Battle cry of the Offbeat Lite

December 9 | Guest post by Ang
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Yep, this is an offbeat wedding. Photo of Ang's wedding by Kathy Mangum

I am proud to say I am "Offbeat Lite." (Offbeat Lite is a term some Offbeat Brides use to describe their weddings… weddings like mine that are more tradition but still quirky.) If funkiness were ice cream, I'm pretty much the Mint Cookie Crunch to the other girls' Black Truffle Popcorn. For lack of a better term, I'm an urban grunge yuppie. And yes, I said yuppie.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because sometimes I get the feeling that my fellow brides who are more traditional feel out of the loop on Offbeat Bride. They let themselves feel pushed aside, and unrepresented. I'm here to encourage you not to feel that way, because it's simply not the case.

I mean, I get the insecurities. I really do. The Wedding Industrial Complex websites are crazy and tyrannical, treat you like the scum under their shoes for not succumbing to their vapid ways. Your family, friends and vendors are pressuring you and making you feel twenty kinds of wrong. You don't want all that crap, so you find a home on the alternative websites like Offbeat Bride where you feel welcomed, but like an outsider.

Sometimes you feel like the loser who only gets to hang out with the cool kids because the head cool kid's mom is making them invite you to their birthday. You're tempted to feel lame over your choices because they aren't offbeat enough, and are afraid that everyone else is judging you. You're ashamed of your white dress, you get defensive when you see others discussing how the fresh flower trade sickens them when you just got off the phone with your florist, and are wracked with guilt because you have no idea how to figure out your carbon footprint (and secretly, you don't care).

Repeat after me, ladies: You belong here. If you identify with reading Offbeat Bride, then you ARE an Offbeat Bride. I say this as one of you. I had a pretty traditional wedding: I did the white dress, he had a tux, we did fresh flowers, girls on my side, boys on his, we had cake, we were in a church, married by a minister, with semi traditional vows and readings. What made me offbeat wasn't the little things like the DIY, my lack of a veil, mismatched bridesmaids, our booze-free basement reception, or any of that. Those were just the tangible effects of my inner offbeatness.

Because THAT is what being offbeat is about: it's the stuff that goes on in your head and in your heart. It's about intent and thoughtfulness. I don't do the poetic schmoopy thing very well, but to ME, being offbeat is putting your marriage and relationship ahead of your wedding and being true to the people you are every day. It means that your wedding (ie: a party) exists to honor the two of you, and to celebrate you choosing to spend the rest of your lives together with the people you adore. It's not a showcase of wealth and taste, carefully tailored to inspire envy, covetousness, and awe in as many people as possible … it's a showcase of your love.

It's sad that it's considered outside the norm to put your relationship first, and yet that's the reality we live in.

Offbeat isn't defined by neon hair, Chuck Taylors, tattoos, fake mustaches, three digit budgets and funky crinolines. That's just an outward display of people being true to themselves and their relationships. Your wedding isn't a contest. All Offbeat Bride asks is you be your true selves, and stop apologizing for it.

  1. hear hear! I sometimes feel like I'm offbeat lite in real life too… don't own a bike, don't live in an area that recycles, eat meat, buy clothes at (gasp) walmart, so on and so forth, and my wedding didn't look all that offbeat save for the fact that I only had 15 guests. It's nice to hear from others whose "offbeatnesS" isn't defined by the subculture they're a part of but by the attitudes that are a part of them. Thanks for the great post!

    41 agree
    • Thank you so much for stating this FACT!! My fiance and I are a tad qirky and different but we do not belong to a subculture,we love your sight and when we get married we are submitting our photos too! I am a DIY bride and I get inspiration from this sight that is so useful. I bought my shoes from a vendor that advertises on your sight and I am wearing a birdcage veil and my bridesmaids are wearing fascinators because the photos of bridal parties wearing them looked awesome and I wanted that awesomeness too! My groom wants a black diamond ring because we decided that we can be us, not so traditional!! I am making my own retro 50's wedding dress and cape!! I got it like that!! Look for my photos 11/17/2012!!

      7 agree
  2. I'm really glad you wrote this! I tried my darn'd-est to have the most awesome Offbeat Wedding EVAR!!! And I ended up with a fairly normal one, save for some small things. I submitted my pics to the pool as excited as a new bride could be, but then after seeing all the other pictures I left dejected haha. (And then I forgot all about it and life went on.) But it's still nice to see and hear comments like yours! And it's true, our weddings are celebrations of LOVE, not contests. Thank you! :)

    15 agree
  3. Love the post! Great sides from different walks!

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  4. You said it, Ang. I fell in love with OBB and OBT because it's a place I can contemplate the choices that are right for me and my dude at our wedding. As long as we're true to ourselves, that (depressingly) makes us offbeat in the grand scheme of weddings out there. OBB is all about thinking about why you make choices for your wedding rather than just checking items off a list just because it's what you're supposed to do. It's about finding the right traditions to continue and the right ones to drop. I'd never heard of an anniversary box, and never contemplated a civil ceremony before I came to OBB. I'm not doing anything at my wedding to be offbeat. It's all about having the best party to celebrate finding the guy I want to spend my life with.

