Starfish have been a major ecology example to me for a while and that is the realm I usually associate them in. That was until I started planning this wedding. I am on theknot.com quite a bit and am utterly perplexed by the amount of women who use them in their beach wedding decor. There is a common thread post asking how to get rid of that stinky fish smell their starfish have from when they were delivered. The posts rarely asks why they stink because folks don't care, they don't need to know that. When I first began knotting I would answer why they smelled (basically decomposing tissue being fed on by bacteria) to "ease" people's minds and then suggest they air them out. It seemed like my words fell on deaf ears because I rarely received comments. I actually found and do find the use of starfish in wedding planning to be really disgusting.
People will use whole dried starfish on invites, place settings, and even cake toppers... yucky, yucky, yucky. A whole dried starfish is essentially similar to a mummified human or other organism. I live in south Florida and occasionally geckos and anoles get into the house but don't make it out. When we clean we'll find a lizard corpse and that is what a starfish is like. I however am not going to put a decaying lizard on my wedding cake. I would do a vampire bat skull because they are super cool, but I only feel that way because of my zoology background.
One of my other issues with the use of starfish is wondering how they are harvested. I imagine tanks of critters being raised so that they can die and be bagged because they come pretty cheap via a number of decor companies. When I order organisms to study and dissect in labs they are available via scientific suppliers and you better believe I give students a speech about taking the dissection seriously or needing to leave the class because organisms were sacrificed for their education. However weddings... a completely different animal. I don't think that people are bad for using starfish. I just figure that they don't want to think of starfish decorations as once being living organisms that are decomposing through their wedding process. I have said it before, the sanest bride can throw her sanity out the window when preparing for a wedding. I am no different, I am doing things that are beyond what the simplest of weddings dictate.
I actually like starfish images like these made of candy and sugar. Just not the kind made of 100% real starfish tissue.
So this is my post today. I guess my birthday wedding-related wish. I would like folks to at least think about the origins of their wedding decor before purchasing them. My fiance also knots and he has stated similar views to mine and has been attacked by women going off about how he is mean and only there to try to make people feel bad. It seems that this is not a subject you bring up to a web forum of brides-to-be, sort of like how you don't bring up the subject of being fat to a pregnant woman. I don't claim to be a saint with my wedding planning either. If you are talking about using animal-based resources we are serving ceviche, jerk chicken, cake and ice cream at our reception. I think that can be as disgusting as putting a starfish on your wedding cake to a vegan.