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

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4103992696 6087349eaa b alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

  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 jobโ€ฆ)

  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 ๐Ÿ™‚

  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 ๐Ÿ™‚

  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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  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! ๐Ÿ™‚

        • 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.

  11. Well, I kind of bought the dress before we were engaged…! (AND I told him.)

    But we were talking about it for about a year before that, therefore I consider myself only half crazy. And FH knows me, he knows I’ve always been a bit crazy about wedding-related stuff and he wasn’t scared.
    And he’s pretty happy I had almost everything covered as soon as he proposed, it was that much less stress for him!

    If you know your boyfriend well and if you know your relation is serious, I think you shouldn’t hide your little obsessions (whatever they are). It is part of who you are!
    But, after all, you are the judge! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. I didn’t have any physical wedding media before getting engaged (and even now – all I have is the Offbeat Bride book and another book someone gave me!), but I did have a Pinterest board once Pinterest made “secret” boards. I refused to have one before Pinterest released that feature because I didn’t want people making assumptions that I was secretly engaged (err… again, because I was secretly engaged in college that one time). But I was just using the board to pin wedding porn and helpful tips, it wasn’t really a “planning” board at that time. Once I did get engaged, The Fiance requested that when I made my pin board public, I keep the name that I had given it: “Wedding Shit.”

    Still, at least one friend figured out we were engaged before we were telling people (we waited a few weeks due to wanting to tell our families first, and I had to travel to tell mine), based on another Pinterest board of mine: my “Shinies” board, where I was pinning rings, since The Fiance and I picked my engagement ring out together. I guess I wasn’t so sneaky about intermixing those rings with other jewelry and bobbles like I should have been if I wanted to keep it under wraps!

  13. It’s funny, because this has been on my mind SO MUCH lately! I recently started an “in love” (aka “wedding”) pinterest board, even though I am not technically engaged yet. My boyfriend and I already have our wedding location picked out, a general time for next year when it will happen, and our family and very close friends know about our plans, but still, no ring yet. It’s a bit of a nontraditional situation anyways: my engagement ring was my great grandmother’s so I have seen it and even tried it on several years ago. I know that he just got the ring from my parents (who live out of state) and based on our recent conversations, I’m anticipating our “official” engagement very soon, though we’ve felt engaged in our own minds, and to our loved ones, for a while now. Just last night a newlywed friend of mine started liking my pins on my “in love” pinterest board, and I freaked out a bit to my boyfriend. “Isn’t that weird though that she sees this stuff? We’re not even engaged yet.” He respond “Who cares! It’s totally fine.” And honestly, I think he’s right.

  14. Thinking about my future wedding has always been my secret vice. Since I have always been so set against patriarchal notions about marriage and even (at one point) against weddings entirely, I actually kept my wedding browsing secret from my friends AND my girlfriend. But I like pretty dresses! And jewelry! And shoes! And I also actually really like the idea that everyone comes together in a big ceremony full of love. I just didn’t know how to reconcile that with my feminism until very, very recently.

    I thought I was doing such a good job of hiding everything. I’d only reading wedding magazines while standing in a Barnes and Noble on the other side of the country, sticking close to the magazine section so I could put it back in place. I once hid out in an engaged friend’s bathroom for a super inappropriate amount of time so that I could read her stack of bridal magazines. I used to come to this site, actually, and then shut the laptop quickly when I thought someone was coming up behind me.

    When we got engaged, my fiancee told me that she always knew I was looking at bridal things. She didn’t care. She knew it was my secret vice, and she knew that it was okay for me to have a secret fantasy life. The only problem came in when I already had a bunch of wedding-related opinions and she felt like she had to play catch up. I learned to ask her what she thought before I launched into my own lengthy, detailed opinion.

    Weirdly, after I got engaged, I actually stopped having an interest in bridal magazines. I still love this site, and a couple others – but everything else is just so. . . unrealistic. And focused on buying stuff. And straight. Now that fantasy and reality are merging, I need that fantasy less and less.