    19 agree
    • This!

      Before I found OBB I kind of had a sense that the wedding should reflect who we are as people and that it was important to think about the choices and I think one of the things that frustrated me was feeling like all the choices had been made, or at least narrowed down (to the wrong options) by 'tradition' so I couldn't do that.

      Now I can look at this site and even if I decide I don't like brooch bouquets (for example), I do like oragami but it's not right for me etc. etc. and what I really want is a bunch of cut flowers at least I know it's a choice I've made, and not just something everyone "has" to do.

      14 agree
  5. Thank you for this post! I think I'm more on the offbeat end of Offbeat Lite. But I'm still quite Offbeat Lite. I have a diamond engagement ring, I'm wearing an ivory wedding dress, floral arrangements, a dance, etc etc etc.

    Sometimes I get kind of discouraged when I'm on the Tribe and I read a comment about how "stupid/sucky diamond rings are" or something. I suddenly feel defensive and I have to pipe up and somehow validate what I have "but mine is a Canadian diamond! My fiance picked it so it means just as much as a ruby/sapphire/garnet/no ring". But I have to constantly remind myself that that Tribe member isn't directly insulting my choices, but they are voicing their opinions on what isn't right for them. Or they just have foot-in-mouth disease.

    Either way, I grown to learn that there are many aspects that make me offbeat (both tangible and intangible). And that I don't need to make excuses or attempt to validate my choices in order for them to be so.

    If it feels right to me, then it being offbeat or not doesn't matter.

    33 agree
    • Good perspective. I didn't want a diamond, but only because they've never had much appeal to me. So I didn't get one (for a second I contemplated a black diamond). The only thing that's sucky or stupid is the overwhelming cultural expectations about them, not the diamonds themselves. Just 'cause one doesn't like it doesn't make it bad.

      7 agree
      • Ditto. Right after I got engaged I kept saying, "It was an inherited diamond! His great-grandfather won it in a poker game!" Now I just say, "Thank you. I love it."

        I just wrote a blog post about this- how I'm not making apologies for my wedding for being too Offbeat OR too mainstream. It's my (/our) party and I'll wear white (with a multicolored crinoline) if I want to!

        11 agree
  6. I like this. I think I'm somewhere inbetween Offbeat Lite and a walking subculture. Definitely in my home in the midwest (not for long! Moving to Seattle next week!) I'm as unique as they come, but sometimes when I get on here I'm really intimidated with people having the most unique weddings on a $100 budget and I feel like a dope. I'm DIY quite a few elements of my wedding as well and its taking a lot of inner dialogue to let myself relax and just (gasp) buy a couple things. I also think my offbeat wedding has now spoiled my family as well because I told my grandmother I ordered the fascinators for the bridemaids online and she about keeled over that I didn't make them myself out of dryer lint and paper cups.

    5 agree
  7. Word to the McWord. We did a church wedding, long white dress and veil, banquet hall reception, fresh flowers, Bible readings, etc. and yet we were lucky enough to be featured here on this very site. I celebrate my Offbeat sisters who love their black dresses and their steampunk bouquets, and yet I feel very much at home here because I know we all have a different, personal set of priorites than those the WIC insists we have.

    14 agree
  8. Thank you so much for writing this. It sums up exactly how I have been feeling throughout my wedding planning adventure and it's just the confidence boost I needed to get through the last five or so months of it. Huzzah!!!

    1 agrees
  9. The wilder element of Offbeat Bride has actually made me feel more comfortable about myself and my offbeat-lite wedding and life in general. I see some of the featured weddings and fashions and it gives me a broader spectrum for me to fit in. Rather than just seeing how, this and this and this part of my style and life don't fit in with mainstream, I see how wow, that person is brave enough and authentic enough to be comfortable way off mainstream so maybe I'm fine right where I am, not totally mainstream, not extremely offbeat.

    22 agree
  10. Yay! Thanks for this. I did not even want to post mine because as much as I tried to be myself which is a bit quirky and offbeat, I did end up having a fairly traditional wedding. Now I will, and maybe it will be posted. I loved it anyway and all the "dreams" of wedding day came true for me. And I effing love my diamond ring. LOL

    3 agree
  11. Thanks for posting this! I've definitely felt that way before, and did a bit when I was planning my wedding. But Offbeat Bride still felt more like home than any other wedding site for this theatre/crafter/feminist geek :)

    4 agree
  12. This post is amazing. I too am 'Offbeat Lite' even though i'd never heard of that 'til a few minutes ago. Our wedding was pretty much entirely D.I.Y, I wore a hand-altered charity shop midnight blue ballgown, i had a matching 'less than three' tattoo done with my bridesmaid to mark the day… but we married in a registry office with simple vows, we had a buffet, suits, cheesy DJ – pretty vanilla formula compared to most. I've often felt out of place on both traditional wedding blogs and alternative blogs too as i just didn't feel 'good' enough to be a part of either. This post has truly made my day though and reiterated everything i loved about our wedding day and everything anyone should love about theirs. Thank you!

    4 agree
  13. I LOVE this blog post!!! My motto for wedding planning is I want this to be US! I want it to look and feel like OUR wedding. That is exactly what we did and it was so much fun.

