Sitting alone in a dark room, illuminated by the soft glow of her laptop, a young woman fantasizes about her upcoming wedding. The wedding porn she found online helps. Looking at the images on screen, she inevitably thinks about her fiancé. Eyes closed, she sighs at the thought of his gorgeous face, his muscular physique, and how perfectly his tuxedo pocket square will match the exact shade of watermelon her bridesmaids will be wearing, which is, not coincidentally, the same shade of watermelon that wedding guests will see on their save-the-date announcements, wedding invitations, and table linens at the reception. Glancing back up at the screen, she anticipates the day soon after her wedding when she’ll be able to share her own wedding porn with the online community she’s been part of since getting engaged.
“Wedding porn,” a term coined by administrators and members of a self-proclaimed, non-traditional wedding community located at www.offbeatbride.com, refers to any picture that represents the ideal wedding; these images are “like porn for those planning their own nuptials” according to the site. But the offbeat brides aren’t the only ones gazing at glamorous, ideal pictures of others’ weddings; wedding porn consumption is becoming the norm for individuals planning weddings. Theknot.com, a wedding powerhouse site, prominently features pictures of “real weddings,” and has a message for brides: “to get the wedding you want…have a clear picture of what you’re looking for.” Wedding porn is often housed in online communities and contributed by members of the communities who engage in wedding-related discussion on their message boards, giving the impression that “perfect” weddings are attainable and contributing to the fetishization of weddings and wedding-related objects for purchase.
Wedding porn facilitates a romance separate from the one celebrated in a ceremony or reception. Many in the midst of wedding planning become obsessed over finding the perfect “things” for the wedding, fueled in part by seeing pictures of other seemingly perfect weddings online. Pictures of wedding-related details such as bridal gowns, bridesmaid dresses, floral arrangements, invitation designs, party favors, and reception setups are all potential “porn” for those hoping to plan their own perfect day.
This slideshow provides a sample of current wedding porn, taken from publicly viewable images on offbeatbride.com’s website and Flickr pool. Image credits may be found on each picture and at the end of the slideshow.