As I started wedding planning, I kept hearing the same advice: “Don’t discuss the details with too many people.” Because people have opinions: They will tell you that they don’t like dahlias, that no DJ could ever be as good as a band, and that it would be rude not to give every guest a plus-one. Listening to this constant feedback, the wisdom goes, can result in a watered-down event that doesn’t look anything like you’d hoped. But while it’s easy enough to keep wedding conversations casual with people I actually know, it’s been harder to avoid the chatter since my algorithms have figured out I’m a bride.
Inspiration photos are inescapable. A quick scroll through Pinterest shows Diana Rigg as the only Bond bride in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and Anna Nicole Smith in puff sleeves and a veil. On Instagram, I see a flood of black-and-white postnup kisses, five-figure floral arrangements, and three-carat oval diamonds perched on impossibly thin bands. On TikTok, there are videos ranting against expensive wedding cakes (which helpfully saved some room in my budget); voyeuristic compilations of a stranger’s special day; and entertaining nonsense like one video of wedding gowns inspired by different musical instruments.
Morgan Casper is one of the wedding content creators I see most frequently. “[Here are] two wedding trends I love for 2022 and two I could probably live without,” she chirps in one video. If you’re on WeddingTok too, I bet you’ll recognize her. Young, blonde, and beautiful, Casper has amassed 50,000 followers who come to her for advice on wedding planning, though she’s clear she’s not an expert—just a former bride who wants others to learn from her mistakes. I enjoy her content, but that doesn’t stop me from holding my breath through her trend videos, just as anxious to hear that something I’ve chosen is on its way in as I am nervous that something is out.
What, exactly, is in, according to Casper? Hanging florals (“a timeless addition”) and creative escort-card walls, with Champagne or succulents announcing a guest’s seat instead of just a piece of paper. Her dislikes are open-air tents and balloons (“Don’t hate me!”). Okay, I can take a breath now.
Sure, I could scroll right past, but I’m morbidly curious whether these videos will give me any insight about how my choices will be perceived. While I don’t believe my wedding will be the most important or happiest day of my life, it does tend to be the most photographed. The average cost for a wedding in the United States, according to the Knot, is $28,000. Because of these factors, every aesthetic decision can feel disproportionately fraught. Not only am I attaching myself to a particular person during this event, but I’m also tying myself to a look.