Wedding pirates: making peace when a friend steals your wedding ideas

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Wedding pirates: making peace when a friend steals your wedding ideas
Hint hint, bishes… “Don't steal my ideas” pouch

Wedding planning is hard, you guys. This we know. You're inundated with ideas, traditions, must-haves, how-tos, and a general sense of “whatthefuckdidigetinto.” So you start to panic. You search Pinterest or Offbeat Bride or wherever to figure out how to plan this hugh jass party you've never planned before.

But wait, you know something. You've been to weddings. You've been to friends' weddings. And that's where kernals of ideas start to happen. Is it a slippery slope to “stealing” ideas from friends? Yep. And if you're the friend with the ideas, you may not like it. Not when you've carefully crafted your aesthetic and DIY projects and authentic-to-you ideas. Here's how to deal when a friend steals your wedding ideas…

Remember that everything has been done

You're carefully crafted dancing recessional with ribbons and lavender sachets for tossing? It's been done. Your circle ceremony with a handfasting and meditation? Done. Somewhere, by someone, your idea has been done. There have been too many weddings for too many years. If you look hard enough, you'll find it. We've heard the lament before, “my idea that I thought was original had already been done!” Trends happen for a reason.

Does that mean your idea sucks and you should scrap it to find something new? Hell naw. But it does mean that your pals, in their search for something original, may also stumble on the idea — maybe not even realizing you've used it already. Making peace with the concept of being as authentic as you want to be, knowing that there's very little that can be original these days, can be a definite relief.

Imitation actually is flattery

Seriously, if someone appropriates your idea in their wedding, that means they liked it. Consciously, unconsciously, they thought it was killer and you should take internal credit for it. You can always ask (or subtly suggest) different ways of executing the idea, but ultimately, it's usually not worth the battle to try to get your friend to change things.

Realize you're friends because of your similarities

Why would your friend like the same wedding details you do? Probably because you're besties and have been rubbing off on each other since forever. Friends often become kin and you'll start to be more similar the closer you are. They'll probably like the same readings you do, the same styles, the same departures from tradition.

Think of it as a wedding kinship instead of a competition. Hell, you'll probably really enjoy the wedding since it'll be in your taste.

Your guest list will be totally different

Your friend group may overlap, but most weddings have a ton of family who barely know each other let alone the people on your guest list. Is it likely that anyone will even remember the details let alone where they saw it or who wore it? This leads me right into…

Nobody will notice like you will

Sometimes it's hard to hear that not everyone will notice all your painstaking details. All the energy you put into the details will be mostly seen by you while fondly flipping through photos after the wedding. Your guests will see your hard work, but from a macro perspective. They'll see the general splendor. Which means they'll only see the general splendor at your friend's wedding, too. It'll likely be so different in general that they won't notice the similarities as much.

You love this person. Focus on making their day as awesome as yours was, assuming it was awesome. Did you marry your partner? Sounds pretty rad to me.

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Comments on Wedding pirates: making peace when a friend steals your wedding ideas

  1. I actually just posted on Facebook telling my friends and family that they are free to steal any ideas they want from my wedding. Seriously, if something I did can be of use to someone else, they can use it! I’d take it as a compliment. I’m actually seriously hoping someone I know uses the same reception venue as me so I can go as a guest!

  2. Friends of mine “stole” my wedding venue idea. My college theater meant a lot to me. It’s where I found myself and formed my greatest and most long lasting friendships. I really wanted to get married in that theater on that stage. When I found out that my friends (one of whom attended the same college and was just as involved in theater as I was) had booked their wedding there with our director as officiant I got really upset. Not so upset that I said anything to them about it, just bitched about it to other friends. But then my one friend gave me a reality check by pointing out that I wasn’t even engaged. Not only was I not engaged, I had just gotten out of a really toxic seven year relationship that I wasn’t fully over. Not only that, I’d never said out loud to my friends that I wanted to get married at the theater so it’s not like they heard me say it and then did it. They independently came to the same conclusion that it would be a great and meaningful place to get married. Since their wedding in 2012 there have been several other weddings of former theater kids at the same venue so … yeah, I wasn’t the only one it meant something to.

    PS. When I finally did get engaged in 2014 my husband did not like the theater as a venue! I didn’t even fight for it so apparently it didn’t mean as much to me as I thought it would!

