Cool stuff does not cease to exist just because it doesn't make it into my wedding

October 5 | Guest post by Kelly aka Bug
Photo from Liz & Mark's forest wedding by Carly Bish

I'm one of those people that can easily appreciate, sometimes even fall in love with, lots of things that aren't necessarily "me." This makes me a good person to have over to your house after you're done decorating, because I will enthusiastically comment on your color choices, art, purple couch and funky shag rug, etc. And then, even if it's not necessarily my style, I will go home and wonder, "hmm, maybe I should try a purple couch and funky shag rug." Then I will buy it. And three months later I will hate it. I don't know if this because I am easily swayed or if it just means I really do have a broad range of taste when it comes to, well, just about everything.

This personality trait has made wedding planning significantly tougher than I expected.

I'll decide on, say, the woods as a good location. "The woods! I looooooovee the woods! I belong in the woods!"

And then I'll see pictures of someone's beach wedding. "The beach! Ohmigod the beach! I was made for the beach!!!"

And then a friend will point out that one does not necessarily think "beach" when they look at me unless it's along the lines of "when was the last time that girl got some sun?"

And then it's a lighthouse. "Oooh, lighthouses!" and I'm off and running in a completely different direction.

In talking about this with my friend Kristal, who is also engaged and fabulous, we decided that what makes this so tough is that you're doing this ONCE (you hope). You can't have five dresses. You can't use five different photographers. You can't get married in five different locations. (Okay, some of you may be able to. I can't. Budget, budget, budget.)

Anyway, the lesson I've taken from this is two-fold:

  1. I can't have it all, and, more importantly
  2. Cool stuff does not cease to exist just because it doesn't make it into my wedding. Yes, I adore photobooths at receptions, but the twenty-ish people we plan to have at our wedding will not justify the cost of renting one, especially since I know for sure that four of those twenty people (our parents) will avoid any photo ops like the plague. (My mother will look like a celebrity defendant in all of our pictures, because her hands will be in front of her face.) And a lighthouse wedding sounds very cool, but would likely come with a foghorn and a ride on a ridiculously small boat, etc., etc., etc.

And for this, I'm so thankful for Offbeat Bride, because I can enjoy other peoples' weddings without even having to get them a gift!

  1. I'm a mind changer too! It doesn't help that I've been doing this planning thing for 2 years now. But we're down to the wire – 3 weeks left. From the venue, to the food, to my dress, everything has been changed 2, 3 and some even 4 times.

    My latest change (which occured this past weekend) was my bouquet. Oh yes, it's in it's third generation. Well ACTUALLY it's back to the original plan after I realized that my second plan might not work. I've learned that while those bouquets are gorgeous, while sitting in my closet they've been slowly deconstructing themselves and I just don't want them completely falling apart while walking down the aisle. Because if they fall apart while not being moved or touched, how are they going to stay together while someone is holding them and moving them around?

  2. the best brainstorm i had about this dilemma (x2 brides who are both like, ooooh shiny, all the time) was to decide early on that we should begin a tradition of amazing anniversary parties. that meant the heartache of realizing what we just can't afford right now was a little lessened by future (even if still hypothetical) party planning. we're giving out tickets as our favors to that 1st anniversary event at our wedding and when we come across things we can't fit into this party, we remind each other it can happen next year. (this has also helped us get over being so sad when some key friends and family tell us they're not able to attend). and that way if whatever it was WAS just a passing fad, we'll be over it by next year, and celebrating in some totally new fashion altogether.

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  3. I found this to be the hardest part of planning my own wedding! I knew my obsessive and mind-chaning nature would get in the way of getting crap done, so i put my foot down and made myself promise to just *pick stuff*. I loved my wedding and although I do wish I could go back and do it again a million different ways, the fact is that I just can't. Time to move on and admire everyone else's gorgeous and creative stuff, which is why i still peruse OBB 🙂

  4. I'm glad you posted this. a lot of us get bombarded by awesome ideas (especially on OBT!) and sometimes, you just need to know when to quit. your wedding doesn't have to involved EVERYTHING you like and love– you'll have the rest of your life to squeeze that purple couch and beach party in 🙂

  5. This post was helpful for sure! Between my own propensity towards an "ooh shiny" mentality and the fact that I am still in early, early planning stages I have a hard time not getting totally caught up in the million things I want to include. This was a good reminder to not let myself get burnt out early on and to just let good ideas be good ideas. Thanks! 🙂

  6. I'm an appreciates-it-all type of person with design too, so wedding planning certainly brings out the want-it-all issues . However, I'm trying to let our venue (the most practical, budget-minded, but still-pretty location we can find) dictate our ultimate choices about the visual aspects of the wedding. We ended up with the rustic chic over urban chic location, so that should help with the editing. We're no less urban chic at our core, it just means the wedding day highlights our nature/outdoorsy aspects over any other aspects.

