Wedding trend overthinking: Everyone else is doing it!

Guest post by silvergirl
Book Centerpieces open page
Photo by Crystal Liepa

I'm the girl who went into wedding planning with zero idea of what she wanted. I have heard of girls with binders full of ideas, carefully saved and cultivated while they search for a groom. As for me, I'm just looking forward to waking up the day after and being Mike's wife, but between now and then, we're having this wedding thing.

We really wanted something on the smaller side, close friends and family only. We wanted good food, good music, and good beer. We love things that are old and homey. We love our animals and we love books. Our love of books is probably one of our biggest “in commons” and one of the first big connections that we made.

I started searching online and found all these great ideas: mercury glass candle holders, books for centerpieces, lanterns, library card escort cards — and ran with it. I was so happy that we were doing things that felt like us and not just the same old cookie-cutter wedding stuff that we had seen throughout our twenties. It felt amazing.

Until we realized that everyone else was doing it, too. These cool ideas were just wedding trends.

Now, I see hundreds of weddings on Style Me Pretty and Offbeat Wed that look, well, like mine will, right down to having our friend officiate and walking down the aisle to an indie song.

And I started to feel like I was actually exactly on-trend, un-original, and that I had secretly ripped off someone else's wedding. And I started to worry that I wasn't being authentic. I was just doing stuff I liked, wasn't I?

But mostly, I was worried people would notice. I was worried that our friends would see our wedding and shake their heads at our vintage chic, super trendy wedding. That they would gag at yet another craft paper invitation, sigh at another centerpiece made of old books, lanterns, and mercury glass candle holders, and shake their heads at our photo booth mustaches.

And then I saved myself.

Here's the thing… who cares? Honestly, I bought all kinds of stuff that I loved. And I really loved it. I had options. I could have purchased anything. I picked the ones that felt right, that made me smile, that made me excited to put together a centerpiece, and I am going to own the shit out of all of it. Because we picked it all out, and we love it.

And I'm the girl who doesn't care what other people think, right? So why do I care if they think I'm boring? I don't need to be original for the sake of it. I only need to be me. And even if there are hundreds of weddings like mine this year… how many are our friends going to go to. Two? Three?

So, in their lifetime, they'll probably go to two weddings out of hundreds that look like mine. Those are pretty good odds and I can live with it.

I will own my wedding and love my wedding, right down to the kraft paper table numbers and programs that look like actual books. At the end of the day, I still get to go home with my partner. And that's all that matters.

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Comments on Wedding trend overthinking: Everyone else is doing it!

  1. I started feeling the same way, because a year ago when I began styling my event, my ideas were unique. Apparently I was right with the times because I’ve been seeing my ideas everywhere. But I read a good piece of advice somewhere that someone had written, and that was unless your guests are into the whole wedding planning thing, most of them haven’t seen your idea on all those blogs. They really wouldn’t be checking out those blogs every day like a bride. I went to a wedding a few months back and saw a lot of my ideas implemented there, and started feeling really bad, but then I just figured well, she must have been looking on the same blogs as me. It’s actually pushed me to think even more out of the box, and to change it up even more!

    • This is a great point, and something I tell myself too. A lot of the vague ideas I’ve had for years are suddenly everywhere (flowers in my hair, wildflowers, mason jars… but i live in Wyoming and that’s what I’ve got to work with!).

      The only thing I’d disagree with is, thanks to Pinterest, probably every single internet-savvy 20/30-something female has seen a lot of these ideas now…

    • I 100% agree. I started to feel that my ideas weren’t my ideas anymore because I saw weddings that had so many aspects mine would have. But by the end of wedding weekend, a lot of people told me how unique our wedding had been.

    • Funny. I would have thought “Hey! This girl and I could be awesome friends!”

  2. How exciting to see a picture of my peacock table number luminaries! Best of luck with your wedding planning.

  3. This post made my day. You have such an awesome attitude, and I agree completely. As long as you are making choices that you love, who cares if it is “on-trend” or not? In a circular logic sort of way, trying to be completely unique is in itself following the trend. I might not know you, but after reading this post, I know your wedding is going to be absolutely amazing.

    • In a circular logic sort of way, trying to be completely unique is in itself following the trend.

      Yep, this is something I’ve touched on a LOT in previous posts about trend resistance, especially this one.

