What Happened With I Stopped Reading Wedding Blogs*


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

Remember back when East Side Bride was my first wedding graduate ever? Her first piece of advice was this:

1. Don’t go overboard with the wedding blogs. I know‌. right? They will give you a complex.

At the time, I knew it was good advice, but I wasn’t quite ready to take it. I was still at the sucking-in-wedding-inspiration-with-a-straw point. In fact, I might have been mainlining wedding images into my veins. But whatever, it was TOTALLY HEALTHY, and I DID NOT HAVE A PROBLEM, thanks. I was reading wedding blogs, I was buying wedding magazines, I was under the impression that I needed to maintain some sort of physical wedding “binder,” whatever that was, and even though I was very unclear what I was supposed to be putting into it, I was carefully sticking in images and forms and the like. I was on the job.

But then, one day, something changed. I noticed that 9 out of every 10 wedding blogs/magazines were not making me feel excited about our wedding, they were making me feel tired and overloaded and like I wasn’t living up. Another white dress, another set of favors (and you know favors drive me over the edge), another set of bridesmaid dresses. So I decided, I was going to take East Side’s advice, as an experiment, and stop. I took every wedding blog that didn’t make me feel excited and engaged off my reader. Done.

At first, I didn’t notice anything much. I felt safe and comforted in my little wedding cocoon. I felt like we were all in this together, and everything was going to be just fine. I started feeling very secure in our choices. But I didn’t think much of it. So one day, I was sitting in front of the computer, a bit bored, and I decided to browse on over to some big-wedding-media.

And my eyes popped. You should have seen the astonished look on my face. After a few months of no contact with standard-issue-big-wedding images, the type of weddings you often see had gone from seeming aspirational – what we were all supposed to be living up to – to flat out bananas. Everything draped in pink? Lots and lots of things that inexplicably matched? Endless handmade details all woven together into a overarching theme? Chandlers in the TREES? Instead of seeming delightful and quirky and well thought out, all of this seemed totally out of hand.

Now, none of this is to say you shouldn’t read wedding blogs (achem). None of this is to say you should all have weddings just like mine, or just like each others, or that you can’t have chandeliers in the trees if you want to. BUT. BUT. I think it’s important for each of us to think about what wedding inspiration we’re consuming, and how it is making us feel about ourselves. I talk a lot about how we should find a way to not judge ourselves as we’re planning our weddings, and I really believe that. But I do think that the big-money, big-time, big-energy, One Perfect Day, Your Big Day, The Best Day Of Your Life, The Details Really Matter concept of a wedding that is taken as un-questioned gospel in large parts of the wedding world is damaging. I think it is actually emotionally warping, and is bad news for our sanity, our relationships, and our wallets. It takes our eyes off the prize, it makes us focus on parts of our wedding that really don’t matter (like the favors) instead of focusing on parts of our wedding that really do matter (like the ceremony, or spending time with our loved ones). I think it’s damaging because it makes brides think that they are less-than when they can’t live up to the $100K weddings they are being spoon-fed.

So. Take a moment to think about what wedding magazines you are reading, what wedding blogs you are reading, what images you are consuming. If they are making you feel good about yourself and your decisions, and giving you inspiration and energy, keep reading them! But if you find yourself thinking, “Those brides are out of my league” or “I’m never going to live up to that” or “I’m just not that chic” or “Oh my god, we’re so not doing this right” or “I really want this simple quick wedding, and I guess that’s impossible.” Then step back. Because you are amazing. And you’re going to do it your way, and that is so much better than doing it someone elses way.

And if that’s still not enough, East Side Bride just followed up with some tips for when wedding blogs are getting you down. Yeah. She’s a smart lady.

Now go spin around in your dress, boogie around your living room to your favorite song, kiss your partner, and pour yourself a drink. I think that’s the feeling you’re going for.

*Not all wedding blogs, obviously. Just wedding blogs that didn’t make me feel excited to be myself.

