The Apparent Perils of Planning a Wedding as an Unengaged Lady

Meagan Dill

So, it’s true I spent a lot of time talking about myself on this here blog, but now I want to learn something about you, dear readers. Are you A) single, B) engaged, or C) married? I think there are all sorts of reasons for visiting a niche website like this one- and not, as conventional thinking would have us believe- that it’s reserved for only those women who are literally planning a wedding at the moment. The reason that I bring this up is because several media outlets  have been railing against the concept of  women who not only dare to conceptualise their not- yet existent wedding, but even go so far as putting pen to paper (or more likely pin to Pinterest board) in order to prepare for the big day.  In my effort to understand why this seemingly benign phenomenon is even an issue, I’ve tried to deconstruct every offended and ‘offending’ voice contributing to the matter. Let’s discuss.

Broadly speaking, it seems like there are two (three if we’re getting technical) typical groups of opinions you’ll encounter on this issue. First, there’s the mainstream media that seems, most commonly, to repudiate the idea of idly collecting wedding ideas until you have. That. Ring. On. Your. Finger. And if you’re planning in spite of no proposal in sight, it’s totally wrong for you to have so much as a couple of digital clippings and if you then there’s a serious problem and your family should hold an intervention and you need to seek treatment because your whole life is now a disaster. (Um, no. Overreaction much?)

The conceptual responses- often touted by self- proclaimed feminists- are as follows.. The first blames it all on society, bemoaning that, “Women aren’t the problem, the Big Bad Industry is totally the problem and we’re all victims!” (dramatic capitalisation and all). Then there’s the flipside to this: the patronising response, casting these single ladies as so very sad and ultimately shameful to our sex because a person can’t possibly believe in feminism and like weddings, can they? Sigh.

In reality, I think that while all three of these reactions do have some element of validity to them, none of them seem to be looking at the complete picture. First off, it’s true that many women don’t begin to even vaguely plan their weddings until it becomes an upcoming reality for them. But those head-in-the-clouds romantics, or hell, anyone who likes pinning pretty things that happen to revolve around weddings, should not be maligned for their private interests and desires. Secondly, like any other industry, the wedding industry tries to insert itself wherever possible, and take full advantage of its clientele. The most obvious confirmation of this is probably the idea of  the “dream wedding” itself – I’m looking at you, bridal reality shows. And thirdly, feminism’s core principals sort of centre around men and women being equal in all aspects conceivable- which includes encouraging everyone to like what they like and do what they like, right? You can absolutely be a feminist, and still choose to dress exclusively in pink and throw a wedding to rival that of Will and Kate’s.

But, and here’s the real core of the issue, does this mean every woman is so bound by these ideals that they exclusively dictate every action on her part in the lead-up up to the big day? I don’t think so. When it comes down to it, we’re all complex beings with much more individual variation than the sociological subjects we’re sometimes reduced to by this kind of sweeping generalisation.

Consequently, there are extreme cases alongside the typical ones. There’ll always be someone who takes things too far – and I think that line is crossed over when idle daydreaming turns to solid planning. A bit of daydreamy pinning is not the same thing as booking a venue or buying a wedding dress.

What do you guys think? Big deal or no big deal? What say ye, single ladies? Also, I happen to love Pinterest wedding boards (despite not being engaged, shock horror) so share yours below!