I’ve noticed a lot lately that people have been giving bloggers a really hard time. In particular, wedding bloggers always seem to get the most criticism. It usually comes in the form of something like this:
“Why do you think your wedding is so important?”
“Why do you think you’re better than everyone?”
“Everyone gets married why are you making such a big deal out of it?”, etc.
Pretty harsh, no?
I’d like to think that my blog has been immune to criticism but that’s not true. There are plenty of friends and family who have thought or said similar things.
Going into the blogging world, I knew that I was opening myself up for criticism and I prepared myself to hear negative and hurtful things. You think this would have lessened the blow the first time we received some negative feedback but it actually still really hurt.
The gist of the comment was much like the sentiments I expressed above. Somehow my blog was being misconstrued as a self-aggrandizing ego fest about how my wedding was better than everyone else. And I must be a really self-involved person because I was talking about a wedding that occurred forever ago.
Yeah, it was a stinger. I took it really personally because I felt like my character was under attack. I never in a million years would start a blog as an ego boost. I think in fact if you knew me you would know that I really hardly ever talk about myself. I made extra strides during our wedding planning to make sure that I didn’t start the wedding talk first with friends or family. I always waited until someone asked a question before I ever started talking about it. I was petrified of becoming that friend that no one wants to talk to because all she talks about is her wedding.
After getting over my initial shock and hurt, I started really thinking about why it is that I wanted to write about our wedding. So in a small way, I’m grateful that I was criticized because it made me really reflect on my behavior and my motivations. And what I ended up figuring out is that I’m blogging for millions of reasons. Maybe a few of them are selfishly motivated, but bottom line is that it all was grounded in love.
So in the theme of this week’s list posts, I decided to explain the 4 reasons that I wrote a wedding blog.
#1- To Remember The Moments I Would Otherwise Forget
I think the biggest motivator in wanting to write a blog was having a way to memorialize my feelings and thoughts throughout the entire process. I can’t stress enough how quickly the planning and actual wedding day goes by. While I have pictures and a video, the feelings and nuances of that day are really only captured in my memories. As we all know, memories are fleeting. I knew the only way I would remember all the fabulous minutia of our wedding was to write it all down after it happened.
My wedding recaps ended up being much like an open-ended love letter to my family, my friends, and my husband. It was a time where I really thought about every single detail, moment, and tear and really reflected on what it all meant. Having that reflective space was absolutely priceless. The growth and depth that it brought to my soul is really immeasurable.
The recaps also helped to ground me in my marriage and remind me of what a marriage is really truly all about. I looked back at our wedding ceremony and absorbed all the words we had so delicately crafted. I memorized my husband’s vows to me. A sacred promise of what our lives are to be together. Being able to process those emotions afterward makes me appreciate my husband and our love even more. So if it offends people that I wrote a blog as a way to memorialize those sacred moments, I’ll gladly take whatever criticism you have to dish out.
|*Not my kid, just my cute nephew*|
#2- For Our Children
In your head I know you all are thinking I have a secret child that no one knows about but I’m talking about the future children that my husband and I hope to have. I wrote this blog for them.
When I was a very small child, my father was diagnosed with Hairy Cell Leukemia. While this type of Leukemia is easily treatable (doctors typically remove your spleen), he was also fighting a severe case of pneumonia, which was only complicating matters. The combination of both illnesses left him bed-stricken in a hospital for months.
I was too young to remember any of this. In fact, my parents never told us kids about his Leukemia until I was an adult. (My parents just said that he had really bad pneumonia. All of us were too young to remember and my youngest brother hadn’t even been born.) My parents didn’t want to burden us with this idea that my Dad had Leukemia. I truly understand why they did it. Carrying that fear around with you is scary.
When I did find out that he in fact had Leukemia, I had a completely different outlook on the entire situation. It became undeniably obvious that I very well could have grown up without a father. But what was worse than that was the thought that I would have grown up without having a single memory of him.
My father is not one for diaries or letters. And he really hates having his picture taken. So I would have had to have grown up with only second hand knowledge of who he was and how he loved my mother. Just even thinking about it makes me cry.
After sifting through the whirlwind of emotions and feelings and what ifs, the only thing I could think about is that I needed to protect my kids from that experience. That if, God forbid, something happened to me or their father, they would still have memories and stories to which to cling.
Besides being a letter to my family and friends, this blog is a love letter to our future children. So that they may always know the love that I had and continue to have for their father. So that they can understand who we were when we were young adults. So that they can see how we grew and changed. But most importantly, so that they can see just how much we loved each other.
Perhaps that’s a tad bit dramatic. But I’m not telling this story for drama’s sake. I’m telling it because this is how I feel. I’ve always wanted to be a mom. The thought that my kids would grow up not knowing how I felt about their father on our wedding day was too much to handle for me. Regardless of what happens to me, I want them to have the opportunity to witness and read our love story as it unfolded.
So the next time that you hear someone say that brides writing wedding blogs are self-involved, think of this story. Think of the gift that they have given their unborn children; the gift that their children may be able to see life and love through their eyes. I’ll gladly taking the mocking of this blog so that I can have peace of mind knowing that my children will have a chance to know me beyond whatever memories they have.
#3- For The Ones Who Couldn’t Be There
I decided to spend so much time on our wedding recaps because we had friends and family that couldn’t be there.
As I’ve mentioned before, none of my husband’s grandparents were able to attend our wedding due to health issues. On top of that, one of my grandmothers got really ill in the middle of our reception and she had to leave early. I also had a very dear friend of mine who was unable to attend our wedding because she is overseas.
I wanted to give them a way to feel like they were there with us in every moment. I only hope that our wedding recaps made them feel like they were sitting there next to us. Perhaps, the recaps help to lessen their guilt and sadness about not being there.
And in case you think I’m exaggerating about “old” people using the internet, I know for a fact that my grandmother walked herself down to their nursing home’s computer room just so she could watch our wedding trailer. Even “old” people appreciate wedding blogs.
So if making my grandma smile means I’m self-aggrandizing, I’ll take that title too.
#4- To Pay It Forward
I owe most of my ideas and sanity during the wedding planning process to wedding blogs. Every time I ran into a problem, there was always a blog I could read to help me sort it out. Whenever I needed inspiration, I could always rely on my favorite wedding girls to give me something to think about. When my head got too big, there was always a post that truly reminded me what weddings are all about.
I would be missing out on the opportunity to help others like I was helped if I didn’t post about my wedding. I posted the good, the bad, and the ugly so that others could learn from our mistakes and triumphs. So that their wedding day would be less stressful and more enjoyable.
In the small time I’ve been writing recaps, I’ve gotten multiple emails from brides getting married at Antrim. They were thankful for the opportunity to see how a wedding flowed from start to finish. Thankful that they got to see Antrim decorated in its full glory. Thankful that they could learn from our mistakes. Thankful that they could be less stressed out about having their wedding there.
There’s nothing more rewarding than knowing that someone else out there has benefited from these silly posts. I’m truly humbled every time I get a sweet, thankful email. I really should be thanking you for taking the time to read.
So I just want to say thank you to those who take the time to read this blog. Thank you to those of you who take the time to comment or send me emails. And thank you for taking the time to read this post.
I hope it shed a little light on why I blog and why other brides blog. Maybe it made you think twice about criticizing another blogger for being self-centered or self-absorbed. You can never truly know the motivations of other people. But I hope that throughout my posts, even before this one, I came across in a humble manner.
If I ever did make you feel like I was bragging or self-involved, I apologize. It couldn’t be further from the truth.
Because at the end of the day who I truly write this for is my husband and my children. May this blog always serve as my open-ended love letter to them.