weddings 101

Confessions Of A Bridal-Blog Junkie

When my now-husband and I started planning our wedding, we vowed to stick to a budget and not get swept up in the materialism of marriage. We didn’t want to take the plunge into matrimonial bliss with an anchor of debt tied to our toes.

Our planning began without a hitch. We hired our friend to man the turntables and keep the dance floor packed, booked our first-choice venue and I even found a stunning gown that wasn’t astronomically expensive.

Like many brides-to-be, I spent hours poring over pictures of stunning weddings online and quickly became addicted to photos of jaw-dropping gowns, perfectly plump peonies and orgasmic candy buffets.

“It’s inspiration,” I told myself. I was committed to celebrating our nuptials within our means, but what harm could looking do?

But as I fell further down the rabbit hole of wedding blogs, ogling the lavish weddings of strangers caused unpleasant side effects.

Rather than conjuring soft-focus reveries of my own wedding, the pictures of highbrow vows and their pricey accoutrements triggered anxiety attacks as the gap between what I saw online and what we had planned for our more modest nuptials became as impossible to ignore as an inebriated best man trying to score with the bride’s cousin.

I freaked out because–eek!–we wouldn’t have custom purple reception lighting or a cinematographer to create a 16mm film, scored with cutesy love songs by Ingrid Michaelson or Bon Iver and, oh my god, a photo booth! How did we overlook that?! I feared that our day wouldn’t be as special without these wow-factor details.

A stronger woman would’ve quit the blogs cold turkey and stopped torturing herself with pictures of princess brides and their fairy-tale weddings. But I was a full-blown bridal-blog junkie.

My addiction reached its peak a few months before the wedding when I created a wedding board on Pinterest.

I obsessively pinned custom letterpress menus, DIY place cards and oh-so-coveted designer stilettos. My imaginary Pinterest wedding was spectacular, and I was desperate to make our real wedding as breathtaking as my virtual one.

One morning, after perfecting my fake Pinterest wedding until 3 a.m., I told my fiance that I was going to sell my dress. “What? Why? That’s crazy,” he said.

“I think,” I said, my voice shaky from exhaustion and my late-night Pinsanity, “I think I chose the wrong one.”

“Be confident in your decision,” he said. “You’re going to look beautiful and everything is going to be great.”

Dave’s wisdom is just one of the billion reasons why I said yes when he asked me to marry him, and that one sentence–be confident in your decision–was like the sun rising over my stormy psyche. Selling my dress (at a fraction of what I paid for it) wasn’t going to change my budget: It would only add more stress to one seriously wigged-out bride-to-be.

My rock-bottom epiphany? The endless images of ritzy weddings normalized their extravagance, and I lost sight of the fact that these were fantasy affairs designed for people with much deeper pockets than ours.

These were the Gisele Bundchens and Kate Mosses of weddings: They represented a narrow ideal, an unattainable “standard” for most couples.

I resolved, over coffee and eggs, to be confident that my once-beloved gown was indeed perfect for me: It, along with the flowers and decor that we chose, fit our personal taste and, most importantly, our budget.

I realized (finally) that our wedding was going to be the best damn wedding ever because it was ours. We would say “I do” in front of our closest friends and family, and there was no way cherry-soled Louboutins or chic Chivari chairs could make our day any more special.

As featured in the premiere issue of 2life Weddings digital magazine!

Image(s): Alloy Photography

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