    • This This This!

      Always thought about weddings, never thought it was for me. When my wife and decided to do it we didn’t really get engaged as such but there was a long period before we told anyone because our date was so far away. That’s when I really went to town on this site (and hid it) and exactly what you describe happened, I was way way ahead of my wife with ideas and it was really hard not to overwhelm her. As a result it seemed like she wasn’t interested in the planning as much but actually she was just exhausted and excluded by my huge prior investment in it all. But when I slowed down and started letting her in and basically recognizing the difference between fantasies created for myself and realities chosen with my partner it got easier for both of us.

      The biggest thing I learned in this whole process was how much sweeter a choice made together was than something I dreamed up on my own. As a couple we learnt loads about how to make decisions together too, she hates the researching options bit but I love it, now what we do is I research options and present her with something manageable like no more than three if at all possible, and then we decide together from those. We are now looking to buy a home and I’m consciously trying to not over research or over dream it. I’m always going to be a little more in the future than she is but it does neither of us any favours if I utterly indulge that side and make the distance really big.

  15. Yknow, this is kind of a funny question, because I totally hid my wedding media, but not from my boyfriend (now fiancรฉ). Instead, I hid it from search engines, Facebook, etc so I wouldn’t be deluged with obnoxious advertisements at every click. I also hid it from my and my boyfriend’s family to avoid pressuring discussions and nosey questions. Nobody needed to know anything until we’d officially and publicly stated it! So I say that there are definitely legit reasons to hide this sort of thing, but it’s probably not necessary to hide from your significant other unless you are hoping to surprise them with a cute proposal, and leaving media around might spoil it.

  16. I’m also not engaged, and I do have a Pinterest wedding board. I gave the board a silly name like ‘Ideas for an imaginary wedding’ just so my friends would know it wasn’t SERIOUS wedding planning. It’s just fun and cool stuff that I really like.
    Although a month or so ago the boyfriend of six years and I had the talk that it is ‘maybe time for him to start thinking about planning a proposal’ because I’d kinda love to get engaged in front of a big group of our friends & family.
    That’s when I started a private, much more focused Pinterest board, and Etsy wishlist full things and resources I think I might actually use that I know no one else will be interested in. Ultimately I think it depends on the kind of person you are and the relationship you are in. BF & I have already talked about spending the rest of our lives together (with or without a wedding) and all of my friends know that I am the over-planning plugged-in kind of person that would have a ‘wedding’ board regardless of the wedding time frame.

  17. I am not yet engaged, although I know that my boyfriend and I will get married eventually, it’s just not a good financial idea right now. We’ve been together for four years, but I started reading offbeat bride about six years ago (all the while loudly proclaiming that I didn’t want to ever get married and I was totally emphatically not into weddings). I didn’t hide it until my Mom decided to start planning my wedding. I mean, really planning, like picked out a venue and food and a dress and keeps trying to invite people and I have to keep tracking them down to tell that that I am not engaged and I am most certainly not getting married in August like she keeps telling people. In light of her behavior I’ve been trying to keep my own reading a little more underwraps, it’s not a secret, I just don’t bring it up.

  18. Oh honey, can I just tell you how many hours I spent reading this very blog and sharing stuff with my boyfriend loooooong before we were engaged? Like, years before we were engaged. I think if it’s something that’s on your mind in a big way, your significant other needs to know it ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. I have a ‘secret’ Pinterest board that I put wedding related stuff on. It’s not that I’m hiding it, I just don’t want people to think I’m actively planning a wedding and I don’t want to answer questions.

    I guess we’re ‘pre-engaged’?–we’ve talked about marriage, and we’re both on the same page. I am assuming we’ll be official in a year or so. Truth be told, we could go down to the JoP and do it tomorrow (we talked about that too!) but we don’t want to rush things unless necessary.

    I don’t get magazines because I ALREADY have a ton I don’t read :-p

  20. I’m single and have a secret wedding board on pinterest and my dress picked out on etsy. It’s my secret guilty pleasure and I love it!

