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Social media is killing weddings. I’m on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter … you name it. I’ve been sucked into the world of wedding planning that is mason jars and chalkboard signs, but I was recently doing makeup for a bridal party and it made me see that perhaps it has gone too far.
I was four bridesmaids into the gig when the photographer showed up. He came in and immediately rearranged chairs, moved curtains, and started positioning people and things to get their shots. I’m all for getting great lighting, but the problem was all of a sudden nothing was organic; it was all posed and staged. Hold your shoes up. Smile while having lipstick applied. I started to think that before social media, pictures were taken just because they were pretty, not because someone else got the picture and you saw it, pinned it and told your photog to set it up. Photogs caught moments, smiles, hugs, tears, people. Now photographers and couples alike are striving to get a shot that they saw on Pinterest or the Huffington post blog. There are whole posts devoted to the photos you “have to have” of your wedding. When I see wedding photos now, they all look the same. There is very little uniqueness and specificity to the couple. I see the same photos of their ring in their bouquet, the dress with the last name hanger hung by the window, the sign-carrying ring bearer.
Of course, it starts much before the day-of photos. Many brides these days immerse themselves early on in wedding blogs and Pinterest. I was talking to a planner who was coordinating a wedding with a bride I was doing makeup for and she mentioned her frustration with all the new media. “I hate Pinterest,” she said. “It’s like bride crack,” I responded and she laughed, “Yes!!!!”
From engagement photos to showers to the big day, the images shared and pinned shape our events. It feels like it creates a competition, like there’s an award for the best chalkboard hand lettering or best use of mason jar. We’re all vying for a coveted spot in a bridal magazine or blog that would crown our event the Pinterest champion, but what happens is it all becomes the same. Don’t get me wrong, you can get some great ideas from these sites. The issue becomes when they take over and become overwhelming. Most of us are not that crafty and shouldn’t try to compete with the DIY queens that create some of these things … but we try. It’s easy to get sucked in and caught up in the details to the point where you walk into Michael’s and are there for hours, leaving with a cart full of random items that you take home and wonder what to do with … or maybe that’s just me.
It’s especially challenging when you’re trying to work on a budget because going the DIY route is an appealing way to seemingly save money, but more often than not, these projects can get out of hand or you end up spending more — buying things that just aren’t necessary, like pinwheels, pennants and paper straws. I know I already have a box of things I’ve acquired that I thought I would use to make an image I saw come to life, but I’ve realized that’s not going to materialize. If anyone wants some mason jars, denim ribbons or faux lemons, let me know!