Offbeat Bride & diversity #Reader Mail#couples of color#identity October 8 | Ariel Meadow Stallings offbeatbride Photo by Lauren McGlynn I really appreciate Offbeat Bride. I find myself wanting to point friends to your blog and then resist the urge. A lot of my friends are people of color. When one hits your blog it is hard to find any weddings of people of color. Have you considered targeted outreach to photographers and brides/grooms of color? Again, I love your work. Just wish I could spread it farther. Warmly, Jodie Thanks so much for the email, Jodie! This is a great opportunity to discuss an issue I've been thinking a lot about. Related Post Let's talk about offbeat couples of color Based on reader feedback that it was "hard to find any weddings of people of color," we started tagging posts that featured couples of color... Read more On offbeatbride.com, I aim to feature diverse weddings in terms of style, location, sexual orientation, etc. … but you're not the only one to be frustrated by the lack of color on offbeatbride.com. I do have a category of posts dedicated to offbeat couples of color (and there are lots of 'em!) and natural black hair, but even so, I have been deeply disappointed by the lack of racially diverse offbeat weddings across the web and in my inbox. I see a bazillion tattooed white women, but very very few black hippie brides, goth asian brides, steampunk latina brides, rockabilly Native American brides, etc. I actually brought the issue up six months ago on the Offbeat Bride Tribe ("Where are all the Offbeat Brides of color?"), and brides from a range of ethnic backgrounds weighed in with their theories on why I might be finding less offbeat brides of color online, and what I could do to attract more to the site. Here were a few of their thoughts: "It's more difficult to exist (survive economically, be accepted, etc.) in a normative homogenizing society like ours as a member of a sub-culture; therefore for someone who is already marginalized based on something they have no choice about (their visible racial identity) it is less likely they will choose to compound that marginalization. To some extent it is a luxury to choose to marginalize yourself when you have the choice of 'blending'." "I think about this all the time! But not just pertaining to bridal forums. I am on other forums for mothers and I always seem to find myself looking around and don't see too many people who look like me." "From an Asian standpoint, there may not be a huge population of minority OBBs because of the importance of tradition. There are many, many, many traditions in the Asian cultures that you must follow. Old school Asian parents demand that their kids follow these traditions exactly or face severe arguments. Believe me…you don't want to argue with an Asian mom! :)" "At the risk of sounding like a crazy commie and pissing off all the independent, subculture brides I have to say that I do believe societal norms have a huge impact on personal identity, and even when we 'rebel' against mainstream culture, we are doing it, consciously or subconsciously, in the parameters of the what society deems the 'fringe' for our specific ethnicity, culture, etc." "I wonder whether part of it is that most of the off-beat weddings featured here, and people here are planning, are modelled on the classic white American post-Christian wedding. This means that the information here might not be so useful or relavent for someone planning an off-beat wedding based on a different culture. Lots of info on where to get non-white, environmentally friendly, retro wedding dresses might not be that helpful to someone looking for a non-red, environmentally friendly, retro sari or a cool twist on a traditional tea ceremony." "As nice as it is to hear that you would like to increase the racial diversity of this site — its not going to happen. If you have 2% minorities here I'd say you are doing well! There are simply not that many of us in the country. The change will come, but it small strides, and sites like OBB are the last place you will see these changes- just not a priority. And honestly – as a minority would you go seeking out more opportunities to be considered a minority? doubt it. Please know that I keep ethnic diversity in mind when I'm searching for weddings to feature on offbeatbride.com … but there's a lot of room for improvement. I mean, a wedding website where I'm addressing the needs of transgender grooms, and yet we haven't seen a black offbeat bride in months? WTF?! You all have my commitment that I'll double my efforts to get more brides (and grooms!) of color on the site (seriously, I've been trying — but I'll try harder!), but I NEED YOUR HELP! The vast majority of my content comes to me via submissions, so I beg of my readers: if you have diverse nontraditional wedding photos to share, please pass them along! If you know of offbeat couples of color who I should be talking to, let me know! If there are wedding photographers who's blogs I should be watching, pipe up! And PS: If you're part of