Bookmarked: Wedding websites

I committed early on not to let wedding planning get out of hand. And so far at least, I’ve been mostly successful. I haven’t looked at a single wedding or bride-related magazine,  but confess that I have spent more than my share of time on websites devoted to weddings.

It started for practical reasons (I swear!): an annoying part of trying to find a wedding location is that most places are only shown Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm. Which is to say, during work hours. I tried to get around this. One Saturday in June, I attempted to peek in the windows of a place only to find that — duh! — there was a wedding going on.

So to avoid taking time off work or crashing someone else’s wedding, I turned to the internet. I googled. I flickr-ed. And I discovered a plethora of wedding websites that posted pictures of other people’s weddings, giving people like me the chance to see pictures of possible locations while sitting at our desks, pretending to be hard at work.

I should have stopped there, but I didn’t. Instead, I kept looking at wedding websites, bookmarking ideas and pictures as I bounced from one wedding website to another.

Eventually, I stumbled on A Practical Wedding, one of the few places on the web to escape the Marital Industrial Complex (Meg, the writer behind A Practical Wedding, calls it the Wedding Industrial Complex, or WIC). She highlights atypical weddings — picnic weddings, brunch weddings and dinner party weddings — and she celebrates couples who do what works for them, whether that’s having a budget wedding or not.

But what keeps me coming back to A Practical Wedding are Meg’s posts about planning her own practical wedding. Often, she writes about something I’m also thinking about or struggling with, like her post about making decisions that are “not always the cheapest option, but it’s the option that keeps us sane.” Just reading this blog has helped me feel sane (so far) through this strange rite of passage.

I may think that Mr. WholeHog and I are planning an untraditional event, but Off Beat Bride shows me just how untraditional weddings can be. The brides here often don’t wear white, they may have a goth or punk theme, and many are “inked”, that is, tattooed. I don’t necessarily relate to all the weddings featured on Off Beat Bride, but I love (and often need) the encouragement to take liberties with the whole wedding concept and to make our wedding whatever we want it to be.

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