Thursday, November 4, 2010

blog-worthy, shmog-worthy

Is it just me, or is this whole idea of having a blog-worthy wedding getting a little out of hand?

We went through a bit of this nonsense when were at the height of wedding planning. (Okay, I say "we", but really, I mean "me" because Mr. FP could care less about having a blog-worthy wedding. He just wanted to get hitched and eat food.)

With the hundreds of websites dedicated solely to wedding inspiration and the hundreds of others which constantly feature gorgeous "Real Weddings", the concept of having a wedding beautiful enough to be plastered all over the internet is permeating the online wedding community like never before. And it's crazy. It's stressful. It creates goals that are often unattainable for the average couple.

Given our $6,000 budget, we were never going to have a blog-worthy wedding, and eventually, we came to terms with it. Would it have been nice? Sure. But you know what was better? The fact that our wedding reflected who were really are and having a little bit of money left over at the end.

So when I see wedding blogs or other websites promoting the idea of the ideal wedding, it makes me a little nauseous. It makes me ill because I think about how pressured we were to conform to the world's idea of what a wedding really was. The idea that other couples are going to have to deal with similar pressure and stress is maddening.

When I see articles on Etsy pushing the blog-worthy wedding nonsense, I lose a little respect for a site that typically encourages that we associated the word "wedding" with the word "handmade". Don't get me wrong, I love Etsy, and I love wedding inspiration, but I hate the idea that a couple in the midst of the craziness that is wedding planning might see it and feel pressure to conform to the idea of a stylish wedding that nears perfection.

Their advice is a little scary sounding to me:
"Caroline offers advice on how to style your own wedding photo shoot and tips on how to help your photographer achieve the look you've dreamed of."

Honestly, my beef isn't with Etsy. Or even with most of this article. Some of the advice is decent. Being flexible, for one. Good idea. For the most part, my frustration is directed at articles that are worse than this; this one was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Really, it's the articles that make it sound like having a stylized wedding is the only option out there that kill me. W
ho the hell wants to spend the months, weeks, days before their wedding worrying about whether or not their wedding will have been stylized properly so that they get exactly the type of photos they want? Um, not me. Those weeks will be crazy enough without the added stress of trying to make you wedding look like the ones the WIC spits out.

Plus, the thing the WIC won't tell you is that the photos they're showing in shoots like this were set up months in advance. The various components were carefully scrutinized and the details were all meticulously planned.

Hey! That sounds a lot like a wedding! Couples plan, they scrutinize, they work on these details for months too! So what's the difference between the two? Why can't weddings all turn out like these photo shoots if we work hard enough to achieve that result?

Because weddings have real people. And they happen in the blink of an eye. You can't re-do your first kiss 60,000 times until the photo looks exactly how you want it to. There's no do-overs when it comes to the the special moments of your wedding. You can't do them over and over and over again until the photos captured look like a magazine. Well, I guess you can. But you'd be crazy. And where the hell is the fun in that?

Real weddings don't look like this.

They do, however, look like this...

and this...

and this...

... and this.

They're messy, they're spontaneous, they're weird, they're beautiful, they're constantly moving and changing and they won't slow down for you. They won't stay on hold while you make sure your photographer captured the moment exactly as you imagined it.

So do yourself a favor and don't imagine anything.
Okay, that's a lie.
Imagine your wedding until you're blue in the face.

But instead of imagining what the photos will look like and whether or not it'll be blog-worthy, imagine the things that really matter.

Imagine how in the moment you'll feel.
Imagine how surrounded by love you'll be.
Imagine how much love you can spread around to your partner and those who have gathered to celebrate with you.
Imagine the end of the day when it's just you and your partner and you're happy that you had a wedding that genuinely reflected who you are as a couple.

'Cause those are the things you can't capture on film, and that's the stuff that really counts.