You might be an Offbeat Bride if…

February 24 | Guest post by Cassie

You might be an Offbeat Bride if…

…you ask your engaged friend, "What are your centerpieces going to be, and how are you making them?" and she looks at you funny and says the florist is bringing them. Then you remember, oh yeah, centerpieces are usually beautiful flower arrangements brought in by florists, not the homemade weird concoctions made from a combination of dried gourds, vintage buttons, wind-up toys, and mini cast-iron bicycles that you were planning on.

…your relatives think your engagement must be off just because they can't find a big box registry for you.

…you ask a bride-to-be what color her dress is and she says, "Do you mean ivory vs. white?" and you remember not everyone considers red/purple/rainbow/polka-dotted dresses for their wedding day.

…when you mention you're getting married, strangers, store clerks, and vendors give your bare ring finger a long look mixed with pity and suspicion.

…your engaged best friend plans a 5-hour-long mimosa/hair appointment the day of the wedding and you remember not all brides plan to spend their pre-wedding time carting in the alcohol, dishes, glasses, decorations, etc. to the DIY reception site.

…your friend asks, "What are your colors?" and you stare at her blankly for 10 minutes because you have no idea what the heck she's talking about.

…friends and family announce "Yourname Hislastname!" and then say how good it sounds before you can stop them and explain you're keeping your own name.

…friends are not amused when they ask what your theme is and you say, "Um…getting married?"

…a coworker asks, "Have you found a church yet?" and you respond, "For what?"

…your toilet tank conspicuously lacks a stack of thick bridal magazines, and instead features a funny little blue book by some chick who has "Meadow" in her name.

And finally, you know you're an Offbeat Bride when you celebrate your best friend's traditional wedding, because that is exactly what she wants and that is exactly awesome for her!

…And then you go out searching for the perfect set of hot pink and purple polka-dotted frogs for your cake topper and all is well in the world.

Now I'd love everyone reading to make their OWN lists of "You know you're an Offbeat Bride when…" and post it in the comments! We all have different experiences and weddings and obviously my list doesn't apply to everyone. Tell me about how you knew when YOU were an Offbeat Bride!

  1. Hello Cassie,

    I just read your aricle about your offbeat wedding and I´m loving it. Although I´m a more traditional bride I love your comments about the centerpieces and colours of wedding dresses. Especially your answer to the theme question make me roar with laughter! Best wishes for you and your husband and may your marriage be filled with a lot of nice, offbeat moments!

    Greetings from Germany
    Maren

    2 agree
  2. Wow…this completely describes everything that happened with my wedding. People were really confused and probably thinking "WTF?", but I wouldn't have done it any other way… 😀

    3 agree
    • You know you're an offbeat bride when you are so fricking excited that you found 2 matching skull cameos for your diamonte covered hot pink bow enhanced ballet and your world is now complete.

      You know you're an Offbeat Bride when how to paint your hubby to bes buzz cut hair onto to his Zombie kokeshi doll cake topper is your buggest wedding drama hahahahahahahahah

      1 agrees
  3. I loved this post so much! It made me laugh and some of the things were totally me. Like lugging junk into the venue on the day of the wedding instead of sitting at a 5 hour hair appointment. Ha! Not only was I lugging in things but it was literally "1" degree that day!!!
    I had to post this post and an offbeat bride type discussion on my blog today because I loved it so much. I thought you'd like to see:

    http://runningstitch.typepad.com/runningstitch/2009/02/was-i-an-offbeat-bride.html

    3 agree
  4. Cute stuff! I definitely hear you on the ring-finger-peeping, ugh that drove me crazy. I could add a few from my own experience:

    …when you explain to a dress store vendor what you're looking for in a gown, and she gives you a pitying look and asks if this is your second wedding.

    …you get one of those giant wedding planner books and then use only a few pages of it, allowing you to pass it on to a newly engaged friend afterward.

    …you either have to correct new acquaintances who ask about the "lucky groom," OR (if you're me) you enthusiastically reply "her name is…!"

