With my marketing and public relations background, I really should have known that once I started calling vendors, my name would wind up on someone's mailing list. For the last several weeks, I have been receiving regular junk mail from my area's WIC staple vendors. So I've come up with several solutions of what to do with all that gross junk mail…
This is Offbeat Bride's archive of wedding industry posts.
There's a lot of talk in the alt-wedding world about the "wedding industrial complex," that runaway freight train of wedding industry grossness that's always pressuring you to do things a certain way because supposedly that's how things are done.
Lots of us hate the Wedding Industrial Complex, which some people abbreviate as "The WIC." I feel y'all on the loathing of an industry that can be insidious and damaging. I think it's also important, however, to reiterate something I've written about several times before: Offbeat Bride is absolutely part of the wedding industry.
I have sworn off all wedding-related things. Or, at least, things not related directly to my wedding. This includes TV shows, magazines, The Knot, and any other website that makes me have unrealistic expectations of my nuptials. This "wedding propaganda," as I have so lovingly been calling it, has only overwhelmed me, smothered my own voice inside my head, and made me feel inadequate in the planning and execution of my own wedding. This is unacceptable.
Are you familiar with this concept of styled shoots? It's when wedding vendors team up together to create a fantasy weddings, showing off what they can do. I totally get why styled shoots are great for vendors — it gives folks a chance to show off the kind of work they WANT to do — but we have a clear policy to never ever feature them on Offbeat Bride, and here's why…
Do you ever feel like you're getting it from both sides: you've got pressure to be more traditional and materialistic on one side, and on the other side, you've got pressure to be uniquer, more special-er, authentically truly meaningfully YOU-er. Back! Forth! Back! Forth! I can resist tradition! I don't want to avoid something just because it's traditional! I like chair covers! But I can't like chair covers! Everything we picked is personal! Now it feels like of embarrassing…like it's over the top and "me me me"!
THIS, my friends, is what one reader coined as WIC-whiplash (WIC-lash?). Together, we're going to take a deep breath and try to get over it.
Husband of the Future and I made an appointment to go to a major retailer to get a start on our registry. We ended up leaving when they totally ignored by groom, stating "Oh, he doesn't matter. Grooms don't matter at all! Everyone knows it's the bride's day!" So let's talk about standing up for groom-inclusion and voting with your dollars.
You might want to have a TARDIS on each reception table. Or you might want a geologically accurate Grand Canyon wedding cake. Or you might want a life-sized unicorn that sneezes glitter and pees lemonade. Let's face it, a lot of those traditional vendors just aren't going to get it. However, I see this as a positive…
Since we've gotten engaged, a couple of people have mentioned things about "marrying your best friend." As in "Oh, isn't it great that you get to be with your best friend forever?" Let me be clear, if you are a person who feels that they will be marrying/have married their best friend, that's great! You do you, whatever makes you happy. But I'm a little weirded out that this seems to be the assumption now.
My fiance is not my "best friend" and I doubt he ever will be.
So, in my crawls across the internet I came across the idea of "sponsored weddings" ie services that you either get discounted or free in exchange for promotions/advertisements at the wedding. On one hand, I think it's tacky… on the other, I think it's fabulous.
What are your thoughts on all of this?
Dear Bridal Industry, I will not allow myself to become caught up in your ideals of what a bride "should" look like. I will not become sucked into your standards of beauty, ones that are different from my own. I will not let you dictate to me what pretty is, and isn't.
Speaking of which, here are more things I refuse to do…
Most wedding magazines will give you a list of questions to ask your wedding photographer… Can you describe your style? What equipment do you shoot with? Let's be real: Those questions are boring. And you probably don't actually care about the answers to those questions. So I surveyed some brides and photography-friends, and put together a list of all those questions you really want to ask, and all those things we really want you to know.