    1 agrees
  14. I love this! I don't know where I am on the offbeat spectrum to be honest but it doesn't seem so important. The best thing about this site and the community is that everybody is really thoughtful about the meaning behind the traditions/non-traditions and it makes for great, supportive discussions.

    6 agree
  15. Even though my wedding was pretty non-traditional, I still love this post. It was a great reminder of what a wedding should be and that we shouldn't be trying to out-indie each other. I can be jealous of some of the other gorgeous weddings I see, but I can't imagine any other wedding being such a perfect celebration of my relationship.

    1 agrees
  16. After getting over my initial wedding insecurities (and there were plenty), I decided to really own this celebration. I know that depending on who you ask, we are either totally normal or totally crazy… just a matter of perspective.

    I think the hardest thing regarding OBB/OBT, was not so much feeling attacked or insecure with my choices (for lack of a better explanation), but rather alienated. The acceptance from OBB/OBT is overwhelming, but offbeat lite wedding porn is a little harder to come by. No hating! Just saying…

    3 agree
  17. oh definitely! i'm trying my hardest to have a wedding that feels right and like it would be a lot of fun, so caught between the inspiration i find here and what years of family wedding has told me a wedding looks like. the same for my fiance, considering he insisted on there being no wedding breakfast as that's too formal, but he is also adamant that he will have a cravat, coat tails the whole shebang because it's his wedding and 'not just another party'. d'awww
    whilst we're talking about not fitting in around these parts i have to make a scandalous confession- there is no part of me that wants to craft something for my wedding. other people are, i just know how my craft ideas usually work out (crap) and how much patience and time i have for these things (little to none)

    2 agree
    • SAME HERE.

      DIY-ing it has trickled over to the non-OBB world as well, and while I think it's stupendously awesome that people have this sort of talent and use it for their weddings, thus saving money (if not time)…..*I* am NOT "crafty," and also have very little patience (lol, no, seriously, I'm not a patient lady).

      It will be like….200% less stressful for me to NOT try to make 150 individual little things, whatever they may be. Also, the time put into DIY projects makes the "opportunity cost" of lost time (entire weekends!) not be worth it for me. Though, again, major props to those who CAN do those things.

      But I shouldn't be made to feel bad because I CAN'T do these things and am thus not "offbeat"!! (I've gone my whole professional career without making DIY things). To each her own, you know.

      4 agree
      • What's funny is that DIY doesn't even necessarily save money. If I'd ordered 100 table assignment cards off of Etsy or even printed them instead of making my own little folded card things out of Japanese paper, it would have been far cheaper (and time-saving, but mostly just cheaper in terms of cold, hard cash). I made them because I *wanted* to, and it's OK if someone else adamantly does *not* want to! :)

        4 agree
  18. This is an amazing post, and much needed. I've been all over Offbeat Bride, Rock 'n Roll Bride, and The Indie Bride, but I don't truly feel like I am enough of THAT kind of bride. Neither am I a traditional white dress, three-tiered cake bride.

    Thank you for making me feel welcome for subscribing to OBB, and not like I have to hide from all of these amazing women because I'm not them. I'm just me, and that's enough.

    8 agree
  19. I think this is one of the Catch-22s of "alternative" or "offbeat" media in general; featuring offbeat things make them look like the norm for that particular subculture. There's a promotional aspect to websites like this that's uncontrollable, because the very act of having the website feature real weddings is an act of promotion.

    The problem is, when you're planning your own wedding, after your blood pressure hits a certain point *everything* feels like a criticism, or at least a critique.

    It's very difficult to feel supported by any type of community in the wedding planning industry–it's a very you-against-the-world kind of feeling, whether you're battling against parents and vendors who are APPALLED that you don't want a six-story white cake, or you're trying to justify walking down the aisle to Brahms, rather than Bob Marley, to your offbeat compadres. You really can't win for losing.

    It's really hard to accept critique, or even alternative options, if you don't have the self-confidence and belief in yourself to support your own choices… and that's something I think OBB does really well: Encourage people to have the wedding that's right for them, not the wedding that's right for the industry, movement, or subculture.

    31 agree
    • Sarah: everything you said times 500 bazillion. Seriously. Way to nail it.

      8 agree
  20. Thanks for this. I definitely felt sidelined during our wedding planning last year, between not being "weird" enough and sure as hell being nowhere near "normal." In the end I feel like we fought the good fight to be US, just getting married, but it can be a tough line to walk.

    1 agrees
  21. Yay for this! To me the only "requirement" for being here is that you are designing something that has personal meaning for you, as opposed to blindly following some template without understanding. When I first got hooked on OBB I was bedazzled by the pirate weddings and fire dancing and all, and those are still fun to read about, but what I most enjoy is seeing beautiful faces of people in love. I don't care if the only nontraditional element you have is pink shoes; I want to see 'em, along with your unique and shining face!

    7 agree
  22. Wow! Thanks so much for letting us know that Offbeat Lites are just as welcome. I have always considered myself quirky in the whole local music scene, cute hats and vintage movies kinda way. My fiancé and I are working hard to make sure our "Rock the Casbah" wedding is personal and fun for all who attend. It's nice to know that there is a wedding site for someone like me (an ex wedding DJ who hates line dances, and garter tosses)!