an offbeat couple of color and would like to submit your wedding to us, you can do that over here. Get your daily dose of Offbeat AWESOME Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Ariel Meadow Stallings Author of Offbeat Bride: Creative Alternatives for Independent Brides, Ariel acts as the publisher of all the Offbeat Empire websites. She lives, loves, and dorks out hard in Seattle, WA. @offbeatariel @offbeatbride PREVIOUS Prom dresses make daring wedding gowns NEXT Nicole & Stew's Unusually Elegant Central Park Wedding! Show/Hide comments [ 43 ] Actually, if I wanted a sari, I probably would ask here first. Reply I want to be a chinese offbeat bride, but I think I will have to give up that idea. My dad, knowing that I always want to do something different , is already upset now and worried that I'd embarrass him with my "craziness". He wants a traditional wedding (banquet for at least 400 guests), and he wants to pay for it. Reply Hi, I am maori, tongan and pakeha(NZ european) and about to marry an irish fella. We feel really close to our cultures but also usually viewed as subversive due to our femininist, 'hippie', 'alternaitve' ways and views. Though we are including alot of culturally traditional features into the wedding, I would still consider it Offbeat. Off beat in the sense that we are puting US into the event (its over three days hence 'event') and along with the karanga and irish dancing there will be dreaded barefoot hippies, hairy armpits and legs – men and women – fire twirling, vegan food and probably dancing that will raise a few eyebrows. Though I may not see anyone on here that I can idenitfy with ethnicially, culturally, racially i do identify with a whole lot of strong, amazingly articulate and open-minded women!!! (and men!!) Reply I'm a black woman, and definitely considered to be "off-beat" by my family! I LOVE coming here to lurk! If I ever DO get married, I'll make sure to get the story to you Ariel! 2 agree Reply Glad to help! 😀 Reply The point that strikes me here is in the original question: I find myself wanting to point friends to your blog and then resist the urge. Don't resist – spread the word :o) Reply I totally totally agree. There is a shocking lack of diversity in the wedding world in general I think. It's funny, I was about to write "in the online wedding world," which would be true, but then I realized the lack of diversity in the print wedding media is even more shocking. I'm really glad you brought this up! Also, from the point of view of planning a Jewish wedding, I've found that there are not a whole lot of resources if you are planning a cultural ceremony, be it Indian, Jewish, Chinese, or what have you. And if you have something of a indie ethos – but are planning a wedding in a culture where tradition is really important there are even fewer places to look. But I'd circle back to the fact that if you are planning a wedding in a minority community, there is additional (or different) importance attached to tradition. Somehow saying "to hell with all these Jewish traditions, were not using any of them" just two generations after the Holocaust seems like too much. Plus, sometimes it feels very counter-cultural to be planning a Jewish wedding. Both because most people don't understand the traditions in the first place, and because the value system already is set up to give priority to community and other typically counter-cultural values. So for us at least, our indie/offbeat/counter-culture instincts are all there, but might seem a bit more subdued. So none of that is from the perspective of a person of color, but from a religious minority point of view. Reply Meg, you bring up an interesting point — are cultural weddings "offbeat" because they're embodying non-Christian-derivative traditions? I've actually resisted that definition, worried that it can come off as "Look at this wacky Indian wedding where the bride wore red! … Er, oh right: That's traditional for an Indian wedding." Some of this also comes down to my own personal interests — I'm a longtime subcultural obsessive, and have spent most of my adult life studying and admiring the ways subcultures establish their own social rules, behavior norms, fashions, etc. For me, weddings are just one more arena to immerse myself in the subcultural goo … and as one person pointed out on the OBT, many of the subcultures I'm familiar with are primarily anglo (hippies! ravers! goths! punks! rockabillies!). Maybe I just need to find some new, more diverse subcultures to admire with their own wonderful weddings. Educate me, world! (Is this getting too cerebral for anyone yet?) 1 agrees Reply I've just had to come back to this because there's something I don't get. Surely this site is all about showing anyone that they can plan the wedding they want. I aim to feature diverse weddings in terms of style, location, sexual orientation, etc. â€¦ but youâ€™re not the only one to be frustrated by the lack of color I think this site does a grand job at showing a wide range of all those diversities and if people think a friend may be interested in what you have to say, then they should pass it on. They might be black, they might be white, they might be steampunk, they might be techy geeks…. but what they all have in common is they want a wedding of their own style and loves. It seems to me that if you try and 'target' ethnic minorities then you're going off the track. This site isn't about making sure you tick all the boxes. It's about sharing the general point of view. Going back to my earlier point, you'll only increase the 'range' of contributors when people 'resist the urge' and tell their friends. 