Wedding overload: When to stop looking at wedding inspiration

March 18 2009 | arielmstallings
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.

  1. I REALLY needed this article. Actually, I think I'm going to print it out and stick it with all my planning stuffs so I see it anytime I sit down to work on the wedding. I adore OBB but recently, with two months to go, I've been second-guessing everything we do: "Oh my god, we're spending way too much!" (our budget is less than 2 grand) and then, two seconds and another wedding later, "oh my god, our wedding is going to look so shabby!". This article is amazing though, and I think I will use this as my cue to take a breath, realize our wedding will be beautiful because it will be US, and take a break from the internet..

  2. Thanks for posting this because it really is true and really sad. I finally got to the point where I refused to buy any wedding magazines because I knew that there would always be something cuter or more crafty that I already had. And you get to a point where not only is it to close to your wedding date to take on a new project, but it just becomes a point of frustration with you fiance.

    Whenever I look at wedding blogs (which I do a lot because weddings are my life)I always remind myself how much I love the decisions I've made for my own wedding and that they came from me and my future husband and that makes them the best choice by far.

  3. While I want a wedding that everyone thinks is lovely and unique, I have recently seen a bride who spent so much time and effort showing off all the lovely bits that she'd found for the perfect day, that its put me completely off wanting to share my finds with anyone… but there's a balance to be had. From my perspective that wedding was overshadowed by the show & tell factor, rather than the love it was meant to symbolise.
    Luckily, I find that I've got enough time to distract myself from planning every now and then, and I'm still in the inspiration stages so looking is important. I do like the thought of being able to take a break, re-assess if your decisions still reflect you or just someone elses personality. But a reminder every now and then is partly why OBB appeals to me more than any other blog I've seen, keeps it real 🙂

    • "From my perspective that wedding was overshadowed by the show & tell factor, rather than the love it was meant to symbolise." YES — I'm so glad I read this because I could really easily get carried away with show and tell myself, and I don't want my wedding to be like that. Cute, fun and cool are great, but they aren't the point of the day. So glad I read this before going overboard! (Ha – even if I did read it about two years after it was posted!)

  4. I totally agree that brides will become confused by overviewing wedding sites- but this is clearly a place for creative people to share their love, and the ideas that grew from their relationship. I have 4 grown children and a bunch of "surrogates". Because I also do costume design for community theatre, they often ask me for new ideas. OBB wakes up ideas that I didn't know I had: nOt copying- just creating. Isn't that what marriages should be about?

  5. So I just read this now a few years later…..totally needed this post!!!!!! Cause I'm the bride with almost too many creative juices and now that the wedding is over I'm in wedding withdrawal and worrying that I should have spent more time on the decor of all things! Good reminder!!!

  6. I love the wedding we are planning! Sometimes I think, I have to do this or have that and then I stop and say "simple, simple, simple". My little mantra. Not cheap, simple. I am keeping my DIY projects down to a minimum, it is simpler that way. It helps that the venue is stunning all on its own, a garden at a B&B. simple white or ivory linens, no chair covers, table runners, etched glasses, favors, or aisle markers. There are still plenty of details to work out. Simple, simple, simple……….

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