You might be an Offbeat Bride if…

February 24 | Guest post by Cassie offbeatariel

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

    0 agree
  2. –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.

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    • 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)

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  3. —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
  4. … 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
  5. 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
  6. …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

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  7. 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.

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

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

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  10. 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
  11. you know you're an offbeat bride when…
    your Mom has to follow up your wedding plans (when she's been explaining them to her friends) with a "but you know what she's like, she was never "normal" like the other girls" :)

    4 agree
    • LOL, she never was "normal" like the other girls….that describes my WHOLE LIFE!! I'm a little odd, so the F what?! I just decided that instead of cake I am having custom made cookies and cupcakes at my wedding. I am thinking of having the cookies be flowers, mounted on sticks displayed as centerpieces. So the F what?!?!

      madly LOL

      1 agrees
  12. I really don't get the "what are your colors" one… O.o

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    • A lot of people would ask that question expecting to hear "Blush and Bashful" or "Cobalt and Lilac". And then there's the fact that even in a highly coordinated wedding, you're working with a 4-5 color/shade/tone palette, so that even if the dominant colors are Cobalt and Charcoal, you're also going to see other shades of blue, gray, black, white or ivory (and in those colors, I'd go with eggshell and diamond white) and usually at least one metallic like silver or platinum in all the "stuff" (print matter, favors, flowers, etc.). So the question is usually used to start conversation about the traditionally expected elements of the wedding (bouquet, cake, linens) where color is used more heavily, and sometimes just ends up missing the mark.

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

    My maid of honor did this to me when I said I didn't want to wear white. Her reply was basically, 'It's OK, you can wear an ivory dress =)'. It's like…well not a huge difference there, it's like the difference between crimson and scarlet.

    2 agree
  14. When you mention your dress, and people gasp "But what about your tattoos?" and you reply "I know, right? I better hurry up and get them finished!"

    8 agree
    • Haha! So true! My main wedding goal is to get my back piece done so I can have it in my wedding pictures :D

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  15. …you decide on delicious pizza and wings for reception food instead of chicken marsiella and steak.
    …you do the legal stuff, then get wedding-ed. :)
    …the Caribbean is the last place you would honeymoon. You'd rather discover Macchu Pichhu, the Galapagos, Eastern Europe….

    PS–LOVED the point about the wedding colors. That's the first question everyone asks me, and I just reply "blue?" after a minute. I am sure something will be blue. :)

    1 agrees
  16. Haha, I had a friend get married recently and she tanned so that she didn't look ghastly white in her dress. I'm a redhead and she was so concerned about my future wedding dress color, but her solution was "to wear off-white so you don't look as pale". How about a color that actually flatters me instead??

    4 agree
  17. The church thing happened to me when I was visiting my parents.
    Neighbor: So have you picked out your church yet?
    Me: What? I don't go to church.
    Neighbor: No for your wedding.
    Me: Um I'm getting married outside actually.

    Your grandmother says she can't wait to see you walking to the bride march (Or whatever that song is) and you reply "I'm walking down the aisle to Flyleaf or maybe Nightwish or maybe Evanescence."
    Your groom calls your dress "The poofy rainbow monster."
    Someone says "How are you covering your tattoos?" you reply "Why would I do that?"
    Someone makes the comment you need more accessories to look "bridal." (bonus points if you looked up what bridal meant afterwords.)
    Someone says your dress looks like a prom dress and you reply that because it is.
    Your groom is quoting Han Solo during the vows.

    4 agree
  18. I agree with the people who felt uncomfortable about this.

    I think there is already too much focus on getting to qualify as "offbeat" and this reinforces a culture of exclusion. Oh sure we can be condescendingly approving of our "uber traditional" freinds' weddings, who didn't check enough boxes to be considered sufficiently "offbeat", but that in itself involves categorisation of a kind that doesn't need to exist.

    I mean, taking this article at face value, my wedding would be considered traditional and I'm left feeling a little alienated.

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  19. This list made me feel not-so-offbeat…

    Though were very much not your average wedding. I'm tattooed, but it's hidden beneath my big, ivory, designer dress…he and his three groomsmen and one groomslady will be kilted. One of my bridesmaids is dying her hair dark blue. Were all going vintage with beehives. 100% vintage brooch bouquet. 100% halloween-themed photobooth (Nov. 1st wedding). Local craft beer favors. A "Paradise By the Dashboard Light" reception performance by myself and the fella. An antique fire engine (firefighter groom). And so much more. I can't wait to have the funnest (yes, funnest) wedding my friends have seen this year (and for years to come!)!

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    • How is this not offbeat? Sounds very unique and you made it your own, which is what offbeat is really all about!

      2 agree
  20. …every time some classmate or friend posts pictures of his/her blissful BWW you think, "Oh, they look so happy!" as you sit in your pajamas (or less!) DIYing something.

    (Seriously, *every time* somebody spams social media w/ wedding pics, I'm sitting around in my underwear covered in card making supplies. Although this could just be a sign that I need to stop sitting around in my underwear…)

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  21. … When you try and google ideas for your wedding and can't find anything.

    5 agree
  22. … when you share that your bat veil from Etsy arrived and you're instantly asked "So you're having a Halloween wedding?" and you reply "Nope, Winter Solstice". Then you're asked, "so why the bats" and you're puzzled *why wouldn't I have bats* ^o^

    2 agree
  23. Love this! We got married in 2011, and I'm the more "offbeat" o my friends….and people were actually shocked when I said my gown was white….everyone seemed kind of weirded out by my "traditional " choice, but I felt a collective sigh of relief when the black heels and hot pink petticoat underneath was revealed.

