I’ve been trying to figure out how to write this post for a while now. It could be because its a sort of touchy topic, or at least it seems so to me. Maybe its because I’ve felt that in some parts of the Internet, I’d be shunned or banned, or responded to as if I had said Hitler was a cool dude. (For the record, Hitler — not a cool dude.)
Even before I was engaged, I creeped around on various wedding websites, getting ideas and dreaming about “what if’s” and “when we’s.” There were two main sites that I would visit, and they’re actually mirror opposites of each other. One is a very mainstream, traditional bridal website with an all-encompassing reach, looking at life after the wedding, with sister-sites focusing on the home, pregnancy, and other topics. It even has its own national magazine. The other is a funky, eccentric, non-traditional bridal website with an all-encompassing reach, looking at life after the wedding, with sister-sites focusing on the home, pregnancy, and other topics. The creator even wrote a book. I’ve spent a good deal of time on both sites, reading up on decor ideas, taking in tips to handle sticky family situations, and finding photos to serve as inspiration for our big day. However, in the last few weeks, I’ve been paying closer attention to the comment sections and posts from site moderators, and after some soul-searching (because I’m the kind of lame-o who takes personal issue with website content, spending serious time in the shower weighing pros and cons of each and mentally drafting blog posts), I’ve come to a few conclusions:
1. Both of those sites suck, but both of those sites could be great.
2. I don’t really belong with either of them.
One site provides useful organizing tools with an easy learning curve; the other has a good deal of DIY projects. One features couples and ceremonies of all types; the other has a shop to purchase decor, gifts, and other items at wholesale prices. One website doesn’t handle the idea of being an “economical” bride well; the other makes me feel like I have to apologize for working in a national chain bridal store.
I would love to have a large budget to have some reality tv show-worthy wedding, but I don’t. Even if I did, I don’t think it would be our style. I love the idea of creating our own unique snowflake of a ceremony and adding lots of personal touches to the reception, but I don’t want to do it just for the sake of being different. The truth of the matter is, while one site doesn’t offer much intellectual discussion or much in the way of supporting marriage equality, the other site, which preaches tolerance of all types of weddings, is actually quite judgey. They focus the most hate on the “Wedding Industrial Complex,” or, the WIC. Apparently, I’m a part of this and therefore a terrible person because I haven’t been able to find a job in my degree and felt like this would be an at least interesting alternative. This is where I feel caught, and why I feel that both sites, while they have their positive aspects, kinda suck.
This carries over into offline-life, too. The director of my dream ceremony venue couldn’t fathom why anyone would want to have their wedding in an underground, open, modern art gallery with sky lights. Some people can’t get past the fact that I’m not actually a fan of cake, and that maybe my groom and I would much rather have some other desert at our reception. Or, there’s the general ambivalence about our wedding until some detail is mentioned that sounds objectionable, strange, or, yeah, weird; then, all kinds of opinions are asserted. I feel like less of a bride and more like a total outsider each time I’m told, point blank, that an idea I’ve had is “weird.” It hurts.
But how do I deal with this? How do I feel comfortable not having a place to belong? I guess all I can do is focus on the people who I know care about the wedding. The ones who have shown genuine interest, and who know Brian and I best. I’m not out to plan and execute a blog-worthy wedding (other than on my own, of course). I know that in the eyes of my fiance, family, and friends, I belong, and I’m good enough. I don’t need to prove anything to any of them. Instead of trying to find a place where I fit in, I’ll just talk wedding stuff with my friends who have already been there, or are also in the midst of planning. If anything, I’ll spend more time on a website that doesn’t emphasize the idea of “community,” and features more “real” weddings. Our wedding will be a celebration of our love, with details reflecting our personalities and our relationship… even if that means its not traditional enough to be mainstream or too traditional to be funky. It will be very “us,” and ours are the only opinions that truly matter.