My first foray into the wedding blogosphere began a year or so before I got engaged—around the same time I started surreptitiously browsing wedding gowns. At that point it was far from a sure thing that Ben and I would, in fact, be getting married, and it seemed like tempting fate to delve too deep into the world of weddings when things were still so uncertain. But one day I found a link to Smashing the Glass, an awesome UK-based blog dedicated to Jewish weddings, and I was hooked. It didn’t feel right to go any further, though, so I kept my reading list to one.
Fast-forward to last summer after Ben proposed. I thought it was time to see what else was out there, so—knowing next to nothing about planning a wedding in England—I Googled “UK Wedding Blogs.” And before I knew it, my daily reading list was nearing the double digits. There were so many great blogs, each one lovelier than the last. The fashion features, the honeymoon ideas, the real weddings—oh, the real weddings. There were English gardens and stately homes galore, bunting as far as the eye can see, gowns to fulfil vintage fantasies from Downton Abbey all the way through to Mad Men. There were also plenty of practical features tailor-made for this novice bride, from ways to keep costs down to questions to ask on venue visits.
It’s fair to say, at least for the first several months of my engagement, that everything I knew about wedding planning I learned from wedding blogs. Stuck in New York and unable to accompany Ben on venue visits as I was, being able to checking out past wedding features held at this garden or that museum was a lifesaver. Blogs taught me about the quirks of English weddings, from registrars to fruitcake. I learned about more styles of wedding photography than I could ever have imagined, and I saw gorgeous receptions on budgets ranging from the low four figures to, I’m guessing, the high sixes.
Even at the peak of my blog-reading frenzy, I never did get into the American wedding blogs. Though I admit I didn’t search too hard—it’s not as if the UK blogs left me lacking reading material—I found the big names a little too sleek and too samey. Everything is dripping in money, and it’s the rare real wedding whose bride couldn’t pass for a pro model. There are certainly exceptions on both sides, but the UK blogs seem more accepting of weddings that aren’t straight from Central Casting.
Once I’d booked the big-ticket items, I still couldn’t get enough of the UK blogs. I faithfully gave every real wedding on my regular line-up at least a cursory scroll-through, no matter how far from my style. And while I was working at my (now former) desk job, the blogs fit into my day perfectly. A feature or two made for the ideal break between tasks—and the perfect escape from an undeniably dreary daily routine.
But ever so gradually, keeping up with the constant updates started feeling more burdensome than blissful. Part of it is oversaturation: if you look at enough weddings, eventually they all start looking the same. The same venues pop up over and over again, the same handmade pom poms, the same photographers, the same designers—and even gowns. Though every so often something really out there shows up, at a certain point it’s hard to believe there’ll be any categorically new wedding inspo out there. I also found, once the general contours of my wedding were set, that blogs made me feel bad as often as they made me feel good. There was less escapism than before, and more comparison. More and more I found myself lusting after some dreamy venue, OTT gown, or luxe cake, or some bride’s smooth skin or glossy hair.
So I’ve decided to take a step back. I’ve cut a few blogs from my rotation. I’m still checking in on my favorites, but not every day. And as I scroll through new posts, I’m trying to take a minute to figure out if I really, truly want to spend my time reading this or that feature rather than clicking through indiscriminately. I have this compulsive all or nothing attitude toward all things Internet (and to a fair few things in my offline life as well), but I’m trying to convince myself it’s okay to skip over weddings that seem not quite my speed, beautiful as they may be.
How about you, readers? Do you read lots of wedding blogs, or just a few? Ever find the volume and variety overwhelming or felt the need to step back? I’d love to hear about your experiences!