Weddings have evolved over the last decade. There has been a shift where almost everything is focused on how it will appear on social media. Cute matching shirts for Instagram. Cute matching robes. Mimosa glasses with the bridal parties' names on them. After posing with these props for an hour or two to get the perfect photos, I have to conclude it may be for the photos and not the moment.
After all, these days we normally live our lives through a lens. Filters are applied and anyone seeing them as they scroll through their feed is going to think it was the greatest day. Everyone has so much fun, and even jealousy can form because you want that day. You want that perfect photo.
I cannot even tell you the number of times that I’ve had a friend look at me before she walks down the aisle usually saying something along, “I just want this day to be over.” “Don’t have a wedding.” “Elope.” “I thought I would feel happy.” I’ve watched couples spend tens of thousands of dollars to have a day that they just want to be over. How did a tradition turn into something that should be a celebration of love, but instead is considered one of the most stressful days of a person’s life?
According to a recent article in the New York Post:
“Planning a wedding is so expensive — and stressful — that six in 10 couples married in the last year seriously considered eloping. Sixty-four percent of couples married in the last year said they were forced to make sacrifices on their big day with 11 percent even having to delay their wedding for financial reasons.”
Usually, the focus on the big day is around making relatives happy, making sure that the photos are perfect, even though everyone in them is absolutely miserable, and the bridge and groom not having time to eat because they’re trying to show face.
According to a new report by Zola, that surveyed 500 recently engaged or newlywed couples across the nation, a whopping 96 percent of them admitted that wedding planning is stressful, with almost half of those people using the words “very” or “extremely” to describe it. Apparently, the biggest culprit there is creating and sticking to the budget. It is closely followed by perfection.
Maybe I’m just a hopeless romantic, and I haven’t been married yet so I’m not the ultimate expert by any means. However, I like to think that the day won’t be the most expensive and stressful one of my entire life. After all, there are plenty of ways to cut costs. No one knows how much you pay for a wedding dress and there are SO many beautiful and inexpensive options these days. If you have an evening wedding guests can eat before (just tell them) and you can have just booze and appetizers.
However, people know that these options are available. The issue is, we all want the picture perfect wedding. It has to be worthy of being posted on Instagram and Pinterest because that’s what really matters. If it doesn’t look perfect, what’s the point in having fun? God forbid, what if you FORGOT to capture any of the moments to look at later? Did they even happen?
Mallory Schlossberg states in Elle:
Instagram has, without question, changed the way we operate, acting as a cheerleader for our most performative, self-indulgent behavior. While shaking our heads at Photoshop, we willingly filter ourselves, posing only in our best angles, outfits, and alongside food we might not have finished. It’s Pavlovian; getting likes — validation — feels good. So when you are suddenly gifted with ample photos of you at your best, you’re guaranteed likes, and confirmation. Nostalgia can be a sentimental, powerful evocation of the past, but it’s also a mechanism for digging in the knife of passing time.
Not every wedding is focused on showcasing everything on social media . Some are a celebration, but I just feel like as a society our focus continues to be on what is important to other people, or what we think is important rather than what actually is.