  21. I didn’t HIDE my wedding planning before my engagement came around, but I definitely didn’t parade it around. I never had bridal mags until I was looking for a dress (after we got engaged) but I did have a bookmark list on our computer that had links to things I wanted. However, I haven’t used any of those bookmarks since we actually officially became engaged because once we started working together I realized that the wedding I was planning was MY wedding, not OUR wedding. I started from scratch and am much happier this way.

  22. …Ummm….I’m not even IN a relationship and I have a small stack of wedding magazines and I share and post things from blogs (especially Offbeat) on fb. I also send myself links via email of things I like, such as, color schemes, cakes, dresses, dresses, themes, photographyyyyyy!,dresses, invitations, shoes, venue ideas, lighting decorations, dresses, dresses and damn it…more dresses!!

    I’m pretty sure anyone who knows me knows I adore wedding related things and LOVE. Maybe I was a wedding planner in another life?

    Either way, I think sharing every part of yourself (however pre-mature it may be)with someone you love is part of the fun and acceptance that makes (eventually) saying “I DO” a forever phrase.

    Hooray!

  23. we’re getting engaged in a couple weeks(!!!!), but and I think the only people who we told are our mothers, but I haven’t hid it. Everyone knows it’s coming, and I talk and post wedding stuff all the time. for a while I wouldn’t and I felt really weird about it, but because I know it’s happening, I basically just think of us engaged already.

  24. I really relate to this question. I have done both the hiding and the being honest about it. When I started dating my current beau, I was very straight forward about my love for all things wedding. I told him right out on our second date that I was fascinated by weddings and the pageantry and style to all of it. I was really worried how he would take it. He took it just fine. He understands that it is a creative, artistic things that I love about the wedding complex. I explained to him that it is not about him its about how much I love events and putting together a scene.

    When I get a bit over the top, he reminds me to take a deep breath. To his credit he has asked to see my teenage scrapbooks of wedding crap and he was not appalled, or terrified. Sometimes I send him links of wedding that have to do with his favorite fandoms and he seems to take it well. He reaction is normally like “wow that XYZ detail is really cool, I like how they used ABC in the wedding”. I think since he is into the arts and he knows that I have no timetable that I am pushing, it makes things easier.

  25. All the pre-proposal wedding planning has been in my head (I had elaborately designed my wedding dress…twice, and none of them made it to the reality, I bought something completely different instead), and I was kind of embarrassed to watch “Say Yes To The Dress” when us getting married was kind of questionable (I had expressed my expectations, he didn’t response in timely manner). So I was really relieved when finally watching SYTTD become legal! (It’s still my Sunday evening favorite) I didn’t have wedding magazines (in my country there is only one or two, and they are released quarterly) and didn’t browse any websites prior to engagement, also, when I started to check local wedding website and boards, I made completely different nickname than my usual and created Pinterest board with again different name, so nobody would associate me with my wedding planning self. Maybe it’s due to generally lower expectations about weddings in my culture, and being obsessively planning this event is nothing that I would want to shout from rooftops.

  26. I never hid my love of weddings from anyone, including my boyfriend, our friends, and our parents. That said, I kept my comments about them in “if/I” terms rather than “when/we” terms until my partner and I talked about the possibility seriously. I’m even subscribed to one or two wedding magazines and keep a journal/scrapbook of things I like for future reference. That way, when it comes time to really plan a shindig, I’ll at least know the vocabulary and outline pretty well.

  27. My fella and I aren’t yet engaged for a variety of reasons, but we actually enjoy browsing wedding stuff together since we both like planning events; additionally we’re planning on getting married shortly out of college, so getting an idea of costs early helps us prepare for how much we will need to save and budget.

  28. Back when I first discovered OBB, I had a little folder in my bookmarks called ‘links’ where I put my wedding inspiration. I was not engaged and I did not talk about it. Not sure if my ex ever found that folder but if he had it probably would have contributed to our eventual break up. This was before I started on pinterest.