  7. You sound like my fella reasoning with me in a restaurant. I'm really REALLY bad at making decisions, always have been, and he's constantly reminding me that 'the other dish will not vanish forever if you don't pick it'. It's something I'll be best remembering when I get down to the real decisions. Thanks for the great advice and good luck with it all!

  8. I don't have this problem, but I still think this was a great post. And very funny. The 'celebrity defendant' bit sounds like most of my family; I'll be giggling about that all day.

  9. My fiancee has really helped me with this. When I'm being indesicive, like when I watched too many episodes of ace of cakes and rethought my decision to do a homemade cake buffet instead of a decorated tiered cake by charm city, she reminded me that we will have other parties. Maybe charm city can do our 10 year anniversary cake, but right now it just isn't in the budget. And, when I'm trying to figure our flowers and colors and am on my third inspiration board reiteration, she looks at a couple choices and helps me narrow it down. I am also guilty of falling in love with a lot of things that aren't necessarily my style. It's a win win because she gets to be involved in a way thats not too overwhelming (picking one choice from a handful and ideas), and I have a sounding board and a reminder that no, we can't have it all.

    • That's what I tell myself when watching Amazing Wedding Cakes. There's no way we could swing that now, but I totally want a fabulous, over-the-top anniversary cake.

  10. I put myself through hell trying to find the *perfect* place for my venue. I had to like it and my parents had to like it and my man had to like it, and on top of all of that it had to feel like "us". That's a very tall order. So I must've seen about 15 places before deciding on the one we went with. I think I'm so traumatized from that experience that I came to the conclusion that from then on I will see a maximum of 3 options for each remaining vendor. If the first person I see is capable, in budget, and I like them, then I'm signing a contract end of story. No more waffling. And if I do start to waver on some matter I have a signed piece of paper to hold me to my decision. This isn't to say that there wasn't about six months of jumping from one shiny idea to another before I settled on where we were getting married, but that's another story.

  11. i sorta have a similar problem. i see all the cool things other brides are doing and i think “i wan to do that !”. it’s not till i stop and think about that while that would be cool, it’s just not me.

  12. I was having the same issue then I decided to make it a wedding that he would love too. So the black and white polka dots with pink, wait red, wait stripes, wait jewel tones wait retro, wait hippie ….
    ARGH! I can't decide! has turned into a natural outdoor concert theme wedding in blues.

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  13. Hi! love the article.
    I feel a lot the same way, kind of ambivalent about my choices, and I'm currently obsessing about invites, realizing far too late that we could have spent way less not going the hand made option.
    Oh well. I've been pacing myself throughout our year-long engagement, deciding on a different part of the event each month. So far, it seems to have worked.
    February was the engagement rings (his and her).
    March was the bouquet and bouttonieres (button).
    April was ring pillows (actually, pincushions shaped like cupcakes).
    May was the venue.
    June we moved. And we took care of photos (polaroids).
    July was the caterers.
    August was assigning my mother the mother/daughter tea party.
    September was the invites.
    October was the HUGE sale at Michael's where we bought decorations. And, the wedding bands.
    ….
    But, I have to admit, there's still another engagement ring that I like…

  14. I've found it hard to make final decisions on the venue and my dress and other things because of the "what if?" factor. What if there is a better place or a prettier dress or a cheaper cake baker? I totally agree with Kelly that the pressure comes from the one-time-only nature of weddings. I'm just making the best decisions as I go, trying not to get caught up in the multitude of choices.

  15. Final decisions are hard! We're not getting married until Oct 2010 so we just got our venue picked out this past month. We narrowed it down to two places that we equally loved – one was bigger, but didn't allow fire (capped fireplaces) and the other was smaller, but had working fireplaces. That was really the main difference – beyond that, the price and the emotional goodness of the places was the same. But we decided to go with the larger venue (more options if we invite more people), and maybe we'll have a 10 yr anniversary party at the other place we didn't pick. It's owned by the Audubon society so it's not going anywhere!

