Screw “timeless” weddings, I WANT my wedding to look dated

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3757023430 482f0be578 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
By: Sarah StewartCC BY 2.0

I am sick of the words “timeless” and “classic.”

I am and never have been either of those things. However, when it comes to weddings, those words seem to be everywhere! When gown hunting, when looking at themes, discussing hair and makeup looks…

I'm pretty sure it's going to be obvious I got married in 2013, and I'm fine with that, because… I will have gotten married in 2013!

Even wearing my hair in a classic style with timeless makeup, there are going to be other clues.

And when I look at photos of my parents' wedding, or grandparents' or anyone's, I love that you can say “oh, how 1940s!” or giggle at dad's ridiculous facial hair.

Part of the appeal of these photos is that they are a snapshot of time, a moment of history caught.

Why would I even try and attempt to circumvent that?

So I am going to be wearing my hair this colour — I know it's not my natural colour, but it is my colour at this time.

And I will wear my hair and makeup in a look that I love right now that will, yes, look dated in several years.

And if I love something and it's “trendy,” I am still damn well going to have it!

And hopefully, my grandchildren will look at the pictures and giggle at how dated and early twenty-first century it all looks.

It will be fine, because it's not timeless. It's a moment of time.

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Comments on Screw “timeless” weddings, I WANT my wedding to look dated

  1. I absolutely agree! I was thinking about this the other day. I LOVE the way you can tell what era a wedding happened in by looking at the photos. My parents’ super 70s wedding pictures are amazing, and I wouldn’t dream of begrudging my hypothetical future children of the experience of enjoying/mocking/being embarrassed by my dated wedding photos.

  2. My geriatric patients usually keep their wedding portraits out (and sometimes their parents’ pic from the 20s!). I absolutely love looking at these pictures, probably as much as they love talking about them.

    I agree 100%, I want our portrait to represent the year we got married.

  3. This is exactly how I feel! You put it so eloquently, though. My theme won’t be “vintage” or whatever, it’s going to be “current” and “2013” whatever that may mean. I don’t want to look like we got married in any other era, because this era is so special!

  4. Love this! I was just reading an article about “To Dos” for selecting a wedding gown and one was “make it timeless”. Really? How can you figure out what styles are going to look like 5 or 10 or more years down the road? Seems like one more imaginary thing for brides to be worried about. And so what if your look isn’t considered “timeless” by the WIC? Indeed, it is your moment in time, so rock what you’ve got!

    • I think what they mean by “make it timeless” is either:

      1.) We were brainstorming shit to put on this checklist and someone said “timeless!” and we all nodded sagely because we had no idea either

      2.) “Timeless” is code word for “boring, expensive and white” – stay boring (and expensive!) because market research shows* that people who stick to typical weddings and traditional ideas tend to spend more on Wedding Crap. If you have your own ideas, originality or creativity then you might spend less money and OH NOES!

      *does it? I just made that up. I don’t know really.

  5. Is there even such thing as a “timeless wedding”. Seems like an oxymoron to me; it’s (usually) a one time event.

  6. I couldn’t agree more. And I think the ironic thing about “timeless” is that these current trends of the vintage look is a CURRENT trend. It will not be cool/trendy in a few years, so most people’s weddings will look like the early 2000s whether they like it or not.

  7. I love my parents obviously London 1969 wedding. My Dad had a “mop-top” Beatles haircut, Micheal Caine glasses and a doublebreasted mod suit and my Mum rocked a “Mary Quant” hair do and a dress covered in daisies.
    As a teen in the eighties I thought their choices were ridiculously un-hip. Now I know they were cool, brilliantly, amazingly cool!
    I guess my own gig will be increadibly 2013 Edinburgh and my kids will poke fun, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

  8. Yup, love it all. Totally need this today. Went for a dress fitting and had a small meltdown. I don’t want to be that bride but I keep wanting my dress to be effing *everything* all balled into one, so ironically, I was standing looking at myself in the most simple, basic dress I tried on way back when I started the whole shopping process. I wanted lace, then I didn’t. I wanted raw silk (which I have), but it felt plain. I want a flowered waist tie, or maybe not. I want non-country because it’s going to be in the country (get it?), but also don’t want overly fancy (ahem, because it’s going to be in the country).Weeee! Fun times in my brain today.

