I’m sure many of you have been reading the number of posts circulating around some of the mainstream wedding blogs lately, about wedding trends, the lofty restrictions or rather, expectations some blogs have regarding submissions and the obvious level of pressure so many brides must feel to make their big day ‘blogworthy.’ For a while here, I’ve sort of sat back, allowing myself some time to let it all soak in but finally the rad Abby Larson did a little piece on the matter via Backstage Bridal and at last, I felt like someone (and probably someone who ultimately could do the best job at doing so) hit the nail on the head. I suppose this is why Style Me Pretty is such a dominant, if not the number one leading source of inspiration and ideas in the wedding industry. While there are a couple different topics up in the air for discussion here’s the one that I feel strongest about.
The issue at hands seems to be that some photographers out there feel like we as a whole (i.e. vendors of all types, brides and grooms, significant people in the industry) are losing sight of what a wedding is really about. We are supposedly caught up in this vortex of sorts, a vortex comprised of mainly, to note a few examples as provided in the article, ‘mason jars, hay bales’ and because I see em everywhere, striped straws. Instead of focusing on the marriage about to take place, the union between two people, the family and friends who have travelled from afar to celebrate, and the emotions that will surely be felt at any given wedding, some feel as if the little details, the tangible and dare I say, materialistic things, are taking precedent. The art of photography, the beauty of a wedding is apparently losing the race against all those silly mason jars. And vintage barns.
I laughed a little reading Abby’s fabulous article. Because one thing I tell most, if not all of my clients, is that throwing a wedding is like throwing a really big dinner party. In both circumstances (in my experiences at least), you and your partner serve as hosts, there is food being served, and there’s some sort of entertainment whether it be a dj, a band or your iPod playing on the coffee table. In both circumstances, your surroundings serve as a reflection of you and your partner, whether it be the favors, flowers and linens you use at your wedding or the wall colour, kitchen table and cutlery you chose to make up your home. While the kitchen table your guests sit around surely isn’t the most important part of your dinner party, it’s ultimately a part of your home, you and your partner’s life and the experience of having guests over. The same holds true for the little details that make up your wedding and serve as a reflection of you and your partner; like, for example, the wedding cake that people rave about years after your wedding; “That was so Suzy and Pete!”
Sure the details really aren’t the most important part of a day. And if that was the honest to goodness case, if more people really felt like the details weren’t really necessary, there would be a hell of a lot more courthouse weddings. People would only feel the need to have the bare necessities required to make a marriage legal. SMP, wedding magazines, and Say Yes to the Dress (a show I really don’t even like!) would cease to exist! But like Abby said, and my gosh I shrieked with happiness when I read it, is that for many of us, the details, both big and little, are a major part of our day and therefore just as important as say, waking down the aisle, saying I Do, or having that first dance with our husband. The giant peach balloons from my very own wedding sure looked pretty in photos and to my surprise, is still an extremely popular photo all over Pinterest, but the truth is, they were used for a balloon release in memory of my Nan. I just happened to think of this idea right before the balloon craze took the industry by storm. And somehow a meaningful nod to a late family member became an aesthetic detail so loved by others.
Like Abby touched on, the details are a small albeit a rather important part of the entire puzzle. The girl who spends months and months on end, with her mom annd sisters hand stitching matching table runners and napkins for 300 of her wedding guests isn’t one who has lost sight of what her wedding is all about. Instead she’s creating an experience for herself and her loved ones to look back on, because those napkins, tangible or not, are a part of something just as meaningful as marrying her groom on the day of the wedding. Like a wedding photographer who strives to showcase his style and his talent through his photographs, I too try to showcase my style and my talent through my styling and details. That bride who sews everything like a madwoman is doing just the same thing.
Without details, without people in the industry who appreciate little details like the type of ribbon around a bouquet or the specific placement of the programs in the provided galvanized tin tub, my job, and so many others wouldn’t exist. The industry wouldn’t be given the air, the space and the fuel it needs to evolve, and develop, and grow and flourish. Brides would feel uninspired and weddings would be special but not as special as I feel they really can be, should a bride and groom have the opportunity to really add a creative edge to their big day (whether or not it’s added by someone hired as a professional). While I absolutely and 110% appreciate the true art of wedding photography (and think that like Abby made totally clear, the quality of wedding photos and submissions is a whole other subject), nothing makes me happier to see a wedding photo complete with a satisfied and loving bride and groom, who may be holding a drink in their hand donning a striped straw or two.
Oh and look at that. There I am holding a whole lot of doughnuts. With a little pink bow on top. Did I mention I love bows? Did I mention it was cool to wear the little loops used to hang up your shirt, on the outside? Have an amazing day, everyone. Feel free to leave your comments below on the subject! xoxo Photo via my amazing bud, Tonya Peterson.