The Knot's Interrogation of 'Real Brides' Is More Intense Than the SAT

In Depth

Sure, you’re no fan of the wedding industrial complex and the nauseating pressure it creates, but oftentimes those weddings in magazines are so pretty. And wouldn’t it be flattering if The Knot thought your wedding was pretty, too, and wanted to feature it in their print magazine? Eh? Ehhhh?

You can tip The Knot off to your amazing wedding pictures (subtext: “Pick me! Pick me!”) but sometimes vendors alert the magazine (with the happy couple’s permission)—after all, having their work featured in such publications is important to business—and sometimes an editor just comes across pictures online somewhere, falls in love, and wants to run them in the magazine. If The Knot decides that a wedding isn’t quite amazing enough to feature in the national print magazine, they may still find it’s at least worth highlighting in one of their many regional editions. Either way, a magazine editor will then reach out to the bride or groom to ask if they can feature the wedding, and if granted permission, they’ll send a special questionnaire that will force the recipient to revisit a black hole of obsessively detailed wedding mania.

We’ve obtained the questionnaire used for The Knot’s regional magazines, which is broad and generic enough to work for all 17 markets (and is probably quite similar, maybe even identical, to the questionnaire for those appearing the national magazine). It begins with a daunting spreadsheet featuring 37 different vendor categories — a number that grows if your various rentals came from more than one company, so help you god — wherein one must provide information about every single thing. Perfect for the former bride who refuses to let go! The list is endless: venue, gown, wedding rings, bracelet, programs, flowers, escort cards, guest books, lighting, photo booth, honeymoon, dance lessons. Wait, the two of you didn’t take dance lessons? Oh. Um, no big deal. We’re sure you were fine.

But identifying the vendor (assuming you still have all that information handy and didn’t delete every document and burn every spreadsheet from the planning process the second you got back from your honeymoon) is the easy part. After one gets through the vendor chart, they are cheerfully assaulted with over 100 questions about the big day. It starts innocently enough (“How long were you dating before? When and where did the proposal happen? What were you thinking and feeling?”) but quickly devolves into an interrogation. For example:

Please describe the stationery. Did you make it all yourself or get it custom-made? Did it all match? Please include invitations, programs, escort cards and menus. If applicable, discuss how they were displayed.

If your stationery did not match, how did you live with yourself? Did you drown your shame in wine? What sort of wine did you select and why? Please identify the vineyard/winemaker, vintage, and grape.

What did the centerpieces look like? Why did you choose this style? What types of flowers were in them? What contained them? What were the rest of your tablescapes like? What color were your table linens? How did you display your table numbers, if any? And what did the place settings look like? Any other decorations in the reception space besides the tablescapes and centerpieces?

Tablescapes. Tablescapes. Say it aloud to yourself. Repeat the word over and over let a smile creep across your face. Do not mind those people staring at you; you’ve found your new favorite word and they’re just jealous. Tablescapes.

What did it look like? How did you decide on its overall look? How were the tiers decorated? What was on top? Did you use fresh or sugar flowers? What kind of frosting was on the outside? What flavors were inside and why did you choose these?

If your cake was a simple chocolate or vanilla, please explain your lack of ambition. What happened to you as a child? Was your mother emotionally distant?

But this is just a taste, a passed appetizer (sautéed mushroom crostini with pecorino sourced from a beloved sheep named Jasper, who lives on a farm just two miles from your reception site), if you will. Here’s the main course: the questionnaire in full.

The Knot Real Weddings Questionnaire

Contact the author at [email protected].

Image via The Knot.

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