feature image photo by mtreasure via Getty Images
I guess every bride has that One Thing.
Or maybe every bride like me has That One Thing.
Or maybe some brides have Many Things.
I don’t know, maybe some brides are extremely chill and have Zero Things!
All I know is that despite promising myself and my fiancée I wouldn’t get too stressed out about any aspect of the wedding, I somehow found myself fixating for hours over (and yes, definitely stressing)… our wedding hashtag. I want to roll my own eyes into the back of my head and then walk into the sea when I admit it, and yet! It is a truth! For some reason, deciding on the hashtag we would use at our wedding was the thing that kept me up at night for weeks. WHY?!?!
Well, for those who don’t know, wedding hashtags became popular more than a decade ago (I know, because I spent a lot of time in 2013 complaining about how stupid having a wedding hashtag was) as a way to organize the wedding photos people posted to social media. It was also a branding gimmick, a way to give your wedding a theme, so to speak. People tried to be punny; they rarely succeeded. (I’m sorry! It’s true!) I used to hate wedding hashtags. Then I accepted them as a necessity; it made sense to use a hashtag to keep all your photos under one general “link” on social media. Then I became fixated on creating the perfect one for my wedding. Except… I couldn’t.
Listen. When I say people rarely succeed at being punny (or creating a good hashtag at all), I am including myself in the offending parties! As a general rule, people getting married are people, not brands. Perhaps you work in copywriting or advertising and are a genius when it comes to creating snappy slogans and cute headlines, but most of us are mere mortals (yes I am the kind of writer who has a terrible time generating my own headlines and naming my own projects). So the hashtags inevitably end up being long, unwieldy, easy to misspell, and completely defeating their purpose, if we can argue they ever had a particularly useful one.
But instead of admitting defeat, I doubled down. I’m a writer! I’m a thinker! My partner is funny and creative! My friends all own small businesses and have learned to market themselves on the internet! I grew up on the computer! I SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO THIS. That’s how I felt. Amid practical to-do list items such as “get wedding dress altered” and “meet with caterer to confirm menu,” I kept stubbornly writing: “CREATE WEDDING HASHTAG.” And then I would feel embarrassed about wanting to create a wedding hashtag, and embarrassed about not being able to, and so! stressed! out!
I learned some weird things about wedding hashtags while fixating on this. Did you know there’s such a thing as a random wedding hashtag generator? Or that you can pay someone to create a custom wedding hashtag for you? I did not know such things! I was not stressed enough to partake in these options, but to be totally honest I considered it, and that in itself was stressful to me! WHO HAD I BECOME?!?!?!
When my best friend finally suggested that maybe we actually didn’t need a wedding hashtag, I was so high strung about it I fought her for a while before realizing what a gift she was offering me. Oh yeah. It was like I snapped out of a haze, came back to myself. I’ve never wanted a wedding hashtag. I don’t want a neon sign with a punny phrase that isn’t actually punny combining our names together for a photobooth. I promised myself and my fiancée that if any aspect of planning the wedding became too stressful, I’d trash it. (For example I’d been really dead set on hole punching heart-shaped confetti out of dried leaves and thank goddess I swiftly talked myself out of that before ever taking a heart-shaped hole puncher to a single leaf, bless my heart, because the mere thought of it stressed me out.) But somehow, the wedding hashtag had snuck into my brain. I like to think of myself as a chill bride (lol, okay, no one is fooled, but I am fairly low maintenance compared to many!) but the truth is, Planning A Wedding is laden with preconceived notions and societal expectations, and it’s easy to fall into those holes even if you’re careful about keeping an eye out for them. For a reason I don’t fully understand, I chose to fixate on a tiny detail of our wedding that I truly don’t give a fuck about. I let it stress me out, I let it upset me, I let it consume a lot of my time.
And then, I let it go.
My fiancée and I always agreed not to do shit we don’t care about for our wedding — we aren’t having a bachelorette party because we don’t want one, we didn’t have a bridal shower for the same reason, we shan’t be wearing garters or anything borrowed or blue because we don’t find those traditions meaningful… this is our vibe. And so finally, after letting it become A Big Deal in my mind, working through it, and letting it go, I have accepted that a wedding hashtag is one more thing we won’t be doing for our wedding. Because I think they’re silly, sure, but mostly because I can’t think of a good one and I no longer care enough to try.
What was your One Thing that you inexplicably let ruin your life / stress you out beyond belief when planning a wedding? What do you imagine your One Thing might be? (Weirdly, it’s rarely what you think it will be, but fun to guess regardless!) Did you have an amazing wedding hashtag and want to yell at me because yours was punny and it’s rude to imply all aren’t? SEE YA IN THE COMMENTS XOXO.
Blush and Bashful is a biweekly queer wedding planning column.