There has been a lot of engaging around the web lately about a couple different frustrations that some members of the wedding community have over the importance of “details” documented by blogs. One, the focus should be on the vows. Two, blogs are beginning to look all the same because they only focus on the details. I want to make sure we are addressing both issues that are colliding into one here.
Here is an anonymous letter that Hindsight Bride posted last week. And here is a beautifully written piece by Jonas Peterson. One that definitely made me stop and think, as I too have been up all night the last few weeks trying to figure out if there is a disconnect between what blogs are doing and what our audience wants. More specifically, what the wedding community wants.
And yet I haven’t responded or commented on any of the blogs. After all, Style Me Pretty embraces all those details that are becoming the trigger for so many frustrations. Those mason jars, those bales of hale, those picture perfect garden details. And when someone asks me if I ever tire of weddings, the answer is always the same… no, I don’t. Because amidst those details that may seem redundant to certain people, I see something else.
I see that bride, much like myself, who sat with her mom and her sister sifting through every last jar they have collected from garage sales and thrift stores. Tying every last bow on the program that their guests will read. Finding quilts and typewriters, fabric for photo booths, milk glass for flowers.
For so many, the planning part of the wedding, the DIY, the collecting, the crafting, the imagining, the designing… is just as meaningful as the wedding itself. More than 6 years after I got married, I still have not thrown another party. My wedding was my party. It was time that I got to spend with my mom and my soon-to-be-husband, it was time that I spent with my best friends and my grandmother. That year that I spent scouring ebay for a million different champagne saucers gave me such a giddy sense of anticipation and made the day, that will forever be the best day of my life, that much more special. And seeing my husband standing at the altar was far and away the highlight. As it is for so many brides who spend hours and hours filling mason jars with candles and fresh from the garden flowers. The two are not mutually exclusive.
The thing is, we’ve been staring at details for years. But we aren’t the ones getting married. Brides are. Brides read our blogs. Brides who haven’t been poring over mason jars for the last three years. They are new and seeing things for the first time. Sometimes, they look at blogs like mine and get totally overwhelmed. Other times, they look at blogs like mine and get so totally excited. They see girls in dresses and they imagine being that girl in that dress. They see mason jars or mercury glass lining tables and they want to be the one sitting at that table, kissing the boy they love.
I won’t say that it isn’t about the “stuff.” It is in part. When it comes to SMP, we have been writing about the stuff from day one. Not much in terms of content has really changed over the last four years. I think the main difference is that where there were only a couple of wedding blogs four years ago, there are now hundreds so the “stuff” feels that much more overwhelming. But, just like you want to design a home that makes you happy, a wedding should be a beautiful moment where you get to design a day that reflects you and the one you love. Which may or may not include stuff. But let that be up to the bride and as a wedding community, we shouldn’t make her feel guilty for buying mason jars in bulk.
I’ve read all of the words out there and this response is by far the most well written and the most impactful. Jonas, you are a beautiful photographer and you have a talent for capturing the emotion that is rare and special. When you scroll down the pages of Style Me Pretty, you see a lot of detail. But you also see so much emotion. So much love. Just today, I looked at a bride wiping a tear with her napkin, a kiss that would almost make you look away, a boy looking at his new wife, a group of bridesmaids so excited to watch their friend walk down the aisle. And I saw mason jars and peonies and bird cage veils. It’s all there and it all can come together to represent the same thing.
I want to say more on this because I think there are numerous issues going on here. I don’t think it’s simply about showing too many details or seeing too many mason jars. It’s bigger than that and I understand. I just need the time to really think about how I feel and between Halloween costumes for my daughter and my little boy with the croup, I haven’t had enough time to really thoughtfully put my words together… But for SMP, the bottom line is this… we can do better at showing the pure love that should always be the focus of a wedding. We can always do better. We do get caught up in the details because as girls that thrive on design, that is what gets us excited. But on that same note, we should also give brides and grooms permission to go all out with mason jars and hay bales and vintage typewriters if that’s what they want. Whether they create a wedding that is two people and two beautiful vows or they create a wedding that is two people, two beautiful vows and peonies, table linens, candles and every other detail in between… it’s their day. We are there to capture it, to write about it, and to inspire other brides who are planning a wedding of their very own.