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/05098729708314853961 MWK

    Oh, amen. I had to stop looking at most blogs (and I can’t even open Wedding Magazines) because it was making me feel stressed. Not this one, though! This one makes me happy.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12997875522614810785 Mouse

    you tell it!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06939935590766216936 Bridechka

    I have certainly felt that way before: overwhelmed and just generally kicked in the shins by the WIC but I always turn off the computer (put away the magazine) and give the Big Guy a huge kiss and it makes me feel better … but now I think I might take east side’s advice and put on my dress and jump up and down and dance around the room instead!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12051581432652556410 Marina

    *CHEERS*

    As I’ve hit the four month mark to the wedding, I’ve found a lot of wedding blogs more frustrating than inspirational. I’ve already sent the invitations, so any pictures of those will just make me feel frustrated or disappointed… I’ve already picked the venue and the food and the dress, and I’ve decided not to have a photographer so I -really- don’t need to be looking at amazing photographers who are way out of my budget in the first place…

    Anyway, my point is that after a certain point, “inspiration” isn’t a good enough reason. Right now I’m looking for encouragement and ways to keep myself on track with what I already know I want–which is why I’m going to keep reading this blog right up til the wedding itself and probably for quite some time afterwards. Thank you very, very much for that. :)

  • Becky

    Wow…thank you for this. At the five month mark I really need to break the blog habit. Most of my projects have been decided upon and it’s time to move on. I never really got into wedding mags but I did go overboard with blogs. For the last year I would add blog after blog to my reader. It’s to the point that I feel stressed if I don’t keep up, I think that was my first warning sign. My second was when my fiance got me a new leather office chair for my birthday because he said I was at the computer sooooo much!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02250503517378674296 Annie

    Seriously, thank you for this! You’ve voiced my opinions exactly. When I was first engaged, I went out and bought tons of wedding magazines and checked out lots of wedding books. I took them home, opened them up, and then couldn’t sleep for a week! We all need to keep our hearts in the right place, and do what makes us happy.

  • pdxKate

    Thanks for posting this. Your words are very timely for me. I was just starting to worry (literally last week) about whether what we were doing was going to be enough (and ultimately second guessing myself and the decisions we made months ago re: favors, etc.)

    I think what we are doing is awesome and I am going to stop worrying about it. I have bigger fish to fry — like all the little things that need to happen in T-Minus 33 days! Thanks again!

  • http://www.julierandallphoto.com Julie

    Excellent advice. I remember one instance of blog-reading when I was engaged – one commenter was noting with annoyance that the bride in the featured wedding was wearing a dress that she’d seen in *so many weddings this year* and I just about screamed. It can be difficult to remember that your guests won’t be thinking that they’ll throw up if they see another peony or that same dress again…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05532197787877824868 Becca

    Oh Meg – your blog is such a breath of fresh air and inspiration, beyond simple wedding planning. Replace “bridal” magazine with “women’s” magazine and the advice remains the same – step away from the pages and you’ll forget that your fashion/face cream/life choices are somehow defective and a little bit sad. Somehow I learned that lesson about women’s magazines back in college but became a sucker for their grown up cousins the wedding magazines. After I had a minor WTF (silent) fit about a possible vendor a few months ago it felt good to quit the women’s mag-type wedding world cold turkey for a while. Hooray for sanity!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04345801201339179433 Jessica @ Mason Jar Bride

    YES. Thank you. even in my own wedding, which I would consider to be very non-traditional and pretty anti-WIC, I still get caught up in all the different ways that we can be different, be creative, unique, etc. I’ll admit I’ve gotten addicted to keeping the numbers down on my reader… and maybe it’s time for me to just let certain blogs go. as lovely as they are, I think I’ve pretty much reached an inspiration saturation point. and I know our wedding will be just fine without them. Keep the sane advice coming, sister!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18182268757502634911 sera

    Again, Meg you’re my hero. You have said exactly what I’ve been thinking. No matter how much I read about the big weddings, I just get frustrated because not only can I not afford all the stupid details (aka favors – even if I handmade them, why – just like the invites, they’re going in the trash) and my venue and food are already chosen with deposit paid, (there are no inexpensive backyard weddings within the Seattle city limits because I don’t have friends or family with a yard that will hold 100 people – I am not the daughter of a tycoon) but I keep second guessing myself because I’ve never done this before and hope to never do it again. All my decisions start to seem sad and pathetic and I throw up my hands and get depressed and yet I keep clicking.
    Thank you for the encouragement – obviously yours is not the blog I will cut out of my reader.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08842191847941847564 Bride in Exile