    1 agrees
  23. I love this! I can't click the "THIS!" button hard or often enough. As an Offbeat Bride turned Offbeat Vendor, you would not believe how many queries I get from readers who start by apologizing for not being "offbeat enough." Offbeat LIte is awesome.

    0 agree
  24. As a former offbeat-lite bride and now an offbeat-lite wife, I'm so grateful for all the brides and grooms that are completely and totally offbeat. For me, seeing people go to extremes was an amazing morale booster for me. Not only did it give me the courage to buck tradition, but it also opened up the world of possibilities for me. Okay, so maybe I only have one tattoo, but dammit, I want to show it off, now that I've seen the bride with a gorgeous back piece. Maybe I'm not quite up for a crazy colored crinoline but now I'm going to fight for my red shoes no matter what my mom says.

    I'm sure it feels the same for offbeat readers who feel inspired by us offbeat lites that straddle tradition and innovation.

    I've never felt out of place here and I agree with the above commenters; OBB does a wonderful job of making everyone feel welcome here. After all, it's been over a year since my wedding and I'm still here. :)

    9 agree
  25. See, my FH and I are TOTALLY the tattooed rock n roll type, and thus, our wedding will be what I consider very offbeat. But the relationship is what is important, and the wedding will be just a party that celebrates our love for each other and who we are. People should just do what is right for them, and others should respect that, as opposed to giving or giving into any pressure to fit a certain mould. Different strokes for different folks, thats what I say.

    3 agree
    • That's a fabulous summary, thank you! And I love your nickname – I can imagine what your wedding photos will be like :)

      I've recently started following OBB and have to say that, whoever you are, whoever your partner is and whatever your wedding is going to be like, this website is like the kind of conversation you have with strangers in a nightclub bathroom at 3am (maybe drunk, maybe not) Comfortable, even if the only thing you have in common is where you are at the time, so to speak…

      0 agree
  26. I couldn't thank you more for this post… I was feeling so alienated by basically all in the wedding world. The only thing that is truly off beat about me is my mentality. And although that seems like a fairly subtle difference, in reality… it's huge.

    1 agrees
  27. I was so surprised when my Offbeat Lite wedding was featured on OBB — and even more surprised by how much love it got. I was totally inspired by all the superoffbeatweddings I'd seen, and felt the spirit of Offbeatness coursing through my veins all through my wedding — but on the surface we looked pretty traditional. It just goes to show that Offbeat Bride is all about acceptance, support, and love.

    0 agree
  28. OMG! Thank you! I submitted my offbeat lite wedding a while ago and I was SO nervous when I did! My wedding hasn't been featured, so I'd ALSO been having crazy/foolish thoughts that maybe I wasn't offbeat ENOUGH for offbeat bride! That the offbeat-wedding-post-deciders didn't think I was "cool" enough. Then I felt stupid and silly and confused and… UGH! Even more than a year after my wedding is over the stupid wedding industrial complex is still wreacking havoc on my life! Silly me.
    So thank you. Thank you for the reminder that my husband's and my wedding was the perfect amount of offbeat, because it was 100% us.

    2 agree
    • Jessica, as the current "offbeat-wedding-post-decider," please know that we all think ALL the weddings we see are AWESOME, because, as you said, they truly represent the couple.

      We literally have HUNDREDS of weddings in the Queue and I've only been at this a couple months and haven't even gotten to really dig into them all.

      We try really hard to represent a diverse group of weddings on Offbeat Bride and that includes "Offbeat Lite!"

      0 agree
  29. Based purely on my casual observations, it seems like OBB has always done a good job welcoming the Offbeats and Offbeat-lites alike, and stressing personal expression/preferences over both tradition and the pressure to be more offbeat than you feel. I definitely remember there being some good posts on the later topic.

    1 agrees
  30. "Because THAT is what being offbeat is about: it's the stuff that goes on in your head and in your heart. It's about intent and thoughtfulness."
    THIS! A million this!

    I have to admit I don't like a lot of ideas shown on OBB. I don't like brooch bouquets for example and while I do like oragami ones I don't think it's right for me. I've slowly come to realise that what I would like is a bunch of cut flowers.

    But I've also come to realise that even if I've gone in a circle the time I put into thinking about it was well worth it because I now know it's a choice I've made and not just what everyone "has" to do.

    That's what OBB is all about for me. It's not nessesarily a case of "Instead of X, do Y" more a constant reminder that there are choices to be made and you need to pick the one that's right for you, not just the one that 'everyone' does because it's traditional or fasionable. (But also if those are the same thing it's ok, it's still you. You just have a group to fit in with.)

    0 agree
  31. I fit in! LOL. Thank you Ariel for making a place that has made my wedding planning SO. MUCH. EASIER!

    Just to repeat what everyone else is saying, this site has been great for me to see what options are out there. I had originally started on a more tradional wedding site and was not happy. I hate attention focused on me, and having "my day" sounded more like a nightmare than a dream. Here, the whole wedding process finally made sense to me, and sounded like fun (gasp!).

