Usually I censor my language a bit. However, after a few angst-ridden posts and twitterings around the wedding web, I'm too angry to care, so please bear with me here.
Turn away from those fucking blogs right now and reclaim your wedding. For yourself. Because your love isn't ordinary. It's rooted in your unique how-we-met story and your own we-snorted-soda-out-of-our-noses stories and your individual how-the-hell-would-I-have-made-it-here-without-this-partner stories. Your love is gorgeous and obvious and entirely personal. And it will shine through in the pictures. And it will illuminate your faces with complete and utterly stunning joy.
I know. You want to believe me. You really do. But you've never seen a photo of a bride who looks like you: maybe not blond, maybe not white, maybe not straight, maybe not slim, maybe not photogenic. Well, that's because someone running the mainstream blogs you read perhaps can't write insightful content and context but instead posts a bunch of photos. And perhaps, due to an over-reliance on photos submitted by photographers desperate for exposure who send in only their prettiest clients for wedding submissions, this person is under the misguided impression that beauty exists in a narrow strata of near-impossibility. And, perhaps most importantly, that blog you read is focused on "detail" shots and posed bridal portaits in which bone structure matters more than emotion, because bone structure is immediate and easy and advertiser-friendly.
You know what I think about detail shots and wedding portraits? Yawn. Just. Fucking. YAWN. You know what I think is beautiful?
Photos courtesy of Hazelnut Photography
Photo via Jezebel
There it is. Stripped of bone structure and excuses about culturally defined norms of beauty. Stripped of perfectly lit poses and perfectly chosen backdrops. No worries about weight, wrinkles, or whatever the hell anyone else was thinking. Just perfect moments of honest gorgeousness.
THIS is beauty. It may not meet the bullshit criteria of the wedding blogs we frequent, but fuck those blogs. Those blogs won't make you uncontrollably smile to yourself fifteen anniversaries from now. Those blogs and their cold notion of detached-portraiture-as-wedding-beauty won't break your heart into a million little pieces of joy whenever you look at them. Instead, those blogs suck honesty from the concept of weddings and leave us with vintage dressers artfully placed in fields surrounded by prancing people in suits and white dresses. They leave us emotionally empty, yet yearning for some unreal image of a wedding day that never existed.
I don't know about you, but my prancing will be of the oh-hell-yes-I-love-you-SO-DAMN-MUCH-can-I-kiss-you-again-and-again-and-again variety. My wedding will happen surrounded by family and friends and love and not in the privacy of a damn field with good lighting. And if my photographer doesn't capture those ugly messy kisses and that sea of community love, I will rip them to shreds in my vendor recap. Because they will have entirely missed what's essential and essentially beautiful about the day in lieu of a magazine editorial/marketing shoot.
On your wedding day, your face will scrunch up with emotion. Your makeup will run. You will forget anyone else is in the room besides this person who you are entirely and utterly in love with. Simply put, you will be resplendent in utterly beatific joy. And why would you want it any other way?
Fuck you, mainstream wedding blogs. I challenge you to hold up your posed images of "beautiful" people against the joyful photos above and tell me that your photos are better and more worthy of public celebration. I challenge you to defend your narrow selection criteria and aesthetic "standards" for blog submissions and tell me these images and people aren't overwhelmingly beautiful. I challenge you to remember that you're not just selling photography, event design, and paper goods services but that, in the process, you're selling us on your hollowed out definitions of weddings and where their intrinsic beauty lies.
Frankly, I'd bet against those blogs. I'd bet your readers overdosed on bullshit months ago and are yearning for real inspiration from images of sheer, unadulterated joy and not of empty, near-impossible, aspirationalism. I'd bet we've all hidden away an image of what we really want our wedding to feel like, and it wasn't the one you gushed over. So come on, readers, let's start a new inspiration file that reflects true beauty and joy here in the comments. Which moments or wedding stories do you cling to when things get rough durning planning? Which images stayed with you months after your wedding passed? My money's on the messy kisses and tears.