    …you go to a wedding expo purely for the "OMG LOL, I can't wait to blog this later!" value.

    …there are some aspects of what is "usually" part of a wedding that you just plain phone in, keep REALLY simple or skip altogether. And never regret having done so.

    22 agree
    • lol i feel you! im so tired of the finger peeping too! i have a little gols band on my ring finger that i've been wearing for years and one lady actually asked me "ooooohhh let me see you ring! wait where's your diamond?" lmfao

      3 agree
    • I get the comment "that is more appropriate for a second wedding" everytime I show my ma or my friends the dresses I like. What don't they get?? I am not a priss and I don't want to be a princess I want to be able to move and dance and spill without worrying that I just wasted 5k on something I am NEVER going to wear again. ughh. so funny but also frustrating. This blog has been a real safe haven. =0) thanks ladies.

      13 agree
  5. Thanks for making me smile this morning! I am feeling the stress of wanting to make my own centerpieces/bouquets and not having my family understand it. I needed to smile and be reminded of all the other amazing ways it's been pulled off! :)

    3 agree
  6. … you order your dress from Wai-Ching and your family face is mock horror, but they perk up and go "That is so you!" (That's also when you know that the last hold out of the family's hope that somewhere deep inside you are truly "normal" and planned to be a princess for just one day will not come true. )

    …your groom actually has a say.

    … your colors are blush and bashful unless you really loved Steele Magnolias.

    I love this.

    17 agree
  7. "…friends are not amused when they ask what your theme is and you say, 'Um…getting married?'"

    This is definitely my partner and me. Our "theme" changes almost weekly (20s, sunflowers, x-files, pirates, sea-foam green, etc…) but at the end of the day we remember that "OMFG WE'RE GETTING MARRIED" and we receive the reality check we need.

    Thanks for this post, and especially the bit on the end about supporting commitments, off-beat or not. Because really, isn't that what it's all about?

    Love,
    Anne Marie

    3 agree
  8. Amy: Oh, but I DO love Steel Magnolias. I don't think Louisiana in the 80s is my theme though.

    2 agree
  9. …when your headpiece has buttons and feathers instead of rhinestones.

    …when your reception buffett is full of candy, ONLY candy.

    …when your friends ask about your wedding plans and you start talking for hours about everything you're making

    Thanks girls, you create this shining ray of light that brightens even the darkest of days.

    6 agree
  10. …when the best men have a bitch fight about who is THE best man (because there couldn't possibly be 2 of them!)

    5 agree
  11. I LOVE THIS WOMAN! If we weren't both otherwise involved…

  12. …When they ask you where you're getting your bouquet/dress/shoes/jewelry/centerpieces and your response is always Etsy.

    31 agree
    • HAHAHAHA! I had the seamstress ask if my dress was an heimloom. "No, eBay…"

      5 agree
    • haha! I have found almost everything for our wedding so far on etsy! I love being able to support local artisans and have something unique. =0)

      5 agree
  13. …when friends and family say "your going to dye your hair, right?", and you say "whats wrong with the pink i have now?"

    …when you watch Jurassic Park and think to yourself…."thats so bad ass…i want to get married there!"

    i love all of the little things you said, it made me feel better about my ultra conservative family, especially the one about the dress, because maybe they will be accepting after all! :]

    12 agree
    • When they ask "You're going to dye your hair, right?" and you reply "Yes of course! The back will be jet black, and my bangs will be neon red…"

      10 agree
    • Yes to the hair dye bit! I'm so sick of this now, I think I'll just stare at those people as blankly as people stare at me when I talk about my plans and stop wasting my time defending my fuchsia hair.

      • So, there's a few parks in Texas with dinosaurs and one is an hour from where I live and I'm pretty sure I'm going to have a dinosaur tea party

  14. Hmmm… funny and somewhat accurate article, but to me it kinda falls into the "my wedding is SO MUCH BETTER THAN YOURS because it is AUTHENTIC and OFFBEAT and you are just a traditionalist slave to the machine".

