When to stop looking at wedding porn #Philosophizing#manifestos#simple wedding#take-a-break March 18 | Ariel offbeatbride Thanks to Lauren Lemon for submitting this photo. 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. Why "wedding porn"? Since Offbeat Bride is a woman-friendly community, why do you call your wedding photography "porn"? My wedding pictures won't be pornographic. I have no problems with porn, it's useful, especially… Read More 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 GREEN BOOTS WHERE DID YOU GET THEM TELL ME NOW NOW NOW!") It worries me a little… 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? What about those green boots? Where can I get them? OH MY GOD!" Handpainted diy wedding shoes Inspired by a pair of wedding shoes that didn't fit, Offbeat Bride reader Sophomania mused, "Vegan footwear is not only hard to find but expensive. But hey, I am a..... Read More 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 them 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. Your wedding is not a contest The dirty flip-side of "my wedding is too weird" is "my wedding isn't weird enough." Both sentiments make me sad because your wedding is not a contest. Read More Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Ariel Author of Offbeat Bride: Creative Alternatives for Independent Brides, Ariel acts as the publisher of all the Offbeat Empire websites. She lives in Seattle with her son, and if she's not reading or writing, chances are good that she's dancing and happy-crying. PREVIOUS Stori & Tausha's "Gay 'ol Wedding & Celebration" NEXT Jen & Doug's Wabi-sabi Barn Dance Wedding Show/Hide comments [ 62 ] I think the internet has made more brides (and I am guilty of it too from time to time) worry that their wedding won't be good enough to be plastered on a thousand blogs as the coolest wedding since forever. Occasionally, I'll catch myself thinking well my this wasn't cool enough to get recognition it must suck. But then I remember this wedding isn't about the 500 million people reading blogs. It's about me and fiance and my friends and family. It should be special to us not the whole world. People for get that. I forget that, and then I remember. Oh hey, that great guy with the goofy face playing video games in front of me… yeah that's why I'm doing this. 31 agree Reply I love some Marx with my coffee. Very good point, Ariel. It's so easy to turn your wedding into a commodity, a product, a show — even if you're "offbeat". I try to look at the wedding porn not as a way to shop around (I want my wedding to reflect who my partner and I are, not how "cool" we can pretend to be) but as a reminder that everyone's wedding is DIFFERENT. In other words, I don't get my thrills out of the one particular pair of shoes that are catching on at the OBT or the button lapels that everyone is making, but out of the amazing variety of choices that there are out there. There are no right answers, and no perfect choices! Only YOURS! 5 agree Reply Ariel. I've been avoiding OBT for this very reason. I started second guessing all my decisions because I saw something else I liked MORE. OBB and OBT has helped me SOOOOO much in the early planning stages, serving up endless inspiration and support. But now that I'm two months out, and can't make any more changes, I've stopped looking at other people's experiences and focused on creating my own. 11 agree Reply Ashley, I totally support that decision. Good for you for finding the balance! 🙂 10 agree Reply Ariel, that the was brilliance. And I SO needed to read it today. I'm feeling overwhelmed with planning and while I luuuuuurve looking at wedding planning blogs and seeing photos of other fun, funky, lovely couples that had equally fun, funky and lovely weddings, it DOES start to make me feel a little, well, wigged out quite frankly. Are me and the boy doing too much? Too little? Should I hire that straight-outta-college media student to videotape our wedding knowing the end result could either be complete crap or, quite possibly, complete magic? Or should I go for the tried and trusted vendor that has loads of satisfied testimonials on his website? Should I buy my wedding jewelry from Etsy? Or maybe I should just borrow from friends? But I saw a gorgeous, sparkly pair of earrings at MACY'S for an ungodly amount of $$$$ bu they're sparkly. =/ You see where I'm going. So, thank you for the Wednesday morning slap upside the head. I needed it. And how. 3 agree Reply Ariel, I totally get what you are saying here. It's way too easy to get sucked in. But I actually think OBB has made me feel better about my wedding. It's great to see that not wearing white or ivory or even a standard wedding dress is a great thing. And using vintage, plastic or paper tablecloths, buying decorations, clothing, dishes and silverware at thrift shops or dollar stores is applauded, DIY is A-OK and, most importantly, that your wedding is more about you and your partner than how you can one-up the bride before you. I love the porn and have drawn a lot of inspiration from it and the couples behind it. 5 agree Reply I completely agree. I love seeing