A disclaimer on this post: I really don’t know how this will be received. But it comes from a good place in my heart so I wanted to write it, and it really is about what researching for a wedding entails if you are a woman of color.
I am subscribed to a ton of wedding blogs. On average I get about 10 new posts an hour delivered to my feed. It is an endless stream. One reason I’m subscribed to such a high volume of writing just about weddings is the problem of representation. Women and people of color make up such a small percentage of the visible wedding community, that is the people that get blogged about and featured online.
It takes a huge volume of subscriptions to see a handful of brides and families like mine (or grooms like my fiancé). Over time, being a woman of color, I’ve had to learn to decode some of the language people use to talk about race without actually talking about it. An example of racially coded language is when someone uses the word “ghetto” when referring to black dominated spaces or people. Or when someone describes a football player as a “thug” instead of a “tough guy” or “rowdy.”
This is just a slice of what I can tell you about coded racial language in what I have seen in the wedding world. And with this I don’t mean to undermine the work of people who are doing their best to see diversity represented online! But I do want to help maybe change the ways that we talk about it. And while there are certainly many exceptions to my examples, these are just the ones that I see crop up most often.
There is something about wedding planning that has made my decision making skills get all out of whack. Making a decision about anything external to my look for the wedding has been relatively easy and has caused me little stress. The same cannot be said for anything to do with my bridal look. I struggled with my dress decision. I have waffled on my hair for months and months.
And…I nearly went crazy shoe shopping.
This is one of those situations that started off innocently enough, but when nothing felt right, I continued to search, and look and search and look and search. As time went on, I was getting nowhere closer to what I was looking for. So much time and energy had gone into such a simple task, that the amount of time spent looking had led to even more pressure to find the right shoe. After all of this time, I couldn’t just settle on something just for the sake of finding something.
After dinner, it was time for the toasts. This was really the last formal moment of the wedding before people started to dance and let loose. Up first was my dad. He’s a quiet guy, but he wrote out his speech and practiced for weeks leading up to the wedding. He really did a nice job—he was a nice balance of sweet and funny.
One of the biggest perks of getting married at the Mansion of Valley Country Club is that when it comes to décor, less is more. The mansion itself is beautifully adorned, and the ballroom’s uplighting and drapery means our decorating needs are minimal. My budget loves that.
But I still wanted to add our own touch. The handful of times I’d imagined having a wedding, I pictured standing with my groom under an arch or chuppah.* But the ballroom’s low-hanging drapery means high structures are out. The pictures I’d seen of indoor weddings at the mansion had the couple and officiant standing in front of an ornate gold mirror. It is lovely, but I wanted something more.
Hello hive! We’re all getting together on the Weddingbee boards for a post-a-thon RIGHT NOW (Wednesday at 7:00 EST).
Wedding season is in full swing, and I know a lot of you have a wedding date looming SOON. So why not take a night off and relax with your fellow hive members for some wedding-related and not-wedding-related chatter?
Haven’t participated in a post-a-thon before? They’re super fun! Hive members, bloggers, and hostesses swarm the boards to chat about all kinds of things, from “How should I do my nails on my wedding day?” to “What’s for dinner tonight?” There will also be a chat thread for general conversation in “real time.”
Keep in mind that anyone can participate: married, engaged, waiting”—whatever!
The hostesses will be there to get things kicked off, so please join us!