Wedding overload: When to stop looking at wedding inspiration

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Literally hundreds of colored dresses.
Thanks to Lauren Lemon for submitting this photo.

What's going on when a bride buys a dress, and then finds another dress, and then picks a third dress because they keep seeing dresses they like online? What's going on when people come up with five different wedding themes over the course of two months, and still can't quiiite decide? What about when Facebook commenters' 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…

Bride in Green Boots

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!”

What I'm talking about here is wedding fetishization — when things slip over from inspiration to fixation. I don't want wedding inspiration 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 photos are here to inspire and delight — not ever to make you feel dissatisfied, unworthy, or disappointed in yourself.

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Comments on Wedding overload: When to stop looking at wedding inspiration

  1. 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 inspiration 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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 inspiration and have drawn a lot of inspiration from it and the couples behind it.

    • 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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!


  9. 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.

  10. 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 pix 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!

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