    Your wedding is not a contest. You are not a bad person if you have a very traditional wedding, just like you're not a bad person if you have a very untraditional wedding. And you're not a bad person if you don't have a wedding, either! I think it's kind of rough to mock friends, family and vendors for presuming at first that you'd do typical/traditional wedding stuff (given that's what most people do) – until you politely correct them, how are they to know otherwise?

    Is this post any different from snooty ones on "traditional" wedding forums bagging offbeat types for being "trashy" or "freaks" with their plans? Just a thought…

    18 agree
    • I disagree. I was told a tea length gown would only be suitable for my 2nd/3rd wedding. I wasn't even allowed to consider it, according to the lady in one bridal Shop. Whilst I know (because that has been my only bad vendor experience) that not all wic vendors are dictorial like that. I strongly disliked being treated like that in a place where I could spend £1000+. The wic and the people involved really need to quit making assumptions and making people feel bad for not following the 'rules'.
      This is making light of that and allows us to let some frustrations out by sharing our assumed experiences. There's no nastiness, we're not saying people are #€~^|€£§ For assuming these things, we're not even saying that they're stupid.
      We're saying we know we're offbeat because the traditional assumptions amuse us or our versions shock people, which amuses us.
      We're being inclusive not exclusive, unlike our traditional bridal sisters (we're not even all female). ????

  15. Kim, I totally get where you're coming from in your concern … but what about the last item on Cassie's list?

    …you know you're an offbeat bride when you accept and celebrate your best friend's uber-traditional wedding, because that is what she wants and that is just awesome for her.

    To me, this doesn't read as at all "snooty" towards traditional wedding plans. It acknowledges that even best friends will have very different tastes in wedding styles — and that's fine!

    Even cloaked in humor, I don't think the author is insulting anyone else's wedding in her celebration of doing things a little bit differently.

    28 agree
    • Well, to be honest, that felt a little tacked-on to me. Isn't it a bit like saying, "No offense!" after insulting someone?

      9 agree
  16. Hahah, I think I qualify. My centre piece was a modified Barbie and Ken -doll couple representing me and the hubby. I still don't know what I should have answered to the theme-question. We had no gift registry. My dress cost me about 70 dollars, including shoes and jewellery, while my husbands kilt-set topped that ten fold. Our church had no roof, floor, windows, doors or a priest and the grooms men wore no underpants. Off the top of my head.

    2 agree
  17. You know youre and OBB when people ask who your best man is, and you say something like, "Katie"

    7 agree
  18. Ariel – totally, I get that the writer is wanting to say that everyone can dig everyone else's style of wedding, and is simply providing some funny examples that many OBB readers can relate to! My concern is that the article nevertheless creates, through humour, a stereotype or standard of what you're supposed to be doing if you're an offbeat bride.

    Some of the comments reinforce this – for example, one person said that she was an offbeat bride because her groom "actually has a say". I'm sure that person didn't mean to offend, and was presumably responding in the humourous tone of the article, but isn't it both unfair and inaccurate to suggest that a groom to anyone other than an "offbeat bride" gets to participate in the planning process?

    Or, directly addressing the article – does the fact that someone wears a white dress, gets married in a church and takes their husband's last name with happiness and pride disqualify them from being an offbeat bride in any other respect? Isn't that like saying that "you're not doing it properly" if you don't have your father walk you down the aisle or if you want to marry your same-sex partner?

    I guess to me, the idea of being an offbeat bride is not to have any stereotypes about what a wedding is or has to be. By creating defintions, humorous or otherwise, about what "offbeat" means, you might be inadvertently creating standards that people new to OBB (or just feeling freaked out and unsure about how to plan their wedding) think they have to live up to.

    Obviously, the article is meant to be lighthearted (and had me giggling!), and I'm probably over-analysing this – but I just thought the article doesn't do justice to the positive, fun and inclusive resources this website and OBBT provide. A overwhelmed bride-to-be might feel lesser of herself after reading this (ie, "Hmmm… guess I'm not quite offbeat compared to these people"). Hence my two cents. :) Lovin' the ability to discuss this though! :) Props to you and Cassie.