    After I broke up with the ex, I was still into weddings. I liked the stuff I read here, I liked looking at pretty pictures. Mum got me into pinterest and I had fun scrolling through the wedding stuff. I never had a wedding board (still don’t, although sometimes the inspiration on my secret ‘ideas’ board is a little wedding-y) but weddings are pretty, and I like them, and I don’t think I need to be ashamed of that.

    My partner knew this about me before we started dating – he had seen the pinteresting, he knew what I was into. Also this relationship has always been headed towards something a little more serious so I know it isn’t going to scare him off. Recently I started pinning engagement rings so he knows where to find them when the time comes. We’ve been to three weddings so far this year and have another one to go to in October so weddings are something we discuss quite a bit anyway, not just because we are looking for ourselves but because everyone is getting married (late 20’s, seriously, it’s like a switch has been flipped) so it’s a pretty neutral, no-pressure discussion.

    I will not have an actual public wedding board, buy a wedding magazine (got to get just one), or post on wedding forums until I actually get engaged. Those personal boundaries are as much about respecting my partner as they are about keeping my sanity. For me, keeping to those lines lets me say ‘oh, I just really like weddings’ as opposed to feeling like one of those people who plans the whole wedding with a convenient groom-shaped hole.

    Besides, one of the things I’m most excited about is hearing my partner’s ideas for the wedding. Until then, I just want to expose myself to as many pretty pictures as possible. I think I hide it from other women more than I hide it from my boyfriend.

  29. I hid EVERYTHING. I was already attending expos and venue hunting before my official engagement, and I also had about 500 pins on my secret Pinterest board. He did NOT need to see that.

    I hid it because I didn’t want him to feel that I was negating the significance and importance of the proposal itself, since I didn’t know if he had something special planned, and he is somewhat quiet about his feelings if he is being overrun by me (the pushy one). It was a huge deal to him (the ring and the proposal), and while it was also a huge deal to me – the wedding is a much bigger deal and requires tons of planning, so I wasn’t about to hold back on that, but also felt wrong about doing it in front of him when he hadn’t even had his moment to shine yet, and seemed pretty nervous about it all.

  30. I am very single and have no real desire to actually be married yet. But I love looking at wedding stuff. Love it. So when I got a free subscription offer to a bridal magazine, I took it. I have a wedding pinterest board. And I come here. Daily. Some times many times through out the day.

    I have to say though, I feel weird being “one of those girls”. You know girls who title their pinterests boards “Someday” or “When my prince comes”, girls who have an entire wedding planned, just add the groom. Essentially women (or men even) who are way more into have a wedding then having a marriage. So I do hide some of it. My wedding board on pinterest is a secret board, and not everyone knows about the magazines…though I don’t hide my visits here. I’m usually like “look at this thing I found it’s awesome!!!” and don’t really care about what people think.

    When I’m actually in a relationship with a person, I don’t think I’d want to hide anything from him/her. Yeah, I look at wedding stuff. Cause some of it is cool and the pictures are pretty and that cake looks delicious. Doesn’t mean we need to rush off to the alter. Still not ready for a marriage. Even if I’m all set for a wedding.

  31. Haha, this is where the “porn” label really fits. My bf knows I read this site, and I’ll vaguely mention things like “I saw a wedding online where all the groomsmen were storm stoopers. It was really cool” or whatever, without really specifying. This is the only wedding site I visit regularly, and I’ve actually started checking it much more since the Offbeat Home & Life rebrand, because I’ll go over there, then when I’m done with that, I’m like “Okay I’ll check on Offbeat Bride (I guess) since the link is right there.”
    And I’ve filed away quite a few ideas in my head, but there’s nothing physical that I feel the need to hide. Nobody looks at my browser history.