    But until I could convince myself that yes, we will find a way to celebrate something here in the future, I had a hard time letting go of the other choice. On the other hand, I'm glad I only had to deal with that over ONE decision. I am now prepared to face future decisions with that in mind.

  16. Thanks for that! I think it takes a little longer and sometimes takes a mulligan on a decision to choose what is authentic. This has been a difficult and rewarding part of the wedding planning for me – figuring out who I am and what I like. I know many of you out there are confident in your greatness and uniquity… but some of us are just coming into it. Seeing all the great ideas on OBB has helped me be confident in doing my own thing that bucks tradition, despite the pressure from the industry and the parents. They especially weren't happy when I changed my mind about our venue/theme a couple times… but I hadn't laid down any money yet and I had to do what was "us".
    Now, I am second guessing the ring I ordered for my wedding band, as it is atypical but gorgeous and I fell in love with it in the store and so did FH… but I have to love it foreverever…. and maybe I will want a cute little channel set eternity band like everyone else has…. or maybe not, and if I really do I can always save up and buy myself one, along with a giant fondant cake to celebrate any one of the great things I might do!!

  17. So many of the comments echo this, but my mantra so far has been:

    "This is not the only party you will ever throw."

    I then remind myself that these great-but-totally-inconsistent ideas can be used to host future celebrations of all sorts – INCLUDING, as mentioned by at least one poster above, fabulous anniversary and/or recommitment ceremonies :o)

  18. Wow. I posted an update about this very problem a few weeks ago. I have had about 12 different (and I do mean different) ideas for the wedding and reception. Drove my FH nuts with the ping-ponging. We had to have a sit-down to figure out what we really, really wanted. So we did. And I reserved the venue we chose.

    Then last weekend we went to a friend's wedding, and my FH started to look around their venue with his little eagle eye and started to muse…

    Just when I thought I had a plan (really, any plan will do, I just need to narrow it down from 50!) to work with, FH is scouting more ideas.

    I love the idea of using the other locations as anniversary party locales. Since most of our other ideas involved travel, I think maybe I'll use them for anniversary trips! I had so many ideas that one of us will be dead before we run out of anniversary trips. LOL.

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  19. Great article! It is FABULOUS to know I'm not the only person who falls in love with ideas, colors, and themes easily, and gets swayed in romantic, fun notions, just to realize I have to pinpoint what "me" is, because like you said, I can enjoy it without claiming it, as it will continue to exist with or without my using the concept!

    Thanks again!

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  20. oh thank you thank you thank you … i have been beating myself up lately … i know its counter productive but EVERYTHING and i mean EVERYTHING looks so amazing and cool well i just HAVE to have it. it's great to know that there are other Offbeat Brides who are just as easily swayed as me!

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  21. My husband was a huuuuuuge help with this dilemma. Every time I was like, "Chandeliers! Salsa dancing! No, klezmer! Photobooths! Neon green and orange!" he would ask, "What's right for US? What's right for this group of people who's coming?" That last one eliminated a lot of the less feasible options–a party that'd be fabulous for 20 people, or all people who lived in town, or all people over age 21 and under age 35, probably wasn't the right party for our all-age, mostly traveling, 100 person group. And I am 100% satisfied with our decisionmaking process and what we ended up with. 🙂

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  22. I AM Kelly. Working on this too! But really everything I see on OBB, I want. it. ALL 🙂

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  23. This is a great post! Thank you for sharing. I have this same dilemma, and it looks like I'm not alone. The comments on here are wonderful also. It helps to have some positive thoughts to reinforce my need to make decisions and stick with them.

  24. Are you sure we're not the same Kelly?

    This is the same reason I cite for why I'll never get a tattoo. I'll like something completely different in five minutes.

    So glad to hear the pep talk. At some point I'll have to make a decision, but it's also nice that so many offbeat brides combine styles so deftly.

    I'll probably end up with some ridiculous combo like a Victorian Hip-Hop wedding or an Amish outer space Jetson's barn dance.

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  25. This is like reading my own biography! Except I told my fiance that he can plan it or we're eloping. So he's Mr. Wedding Planner now. It's been real good entertainment too!

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  26. Haha – "I can look at other peoples wedding and not even have to buy them a gift."
    So true. Also without leaving my house and my pikachu onesie 😀

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