the offbeat ways people make their wedding their own. I also like the support of DIY projects and support. My Wedding is my Fiancee and mine alone. I'm not changing anything about it, even seeing all the awesome options there are out there. Reply "I love the porn and have drawn a lot of inspiration from it and the couples behind it." Roger that! I never thought I'd even consider a beach wedding because I grew up on a peninsula, but then I saw someone's elopement posted here that was set on the beach and it was really quite touching and made me re-evaluate. The porn can be useful. Reply I love your philosophy on weddings–it's 100% true. It's why I knew I had to elope–I would have TOTALLY been sucked in to wishing for a fantasy there's no way I could have afforded. Thanks for always being a breath of fresh air! 2 agree Reply SO TIMELY! I just remarked yesterday that I've become utterly obsessed w/wedding blogs. I have replanned my wedding in my head 100 times, even though most of the large things are set in stone, and I've begun to feel bad, that my wedding isn't "good enough." Thanks for the reality check. 1 agrees Reply Hello. I think the wedding fixation can get kinda scary. I've taken a very laid back approach to mine, and get a little scared of the people that get THAT into it. Some people really do make it feel like a competition. This all being said, thank you for doing all these profiles and showing photos from other weddings. Whenever I'm feeling a little stressed about everything, I come on here and just reading about everyone else's lovely days and it gives me support for planning my own! Cheers!!! Jen Reply I couldn't agree more. In the past few weeks I've stopped following a few wedding blogs I read for months, and in the last week or so I'm skimming more and more of what before I read in much more detail. I've been off work for about a week, and now that I'm able to focus more time and energy on *my* wedding, I'm much less interested in looking at other people's. We're also at a point in the planning process where I have a good idea of what I'd like, and now I have the resources to point FH towards those things for his opinion. Reply Oh. My. Goodness! Thank you thank you thank you! I really needed this today! Even though I'm still in what can only be called the embryonic stages of wedding planning (no date just a month and a year, no wedding party, no location, no "theme", just tons and tons of ideas), I actually had a mini-freak out last night. When I pulled into my driveway, I got out and just stood staring at our backyard thinking "Could I really have a wedding here? What about my neighbor's trampoline and trashy camper-under-a-tarp? What about the scrub in the no man's land between us & the other neighbor? What about….!?!" You get the idea. My fiance was waiting for me in the kitchen and asked what I was staring at, and when I told him, he just shook his head and said "You've been reading too much." I think not knowing *exactly* what I want frightens me more than I know what to do with. I'm afraid I will fail, that the day won't be 100% ours, that somehow it will be less because I don't know all the things I feel I should know. And I should mention we're looking at October 2010!!! By and large, I find all the wedding porn inspiring. I love love and always have, so I truly enjoy seeing how so many different couples have made their wedding day their own. But a part of me is scared. And now, I feel better! 2 agree Reply great post. I think we all need a little reminder like this, especially when sifting through the myriads of amazing and creative ideas in the OBT. its good to take a break from it once in a while, to retain focus on *your* super funky awesome wedding ideas which reflect *you + your partner*, instead of pining over the things that don't jive with your lifestyles. you need to be able to make the distinction between 'hey, that ____ is cool, good for you!' and 'OMG thats teh shiz, why aren't I having that in MY wedding?!?' Reply I think everyone reaches a point in wedding planning when they need to stop looking around and commit to the plans they've made… otherwise you'll constantly be finding "more" you want and you'll drive yourself crazy! 3 agree Reply Well now i am in a fix as i CAN'T see any more wedding porn. I Currently live in the middle east and the internet providers here see Flickr as some kind of eeevil website with too many naughty things to look at….. sigh! ill work out a way to get round it tho i am sure! Reply Amen, Ariel! I call it "weddingitis", cuz it'll take over me like a fever. It can even spill over to other people's events. "Well, have you thought about doing x,y, and z? And A-J? And and and and…?" I heard someone say recently that we have no lack of information. It's experience we lack. They were talking about the need for kids to get into nature, but I think it applies here, too. Reply When I got married for the first time 5 years ago, I had this same problem with wedding magazines. I ended up ripping them to shreds and throwing them away because I was driving myself insane. This time around, I'm just enjoying seeing everyone's