During the planning process, I struggled with labels again and again. Eventually I settled on authentic as a label. But even now after our wedding I still struggle with labels.
Sarah of SF Budget Wedding - one of my favorite real brides - is organizing a get together for what I call "real" brides. I put "real" in quotes because anyone actively planning a wedding is a real person. I use real to indicate people who aren't afraid to raise their voices.
I was telling cubes about the meetup of "real" brides and mentioned I wished there was an easier way for "real" brides to find each other. (I found Sarah of SF Budget Wedding, Becca of A Los Angeles Love, and others through Google Reader.) At some point we came back to labels, specifically the "offbeat" label. Our conversation went something like this (a paraphrase because it was early in the morning):
me: "Ok we cut the wedding cake with a machete. That's different. But that doesn't make us offbeat."
cubes: "But we are offbeat... we were authentic."
me: "Offbeat doesn't mean authentic. We're too traditional. Why can't there just be a community where we can be authentic?"
cubes: "That's probably how the community started but everyone one wants to be unique, so the hipsters co-opted it."
Sarah's post yesterday touched on how she had bounced from community to community. I rejoiced because I wasn't alone.
And then as I was catching up on my unread wedding blogs this morning on the train, I came upon the answer. Of course I found the answer on Meg's site - A Practical Wedding. Wedding Graduate Robin eloquently summed up what I'd been feeling:
"[T]he indie wedding community can put almost as much pressure on brides to be relaxed, as the WIC pressures us to be hysterical, and perfectionists. APW is not a part of that, and for this, I am grateful. You can be relaxed, and still freak out, and cry, ... and spend three weeks trying to find the right shade of nail polish, and still be a practical bride. For me -- it meant being authentic. True to myself, while aspiring to be the best version of myself during a potentially challenging and emotionally fraught process."
That us. We're Practical Brides. Now that's a label I can live with.