Challenging "normal" wedding planning when I lost my mother while engaged

I considered myself to be an "ordinary bride," that is until my mother died, and then I discovered that the definition of normalcy is what you deem appropriate, especially when it comes to wedding planning.

For the first few months after she died, it was only natural that my upcoming nuptials were the furthest thing from my mind. Then, as the year of my wedding date began to approach, suddenly friends and family became concerned that I wasn't living up to being a "traditional bride." It begs the question: what's traditional?

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Love has NO color

My color has always defined me for as long as I can remember. I am a very dark, black woman. If you’re aware of what’s been happening to my people and women (since the beginning of time) who look like me, you may know exactly what this means. I’M A VERY DARK, BLACK WOMAN — enough said. Being me comes with a lot of judgement and I’ve had my fair share of ridicule.

Cue years of self-doubt, years of undoing the very horrible thoughts you created in your head because you actually started to believe the things that were being spewed at you for years on end. Fast forward to my mid-twenties and cue the love of my life…

This dancer bride cast her bridesmaids in a bachelorette party music video

In "bachelorette parties we could never dream of having" news, bride Jana B. managed to craft a full-scale DANCE MUSIC VIDEO with her bridesmaids. Caveat: Jana is a professional dancer and her crew (from dancers to dentists!) is clearly willing and able to pull this off. Could most of us do it, too? Hell no. Is it fun to watch? Hell yes…

Get your 50% off ticket to the BEST wedding expo in Philadelphia (for people who hate wedding expos!)

If you haven’t heard of it, Lovesick is basically a wedding show for people who hate wedding shows. There's live music, drag queens, burlesque performances, and the best wedding vendors Philly has to offer. Our friends (we call them "the boys of Lovesick") know how to throw a party and they attract some of the coolest engaged couples ever (we call them "our readers"). On August 12, 2018, they'll be back at World Café Live in Philadelphia once more, with a special discount for Offbeat Bride readers…