Hitched: Wedding Porn Burnout

Wedding Planning Sucks
Andrea started having emotional breakdowns a month into planning. Read More »

Yes, your wedding was adorable. Look at your adorable mason jar center pieces! And your adorable balloons and/or adorable take on adorable flower alternatives! And your adorable color palette! And your adorable adaptation of an adorable song!

Oh look, an adorable reference to an adorable pop culture institution, adorably personalized to suit your adorable relationship with an adorable person. Look how you adorably side-stepped tradition with an adorable and unique adorable thing that looks like all the other unique adorable things I have been looking at non-stop for months on adorable wedding blogs and ugh.

I am so tired of adorable shit. Adorable shit is making me hate my own adorable shit, and if I had to pick some favorite adorable shit, it would be my own.

I don’t know when I became fed up with wedding adorability, but I do very clearly remember a time when I loved wedding adorability. It was September. I was newly engaged, and the world was shiny and pristine, and everything related to all weddings all the time was fascinating to me.

I rushed to join OffBeatBride, virtual mecca for people who believe they are going to have the most special and unique wedding ever and who want to talk about all their special uniqueness with all the other special and unique people getting married in special and unique ways.

It was fantastic! Not only could I gorge on wedding porn, but I found a wonderful and supportive community of smart, non-judgy brides (and grooms!) from around the world. In fact, when I discovered OffBeatBride, I was still reeling from a glance at The Knot’s forums, where to join, you have to write “I will not say naughty things about the Wedding Industrial Complex” one thousand times in calligraphy on linen paper, spray each sentence with rose-scented perfume and hand-sew Mrs. Hislastname on a pair of frilly white drawers before you write your first post.

It’s not that fundamentally these two websites are so different — they’re sounding boards for thousands, probably millions, of people planning the exact same party — it’s just that the one I prefer is for people who believe their wedding can and will be different to all the gazillions of other weddings in the Western world, even though that is demonstrably false, because a wedding is a wedding is a wedding. I mean, even this incredible Chinese martial arts New Mexican wedding with a Buddhist ceremony is really, obviously, clearly a wedding with wedding things happening at it, massive dragons notwithstanding.

And I think that may have been my mistake: after months of wedding porn, I believed that anything about my wedding was really going to be interesting or different. All this effort, all this adorableness, all this DIY, all this vegan-humanist-woodland-ceremony-whatever, all of it ends up looking like a church wedding with a hotel reception, because you honestly cannot have a wedding that doesn’t look like a wedding, no matter how hard you try.

So, can we accept something, us getting-married-people? Can we accept that we are doing something totally boring and unoriginal? It must be similar to having a child in this way. Even though human reproduction is basically the most popular and common thing in the whole world, we all know people who believe their pregnancy is the first one ever and only slightly less relevant to the interests of the world at large than the Virgin Mary’s.

But for real, getting-married-people — and I’m talking specifically about the heterosexual folks among us — we are boring as hell. We are doing a thing millions of other people do, even if we do it in a red dress or if we don’t have bouquet toss or if we ask people to donate to the ASPCA in lieu of gifts. Believing that our shit smells different is, I think, where a lot of pressure to perform the “perfect” ceremony — whatever that means to you and your friends, family and cultural group — comes from.

I’ve written before in this column about my uber-stress levels with regard to wedding planning, and once I finally admitted to myself that I was sick and tired of wedding porn, and even sicker and more tired of adorable wedding porn, the uber-stress shrank to manageable levels. Why? Because I accepted the fact that my special, adorable, unique DIY wedding will look like a Capital W Wedding, no matter how much Patrick and I Tiki-theme it up or how many frozen yogurt machines we rent for the reception.

I can’t decide what’s worse: the pressure (from ourselves, from our families, from the culture at large) to plan a special, unique and adorable ceremony, or similarly sourced pressure to plan a completely traditional one. I suppose the worst thing of all is the pressure to compete with other people at an event that is truly unique in the sense that it’s two people who’ve never married each other before getting married. (I mean, unless you are marrying your spouse again, in which case, that is probably even more unique, so go on with your bad self.)

Some people will try to tell you that they never felt like getting married was a source of pressure for them at all. That they are not at all influenced by other people’s weddings. That they are loved-up islands unto themselves who in no way feel like they must or should execute an idealized event that exceeds other events like it in any or all of the following ways: (a) uniqueness (b) creativity (c) expense (d) adorableness (e) DIY-ness. The people who tell you that are all lying, except for two of them. Two of them probably are blessed enough to not feel wedding pressure. But the rest? The rest are lying.

How do I know? Actual wedding contests exist. Because hey, why not make this lovely and fun and occasionally sacred thing a literal competition so that some people win and some people lose? These contests exist before the wedding, for people who compete to be the most adorable couple so that they can win wedding funding or, well, just the pleasure of annoying their friends and family by rubbing in their status as “most sweetest.” They exist during the wedding, when wedding photographers strive to take the best adorable-pretty-beautiful-creative photos so they too can win things. And of course the competitions continue after the wedding, when folks strive to get their nuptials featured on adorable wedding blogs and websites that fetishize the aesthetics of weddings. (And, Offbeat Bride, purveyor of wedding porn that it is, bless its adorable DIY heart, even published an actual guide to dealing with this precise thing.) On the upside, the contest mentality has also brought us this competition for best awkward wedding photos, which I fully endorse despite myself.

Do I sound like a hateful curmudgeon? I do. I know. And to be fair, I think wedding guides and inspiration can be tremendously helpful, especially for folks who haven’t been to many weddings, who aren’t crafty or design-minded, or who need to find creative ways to make all the various family members involved feel included.

But there’s a point at which all the wedding porn, and contests, and “inspiration” becomes about being the “most” or “best” or “cutest” or “prettiest,” on one day out of many, and not about being, well, the “married.” And that makes me the “barfiest.”

Contact the author of this post at Andrea.Grimes@Gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter at @AndreaGrimes.

Posted Under: , , , ,
  • Zergnet: Simply Irresistible

  • HowAboutWe

  • afc-right-ad

  • Popular
  • afc-right-ad-2

  • We’re Loving