Finally owning that I’m a more traditional bride: You are awesome and so am I

Guest post by donteatmenooo

Wheee!I had a panic attack the day I discovered I was already engaged, and had already argued furiously with my fiancé that weddings were large family affairs and that we would have to deal with 300 people because that was SIMPLY THE WAY IT IS DONE. I had some serious apologizing to do to my future-husband once I became comfortable making the wedding truly ours, and not my family's.

Offbeat Bride (both the book and the site) changed me a lot. I became more comfortable with who I am. I discovered fashions and subcultures that I had never known existed, but now love. I learned how to deal with stress, with family, with my own doubts. But because of this fabulous place, I also developed one of my biggest doubts about the wedding: was it going to be offbeat enough?

I found myself stressing out the closer it got to my wedding, thinking, “I want to write my own vows! I want to have a handfasting and jump over a broomstick! I want to have a fabulous rainbow ribbon veil and lots of kids running around and skeleton cake toppers and an iPod for a DJ and pies instead of cake and a potluck and I want everyone to help out and I want everything DIY…” etc etc etc. Oh, I also wanted to be able to do everything on a tiny budget, something everyone seemed to be able to do. Basically, I was saying to all those offbeat brides, “I WANT TO BE JUST LIKE YOU!” which makes sense, because you are all awesome. But I was forgetting to want to be me.

I wanted to wear white, despite how much I loved all those fabulously colored dresses. I wanted to have the ceremony in a church to honor our parents' religion, despite also wanting to write my own short ceremony with lots of laughter and silliness. And I wanted to have it in a small, expensive tourist town (where I grew up), a place in which there were no fun, offbeat venues to be found, and in which the only normal venue to fit our whole guest list was a pricey golf club that did not allow outside catering. The reception was going to have alcohol and dancing. Despite the fact that this was what I actually wanted, I found myself worrying that my family would end up thinking I was normal (i.e. traditional and boring), and I couldn't have that! Especially not after finally discovering my true offbeat side! I finally ended up breaking down in tears over the fact that I was going to have real flowers in my bouquet (real flowers! How normal and boring!), and that was when my wonderful husband-to-be sat me down to have a talking-to.

Making Our GetawayThe first thing he did was remind me of the Offbeat Bride post about being more traditional and how really being offbeat was about being true to yourself. Then he said, “Look. You designed your own dress. You are wearing neon orange shoes. We are playing Rock Band instead of dancing. We're avoiding ‘bridal' music. We designed the invitations. You don't have ‘colors.' Your wedding cabal will be wearing tutus. We have books and toys for centerpieces. What exactly makes you think this won't be offbeat?” My answer, of course, was that everyone on Offbeat Bride does those things! I would not stand out! I am not truly offbeat! I fail as a person! And of course that's when he bonked me on the head.

We had a wonderful wedding, and everyone was impressed (or horrified) by how “us” it was, which made me intensely happy. It was in a church and I was wearing white and we had a swanky venue, but we also had robots and video games and bright colors and lots of offbeat fun. The groom and I were in our element; we were sharing who we were while also paying due respect to our families and guests. We DIYed what we had the time and resources to do, and bought the rest. We spent barely under the national average budget for weddings (which is crazy, I know — we had a lot of people in an expensive location!), but we made sure that most everything was reusable, so it wasn't just for one day. We weren't traditional where it wasn't necessary, and we weren't offbeat where it wasn't necessary, either. (Well, not too much…)

And while I can still drool over all the weddings featured on Offbeat Bride, who spent literally one tenth of our budget and still are perfectly fabulous, I would not trade my wedding for any of them (even the Halloween and costume ones!), because our wedding was awesome and “us.” Whether you would consider it offbeat or more traditional, it was fun! And I wouldn't have done it any other way.


Comments on Finally owning that I’m a more traditional bride: You are awesome and so am I

  1. One Offbeat Lite to another (and lover of subcultures introduced to me by Offbeat Bride): You rocked your wedding, girl. Go you and your guy!

