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Wedding Overexposure

This weekend, I was chatting with a friend who’s a new convert to wedding blogs. After she dismissed APW as “Too wordy.” (Ha! True!) we started discussing another wedding blog that we both adore. And she neatly pin-pointed the single biggest problem with, well, wedding blogs. She said, “I don’t know. After a while everything just starts looking the same, and I’m rebellious so I think, “I’ll do it differently! I won’t even HAVE flowers at my wedding! And then I realize I am going crazy.” And indeed, right? It made me think of Verhext’s post on culling desire, and the ways that images endlessly tumbled mean something, and don’t, and finding the way through this thicket of inspiration to our own hearts. So I was thrilled when this wedding graduate post from Lauren, the wedding planner behind It’s Quintessential, popped into my mailbox this week. It helps us think through when inspiration helps, and when it doesn’t, and when you just need to gut check already (hint: probably now).

Yesterday I came across this article on Overexposure at Little Green Notebook and it struck me as a topic that really reaches into all sorts of design including weddings and events. Are we overexposed? The social web is an amazing place full of endless possibilities and it truly brings the most up to date trends, ideas and inspiration right to your fingertips and eyeballs. The possibilities are endless when you’re researching your wedding theme, colors, flowers, dress, cake, ceremony reading…the list goes on and on.

Are the possibilities too endless? Do you ever find yourself scrolling through pages of google search results for wedding ideas and you see so many amazing things that it is flat out overwhelming? You like the look of a loose bouquet of wildflowers but you also love the structure of a graphic bouquet of all red roses and then you see purple and your brain says “well I love purple too.” Do you shut off, are you overwhelmed? No, you’re over-exposed.

After working in the wedding industry for years I knew exactly what I wanted my wedding to be and look like. I wanted simple, classic, elegant and most of all, I wanted it to be relaxed. I did not want a lot of color, I wanted neutrals, an outdoor setting, simple bouquets and centerpieces that reflected who I am, just a simple, quiet girl with a classic sense of style. That’s how I think of myself any how.

Once I started receiving questions from my guests on what I was planning, it became clear that they were expecting my wedding to be extravagant, over the top and completely up to date on the biggest trends. They were taking my profession and translating what I do for others into who I am. Truth be told, I was intimidated. I knew they expected amazing things, after all I work on amazing events, I create amazing things for other people and I love every minute of it. I let myself worry about what they would think when my little wedding didn’t hold up to their expectations, I worried quite a bit and then I just got to a point where I told myself “it’s my wedding, I’ll do what I want to.” And I did.

I used white roses and ferns and lots of greenery – not trendy and definitely done before. Heck I even let my bridesmaids design my centerpieces without much direction because it was fun and they loved it- frankly I didn’t care if they were perfect. I didn’t want to spend money and time on creating my best work for my wedding. I wanted it to be comfortable not only for my guests but for me.

It was beautiful, and while I’ll never know how people felt upon their first impression, I know that I heard amazing things. Most importantly, there isn’t a thing I would change. I loved it, all of it. Even looking at pictures when I see the centerpiece that didn’t have the right balance and it looked wonky, I know my friends did it and they had fun.

{Wonky Flower Balance – no this doesn’t pass at anyone else’s wedding, just mine. :)}

I let it be all through the reception and yes, a little part of my brain said, “walk over and move that rose a tid bit so it looks like someone with a little knowledge designed that piece,” but I didn’t, I let it shine with all of its imperfections. I truly believe that all of the compliments I received were because I stayed true to who I was. I did not let the most up to date ideas and the pressures and expectations shape my vision, I shaped it from the inside.

The Solution To Over Exposure: Gut Check

So, as you look through all of the crazy ideas out there, do they speak to you, do they reflect who you are, do they help identify you? If they do then that’s your vision, that is where you need to let yourself go, relax and know that this idea is perfect, this is truly me and I don’t care if I’ve seen this on 400 blogs, I love it and I’m going to do it.

Don’ t buy into anything you don’t love. You’ll waste time, effort and lots of money. If you are unsure take it as a sign, it isn’t meant to be. Don’t let other people’s opinions, especially your bridesmaids, mother and family, sway your theme. It isn’t their wedding, it’s yours. On that note, don’t be a bridezilla either, no one wants to deal with that.

If you feel like things you love have been done too much and you are just copying someone else’s ideas, remind yourself that the majority of your guests don’t read wedding blogs and don’t buy bridal magazines. They may not have ever seen – ball jars, tea cups, balloons and tissue paper poms. You see them everywhere you look because other brides like them, you’re allowed to as well. Just because it seems like someone else’s idea does not mean you can’t adapt it for yourself. Go with who you are and do it unabashedly, don’t apologize, don’t agonize, live into it. Stay strong. I guarantee you’ll look back and be thrilled you did.

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