picture-perfect

In a Pinterest wedding, it is always sunny or sunset. Pinterest weddings exist in a land of perfect weather, of greenery without precipitation.

Pinterest wedding preparation consists entirely of papercrafting, cake tastings, and bridal salons, all of which are accompanied by champagne. Engagement is, in fact, just a year of champagne. Being engaged, apparently, empowers you to do things and make decisions while buzzed, just as awesomely as you thought you could do things while buzzed when you were a single, mortal person.

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On Pinterest, your wedding day is the day of your life you don’t wear a scarf

On Pinterest, life stops when you become A Bride. You not only have time to go the aforementioned cake tastings but also to shop for your cake tasting dress, and the other 20 Outfits Every Bride Needs. On Pinterest, moreover, you do not have any emails, spreadsheets, or weird relatives’ preferences to deal with when choosing said cake. Cake is fun. Cake is pretty. Cake for 200 is easily managed.

Pinterest weddings generally treat grooms the way society treats women every other day of their lives: they are considered vaguely necessary if not terribly interesting, assigned to look adoringly at the bride unceasingly throughout the day. Under no circumstances are grooms included in Pinterest’s decision-making process without careful prior consideration on the part of the women in charge.

Pinterest wedding guests examine the event’s components minutely. They are wedding conoisseurs, and not in the sense that they love drinking and dancing; their attention is primarily occupied by comparing the centerpieces, wedding logos, signature cocktails, and useless doo-dad favors of every wedding they attend. “Your guests will appreciate these details,” Pinterest proclaims in all seriousness.

Pinterest weddings consist mostly of glitter, carefully avoiding most any whiff of marriage. And Pinterest engagements consist entirely of white-smiled women laughing in a circle around a blonde bride somewhere floral.

You do not learn from Pinterest that life goes on and on while you are engaged, that while you try to wrestle your role of Bride into submitting to your wishes, your boss keeps giving you deadlines and your friends keep needing you and your relationship with The Groom keeps growing and changing. You don’t expect to develop, overnight, skills like overseeing a budget of several thousand dollars, working with contractors, project management, or people appeasement, but you do it; you accept this inauguration into the world of women’s work, unpaid and unrespected, the way you accept the workout plans and etiquette guides tailored to your Situation, which would be laughable if aimed at grooms.

You learn from Pinterest that your engaged life will be happy, and it will be, but the airy photos don’t show just how full and even crowded life becomes. You quickly discover that no color-scheme paint swatches can cover over the family history and identity crises that demand you finally deal with them; no cute graphic can depict the timeline of fights and reconciliations, money talks and politics talks, silent drives and quiet hikes that really make up your life with your beloved. It is all deeper and more boring and brighter and darker and stranger to be engaged than people bother to say to you. And to be a bride—at least in the South—is all of these things and more, because it binds up so many threads of your womanhood for display and therefore scrutiny. It is, by very odd turns and at very odd times, to be searingly lonely and to be overwhelmed by sisterhood; to be feminist, and unfeminist, and guilty about betraying tradition, and guilty about betraying feminism; to be the gracious and caring woman-hostess-daughter-friend-fiancée you always wanted to be, and to be the weary bitchy mess of a person you thought you left behind with your teenage years.

All this is too much for Pinterest. You can throw all the neatly-lettered slogans of empowerment you want at it, but they won’t crack it. And you won’t have time to resent it, either, only to carry on with whatever you figure is best for you and your family and the new family you’re creating. That is what a good woman does, in the end, traditional or feminist or gracious or not. And by the time you make it to the end of the aisle, ready or not, you’ll be a Bride, and with any luck or work or help, all of this will have helped you recognize that you were Beautiful all along.

If not, at least there will finally be champagne.

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1 Comment

  1. jacquelineinatlanta

     /  May 16, 2016

    Well, crap. I didn’t order any Champagne. –mommie

    Reply

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