Trends vs. Super Awesome Ideas

Updated Oct 12 2015
Guest post by Katy

I recently got this email from a reader named Katy:

n757540202_4407188_8508Recently, I was looking through the offbeat photo pool and came across picture after picture of weddings with ideas I had been throwing around for a while. This cake picture especially caught my eye. Months and months ago I had found a picture of a cake almost exactly like that, the chocolate dripping down, and honestly I fell IN LOVE with it. On another site, I found that exact cake topper. Yep, exact. In my little wedding obsessed mind I had put them together and…VOILA! dream wedding cake! And here it was, at another wedding, another bride's dream wedding cake.

Now at first, I was a little disappointed, I'll admit. It's like my unique, Offbeat Bride bubble had burst. "But…but…how is my wedding supposed to be unique? I'd wanted that cake! I'd wanted to rent a photo booth! I'd wanted converse shoes! I'd wanted a black dress! Boo!"

But then I thought about it, and I smiled…

Why do we have to use the word trend? It seems that most people, especially Offbeat Brides, wrinkle their nose at that word. But maybe we could just call them super awesome ideas.

Really! How many wedding websites has an Offbeat Bride looked at searching for ideas, searching for that dream wedding in picture form so they can see it RIGHTNOWPLEASE? I know I have. I know that's what the more traditional sites are there for. The Knot, The Wedding Channel, etc. Pictures and pictures and more pictures of every cake, bouquet, dress, centerpiece, ring, etc imaginable. And brides search these sites, collecting images of everything that they dream of someday having.

Offbeat Bride is there for the rest of us. No I can't picture my dream wedding on The Knot, but Offbeat Bride has got me covered.

So thank you to all of the brides on here, and thank you to Ariel…for giving me the chance to get the best possible idea of what my wedding could look like, and also inspiring me to think outside of the box EVEN MORE.


You are so welcome, Katy! I agree that when it comes to offbeat folks, we can all-too-often decry trends as somehow WRONG … that we should avoid doing something just because other people are also doing it.

A friend recently referred to it as "negative dependency" — ie, "I don't do this because everyone else does." When you define yourself that way, you're giving up just as much of your power to make your own choices.

Moral of the story: work to make authentic personal decisions, in your wedding and in your life.

xo,
Ariel

  1. OMG, thank you soooo much for bringing this up.
    it seems like the more i get into the whole wedding planning thing the more concerned i get about the exact same thing that Katie was talking about.
    my wedding is going to be exactly how i want it to be and if i'm following a "trend" oh well, so be it. i'm gonna have a blast doing it and hopefully Katie will too.

  2. "Negative dependency" – I LOVE that term! I know of so many people who won't do something because "everyone else is doing it." Whether it is locs, red hair, skull rings, black wedding dresses, or whatever your heart desires, if YOUR heart desires it, go for it! Screw everyone else!

  3. I think what i had to realise was that being part of the offbeat bride tribe has altered my reality a little bit. I've pretty much ignored all the other mainstream wedding planning things since i found the tribe(except martha stewart… i love martha) so i'll get this idea that i can't do that anymore because EVERYONE is doing that. But really i'm dealing with a subset of wedding planners, among which i've seen maybe a half a dozen people doing the same thing i want to do. Really, it's still pretty original. And instead i get an open minded awesome group of people to help me come up with ideas to make it more my own, win/win

  4. This is why I love OBB: Ariel and the OBT community give encouragement for WHATEVER you want to do. Something no one else has thought of? Go you for being unique! A red wedding dress or other offbeat trend–I mean, super awesome idea–wow, that looks awesome on you! Something traditional and mainstream? Hey, good for you for doing it not because it's mainstream and everyone does, but for really considering what it means for YOU.

  5. This is a fantastic article. I'm so tired of people curling their lip up at others because "it's trendy" or "everyone is doing it". I went through the same thing when I first started planning – I wanted something OMG-SOOO-UNIQUE not because I really wanted it, but I didn't feel right using other people's ideas. After a while, I got over that REAL quick. 🙂

  6. Funny thing is that we're doing a very similar cake with a similar cake topper. LOL. But who cares? We're doing it because we love it, and if other people love it as well, right on!

  7. Yep, this is so true. I've often reminded friends (and myself) that not doing something because it is popular is just as bad as doing it for that same reason.

  8. Ha! I saw that exact cake and topper on a website exhibiting pictures of what the blogger called tacky weddings. I, however, found it super awesome and amazing. Thanks once again for reminding us how we can still be individuals when surrounded by other like-minded and awesome people!

  9. Here is my theory: If you are doing it because it is the cool thing to do, you have a major problem. If you are are using the idea because you LOVE it, you think it is AWESOME, and it fits YOUR personality, then hell, why not use it!

    I went through the same, "If I use these ideas, how am I truly being unique?" but now I have just through to myself, "If it fits my groom and me, I am going to do it. That includes traditional things too!"

