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Redheaded Stepchild: Sometimes Wedding Sites Are Scary

A blogumn by Redheaded Stepchild

As previously noted, I am now a watcher of wedding shows. When Law & Order and Doctor Who aren’t on in our home, the TV is tuned to any one of the many shows on WEtv that is targeted to women who love weddings. Amazing Wedding Cakes, Bridezillas, My Fair Wedding – it’s all straight-up wedding porn designed to make you feel dirty and love it.

Five years ago I would have run screaming with one glance at these shows, but now I find it interesting to see how other people navigate incorporating their own personalities into what is often a fairly standard-issue ceremony. Or rather … I like seeing IF people can incorporate themselves, and if so, how.

And I’m trying to figure that out my own self. Apparently going to eight weddings in the last seven years wasn’t enough, so I’ve started trolling the web and going to sites like The Knot, which oh so desperately wants to be my one-stop vendor center, commiseration pool, and vanity mirror. It’s the online wedding Mall of America. I can figure out a budget, list wedding guests, find dresses, and get deals on photographers. I signed in to look at cakes today and it gave me a To Do list, ok? And do you know how many things were on my To Do list? ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY-FOUR.

I mean…on the one hand, thanks The Knot! As a total novice at this (unlike that manager on Say Yes to the Dress who seems to get married and engaged for a living), I appreciate your efforts to make planning a wedding easier. On the other hand: Aaaaahhhh, get away from me, you scary freak! Stop sending me postcards from businesses you want me to hire! It’s creepy. And you’re stressing me out.

The smaller websites and blogs seem far less scary at the moment.

We’re still brainstorming what kind of party we want to have – we’re not interviewing caterers, for criminy’s sake. Far less stressful is Wedding Bee, which has a very helpful Real Budgets section. Doesn’t it sound useful to look through the budgets of folks who’ve actually gotten hitched? It is. And sometimes the budgets will be bundled by price, so that you can peruse three budgets of 5K, 10K, 25K, whatever you’ve got.

Also: The Knot is overwhelmingly heterosexual. I need some examples of folks like me, too, and I’ve found myself drawn to Off-Beat Bride to get my alternative wedding fix. At first I was all, “oh, it’s just people with tattoos and died hair” and while that is true of some posts, it’s also true that there are same-gendered couples, couples with one trans partner, and just in general folks (mostly young, and it’s true, mostly white) trying to make this big ol’ tradition meet their idea of happiness and union in their own way.

I appreciate that.

Any of you Fierce and Nerdy folks have some good wedding sites to share?