2 agree Reply Just so you know . . . . I'm an inked, pierced black chick currently planning a steampunk halloween handfasting. It doesn't take place until 10/31/09, but I'll be sure to submit photos when it does. Reply I just wanted to point out that many People of Color do not necessarily appear to be POC to someone who doesn't know what to look for. I am a queer, white woman with a disability. My partner is a mixed-race transguy who appears white to those who don't know better. Despite his clearly Latino name and his mixed Latino/Native/Black roots, he doesn't "read" as a POC in photos. Every shade of the rainbow is represented in communities of color. While it's true that those who "pass" have a different world experience than those who do not (who gets followed around an expensive store, for example?) it's also true that there are stressors and strains on POC who pass, in that they are often marginalized by all of the various groups they may represent. It's just something to keep in mind – I certainly don't presume to speak on behalf of anyone. However, it's something I try to remember in my daily life – folks are not always what/who you assume they are. All that said, we'll make sure to send you pictures of our Big Gay Wedding. It's Nov 1 2008. I'm on OBT as well, as Aimgrrrl. 1 agrees Reply Scary… I just realised that's the case on a wedding forum I regularly visit. There's the token Asian girl occasionallly but the rest of them are lilly-white as white can be. Caucasian, whatever. Though in part of that same thought, I also agree with Jennifer above. OBB is far better off concentrating on individual taste and style rather than the race of the contributors. It'd be great if more people of OBVIOUS ethnic roots showed off their plans but that's not essential to the main theme of OBB. I don't think it's something you need be overly concerned about. Reply It's something that's been hinted at in the comments above but never explicitly stated: Is it possible there are less minority offbeat brides because their traditions and ceremonies are more likely to reflect actual values and to be real traditions? In my ceremony and reception I wasn't just being different for different's sake, I was creating meaning and community for myself outside of the restraints of a typical American wedding. I also think we're working with different idioms and we might not recognize offbeatness when it looks different than what we're accustomed to. Reply I have to say.. Nicole's wedding didn't look any different (more/less offbeat, etc.) than all of the other offbeat brides that are profiled here. Fabulous wedding, really. Reply Not sure if this helps much, but I'm asian =) We got married on a farm, I wore a blue Wai-ching dress, we crafted all of our flowers, and we had Ben&Jerry's ice cream cake! A handful of pictures (that I already added to the offbeatbride group) are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/peihanandmichael Reply My mom is hispanic and my dad is german. So what I am is a dark haired white girl who doesn't speak a drop of spanish but loves all things latino. Reply Might be a good connection…http://www.chocolatebridesmagazine.com/ Reply I'm a black goth who's with a white, SCAdian geek… When we get around to tying the knot, I'll be sure to post here 😀 Reply Beige Bride here putting in 2 cents! I think any real/perceived lack of diversity here is not an OBB issue, but rather a computer/internet issue and a Industrial Wedding Complex (both print,tv and internet)issue. Reply I am a 50 yr old black woman, I married my wonderful partner in August. As soon as I get pics developed I'll be posting. I LIVED on this site prior to my wedding! Reply From an Asian standpoint, there may not be a huge population of minority OBBs because of the importance of tradition. There are many, many, many traditions in the Asian cultures that you must follow. Old school Asian parents demand that their kids follow these traditions exactly or face severe arguments. Believe meâ€¦you donâ€™t want to argue with an Asian mom! Dear original comment-maker: I argue with my Chinese mum all the time. ;o) On this topic, though: there are many, many traditions, regardless of ethnicity. The number of "big foofy white dress princess" sort of weddings I've been to in the last twelve months (with three more to come in the next twelve months) would definitely indicate that. you bring up an interesting point â€” are cultural weddings â€œoffbeatâ€ because theyâ€™re embodying non-Christian-derivative traditions? Iâ€™ve actually resisted that definition, worried that it can come off as â€œLook at this wacky Indian wedding where the bride wore red! â€¦ Er, oh right: Thatâ€™s traditional for an Indian wedding.