    I bought 2 wedding magazines right after I got engaged and had a great time flipping through them with my girlfriends. But two months later I was looking for airplane reading and picked up the newest issue of “Brides” … and realized I had no desire to pay $6 to read any of the articles or look at any of the pictures, even though I hadn’t done anything important re: the wedding and could, in theory, have used some suggestions on flowers/dresses/cakes etc. I haven’t touched one since.

    Now that we’ve got almost all the big choices nailed down, I try to avoid too much “wedding porn.” I’m a worrier by nature and I’ve learned to avoid anything that will make me second-guess myself. My biggest challenge has been weaning myself off of online flower photos, since I don’t have to tell the florist exactly what I want until a few days before the wedding!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14434478092385025445 Neko

    I agree completely! At around the four month mark, I started getting really down on the planning process. I was having a lot of health problems and going for minor surgery and I just couldn’t deal with the wedding pressure. So I took a few weeks off the blogs, because they started to feel a lot like work.

    Just recently, I swore off all but three, and kept only the ones that don’t make me feel bad about myself (or talk my ear off for thirty posts about the minutia weddings of people I completely don’t care about – I just don’t have time!). It’s been so much better! I think there are a combination of factors, but not comparing my upcoming wedding to everyone else’s helps for sure.

    Of course, I really appreciated a lot of those blogs earlier in the process. Thanks to posts on blogs I came up with a lot of neat details that never would have occurred to me, and that have turned out beautifully. So there’s definitely a balance to strike there.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12896712080089419898 Michelle

    BEST. POST. EVER.

    I couldn’t agree more with every word in this post. My dress cost $200 off of the formal wear rack at David’s Bridal. Recently, even yesterday, I was actually crying, CRYING, b/c I thought my wedding would be awful if I wasn’t going to wear a $6,000 dress.

    I mean, seriously, who am I becoming?? A crazy person, that’s who.

    I’m clearing off the tear-inducing blogs off of my reader RIGHT NOW.

  • http://accordionsandlace.wordpress.com/ accordionsandlace

    I have never bought any wedding magazines, and I agree on the blogs–they’re so instant they’re almost more “addictive”. I was just ranting about this to my mister the other day–that blogs ultimately should be a great tool for marrying couples, since they are meant to be written by real people and so they should be the great wedding equalizer, you know? In the end, it’s just more overstimulation. Which is why I recently started my own blog (haha) hoping to make it a more sane, reflective space (much like this blog).

    I think these spaces are very valuable in that it’s good to have a sort of virtual “consciousness raising” about how weddings makes us feel nuts, and force us to navigate the spectrum between “it’s normal to care about it being pretty and fun” and “my napkins have to match my invitations or else I will cry.” I actually think we need more blogs that allow us to share how hard it is to navigate the world you’re describing.

  • betty lee

    oh my dear.
    i can always leave it up to you to smack some sense into me. thanks again. you are a doll.

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

    Yes a drink! (If you drink.) There’s no wedding-blog malaise a good bourbon can’t cure.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11371172824707301749 Cate Subrosa

    Hurrah!

    You totally hit it on the head (and made me laugh) with “Lots and lots of things that inexplicably matched” – that’s what I don’t get about a large proportion of weddings I see online.

    I remember when one of my friends asked what we were doing for favours and I said, “I dunno… I don’t really get the point of favours, it just seems like more stuff, y’know?”

    She said, “I suppose it just depends on what’s important to you as a couple” (with perhaps a gentle implication that we were weird because it wasn’t important to us…?)

