Are Mason jars really ruining the wedding industry?

By on Nov. 7th
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Photo by Wendy Capili-Wilkie

In the latest chapter of the on-going online discussion about hating trends and trashing wedding blogs came this piece entitled, The Mason jar manifesto, wherein a photographer scolds couples, photographers, and wedding planners alike for over-emphasizing wedding details and trends like Mason jars and twinkly fairy lights. The blog post has been well-received by other photographers as well as wedding industry people, but I wasn't a fan.

I hate to be the asshole raining on your wedding-detail-trend-hating parade here, but there is NOTHING wrong with Mason jars and twinkly lights. In fact, all hail Mason jars and twinkly lights for their instant-party-making vibes. (Seriously, you can transform ANY location into a party wonderland with some twinkly-ass lighting — it's awesome.)

Maybe y'all will hate me and ride me out of the alternative wedding blogging biz on a rail when I say: details are the shit! Details make my day. Give me a great photo of some unexpected detail and I'm "dayum Ariel, did you check this out!? Let's feature this asap." You know why?

Because I know why you come here. I was planning a wedding once, myself. I clearly already had the groom and the bride situation taken care of. We both bought our plane tickets, we were gonna be stuck on a small island together with nowhere to run, this shit was happening. What I didn't have a clue about was how to plan the party that I had invited all my guests to, how I could pull it off, and how it would all come together in the end. So I went to wedding blogs to see how other people planned their parties, how they all pulled it off, and how it all came together in the end. I didn't come to wedding blogs to see people's aunts dancing with their nephews, or see twenty photos in a row of the bride and groom with slightly different looks on their faces, or twenty different poses. Poses weren't what I was after… details were.

Oh man, those colors look RAD together, who knew? Inspiration! Oh, what? They made decor out of magazines — looks cool AND it's budget-friendly? Inspiration! Sugar skull cake toppers? I never thought about edible cake toppers. Inspiration! Twinkly lights added to a restaurant venue = instant mood-lighting! Inpsiration! Oh shit, candles or flowers inside freaking Mason jars ALWAYS look fabulous. Good to know if I don't get my DIY centerpieces to work, I just get me some freaking jars. Inspiration!

That said, you all should know by now that we love weddings with little-to-no decor details — I mean, we feature TONS of simple weddings, including reminders about the power and beauty of simple weddings, too. Simple weddings are all about the LOVE, baby. It's part of the reason I love my job so much. I'm constantly immersed in loving happy people, and that is totally the point of a wedding. But, if this blog was soley dedicated to weddings with NO details, I think we'd fall off your RSS list pretty darn fast. Can you imagine, instead of posts like alternative guest book roundups we featured this:

2 simple ways to NOT have a wedding guestbook

  1. Don't buy a guest book.
  2. Buy a guest book but don't bring it to the venue.

Oh HELL no. That's not compelling. And completely not as fun as looking at creative detail inspiration, like, oh say (*gasp*) a vintage typewriter.

I'm not saying that details are the end-all be-all of weddings, or that they're the most important thing. They're not. All you need is a willing couple and an officiant. Hell! You don't even need a photographer, or guests — those are just details as well. What I'm saying is details are not, as The Mason Jar Manifesto claims, "derailing your wedding train."

While we celebrate simple weddings, we refuse to vilify brides who choose to go for more ornate weddings.

I believe that if you decided to have or had Mason jars, vintage typewriters, fairy lights, or hay bales at your wedding that it does NOT mean you didn't have a meaningful event, or that it was any LESS meaningful than a wedding with minimal details. It also doesn't mean that those things, although totally unnecessary, aren't FULL of meaning to you and your partner. I know my offbeat brides, and y'all had them there for specific reasons. No worries, I got your back, and so do the other brides who came here to see how you pulled off YOUR wedding details for their own inspiration.

So, should we celebrate simple wedding just as much as we celebrate detail-filled hooplas? Yes. In fact, we love them simple weddings so much that we're devoting this ENTIRE WEEK to the light-on-the-details shindigs. But while we celebrate simple weddings, should we vilify the brides who incorporate the latest wedding trends, or slave for hours over their DIY projects, and the photographers who photograph them, as being the reason the wedding industry has slid off the rails? Absolutely not.

I think I'll end my post with a quote as well. Not from a client of mine, but from a Heidi, the "Heidzillas" wedding planner who said it best when she said, "If there's going to be any anti-wedding trend movement, let's make it against the ridiculous falsely-dramatized wedding TV shows! Not the latest style."

Amen sister, there are WAY worse things happening to the wedding industry right now than Mason jars and twinkly lights. So stay tuned later on in the week when we tackle what's wrong with wedding reality shows, and, in the meantime LEAVE MASON JARS ALONE!

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About Megan Finley

Megan Finley is the Associate Publisher for the Offbeat Empire. When she's not slaving away for the Empire, she's sharing her dork side on her own blog, Twitter @meganfinley, and Instagram @meggyfin.