A Mountainside Manifesto | If This is Shitty I Don’t Want To Be Clean

Christie O Mountainside BridePhoto by Minaret Photography

There's a bit of hubbub in the wedding blogosphere. Rock N Roll Bride rhetorically asks, “Are Wedding Bloggers Shitty Writers?” Now to be fair, Kat doesn't believe all wedding bloggers are shitty writers. She's “just putting [the question] out there.

The short answer is: probably. And by that I mean, most bloggers in general are shitty writers. I mean it's a blog for Christsake. It's not like one needs a degree and a board-certified license to set up a WordPress site and start farting ideas out into the world.

But there are also wonderfully written blogs out there, including wedding blogs.

But instead of niggling over whether or not wedding bloggers in general are shitty writers, I want to share with you why I blog (shitty writing or not) and how this little wedding blog actually liberated me creatively. And I also want to talk to you about my mission  to help mountain brides with this blog.

I’m going to start with me. The academic. The Women's College graduate.

I'm going to start with what I routinely find astounding about my personal life: I like to blog about weddings. WEDDINGS! Did you read up there about my being a women's college graduate?  I mean really! Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot?

But I need to start at the real beginning. And by beginning I don’t mean that “magical” day when my so-called “prince charming” proposed. Nor am I talking about the meta-narrative that every wedding blogger invokes in her about page/ mission statement/sidebar blurb that invariably starts with…”After planning my own wedding” and ends with something about “passion” and “helping other brides.” (Not that there's anything wrong with that. It's just not me. Yes I want to help brides, but theres more to me than that. )

Look, for the majority of my life, I didn’t give a crap about weddings. Not in an “oh, I hate weddings because I’m so cool and feminist and shit.” I mean they weren’t even on my radar.

On *my* radar was sports and school. And I don’t mean team sports like soccer. I’m talking mountain biking, skiing, rock climbing, and whitewater kayaking. Anything in the mountains and anything adventurous.

And I don’t mean school, like I need to get a degree so I can get a decent job. I mean I spent so much time in the library archives I'm pretty sure I was at risk for scurvy.

It was my *destiny* to become a history scholar. And not just a professor but a scholar: a book-writing, original-researching, my-expository-footnotes-go-on-for-pages scholar.

When I graduated from college and my father asked me about my marriage prospects, I told him to expect graduations instead of weddings. I didn’t give a shit about weddings or marriage.

I made it through one masters degree and then another. And though I can laugh about it now, at the time, graduate school was terrible. Terrible! It wasn’t the hard work that got to me, nor the relentless pace. It was the academic assholes who scrutinized every little thing, compiling evidence of everyone else's suckitude and, by extension, their own magnificence. I hated what seemed like unreasonable intellectual competition. The result: I began to hate research and writing.

As it happens, during this time, I also planned a wedding. I began to journal about my own process and found it relaxing. Eventually I set up a blog. I found writing about weddings cathartic. I got to write about a topic that wasn’t very important. I didn’t have to worry about the greater significance of my work or have my intellectual capacity questioned if I decided to pepper my prose with typos and awkward phrasing. It was my freaking blog. I paid the bills. I’d write poorly and refuse to proofread if I wanted to.

And, you read that correctly, I don’t think the topic of weddings is that important. Weddings can be fun. They can be stressful. They can be the source of a lot of family baggage. It may personally be the best day of your life, or it may not. But ultimately, this One Day will likely affect the rest of your life very little. And make no mistake, this One Day DOES NOT determine the success or failure of your marriage. Sorry, money doesn’t buy happily-ever-after.

So how did a dyed in the wool tomboy-scholar become a wedding blogger? Because I wanted to. Because it’s fun, and because I have things to say about weddings that I think are important…like weddings aren’t important ;-)

So here's the gist of the blog. Here's why it exists, and here's why I think it's important:

Why does Mountainside Bride even exist?

  • Because a lot of mountain wedding vendors suck. But some don't. And I want to make sure Mountain Brides find the wedding vendors who don't suck.
  • Because there’s little middle ground between tulle-burning, wedding-world feminists who decry the WIC (wedding industrial complex) and the vapid Pretty-Pretty bloggers who pretend that a wedding is all about details and picking the right vendors. Except for me. I kick ass at the middle ground stuff. Look at how pretty my stuff is, and how I drop the F-bomb like I mean it.
  • Because I like pretty pictures (it’s true)
  • Because I LOVE the internet.
  • Because I want to run a business.
  • Because there’s a lot of bad information out there about planning a wedding.
  • Because I like people better when my relationship with them is mediated by online platforms (haha, just kidding…kinda…).
  • Because I still love to write. Whether it's shitty or not, it's my blog. I pay the bills.

The Mountainside Bride Mission

  • To connect brides high-quality, reputable, reliable vendors, taking into account a variety of needs and budgets.
  • Give brides a heads-up about certain difficulties of planning a mountain wedding and offer solutions, tips, and tricks for streamlining the process.
  • Expose the whole DIY wedding bullshit story through reviewing popular projects. Lots of those DIY and handmade projects are difficult, well, unless you have a freaking art degree. Others are so time consuming you’d have to quit your fucking job to pull it off. I scour the web finding realistic DIY projects that the average person can pull off in a reasonable amount of time. (forthcoming)
  • Offer solid wedding planning advice by interviewing wedding pros who actually know what they’re talking about.
  • Offer reasonable inspiration by featuring other real mountain weddings.
  • Make money for my brilliant efforts. There, I said it. This isn't a charity; it's a real, incorporated business. I like to be able to pay the bills associated with this blog. I also like to be paid for my time and efforts. Who doesn't?

So there it is. If you're a newly engaged Mountain Bride, and you're feeling the vibe on this blog, start here. And feel free to leave a comment or contact me directly via email. Happy planning Chicas!!!