Weekend Wonderings

You might have seen this already. Certainly, our twitter feeds were set alight by it as soon as it appeared. My initial skim-read of it resulted in a butterfly-ey tummy and twitchy fingers…’who can I share this with? I must SHARE THE AWESOMENESS…!’

Once I had done just that, shared with as many people as my frantically tapping fingers could reach, I sat back and I read again. And I felt calm. I felt, feel, that things are righting themselves in the wonderful and occasionally batshit crazy world of the modern wedding. That people are remembering to ‘Strip it back. Peel the layers off. And start again.’

Remembering to be just a girl and a boy, in love. Or a girl and a girl. Or a boy and boy. In love.

AOWers, I give you Jonas Peterson and his ‘Manifesto of sorts’. And I warn you, if you’re going to head over to his site, you might want to make a few phonecalls first, cancelling all your plans for the day.

It’s 4.47am when I sit down to write this. I woke up 30 minutes ago and couldn’t go back to sleep. I’ve been thinking about this for so long, but a couple of things lately have reinforced what I already knew.

The wedding train has derailed.

Put down those mason jars, store away that vintage typewriter and fairy lights and sit down because you need to listen. This is an intervention. The whole wedding industry has gone detail bananas and we need to clear a few things up.

- You! Over there! Step away from the hay bales and the Vintage Navajo rugs and come over here. Sit! Down! No, you don’t have to put lavender on the plates, you need to wake up!

We’re getting lost in details. The whole wedding industry is drifting away from what weddings are about and we’re all part of the problem – bloggers, photographers, planners and vendors – all hypocrites feeding the detail beast.

Strip it back.

Peel the layers off.

And start again.

At the center of every wedding we have a girl. Who fell in love with a boy. Or a girl who fell in love with a girl. Or a boy who fell in l… you get my point.

The rest is fluff.

If you read magazines and wedding blogs today, you’d think it’s all about the dress, the decorations, invitations or a million other things.


It’s not.

It’s about celebrating love, a manifestation of commitment, a gathering of friends and family.

Because you’re in love.

But if you visit many of the blogs today, you’d think it’s about other things. Heck, there are even themed shoots with no people. As if candles and old LP players on a blanket in a clearing in a forest make a wedding. Just add people. And maybe a groom. Or actually don’t, the wedding is about the details, remember? Details, details, details.

Strip it back.

Peel the layers off.

And start again.

Weddings are about people, it’s about commitment and celebrating love. It’s about you. Build on that and everything else will follow.

I am a detail person, so it’s not that I don’t like details. I love details. Details, details, details. Love them. I honestly do. I’ve worked with some of the best planners in the business and they’ve styled weddings to perfection, made details stand out and it’s always been great, because they’ve built on the couples, starting with who they are.

When I was younger I used to record mix tapes and give to girls I liked.

Every detail was thought out, every letter, every scribble, every word on that tape had meaning. I love me some details. I grew up in a house with vintage bottles and mason jars everywhere. That and rocks collected from oceans and fields. So I get the jar and bottle thing, I truly do. Throw in some rocks and I’m there. But remember what the wedding is about, why you’re doing this, that’s all you really need. Don’t stress out about building a fairytale wedding, perfectly crafted, every detail borrowed from somewhere else.

Look away from the blogs and magazines.

And look within.

Why are you doing this? What does it mean to you? Do you really need all that…stuff? And if you want stuff, are you adding stuff that actually means something to you? What do you want to remember from your day? The cake, the flowers, the dress from Hoya de la Poopy?

Or do you want to focus on that moment between you two? The boy? Who fell in love with a girl?

Strip it back.

Peel the layers off.

And start again.

Categories: Weekend Wonderings
9 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Becs
    Posted October 29, 2011 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Aisling.
    I have been reading AOW for a while now in the hope that it will calm my nervy "yes our wedding should be simple, but surely it will only be successful if we have 27 doves taking to the skies as we say our 'I do' and a cake taller than my gran" (hence being awake as you were writing your blog today)
    but all I can say is 'Amen to that sister' and thank you for putting it so bluntly telling me (and any others who might lurk out there on the edges of the industrial-wedding-doom) to sort our flippin' heads out.
    Here's to love. Thank you.

  2. Posted October 29, 2011 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    I totally agree! I fell in love with a boy, hard in love, when we were both very young. Hadn't finished uni, had no money or firm plans. But we decided we didn't want to live without eachother and we wanted to get married. A few thought we were crazy, most could see we were mean't to be.

    We had a lovely wedding, but I would have married him without all the curfuffle and not felt a loss. My wonderful parents organised the whole thing while I was away at uni, and I fell in with it all happily, but wasn't detail-anxious if you know what I mean?! I didn't feel it had to be an explanation of me or my style savvy, I just wanted to marry my man. At 20 I wasn't even sure what my style was, and didn't care much. I had a quick trim at the hairdressers on the morning of the wedding and I don't think I wore make-up! My mum tied flowers from the garden to the pews and a friend made the cake, and we went to the reception on hired routemaster double decker buses. It was simple but so heartfelt and I'm glad I was too young/niave to getted stressed by the notion that it could somehow be an event to show off style credentials.

    Great design and artistry in a wedding (or a home for that matter), can be impressive but it shouldn't be what they are about, otherwise, as you say, the whole point, infact the soul, is lost. Amen!!!

  3. Esme
    Posted October 29, 2011 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Beautiful. Yes, remember that the ceremony IS the most important part of the day – it really is. Standing there and telling your boy (or girl) that you will love them forever and letting the people who mean most to you in the world how you feel. xx

  4. mahj
    Posted October 29, 2011 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Hoya de la Poopy will keep me laughing for the rest of the day. This makes me want to get married all over again.


  5. MrsJones
    Posted October 29, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    LOVE this. And oh so true. I definitely lost sight about why we were getting married and then with about six months to go I remembered that us getting married was the important part.

    It's true that some blogs and mags don't help, it's all about the luxe and teeny tiny details (which you MUST DIY for it to be cool and on trend). But I know from looking at my photos it is the love and happiness that radiates through the shots – yes certain things set the scene but it's all about L.O.V.E and it's far too easy to forget that sometimes…

  6. Posted October 29, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    So, so true.

    It makes me very sad when I hear brides say their wedding isn't 'blogworthy' – why has it become something to aspire too? There is already enough pressure in wedding planning to make sure you, your future husband, and both sides of the family are happy – why stress over what the whole of the t'internet thinks as well?

    I love AOW, because with AOP it gives every bride the opportunity to be blogged, to share their special moment or memory with the world without worrying if you have enough fake moustaches to go around. Heck, it doesn't even need to be a picture of you, or the one where you are looking your best….just the one that makes you feel the best inside.

    I have had to abandon 2 blogs that I used to read avidly as a bride because I just can't take seeing another bloody shot of the bride and groom without their heads….in 30 years time are you going to care what your feet looked like on your wedding day?!

    I think not.

  7. Posted October 29, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    So. Very. True. My favourite wedding photos are always of the people, the joy, and the love. The ones where you see what it really means.

    This is why I love you, AOW. Most wedding blogs often make me feel insecure about the wedding I'm (sort of chaotically vaguely) planning, but day after day AOW just makes me desperately count the minutes until I can say my vows to someone I love more than I ever realised was even possible, in front of the people who made me who I am, and made him the incredible him that he is.

    K x

  8. Posted October 31, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    Hear, hear! To all of the above! Thank you to all involved :-)

  9. Posted October 31, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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