So, the Mason Jar Manifesto. I get what he means, and the spirit of the manifesto is great, but I sympathize with those in the APW comments who said it made them feel guilty and ashamed. While I was wedding planning I often felt like I was constantly in a lose/lose situation. Spend too much? You’re a selfish, wasteful brat. Spend too little? You don’t care about your guests enough to make sure they have a good time. Etc.
I think the “mason jar” backlash creates another lose/lose. Mason jars and hay bales and bunting were a RESPONSE to an industry that was all about Swarovski crystals and ice sculptures and tried to make it more homey and affordable. Calling this the Mason Jar Manifesto seems to me like we’re spreading the word to brides that using those things is also a sign that they are superficial. Boo. I hate that. We have PLENTY of messaging already about how brides are too superficial. We get it.
Having a wedding is such a public display of your aesthetics on a level that you have likely never experienced before, which can be scary, especially for those of us who are not event planners or artists by nature. So I think we become extra sensitive about our little choices. Even if we know they are just the icing on the cake. We picked out that icing, damnit, and it wasn’t easy.
The problem for me with this manifesto is when the criticism is leveled at the couples. It should, in my opinion, be directed at only to bloggers and photographers and anyone who talks about weddings in a public space. The couple had to pick something to drink out of, somewhere for people to sit, someway to light the venue. Picking mason jars and hay bales and fairy lights does not make them care less about their love. Photographing that stuff and placing it more prominently/frequently in your blog than the smiling couple photo? Asking the bride about her cake and her colors but not how she met the groom or why she is excited to marry him in your magazine profile? That’s what makes it seem like we are supposed to care less about love and more about pretty things (especially when that’s what you see over and over and over again).
I just call for a moratorium on using wedding style choices to make determinations about a couple’s worth. Kim Kardashian had a big ol’ crazy bash and got divorced right after. Chelsea Clinton also had a big ol’ crazy wedding bash and she and her beau seem like happy clams. Having a vintage-y wedding does not MEAN anything about how happy you are or how you prioritize your life. Having a stripped down, simple wedding does not make you a virtuous couple nor does it make you doomed. It just is completely, 100% immaterial. It is a party. You are throwing a party. I wish we could stop translating the type of party you have into conclusions about who you are.