creativity and how they're expressing their love for each other. I have had a couple moments of "must have!" but nothing that would put my wedding off track. Your post is perfect and will be a help to many, I am sure. 1 agrees Reply I did that with my wedding mags, too! I went through them, tore out what I wanted to keep (articles I liked, dress pics I liked, etc) and threw the rest of the magazines away. I wound up keeping maybe 20% of each of the three wedding magazines I bought. I was kind of appalled at the amount of the magazine that was just ads. It made me rethink my whole research process, and I started focusing on real weddings, and what made the couple feel more connected to each other and to their guests. Reply I couldn't agree more. I appreciate the inspiration and comraderie…. but the pressure some people feel just sucks. And my rule of thumb is this: At the end of the day, as long as you married the person (or people) you wanted your wedding was a success. And if something goes haywire at the reception/wedding/celebration it's okay… because you are celebrating your relationship every time you say I love you or smile at each other etc. The people who love you are celebrating it whenever they come to see you or do something nice or are inspired by you. And really… the rest is just sugar. Great in small doses. Beautiful in many cases. Coveted. But… can melt in the rain, stick to your shoes, attract flies, and rot your teeth. 🙂 1 agrees Reply Let's be honest, this isn't anything new. Wedding magazines have always been 500 glossy pages of "Isn't this gorgeous? Don't you wish you could afford this? Why not splurge on this one thing?" I'm doing a wedding on a budget and for the longest time I was trying to figure out why it was so hard. Normally I don't feel pressure like that – I don't lust after expensive cars or shoes, so why did I keep going back to the photos of an aquarium wedding and sighing? My theory as to why normally practical, thrifty girls have a hard time saying "no" to themselves when it comes to weddings? Because we're supposedly only doing this once. We can easily pass on fancy vacations, expensive jewelry, and other luxuries because, in the back of our mind, we know that we have the option of getting them later if we change our mind. But a wedding is a one-shot thing. Girls who don't shoot for "perfection" in other areas of their life can get seduced by the "perfect" wedding because there is (hopefully) no do-over, no second chances, and whatever you get here will stay with you for the rest of your life. So at some point I had to say to myself, yes, it would have been wonderful, but you can't afford to get married in an aquarium (or back-up fantasy choice, on a zeppelin), so how about you make the wedding you *can* afford as great as possible and drop the regrets. 3 agree Reply I think the whole point of a wedding is to create a memory FOR YOU. That memory can be simple or elaborate, but it should be all you. I've been in weddings where the bride was so hung up about getting the right pictures, that there was no time to enjoy the guests! Remember, the people selling you stuff are there to make a money for themselves. When it is all said and done, will the shoes that you wore REALLY matter? To me it is more important to savor the day. Yes, the right dress, the right shoes, the right location – all that will make PART of the memory, but after 16 years of being married, the thing I remember most are who was there. 1 agrees Reply Great post, Ariel. I was thinking about this the other day (I'm not even planning a wedding!), because I wondered if I would ever have this problem, but then I remember that some weddings I see I would love to have aspects of, some weddings I dig, but they just aren't my style. +Jen Reply wow…i'm getting married in three days and i just asked my fiance today if i absolutely had to stop looking at wedding porn after the wedding (he wearily said yes). ..i've been hooked..not because i want to change anything last minute…but i just love seeing people throw their happy wedding parties. i just can't seem to stop waking up at 3 am to geek out on it…this post helped me to realize i should cool it and remember that i have a happy wedding party to enjoy that's just around the corner! Reply Whoa, Hibryd, you're totally right! I totally don't get seduced by fancy expensive things, but it's so hard to keep myself from going crazy over THE DRESS (never mind that they're all beautiful and I'll probably love whichever one I get) or gorgeous outdoor weddings, never mind that mine is going to be in the synagogue I grew up in and ran around in when I was 2 and oh yeah, we're getting FOR FREE. Plus there's an awesome playground next door. It's the once-in-a-lifetime thing that's the killer. Gah. Well, I can always throw fabulous parties with iridescent blue Cinderella gowns when I'm rich and famous, right? Reply I am totally guilty of this! I am all for borrowing great ideas from other people, but only if they actually fit with ME, and MY VISION, and MY BUDGET. Sometimes though, this doesn't happen, and I begin to think, "Wow! I want (insert object/idea that may be cool but so isn't me) and my wedding won't be perfect without it!" This is when I take a wedding planning vacation. No Bridal sites, no mention of anything wedding-related in conversation, nothing, from sunrise to sunset. So far, this is the only thing that has worked for me. Yes, I still get bridal envy, but now when it happens I just go over to the Bridal Bitching group and vent, or log off the net for awhile and hang out with my fantastic FH to remember why I am REALLY going through all this wedding planning stuff! 