Offbeat Bride thinking from WAY back in the day

Thanks to Catherine for sending this our way…

On a slow day at work recently, I was looking at out-of-print children's books on the Project Gutenberg website. I started "Clover," by Susan Coolidge (author of "What Katy Did"), and came across a passage that I thought you'd enjoy:

"I always have hated the ordinary kind of wedding, with its fuss and worry and so much of everything, and just like all the other weddings, and the bride looking tired to death, and nobody enjoying it a bit. I'd like mine to be different, and more — more — real. I don't want any show or processing about, but just to have things nice and pretty, and all the people I love and who love me to come to it, and nothing cut and dried, and nobody tired, and to make it a sort of dear, loving occasion, with leisure to realize how dear it is and what it all means…

[N]owadays, when the butcher and baker and candlestick-maker and everybody else do it just alike, the custom seems to me to have lost its charm. I never did enjoy having things exactly as every one else has them, — all going in the same direction like a flock of sheep. I would like my little wedding to be something especially my own."

The book's publication date? 1907.

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  1. Meg March expresses a similar sentiment at her own wedding in Little Women (1869). We offbeats have been around awhile 😉

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  2. That is pure awesomeness. We're the anti-flock. We're the people that recognize this day as a celebration of love and not a coined ceremony that is one size fits all. Maybe it's not that we're offbeat, maybe it's that we've woken up and are taking back the day for love.

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  3. Hey! Laura Ingalls Wilder also had an offbeat wedding: married in black with just her bestie for a witness. Made her own cake and dress.

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    • I <3 Laura! Every time I think too much about wedding details, I remember Laura's wedding. No frills, no guests, and she and Almanzo turned out okay. 🙂

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    • They also kind of "eloped!" Because Almanzo's sister was going to go nuts and try to force them to have a crazy big, traditional wedding that neither of them wanted, they pushed the wedding day way up and got married in secret, which is why she had to get married in the black dress (no time to make another one). She also edited the traditional wedding vows to omit the pledge to "obey" her husband.

      Offbeat and a feminist! I've ALWAYS loved Laura!

  4. Long before I found OBB he FH found this lovely passage:

    "“We, Orson S. Murray, and Lydia P. Jacobs, make known to these our friends that we have chosen each other for conjugal companionship, in prosperity and adversity, in life and till death. We ask no license. We submit to no dictation. We bow to no authority. We recognize no God nor Almighty power to guide or guard us. Our promises are to ourselves and each other, not to others. Our trust is not in others but in ourselves and each other."

    “NASHVILLE DAILY UNION, November 20,1862. p. 3, c 3" "

    OffBeat FTW!

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  5. I just stole this for the intro page for my wedding website. Perfect! I was wondering how to phrase that my wedding would be uniquie. Especialy with all the fuddy duddies coming from back east who prob cannot imagine a wedding done under 40 grand 🙂 try under 1,000 lol we be some country folk!

  6. To be honest, I read the quote first and thought the post was about a Bride's feelings about the modern wedding industry. When I took the time to then read the paragraph above the post after reading the book's publication date, I realized that the quote was actually from a book more than a hundred years go! Fantastic!

  7. I completely used that passage when explaining my wedding shower to my relatives. The shower, you see, had no games and discouraged gifts. Instead, we got together and made COOKIES. And then we ATE COOKIES and laughed and talked, and giggled.

    The rest of the wedding in that book, particularly the ceremony itself, is also a lovely thing. And when you get to the last book, there's an Offbeat family situation-Clover and Elsie and their husbands live in a cabin in Colorado and are clearly sharing child raising.

  8. Has anyone every read the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries? My favorite literary wedding, hands down. His sister-in-law wants them t get married at a fancy society church and go on a fancy honeymoon on the Riviera. Instead they get married at the chapel in Harriet's Oxford college, with women dons in their unmatching Sunday best as bridesmaids, reception at Peter's mother's house, lots to eat and lots to drink, and honeymoon in the country. Plus they used the vulgar old prayer book service. "Left them to fight it out. When I returned, found Peter had consented to be obeyed on the ground that he might "endow" and not "share" his worldly goods. Shocking victory of sentiment over principle." Oh, and Harriet wore gold lame.

    3 agree

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