    I think if you’ve set a date, even if it’s “fall of next year” you’re basically engaged, even if there wasn’t the proposal with a ring, and in that situation, you shouldn’t feel guilty about planning. Actually, nobody should feel guilty, but in that situation, things are more concrete

    (I feel the need to add: boyfriend and I have talked about getting married in a couple years, but we’re waiting for financial reasons, and also I’m 23)

  32. Ooh, this question and discussion cut straight through to my weird perceived self-stigma-thing surrounding all things feminine. From puberty and all the way through college, and even now sometimes, I identified as a tomboy and didn’t let myself admit, to myself or anyone, that I liked things that society had deemed frivolous and overly ~*girly*~. Things like makeup, dressing nicely, romantic comedies, and WEDDINGS. Maybe I honestly didn’t give weddings too much thought for a while (and it’s tough for me to say at this point if I honestly wasn’t interested, or wouldn’t let myself be), but I discovered Offbeat Bride a couple years ago and was fascinated ever since.

    The thing is, I’m still dating the guy I was with when I discovered Offbeat Bride, but we’re not engaged and probably won’t be for a little while, if it does happen. I did keep it hidden for a while that I read Offbeat Bride, but gradually started mentioning little things about it. To me, though, it’s difficult in the same way as broaching the topic of if/when we might get married. I don’t want to be that horrible stereotypical girl who’s always pestering her boyfriend about marriage–but then again, why is that so horrible (minus the pestering)? Mainstream media has made it so women can’t win anyway (be pretty! but not too pretty, because caring about being pretty is bad!), so I might as well make sure I can express my important thoughts and wants to my significant other, especially when they concern him. Broaching the marriage thing is getting easier as I go, even if admitting that I do someday want a marriage (and wedding) was really hard at first. So I don’t talk about it a lot, but I try to sometimes because it is a thing I read about and am interested in.

    Basically, maybe it is time to stop viewing wedding media as something shameful and that should be hidden. Just because it’s more likely that women are interested in it, doesn’t make it bad. Hell, if men and folks in between like looking at it too, there shouldn’t be anything wrong with that either! We don’t expect men to get embarrassed about their video game collection or car repair magazines, so it seems only fair.

  33. I definitely wouldn’t want my boyfriend to know that I browse OBB and other wedding sites, and have a pinterest board. He’s not ready to get married yet, much to my upset (but that’s a story for another day). I think he already borderline thinks that i’m obsessed with marriage and want to drag him up the aisle (exaggerating), so I don’t want to freak him out more.

  34. I have a fear of flying, so every time I went on an airplane trip I bought bridal magazines to distract myself from take off. The thoughts of “I have a future and it’s with my loved person.” helped to calm me down when I would either be thinking of negative thoughts. ๐Ÿ™‚ Then boyfriend and now husband knew how much the magazines helped me when the laptop and computer had to be off.

  35. I don’t think there’s any need to hide these media, but there are some valid reasons you might want to. Specifically, the presence of such media in your home or on your social websites could give rise to unwanted speculation and ill-mannered prying on the part of friends and family members. However I definitely don’t think it’s something that you should be ashamed of, or feel the need to hide from the person you’re thinking of marrying, especially if you’ve discussed the possibility!

  36. I didn’t have wedding media until after we got engaged. In fact we kinda procastinated so other people had wedding media for us which was handy since we’re procastinators.

  37. I started looking at wedding websites when my pal got engaged, about three years before I got engaged myself. At first when I started getting curious and thinking about what I would do differently from my friend, I hid it, but only in that I didn’t talk about it. He doesn’t look at my pintrest anyway. Then after a while I got a bit bored of that and didn’t bother anymore. It meant that when we did get engaged (I asked him) we’d discussed what we’d like for ourselves lots of times and we had the venue, band, photographer, accommodation and catering booked within 5 weeks. No fannying about. Worked well for us!