2 agree Reply I'm one of those brides who ended up with LOTS of dresses. I went from thinking I'd just wear one of my own cute vintage dresses to scouring the Web for Jenny Packham samples or used dresses. The Web + all the choices + my own dopey insecurities did overwhelm me. But it wasn't this site that did it. On the contrary, this site was a welcome respite of authenticity, creativity and restraint. Vive l'Offbeat Bride! Reply I've got to admit, I have had a similar issue with the AWESOME photography on display at OBB. I haven't had any issues with changing my mind on what to wear/eat/do, partly because we already knew what we wanted, but partly because for a lot of the decisions we just don't care that much. However seeing some of the completely amazing photography out there has made me a bit nervous that I will be disappointed with my own wedding photos – particularly since my partner and I both hate having photos taken, so we'd need a really good photographer to get good photos out of us. If I'd been in the US I probably would have tried to hunt down one of the photographers that have been featured on OBB, but I don't think we have that many options where I am. I'll just try to look at it the same way I look at the blurry, mundane photos I take – if they show what's happening on the day, and the people in the photos are smiling and having fun, then does it really matter whether the photograph itself is particularly artistic/beautiful?? Reply I'm no where close to getting married. My interest is wedding porn is seeing all these amazing photos of cool, unique people acting happy, having fun, and showing their love for each other. That's never going to be a fetish for me. This site helped renew my faith that there are people out there who get married out of love, and not just to have fancy ceremonial weddings to please their relatives/society/whatever. Thanks for keepin' it real. Reply I didn't realize I was doing the very thing you were writing about until last night when I was lying in bed with a thought bugging me that my wedding was all wrong and it didn't make sense til I opened my mouth and said to my fiance "I just want the wedding to feel like it's our wedding and not like I'm looking at a bullshit photo from a wedding mag" and now that I've read your post today I understand that I was coveting things that were aesthetically pleasing but not what reflected me. It is all about the celebration of your love and not whats going to look good in photos. Thank you so much for the reality check, this is why I come here. 1 agrees Reply Yeah, Monie … you nailed it: coveting things that were aesthetically pleasing but not what reflected me. I don't covet, but I certainly appreciate. My personal aesthetics (and certainly my own wedding!) were very much in the hippie/raver/burner/funky/downhome feel. That's me & Andreas. That's us. That's who we are. But it doesn't mean I don't love ogling rockabilly brides and the perfect updos, historical brides and their impeccable hats, burlesque brides and their cinched waists. I love it all … but it doesn't mean I look anything like it. …Well, except on Halloween. 🙂 Reply OMG I totally needed to read this. Thank you Ariel!! Also- all the comments were super helpful to read as well. I was getting all caught up, wanting, no NEEDING our wedding to reflect US and not THEM (parents, friends, family). I had to conciously stop looking at weddings websites for a while, but this one is actually my favourite. Then, last night I was talking to my friend who is getting married a few months before me and she was really stressing about a TON of things that tradition said she needed to do. Like how even though I told her she could wear ANY dress she wanted as my MOH, it took a half hour to get a : "Well, we'll see how you feel later on about colours". WTF? She is usually so funky, different, goes to her own beat and she wants me to care about her dress clashing with my flowers?? Anyhoo- I think perhaps pressure gets to us all, and we focus on the tiny insignificant details of our weddings, but really OUR wedding is not about coordinating colours. Or shoes. Or flowers. Or the really really cute invites I saw on the internet the other day. They are about us. And Offbeat bride gives me that reality check 🙂 Thank you! Reply awww…reading this post just makes me want to hug both you AND my fiance! I have been suffering from wedding porn the last month. I was reading so many blogs that it made me indecisive and I felt pulled in numerous directions. And this is coming from someone who PROFESSED to not get sucked into obsessive bride