    14 agree
    • I must admit that I do feel 'maybe I'm not offbeat compared to these people' – but I get that from every page of this website, and it doesn't stop me from loving it.

      I don't have tattoos, or piercings, I don't want plastic dinosaurs or nerf guns at my wedding, I might end up in a white dress and I will have a ring and be taking my groom's last name. BUT we are complete book fiends and want to get married dressed like a Jane Austen couple, with centrepieces made from books, etc.. I'm really sick of the usual wedding websites which make it seem compulsory to spend thousands on a designer dress and high-end vendors. And I have a friend whose plans are the most stereotypical a person can imagine (she's going to end up with a standard 'Pinterest wedding' 😛 ) and who doesn't understand that I might want a floral dress or homemade food. Even though I make an effort to appreciate her choices because they're very 'her'.

      So having rambled on – I do sometimes see ideas on this website that are way too wacky for me, but the wacky brides need somewhere to go! And I'd rather hang around with them and be slightly offbeat in my own way, than hang around with traditional types and feel like there's nothing original for me at all. I just took this list as a personal account of the struggles of being offbeat. The specifics don't matter, the point is that we here can all relate to a friend wrinkling their nose at our ideas.

      12 agree
        • Yep, I completely agree ^_^ Love all you Offbeat AND Offbeat Lite peeps.

          2 agree
      • I love your Jane Austen idea. My FH and I are experimenting with different types of book centerpieces. If we are ever homeless, we could build a house with how many books we have!

    • And from this perspective, it kind of makes the "am I offbeat enough" question resurface

  19. I know Im an offbeat bride when people say "oh ok" when i tell them something about the wedding and the colour black is thrown in somewhere!!

    3 agree
    • haha, I can definitely relate to the "oh, okay…" response, especially when it's accompanied by a confused stare 😛

      2 agree
  20. Lol, i love my engagement ring but I never wore it so i can relate to the blank stares at a blank hand. I finally bought my "wedding band" which was a $6.95 sterling silver ring from amazon. Don't know why anyone would care, but that just did not seem to go over well with some family and friends, lol.

    1 agrees
  21. Hahaha… I love this. Especially the last line, that fits me!

    "…your engaged friend plans a 5-hour-long mimosa/hair appointment the day of the wedding and you remember not all brides plan to spend their pre-wedding time carting in the alcohol, dishes, glasses, decorations, etc. to the DIY reception site."

    I tried to explain this one to my mom, she's under the impression that I get to relax! 😀

  22. Kim W – It's funny, I would consider myself an 'offbeat' bride, but none of those things on the list really applied… except for the last one, about accepting my best friend's princess fairy tale wedding as her own style. I guess I just figured that most of those 'You know you're a XXXX when' lists are never 100% accurate, and, as we've seen in the comments here, people are not feeling left out but rather adding their own entries to the list!

    I totally, totally understand where you're coming from, but I think the intention behind the list is nothing but awesome. And for that I have a smile on my face.

    5 agree
  23. First, ladies, thank you so much for all your lovely comments. I appreciate it! I have just as much fun reading your comments as I did writing this.

    Now, for Kim. Nope, I didn't mean this as either a "formula" for how to have the most offbeat/original/awesome wedding. I'll out myself and say that it was entirely biographical (well, except my centerpieces and cake toppers will be different from what I described). Everything else — the lack of a name change, the ringless finger, and so on came right from my experiences, which is why I wrote this piece.

    The bottom line is, at the end of the day, if you make a range of non-traditional choices like I have, then yes, you are going to get some weird/funny/bewildered comments from those who aren't expecting your choices. I don't think I was being harsh toward these people — if anything, I was painting myself as the freak and laughing at myself as much as their reactions to me.

    The only thing that I have considered slightly inappropriate was that I gave the bride w/ the white dress a line of dialogue that included "Like," which could make her sound like a ditz and therefore seem like I am putting down brides who choose white dresses. I realized that after the fact but figured everyone would know I was just joking around and not take it personally!

