It’s a funny thing, the landscape we live in these days. It looks very different from just a few years ago when I got married. And I’m not just talking about the fact that the word “blogworthy” exists as a thing now. I’m talking about the fact that photos and videos are now uploaded almost immediately after your wedding to social networks like Facebook and Instagram, most of the time without your consent. We’ve gotten to the point where privacy is no longer a respected concept. And where we feel rude for asking people to take things down, detag, or resist posting in the first place. And it’s not that we at APW take issue with sharing in and of itself (um, obviously we think sharing is lovely and we do it all the time. Storytelling can be a powerful medium for those who choose it.) It’s just that we think you should have the right to dictate your comfort level with what and how much of your life gets shared. Maybe you’re OK with All The Things being out there. Or maybe you’re like Carolyn and feel like you don’t owe the internet a damn thing. The point is, the choice should be yours.
Depending on your standards, we had either a small, medium-sized or large wedding. Clocking in at about 125 guests, I’d say it was a Goldilocks-sized wedding (just right). Whatever the number, it was the people we carefully chose to celebrate our union, the beginning of our next chapter, the beginning of our family.
And I’m sorry Internet, but that just doesn’t include you.
I know. That makes me a hypocrite. Every day I dutifully read, smile, laugh, and cry with your weddings. And I love it. I like looking at the pretty pictures and reading the touching, sometimes crushing, stories. But for some reason I just can’t reciprocate. It’s not that I don’t like you, in fact I’d probably really relish in the validation the “Exactly!”s would give me. It’s just that it feels too private, too personal to let it all hang out.
My fella and I aren’t shy, quite the opposite. While there were no flashmobs or cartwheels down the aisle, we both enjoyed the attention and fell back on our extrovert tendencies to dance and sing and schmooze all night. But I still have a gut check when I think about putting my hundreds of photos on Facebook or submitting them to my favorite blogs.
Does this make me selfish? Or self-preserving? Do I owe it to the community (literal and Internet) the visual and emotional payoff you deserve for tolerating me through months of giddy excitement and leadup to the big day? Sorry, but I owe you nothing. The Internet was not a plus one at our wedding. I suppose this isn’t fair of me, when I turn around and ask to see your weddings. But this is how it has to be for now. I haven’t yet fully sorted out my feelings about how all weddings, mine included, are so intensely private but at the same time completely public displays. So I reserve the right to change my mind, and maybe down the road I’ll want to show off my wedding that I love so much. (And if you’re really curious, you’re welcome to come over to flip through the album with me over some gin.)
Let me be clear though, I’m not judging you, Internet, and in fact I’d be sad if I didn’t get to see your sweet, loving, baby families. You’re obviously not gauche wedding oversharers. You’re classy and sassy. Aren’t I? What gives? What’s my problem? I think that day, the wedding, it feels so perfect in my mind. It is perfect in my mind. The memories are exactly as I want them to look and feel forever. The hugeness and the intensity of the day is too delicate to be Internet fodder. I’m terrified that whatever I share, and whatever feedback I receive, good or bad, will alter my reality. Don’t get me wrong, I want to show you my photos, tell you my story, but even more than that, I want to protect the perfection and guard it from the world. Maybe keeping private is just a manifestation of wanting to protect my baby family that I love so fiercely. Dear Internet (even nice, safe, friendly APW corner of the Internet), you feel like wedding paparazzi, and I don’t want to let you in. Our wedding was ours and it was perfect. You’ll just have to trust me.
Photo by: Calin & Bisous (APW Sponsor)