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Wedspiration > Advice > How to Overcome Social Media Pressure When Planning Your Wedding
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How to Overcome Social Media Pressure When Planning Your Wedding
Social media has is perks when it comes to wedding planning but it also has its pitfalls. For engaged couples, there’s a subliminal message that their wedding should look a certain way, which can create a lot of confusion and overwhelm. Here are some tips on how to stay in your own ‘lane’ when planning a wedding in the age of social media.
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Words by Karina Lowndes
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10 November 2023
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On a logical level, everyone knows Instagram isn’t an accurate representation of real life – it’s mostly a highly edited (and filtered) version of it. When it comes to matters of the heart however, logic often takes a backseat and it’s normal for engaged couples to begin visualising a wedding similar to those they see trending on social media platforms – in particular Instagram, Pinterest and Tik Tok (and yes, we’ve linked our platforms there but because they offer advice, not just FOMO).

The designer gowns, the larger-than-life flower installations, the oyster bars, the postcard settings and the cute couples – it’s magical and seductive. But (note the emphasis) it’s also out of reach for most people living in the real world. Most importantly, having an Insta-worthy wedding is not what getting married is about.

While there’s nothing wrong with perusing social media for wedding ideas and inspiration (in fact, it’s one of the best resources), it’s important to recognise the unrealistic expectations social media inadvertently places on engaged couples when it comes to planning their wedding. 

Maintaining a healthy perspective requires some discipline and it’s wise for couples to dial down the social media ‘noise’ and commit to making decisions that feel authentic and meaningful to them. 

Resisting social media pressure when planning your wedding however, is much easier said than done – after all, the success of platforms like Instagram rely on their ability to showcase a lifestyle  – or wedding – that’s irresistible (and often unattainable). If Instagram is making you hate your wedding or you want tips on how to avoid the social media comparison trap, read on.

 

1. Define your vision and priorities

This sounds like an exercise a therapist might prescribe, only this one is way more fun (clue: it involves alcohol). It’s a simple game designed to help couples communicate and identify what is most important to them (eg. live music, flowers, budget, food, location etc.).

The goal is to come up with a list of wedding-day must-haves and must-not-haves to help guide decision-making. This way, when social media hits you with a dose of wedding FOMO (ie, things you suddenly wonder if your wedding needs when previously they weren’t even on your radar) you have an immediate point of reference – if it isn’t on the list, keep scrolling.

Keen to get started? Find our free ‘Set Your Wedding Priorities’ downloadable here.

Of course, you can do this exercise however you see fit – the point is that you come up with a clearly defined (and mutually agreed upon) list of non-negotiables. This way, you’re both on the same page from the get-go and can avoid external pressures influencing your decision making.

2. Curate your social media feed

The stream of targeted social media content delivered to our devices is constant and it’s easy to forget that ultimately, we’re in the driver’s seat. If you want to keep a lid on social media’s influence on your wedding, it’s worth doing a quick overhaul.

Start by unfollowing or muting any accounts that give rise to any negative feelings, that trigger comparison or that promote unrealistic expectations (like having J.Lo perform at your wedding). 

Then, begin following accounts that aim to share and promote authenticity and inspire individuality. The more content you consume that challenges mainstream ideas and expectations, the easier it will be to maintain a practical and positive mindset around wedding planning – and the ore the algorithm will serve you this kind of content.

Lastly, evaluate and curate your social media feeds to only include accounts that align with your personal style and values. These don’t need to be wedding-specific, either. Simply follow accounts that resonate with the stuff you like and care about (such as the environment, vintage fashion, cooking, travel – whatever!) and see how these things can be incorporated into your wedding day. Do this and you’re guaranteed to create a celebration that says ‘this is us’.

 

3. Establish boundaries and limit screen time

When it comes to the influence social media has on weddings, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that, as mentioned, it provides endless wedding ideas and inspiration. The bad news is that too many options can also create unnecessary stress and anxiety and inevitably make you doubt your own decisions. 

The wedding planning process is typically 12 to 14 months and in that time a lot can change – particularly wedding-related trends. Try not to get sucked into thinking the decisions you made could’ve been better. Once you’ve locked in your venue, dress, flowers, photographer etc. make a conscious effort to cross it off the list and move on.

If you struggle with this kind of self-regulation (guilty!) then setting up some boundaries around your social media usage and limiting your screen time might be beneficial. Some ideas include:

  • Set a timer for social media use
  • Put your phone away when you’re socialising IRL
  • Audit your social media accounts  
  • Use the ‘downtime’ function on your phone to limit usage. Here’s how to program downtime into your phone:
    For iPhone users, tap Settings > Screen Time > Downtime
    For Android users, tap Settings > Sound & Notifications > Interruptions > Downtime


4. Be anti-social

Social media isn’t the only place to look for inspiration. There’s an entire world that exists beyond our screens and ironically, it’s in this tech-free space that our minds have the capacity to think creatively, adopt new ideas and connect with people and things that inspire us in a meaningful way.

In other words, put down your devices and find inspiration elsewhere – in books, art, magazines, nature or at a wedding expo (we highly recommend attending One Fine Day Wedding Fairs – it’s not your traditional bridal fair).

Speaking to other engaged couples is also helpful – they’re navigating the same process and are the perfect audience to bounce ideas off. Plus, they’re happy to chat weddings for hours. 

 

5. Embrace imperfections and focus on authenticity 

If people were perfect, the world would be very… vanilla. And what is perfection, anyway? Recognising and accepting that your ‘imperfections’ are what make you unique (in a good way) will go a long way in helping you to create a day that is truly authentic and not just a copy of an ‘Insta-wedding’.

Remember that this day is about you and your partner  – your story and the vision you share for the future. Your wedding can be whatever you want it to be. Try not to let social media pressure influence your decision making, take your time when organising the day and feel free to include only the traditions that resonate with you – or make up your own. Do all these things and you’ll have no regrets and create a wedding with minimum stress and maximum good vibes. 

 

6. Find your wedding tribe 

Wedding planning is a marathon, not a sprint and it’s important to have a support crew to cheer you on and help you over the finish line. Surrounding yourself with people who you can openly and honestly communicate with and lean on for emotional support will be essential if you want to avoid social media’s influence on your wedding.

Explain to them your goals, your boundaries and involve them in the decision-making at times when Instagram is making you doubt yourself and your own instincts. They’ll enjoy being part of the process and it means you don’t have to navigate the entire process alone.

And if you want to join the most supportive online community, the Wedchat by Wedshed Facebook Group is just for couples and it’s a beautiful space.

 

7. Channel bride-chilla vibes

It’s number seven on our list but really the most important tip to avoiding social media pressure when planning your wedding is to practice self-care and mindfulness.

Wedding planning can be overwhelming at times and it’s important to prioritise your own wellbeing. Workout, meditate, journal, get outside, spend time with friends, cook… do whatever it is that fills your cup and keeps you sane (some more advice on that here and here).

Protect your mental real estate by focusing on the parts that are worth caring about and letting go of the rest. Most importantly, remember why you’re getting married in the first place.


Lastly, it’s okay to want a wedding with all the bells and whistles (we’re here for it) – as long as it’s because that’s what you genuinely want and not because Instagram has you brainwashed. Embrace whatever it is that makes you unique, make decisions that align with your values and you’ll enjoy a day with no regrets.

 

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