November 10, 2011

Letting Go of the Mason Jar

While considering decorations for our wedding, I gravitated toward elegant, simple, and affordable. (For some reason, I've seen "elegant and simple" as common wedding descriptions, but "affordable" isn't usually mentioned in the same sentence). Since we are DIY'ing the decorations ourselves (with some help from the family, of course), I figured that "easy to make" should also be part of the requirements.

And then, I read a lot of wedding blogs with gorgeous photos. And I browsed Pinterest like it was my (full-time) job. I discovered crafty brides rebelling against the Wedding Industrial Complex with their beautifully hand-crafted crocheted napkins and burlap table runners. That was when I fell in love with the mason jar. My Pinterest wedding board is dotted with images like these:

Found here
Found here

Those vintage blue mason jars had me at hello. What could be more elegant and simple? And they couldn't be too expensive, right? Convincing myself that I had to have those blue beauties at our wedding, I commenced the hunt for the mason jars. Our trip to the Brimfield Antique Show was the perfect opportunity to look for some unique and vintage wedding decor. (Unique and vintage? Where did that come from? What happened to "simple and elegant"? Those crafty wedding blogs were infiltrating my brain with these new descriptors that suddenly were being applied to our wedding. Oops.)

We did find a bunch of mason jars at the antique show. But it turned out that they were not so affordable after all. The prices were all over the place, but on average ranged from $30 to $50. If we have ten tables, with $30 per jar... that's $300 just for the flower holders! Insanity. I abandoned hope of getting my hands on a vintage mason jar. But I was not so easily deterred. The crafty brides have shown me the way to DIY those damn mason jars. I added several tutorials on dying regular, clear mason jars blue to my Pinterest wedding board.

That was when I read the Mason Jar Manifesto. I had become so caught up in the "simple and elegant" mantra that I failed to notice that the mason jar has become so ubiquitous on the wedding blogs that it came to represent a certain level of insanity. The mason jar became a symbol of getting lost in all the pretty details of the wedding that make beautiful photographs, all the while forgetting what the wedding is actually all about: "celebrating love, a manifestation of commitment, a gathering of friends and family."

I realized that in my effort to eschew the Wedding Industrial Complex, I was getting dangerously close to crossing over to the OTHER side of obsession - the DIY craftzilla territory was beckoning me with mason jar tutorials and "personalized" details. It was time to let go of the mason jar and recognize that no one will remember the centerpieces, but they will remember how much fun they would have at our wedding.

So I am moving on from the mason jar. And I am taking a break from wedding planning. And it feels really, really good.


  1. Good for you taking a break, and letting it all go, breathe, and then, when you feel ready again, concentrate and focus on what matters the most .
    I had the same process in a way, first of all I fell in love with "backyard" weddings, but of course, we do not have a backyard, let alone one that could hold some 80 people. Also no rustic farm.... And then, there were the mismatched assorted china and old hand painted tins, and yes, mason jars. But that sh** is expensive. It annoyed me that all these pretended cheap and pretended DIY weddings, were in fact not as cheap, or I was looking at the wrong places (never found cheap antiques, to date, not that it is relevant).
    Anyway, like you say, your weddinh day will be memorable because you will be overjoyed by the outpour of love, by having your friends, family, and the one you chose to BE your family all together in one place.
    But, just a tip, when you are ready to take back the craftiness, if you really like the effect of glass bottles... which, I can't deny it's dreamy, just have a look at Ikea, if there is one around your home. Or think of using transparent soda bottles, even dark brown beer bottles can be pretty I think, or jam jars ?

  2. Yeah, those pretend cheap and pretend DIY weddings are so misleading... And yes, I am absolutely already looking in Ikea. I'm also planning to look in thrift stores, not necessarily for vintage/antique stuff, but for cheap glassware. But I guess my main thing now is just to not stress about it. I'm sure I'll find something to hold the flowers in, and I'm sure no one but me will care about it. :)

  3. Anna,
    In case you still had an interest in mason jars again, I am doing blue mason jars for my wedding as well. I was surprised at the prices as well so I searched high and low for a good deal and I found some on Etsy as low $4.80 each for quart jars and $6.80 each for pint jars, depending on how many you want to buy.

  4. Woops, forgot to post the link to the Etsy store:

  5. Thanks for the link! Those jars are definitely more affordable than what I've seen elsewhere. I actually decided to still go with mason jars, but I decided it's ok for me if they are not blue. So I just bought a bunch at Kmart, for less than a dollar each.