a teensy succulent. A midcentury-and-pastels-infused “wedding vacation,” this event had everything and more: a poolside reception with mismatched chairs, “air ferns,” music swiped from the how-it’s-made video that came with the groom’s Prada shoes (IDFK), a cake topped with origami gemstones (goodbye), pink sea salt favors, a random stack of plates with a single flower head on top. But the crown jewel of this what-even-are-we-here-for-again? The synchronized fucking swimmers. That were used. As decor. For a wedding. “Nothing says ‘midcentury’ like synchronized swimmers,” jokes the bride in the magazine, as if stopping at an Eames chair would have been too trite.

And one actual Good Thing: This Perfect Floral Bustier Dress (Page 336)

Ohmigod, all is forgiven. This dress is life.

Images via Martha Stewart Weddings.


Lauren Rodrigue works in advertising in New York City and is marrying a total babe on July 16, 2016. Tweet her at @laurenzalita.