syndrome. I started feeling pressure to decide upon a theme, a color palette, a style, for my wedding because it seemed like that was what everybody was doing. And then I stopped looking at blogs for a few days to focus on my own thoughts and I found that I just…relaxed. There are just so many ideas and so much inspiration. The number of beautiful things to make/do/buy is endless. I love eye candy and I love the visual feast that is at my disposal 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through blogs like OBB. But I've discovered that blogs like this are here to help, not hinder. Thanks SO much for an insightful and great post! You have made my day! Reply I'm nearly a year past any wedding planning (our anniversary is at the end of the month) and I was really into reading about other people's weddings for a couple of years beforehand. I still read OBB because I like to see the creativity people bring to such a traditional event, but I remember feeling that there were points at which I just wanted to throw in the towel because my wedding wasn't going to be ___ enough to ever be featured on one of the sites I read. And then I said to myself, hey, the wedding we're having is the one that's OURS. Luckily, we loved our photographers (both official and unofficial) and loved our day and had a great time and threw a great party – and it's OK that some of the things that made the wedding uniquely US were things that other people did, too, and that I wore an actual wedding dress (to make my mom happy, and at least it had green on it), and that our Martha Stewart pom poms wilted in the damp. Something that I didn't realize until later (and also realized while my sister and her then-fiance were planning their wedding) is that while WE in the OBB community (or just we who are planning weddings and looking at wedding porn in general) are familiar with the groomsmen in Chucks or the red wedding dress or the cupcakes instead of cake or whatever, most people attending the wedding WON'T have seen it. Unless they go to a lot of offbeat-style weddings, and even then, people expect the traditional, so to veer from that even a little bit is a surprise to guests. So even though everyone here may have seen all the elements of a wedding that make it "unique", the ones attending the wedding will still find it interesting (especially if provisions are made for guests to enjoy themselves). Reply OMG, i was in desperate need of a wake up call and you definitely gave it to me. lol. even before we had set a date for the wedding i was alreadt checking out wedding stuff on the internet. now that we have a date and are starting to plan everythin i am freaking addicted to OBB and any other wedding blog that i can get my hands on. it's come to the point where i come home from work, change my clothes and sit in front of my laptop and look at anything wedding related until i just can't keep my eyes open anymore. i've also had a few major freakouts about some things that i bought or ideas that i had. it's like as soon as i have a new idea about something that i want for the wedding i go online and i see something else and i freak out about whether my idea is "good" enough etc. my fiance has also been complaning a little bit about my laptop usage. so after reading this post i am going to try to take a break from all this wedding maddness. ok this doesn't mean that i will not talk about it anymore etc. but i will try to limit my online wedding stuff hunting to one website a day instead of going to every single wedding blog/wedding store i have on my fave list. we'll see how that goes. wish me luck gals 🙂 Reply Good call, Anna — although of course I vote for OBB to be your one wedding website for the day. 😉 1 agrees Reply SO true, and SO timely. A well-intentioned friend who is making hair accessories for me for EL GRANDE DIA made an off-hand remark about what I wanted being "kinda boring." Since then I've been second-guessing myself a little. But just recently I reminded myself, she and I are planning two very different weddings. I'm off-beat at heart, but not by sight – I like what I like, just like she likes what she likes, 'nuff said. Also, one thing that has helped me with the STUFF ENVY ("ohmigod, do I like her shoes more than I like my shoes???") is remembering that these cool things will continue existing after my wedding. Just because I don't wear red ladybug wellies on my wedding day doesn't mean I can't wear them some other time. I can't wait for my "kinda boring" wedding. 