    I invite Kim and others to make their OWN lists of "You know you're an offbeat/feminist/lesbian/semi- traditional/cake-hating/etc. bride when…" and post it on OBT. We all have different experiences and weddings and obviously my list doesn't apply to everyone. I made it all about me, me, me.

    Anyway, thanks again everyone, especially to Ariel!

    5 agree
  24. Of course our weddings are not about competing over who can have the most outlandish and offbeat affair, but many of us do have details that deviate from the norm in wedding planning and many of us get a lot of negative comments from others in our lives because of it. That's why I love OBB, and the OBBT. We have a place to celebrate ourselves in our all quirky glory and if sometimes we make posts celebrating our different-ness, I find nothing wrong with that.

    2 agree
  25. This made me feel so at ease! I am making my dress, centerpieces, hair accessories, etc. My mom scoffed at my choice to include black in my dress so that I could wear black Converse All-Stars. We are having the reception in a retirement communities' clubhouse! The list goes on, but I'll have to wait until August to post up my own Offbeat Wedding story. 😉

  26. BAW-AH-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA!!! It's funny cuz it is SOOO true. I can't wiat until I get to LIVE those moments. hehehehe *evil plots brewing like a fine, fine, espresso*

  27. Hey Cassie,

    I'm so glad you wrote this piece!! You have described everything that is occuring with my wedding plans. My fiance (I don't have a ring on my finger and he still hasn't gotten on one knee to propose) and I are looking forward to having a great time at our wedding. Him and I went to pick out my wedding dress (an all red one with a bustier and chapel length train) and while we are getting married in a chapel, we have decided that a casual reception with everything being DIY is just in order! My family, who are very traditional and Latin, are not dealing with our wedding ideas very well, which is a bit of a bummer, but here at off beat bride I finally feel right at home! There are so few websites or places for unconventional brides and everytime I'm feeling down or need help getting ideas I come here. Just last night I was seriously considering turning my wedding into something traditional because my family is giving us such a hard time, but this morning I saw your post, started laughing, and thought, what the heck it's our special day, so why not make it what we want it to be?
    Sorry for the essay, just had to say THANK YOU for saving me from making a huge mistake!! <3

    2 agree
  28. I loved this, because I had so many moments where I went 'Oh, yeah. this isn't quite how this is usually done'. when preparing for our wedding.
    I think my favorites were when my best friend and I were looking @ dresses, and when the saleslady asked me "what's the ocassion?" and I said "I'm getting married" and her eyes bounced back and forth between me and the black dress I was holding about 15 times, before suggesting I try a bridal store, and my husband on his cellphone freaking out the day of the wedding because he realized he was in vans and was desperately trying to find someone to swing by the house because "I can't get married without my combat boots!"

    2 agree
  29. You know you are an offbeat bride when your table clothes are made from strawberry shortcake and smurf sheets, you have bright purple hair, call yourself the hair goddess and your partner in crime channels for a living! LMAO

  30. you know you are an offbeat bride when
    … you let your fiance pick colors, registry gifts, and give 110% of the ideas to you, because you didnt have a dream wedding… because all you can think about is you are marrying the person you love and nothing else matters….no matter how big or small the wedding!

    2 agree
  31. just found this site trough a friend's recommendation I'm not married yet but I wanted to add a few I've seen…

    …you make your maid of honor and mother got to 4 different local craft stores of the same chain collecting all your garden paintable lanterns you need for center pieces

    … you walk back down the aisle after the ceremony to "born to run"

    … all your favors are hand made by your maid of honor and her co-workers on a slow monday night in the dressing room of a strip club

    6 agree
  32. You know you are an offbeat bride when…
    -Your officiant quotes Tom Waits lyrics during the ceremony and is wearing an orange bandanna.

    I loved this post; every couple should have the wedding that makes them happy, no matter what that entails! :)

  33. The best part of this is the "And finally…"! I always wonder how many more brides would be much happier and less stressed if they just did what was in their heart instead of trying to "fit in" or "be different".