â€ Funnily enough, this is what kept me from commenting about my own wedding at first. It was very Chinese in aspects, but I feel that it was the other aspects of our wedding that made it off-beat, which you (generic you) have just as much opportunity to do whether you're Chinese or not! Reply This is Jodie who sent in the email Ariel began the post with… First off, I think the invitation to your readers is important in itself. Being authentically welcomed and invited is important. In regards to the point about whether to actively seek diversity… I think it all depends on ones concept of community and noticing where the edges of that community are… if one sees the OBB blog and forum as a community than it is valuable to notice who is here and who isn't and to contemplate why. As whites this is often something we miss, we have the privilege of seeing ourselves represented as the 'norm' in most of north american society. I am becoming more conscious of this and when I consider sending a resource to a friend who happens to be a person of color I do consider whether or not they will feel included in what I am sending. I think it's important to approach diversity from the point of view of the opportunity for transformational change in how we build community. What kind of folks are being enganged in the community now? What opportunities exist to engage audiences that could add rich and new dimensions to the greatness that is OBB? What can we learn from that? It will likely take time and relationship building but what a wonderful pay off it would be to have a resource that had attracted all the OBB bounty from many perspectives. Thanks for opening up the discussion. Best, Jodie Reply i wouldn't want anyone to feel like their wedding is off-beat because it follows their cultural traditions. I would have an explanation of this on the site. That if you do feel outside of the WIC because of ________ your welcome here. Actually we would love to her about your wedding traditions and how fabulous you are, No matter what. I would make it more about everyone not interested in the WIC instead of just subculture brides. I got that vibe at first a little that it was mostly subcultures. And yes you are fricking awesome too. Reply Okay Ariel, you've finally beat me into submission–I'll submit my interracial (Asian/White) Buddhist wedding so we can have some more color around here! Be warned though–this is what a wedding looks like when the Asian goth decides to shock her friends and family by having a wedding that looks pretty darn traditional. As a woman of color (and I think I said this on OBBT), it does feel overwhelming to deal with the relatively colorless WIC, and then throw in any subculture and the feeling for some just becomes daunting to conform. Thank you again Ariel for reopening this discussion, it gives so many of us hope and a true feeling of belonging. S–good for you, but my Filipina mom would beat my ass, as would my Japanese aunts! Reply First off, I want to thank Ariel and all the other OBT members who helped inspired me to do my wedding my way which was my wish from the beginning. I think of my wedding as two parts because it actually was in two parts, one here in California and the second in Mexico City where we met. I am from Mexico City and my husband is from California with Mexican-Guatemalan roots. When we first got married here Ariel's book wasn't out yet and I honestly had no idea how to incorporate our love for punk and ska and music into our wedding. we actually met in a show I was Throwing for his brother's band in Mexico City, I knew the lead singer of the band. Other than our blue cake, him having long hair, and me having short hair … our wedding in California was mostly traditional but when I found this website I realized there were other freaks (I mean that in a loving way) like us who wanted to proclaim their love in a different way. I always wanted to celebrate our wedding in Mexico City because my BFFs weren't able to come to the wedding over here and I just wanted to share that special moment with them and other friends who weren't here. So two years after, we were able to celebrate with a Batman/Superman theme and with help from this wonderful website. As a Mexican we incorporated Mexican food into our wedding(s) -cheese enchiladas here and vegetarian pozole over there made by my grandma who is vegetarian herself- and I showed off my tattoos on both. I think sharing who you are, both what you grew up in and what your culture is, is what makes the even special. For our friends and families (mostly all Latinos) as long as there's food, drink and dancing, it's all good! So I agree that as people of color, we have to agree to certain traditions but we can also add a special touch that will make