🙂 Reply I am with Ashley… the closer I get to our wedding, the less I have been on OBB because I do find myself falling in love with a million different things. Most of them aren't even product-shopping things, but ideas. I see a line of poetry or a some sort of handmade-from-your-first-curl, make-your-momma-cry sweetness that I feel like "oh that would be so special!" Now with a month left, I have had to cut myself off from looking at other people's ideas… there is hardly enough room in my wedding and time beforehand to incorporate my own, g'dammit! I have probably commented something along the lines of "OMG I must have that" on other people's ideas and posts a THOUSAND times on OBB… but I can also attest that I can't think of a single thing I actually bought or incorporated afterward; I guess its a measly consumerist compliment on someone else's style that I should stop doing! Reply I am totally guilty of this. From the outside, my wedding looks average-white dress, tuxes, church, hired professional dj, photog and caterer. I see the amazing creativity on here and often think Crap, are people going to be bored at my wedding?? But then I think, ok, so if the centerpieces aren't perfect our guests will take one look, laugh and think of my FH. Our friends will bust out the white-boy dances (the lawn mower, anyone?) and keep the dance floor busy. We have many things that are "us"- small things, sure, but we didn't do anything because we HAD to, only because WE wanted to. I will however credit OBB and OBT with opening my mind and giving me the courage to think outside the box, have fun, and be one half of "us." It's insanely liberating, and as the first in my crowd I hope to be able to pass on that amazing fearlessness to any friend who gets married. Reply This is seriously such a terrific post. I've been looking into a convalidation ceremony (exchanging vows in the Catholic church) since my husband and I married in Vegas almost 4 years ago — anyway, since I've been thinking about it, I'd been looking into little wedding things, not a re-do, I'm telling myself. But how you describe this fetishization — YES! First, fun dress, then shoes, then flowers, then… explosion! So, in almost a group-session-like way, you've helped me feel *tons* better about my decision to limit my frequenting the (9+?) wedding blogs I visited all the time to "shop" around, like validating my emotional reasons behind this — but you describe this whole *feeling* perfectly, and I do hope other brides-to-be get to see this + take it to heart! Great post :)! (I still like wedding pretties, but cutting down on that fetishization — that's a perfect description :)!) Reply This is why Ariel is our guru. Is is not an odd twist of fate that in the wedding world (where most discourse is led by people trying to get you to buy more stuff), a funky-raver-burner-hippie chick ends up leading a large collection of diverse, fragile people that we call "brides"? The two best things about this community are 1) The occasional reality check: we really need to be reminded that having the best merchandise is not what is important. Sometimes it comes from Ariel, and sometimes from the many OBT disciples who are pretty good about reposting the "your wedding is not a contest" link when needed. I think it's actually kind of helpful that the reminder comes from someplace friendly, but still more safely distant than IRL family where we can fall prey to thinking "They just don't understand me! *tears*" 2) Vindication: The tribe is quite good at telling other brides, that yes, your dress (or other item) is fabulous and special. This helps me feel better when I am fretting that my _________ isn't more like _________. This support flows freely between brides of different styles and subcultures, and that is awesome. As my wedding gets closer I do less looking and more posting my stuff for the new lookers to share. I think that's a good thing too. Sorry for the wordy. Keep up the good work! Reply About a month ago, I was started to drive my fiance Joe totally insane by all the online searching, television watching and general wedding planning. He begged me to take a two week hiatus and chill. I thought it would be too hard, since we only have a six month engagement. But I relented. And you know what? After two weeks I realized that the monogrammed napkins and homemade gift bags are awesome, but they won't make me happy. Only Joe does that. Planning addiction cured. But I won't give up OBB! Reply INDEED! Ariel, this is so accurate and true–thanks for reminding all of us to be content with who we and our significant others are–instead of getting all caught up in the madness of moremoremore. Reply Such a good reminder! When we first got serious about wedding planning a few months ago (we've been engaged for two years, but we're kind of laissez-faire about this stuff), I subscribed to every single wedding blog I could find. My idea of our perfect day went from a generic I've-seen-this-done-before to something that would truly reflect who Eric and I are. Now the temptation is to keep it from skyrocketing into "but WE are this pair of Louboutins.. really!" In an effort to clear my head, I took a few days off of the blog circuit. Imagine the slap of reality when I came back today and saw that I had over 600 unread blogs.. just since last weekend. I'm just a simple girl, do I really need that much info being poured into my head? Don't get me wrong, I've gotten some aMAZing ideas from everybody.. but maybe it's time to scale back just a bit to sites that offer me something I can really use – some of the DiY sites and budget sites to keep me grounded, and OBB to remind me that it's OUR day. A very timely post .. and only 319 more new items to go! Reply My wedding was a year ago and I