    2 agree
  34. Reminds me of when I was showing my ring to one co-worker when another walked in. I showed the second co-worker and she asked: "Oh, did you get a new ring?"
    Amusing because I never wear rings to work but apparently pink sapphires don't scream "wedding to follow."

    2 agree
  35. I love the dress! mine is similar but floor length!! I love it soo cute!

  36. …your wedding dinner is turkey with all the trimmings, and being catered by your future sister in laws!

  37. –Your music for walking down the aisle is played by the entire congragation.. ON KAZOOS!
    — Drivers slow down when driving past the cemetery to watch you take your wedding photos there.
    — A cemetery seems like a beautiful, romantic and serene place to have your wedding, really driving home the whole "Til Death Do us Part" concept. Besides, you can have honored (but passed) guests there, that could not otherwise attend bodily. :)
    — You bought Manolo Blahniks but they were too damn uncomfortable so you busted out the combat boots.
    Love in every form is beautiful, even conventional weddings. But when you can see the essence of the Bride and Groom in every detail, no matter how quirky, you know you've stumbled upon a couple who has gelled in an amazing and unique way.

    • Holly I actually LOL'd at the kazoos! I just got some very strange looks in the middle of the library.
      You've made my day! :o)

  38. —When you need to co-ordinate the hooping show in with the band.
    — When your fave hot pink shoes cost more than your dress and the colour becomes the focal point for everything else.

    Thank you for the book Ariel!! It was just what I needed to ease my conscience about having a somewhat off-beat wedding. The tips on how to share the vision with more traditional friends and relatives and get them on-board have been invaluable.

    Plus it was just such a relief to have validation that anything was OK as long as it was significant to the people getting married. There is just too much pressure to fit in with what is expected and reading your book gave me courage and confidence to do what felt right for us.

    We have incorporated traditions that we like and ditched the ones that are not important to us and added some of our own.

    At the end of the day, it will be the wedding that reflects us and will make us happy. Being able to communicate that to our friends and family and have them be involved will make it even more special.

    A month to go.. getting excited now!!

    1 agrees
  39. … when your future husbands best man will be wearing a chicken suit.

    … when your wedding march song is by QUEEN.

    … when your MOTHER will walk you down the isle.

    1 agrees
    • We didn't know that we could have a friend officiate, so on the wedding day my husband's witness/bestman (it was an elopement, just us and the witnesses) said: "Had I known, I would have married you guys in a gorilla suit". LOL

      1 agrees
  40. Yay! I'm an offbeat bride! It didn't even occur to me that not everyone does DIY weddings until I read this!

    Also along the rings thing…you also know you're an offbeat bride when you bought your ring for $5.99 from avon just so your mom will stop pestering you about "the ring"!

    2 agree
  41. …When you buy all the items for you diy center pieces and a farm store!

    …Cowboy boots will be worn by the tattoo covered bride in a tea length dress.Because its either that or biker boots, Thats all I own!
    (witch my family is horrafied by…)

    …When you forget about having to buy flowers, cause there just not your thing.. and you run to the drug store to see whats on hand……

    2 agree
    • Boots are all I have too. The day before the wedding, I ended up buying a very cheap pair of ballet flat at Ardene (the canadian version of Claire's). But then there's the guilt of buying cheap Made In China stuff. We can't win lol

  42. I would also add 'when you're reading this website and throwing the horns for every idea you love, even if no one else is in the house to see'. (Yeah, that's me.)

    Definately identify with the comment about the engagement ring. Even my best friend sounded hurt for me when I said there wasn't one. It doesn't seem to have occured to anyone one that I NEVER wear rings and think one that's only going to be relevant for a year is a huge waste of money. I've yet to announce the revelation that the wedding ring will be silver and cost about £30.

  43. You know you're offbeat when you decide to have your guests throw superflymonkeys instead of rice!

  44. when the groomsmen will be in boots & braces and the bridesmaids are rollergirls. : )

  45. you kno your an OBB when……..
    your theme is based on a cartoon you loved when you were 7
    you have an uneven wedding party (gasp!)
    you walk down the aisle to Bella's lullaby coming from a borrowed ipod :-)

    1 agrees
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