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 knowâ€Ś. 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.