    And those days I freak out that I'm potentially ruining everything because I'm not being uber-traditional… it is a great reassurance to know I'm not alone and a wedding is still amazing/memorable/loved even when it isn't traditional.

    0 agree
    • If anything I think it'd make it more memorable.

      Both my cousins had fairly traditional weddings and I've got to admit a few years down the line it's the unusual bits I remember. I couldn't tell you what readings one of them had, I can tell you that an owl was the ring bearer. :D

      0 agree
      • An owl as a ring bearer is AWESOME! That is definitely memorable. And you have a very good point, the traditional stuff all starts to blend together over time.

        The most memorable wedding I went to was one where my friend had her husband's band play the reception. They were taking requests and everyone was dancing and being silly. And the favors sent home were love songs the hubby and band wrote. So awesome!

        0 agree
  32. Thanks for posting this. :) As a new OBT member, this was just the reassurance I didn't know I was looking for.

    2 agree
  33. Thank you for this article!
    It's nice to be reminded that not every couple (including my fiance and myself) fits into a particular sub-culture.
    I like the term "Offbeat-Lite". I hope to see more of these weddings profiled!

    1 agrees
  34. Thank you so much for this! I'm definitely offbeat lite and I've found myself not part of any community. I felt especially rejected by OBB since I figured y'all would be the most accepting. I guess I do have a place here after all. Either way I'll still be reading.

    2 agree
    • "I felt especially rejected by OBB…"

      I'd love to know why you felt that way.

      0 agree
      • I guess it was never hearing back about Offbeat Bride Tribe membership. Meaning I was declined. I guess that made me feel pretty rejected. I assumed I wasn't offbeat enough to be part of the website.

        3 agree
        • We never reject membership applications based on style of wedding. EVER. It's most often an issue of not enough information being provided.

          How do I know "offbeat lites" don't get declined from the Tribe? Because the person who wrote this post is the one who approves memberships! She's got a post coming next week about her process for reviewing memberships, and the most common reasons memberships are declined.

          This issue is addressed very explicitly in our FAQ:

          Ok, so I'm planning a wedding … but am I offbeat enough to join?
          Yes. Remember, your wedding is not a contest. Your degree of traditional-ness is not a factor in new membership approval. As long as you're actively planning your wedding and take the time to fully fill out the profile questionnaire when you sign up, you'll likely be approved.

          It bears repeating: We have never declined a Tribe application because the member's wedding was too traditional.

          EVER.

          0 agree
  35. This reminds me of one of the biggest lessons I have learned in life: to accept who I am and to act in a way that is authentic without being apologetic yet being considerate of others.

    I and my unique wedding are not traditional wedsite material and to be honest the majority of the wedding porn on OBB looks miles away from what my own wedding looked like…and who cares? What matters is how we did our wedding our way.

    It is sad that being off beat may be as simple as not becoming caught up in wedding madness and expecting people to bow down to your every wish but to me it is the act of creating a wedding for you and your loved that is authentic and not just doing what you should or what others expect that makes one offbeat. And personally it means more to me that one be authentic, whether that appear traditional or not, than to try to get one up on the Joneses; whomever they may be.

    The lite and the non lite just seem to be about what others who don't know you think just by viewing some pictures. The person with the "traditional" looking wedding could be off beat as all get out and the person with the "offbeat" looking wedding could be conforming to expectations.

    When you look at the pictures of my wedding you can't see the video game music that was specifically picked over weeks of extreme consideration, you can't hear the long thought out personally written vows, you can't see the fact that this was a wedding were both of us had equal say it wasn't just "my" wedding; etc.. You see a pretty traditional wedding where we and the guests had a rip roaring good time. The spirit of the wedding was offbeat because it was authentically us.

    2 agree
  36. I just wanted to pipe up to add something I really like about OBB/OBT: I don't fit into a particular subculture, but I don't consider myself OBLite. I feel like rather than not identifying with one subculture, I identify with most of them! You know, like that kid in high school who never belonged to one clique (not that I'm saying subcultures are cliques, it's just an example) but was welcome at the parties held by all of them. I feel like I dabble in gamer geek, steampunk, academic geek, a few swishes of hippie here and goth there and a hefty chunk of artistic. Rather than not being a part of any of them, I'm a part of all of them – without being deeply enmeshed.

    In terms of weddings, well, there is no "template" for Offbeat vs. OBLite so it's hard to say where one ends and the other begins, and the event we held fell somewhere in that gray area (basic wedding template, outdoor ceremony which is pretty mainstream now, readings and vows but they weren't really traditional, multi-thousand dollar budget, a full wedding party…but also tandoori chicken, a red dress, none of the usual reception games, no cake and tons of DIY).

    I've found on OBT if you just sorta plunk yourself down and go "yeah, I'm here, and I'm me" you will be basically accepted – occasionally you'll see comments like "ew, I don't want dumb flowers" and very occasionally "X is tacky" but I've found that for every comment like that, there are loads of people who pipe up and gently remind the commenter to please not judge. Everyone slips sometimes and lets those comments out without thinking – that's why we have a word for foot-in-mouth disease, and as long as there's a strong sense of "don't judge!" on OBT, I think it's no big deal.

