Earlier this spring, Etsy unveiled their new Weddings section. Weddings, while fabulous, can be also be completely overwhelming. Knowing what happens in the time leading up to the wedding, it's always a relief to see the new couple still smiling on their wedding day.
In the past few years, I have and will play bridesmaid and/or wedding coach to four of my dearest friends. After the engagement celebrations were over, I would be the one to mention actually planning the wedding and booking the venue. Each couple had a different timeline between engagement and ceremony (three months away, three years away, three shrugs away...), but either way someone had to start. I'd go over with a bottle of wine and a sketchbook to let the fun begin. Some fiancés needed no help, as they had every detail of their wedding planned since they were ten. Other people were confused about what you're supposed to do at a wedding. Some friends were a fountain of questions as they needed to know what's fashionable now to make sure their wedding was modern yet unique. Other friends answered my questions with panicked cries for pizza, dog walking or anything else that wasn't wedding planning.
It's amazing that a query as simple as, "So, what colour do you like?" can be completely overwhelming. Namely because it would so easily segue into other questions.
"Pink! Magenta! Wait, what would go best with magenta? Teal? Blue? Apple Green?
"If I do this will I be too trendy? Too dated? Too obvious?
"No, seriously, where can I find a fascinator in that colour? ...Wait, what's a fascinator?
"What should I wear? No, wait, what do you want to wear? Wait, what do you think I should wear?"
I've come to realize that sometimes the best thing you can do as a coach is to let the players learn for themselves.
Now with Etsy wedding planning is simplified. How is Etsy doing it?
To start, they've simplified your shopping list into six categories: Paper Goods, Bridal Accessories, Decor, Dresses, Rings, and Wedding Party. That way you can attack one question at a time without being overwhelmed by every single option. Subcategories give you guidance, getting you closer and closer to the seller that shares your vision. Each gallery shows several interpretations of the one wedding detail you're focusing on.
The gallery listing saves plenty of time if you're already organized and know exactly what you need. If you know you need four Clutches for your bridesmaids, you can quickly compare and contrast all of Etsy's bridal purse offerings.
For those that are unsure of what you're supposed to do, just look around. The subcategories can give you some insight on what people typically include in their weddings. When you're clicking around Paper Goods, by no means should you think you have to send Save the Date Cards and Engagement Notifications. However, it does work as a reminder that you probably should send out Thank You Cards.
The Trend section pulls from what's hot in weddings, fashion and design today. It's a great resource to see what other couples have done to embrace their quirky and romantic sides. Alternative Bouquets and Blue Bridal Garters are cute little touches that set your wedding photos apart. Photo booths are such a great idea that now they're ubiquitous in modern day weddings. You can still personalize them with Photo Booth Props to make the trend your own. Or go back a few decades and modernize the formerly passé tradition of Custom Cake Toppers.
Additionally, they also have a lovely Stories and Advice section to realize you're not alone. It's a collection of thoughtful articles and blog posts by people that were once in your shoes that once had the same questions as you did. Whether you need to pick your theme or find your ring or confront your anxiety or learn how-to make one extra detail yourself, someone else has done it before. The article diversity is impressive as it demonstrates that everyone and anyone can still have their dream wedding, regardless of how organized they were when they got engaged.
At the end of the day, all details aside, the only thing that matters is that you're still smiling.