  38. Sigh. I feel supremely overqualified to answer this question, but I still don’t really have a clue. I’ve been reading Offbeat Bride since… what… 2007? 2006? Back when it was to promote the book, in any case. That was two boyfriends ago (and three great single years on top of it). Back then I wanted a Wai Ching dress and a wooden wedding ring and a “ring bear”, but more than any of that I wanted the safety and security of an event that solidified my relationship with another person and the role I’d have as a verified adult within my own community. That’s what drew me to Offbeat Bride in the first place – the emphasis on a wedding as a great party that’s more about human relationships in the end. Also, I was 21 and felt a bit lost at sea. Hypothetical wedding planning was great at letting me try on what I wanted in a marriage and my human relationships. I felt so guilty reading wedding blogs and forums when I felt supremely underqualified to be there. I would talk about it with friends, but in a confessional way (“Zomg guys I can’t believe I’m doing this, how embarrassing!”).

    Now I’m dating someone, not engaged, and he knows that I love hypothetical wedding planning. My tastes are entirely different than they were seven or eight (gah!) years ago. I recognize now that it’s not about the centerpieces, it’s the pleasure of planning something that is tangible and loving, and that’s how I explain it with friends. I’ll probably use most of these ideas for a 30th birthday party next year. I don’t talk about it much with my friends, but only because I’m seeing someone and I don’t want my hobby conflated with my relationship. I probably also don’t feel the need to confess it anymore, because I don’t really feel guilty about it. I know why I do it, and it’s clearly not so that I can get married ASAP to any fool who walks through the door. It’s because I love my community and wedding community milestones are more fun to plan than baptisms or funerals.

  39. I too got a bridal magazine for the first time before I got married the third time, let me tell you that it was an amazing experience because I never been expose to the wedding business when I got married before. For the first and second wedding I did simple things, both times was at a simple small chapel with only a handful of people. The third wedding we had it at a park and was simple also but was able to buy a cake and a dress. Now my MIL is wanting us to have another wedding that she is throwing us in Reno next year since she could not make it to our wedding five years ago. My husband was not surprised when I told him I am wearing one of my daughters unworn prom dress to it rather than searching for a wedding dress since there nothing out there just for me. So bottom line I am still married and still buy bridal magazines for the sake of ever changing fashions for brides and bridal party. I am a seamstress and love to look at bridal fashions also still amazed at how much they cost these days. I am thinking of making inspired designers wedding dresses to make brides dreams come true for much less than what the bridal stores are selling them for. These magazines do give great ideas for parties decorations and sometimes the photos give inspiration for cake ideas. ( I am also a cake decorator) So what I am saying is there is no shame in looking at bridal magazines whether you are not married or married!!! Oh not to forget its Okay to look at Offbeat brides website at any situation in your life because this website is a great resource for inspiration and ideas for just about any party or event or just for reading stories. Because I have been doing that for so many years since I found the website I was hooked.

  40. Personally, I hide it.
    I find hypothetical planning a kind of stress reliever.
    But I also prefer to be prepared for things (like marriage).
    I hide it because I love to learn, but I’m not ready for it yet. Neither is my significant other (to my knowledge). I assume he’ll bring it up when he’s ready…or I will when I am.

    To be honest, before I got with my current SO I always thought I’d be…alone. Or not get married at least. I had never met anyone previously that I thought “This is it. This is the person I’d want to spend my life with.”
    So thinking about weddings or marriage seemed…I dunno, like it’d just hurt I guess.

  41. I’ve been keeping my daily visits to Offbeat Bride and my Pinterest wedding board under wraps because 1) my boyfriend and I have only been together for seven months and 2) I need to wait and see whether or not this sudden new obsession I have is based mostly on advertising. I’m doing a semester in Japan right now, and there is a bridal salon I have to pass everyday on my way too and from campus. It’s been seriously messing with my head. I went from not even really wanting to get married (the one time my boyfriend and I ever talked about marriage was when I offhandedly said that the only way I’m likely to ever get married is to help a guy get a green card — his reaction was “Really?”) to secretly browsing Etsy for wedding dresses and planning a reception dinner. I even got him to help with the menu, calling it a “random hypothetical dinner party.”
    So I’m doing my best to keep that particular form of madness to myself until we’ve at least talked more seriously about marriage.

