I got married last year and it was awesome. My husband, Henry, and I look back at our wedding day and we are still amazed how we pulled off a rager with a sweet emotional ceremony at the center.
I love hearing about my wedding from all the guests. It is like a movie that I get to re-watch over and over again, adding new scenes every time someone tells a funny tidbit about the conversation at their table, or the moves people were busting out on the dance floor. I love experiencing the day through everyone else’s eyes because as a bride you are pulled in a million different directions. So to know people were enjoying themselves and making memories because of Henry and I gives me such a special feeling.
But, as anyone knows, weddings are not all diamonds and roses. In fact, the process of planning a wedding can be so emotionally taxing you end up asking yourself why you decided to throw this party for 150+ people in the first place. I’m not going to get into the weeds of family drama, budgets, and how many bridesmaids you should choose. There are literally 1,000,000 other blog posts on the emotional logistics of planning a wedding. What I want to address is our favorite wedding inspo-site, Pinterest.
Before I was engaged, like so many women out there, I had a wedding board. I would come across things on Pinterest that I thought were cute or funny, or something that I had to have at my own wedding. My board was full of lace, gorgeous blush roses, and dramatic locations. When I scrolled through every so often I was so happy with the inspiration I curated. It was so me.
As things got more serious with me and Henry my friends and family would send me cute pins to add to the board. Everyone knew it was coming up so why not try and nail down some of the great ideas ahead of time? Look at this flower arrangement—isn’t it perfect? Oh, what about these bridesmaids dresses—this would look PERFECT on my bestie. Oh, we definitely have to book this Airbnb—it’s so cozy and cute for the bachelorette party! Before I knew it, I had a thousand pins on my board dedicated to a wedding that didn’t even have a set date.
Eventually, I started to get self-conscious that Henry would never propose (another post for another day), so before we went on a big family trip together I made my wedding board secret. I just couldn’t stand to look at this beautiful wedding that I never thought I would have.
But, he did propose. On Christmas Day of 2018. So that night I fired that baby back up and started pinning with a VENGEANCE. If you’re into Pinterest, you get it. You’re excited about the idea and what that day will look like. And the algorithms promote it. If you like a pin about “wedding hair” get ready to see perfect up-dos flood your feed for the next 2 weeks. I even started printing some things out in preparation for our “wedding meetings” that we started having in January 2019 (yes, I am Monica Geller).
As you can imagine, spaces in Chicago were beautiful but so so so expensive. And oddly spaced. My dream venue, the Chicago History Museum was $10,000 for a night and the space was suited for 300 people. We knew right away we were having a limited guest list so that cancelled my dream venue out right away. I was heartbroken. Also, I couldn’t imagine my grandparents, or anyone for that matter, trying to make it down to our wedding in rush hour traffic. It just seemed so frustrating, my Pinterest dreams were not living up to reality.
So, back to the drawing board. I immediately hit up Pinterest on the ride home trying to find cozy venues that I thought fit our aesthetic – maybe this cool venue in Ravenswood, maybe this one in the West Loop, it’s got great food ratings. They all came up short. So, we decided to expand our search and listen to some advice from our family. That’s when we visited Conway Farms and everything fell into place. They checked every box on our “must have” list. Instead of only giving us dates summer of 2020, they had dates available in October – of that year. I had always wanted a fall wedding and they’d take care of the food, the linens, the clean up, the sound system, you name it. It ended up being a perfect fit and we signed within a couple of weeks of visiting.
What’s funny is, Conway Farms was never on my Pinterest board. In fact, so many of the things we chose to do were not on there. I’d consider a lot of our wedding “unpinnable” because we focused on the choices in front of us. As a team we tried to make decisions that made sense for the space and for what people would actually enjoy. There is so much wedding-industry bullshit out there that seems cute but really is a waste of time and money. As we went through the process, I started to realize I was looking at my board less and less for inspiration and more and more as a repository for the decisions we had already made.
So eventually I deleted it. I went through and started deleting items when I made a decision. Bridesmaids dresses? Delete. Wedding dress bought? Delete. I didn’t need these images to help me decide, if anything they were hurting me. It felt so freeing to stop comparing what I had chosen to the vision I had created for myself. I was continuously comparing my real-life choices to the choices I had made for myself on Pinterest, and let me tell you that shit is mentally exhausting. Don’t compare yourself to anyone, especially a past version of yourself. And don’t hold yourself hostage to ideas you had previously. You need to give yourself the freedom to make choices and decisions based on what’s happening to you at the moment.
It took me a long time to realize I was comparing myself to… myself. But since then I have tried to resist pinning-away my future. Now that the wedding is over, it’s so fun to pin the next stage of my life, but the reality is I’m just setting myself up for another Pinterest fail.
What I’ve realized is, life will never match Pinterest. My first home, my next job, my firstborn, the nursery, none of it will look like Pinterest. That doesn’t mean stop pinning, it just means pin with the understanding that the choices in front of you will look and feel different. And if you choose to embrace that, it will feel more real—more earned because you made the decision for yourself. Not based off photos on the internet.
I’m just like you. My life can be hectic and cooking, cleaning and getting that workout in are sometimes the last thing on my mind. But, I’m here to share my tips and tricks on how to make adulting a little more enjoyable.