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You Are Not A Bridal Island


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

You Are Not A Bridal Island | A Practical WeddingSo, I’ve been thinking about “DIY Weddings,” and I think that “Do It Yourself” can be a bit of a misnomer. The idea of a bride sitting at home doing everything on her wedding by herself makes me a little sad. Weddings can be one of the greatest excuses in our lives to get our communities together. Its a great time to get our kick *ss friends and our crafty family members together and helping out.

The traditional wedding idea perpetually floated by the bridal media is that your wedding is a great day, because it’s the day that you get to be a bridal dictator of your own bridal island. Ick! Who wants that? So lets collectively just skip the bridal dictatorship idea, and move on to something a little more healthy. How about instead of Do It Yourself weddings, we have Do It Together weddings? And since weddings are all about weird acronyms, we can call it DIT.

When David and I made it clear that we were all up for having people help out on our wedding, we were surprised at the talents people came forward with. My sister revealed she could letterpress (who knew?) and offered to make my veil. Our friend Beck revealed she had some serious flower decorating skills and was willing to head up that project. David’s oldest friend Kory is taking our engagement pictures. I can’t even imagine how stressed out and crazy we would have been if we tried to do all those things ourselves.

And finally, somehow the world of weddings had turned into the worlds most competitive and guilt ridden place. If we are doing “DIY” we feel bad admitting that we didn’t DIY to the Nth degree. And you don’t have to! Simplify! Some people are up for hand screen printing all of their invites. Me? Heck no! But I do know how to print in color on my home computer, or find a print shop in my area. I’ll still save a bundle of money, and get the invites I wanted, and that is, after all, the point.

Picture of the screen printing of some awesome invites from Saricat.

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. Her first book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, was published in January 2012, and has been a top three bestseller on the wedding bookshelf ever since. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son.

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18209533406055486161 Rachel

    You know, this is great because when you are planning your wedding your friends usually want to help out anyways!!

    Even Carrie Bradshaw got a little carried away (pardon the pun) planning her wedding! It happens. What’s important is to step back from time to time, take a breath of reality, and take a look around.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06206689296805893265 east side bride

    F* yes!

  • http://twowishes.typepad.com/two_wishes Tara

    Hi there. I just discovered your blog yesterday (sorry, can’t remember where — was following a MAZE of links) and wish I’d done it sooner. I agree with so many of your posts so thoroughly.

    But this one in particular, I love! Why is the sense of community so often left out of what’s supposed to be a celebration among friends? We didn’t have as many super-star talents as you seem to have (lucky lady!), and sadly most everyone lives very far away….

    But during the wedding day, a group of maybe 10 friends and family did all our wedding decorating. It was a dream for the groom and me, to just be able to walk into a beautiful venue without a moment’s effort! And much as I felt guilty about putting people to work, the ringleader said later how much everyone ENJOYED playing a role in wishing us well and making our day beautiful.

  • http://www.thefairmountbride.typepad.com kristin @ the fairmount bride

    I have helped out my friends with decorating, do-it-yourself projects, assembling center pieces, etc. and I love doing it. I definitely agree with taking up your friends on hidden talents and offers to help! Plus, it always leads to quality time and fun stories.

  • http://www.imperfectlyperfectlove.blogspot.com Bonnie

    I have been reading over your archived posts lately to remind myself what a wedding is really about, I have linked to this post in my blog today, thanks!

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  • Outside Bride

    I know this post is older, but it just kind of taps into everything that is making me sad about my wedding planning. My beau and I work outside in jobs we love, but we aren’t rolling in cash. My parent’s aren’t super-rich, but they have more and they like to give. They offered to pay for the wedding and reception the day after the engagement. Which is great…but…I just kind of had this image in my head where we would all work hard and pitch in and there would be a wedding. Instead we are paying strangers to do a LOT of things we could do ourselves. Lower stress? Probably. But not nearly as special. It’s crappy of me to complain that we can’t have the wedding we would have if there was no money, but that’s kind of my fantasy at this point. I know the actual reality of that situation would also be stressful, but how about a meeting in the middle, at DIT? I’m seriously considering just sending them all Meg’s book, unsubtle as that may be.

    Also (pet peeve), for some reason we keep having to refer to my sister’s wedding (which was a lot more WIC-inspired) as “traditional”, implying my wish for a lower-key affair is somehow not. Drives me up the stinkin’ wall. Whinge session complete!