  2. this article is awesome, it totally says: ME. The thing is not about being or being offbeat, is about being your true self, wether you want what everybody else has or want something completely different. As long as you remain true to yourself, you’re good to go 😀

  3. Your wedding looks beautiful and it was you! That’s what’s important.

    As much as I admire all the gorgeous non-flower bouquets featured on Offbeat Bride, I love real flowers too and had a real flower bouquet. 🙂

  4. Wow, I’m so glad I read this! I just recently got married and felt the same as you. I have used the weddings on this site as an inspiration for my own offbeat wedding, concentrating on getting our own style across and veering away from the tradition. After our wedding, I received many comments about how traditional it was…I was so insulted! Although there were traditional elements, I thought our guests would focus on what was different and comment about that! But at the same time, everyone agreed that the wedding was very ‘us’ and at the end of the day that’s what matters most. We kept the traditional aspects that we liked and got rid of what we didn’t. Having an offbeat wedding isn’t a competition of who’s wedding is the most outrageous, it’s about doing what you love and what will make you both happy. All of the brides I have met on this site have been super nice and laidback…and we’ve all had beautiful weddings with our own personal touches. That’s the most important, that it’s a reflection of the couple :). Thanks for the post!

  5. *cheer*! Sounds like you did everything just right!

    Also, as one of those “I must have a colored dress regardless” folks, can I just say that I look at *your* dress and say “Oh, gosh, if that’s what a white dress is like, I love it!” and would have felt really tempted even if it wasn’t what was perfectly me because it is so *amazingly* gorgeous. Can I ask where you got it?

    • Haha, thanks for appreciating it. I still can’t help thinking about how beautiful it is, and I’m definitely not usually that vain. 🙂
      I had it made by a couple vendors on Etsy (hopefully they’ll publish my profile and you can get the vendors there, otherwise I’ll come back), because I couldn’t find ANY white dresses that I liked! But how often do you get to wear white? I was glad, however, that a couple of my friends had been convinced that I would wear a bright red dress or something, so I am confident people don’t ese me as entirely traditional. 🙂

  6. This really reasonated with me, especially the second half. Not long after I started planning properly I almost completely stopped visiting other wedding sites because I just wasn’t getting anything from them. But when my entire wedding experience was coming from OBB it was easy to forget that it was, well, offbeat. Coloured dresses and non-floral centerpieces and iPod DJ’s became normal to me.

    On the one hand it stopped me from worrying so much about my ideas but on the other hand it left me kind of unprepared for other peoples reactions and sometimes made me feel like my wedding would be boring and just like everyone elses.

    And then of course on the day it didn’t matter either way because it was exactly the wedding we wanted.

    Edit: Just want to say I didn’t put the link on the word i pod and I’m not sure where it came from or what it links to.

  7. I don’t know, getting Chipotle at your wedding sounds offbeat enough to me. =D Also, that dress is to die for. Loving those swanky sleeves!

  8. From I suppose a regular (?) offbeat to an offbeat lite-ee – your wedding sounds really amazing and it seems like you and your hubby are really happy with your choices. That’s the most important thing and what it’s all about! It breaks my heart when people make choices that they aren’t happy with but feel they HAVE to do them, in order to conform to whatever, be it tradition or alternative surroundings. In the end, marriage is actually a highly traditional act no matter how much we dress it up with space invaders and rainbow dresses and flower-less accoutrements. So every offbeat bride is indulging in that tradition, and just putting her own twist on it. And that twist can manifest in any way and to whatever extreme that makes her and her partner happy 🙂 Remember, it takes all kinds of offbeat to make up the rainbow of diverse weddings, and your offbeat lite is a part of that.

  9. I am so glad you wrote this. In planning my own wedding, I’ve been so stressed out that honoring our guests (which, yes, includes our parents who are helping pay/plan) will mean shutting out my own vision. And that’s one of our core wedding values! So, if my mom wants a wedding planner there that day and she wants to pay for it, who cares? It doesn’t change our life together or even that day, really.

    Anyway, it made my day to read this. Thanks for articulating that fear so well.

  10. Wait a minute! I recognize that trolley … Or at least the word “Mackinaw”. Did you get married in Mackinaw City? Or somewhere thereabouts?

    It looks like it was a beautiful wedding! Congrats!

    • Close… Northern Michigan anyway. Petoskey/Bay Harbor area. But yeah, the trolley is from Mackinaw City. Still cheaper than a limo!

      • Cool! I’m getting married next September in Mackinaw City at the lighthouse right by the bridge. 🙂

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