    1 agrees
  37. My OBlite wedding is in a week, and I have never (well, I got halfway there once) gone to register on here for the tribe because I never felt that our wedding met the 'standards' of offbeat-ness. I'm quite odd and geeky myself, but FH is into the super traditional wedding. So I'm wearing an ivory dress, with blue necklace and shoes, the BMs are all young and female but their dresses are mismatched and I'm walking down the isle to a cover of 'Nothing Else Matters' on the cello. FH and the guys are all lovely and matching in their pants, vests and shirts, but he's ditched the ties and has given them all freaking awesome steampunk pocket watches as gifts. Not that he knows what steampunk is! In the end its all come together quite 1920's rockstar, complete with cut flowers ('vintage' white roses), dad walking me down the isle to apocalyptica and me changing my name. And that's us, it's awesome and its ok. Excuse me while I go and register for the tribe.

    1 agrees
    • FWIW, I think everything sounds awesome and I would love to read about your wedding and see the pictures.

      1 agrees
  38. Thank you for posting this, and I'm so happy to see so many comments. I am newly engaged and the first thing I did was sign up for OBT. But, even though I love looking at all the weddings on OBB, after reading through some posts I began to feel like I wasn't offbeat enough myself. So I went over to the Disney Brides board since I got engaged at Disneyland, but I don't fit in there either since I don't want a cake shaped like Mickey Mouse. I feel like I don't fit in anywhere I go. I will give OBT another try.

    0 agree
  39. Brava! As someone new to the site, I am glad to hear that my toned down offbeat-ness is not only tolerated but welcome! You have it all figured out, it's the relationship and celebration of that is what important. It's also important to keep your mind open to your funkier OR traditional side. I refuse to feel bullied by the wedding industry and it's standard of how a ceremony "should" be. I never thought of myself as a "diamond" person but when my fiancee presented me with the ring, I was thrilled at the idea of wearing it for the rest of my life. Why? Not because of the its physical attributes but the fact that he researched and spent time on finding a ring that he thought I woud like. The most important thing about our ceremony? That our children will be standing up with us in a very small outdoor affair. And for us that's offbeat enough.

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  40. I appreciate this, and I really do appreciate how open-minded OBB is generally – it really does seem like the point is to be yourself even if there's a lot of spotlight on the subculture types. This welcoming atmosphere has made me feel all the more comfortable reading about the whole range of people being represented, without feeling as though I'm expected to be like them. (You can't get THAT feeling from WIC sites.) I can enjoy it for what it is, including the porn, though I'm waaay tamer.

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  41. Thanks Ang for the inspiring post, and Ariel for having the 'crazy' idea to make a site that celebrates weddings for what they truly are: the beginning of a marriage! For me, OBB is really just a positive and encouraging place to visit when I feel overwhelmed, unsure, or super excited in planning my wedding, and this post helped me recognize yet again that my wedding is about reflecting and celebrating my wonderful relationship with my significant other, for now and the future! Cheers to love!

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  42. Thanks for posting this. I needed to see this great statement of welcome after the weird, wedding-centric evening I had. I love being engaged and I really do love talking about the pretty white dresses that I've been looking at and all of that. But tonight I was at a benefit with my FMIL and, after she introduced me as her FDIL, the women around me (probably all in their late 50's/early 60's) literally grabbed everything out of my hands to coo over my ring. Now, I love my ring but I have never had that kind of reaction and it felt weird!

    Yes, I am definately Off-Beat Lite & proud of it. Thanks for posting this.

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  43. Oh yes, yes and thrice yes!

    All of the choices we're making for our wedding are so completely ours and we've made them for a reason. Many of them ARE the traditional option, because we agree with it. We don't agree every time, but most. There seems to be an undercurrent from some people (generally people I actually know rather than on the OBT) who are concerned that we're just going along with what we're told. That couldn't be further from the case, we just agree with it.

    It's a strange old world when agreeing with bits of tradition feels offbeat to the offbeats.

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  44. Thank you for this. For us and our community, our wedding was very "offbeat", so I'm like "It's weird, but it's not OBB material, I guess. It's like steampunk light…"

    But I think I'll be submitting mine now.

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  45. Thank you, Ang, for writing this. I consider myself offbeat "lite" as well. After getting engaged, I found the the usual suspects of wedding websites just not my thing. I was so glad to find OBB and I love the community that is on here. But I do feel like an outsider, like I'm not good enough, not offbeat enough to be here. Your post has made me feel better. Thanks again.

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  46. Yes! I was going to submit my wedding, too, but felt like it wasn't good enough for this site. I had a white dress and a diamond ring because it was a no-brainer to me. I didn't even think about it – it's just what I wanted. However, there were a lot of things that were thrown out the window because those were no-brainers too! Why would I want to wait to do pictures after my 5:30 pm ceremony? Why would I want to use flower bouquets if we don't like flowers? Why wouldn't I want to include my groom in planning? It just seemed natural. I feel like a lot of "common sense" things get labeled as offbeat-lite (such as if you don't like the way you look in white, or even a dress, then you shouldn't get the big white dress).

