Do you hide your wedding media before you’re actually engaged?

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Hide yo' mags, hide yo' blogs! (Photo by: Maegan TintariCC BY 2.0)
Hello Offbeat Bride. First, I wanted to say that I do love your website and can't wait to be able to apply to become part of the Tribe! That being said, I have a question:

I was wondering if anyone has tackled the question of having wedding paraphernalia (e.g. magazines, etc.) in the home of a pre-engaged couple, if said couple has talked about marriage. Just curious if there are thoughts on etiquette.

I have two camps of friends:

Those that think I shouldn't hide anything and if I feel the need to, there's something wrong. And those that say “Don't show him! You'll scare him!”

I'm curious to know everyone's thoughts on this topic. -Sharon

You know how we feel about most everything here… if it feels good, and it doesn't hurt anyone, DO EET! Don't hide what you're into. Geeks of all kinds are awesome, and if you're geeking out on wedding media, that's awesome too.

Of course, I wasn't the type to geek out on wedding stuff before I got engaged (mostly because I wasn't the type to think I was going to find some chump to sign up for the Megan special FOREVER), so my outlook may not be plausible in practice. That's why I'm turning this question over to our readers…

Fess up, guys. Who here has gotten an early start on wedding planning through the form of purchasing magazines or browsing wedding blogs? Do you hide those mags and clear the browser history? Or do you let your wedding freak flag fly in front of your not-yet-affianced partner?

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Comments on Do you hide your wedding media before you’re actually engaged?

  1. My fiancee and I kind of “eased in” to being engaged. Honestly, everyone expected him to propose about a year before he ultimately did. January of this year he promised he’d propose “soon,” and we knew we wanted to have a late-fall wedding, so I was already doing a lot of the prep “behind the scenes” before he put the ring on my finger in May. I wasn’t in-your-face about it, but I certainly wasn’t hiding it either.

    Your mileage may vary.

  2. My husband and I waited to get engaged so that our families wouldn’t freak out about us not dating long enough before making the commitment. However, after we privately decided that this relationship was forever, I did start collecting wedding ideas on a Pinterest board. Without any real life friends following my pins, I didn’t think much about hiding my advance planning.

    Then, I mentioned to my MIL that I use Pinterest.

    Oops! She did freak out a little to my future husband about me already having a wedding board, but it was a much more subdued reaction than if that discovery had been made by my family!

    • You could have easily reminded her that a lot of Pinterest users with wedding boards don’t even have boyfriends yet 😉

  3. I didn’t clear my browser history or anything, but until we started “officially” telling people, I put disclaimers on my pinboards saying this was all for my amusement and no one should take it seriously. I just did not need my cousins freaking out about it before we wanted everyone to know. Since I’d been making other pinboards about things that weren’t happening (houses in the French countryside, I want you so much!) I had some plausible deniability. FWIW, now that we are “official”, the advice is cascading in on me regarding all the things I should and shouldn’t do with exactly the ferocity I’d feared. I just graduated nursing school, so I am really really glad I put the disclaimers on, because handling this much well-meaning input would have been way too much on top of my last semester!

  4. I try not to go on and on about wedding-y things, because it starts to sound a bit weirdly obsessive when not actually planning a wedding, but I also don’t hide it. As I tell everyone, I am a fan of happy people doing crafty things, and wedding blogs fill that need.
    If people are going to get excited about what we read for fun, I think they should probably be more worried about the fact that my partner has spent the last month or so reading about nuclear missile tests in Nevada.

    (Besides, if I *was* trying to hide it, I would most likely suck at it. I once named Offbeat Bride in a job interview when asked to name some sites that I visited frequently. The interviewer then clarified that they meant sites pertaining to the actual job…)

  5. Oh I totally have wedding planning Pintrest boards! I don’t flaunt that fact, but I don’t hide it either.
    A while back when I would look through wedding magazines and such I was paranoid of falling into the “crazy girlfriend” stereotype, so I kept it a hidden guilty pleasure. However, at this point in our relationship, my boyfriend and I talk openly about “when” not “if” we get married. Knowing we are both in the same boat and having his support has helped so I don’t feel crazy or over-eager. Especially since (brace yourself) I already bought my wedding dress and we’re not engaged yet. It was actually his idea, he called me up when he saw a local shop was having killer deals. We went together and I tried on a bunch until I fell in love with one. It was really hard for me to buy it because it seemed too early, but it was such a good deal that I didn’t pass it up. We have the mindset that knocking a few things off the wedding planning list, little by little, is not a bad thing. It was also awesome that when I fessed up to my friends and family about buying a dress, they were nothing but supportive, I didn’t get any snark from any of them.
    I guess it depends on your audience. Myself, I tend to avoid confrontation like the plague, so if I know I have a friend that will give me the “Don’t do it! You’ll scare him!” talk, I just avoid the subject because I don’t have the time or energy to deal with drama.