  10. Dude, I'm unique because of my particular combination of personality traits and likes/dislikes-I share most of them with other people (which is why most of my friends are my friends) but no one has this exact combination. I can't squeeze everything I am and love into a wedding, and I'm sure the major points that I DO want to fit in will overlap with someone else's, maybe down to the last decoration. But I am ME and our wedding will be US and that's what makes our wedding unique-even with the white dress, high heels, bridesmaids dresses from David's Bridal, etc.

    This is the reason I love love love this site and OBT. People are supportive no matter what you do, no matter what side of the offbeat spectrum you're on. Hooray! 🙂

  11. Truer words were never….written? I just always thought I was the only one,the freak, the (dare I say) renegade (LOL) that didn't want the traditional white dress, white cake, white, white, white. We've lived together for 6 years, have 2 kids – the jig is up, the virginal white isn't for me!

  12. Also, it's your wedding. Who cares if it's been done before. What matters is that it's special to you. It will always be "Unique" in that it's the ceremony uniting you and the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. No one else's will be the same, no matter what elements are similar, because it isn't you and the person you love. That's what your wedding is about, and that's what makes it special.

  13. One thing that I read somewhere that really resonated with me was (basically), 'It may seem like a trend and that everyone is doing it, but really, how many people that come to your wedding are perusing wedding planning sites and know that it is a trend? Most likely only you. To everyone else it will just be your wedding, with all the cool things you decide to include.' Reading that made the lightbulb go off. I don't care if 'eveyone'is doing it anymore. If I want it or like it, then I gonna do it!

  14. Aw, that's so sweet! I wish I'd known about this site when I was planning my wedding. Was it up and running in 2007? Probably. I wish I'd googled harder! Admittedly, I was a Knot bride. I was admonished from time to time for my more offbeat wedding by some of the "knotties" but I always took it as a compliment.

  15. Ah, yes. I once killed a man for saying I was an 'orange' personality type: rebellion purely for the sake of rebellion. But, hey, rebellion is fun, and once you put yourself through hell being yourself against all odds, conforming to even one real-life trope just gags you.
    Fortunately, even if every decor aspect of your wedding was as cookie cutter as the next, even if you rented all the same must-haves as your SIL a month before, your wedding is different because it's you. We hear this a lot and dismiss it since it's so obvious and a platitude, but think of cookie cutter weddinged brides: would you say their weddings were less special because they were average? Of course not! The specialness was their feelings on that day, inspired by their husband their likes, even if their likes came from their expectations of weddings. The feeling you get from a peacock-themed wedding is pretty much the same as the one my FSIL gets from being 'a wed-in-white bride", and it's inevitable that someone's done a peacock wedding, but it wasn't yours just as hers, much as it may look it, isn't the same as her mother's, much as her mother may try to make it so.

    What I'm saying is, rejoice in having people to score porn off of!

  16. My fiance and I have decided to "elope with permission", hahaha. He called my dad and asked if he could marry me (of course my dad said yes). Our families haven't met, and we decided that a wedding may not be the best time. So we've decided on a private ceremony. All of our friends are either freshly married, or engaged, so when we decided to get married there was a feeling of "hopping on the bandwagon", but we've had several discussions about just that, and that was one of the biggest reasons that made us want a private ceremony(we call it our 007 wedding). We decided that this is our life, and while we would love to celebrate with our friends, it means too much to us to stress about the small stuff.

  17. This picture is of my wedding cake, actually. A lot of people at my wedding didn't like it, but I didn't care. I did! If other people have done it, I don't care. If it's trendy, I don't care. It was perfect for us and thats all that mattered.

  18. My hubby & I were hitched in 2001 & sent out photobooth strip wedding announcements & took our wedding photos on a paper moon set which we constructed the night before.

    I do get a pang everytime I see similiar ideas being used, because these choices were uniquely "us" & meaningful at the time–We took pics in a photobooth on our first date & met building sets for stage 🙂

    Oh well, ain't no thing. I still got the man!

  19. Love this! I know I sometimes feel a twinge not only if everyone else is doing something, but if ANYone else is doing it. Which is ridiculous! My mother likes to remind me that there's nothing new under the sun–except for each of us. xo!

  20. See, I have things I want, Tardis Lanterns, Weeping angels etc. I'm sharing the tutorials of them as I find them, hell I'm collecting pics as I go so that I can do tutorials of all the things I do. I don't care about trends Someone could copy everything I do down to the clothes I'm making, but it won't be the same wedding because it's not Us doing it, it's them (whatever imaginary couple who thought all my stuff was cool enough they wanted them.) I don't care if every single thing I do is done by someone else either collectively or singly. I want everyone who wants anything I did to be able to do it for him or herself. If it truly trips their trigger then go for it, if not se la vie. No skin off my nose either way.

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