Kimmy and Erik "party forever" at their gorgeous, earthy, live music showcase wedding

By on Sep. 2nd

OMG, y'all! Who wants to see Managing Editor Megan's first time as a bridesmaid? Come for the live music (the groom is a musician), but stay for the fashion (the bride is a stylist).

ErIk & Kimmy Got Hitched!

Photos by Oliver Barth

The Offbeat Bride: Kimmy Erin, Stylist

Her offbeat partner: Erik, Musician (and former Man of Honor at Megan's wedding)

Date and location of wedding: Topanga Canyon, CA — October 12, 2013

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We knew from the moment we made our relationship official that we wanted this to be forever. And we didn't much care for the titles of boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife — that didn't matter so much as us just being together. So to us, getting married meant a great party to celebrate forever, which is to say, we wanted to officially #partyforever. In fact, our response cards even read "Yes, Party Forever!" or "Partying in spirit!"

wedding party cray cray

Can you spot the Offbeat Bride editor in this photo?

And party we did. Set in Topanga Canyon, an earthy artsy enclave in Southern California, near each of our hometowns, the wedding was centered around fun. Even though everything went wrong, as can happen in a brand new (but beautiful) venue, the day was unequivocally magical.

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Amanda & Lee's knights and dragons colorful fairy tale wedding

By on Sep. 1st

The Offbeat Bride: Amanda, freelance artist

Her offbeat partner: Lee, business intelligence analyst

Date and location of wedding: Green River Community College in Auburn, WA — April 26, 2014

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: I always wanted a fairy tale wedding. But while I love princesses, that's just not my style. So we had a somewhat different story: "Once upon a time, a knight in shining armor fell in love with a beautiful dragon." As soon as I thought of that phrase, I knew exactly how things should look, and the illustration for our invitations was the first thing I created. I've always wanted to be a dragon!

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Delicious ruby engagement rings that'll make you say "ERMAHGERD EraGem!"

By on Aug. 29th

EraGem is also featured in our Offbeat Vendors guide!

Remember when we swam in the gorgeous blue ocean of our sponsor EraGem's sapphire engagement ring collection? Good times, good times.

Now, who's ready to ogle glittery, sparkly, bling-y, ruby engagement rings?

If you're dreaming about an engagement ring that's as red-hot as your lurve, check out some of these sexy ruby engagement rings from EraGem…

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Mihaela & Mitko's two-part Paris-themed Bulgarian wedding

By on Aug. 29th

Photos by Nikolai Mitev

The Offbeat Bride: Mihaela, Software tester, Photographer

Her offbeat partner: Dimitar (Mitko), Hardware engineer

Date and location of wedding: Vega Hotel, Stara Sofia Restaurant, Sofia, Bulgaria — March 15, 2014

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: I wanted a small wedding, but Mitko wanted a big one. So we split our wedding in two parts. The first part was the official ceremony in the city hall on March 14th, and we invited just our families. I didn't want a traditional white dress so my mother suggested a crocheted one. I fell in love with the idea! I wanted a crocheted tie for Mitko with the same elements, but my friend who made the dress didn't have the time, so she crocheted three hearts for me, Mitko, and our baby, and sewed them onto a tie.

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Come to the Hard Rock for this nerd-glam wedding, stay for the s'mores bar

By on Aug. 28th

Chelle and Dave's wedding at Chicago's Hard Rock Hotel may look all glitz and glamour, but we got the inside scoop about the nerdiness that lurked below. (Thanks, Naturally Yours EventsThey ♥ OBB; we ♥ them!) A good friend officiated the wedding, and guests filled out crossword-puzzle programs. A game-loving couple, Chelle and Dave sprinkled lots of other much-beloved faves throughout their wedding and reception. Keep your eyes peeled for LEGO and '80s movies references.

Of course, you'll want to take note of the non-nerdy details too. Chelle's brooch bouquet is full of heirloom pieces pitched in by family members. And that delectable-looking s'mores bar? I was told the couple's signature s'more was built with champagne marshmallows, raspberry dark chocolate, and gingersnap cookies.

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Courtney & Sam's colorful hip-hop garden party

By on Aug. 28th

The Offbeat Bride: Courtney, Travel Biz Sales and Marketing

Her offbeat partner: Sam, History Student

Date and location of wedding: City Park Pavilion, Denver, CO — June 28, 2014

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Our wedding had a lower budget, at least for the average Denver wedding. It was really important to us that everything be bright and colorful since I love bright colors. We are also both huge hip-hop and soul/R&B fans, so we wanted to include that element as well.

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The 3 dark wedding industry secrets I unearthed at a mainstream bridal show

Guestpost by Lydia Bell on Aug. 27th
Post-engagement happiness, pre-bridal show horrors.

Post-engagement happiness, pre-bridal show horrors.

Shortly after my engagement, a friend who was also planning a wedding gently dragged me to a big bridal show in Atlanta. I knew it wouldn't be the most exciting experience for me. While we didn't have many things planned at the time, we definitely knew it was going to be a little untraditional. We know we weren't getting married in a church, we'd have a mixed-gender bridal party, and a big poofy dress was simply NOT happening. Plus, our budget was small. Not mainstream bridal magazine small — like, actually small.

Still, I figured what's the harm? Maybe I'll find a booth that inspires me. Maybe it'll be a little fun, expand my horizons. Maybe there'd even be free champagne?

There was no free champagne. And it wasn't fun. I will say that my friend had a fabulous time. This show was perfect for the dream wedding she had in mind. And of course I was happy to see her face light up at the booths. But it wasn't my thing. More than that, it left me some major knots in my stomach. It almost ruined the magic of wedding planning for me.

There are three big things about the wedding industry that I learned from the one and only big bridal show I attended…

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Feel the ocean breeze at a Chinese-inspired wedding in a Hawaiian jungle

By on Aug. 27th

Festooned with leis, Max and Tina got married on an honest-to-goodness Hawaiian mountaintop last summer. Pahana Estate is tucked away in the small village of Huelo on Maui, complete with bamboo forests and sweeping ocean panorama. Cozy, right? The couple's Chinese heritage is evident everywhere, from the table decor, to the cutely tiny wedding cake (adorned with mini bride and groom!), to their stunning reception outfits. Check it out: we got a closeup of the embellishments on Tina's bright red top and skirt. I am really digging the contrast between her elaborate look (the shoes, y'all, THE SHOES) and Max's stark black jacket.

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Carlee & Daniel's crafty Firefly chic wedding

By on Aug. 27th

The Offbeat Bride: Carlee, Assistant Manager for a specialty foods department (and Tribesmaid)

Her offbeat partner: Daniel, Assistant Manager of a produce department

Date and location of wedding: Stan Mansion, Chicago, IL — May 16, 2014

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We decided on a Firefly rustic chic theme, and incorporated Joss Whedon's Firefly into our wedding as well as firefly mason jars. Daniel grew up on a farm and I grew up in the suburbs. We both live in Chicago now, so we miss being closer to nature.

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