Back in my day—ten whole years ago—wedding planning was somehow, impossibly, even more frustrating than it is now. But in another way, those pre-Instagram pre-Pinterest days were simpler. Now that I’m an old married and an internet granny, gather round, children, while I tell you about it.
On the one hand, we had literally no resources to tell us how to actually plan a wedding—I’m talking nary a spreadsheet, y’all. (We also had to walk uphill both ways to our venues, in the snow.) But on the other hand, we also didn’t have social media. There was no Pinterest. Or Instagram. I mean, hell, there were barely smart phones. And I’m not sure which form of wedding planning is more emotionally difficult—the no information blind, or the I-need-the-perfect-photo bind.
When my friends started getting married a few years ago, I noticed a sharp uptick in Instagram worries: Will my wedding match up with all the inspiration on my feeds? Will my photos be good enough to share? Is everyone going to think we’re cliché for having a donut wall? (Spoiler alert: no.)
Though typing that out, I realize those worries are actually just the same old worries from 2008, repackaged for a new audience. (In 2009 we had wedding blogs. Before that, wedding magazines. In some ways the world never changes.) And because I am now An Old who has seen many weddings come and go, I know better than to tell you none of that matters, because that will never be true.
No, how your wedding looks is not the impost important thing you need to be worried about. But on the flip side, it’s also fair to want your wedding to look nice, and to want a few solid photos that capture the magic of the day. But the problem, in the age of Instagram, is that with all the visual inspiration floating around, it can be really hard to discern between, “It would be really nice to have a lovely bouquet because I love flowers and want them to look nice,” and, “If my bouquet isn’t as big as my head, did I even get married and will anyone else care?”
The best way to get perspective on what matters and what doesn’t is to talk to recently married folks who have their heads screwed on straight. (And be wary of advice from the industry. Don’t ask me how many times I’ve scoffed at wedding advice from wedding professionals that basically boils down to this: “You should spend more money on stuff I’ve made a career out of because it matters that much to ME, so it obviously matters that much to everyone.”)
And you know who my favorite recently married folks are? You. So let’s help out the newly engaged folks who are swimming deep in the Instagram the waters. Did you feel pressured by Instagram to have an #amazing wedding? Assuming you did a few things just for the ’gram, what felt worth it (kickass sparkler exit?) and what consumed your brain for months on end but ended up falling into the why did I even category in your post-wedding come down? (I’m looking at you, perfectly crafted wedding hashtag.) And if Instagram is really getting you down in your wedding planning journey, let me just remind you right here: there’s always that handy little uninstall button on your phone. Just throwing that out there. But for the rest of us, let’s talk the good, the bad, and the inspo.
Tell us about your experience planning a wedding in the age of instagram. What pressure did you feel that wasn’t worth it in the end? What did you do for the ’gram that you were happy about? Did Instagram help you plan your wedding in a way that felt BENEFICIAL, or did it all feel a little too much? What are your tips for the soon-to-be-weds?