Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wedding Porn Addictions

Have you ever read what the Victorians used to say about the pernicious effects of masturbation? This reprehensible act was referred to as "self-pollution" or a "secret vice." It was named as the cause for many diseases, such as "leucorrhoea, uterine haemorrhage, falling of the womb, cancer, functional disorders of the heart, spinal irritation, palpitation, hysteria, convulsions, haggard features, emaciation, debility, mania--many symptoms called nervous--un triste tableau."

I don't mean to wax Victorian here, but I will assert that constantly subjecting yourself to "wedding porn" is likely to cause all sorts of problems--if not physical, then definitely mental.

We do it because it's fun. It gives us ideas. It makes us smile. It helps pass the time. But--unlike masturbation--it really is bad for you. Looking at other people's wedding pictures all the time does more harm than it good. Seriously!

First, consistently gazing at other people's wedding choices makes you doubt your own. When you constantly compare your own stuff to other people's stuff (which is what happens in a materialistic society), you often feel like your stuff isn't good enough. You need to buy new stuff. Spend more money. Trade up.

Second, wedding pictures don't tell the whole story. Especially if the photos are taken by a professional photographer, they are constructed. They are purposefully taken to create a certain effect and evoke certain feelings. Sure the bride and groom look natural, content, and glowing. But on the inside, they are often thinking, "Enough already! Can't we just get to the reception?" or "If my mom and I get in one more fight I'm going to scream!"

Third, they convince us that every detail matters. When we see beautiful photos of the place settings or the bouquets, we prioritize these details. They suddenly seem so important. I'm sometimes embarrassed to post pictures of my own wedding because we didn't obsess about the details. Our cake table, for example, is covered with a dreadful plastic flower tablecloth that was thrown on by the amazing innkeepers at the B&B where the reception was held. It didn't affect the quality of our wedding one bit. And the fact that everything wasn't perfectly coordinated probably helped the whole event feel more down-to-Earth and comfortable. And the fact that I didn't worry about the tablecloth on our cake table meant that I had more time to write our ceremony, figure out how to help our guests feel more connected to each other with personalized name tags, make a quilt to represent the comforting support of our friends and family, create Matt's tie from old fabric, and write personalized notes on all the invitations.

But that doesn't change the fact that I feel like I'll be judged by the Wedding World for not having a Martha Stewart table. And it doesn't stop me from feeling jealous sometimes when I look at wedding porn.

I'm not suggesting that we ignore it all together.
After all, it's fun. It gives us ideas. It makes us smile. It helps pass the time. But we should limit ourselves to small doses!


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7 comments:

brownbrown said...

whew, glad i'm not the only one feeling this lately! my wedding is coming up in october and i'm constantly second-guessing the decisions we've made based on looking at what other people have done. the fact is, we've had all of the elements of an amazing celebration already taken care of, and they have been for months. but here i am, obsessing over stupid table overlays when i know that they don't matter in the end. thanks so much for putting words to this common frustration.

Not Goth said...

I completely agree.. I am too getting married in October and noticed that all my angst and worry comes after I have been reading lots of wedding blogs and magazines.

Love your blog.. its a breathe of fresh air.

Colleen said...

I found your site through Snippet & Ink, and am I ever glad. I have to admit, I'm more than a casual "wedding porn" browser (what a great term!). And, good photography is definitely the culprit. Reading this entry made me realize that there comes a point when I have to stop looking, and start appreciating my own ideas, creativity, and - most importantly - reasons for tying the knot in the first place!

This Girl Asia said...

I'm not sure that I understand your beef against wedding photography. It's not supposed to highlight the bad feelings you're having that day. It's supposed to help you remember the work you put into that day.

At least, that's how I find it?

notgoth said...

This girl Asia.. I think you are missing the point.

She doesnt have any 'beef' with wedding photographer per say..

this post is about reading too much wedding magazines and blogs aka as Wedding Porn WILL make you go crazy because you WILL compare your wedding to the ones online or in magazines.

Therefore whilst its good to look and get ideas etc, its important to keep it in context.

This Girl Asia said...

Notgoth, I see what you're saying, but it's really not wise to generalize, I suppose. I've read my fair-few Wedding Rags and really, I can't bring myself to second guess my own wedding because it's just that. My own wedding. No amount of porn would make me go crazy.

But, hey. Different strokes for different folks, I suppose.

notgoth said...

this girl asia.. thats great that you can distance yourself in that manner.. but I think you will see from the other comments not everyone is the same. I think you will find you are the exception! Lucky you! :)

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