It’s not like me at all. I waited three months to purchase the latest book from my favorite author.
The funny thing is: I’m not normally a fanboy. Not since Pedro the Lion has there been a content producer whose work I gobbled up with every new offering.
I’ve purchased every new offering for the last five years, but for some reason, I was late on picking up Seth Godin’s We Are All Weird. Thanks to Vocus, and the Barnes and Noble giftcard they sent me, that was recently remedied and the quick read left me with a few thoughts about the wedding industry.
The core of We Are All Weird should be nothing new to anyone who’s been reading Seth (his books or blog) for any length of time. The truth is, they’re incredibly, subversively revolutionary and could be pretty discomforting to anyone expecting life to continue as they’ve known it.
At its simplest, the idea is that Mass Market, as a concept, hasn’t existed all that long – perhaps 100 years. During the time of mass market, everyone was consuming the same media (the Big 3 networks, wire services, etc) and, because the Mad Men were good at their jobs, we believed that everyone drank Coke or used Borax. This became a self-fulfilling prophecy not because there weren’t other options, but because there weren’t ways to connect with the other “weird” ones who may not like Coke or Pepsi.
We want to feel unique, but we don’t want to feel alone.
Thanks to the internet, we can be unique without feeling alone. I like writing with fountain pens. If left solely to the reactions of the people I meet in person on a regular basis, I might be led to feel pretty weird and incredibly alone in that quirk. Thanks to the internet, I know that I don’t begin to look weird compared to some of the people out there. But they’re my connection. This isn’t about self-actualization as much as it is about a community to support and inform one another. Where can I get a replacement nib for a 1956 Parker ’51? The Yellow Pages won’t help, but my tribe will. The same for my ability to use an antiquated technology (letterpress printing) to bring my custom wedding invitations to life. There’s no way I could have done this without Briarpress.com, YouTube, or Kickstarter.
All that leads me to this:
With all the diversity of the Western World, why is there so little diversity in our weddings?
(or at least the ones we blog about)
As I see it, 90% or more of the weddings covered in media (namely magazines and blogs) fall into one of these very few categories:
- Classic – the barbie-and-Ken elegant wedding which may or may not be black-tie and almost always in a church
- Casual – if classic is high-society, casual is the 99%
- Vintage – mason jars, anyone?
And there’s not much more. Most religious and ethnic traditions have been assimilated into these categories, leaving little outside this triumvirate.
What’s left hasn’t really coalesced into any sort of tribes of their own, save for the (shining) exceptions of Rock n Roll Bride and Offbeat Bride. Even these great resources have some pretty straight-down-the-aisle (forgive the pun) offerings. The funny thing is, Rock n Roll Bride has featured a lot more than just Rock n Roll weddings. I think that’s because there’s no other place for unique couples to be inspired and share their day.
Where are gathering places for couples who
- are having cosplay weddings?
- are truly vintage (like Twila Jean, maybe)?
- play in an ABBA cover band?
- have incredibly nerdy professions about which they’re incredibly passionate?
- want a monochromatic wedding?
- are vegan VeganBride.com hasn’t been updated since May)?
- are incredibly unique, just like everyone else?
Look: today’s weddings are already a million miles ahead of the scene when I got married (and that wasn’t that long ago). I think the wedding industry is doing some amazing things and there have been blog features on incredibly unique weddings, but they’re few and far between.
So, if you’re looking to start a wedding blog, please – for goodness’ sake – build an incredibly weird tribe around it. Do that and you may not get stats like Style Me Pretty, but you’ll have a group of rabid fans that will be the perfect tribe for your advertisers.
All that said, what type of wedding do you think deserves its own blog/tribe/magazine/culture?
ps – if you’d like to buy a copy of We Are All Weird and support a fine press in the process, you can buy it here