    • ok seriously this is my brain every dumb day I think about wedding stuff!! THANK YOU! Clearly all my alone time Atlanta traffic is bad for business…

  9. I’m coming up on my 8th anniversary this summer, and you know what? My wedding absolutely looks like the mid-’00s hippie/raver/burner wedding that it was. FUCK YES.

    I anticipate thousands of kids circa 2040 looking at their folks’ wedding pictures and being like “OMG, lookit the bunting and mason jars and and Doctor Who references and yellow-y photo processing — it’s sooooo early teens!” FUCK YES.

  10. To me, the main purpose of a photo is to bring back a memory of the moment. So why for fuck’s sake would I want to make it unclear exactly when the moment was? Isn’t timeless just another word for generic?

  11. Totally. Also, I’ve noticed that the words “classic” and “timeless” often mean “expensive”. People sure do love to abuse the English language, especially when they’re trying to use it to sell me stuff. 🙂

    • That’s a really interesting point I don’t know we’ve heard (or thought about). We use “timeless” in our branding because we try to dodge photo editing trends that are often times a really painful flash-in-the-pan kinda thing (hello, selective coloring). Would you say that “timeless” can translate to “expensive” across the industry, or in specific parts/vendors of it?

  12. I picked a more “timeless” wedding gown because I thought some of the trendy ones looked stupid, and I refused to buy one just because it was the current trend. In the end, I think mine will be unique because it isn’t the same dress everyone else bought this year.

  13. What I love is being able to see the person my parents and grandparents were when they got married in their wedding photos. I only ever knew my grandmother as an old women, I love seeing the photos of her as a smiling young bride in 1954 and seeing glimpses of the young woman she was by the style of dress she wore, the flowers she held, the lucky horsehoe she made.

  14. I absolutely love this and I think that laughing at old photos is a great point. When I’ve looked through old wedding photos in the past, by far the most interesting thing about them was capturing the time.

  15. My wedding was just a mess of everything we like right now, so assuming we like all of this stuff in 40 years, I suppose it will be “timeless”. But it definitely wasn’t that by design.
    Of course, the funny thing is that when people call a look timeless, how do you even know? A look considered timeless in the 70s probably just looks ridiculous to us now. In a few decades, who knows what will be the standard of beauty or fashion? I don’t know, but I can bet that it won’t be what it is right now.

  16. This. x1000. Afterall, what would be the point of lusting after a time machine if all the times were timeless?

  17. What I always love is when, say, wedding gowns that are in absolute lockstep with current trends are touted as “timeless”. There are gowns out there (Kate Middleton’s comes to mind) that would be at home in practically any era, but if they’re not your style, they’re not your style.

  18. I love looking at my parents’ wedding photos. It was 1974, and my mother was in a full length, long sleeved, bohemian style lace gown complete with a big floppy lace hat and veil and my dad was in a tus with a big bowtie with a powder blue ruffled shirt. Those two were definitely of that era, and it is beautiful. I don’t care how much stuff “comes back” in style. I don’t think a wedding that looks like that will exists ever again.

    • My parents had a 1973 hippieish wedding. My dad, the groomsman, the priest, and the minister all wore linen tunics embroidered with giant bright flowers. My mom wore an off-the-rack peasant dress. There were afros. The wedding band was a guitar, a banjo, and a tambourine. I LOVE IT. Always have. I think it’s a representation not only of the ’70s, but of my parents at a younger age, when they were different people.

      I realize this even when I think about the friends who were at the wedding two years ago and all of the new great friends who have come into our lives since then. Things change quickly. The wedding, while symbolizing a long-term commitment, is just a snapshot of our lives in April 2010. The pictures will reflect that not only in the styles, but in the people. And that’s 100% okay.

  19. LOL, love this! I love looking at my parents’ dorky wedding photos. Wouldn’t want to deny my future children the same pleasure.

