Wedding Liberation Philosophy by Meg Keene Dear Internets- What is it about weddings that collectively ties our knickers in such a knot? Ideas? Because for-serious, the process of getting married subjects one to more bossing around then the rest of life combined (with the notable exception of having a baby). Make it bigger! Make in smaller! Real Brides do it this way! Etcetera. So, I have decided that the world is ready for the launch of a new idea. I call it Wedding Liberation Philosophy, and it goes like this: leave us well enough alone, stop making us feel guilty for this or that, and let us throw a nice sensible wedding that makes us feel happy inside. Full stop. Somehow, in our mad rush away from the bossing of the wedding industry, I fear that we stumbled into the trap of bossing ourselves around. We’ve gotten stuck between a rock and a hard place. The wedding industry tells us, “If you don’t serve tri-tip, don’t bother having a wedding,” and we tell ourselves, “If you don’t self cater you’ve sold out.” The wedding industry yammers, “Vera Wang! Amsale! Monique Lhuillier!” and we tell ourselves, “Practical brides make their dresses. What’s wrong with me?” The wedding industry screams “Kate Spade! Christian Louboutin! Milano Blahnik!” and we ask ourselves “If I don’t get married in Payless shoes, what will that say about me?” Sound familiar? I am of course not suggesting that we all drop our practical plans and run out and arrange to serve tri-tip, wear Vera Wang, and buy Christian Louboutin’s. Ick. But I am suggesting that we all remind ourselves that the point of getting married in the first place it to make ourselves and our loved ones very happy, and then resolve to be kinder to ourselves. Wedding Liberation Philosophy is this: every wedding is different, every couple is different, ever family is different. Within sensible boundaries, do what makes you happy, not what people tell you should make you happy. I’ve written about two low-budget weddings (this lovely forest fete and tomorrows wedding) where the brides saved money on the side and bought lower cost Vera Wang’s. Is that what a budget wedding checklist would tell you to do? No. Did it make them happy? Yes! Do I think it’s awesome that they knew themselves well enough to figure out what the heck would make their wedding sing, and they did it? Yes! I for one am tired of sitting up at night wondering if hiring someone to style my impossible hair on my wedding day would make me a sellout. I’m tired of wondering what people would *think* if I wore expensive shoes that I bought on sale. All of this worrying and nonsense makes me just as tired as wondering if people will think we are cheap because we arranged the flowers ourselves, or my sister made the wedding dress. So this is my message to each of you: you are kind, sensible, thoughtful people. You know yourselves. You know your family. Trust yourselves. When you figure out what will make you happy, reach for it. Lets liberate ourselves. With Deep Admiration, Meg Meg Keene Founder & Editor-In-Chief Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. She has written two best selling wedding books: A Practical Wedding and A Practical Wedding Planner. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and two children. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com.