By Emily townsend

The Expectation


The big day is approaching and you're doing everything in your power to maintain control. Desperately browsing Pinterest boards, google the best flowers, and researching the best photographer has left you exhausted. Unable to enjoy some of the happiest moments in life. If this sounds like you, know you are not alone!


Flawless images of others' wedding days flood our newsfeeds as we build expectation after expectation: everything must be gorgeous, smooth, & perfect.

Attempting to fit the mold builds the pressure to perform on a day that is supposed to be about YOU.

Photograph by Sarah Wicker

Attempting to fit the mold builds the pressure to perform on a

a day that is supposed to be about YOU.

Photograph by Emily Townsend

Unpacking Insecurities


We all know social media exhibits some negative consequences. The ideal of perfectionism gets steeper with every doom scroll session. (We are all guilty of spending hours indulging the almighty smartphone, right?) But what can be dangerous is the influence social media has on self-worth and confidence. Photographs of "picture perfect" couples dominate wedding culture and often leave us attempting to measure against unrealistic expectations. The unfortunate reality is that none of us are immune to the emotional impact of such toxic media, but we can find ways to deal.

None of us are immune to the emotional impact of social media, but we can find ways to deal.

Pandemic Effects


As a whole, the pandemic has increased anxiety, depression, and unhealthy weight gain. These factors do NOT help the pressure put on folks who are planning a wedding, as they often are not feeling their "best self." Dr. Kelli Rugless, from Flourish Psychology, explains, “Gyms were closed, grocery store essentials were low and stay-at-home orders created an isolating experience that not only impacted goals but also the motivation to reach those goals.” The good news is that there are ways to hold space for yourself so that you can enjoy your celebration with love, regardless of where you are at in your personal journey.

...there are ways to hold space for yourself so that you can enjoy your celebration with love, regardless of where you are at in your personal journey.

Photograph by Emily Townsend

Self Compassion


The act of being kind to yourself is extremely powerful. The way in which we treat ourselves is the foundation of our lives, affecting every part of our internal body and external behavior. It's no secret that society's projection of what is "beautiful" can be extremely harmful to self-esteem. Furthering yourself from unrealistic beauty standards may help your relationship with self-compassion. For instance, when scrolling through social media, take note of the content you're exposing yourself to. Is it highly edited? Did they use unrealistic filters? What feelings arise when you see this content? Envy? Self-loathing? It may be important to unfollow these accounts and seek content showcasing diverse bodies. Build your community and support around realistic body standards and your world might change.

Build your community and support around realistic

body standards and your world might change.

Photograph by Emily Townsend

Embracing Imperfection


You might be familiar with Murphy's Law: the idea that "anything that can go wrong, will go wrong." This means that if there are multiple possibilities for misdirection, then it is almost inevitable that something will go wrong. Maybe an enormous pimple will pop up on your face or maybe the forecast will change for the worse the night before the wedding. There is nothing you can do to prevent inevitable mishaps, you do have the opportunity to embrace every step of the way. Dr. Rugless offers remedies in cultivating compassion for yourself in these situations: "Ways to cultivate self-compassion include engaging in mindfulness practices like meditation, giving yourself the benefit of the doubt when you are less than perfect, and reminding yourself of positive experiences that have arisen out of mistakes.”



The bottom line this: the imperfections on your wedding day are what make YOUR celebration unique. When something goes wrong, hold space for your feelings and recognize it is all part of the process. Nothing in life is perfect. You are having a human experience. Now go out there and do what you do best... CELEBRATE.

Emily Townsend


Emily has been photographing since she was a tender teenager. Delighting in creating artistic and distinct portraits, Emily makes portraits that speak LOUD. Photography is like a second language to Emily, as she explores the individuality of each person and/or couple who trusts her to capture their unique nature.

Check out My work