In our society, wedding days are days that girls are socialized to dream about their whole lives, making Pinterest a gift and a curse. After months of resistance, I started my wedding Pinterest board when I first started dating my now-fiancé. Finally, a place to put all your wedding dreams! It’s perfect, right?
Well, not exactly.
After a few weeks of pinning, I was so sure that my elegant, romantic, vintage-inspired, rooftop jazz wedding was going to come together as quickly and effortlessly. I thought if I could pin those Chiavari chairs trimmed with pearls on to my wedding board, then it couldn’t be too hard to make it happen.
I was totally wrong.
Once our initial excitement about our engagement died down—and I got over my champagne-induced hangover—my fiancé and I took a sobering look at our budget. Therein laid an inconvenient truth that we couldn’t afford my dream wedding, at least, not in the way it existed in the confines of my 400+ pins.
Image: Screen Shot of Loryn's Pinterest Board
What Pinterest, StyleMePretty, Munaluchi Bridal, and other sites don’t tell you is that most of what you see isn’t a real look at what the everyday wedding actually looks like. It is the work of intricate styling and damned good photographers, both of which can come at very high costs.
I came to realize, though, that this didn’t mean I couldn’t have the wedding of my dreams. It did mean that I had to be creative and cost-conscious to get there. Instead of insisting on a rooftop, I became open to other more cost effective venue ideas. We started to look at hotels since the price was all-inclusive and would cut down on things like paying for the bartender or the caterers separately.
I have the added bonus of having a future mother-in-law who is very talented with floral arrangements—another cost that was cut. My own mother is an event planner supreme, so the need for a wedding planner wasn’t as great as I thought it would be. I began to think about what I could do to create an ambiance and décor that I love without breaking the bank. I then found that I started to form ideas that didn’t look exactly like the ones I found on Pinterest but that I still loved just as much if not more.
It was a huge relief knowing that I didn’t have to match exactly what I had pinned for my wedding to be beautiful and memorable, and it made wedding planning even more exciting.
Post-engagement, I noticed my wedding board became less about my dream and more about my reality as an actual bride. I soon realized that some of the ideas on Pinterest were doable and that sites like Etsy were my friend. I picked the best parts of my board and narrowed down a theme: The Great Gatsby in the summertime, with a jazz ceremony, and a big, roaring party. I then worked backwards and tried to balance what I wanted with what I could also afford. The result was a new vision of what my wedding could look like; one that was attainable, realistic, affordable, and beautiful.
Right after we got engaged, my fiancé’s cousin loaned me her copy of Meg Keene’s A Practical Wedding. Keene writes that one of the most important things about wedding planning is how the wedding will feel as opposed to just how it would look. Once I read that, my fiancé and I actually sat down and wrote how we wanted ourselves to feel, in addition to our friends and family. We wanted it to feel like a party, a place where people could meet and perhaps reconnect with friends form near and far, and we wanted love to be at the center of everything.
No one will remember if I had a ranunculus or rose bouquet, or if I served dinner on gold-trimmed china at the reception. What they will remember is that two of their friends committed to loving each other for a lifetime—and that they had a freaking great time witnessing it happen.
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