  42. I’m not engaged yet. There’s no ring on my finger and there has been no “will you marry me?” There has been, however, massive mounts of planning going on and the boyfriend know ALL about it. How could he not? I’ve asked for his opinions and help on everything. While we don’t have a ring, we have a venue, a theme, a potential caterer, kind of everything.

  43. I love weddings, love love love, and I’m definitely NOT engaged, and have no expectations of getting engaged for at least another two years or so… But while my partner doesn’t know the extent of my obsession, he does know I love weddings, and he doesn’t mind…and he even heckles at Don’t Tell the Bride (my favourite show…) with me! My dad and his wife are also registrars and recently married themselves, so when we visit them there’s A LOT of wedding talk, and my partner joins in like a boss <3 Anyway I would say there's definitely a difference between enjoying wedding-based magazines and stuff and being creepy/putting pressure on. Unless you're cutting bits out and leaving them in strategic places as hints etc, I think it's definitely ok, no need to hide it! <3

  44. Honestly, I try to hide stuff like this for the moment. My partner and I are together for over 3 years now, we own an appartement together and if we would not be sure that this relationship is going to be for live or at least a very very long time, I guess we would not have gone this far at all. But nevertheless, I don’t want him to feel that I have already figured out what is going to happen if and when he asked me one day. I want this party to be for the both of us and therefor I am just getting inspired here and watching beautifull love stories, but I don’t want him to think that he has nothing to say on this topic ๐Ÿ™‚

  45. I think we both talk about it enough that some people are surprised to learn we aren’t already “officially” engaged. We have decided that we are going to, have a rough idea of when, and I’ve even emailed my favourite photographer about prices and how much notice he will need to book. If people have a problem with it I just let it be their problem and carry on with my geekery ๐Ÿ˜‰

  46. I got out of a nine-year relationship last year (I’m 27, you do the math :P). It was a wonderful time that neither I nor my ex-partner regret, but it was time for us to move on. Since then, I’ve begun a relationship with someone I’ve now known for six and a half years, and we’ve made it clear that we’re both going to try our best to make this work for the long run. The “marriage” (ew I hate the word) question is not even close to being on the table yet, but I’ve been daydreaming about it. I do hide any hints that I’m thinking about it. My idea board on Pinterest is secret, even. I want this to last, but I’m afraid showing I’m thinking about it will wreck everything.

  47. I don’t hide my planning from my boyfriend of 4 years at all. We’ve researched venues together, talked about guest lists, even talked about traditions that are important to us. That said though, he told me he was ‘going to marry me one day’ before we were even officially dating, so we’ve always done things a little over the top and back to front.

    I do, however, hide it from our families and some of our friends. I am the oldest child, and my mum is in no way ready to have a married 21-year-old daughter. I won’t hide it from her when the time comes, but I don’t need her to freak out before we’re even engaged. His mum and I have some issues to work out, and at this stage reminding her that she’s stuck with me forever probably isn’t the best idea.

    That said, a good friend of mine who is engaged (and knows I’m not) regularly sends me sites or links me to Pinterest boards of alternative wedding ideas. She sent me the link to OBB! She doesn’t treat me like an idiot for trying to find my footing, and I am super appreciative of people like her. I’ve never been to a wedding so when it first occurred to me that I’d be planning my own in the next few years, I felt way out of my depth.

    Anyway, sorry for the novel, but the moral of my story is that you shouldn’t feel ashamed. If you’re not ready to deal with other people’s comments, though, then I don’t see any shame in keeping it to yourself for now.

  48. No, I didn’t look at wedding media before engaged because a wedding day was not the be all and end all of my princess existence. Now I’m married I can say that I barely looked at it during my engagement and planning process either.
    OBB was the 1 notable exception.

  49. I haven’t hide mine yet. My boyfriend knows I love weddings and it doesn’t bother him that I had magazines and have over 2,000 pins on Pintrest for wedding stuff.

  50. It can be very difficult for any female in her 20’s or older to resist peaking and browsing when media shoves all the wedding and baby stuff in her newsfeed as soon as she’s of age and in a relationship.