  4. Went through the exact same thing. And came to a similar conclusion. I’m way on the other side of my wedding and I still hear how original it was. (most guests arent really 20/30 somethings into Pinterest) Photobooth much? Loved it and still love the pics. Travel theme – well we met at a travel Meetup. A lot was from blogs but if it feels right to you, then people will “see” you in the details and that is what will feel special. Your personalities reflected in little parts here and there.

    But above all that, remember the wedding joy. People who love you are coming to celebrate a huge point in your life. So as long as you don’t invite haters, they will be so infected with your joy, they will overlook the little repetitions that make the wedding world. Just feel if it resonates with you. If I had done mason jars, my friends would have laughed…not cause its not pretty but because I’m super formal all the time. I wear lipstick to work out and always have a matching purse AND shoes.

    But Wyoming up there ^ I bet her friends will think mason jars are stunning cause its her.

  5. It’s your wedding, You should have what you want and not what you think your guest expect to see. At the end of the day its the two of you and your smiling and happy, wedding well done!

  6. I agree with all the other commenters, and I love your line, “I will own the shit out of this!” That’s a fantastic attitude that will serve you well through this process and throughout your life! What a lucky groom you have!

    Also, where’d you get that laser cut lantern? I LOVE it!!

  7. I feel the same way. A few years ago when I felt marriage was a real possibility for us, I started compiling folders of images on my laptop (you know, before Pinterest was so hot). I’ve now discarded all of those ideas because they have become so trendy. I agree with what all the other gals say, however, when you’re planning your wedding at the same time as your sister, as I am, and you find out she’s including everything you had in mind to do, it is pretty discouraging. Your situation NOT being the same I’m in, I say just go with your heart and do what makes you happy. THAT should be a wedding trend.

  8. Hell yes to owning the shit out of it! It’s tough to remember it doesn’t matter how others feel about your wedding, after all it’s not their day. I felt this exact way and reading this totally had my shaking my head in agreement like “Mhmm sing it girl!”

  9. I have a tendency to go straight into nonconformist mode, disliking something that’s popular, or defending something that is popular to hate, even if I may have shared those feelings before. But at the same time, I just have to remind myself that nonconformity for the sake of conformity is just as bad. So I don’t worry about my pictures looking dated, or pointing out that something ridiculous in my wedding picture was a trend, because who cares if it was? I liked it enough to use it, so it deserves to be in my wedding pictures forever.

  10. I think its really interesting that we are not all fighting for the most original birthday parties, or the most new and fantastic graduation ceremonies or trying to be the prettiest new snowflake on prom night (although-hey now, offbeat prom? I just realized that could exist.) But we are all concerned that we are or are not being “Original” enough on our weddings. My husband and I had a small, inexpensive wedding where I wore a white dress and the boys wore dark suits. There was eating and laughing and family photos and now its a happy memory that makes me smile. With beautiful photos that our new baby daughter is going to look at one day and say “hey, mom and dad were so young!”. Not “Wow, look at those peacock accents!”. It wasn’t an originality contest, it was a rite of passage that we went through to bring us to a new stage in our lives.

    And for the record, we thought we were being alot more “onbeat” then we had expected to be, but after the ceremony, we learned that most of the grooms family had never been to a wedding that was not in a church. We blew their minds 🙂

  11. I think something important to remember is that just because something is popular online, doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll see it in real life. Mason jars, cupcakes, photobooths, yay signs, paper straws, whatever…I haven’t actually seen any of these things outside of the internet, so while they’re trendy in one aspect, they are still quite unique in another.

  12. You’re SO right! And I know other people have said this too, but it’s such a relief to know I’m not the only one who feels this way.
    It’s so easy to get caught up in all the expectations and buy into the pressure to have that unique, perfect event! When really, all we want is to have a great party where we come away with a partner for life and some super memories.
    Thank you for putting it so beautifully. 😀

  13. Thank you so much for this — it’s very timely! And just what I’ve come to expect on Offbeat Bride. I’ve been following the blog for a little while now after getting a bit tired of all the pretty on other more conventional wedblogs.
    I’ve put a lot of time researching and trying to choose things that mean something to us or that I just really love — sometime with a lot of opposition or confusion (my grandmother still hasn’t gotten over the idea that her granddaughter has asked people to collect jamjars — she thinks people will assume we’re too poor to buy candle holders!)
    But now, only 5 months away and with all decisions made, I’m seeing the same things more and more. April — you mentioned planning at the same time as your sister. We’re planning at the same time as his sister and I’ve been sick to the stomach worrying that they will do all the same things as us (their wedding is 5 weeks before – kinda our fault – and she’s keeping everything as a surprise…). It’s been so hard to keep grounded and not get upset about the fact they they’ve chosen to have a similar invitation design and a similar venue. This was a good wake-up call and a reminder of what’s really important – thank you!! 🙂 Good luck for your wedding — sounds great to me!

