Let’s Get Real

22 Jan

Dear Weddingbee brides aka those living in wedding blog la la land,

I think it’s so important to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. What is a wedding all about? It’s certainly not about the flowers, the centerpieces, the shoes, the food, the venue. None of that really matters when you think about it. I know we spend countless hours obsessing over the details because, well, we’re women getting married and that’s what we do. But we need to be aware of the realities of this wedding world we live in everyday.

I’m not sure if many of you out there have come across this article, but I desperately wanted to share it with anyone following the ‘bee.  So here’s Janice, from Bellwether Events in D.C.:

{Kurstin Roe Photography}

Magazines and blogs feature many “styled shoots” to provide you with inspiration during your wedding planning.  But it is important to remember a few things.  The stylists on these shoots spend hours tweaking every detail and posing the models in the carefully selected attire and accessories.   The vendors participating in the shoots bring stockpiles of props in order to make sure that the feeling and message they wish to convey is perfectly executed.  The photographer often selects the location and times the shoot so that the lighting is exactly what they are looking for.  These photos are perfect!  Stunning!  Yet, I worry that they set unrealistic expectations, and also might miss the real meaning of weddings.

Photo shoots, in essence, are designed to have many options, unlimited time and no budgetary restrictions.  In other words, they are not reality.  Very rarely do they even depict a ceremony set up, which is the whole point of the day – the getting married part.  They are not designed to actually feed and entertain one hundred and twenty guests.  Your wedding photographer doesn’t have unlimited time in perfect light with you and a box full of props and accessories.  So, your wedding photos are not going to look like what you see in magazines and on blogs.

If you decide to see each other before the ceremony, your photographer will be limited in time and location with this portrait session.  During the ceremony your photographer will likely be restricted to the back of the room and may not even be allowed to use flash.  By the time he/she gets to the reception room, some guests will have already put down their coats and purses, thus “ruining” the wide room shots.  When your people of honor give toasts, there will probably be something less than perfect in the background, such as an exit sign.  Tent poles are unattractive. Thermostats and outlets are eyesores.  You will not see these things in styled shoots.  These are the realities of real weddings.

{Kurstin Roe Photography}

But, do you know what real wedding photos trump the styled shoots on?  Emotion.  You cannot fake the look on a groom’s face when he sees his bride for the first time, or the pleasure a mom exudes when her little girl is getting married.  Styled shoots will never capture the perfect combination of elation, excitement and terror that is the Hora, or the pure joy of a bride dancing with her father to their special song.  As much as I like to “ooh” and “ahh” over pretty pictures, what brings a smile to my face is the photo of a couple singing their face off to Journey.  These are the moments you will remember and cherish.  These are the photos that will get framed and hung on the wall or inserted into holiday cards.  Not the photo of your table centerpiece or your escort card display.

While it is important to collect pretty pictures from blogs and magazines to help explain to your wedding team what you want them to do, please don’t get distracted from what really matters:  getting married and celebrating afterward!

I needed this article, and maybe you did too. It’s so easy for us to caught up in the little details and lose focus of why we’re planning a wedding to begin with. It’s reassuring to know that most of the inspiration we find on wedding blogs is just that, inspiration. Not many of us have unlimited budgets, allowing us to execute the picture-perfect wedding of our dreams. And really ladies, that’s okay.

I wish I could be more like Mr. Oatmeal, who said this to me in the beginning of our engagement: “We could go to the courthouse tomorrow and get married and the end result is the same for me. I’m still going to be your husband, and you’re still going to be my wife. That’s what I’m looking forward to. Everything else in between doesn’t make a difference to me. I know how much the details mean to you, and that’s why I’m letting you do it. It makes you happy. I just want to be your husband.”

I love that man, and I couldn’t argue with that. But of course, I still obsess over the little things that might make our pictures prettier, but won’t make a bit of difference to our marriage.

The wedding is only one day. A marriage is what is left after that joyous day is over. I just needed to give myself some perspective, and a realistic expectation for that day in May.

So, hive, I hope this helps someone else as much as it has helped me.

***This article was taken from United With Love


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