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  47. Thanks so much for the positive words. Even though I'm wearing a bright-white dress, I consider myself offbeat purely because FH and I QUESTION the traditions. While I decided to take his last name, the decision resulted from a crapload of internal self-discovery (and, being in academia, the default is to keep your last name, so I'm constantly having to justify my decision to others). Exactly as Ang said, being offbeat means finding what really is true to you, and knowing that the wedding is just a party to celebrate a special decision to join your lives together.

    Now I'm inspired to start some DIY projects. Thanks, Ang!

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  48. Thank you for this. I know I'm echoing a lot of other voices who have said it better before, but I have struggled with the pressure to be traditional and the pressure to be offbeat. It's tough to find a balance, and realize that it's okay that I don't want to have a crazy steampunk (or any other subculture that I secretly admire) wedding. It's okay to have a wedding that is just me. And yes, I plan to submit my wedding when it finally happens. Because you never know – maybe my version of offbeat is something other peopole might be interested in reading about.

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  49. Thanks for this post. To reiterate what many others have said, this post has really encouraged me to keep coming. I stopped visiting for a while because while I find the weddings here BEAUTIFUL, mine will probably be quite boring (take it from a woman with about 25 gray sweaters hanging in her closet!) The things that make me off beat are my personal beliefs, and these don't necessarily show from the outside. I've never posted before, but I just wanted to say thanks for the shout out!

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  50. My involvement in the wedding industry (I'm. A florist) and my lifelong belief that things are better if they are done MY way gave me the confidence to be offbeat-lite in planning my first wedding. Twelve years later, I'm having and absolute blast planning my second wedding–a non-traditional celebration of US and OUR relationship. But when it comes down to it, ultimately, we are OB-lite.

    I quickly fell in love with this site BECAUSE it features people being themselves. Yet I wish there was more OB-lite featured. And reom reading these comments, I think many others do as well. Keep posting, Ang! We want to read your stuff!

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  51. Thank you thank you thank you for this post!

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  52. i have been a long time "lurker" around this website because i definitely iam OBLite. thanks for reaffirming the idea behind this amazing community. another wedding blog is yet to be found that offers constant positive and emotionally supportive posts for people who feel and act "differently" AND has tons of eye candy/superfun wedding porn.

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  53. When I first discovered OBB what stood out to me was a celebration of people's choices. There are MANY wedding websites devoted to making the perfect little DIY 'unique' wedding, in which some quirky aspect of the couple is beautifully woven throughout the whole event. I look at these and think 'Yeah I love making paper crafts too but I don't need to letterpress my invitations just to prove how special our wedding is to our guests.' What I loved about OBB is many of the brides relate something they meant to do or wanted to have happen that didn't work out perfectly. And yet it was insignificant in comparison to committing to a loving partnership. I would never wear a black dress to my wedding but I'm thrilled when I see a bride who rocked her black dress and looked like she's having a blast.

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  54. this made my day. thank you! i feel all sorts of welcome. :)

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  55. omg i feel like you wrote this just for me :)
    i LOVE LOVE LOVE so many of the weddings featured on OBB and would soo love to be on here one day but i actually am having a fairly 'normal' wedding. white dress, black suits, veil and red roses. why? because i want to wear white, and i like black suits and i LOVE red roses. yes there are things that are a bit different that i am having aswell because we want them that way…and its all about us getting married, not what our bridesmaids wear or whether i am in white or not, because at the end of the day WE ARE GETTING MARRIED and that is all we want. we want to get married and have a big party to celebrate it. so whether or not i have a white dress or a black dress with white spots….it doesnt matter because we are doing exactly what we want and focusing on our love and our marriage. the party is just a bonus!

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  56. thank you, there are days that I do not feel worthy of OBB but I do feel very comfortable here. Thank you for being me wedding family.

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  57. Well timed! I've been lurking at APW for a while but have been hungry for more things to read while it's a slow day at work… so I thought I'd tentatively check out OBB, but thinking it much too 'off-beat' for me… And I saw this post and thought: "What's OffBeat-Lite?" and here it is: you've summed up what I was worrying about and maybe alieviated my concerns a little. Guess I'll go look around the rest of the site now and see what it's all about, and not feel so much that I have to be part of a subculture to belong here. :) Thanks!

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  58. I stumbled upon OBB during my 5 month wedding planning session. I'm not sure how I ended up here but it was great. I enjoyed seeing some of my choices reflected in others weddings and loved all of the ideas that I came across and incorporated. My minister loved the ring warming ceremony. I found a fabulous reading that suited my husband and myself. We had a lite off beat wedding and I truly appreciated all of the support and ideas I gained from OBB. I can't wait for Off Beat Home and even though I'm child-free I enjoy Off Beat Mama all the time. Thank you for having a spot on the internet where I can feel at home.