  6. It’s all about the secret Pinterest board! I find it is socially unacceptable to talk and plan your wedding before engagement, but do what you want 🙂

  7. I bought my very first bridal magazine when my fiance and i were together only a few months! (to be fair, it was the first time i had met someone that i could actually see a future with) – I DID NOT TELL HIM! lol I would have been mortified lol – (it was bad enough when he saw me practicing my signature with his last name! psycho much?) — but 6 years and two kids later, (and a 5 year engagement) we are finally getting married in September – i will honestly say that this place and pinterest are the only two places i actually found real inspiration…. but yeah, i definitely didn’t show off my paraphernalia until i got the ring haha – i didn’t want him to think i was just in it for the wedding! but that will all depend on your man too 🙂

  8. Maybe it’s just my neck of the woods (the wedding-obsessed South), but my friends and family don’t assume stuff when I pin things on Pinterest. My 15-year-old cousin is using Pinterest to “plan” her wedding and no one is batting an eyelash. However, from what I’ve heard from friends, people assume A LOT when they see you pin baby- or child-related stuff on Pinterest. 😉

  9. I definitely had a secret wedding planning life before he asked. It was very obvious that we were getting married as we had already talked to our parents and he asked permission from my father for my hand. The life included subscription to multiple RSS feeds, a secret pinterest board for themes, invitations and dresses.

    Keeping it a secret definitely gave me some anxieties at some point because it wasn’t completely true that I was engaged. After he asked, I had a weight off my shoulders because I felt like I had already started being prepared and had someone to help me start planning.

  10. We are more or less “secretly engaged”. We decided that we wanted to be together for the rest of our lives several years ago, but this April I asked him if he would like to get married. He did, but he wanted to put together an elaborate proposal in october, because that’s just the kind of guy he is. It will also give him time to save for the ring.

    We have talked a little about what we might like in a wedding but I try not to overwhelm him. But I can’t help but pour over OffBeat Bride! I have become an offbeat wedding nerd, but still a relatively closeted one. The oddly long expanse of time (about 6 months) in between “We are getting married” and “We are engaged” is killing me, but I just have to remember that for many couples the first time they say the word “forever” there is a ring attached, which is just not us.

    I can rest assured that by the time our proposals come, I will have a pretty clear picture of the wedding and know how to answer questions thrown at me.

    • “the oddly long expanse of time (about 6 months) in between “We are getting married” and “We are engaged” is killing me”

      Yep, I feel you on that one. We talked about getting married, talked to parents, and then waited 6 months for the official engagement for similar reason of him wanting to propose and save money for a ring. It was stressful, which was really surprising because I am one of those people that ever felt strongly about getting married and certainly never dreamed about my wedding day. Although, my sister did get engaged in the meantime (which was a bit of a surprise to me) and his sister got engaged in that 6 mo period. That’s probably what made me freak out more, was our families getting engaged around the same time, it meant that our original “let’s get married on this date” was going to get way more complicated. We ended up pushing our wedding back a year (it’ll be 2 years after our official engagement by the time we get married), mainly because I don’t want to overwhelm our families. But I think it’ll work out for the best for other reasons too.

      • I’ so glad other people are getting married without getting engaged immediately! But I will say that if for some reason he doesn’t propose when I think he will, I am totally doing it myself. I was planning on proposing back at the same time, but I can’t wait forever! 🙂

        • Ah………….I think this is us, too. We’ve stated we want to be together, and that we want to get married, and that certain life choices we’re making now are based on the idea that we will be together long term, but we are not ‘officially’ engaged yet because he wants to save up for a ring (and I want a ring, too, to be honest)

    • Well, mine wasn’t a long stretch of time. He asked me to marry him after we’d been dating for two weeks. We didn’t make it official until we’d been together a month. Then we were engaged for a year before I really started planning. So, I was not the person who ever planned my wedding, or even thought about my wedding, until well into my engagement. My sister on the other hand has been planning her wedding for years. She sort of tried to hide it, but she got more open when I got engaged (She used my wedding as an excuse). We teased her about it, but she recently got married with only about a month between engagement and wedding, so I guess it’s good she already had things thought out.

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