    Now I realise that yeah, it really does depend what’s important to you. And I doubt you gave dinner party guests a party bag before you got engaged.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07060319143401207739 greenbaybungalow

    once again. thank you!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04137547398982007429 Mellyelle

    I seriously keep my wedding blog reading to spaces like this. I’ve avoided all the others. It’s the ONLY way I keep my sanity; comparison to others will drive you nuts. My rule of thumb has been to delete any “candidate” links after we’ve made a decision; e.g., we picked our photographer, so I no longer look at other photographer’s Web sites. I’ve chosen the invitations, so I no longer look at invitation sites. Otherwise I’d keep second-guessing my decisions, but I learned that I’m always going to find pros and cons to every choice I’ve made, and every one I could make, and that there is no RIGHT choice, just the best choice for us.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18209861350905135093 LPC

    The whole “details” thing? Details make for great photos. I would hazard a guess however that they make 1/100th of the impact that the place, the food if you feed people, the laughter, the weather, the company make. The word “details” becomes one of those loaded terms, fraught with meaning and if you pardon the hyperbole, menace of sorts.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12038539163583576117 Marian

    This is excellent!

    Thank you for posting this!

  • Peonies and Polaroids

    I never once bought a wedding magazine. I looked at them in shops, unable to stop myself reading them but I always put them back feeling slightly sullied.

    Wedding images are so addictive, so irresistible but so bad for you. wedding porn is not mis-named.

  • April

    Sing, it sister. I freakin’ love your charming blog. It and my photographer’s are the only ones I read. I gave up all the other ones long, long ago when my pulse started going into the stratosphere upon seeing hi-low centerpieces, perfectly “cohesive” decor, and dozens of pairs of Louboutins and couture gowns.

    Ahhhhh… better now. What’s that saying? Less is more? I quite agree.

    Thanks, Meg – for keepin’ it real. REAL KICK-ASS!! :)

  • Cindy

    Great article! I stopped reading wedding blogs/magazines (except yours, of coz) for months now coz they made me feel stressed and inadequate…
    but yours, your blog makes me feel happy and remind me to focus on the meaning of the whole wedding. :)
    keep it up!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09362546313509286754 Amanda

    Hehe, I was thinking the other day how glad I would be when I could stop reading *those* wedding blogs. Thanks for the reminder that I don’t have to wait until the wedding is past! (As if they were even mandatory to begin with :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06467940961095330146 Maggie Mayer

    This is an awesome post. I started commenting but it got so long that I posted it here! Not to lead people to yet another blog… :P

    Cheers, Maggie.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02567097973987043341 Lauren

    You posted this just as I was stressing over how another wedding blog was featuring DIY favors (which we aren’t having anyway!) Flavored Sea Salt for your guests? Photo coasters? Farewell Bells?? Really? Thanks for the dose of sanity!

  • Lizzie

    Awesome!!!!!! So right on, Meg. I used to throw up a little in my mouth every time I heard “the wedding will be the BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE”. Yuck! But as a wedding graduate now, I must say it’s a little bit true. But not because of any bling, or veil, or matchy matchy color scheme. It was one of the best days of my life because I felt so loved and supported by the 80 people who surrounded us — it was a total high. (And p.s., I’ve given birth too, which I always figured was way more important than a silly wedding — and it is, but it does not make for a better day!)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03962618261188782090 Liz

    YES! I found that I was feeling grossly inadequate! The major wedding sites were really fun to look at initially (just because I had no idea how many sane, down-to-earth blogs like this one, were out there, with but I find that as time goes on I visit them less and less often automatically.

    and PS, how in the world does that stuff inexplicably match?! Oh right, they have promised their firstborn to someone…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13122922933209011787 Jennifer

    This post is great and so true. Thank you for your amazing wedding blog that always makes me feel happy every time I look at it. I’ve stopped looking at most wedding blogs/websites as well and it’s made me feel so relaxed. I’m happy to say your blog is one of only 3 wedding blogs I read and certainly my favorite of all.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17999264774530749624 rebekah

    Playing the devil’s advocate here! I, of course, am of the opinion that wedding blogs do help during the planning process. I planned my 2007 wedding without ANY blog help and it turned into something that wasn’t quite me and was certainly more than I wanted to spend. I know that if I had read blogs I would have had the knowledge to plan a wedding that was simpler and more “me” than what I ended up having. I had no idea you could do cupcakes instead of a cake. Or wear flats instead of heels. I went straight traditional, because here in Alabama that is all that is done. Part of the reason we started EAD was to show brides that they do have options. Judging from our comments, emails and readership statistics, we are helping quite a few brides do this.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09526722516550185150 Meg

    Rebekah-
    This post is in no way a judgment of you, or your blog, or any particular wedding blog. I do, after all, write a wedding blog, and I read a number of wedding blogs, and I’m close friends with a ton of wedding bloggers, all awesome people. I think wedding blogs can be a great part of the planning process, but there can be a flip side that we as wedding blog writers, and me (and the greater we of readers and brides) need to be very cognizant of.

