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Insider bridal salon tips from a stealth Offbeat Bride working in the field

I work at a bridal salon. As an Offbeat Bride myself, I'd like to say that I work in one of the cool, mom-and-pop boutiques that specifically cater to offbeat weddings, but no. I work in a bastion of Wedding Industrial Complex influence. But I do work with Offbeat Brides every day and I have picked up some traditional bridal salon tips to help you navigate them. Here's how you can survive (and maybe even thrive)…

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I went window shopping for rings and now regret it

I had a modest ring that I could afford bookmarked and budgeted. Then my fiancé convinced me that we HAD to go try on rings at a big box jewelry store. The men's band and wedding set we found and fell in love with costs $8,000! And my reasonable little ring looks shabby and drab by comparison. I thought I could walk away, and I can. I just did not anticipate the other cascade of feelings…

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10 amazing wedding trends for 2017 that are changing the face of weddings

Weddings have changed quite a bit since I started out as a wedding photographer in 2006. Photographing offbeat, LGBT, and tattooed weddings I’ve seen about every imaginable theme, trend, ceremony, and style. Some of my favorites include three weddings I photographed in prisons, several circus themed weddings complete with sideshows, and my fire-breathing groom with the fire-whipping bride. These are some of the biggest changes I’ve noticed in the last few years…

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Why two independent, liberal feminists chose the flawed institution of marriage

I never wanted to get married. Marriage is an incredibly flawed social system. Growing up, I identified with intrepid Jo March, whimsical Anne Shirley, and adventurous Laura Ingalls. I liked how independent they were, how imaginative, how grandly themselves. When each of my heroines tied the knot, I felt inexplicably disappointed. Marriage's past is smattered with values we reject. But marriage also has a future, with opportunity for change. Is this an institution with of we want to be a part? What inspired two young, marriage-shy independents to happily enter into an engagement?

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The "just don'ts," self care, and discussion board reminders we all need during wedding planning

Having had an account on The Knot since I was 13, when the internet was just a place of pretty, floofy things with which I could pretend to plan my virtual future, I thought I had cultivated a good notion of what planning my actual wedding would be like. Sure, a little more involved than the average person would expect, but there are so many tools and people to help, and people to do it every day. No big deal. Like the Megabus bathroom I got locked in after my engagement, wedding planning turned from deceptively easy in-and-out adventure, to getting sealed in a small airless space that just smelled like poo. Here are the top five things to remember during wedding planning.