it an original *very you* wedding, at least that's I've learned from this website, there's no right or wrong, it's about personalization. You can check the pics of our wedding in Mexico City here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/denisecf/ Reply I'm a Caribbean chick who's obssessed with this site. Soon as I get married, you'll be the first I link to my facebook album!! Reply I'm a Mexican/Asian Indian bride marrying a Danish homebrewer in Los Angeles. I'm very non-traditional however am including some cultural things into our offbeat wedding. I'm wearing my mom's sari that she wore in Las Vegas when she married my dad in the 60's. I'm going to decorate the ceremony with papel picado (cut paper banners) and mexican paper flowers. We're trying to find glass danish "drinking horns" for our toasts. Danish wedding cake. We'll have Indian vegetarian food. Those are the traditions, but there are a lot of other fun offbeat things that I don't want to give away until afterwards. Basically the culture is a great backdrop for design inspiration. I love this site and the book! I'm a wedding photographer and have found that most of my non-traditional couples are white. I agree with some of the other posters that there are a lot of traditions that most people feel they need to follow especially in a tight knit cultural family. My mom, who is from India originally, was disappointed at first when I told her of my plans, but is now excited since she's given up her "traditional" ideas for the wedding. Now she's excited by the tarot card readers and bellydancers we'll be having, without the church and the arch to get married under. Hopefully more of we non traditional, ethnic brides will post more here. Reply i'm a Haitian/Jewish bride to be and my husband to be is African-American and Latino. We are beyond "off-beat"(thats the only thing our family and friends say to describe us, although i don't really think in a good way. lol). If i really had to decribe us, it would be a mix of metal, tattoos with a 50s rockabilly flavor. You can bet your bottom dollar we will be on this site come wedding day! Reply you wrote: I see a bazillion tattooed white women, but very very few black hippie brides, goth asian brides, steampunk latina brides, rockabilly native american brides, etc. i'm hoping the "etc" includes eclectic expressions of anything else, otherwise i'd wonder why OB must ID as hippie/goth/steampunk/rockabilly to be OB. while it didn't have a clear/clean OB theme as described above, my ex and i sprinkled some OB stuff in our wedding: -the rsvp cards were a photo of the guest in question made into a postcard; where we didn't have a photo, we used one of the free postcards you could find in racks in nyc bars and restaurants back then (most had HIV education slogans) -guests changed into picnic clothes for the backyard bbq reception -the 3 cakes (sm, med & lg) were sculpted to look like picnic baskets spilling flowers -my mother's church lady posse received large bowls a few weeks before and asked to fill them with picnic fare and bring to the reception -a friend put turntables on the upstairs porch and pumped the tunes; all the neighborhood was welcome and it turned into a block party for the record: my fam is black, the ex's peeps are white, korean, mexican and native american i'll be sure to send you shots and details on wedding #2, planned for next spring, which will likely include a christian lesbian officiant, skulls, knives, a sleeveless tux, a vegas club vibe and the bride entering in a silver spiderweb dress to a song she will sing herself. don't even get me started on the swingers and the sex toys. Reply I am Here!!!! (big, beautiful, black, off-beat bride) may 31 is the big day and I will definitely come back to share;) Reply As a black person and as one who has attended many weddings within my culture, some of my racial peers deem these subcultures as something for "crazy White people" thru perpatuating the ignorance and making African-Americans who like and partake of these subcultures feel like outcasts (within their own race, I might add). Blacks in general are very wary as far as expressing a love for punk rock, hippie, goth, etc. subculture as it is, so hosting a wedding based on this subculture is even more impossible. It has to start from within really. As soon as Blacks in general become more accepting of these subcultures that don't necessarily include rap and R&B, the more offbeat brides of color will come out of the woodwork and proudly display their wedding handiwork. P.S.