How did people plan weddings before the internet? The internet is where I’ve found our venue, our photographer, and our invitations. The internet is where I’ve learned about the whole range of weddings, from super traditional black-tie to super offbeat steampunk cosplay. The internet has allowed me to write this blog, it’s allowed me to collaborate and get help from other women planning weddings around the country. It’s definitely made things easier in so many ways.
But. As with all things on the internet, it’s not all good. I think that seeing so many weddings online, presented without their flaws, without their mishaps, creates a kind of competition that didn’t exist as much before. I mean, I’m not a competitive person when it comes to stuff like this (with pretty much anything else, it’s a different story). But even if I were competitive with my wedding, I would have a hard time finding very much to compare it to. My friends’ and family members’ weddings have all be pretty spread out. But with everything on the internet, I could compare my wedding not only to my friends, but to strangers as well.
Also, there is just so much wedding stuff on the internet that it’s easy to get wrapped up in the wedding bubble. What did I do before there were pictures upon pictures upon pictures of weddings to look at? Oh yeah, I had other interests. Interests I’m rediscovering now that I’m taking a break from planning (and the Olympics definitely help with that). It’s easy to feel like everyone is talking about weddings all the time. And they are, as long as the only websites I’m looking at are wedding blogs.
The internet has added a lot of pressure, I think. There’s all this pressure to have your wedding exactly reflect you as a couple and your quirky interests. Pressure to make things handmade and personal. Pressure to have a unique wedding, and this is where I think the internet severely misleads us. Chances are, the guests at our wedding are not spending every afternoon looking at pictures of Mason jar centerpieces, wacky photo booths, and brides wearing cowboy boots. So even though trends may seem overdone, that is only in Wedding World. From the real world, where everyone else lives, those trendy features probably seem pretty unique and personal.
It’s an interesting process, planning a wedding. For me at least, it seems to involve a lot of sifting through the external expectations, pressures, and insecurities to get down to what I really want. I might be naïve, but it seems like that might have been easier without the internet. On the other hand, I love seeing other people’s weddings and getting ideas from it. And sites like Offbeat Bride have enabled me to let go of others’ expectations for our wedding.
I guess internet wedding planning is like anything else, right? Try to keep the good, let go of the bad, and remember: your life is your life. You don’t have to compete with anyone else.