It's that time of year when the "Best of" lists get tossed around: Best Songs of 2009, Best Inventions of 2009, Best Websites of 2009, etc. Heck, because its the close of the 2000s we're even getting inundated with "Best of" lists for last decade. So perhaps it was only a matter of time before someone had the, um, bright idea to compile a list of the year's best weddings.
That's right, you read that last sentence correctly. At least one major wedding website is currently compiling lists of the best weddings from 2009. Unfortunately, I'm not talking about celebrity weddings which, while awful, would simply be an extension of the horrific "Who Wore it Better" tabloid frenzy. This is a list of real-people weddings that hit the blogs in 2009. After lusting after all that impossible blog prettiness, you can now vote on which wedding was your favorite in a variety of categories. You can help decide "which wedding had the most creative table decor." Was it Jack and Jane* who got married at Smog Shoppe or Bob and Linda* who got married at The Ambassador Mansion and Gardens? Go ahead and vote for either of these couples' weddings in multiple "Best of" categories, including "your favorite eco-friendly wedding," "the best groom style," "yummiest looking cake" and yes, "your favorite real wedding" of 2009.
Thanks, wedding industry, for getting it so completely wrong and probably sending at least a few women into a covetous panic for the "most stylish bridesmaids dresses." Also, could you please explain how in holy h*ll random internet strangers are supposed to vote on which outdoor ceremony was our favorite? Were any of us actually there to compare?!
I don't feel the need to name or link to this site publicly. It's a site I appreciate for what it is - a gathering of wedding prettiness and wedding resources. But I don't want to give them traffic for something that stands in such stark contrast to all of the amazing things I actually adore about weddings; namely joy, love, community, and the celebration of meaningful transitions. Let me also be entirely clear that in no way am I disparaging the couples who shared their intimate wedding stories in a public forum the first place. The featured weddings are actually quite charming and (obviously) beautiful. Several were even bookmarked in my inspiration files ages back. The problem is that these lovely weddings are now listed for your voting pleasure; their carefully planned details are now simply a checkbox in your process of deconstruction and dismissal.
My wedding inspiration links are generally a disorganized mess of emails to myself, uncategorized bookmarks, and post-its, but I have one special set of "sanity check" bookmarks that I save for moments like today, when I encounter this sort of nonsense. Top on that sanity check file is Ariel's post "YOUR WEDDING IS NOT A CONTEST". No, the original title from the Offbeat Bride post was not written in all capital letters. However, given this "best of 2009" wedding cr*p, I feel that an all-caps reminder is perhaps justified.
For 2010, I have a different "best wedding" nomination that we might all consider: one in which any two people get married, surrounded by all their loved ones, with an authentically-them ceremony and a joyous celebration that marks the importance, solemnity, and absolute joy of the occasion. You can't compare that to anyone else's joy. In fact, trying to do so entirely misses the point.
*names changed to protect the innocent from this rant, as it isn't directed at them.