-As someone who is heavily into retro/rockabilly culture, I will come back to share my nuptials (WHENEVER they happen), provided that my traditonal family, or the potentially traditonal family of the groom (whoever that may turn out to be), doesn't take over or force me to elope… 😉 Reply The bottom line for African American's, they, we, us, them, me, I etc, may have OBB ideas but we are UBER conservative (I'm taking myself out of that). Also AA suffer from "What will they think". I have seen a couple go down the aisle in a bold gold dress to the beat of drums, only to have a God parent show how uneasy they were with this type of ceremony, On the other hand just recently I went to a wedding photography event in Brooklyn and there were no pictures of couples of color (well one was a black guy who married a white women). I didn't care about that but I was surprised that out of all the beautiful gallery like photos there were no black couples. I complained (no I didn't call Al Sharpton) but I did feel left out as an AA. The wedding walk video that is getting a lot of play on the news and everywhere else was fab, but another couple (AA) did something similar a year before J and K, but did not get the same interest. Racism is usually seen as a bold unjustly horrible denial of rights of one group against another. None of us (including myself) would like to admit to our own subtle and faint racists actions. I don't think you, OBB are racist's (tough word, try being black, go to an upscale bridal show and get back to me) but you may not see or hear us. Thanks for being open to the conversation. Reply Thanks for chiming in, Cassandra — when you mention the African American couple that also danced down the aisle, did you mean Myshell & Hannibal? http://offbeatbride.com/2009/06/myshell-hannibals… I actually preferred their wedding dancing, and wondered to myself why Jill & Kevin's wedding got so much more attention … I remain super dedicated to getting more diversity on Offbeat Bride, and feel like we're doing a better job than most lily-white wedding blogs. That said, it's genuinely hard work to find diverse couples to feature, but it's important to me to try to always keep striving toward more and more diversity. Looking through the last couple months of wedding porn, I feel like we're getting better … but still have a long way to go. It's worth checking out this link for a glance at OBB's couples of color: http://offbeatbride.com/tag/offbeat-couples-of-co… (and does anyone have a better tag name for that? It's awkward, but I can't think of anything better.) Reply THANK YOU! I should have said it in my reply. YOU ARE DOING WAAAAAAAAY BETTER THAN MOST. I will push Myshell – Hannabals video and I have linked (my readers) to OBB. Thanks again for being Off Beat in all the right areas. PS Off Beat Couples of Color is perfect, don't make yourself crazy. Thanks again. Reply This forum seems to be inactive, but I wrote this in response: (yeah, it's like an essay. I should start a blog maybe) What I find fascinating about the subcultures you feature on the site is that many of them hold the place of â€˜reverenceâ€™ that a traditional cultural background might. People who are into steam-punk celebrate that niche to the extent of their dedication to it as a lifestyle. Likewise, a traditional Chinese wedding can celebrate the rites of that background to a greater or lesser degree. The difference, however, seems to be that in the one case it is the personal choice of community on the part of the bride and groom, as opposed to their inherited, family-enforced community. And then there are instances in which those entering into a marriage experience a sense of alienation from tradition, coupled with an instinct to find their own roots. Marriage seems to be an attempt to accept the balance of past and present commitments in your life. And itâ€™s not like there canâ€™t be an intersection of the two. Thatâ€™s what makes for all of these beautiful OBB moments where granny is getting down with a hula-hoop, or Catholic Dad is crying at his daughterâ€™s pagan hand-fasting. In some cases, the Bride and Groom may identify deeply with their inherited culture and still be loved and appreciated for their own wonderful weird-nesses. How radical is it to really want a traditional wedding because it reflects who YOU are? I for one would be very interested to learn more about wedding traditions from many cultures, they ways they overlap. There will be things I dislike and things that resonate with me, but again, thatâ€™s what makes this site so interesting: the eschewing of, and incorporation of tradition, in unexpected ways. As we blend in the proverbial melting pot of 21st globalism, our families are increasingly being asked to step out of their specialized expectations of the world in order to embrace the lifestyles of their children and their childrenâ€™s chosen partners. So many of us fall in love and marry outside of our particular cultural niche, and this is forcing our families to adapt, to stretch themselves, to challenge their expectations and to really meet new people and points of view. Itâ€™s one of the truly great aspects of human experience; allowing other people to open our worlds. And what OBB shows us is that even in the most rarified of subcultures, weddings are an attempt to embrace and celebrate our community, and for them to embrace us in kind, for exactly who we are, in our many beautiful colors. 