If you’ve never watched the show, it features four brides who attend and score each other’s weddings as they each compete to win a dream honeymoon. Every aspect of a bride’s wedding is put on display and is open for critique, including her gown, the venue, the food, and the overall guest experience. This show is utterly entertaining and fun to watch, and I’m the first to admit that I’m hooked. But at the end of the day, I also worry that shows like this perpetuate the strong pressure many brides feel to be the “best” in the eyes of family, friends, and even strangers.
As for me, I’m as guilty as anyone. From the very beginning, Stephen and I told ourselves that our day was not a competition, and that as long as we stayed true to ourselves and to our desires, the wedding would be perfect. But after months of planning, blogging and reading, a bevy of competitive thoughts slowly began creeping into my head. Would our photos be as beautiful as some of the others I’d seen on my favorite blogs and websites? Would guests who'd previously attended weddings with much larger budgets and at more elaborate venues consider our celebration “cheap”? Would I look thin and fit enough in my gown?
Admitting these moments of weakness was embarrassing and difficult, especially since I am someone who strives to live in a very positive and accepting way. But let’s be honest. These types of thoughts often come with the territory in the wedding world, and I bet just about every bride has had them at one time or another. Recognizing them and trying to get past them is half the battle, but sadly, some brides never seem to reach this stage.
For example, just a couple weeks ago, my colleague told me the story of a friend who had moved up her wedding date so that her celebration would be sure to outshine that of a friend getting married later in the year. And everywhere I turn, I hear more stories about brides who undergo plastic surgery, liposuction, and any number of other crazy procedures in a struggle to appear beautiful in the eyes of others. Stories like these make me very sad, and that’s why, given the chance, I would never want to appear on a show such as Four Weddings.
Planning a wedding that pleases the bride and groom while also providing a great experience for guests is already challenging enough, without the added pressure of having every aspect scrutinized by TV cameras and accented with catty comments by brides who are quick to rattle off everything they "hate" about the gown, venue, vows…you name it. Instead, I would much rather remember my day just as I perceived it – as being beautiful, authentic, and true to our personalities, finances and beliefs.
What do you think, ladies? Do you view your wedding as a chance to compete with friends and relatives, and have you felt pressured to make your day “the best”? Would you ever want to appear on a wedding reality show?
(Photo Credits: Alex Neumann Photography)