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  59. This is great. I would never think that Ariel or anyone else on OBB would outcast me or not find me cool for being light, because I've never seen a more welcoming wedding community. That said, sometimes you can feel like a schmuck because here are these amazing brides who are wearing hot pink and jumping brooms and having amazing carnival weddings, and my vision, at best, will have slightly offbeat music and decor, and MAYBE cupcakes (provided my mom doesn't win that fight. She wants the cake very badly, and I'm not sure the cake matters enough to me to fight her).
    Still, OBB is wonderful. It helps me breathe, it's chock-full of wonderful ideas, and you couldn't find a better crowd to hang out with, so thank OBB and all it's member for making a plain jane like me feel included, and best of all, unique!

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  60. Thank you so much! I feel like nobody understands why I am celebrating a marriage and not obsessing about a wedding. I don't spend every last dime dwelling on a 6 hour celebration. Thank you for hearing us. We know there are more people like us, but we feel alone within the engaged cohort.

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  61. hey reading this made me feel amazing about my wedding in 3 months time, im half traditonal half furthest away from traditional possible (maybe more when i see 8inch high sparkley black with red skulls peeptoe shoes that a curse i couldnt wear all day at the wedding)
    anyway wedding is definatly what u make it and can b as off beat as you want, i hate the idea of a cookie cutter wedding and so far i dont think im having one!!, have bridesmaids i call them my ladies in purple, they are all in purple but i have no idea on which dresses or shade they have chosen, my wedding shoes are either black and white diamond shapes with purple soles or irregular choice union jack ones that feel like slippers as velvet inside, our favours are little pizza cutters with slice of love on them as we got engaged in rome, his shoes say 'yes dear' on the bottom, told no one to goout of their way to 'match' but my mum fell in love with a purple and silver dress and my dad has black with purple pin stripe suit lol, our colours are black white and purple. i told people wear a tutu if u so wish!
    and finally or honey moon classic going to paris but so going disneyland while we are there u have to make ur day as awesome as u like DO NOT give in to anyone else b a bridezilla at times but mostley go with the flow im loving my planning cant say month beofre wedding ill b this calm!!!

    good luck to everyone else on there wedding days and enjoy it

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  62. I have been checking out some of your stories and i must say pretty clever stuff. I will surely bookmark your website.

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  63. Thanks Ang for writing this article! I absolutely adore OBB because it encourages and celebrates everyone's creativity and individuality in the best way possible. Like everyone here, while I absolutely love reading of couples who rock out against things dictated by the Wedding Industrial Complex, sometimes I catch myself thinking "I feel like such a poser — I love the offbeatness, but I don't think pulling X really reflects who we are!"

    So it really is comforting to read this article and realize that the whole point of what you (and your future spouse) are doing for your wedding. You're simply celebrating the love and commitment you've given each other, with the folks you love the most. Granted, I'm gonna be wearing an ivory gown and my fiance a morning coat. But we both feel that the things we're DIYing for the wedding, the opting to do charities instead of favors, using Etsy if we need to purchase things, and just…well, just being ourselves. Isn't that what a wedding really should be about?

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  64. oh thanks for this…I am quite sure about the party we want to have but because it's not exactly offbeat but also not completely typical, sometimes I do wonder whether we're doing something wrong! How silly, I know! Anyways, thanks!

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  65. omigosh, thank you so much for that post!! i love this website, but used to only feel halfway worthy of being here. thanks for the crazy awesome validation!

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  66. I feel this way in life too!
    I am too weird for the conventional people, yet not weird enough for the sub-cultures. Thanks for making a welcoming website for everyone!

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  67. I LOVE this! I guess I could be considered Offbeat Lite (love the term!) but it pains me to see people apologizing for not being 'unique' enough just as much as it pains me to see people apologizing for being unique. Isn't the point off all this to be authentic? To have the freedom to be true to yourself and own it?

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    • Yep, that's exactly the point. :)

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  68. Well said! It's odd how weddings can bring out self-doubt, comparisons, and judgement in the best of us. I was married a few months ago and relied heavily on this website for tips and inspiration, and yet when I attended a funky wedding yesterday at a local rock club, I found myself worried pointlessly that our wedding had been too square. I had the veil, the white dress, I wore very modest sleeves from my late mother's gown, we had a priest who came up from the deep South to do our ceremony though we got married in a cabin, etc. My maid of honor made the cake. And it was lovely, just how we wanted it, and on a budget. But when I went to yesterday's ceremony I found myself worried that I hadn't taken enough risks with a big occasion, or worse, that I had bored my guests with my starchy choices. It's true that it's "your" big day, but any time you are spending that much time and money to plan an event that you want your guests and family to be happy too.

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  69. This was SO me! We didn't have much of a traditional wedding, but it wasn't totally offbeat. I had the (off) white dress and all that. But we did the whole deal on one big hall. We decided to see each other before the wedding and get all the pictures done before hand. We decided on a very untraditional dinner of breakfast for dinner (and tell me, in the Midwest, not having chicken and tips can cause people to go into a panic!), a candy bar with no individual favors, and we had a pastry bar vs a cake. The girls didn't have matching dresses and our guys were in jeans, dress shirts, and vests. We had a lot of family members freaking out that we didn't have a traditional Midwest wedding, be we had a wedding that was totally US and that's all that counted! And in the end, everyone had a blast! So much so that there were people talking about the breakfast for dinner wedding that weren't at our wedding and we didn't even know!

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