1 agrees Reply Thanks for your thoughtful response! It's part of why I love the new Feature box on the homepage — it allows me to feature older posts that are still relevant for discussion, like this one. I especially love your point about how, in contemporary American/Western culture, people celebrate their cultures of choice as much (or sometimes more!) than their cultures of origin. 1 agrees Reply One idea for upping your population of black people? Target wedding photographers in places that have substantial populations of Black people. I only moved to the west coast a few years ago, and coming from New Orleans, it was a HUGE change, just demographically. When I'd go to rockabilly shows and other "offbeat" events in NOLA, I wouldn't be the only Black person, but that's not the case in SF where I'll be the only black person in a mainstream club, let alone a rockabilly show. I'd say target New Orleans, Detroit, and maybe Atlanta to find your OffBeat Black brides. Reply And – before I forget – thanks for making this a priority and area of concern! I mean, in comparison to admissions offices, employers, and other people faced with similar disparities, you have way less control over how inclusive and representative this site can be, and yet you've taken it on as your responsibility. That's true badassery. Reply Half my family is Mexican by descent, and we're going out of our way to honor some awesome Mexican traditions at our wedding (mariachis, a pinata, guayaberas), while still making it our own (fingerpainting, beer can cupcake toppers, tree climbing). My husband-to-be is a white guy from Ohio, so we have a nice sort of fusion going on with what we each had in our heads when we thought 'wedding.' Ariel, we'd LOVE to help add some 'color' to the OBB site by having our wedding featured, so feel free to get in touch! Reply You can submit your wedding at http://offbeatbride.com/submissions Reply Have to say that as a BBBW( Big,Black, Beautiful Woman), in our culture if you do anything out of the norm, you are consider by some trying to be white instead of being yourself. My family already knows that our wedding is not going to traditional at all. Hell my dad and stepmother just met my fiance this Easter and just realize he is white.( I did give them heads up with the family portrait with us and the little one a few weeks before hand.) Plus another thing in our culture is that we tend to want to please everyone right down to the play mother we had in grade school and we (the couple) might be the ones paying for the wedding ourselves. Ariel, don't beat yourself up too much on this topic. I am just happy I found this website so I know I am not the only one who wants to mix a little this and that with the wedding. We're getting married next May, so I can't wait to send you our pictures and possible a story or two about how the planning and wedding went. Ciao! Krissy Reply I don't know if this is a still being discussed, but I am African American and my FH is Ecuadorian. We are also left of left, environmentalist and try to avoid consumerism when possible, so OBB was a good fit for us. We are not, however tattooed, hippie (well, maybe a little), goth, steampunk or rockabilly. We aren't Wiccan or gamers and we're not into cosplay or Renaissance revivals. Our wedding will combine combinations of his indigenous Ecua heritage, contemporary Ecua necessities (like Julio Jaramilo), a little bit of general Latino flavor, a broom and most notably a bunch of stuff from my Traditional African spiritual practice like a traditional alter for my deceased parents, a broom, libations and even an Afro-Puertorican Bombazo during our reception. I think if you broadened your concept of "Off Beat" to include subcultures and non-traditional spiritual practices that don't tend to revolve around European aesthetics and traditions (most of which people of color are also in the minority), you may find there are lots of us Black and Brown folks killing for a resource like this one. I think Off Beat would include Santera brides, Mexica grooms and Anime or Afro-futuristic wedding parties, don't you? Reply I think Off Beat would include Santera brides, Mexica grooms and Anime or Afro-futuristic wedding parties, don't you? SO MUCH YES TO ALL THESE THINGS! In the 7 years since this post was written (!!) subcultures have shifted all over the place. We've featured psychedelic South African weddings, Anime weddings, Tattooed Cambodian glitterfest weddings, and so much more. These days we're more likely to feature posts about natural hair than we are about goth weddings. Some of this is just trends shifting (did steampunk eat all the goths?!), but some of it is the fact that we are very blunt about what we're looking for in submissions… to the point that it makes some people uncomfortable. It's an ongoing priority for us, and now I'm going to go off and daydream about when our first Afro-futuristic wedding submission will come in….. Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Participate in this conversation via email No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. 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