My identity as a fat woman is no secret, and I'm not ashamed of it. I bear my body with pride. However, not everyone feels the same way.
I recently posted on Facebook that I want anything emblazoned with "bride" to be changed to "fat bride." This was met with a myriad of comments and calls, all from people who know my stance on my body.
My mother in particular always supports my fat pride, but clearly she's still very fatphobic and ashamed of fat bodies (herself being a plus sized woman) and wondered why I would want to label my self that way. I told her because it's part of my identity.
But still, within two weeks of being engaged, I was asked by numerous people how I intended to "shape up" for my wedding.
Yep, still fat.
I work at a bra boutique. (I definitely recommend getting sized by professional bra fitters before you go to any dress fittings! Chances are you're not what bra size you think you are.) Recently a soon-to-be-bride came in the day before her final fitting. She and I are similar in size and shape (26/28, tummy heavy). She wanted a basque, and she wanted to look like the plus size models in magazines, which, as much as she wants to, isn't going to happen with shapewear.
I spent over two hours with her trying everything we could, but in the end she wasn't totally satisfied with anything because she wasn't satisfied with herself.
Wedding weekends rock — we love 'em — and Anna and Dave went all-out for theirs at Prince William Forest Park in Virginia. I'm talking about camping AND yard games AND pitch-ins AND keg beer AND banjos AND square dancing AND bonfires.
This was one of those weddings where everyone knows everyone — so why wouldn't you camp together all weekend long? Photographer Kathy Angel of Mathy Shoots People told me about a particularly touching moment in Anna and Dave's ceremony: "Their long-time friend gave a speech and asked anyone who had ever roomed with either Anna or Dave to raise their hand. More than half did. You could look around as they exchanged vows and see all the love they've accumulated over the years through various friendships shining right back at them." Awwwwwwwww! I'm… I'm getting goosebumps, y'all.
The Offbeat Bride: Juliane, researcher
Her offbeat partner: Sam, sales assistant
Date and location of wedding: Regency Room, Brighton Town Hall, UK and Fabrica, Brighton, UK — June 21, 2014
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: While we had a non-religious wedding, we held our reception in an old church that is now mainly used as an art gallery space. Sam and I both absolutely love bad films, so we had a bit of a cult film theme going on. Our save-the-dates were cinema tickets, our invitation info wheels were designed as film reels (which took forever to cut out), and the tables were all named after so-good-they're-bad films (anything from Plan 9 From Outer Space to Troll 2). For our first dance, our friend Laura played a cover version of "You are My Rose" from The Room on the double bass and sang.
Pop the Champagne
is a team of bad-ass chicks who use their their day-of coordination skills to make SoCal weddings run like well-oiled matrimonial machines. Yes: day-of coordination is all
they do, and they do it well.
I mean just look at these sparkly, gorgeous, happy ladies… not only do they clearly know how to party, they know how to make and keep YOU partying.
How do we know they know how to party? Here's how…
We featured Mishy's wedding a few weeks ago, and did you notice her shoes? Based on reader feedback, we know there's a lot of interest in truly orthopedic footwear for brides who are dealing with disabilities and chronic conditions, so we asked Mishy to share her advice…
Mishy's AFO brace, and bridal shoes. Photo by Caroline Alden Photography
My personal motto is "Chronically fabulous," since I honestly truly believe that my disabilities can't prevent me from being as fabulous as I can — in fact, they just add to it. They are part of me, and frankly those medical devices make my life a lot better.
That said, shoes have been my constant struggle. I've worn an AFO brace for eight years now. And have struggled with general limited mobility most of my life. So I need pretty comfy shoes. And for years, I've mostly worn one pair of shoes. (Actually, I wear two different shoes, because I like the way it looks and the comfort I get from the two different shoes.) So when Offbeat Bride approached me about this article, I really struggled. Because it's incredibly hard to find "stylish" shoes that work with things like braces. But I felt that it's important to contribute some words, and possible choices.
It be Talk Like a Pirate Day again, me hearties, and Offbeat Bride readers can always be counted on to give us amazing pirate-themed weddings. Here's one of our favorites.
The Offbeat Bride: Dawn, Middle School English Teacher
Her offbeat partner: John, Student
Date and location of wedding: Godric Grove, Elings Park, Santa Barbara, CA — July 1, 2013
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: I love having fun and keeping things a little silly. On a whim, in the midst of planning for another wedding, I declared that, rather than try to please everyone and make a traditional wedding work for me, I would have a pirate wedding. I do medieval reenactment, so this was not too much of a stretch. When John proposed, I knew there were pirate flags in our future.
Weddings are a perfect time to try an elaborate new updo, and you can't tell me otherwise: mohawks absolutely count as updos. On Offbeat Bride, we've seen some fancy ones. Long, short, bleached, black, rainbow… well, you'll have to go to our mohawks archive to see them allllll, but we've got 15 of 'em right here if you just want to take a peek!
I made these boutonnieres for our Pirate Crew, AKA all our friends and family who are stepping up to help staff our wedding. They will help identify the helpers to any guests or vendors who may need assistance with something.
They were super-fast, and super-fun. I got 50 of them done in two days of working on them. Understand, these are clearly home/hand-made. As such they're a little… eccentric. Inconsistent. Lopsided. Just be prepared. If you want them perfect, it's going to take a lot of measuring and ironing that I wasn't willing to do, even though my OCD says I should have.
The Offbeat Bride: Isabel, volunteer (and Tribesmaid)
Her offbeat partner: Samuel, full-time student, part-time agriculture worker
Date and location of wedding: Restaurante El Globo, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua — July 26, 2014
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Samuel is Nicaraguan and I am American, but my family is Cuban and Bolivian, so we had a lot of different cultures and traditions to keep in mind. Throughout the wedding, we tried to share our love story. A large part of that included bikes. Samuel had to teach me how to ride a bike and this brought us closer together. We incorporated bikes into our invitations, small details, and especially in our cake room.
Learning to ride a bike was when I realized just how special Samuel is. Many people had given up teaching me and I had already given up myself so many times, but he never gave up on me and he didn't let me give up on myself.
Maggie Winters is a wedding photographer and half of the Pop! Wed Co team, so she knows all about weddings and elopements, and she's sharing her insider insights with us.
A long, long time ago, in a land very far away, "elopements" meant couples traveling long distances to marry in Elvis-themed wedding chapels. Today, that is still awesome. But the term "elopement" is evolving into a much more inclusive, plan-able, customizable, amazing way to have a tiny wedding.
I'm half of Pop! Wed Co, where we plan elopement weddings for couples from all over the world — but I'm also half of the humans Steven and Maggie, planning our own elopement wedding with all sorts of awesome. In my experience, elopement weddings are at once amazing, full of awe and love, affordable, and totally relaxing — yet incredibly thrilling all at once.
When you don't belong to the "my wedding is a party" club, you might feel like you're missing out on some of the cool wedding stuff — centerpieces, decorations, venues, et cetera. But that feeling will last for about four seconds.