    Meg

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06600102866395830627 Julia

    *squeels*

    meg I love you! You lift my soul so much.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04102578317964586849 Katherine

    this made me get a little teary eyed and stop and take a deep breath. thank you.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03669329005714480404 Brenna

    Wow. I’m way late on this one, but still had to comment. I read through some of your words like a check list: inferiority? Check! Stress? Check! Tiredness? Check!

    Every time I read the phrase “it’s all in the details” my stomach tenses up a bit. I’m living overseas from my fiance right now, and we’re getting married in five months. It’s hard to stay away from the pretty pictures, but I think I do need to step back. Because even though I’d like to think that I can read them without feeling like a failure, I’m not sure I really can.

    Thank you. This made me feel a lot better.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00970286718955585276 Nicole

    Thank you. Seriously, thank you.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05468157848813659240 JennyUsagi

    Considering this is the only wedding blog I’m reading… I think I have this covered! ;)

  • http://weddingskulls.com Wedding Skulls

    Great post! As the writer of a wedding blog, I must confess I went through the same period of stopping reading the blogs alltogether when they made me feel awkward and stressed about my wedding.

    I try really hard to run a blog that focuses on the personalities of the people involved and on wedding shopping and wedding crafts that you’ll cherish for the rest of your life – not just stuff. I think that really helps people to see the bigger picture.

    Like some people have said – a wedding blog has to be about more than just inspiration, because there comes a point when every bride (or groom) has made the decisions, and they’re ready for new things to be excited about, like their marriage…

  • http://blog.loveliette.com jen

    this is perfect and well said, thanks!

    i found myself addicted to wedding blogs, seriously, that's what it felt like. and yes, i started to feel overloaded and exhausted. it was hard to shake (I kept thinking, i just need to read one more post – what if i see THE thing that i need in my wedding in that post??)

    then i go to the opposite end of the spectrum and just want to run off the vegas and elope. the funny thing is, although some inspiration is helpful, i knew what i wanted all along. i suspect most women do. :)

  • Lindsay

    I wish I found your blog months ago, when I started to plan my own wedding. Those blogs (plus a lot of other things) almost ruined me! Granted I found a few good ideas from them, but I am proud to say that my fiance came up with most of our awesome “totally us” details. With less than six weeks to go now, I am still working to control my anxiety but I will not go back to those blogs. I have struggled mightily during the planning process to keep our wedding simple while fighting those inner demons that came out when I looked at the so-perfect, so-creative, so-romantic, so-beautifully photographed weddings featured in the blogosphere.

    It was reaffirming to read this post. You may have written it more than a year and a half ago, but it still holds true today.

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  • confused

    Thanks for this. I think that the more time we spend on these blogs, the more confused and indecisive we become.
    I started to “raise the bar” and think, my wedding needs to be just as awesome and perfect as that one, or “Why didn’t I choose that vendor/ colour scheme/ dress/ favour/ (endless list) instead?”
    It starts to drive you crazy!!!
    I think it all has to do with this competetive, selfishness within. Aren’t we constantly fed, “This is the one day that you get to be selfish. It’s about you…”. And we start to believe it. But at what cost? I want my wedding to be the best that anyone has ever been to. It has to be better than _____… And whether we’d like to admit it or not, it has to stem from this.
    All I know is that I don’t want to be someone who looks back on my wedding with regrets and wishes that I hadn’t snapped at my mom and put pressure on my fiance to be more involved in the endless list of “essential” things to be done for this wedding.
    So true that we need to be preparing for a lifetime of marriage and not just one day of perfection.

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  • helen

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