  20. Eh, ‘timeless’ doesn’t have to mean boring. My guess is that the majority of stuff we’ll be doing could be considered timeless. Ok, come to think of it, maybe timeless does mean boring! (I’m not terribly exciting in general)

    I’ve had the same haircut since I was 3, my choice of clothes are jeans and a t-shirt, and my favorite color combo has and always been and will always be blue and gray. I’m just naturally a ‘not trendy’ person and often struggle finding what I consider standards for clothing.

    But I can almost guarantee you that anything we do will still look dated – if only from the style of other guest’s outfits or the style of photography. And that’s not a horrible thing.

    • Exactly. Even if you choose a “timeless” wedding outfit, hairstyle, etc. your guests won’t. Can’t control that!

  21. Timeless doesn’t have to mean boring any more than ‘classy’ has to mean boring. A skirt dress on a bride combined with a kilt for the groom can be fun and timeless.
    I think by ‘timeless’ they mean they want the day to have a timeless /feel/ — a connection with the timeless understanding of love and marriage with something that shows honor and respect to that tradition. That can be done while still having a blast — they aren’t opposite ends of the spectrum.

  22. This is such a lovely way to think about it! And depending on who you are, something you might like to see in 20 years could be a snapshot in time right now, or you could it to be a sum of you and your styles throughout your life til then.

  23. My mum’s wedding dress is sort of timeless – it was her mother’s in 1952 when she got married. Dad just wore a black suit, but it’s his 90s moustache that gives it away!

  24. I couldn’t agree more! I love when I see my parent’s or grandparent’s wedding photos and you can tell exactly what era they were taken in. I always get a kick when I see my parent’s wedding photo and my dad with his perm. Or my husband’s parent’s photo of his dad in a crush velvet suite. It’s wonderful!

  25. Thanks so much for this post, I really needed it. We’re going for the offbeat look and those incessant comments about making everything look timeless had me wondering if I was making a mistake. Thanks to your post and readers’ comments I realise it really doesn’t matter. It’s far more important to be true to ourselves. So what if we leave a timestamped photograph? It’s what we are today. So be it if we’re embarassed about it in the future!

  26. The thought that keeps coming to my mind while I’m looking at invitations is: “now now, you don’t want to choose something you’ll regret later.”

    In other words, “you should get something timeless.”

    For me, this means: “You shouldn’t color too far outside the lines. You should stay safe.”

    It is not safe to be yourself.

    Yeah, here’s what I have to say about that.

    • Hear hear! We’ve gone full-on geek with our invitations (Star Wars, Lego, etc). The people that matter know that we’re total geeks – they may not understand all the references but they understand that we’re being ourselves. If some people don’t like it, that’s their issue.
      Totally agreed with XKCD!

  27. This post is waaaay old but I just wanted to say that I think about it all the time as I’m planning my wedding. I’m fully embracing having my wedding be everything I love now, because you’re right that it’s a moment in time so why would it be timeless? Thanks so much Offbeat Bride.

  28. What could date out wedding in the best way ?
    That the old clock we have now has 12 doctors faces on it !!!

  29. I agree- my husband and I got married 10/6/12 and I’m sure in ten years (maybe even sooner) that our wedding photos will look “dated” but who cares? I love my dress, our colors, our attendants’ apparel, the flowers, every hand made decoration that I spent almost a year putting together. Everything at our wedding was exactly a reflection of us at that moment, our cake topper was even a piece of glass that was etched with a drawing I did of us in our formal wear! my dress could be considered a little trendy, but it was exactly what I wanted. Our colors (peacock blue and lime green) were so awesome together that I don’t really care if anyone else doesn’t like them. at the end of the day, it’s not about the wedding but about the marriage. the wedding is the big celebration of your love for your partner and vice versa. don’t get caught up in what other people think or will think!

  30. My mother’s 1969 wedding to her first husband was so very late sixties. It was a tiny church affair, but her hem was several inches above her knees; sleeves long and tapered; hair as tall as the chrystler building. It tickles me to see my sweet, salt-and-pepper, grandmotherly mother as a svelte nineteen year old with a sarcastic smirk.

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