January 13, 2010

Are Wedding Blogs the New Vogue?

You may have no idea what this post is going to be about from the title.  Before I clarify, let me explain that I have been super ecstatic to continue to share the professional pictures of our wedding in the form of recaps and DIY projects.

For me, choosing a wedding photographer was one of the most important decisions in the wedding planning process. I wanted a photographer with a unique style that would be able to create images of the wedding that I would consider proper art. Picking a wedding photographer was so difficult for me, because there are so many photographers out there whose work I admired. However, unfortunately for me (and my groom, who had to listen to me lament over this issue incessantly), I have expensive taste, and most of the photographers I wanted were way out of my price range.

Looking back, I can definitely say I got what I wanted in the photographer we chose, Seth Kammueller, which is fantastic. But now that the wedding is over and I have hundreds of wedding images to obsess over, I have begun to analyze why a photographer was so important to me in the first place. At the time, I told myself that a photographer is important because other than your memories, which may fade over time, images are the only keepsake you may have from your wedding. I wanted a photographer who would capture one of the most important days of my life in a way that would preserve the memories for a lifetime. At least, that is what I told myself. And to be honest, I still feel that way, and consider photography to be art, which is an investment.

So how does any of this have anything to do with wedding blogs being the new Vogue? Well, I also think that the reason that I wanted a great photographer is due to the social pressure from wedding blogs to have a "storybook wedding." When you look at the wedding images featured on professional sites like Style Me Pretty (don't get me wrong, I'm still a big fan), everything featured looks too good to be true, like the weddings come straight out of a magazine.  I recently wrote blog post about a winter wedding I saw on SMP, and as one of my readers commented, the couple are "impossibly good looking."

And you know what? My reader was totally right. That's when I realized that reading wedding blogs and only seeing picture perfect weddings featuring couples that look like models sets an unrealistic standard for the rest of us. Just like when I read Vogue or any other fashion magazine, and see page after page of malnourished models. Even though I don't want to compare myself to the women featured in the media, and with a psychology background realize that is unhealthy, I still cannot help but feel that there is something wrong with looking like a normal person. That sad thing is that I will continue to read fashion magazines and look at wedding blogs that continue to perpetrate this standard. And I'm not saying that that is necessarily a terrible thing. I still get lots of inspiration from wedding blogs, and hey, looking at pretty things is fun. But at the same time, reading these wedding blogs can subconsciously create an enormous amount of pressure to go on a diet, blow your budget, and highlight, wax, and powder your way to wedding day perfection.

I cannot tell you the number of blog posts and tweets I've read where brides state that they want to lose those "last 10 pounds" not due to vanity or wedding pressure, but because they will "feel healthier." While that may be true, brides need to stop kidding themselves and just admit that white is not a slimming color, and really you want to lose the weight so that when you walk down the aisle, guests don't secretly think "OMG she looks chubby in that dress," or so you don't look back on your photos and feel disgusted by your back cleavage. And even if you are fortunate enough to be naturally slim, there are still so many other ways in which wedding media has insidiously created self doubt in brides over everything from finding the perfect shoes to purchasing the trendiest centerpieces and favors. It just seems like we can't win.

I do not want to end on a pessimistic note. Just because there are a plethora of perfect wedding images in print, does not mean there are not alternatives.  So I want to say kudos the the bridal bloggers out there who do not perpetrate these standards, who embrace diversity and uniqueness (you know who you are) and who make me feel good about myself and my wedding even though it does not resemble a staged photoshoot! I look forward to sharing the rest of my wedding photos with you :)


  1. This is such an important post. Thank you for your boldness in writing it!

  2. Great post! This is why I appreciate reading personal wedding blogs, written by real brides who are just telling their own stories. I've limited the amount of professional wedding blogs I read (and magazines too) because it's true that your expectations can get too high after seeing such "perfect-looking" weddings. I look forward to seeing your photos!

  3. So true, i'm one of those trying to lose that last 10lbs or maybe 30. (he he)

  4. Good for you!!! I can't stand some of those skinny images that are pushed upon us! Just eat a sandwich, will you?

    I was at a weight at my wedding (that was not what I wanted at the time), but when I saw the pics I was really happy... It really looked like me!

  5. This is a great post, and so true. As a bride, I think it’s really important to keep in mind that while it’s definitely fun to look and dream, it’s important to keep your perspective about what’s attainable in the “real” world. In my blog posts, I always try my best to be honest and upfront about our wedding plans, what we’re doing, and what we can afford. Even if our wedding is not “perfect” by media standards, it will be perfect for us.

    One thing I’ve also noticed is that there’s a lot of pressure in the wedding world to always be unique. On one hand, I think it’s amazing that there are so many fun ideas out there, and I definitely want our day to be as personalized and reflective of our personalities as possible! After all, what fun is a cookie-cutter wedding? But I also think that brides need to realize that if they do want to stick with the traditional cake, flowers or ceremony vows, that’s totally OK, too, as long as it makes the couple happy!

  6. So well said...I love seeing all those amazing 'magazine' picture perfect images of weddings, but they don't tend to often be anything like what I experience in real life. So I am looking forward to seeing yours and many other real life wedding images for me to fawn over :)

  7. great post. i think there needs to be a better balance between fantasy & reality. that's what's great about real bride bloggers. sure we can all look at SMP and all for the fantasy. i mean who doesn't like to look at pretty pictures? but it's also good to see the beauty in reality. nothing's more beautiful than seeing two people, whatever they may look like, happy & in love.

  8. I agree with all of these ladies, I LOVE (!!) looking at all of the fancy blogs, but sometimes it's a bit much.

    I remember the post you're talking about, because I'd seen it over at SMP. And still when I look at that couple, I'm like, "seriously?!!"...getting past the obvious difference, ain't no way I'm looking that good on May 28th!

  9. I am waiting for my photos with baited breath as I type this. Still another two weeks to go. I so want them to look as good as the ones I see all over bride blog land.

    Your photographer sounds amazing! Can't wait to see your photos.

  10. I just happened to run into your blog for the first time and pleased to have read such a great post. I loved it! Media can be such an unrealistic reality, so sad. It's time for change :-)

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  12. Great blog post! SMP is like the new fashion mag. Combined this with the notion of 'the day'/'the one day', no wonder brides feel like they're fighting an uphill battle!

    P.S. Have been reading your blog for awhile now and have been enjoying it!

  13. Hi Morgan,

    Thank you for this post!

    I would LOVE to feature you and it over on The Flirty Guide website and blog. Everything you've said here bothers me about the wedding and fashion industries as well. I've worked in the wedding industry for 14 years now and it honestly breaks my heart when I see brides so caught up with impressing their guests or trying to achieve (what is for most of us) an unattainable ideal that they lose sight of what is most important on their wedding day: Their Marriage.

    Please let me know if you would like to be featured on The Flirty Guide. I've just started a new feature called "When Wedding Bloggers Wed" and I think you and your post would be a perfect addition to it!

    If you click on my name here you can use the contact link on my blog to let me know if you are interested.


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