When to stop looking at wedding porn

By on Mar. 18th

Literally hundreds of colored dresses.

Thanks to Lauren Lemon for submitting this to the Offbeat Bride pool

I've written before about my decisions around calling the pictures of real weddings that I feature on this site "Wedding Porn." I consider the phrase a harmless, non-sexual twist on the voyeuristic thrill many folks planning their weddings get out of seeing other people's wedding ideas.

That said, I'm going to come out and admit that there IS one component of wedding porn that starts to feel just as unhealthy as typical porn: that's when lusting after some fantasy of what you could have starts to interfere with the reality of enjoying what you've got.

I see this when brides buy a dress, and then find another dress, and then pick a third dress because they keep seeing dresses they like online. I see it when people come up with five different wedding themes over the course of two months, and still can't quiiite decide. I read it between the lines of commenters whose enthusiasm for someone else's wedding starts to slip over the edge from inspiration ("ooh, I might want to integrate something like that in my wedding") to duplication ("I MUST HAVE THOSE EXACT SHOES WHERE DID YOU GET THEM TELL ME NOW NOW NOW!")

It worries me a little…

Bride in Green Boots

WHERE DID SHE GET THE BOOTS I MUST HAVE THEM RIGHT NOW

I don't want Offbeat Bride to be the place where you come to feel bad about the decisions you've already made about your wedding. I don't want it to be the place where, as you plan your simple outdoor gathering you start feeling like "omg, that girl painted her shoes and they look amazing. why don't I paint my shoes? what's wrong with me that I'm just wearing a pair of pumps that I bought on ebay? OH MY GOD!"

To me this is just as unfortunate as someone watching porn and thinking, "Hmm, those hairless pink plasticky genitals look way cuter than my partner's package … maybe I should ask them to wax it all off, shine it up, and powder it with some glitter even though they're kind of more the granola bush type?"

Sorry: no more porn theory, but what I'm talking about here is fetishization — when things slip over from inspiration to fixation. I don't want wedding porn to be the unattainable weird fantasies that keep you up at night with frustrated longing. I don't want people to scrap their perfectly lovely plans because they saw something else, something better, something MORE on my silly wedding website.

My goal with this site has always been to focus on general inspiration. This isn't a shopping blog where every day there's a new link to click to buy some wedding accessory that will make your special daaaaaaay more perfect and tasteful. It's just a collection of real folks doing their real best to cobble together weddings that reflect who they really are.

If looking at Offbeat Bride ever makes you feel disappointed in yourself, or like your wedding doesn't quite stack up, or like you're not offbeat enough — please, please PLEASE, remind yourself that your wedding is not a contest. No fetishes necessary. Turn off your computer and go hug your partner and tell them how much you love then and how excited you are to celebrate that with your family and friends.

Offbeat Bride's wedding porn is here to inspire and delight — not ever to make you feel dissatisfied, unworthy, or disappointed in yourself.