  14. When I came up with the idea of doing a candy bar for my bonboniere, I honestly thought it was my own original idea. It wasn’t til I started looking at other bridal things than I realised it was a ‘thing’. I was a little upset at first, but then I realised screw it, it was an idea I loved, and anyway, it was personal because we did it ourselves rather than hire one of the really WIC-y ones. Also there were TARDISes on the table. I wanted a ring warming and felt flowers and OH MY GOSH EVERYONE ON TEH INTERNETS HAZ THEM but actually? Your guests don’t read wedding blogs. They’re not members of the Offbeat Bride Tribe. Many of them won’t even have Pinterest *gasp* *shock* *horror*. Those elements which you think everyone is doing will be completely new and different to them, and they will know they are authentically ‘you’, if they know you well enough. And if they don’t know you well enough, then, well, they will know you better after the wedding!

  15. Yeah, I keep forgetting that despite the internets, most people are not aware of (or down with) offbeat wedding trends. I’m always surprised when my married/engaged friends are horrified by a bride in a pink dress, or even a color sash on a white dress.

    So I just nod and grin, imagining how their minds will be irrevocably blown by whatever nerdtastic art n’ poetry cakefest my man and I will dream up. The fact that everyone is unsuspecting makes it that much more fun…

  16. “I am going to own the shit out of all of it.” I just wrote that on a card (that happens to look super-trendy with its swirly pattern that I’ve seen all over Pinterest but I love anyway) and put it where I will see it ALL THE TIME because I have this same issue. I get excited over something super unique and awesome, then see it used in fifty other weddings, and wonder if I should use it after all.

    Thanks for the good vibes. And fwiw, your wedding sounds AWESOME.

  17. I Was feeling a little like everything has been so overdone myself and thirsting for some originality on this super low budget and then I too realized it’ll be unique because of the people involved and us the bride and groom and all the sparkly fun little bits are just happy gravy and you do have to own the shit out of all of it.. Your post brought a big smile to my face tho to know someone else was thinking like me.

  18. Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t there a post a while back on OBB that talked about how a lot of wedding ideas are hardly ever original ideas (or something to that effect)? That’s kind of what this post reminds me of, not that it’s a bad thing or anything. Honestly, I need to be reminded often that if an idea is something I like, even if “everyone else is doing it,” then I should go for it and people will enjoy my wedding no matter what.

  19. I pretty much treated my weddings like Fight Club and just stuck with the first rule. Since we did that I’ve looked around online and sure there are elements of our weddings that other people are also using for their weddings, like the books on tables and such but there are also things about our weddings that I have never seen anyone else do and even supposing I did, they wouldn’t be doing it like us anyway because they’re not us.

  20. I love these perspectives! My ex and I are both planning weddings at the moment and his girl has an imagined competition in her head. Drives me nuts! I enjoy incorporating elements that reflect my man and I, computers and magic, which is nothing like their interests so why there’s any comparison is beyond me. Everyone should have the confidence to proudly say what they enjoy. And two fingers up to anyone that thinks it’s stupid! Although I must say, I am making my dress look as classic as possible for the ceremony so the pictures don’t date too much but then it’ll be deconstructed to my current tastes for the evening reception. Best of both worlds 😀

  21. Isn’t the whole structure of a trend built on the fact that the trendy thing is, you know, cool? Sure, book centrepieces are trendy – because they are beautiful, artistic, and yeah, maybe representative of a couple that loves to read. The fact that they’re trendy means that there are a lot of people out there who appreciate beauty and art and, you know, reading. Surprise! A lot of people are awesome. And so are you and your groom!

  22. Amen sister!! 😀
    Authentic beats original any day of the week, if you ask me.

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