  3. If you see something you like at a friends or relatives wedding, tell them! I LOVE hearing about a small detail or two that people enjoyed from my wedding, especially if they liked it so much they want to use it for theirs. Whereas if a friend just went ahead and did exactly what I did, without giving me some credit, I think I would get a little cranky. Hasn’t happened yet though, most of my friends are fairly offbeat so we’re all doing very different things, which is fun.

  4. I did something terrible, or at least I think I did, and according to my colleague, I did!

    I was looking for venues for quite awhile, though I saw quite a few, none really stole me away. Then I had a chat with this colleague (lets call her Gbwwrdmtu, gorgeous babe whom we really didn’t mean to upset) of mine whom in my mind, am kind of close with, we share heaps of stories and bounce work and personal ideas off of each other. She showed me the place of her dream location and I was wowed! At this point, she may or may not have mentioned that “if I show you, you’ve got to promise not to steal it.” I believed I said “FOR SURE!”

    Obviously the unthinkable happened, my better half and I both loved the place so much that we’ve pencilled in the date for the coming future on being there the first time! I did mention to my fiancé that Gbwwrdmtu would be so mad with us if she found out, and being a friend, I wasn’t going to hide it from her. I knew she was going to be upset but I didn’t know to what of an extent.

    Gbwwrdmtu now says she can’t get married there; she’s set a rule for herself that she’s not going to hold it where her friends have done it at. She then mentioned that I promised which I’ve completely forgotten (but I wasn’t even sure if she made me promise, thus the “may or may not” mentioned above). I’m so screwed!

    Now, I’m profusely apologising and wanting our friendship to get back, my fiancé and I are so worried that we’ll lose her. We really really really like Gbwwrdmtu and don’t want to lose her, any advise?

    Ps. just incase it wasn’t clear, we didn’t know we’re stealing her idea, we merely though she was just sharing what she knew of wedding locations.

    • This sort of happened to me but I was your friend. I’d always thought it would be great to get married at my college’s theater. I was very involved with the program and my husband and I did shows there in the summer with a community group. It was apparently during one of the shows we did there together that he first “noticed” me. A pair of friends who I introduced ended up getting married there first. Now, at the time of their wedding my husband and I weren’t even living together let alone engaged. I also don’t think I’d ever mentioned wanting to get married there to them. I was a little upset like they “stole” my venue but then I realized that it made sense for them to get married there too because it was a special place to them as well. A year later ANOTHER pair of my friends got married there and again, it made sense because it was an important location to all of us who were in the program together in college.

      When my husband and I did get engaged I mentioned the theater as a location and he wasn’t into it AT ALL. So, there it was! I wasn’t going to fight for a place that he didn’t like and it solved the issue. Bottom line is, a wedding venue is open to anyone who wants to use it. I’ve been to multiple weddings at the same location and each of them was special and different and wonderful in it’s own way.

  5. Here’s a good one. My ex husband’s fiancé is literally copying my wedding. It was bad enough that they had been engaged for 1 1/2 years before I got engaged and married before they even set a date. The week after my wedding, they set the date for exactly 3 months later. (We we’re married for 20 years with 3 grown children that were thrown this at as well). Now the woman is using my colors, took my “tent venue on the farm”, my girls will stand up for their dad, my granddaughter as flower girl, her brother as officiant (my husband’s brother married us), and now has asked my artist daughter to create a guest book sign for her (had her make one for mine that was amazing!). The list goes on. I feel absolutely sick and just plain violated. My wedding was a dream wedding that I waited 50 years for and she swoops in three months later and takes everything special away. I’m angry. I’m sad for my girls (who say that this is just weird). How am I supposed to deal with that?

  6. It’s ok if it’s not exactly the same but when envy turns into spite it’s not ok. Here are 3 examples: first, once I announced my wedding date one of my “ best” friends decided to now get married after waiting like 4 years, planned her bridal shower the same weekend as my wedding and thus all of those girls declined to attend my wedding.

    2) my first cousin’s fiancée wore an exact copy of my wedding dress at their wedding, coincidence? Maybe. But my grandmother fished out where I got my dress and told everyone.

    3) my brother asked if he could use our wedding date the following year and the welcome dinner will be on my birthday. Not a week later on the exact date.

    How can you confront it when they all tell me it’s not true and that they did ask… UGH

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