Ah, Instagram. I very much have a love hate relationship with Instagram. I love seeing some people’s pictures, videos and motivational quotes but I also have this problem where I want to stop following some people, but don’t feel I can for some strange reason. Classic FOMO. I was quite happy plodding along in a love hate haze, until some of the content I was seeing on Instagram, made me doubt my wedding plans.
I have been engaged now for a year and a half and I was supposed to be married a couple of weeks ago, however I have another year to wait thanks to the pandemic. There’s been so much heartbreak over postponing our wedding and I have cried so much but overall, I know it’s the best thing to do for everyone’s safety. Plus it gives us another year to perfect our wedding reception playlist! But amongst all this upset, Instagram has been there reminding me of beautiful wedding dresses, flowers, venues and everything else wedding related!
On the morning of what should have been our wedding day, I woke up thinking I should be having my hair done, getting my dress on and everything else for the big day! Instead I opened Instagram hoping for some nice pictures to cheer me up, but instead the first picture was a wedding scene, beautiful dress, bride and groom and I felt great! Not. I put my phone down vowing to not look at Instagram for the rest of the day, otherwise I’d just end up being reminded of what I should be doing that day. I don’t mind seeing pictures like this on Instagram, they’re good for inspiration and getting ideas when you’re stuck. But over time, that’s not what they did for me.
When I first booked our wedding, I would scroll through wedding pages and hashtags looking for ideas, colour schemes, invitations and everything else that comes with planning a wedding. It was great, at first. Once I started to book things, choose colour schemes, order wedding invitations, whenever I saw a picture on Instagram I would wonder if I had made the right choice or if there was something better I should have picked. I’m famously indecisive at the best of times, but when it comes to something huge like our wedding this is stepped up big time! It would honestly make my life easier if I had three or four weddings with different colour schemes and themes so I could have all the things that I see and love. But that’s highly unrealistic and expensive!
I think the reason I had such a problem with Instagram when it came to planning our wedding, is because it unearthed and made worse the insecurities I already had when it came to choosing the ‘perfect’ thing for the big day. The best venue, jaw-dropping wedding dress, perfect colour scheme, most beautiful invitations and everything else. I couldn’t just be happy and content with what we had chosen because there was always this little app on my phone reminding me of the other options I had turned down, making me question whether I had done the right thing by choosing what we had.
The comparison trap. The reason why social media can make us so unhappy and discontent with our lives, because we are always chasing the next best thing instead of being happy and content with what we already have. The reason why, for a while, I lost touch with what I really liked and wanted because I was too busy thinking about what I should like and what I should want. It’s what advertisers rely on to sell their products, to make you unhappy with what you have so you’ll chase something else to fill the void.
So what did I do about it? I curated my Instagram feed. I unfollowed everything to do with weddings, dresses, planning and inspiration. I reminded myself of what I had to look forward to when my wedding day does come around. That the day is in fact, just one day. The important thing is that it’s a celebration of the commitment I am making to the one I love for the rest of our lives. You don’t get that kind of cheese on Instagram!