    Personally, I think it makes a guy take even longer to propose when he knows you planning. So even if you know he won’t get “scared away”, perhaps keep it low key. Not hidden, but just not too over the top.

    I went to college with a girl who is currently dating and living with her bf for 8 yrs now, and she even phones wedding venues. But he isn’t proposing. She shows him rings and stuff, and every second fone call to her mom is about their ‘wedding’ for the past 4 years I’ve known her.

    I begun doing some wedding planning a month or two before I got engaged, but that’s because I knew he had already bought the ring, asked permission etc. But had he not proposed soon after, I’d have stopped wedding browsing, just for my own sanity. Even your closest friends with best wishes for you will keep quiet, but have that bit of concern for you if you get to over the top prematurely.

    With that being said, overall, if your premature wedding pinning doesn’t make you feel anxiety about what people will say or how they’ll react, then go on with it! Because it isn’t causing you any stress and it’d cool to visualise your dreams:)

  51. I think it all depends on the type of relationship you have. I was planning a wedding with another person, he is, unfortunatly, the father of my child. I did not love him, barely even liked him, but i was young and dumb. I was trying to please others with the wedding, even though I did NOT want it. Well I had had enough with him not being there emotionally or physically for me and my son because if his video games. Gave him an ultimatum and he left.
    I am now with the man of my dreams. Loves my son as his own and is one of the most amazing guys you could ever meet even tho his appearance wouldn’t show it to many. I am still receiving wedding stuff in the mail, and even tho our relationship is still what many would call fresh, we are 100% sure about each other and he tells me not to throw it away. Lol. He wants it as much as I do. I can also actually look at it all. I’m not going to be throwing together some cheapy almost shot gun wedding. I have dreamt about my wedding day since I was a kid, just the way I was, a little princessy girl with her head in the clouds, and something keeps telling me he was always the one in them, even tho I never really made it to the end of the isle in my dreams.

  52. I’ll be honest, sometimes I hide it from my boyfriend. I switch to a non-wedding related window when he walks by if I’m browsing, but there are no magazines, no other physical wedding related items around. It’s not because I’m afraid I’ll scare him – more because I want to let him do things at his own pace. We’ve been together for 3 years, have lived together for the last year, and have talked about down-the-road things like a future house; even discussed what we would/n’t want for a wedding and I’ve described my ideal engagement ring. Somehow we’ve done all this without explicitly saying we’d get married to each other (now that I explain that, it doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense).

    I don’t even like to talk about my wedding ideas with people, except for a few select friends. I’m afraid of the you’re-not-even-engaged-yet comments, which I did end up getting when I recently asked for input on something invitations-related at a different wedding website. A lot of people responded with something along the lines of, “Come back when you’re engaged and we’ll be happy to help you then.” My bad, I didn’t realize my not-yet-engaged status made me less worthy of advice. -_-

    I look at wedding stuff because I like to. It’s all so pretty and people get so creative! I love seeing things like that.
    And even though I’m not engaged right now, I will be eventually and I like to plan ahead and get things ironed out beforehand if possible because it’s all stuff I’ll have to do at some point anyway. Why not pre-lighten the stress load for what could turn out to be a very stressful process? Anyway, that’s been my experience thus far.

  53. I never brought this stuff into the home, even after I got engaged. So much is available online that it never occurred to me to purchase wedding magazines and catalogues. I think the extent of it was my browsing Pinterest on behalf of my brother, helping during his wedding, that ended up in our home pre-engagement. But, once we decided to get engaged, my husband requested I hide the Pinterest activity because he wanted the engagement to come as a surprise to the family.

  54. I had a ‘Wedding ideas’ Pinterest board long before I even had a boyfriend! And it wasn’t a secret board.
    It did change a bit when I met my FH, but most of it was already leaning towards the literary theme ๐Ÿ™‚ I guess I always knew I would find a book lover like myself ๐Ÿ˜‰

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