still love checking out OBB once in awhile! Thanks for making those points though Ariel, as it is just as easy to get sucked into the "why didn't I do THAT" routine as it is to try to incorporate stuff into an upcoming wedding. My single regret is that I did not find your website BEFORE I got married, as it would have made me feel better about insisting on a knee length 1950's bridal dress when everyone around me told me it wasn't traditional enough – and don't even get me started on the fact that I wore flowers in my hair and no veil! It would have been great to know there were so many fabulous OBB's out there. And I still go gaga over the ornate hairstyles and creativity you display on the site- wedding porn is enjoyable for everyone!!! Reply Everything anyone ever does – whether it's decorating their home, to a birthday party to your wedding. There are always going to be elements that you want but can't have. I've learnt that due to living where I live. while I'm in a capital city in Australia we are isolated and don't get to have access to many things people take for granted. For example I would have loved to have a photo booth at my wedding but due to where I live it is just not possible – no one hires them or has them at all. This is common with many things – dresses, shoes etc. It's the society we live in today, many people feel that they must have everything or people won't think much of them. Reply Squirrel – we're probably going to make a photobooth out of some fun fabric, a couple of crazy props, a chair, and *fingers crossed* a polaroid camera! (Though I'll be okay if we just go with digital.) You could even have your guests use disposable cameras to take fun posed shots in your homemade "photobooth." Reply I must say that I am guilty of being a 4 dress bride and having bought 3 x dresses online. Although we never faulted on what kind of "style" we wanted for our wedding and what we were doing. We did have inevitable changes along the way. As for being a 4 x dress bride…. well I live in a small city (less than 100 000 ppl) in the top end of Australia – far from any other dress shops other than the limited 3 or 4 traditional shops in town that charged an arm and a leg. I did buy 3 dresses online of which 2 were mistakes as they didnt suit my body shape and I guess I would know that if I had the opportunity to try them on first in a store – which I didnt. They are all completely different but ran with our theme. We had to ditch our handmade flowers and favours due to logistical issues (we drove 3500kms for our wedding) and change our function venue with less than 2 and a half weeks notice. Our entire wedding was organised online with hundreds of hours spent scouting websites for dresses, venues, florists, photographers etc etc etc. Reply I must be honest, this keeps happening to me, but only with bridesmaids dresses (how many people flop on this? I'm curious.). I've gone through so many ideas it isn't funny. And I thought I'd settled on one recently, but now I like a new one. Aside from that issue, though, most of it is just enjoying other people's weddings second-hand because I couldn't be there to celebrate the special occasion with them. Reply I haven't read any of these comments, but I have to say I love this post. 🙂 It's funny, I just today started going back and reading all the OBB posts and checking on the OBT after a looong hiatus, due mainly to the fact that we have a large chunk of our wedding planned, things are pretty settled at the moment, and I have no [i]reason[/i] to be looking around for ideas or help right now. I actually started to feel [i]bad[/i] for it, until I read this! It's SO true, we don't need to be constantly fawning over stuff from other people's weddings to make ours special! 🙂 Reply […] one is easy to answer! When to stop looking at wedding porn. How do you structure your online advertisement/posting/networking time so that your various […] Reply Yay. True. But is it still unhealthy if I just like looking at all the pretty pictures, and enjoying ordinary people who get dressed to the Nine's (or Thirteens?)? Reply That exact same thing happened to me about my dress. I decided to just step back from looking at wedding dresses because I started thinking I made a mistake. I did decide to bling out my gown a bit more and get some new accessories for it and now I'm 100% and won't look at dress sites. I also know with my budget I won't be able to have the super fancy centerpieces and the huge ball room but I still get to have it in a beautiful place and with it just being family it will be better then some huge production. Reply I have been lurking here for awhile (several months) and I thought this post was amazing. No matter what wedsite I go to I feel attacked if I don't have my wedding a certain way. People always tell me online or irl that I am doing things wrong or I see something that I like and second guess my decisions. This was definitely something that I needed to hear (or read) Reply Read more comments 1 2 › Leave a Reply to Ariel Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. 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