    1 agrees
  24. …you may be an offbeat bride when your setting up a DJ appointment and tell him your wedding date is 10/31/15 and he comments back. "Is this a Halloween party? I could have sworn you said wedding"

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  25. When all of your fiances friends are standing around mouths gaping open when you announce that there is not need to fight over who the best man is because we are actually having a best maid. Yeah that was BEAUTIFUL!!

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  26. …when your grandmother says "she's an artist" to explain every decision you make.

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  27. …when people ask when your wedding is and you reply "December 2013/March 2014"

    …when you must find a venue that allows painting and food trucks.

    …when you get an email from The Knot saying "go big or your guests will go home" and you immediately unsubscribe.

    …when bridal fairs make you incredibly uncomfortable.

    …when your biggest concern is how to set up a photo booth around the 7' mountable dinosaur.

    Loved this post just like usual. Thanks!

    3 agree
  28. I love this list. My fiancé groans and shakes his head every time I start spouting 'eccentric' ideas about our impending nuptials. It amuses me to no end! We will end up somewhere in not-quite-Offbeat-lite territory. As in, held in a theatre, first lightsabre battle, DIY dress, (probably) blue hair, origami bouquet, no dancing but live music anyway, tailcoat borrowed from costumes, and roving magicians! Or it could end up being a pig roast at a winery, with a chapel ceremony. We don't know yet. But whatever it ends up entailing, it will be beautiful and meaningful and US.

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  29. You might be an offbeat bride if… you plan your entire wedding color/ scheme around your personalized pair of converse chucks and your Honey's love of eagles

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  30. You know you're an Offbeat Bride when even your Maid of Honour tells you that you won't look like a bride in wedding dress that is anything but white/ivory, and they tell you it is a stupid idea…

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  31. I loved this article! While most of the list didn't apply to me or my groom. Some did with a variation or 2.
    I'm an offbeat bride for sure. I made my dress (white & purple), veil (with blue sequins) and detachable train. I made all of the flowers for the entire wedding party peoples. I'm having a rainbow of colours at the wedding, the dominate are purple, blue & white. We have a sci-fi & World of Warcraft, travel, love, camping, and nature themed wedding. Going to be set at our house, mostly outside but some aspects inside. We have games and slide shows and a live video set for the whole evening. I'm making the cake and its a potluck reception with b.y.o.b for the drinkers. The groom is wearing a costume for the ceremony and we are writing the entire ceremony ourselves. The wedding party people are walking in/out to music from star wars, world of Warcraft, and twilight. My groom has just as many non-traditional ideas as I do.
    Sorry this is long but I'm excited about our plans (33 days to go until the big day) and they are totally us. We've got many more plans and hopefully our unique to us wedding can make it onto OBB someday.

    1 agrees
  32. The biggest thing for me has definitely been the 'oh ok then' whenever I talk about some of the things we are doing, or not doing.

    Also near the top of the list is having to explain to EVERYONE that my male friend who has taken on the role of chief bridesmaid (although we are calling him my best man) is not gay!

    My personal favourite is telling people that yes I will be wearing turquoise cowboy boots with that embellished 30s style gown, yes my fiancé will not be wearing a suit, yes we may look like we have turned up to 2 different weddings but that's ok because we are 2 different people and once we have those green titanium wedding bands on it will be pretty freaking obvious were a couple :D

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  33. …when you update Facebook with the status, " my wedding wings arrived" and a friend comments, "At first I thought this was a typo and you meant wedding rings. Then I realised it was you."

    2 agree
  34. …when your cake toppers are action figures of Garrus from Mass Effect and Lara Croft. And probably one of the things you're most looking forward to (despite the obvious of getting married to my love) is the cupcake tier wedding cake with little accents of Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, and Supernatural planned to be woven in.

    …when the bridal dress assistant asks what shoes you will be wearing with your dress and then stares at you blankly when you say "none."

    …when you tell people excitedly that you're not taking either person's last name but, instead, combining them to make your own wonderfully new united family name. (And yes, our children will have that last name also, thank you very much!)

    …when the biggest argument you've had so far with your mom is that you REALLY want sprinkles thrown at you when you walk down the aisle despite her protests that they'll melt on your dress. (Neither of us have given up on this one yet. COLORS DANG IT!!!)

    … getting exclamations of shock when you tell people that you really don't feel the need to have bouquets and them trying to convince you otherwise (Yes, there are so many beautiful and creative ideas for bouquets, but I'd rather spend money in places that I feel are the most important to us as a couple. Bouquets just don't happen to be one of them…)

    …Trying to explain that my youngest sister is my primary maid of honor, my older sister is my secondary maid of honor, and my little brother is my best man. And that I will have my two other guy friends standing on my side with me while my fiance has his own best man and will have his sister standing on his side.

    1 agrees
  35. ….. you tell people that your girls are wearing off white sundresses and different color neon shoes and they give you a look that say 'Oh honey… that will never work…'

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  36. Oh! But a more positive one is; …. If you search all over hells half acre to find a Dragon Ball Z cake topper and you find one that's perfect and post it up online when you get it and the best compliment you get is when your grandma tells you 'I love it. It's definitely you two. ' ' :)

    1 agrees
    • Dragonball Z cake topper! Wow!!! :D and your grandma sounds cool.

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  37. You might be off beat if…
    your wedding is at an amusement park, your not having a reception and people have noticed, your "first dance"is a ride on the roller coaster and your engagement ring is purple. We are doing what we feel is right for us and what makes us happy!

    0 agree

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