Why I am glad Offbeat Bride is my main exposure to wedding media

Updated Oct 12 2015
Guest post by emalineisabear

we love our offbeat brides
Let me start off by saying I love Offbeat Bride (or as I like to call it "the Offbeast"). Since we started planning our wedding, Offbeat Bride was the only wedding website I chose to follow. But even the Offbeast only posts a handful of updates everyday, and as as our wedding date fast approaches, I need all the wedding porn/advice/ideas I can get!

So my mind and fingers wander…

Unfortunately, there is no other website like the this one. No one provides the no-bullshit point of view that you get here. When someone on other wedding blogs says "Your wedding is wrong!" they aren't saying it in a "but that's totally okay, and who cares" sort of way, like you get here. They are saying it in a "your wedding is wrong and you should feel bad" sort of way. It's awful.

Certain wedding blogs focus on a lot of celebrities and their weddings, which I find really weird, and privacy-invading. And I mean, who doesn't want to compare their wedding to someone who can afford things unheard of to the average person?

Or they have articles like "21 Reasons Why You are a Trashy Skank Because You Allowed Your Bridesmaids To Show Their Butts," which chastises brides for the trend of exposed bridesmaids' bottoms in wedding pictures. And while I may have taken some liberties with the actual title of the article, here are some direct quotes from it:

"13. Do you really want your husband to know what your friends' butts look like?"

My husband is marrying me, isn't he? So why should I hold on to an insecurity like that?

"19. Another reason to add squats to your pre-wedding workout… and no one likes squats. No one."

Or I could just accept my body the way it is. It may not be in perfect condition, but it is mine, and my partner loves it (as do I), so why should I worry about looking more perfect in my wedding pictures?

I'm really glad that my urge to consume "everything wedding" dies down when my depression gets to me. If I happened upon one of the other wedding websites during one of those periods, I'm not sure I'd be able to handle it.

All the negative talk about everything is just maddening. "Lose weight, wear white, buy this $5,000 dress, no this $10,000 one, have we mentioned that a real wedding must have really expensive size 0 dresses? Otherwise you don't love your blonde-haired, blue-eyed, muscle-bound, white husband enough."(Seriously, these sites are always all about white couples — perfect magazine beautiful white couples. It is weird. Don't other people get married?) I do not care for it!

The negative talk is bad. Your wedding is about what you want. It's about you and your partner. Wear a purple fursuit for all I care. It's your wedding — do it your way! Please: just have fun and go out and do your wedding your way. Do not let awful websites keep you down.

And thanks Offbeast — err Offbeat Bride, for being an awesome website for every kind of wedding out there.

  1. Amen Sister!
    Although you may be preaching to the choir, the choir loves to hear it!
    Supportive, no BS, it's about YOUR wedding which is about your MARRIAGE = OBB.
    Whether it's a big wedding, enormous wedding, or courthouse elopement, OBB has got you. If you are a Caucasian-hetero-church-wedding couple, a gay-black-steampunk couple, or a biracial-goth-poly-group wedding person, OBB has it and applauds you!
    Thank you Ariel and everyone involved for creating a wedding zone that is inclusive and sane! Weddings are an important rite of passage and OBB is positive and supportive to all.
    – ps: love seeing the complete picture of all the header art

  2. This, this and more this!
    Once I found OffBeat Bride I went nowhere else.
    Even now that I'm married (one month today!) I still come back daily to see the latest and greatest, to check in on the Offbeat Bride Tribe and to just feel loved on the interwebz.

    • YAY! Please tell me that you're also visiting our sister site, Offbeat Home & Life — it's like Offbeat Bride for the rest of life. We talk about relationships, sex, money, work, home decor, food, with all the interwebz love you've come to expect from the Offbeat Empire.

    • Been married three years now, and while I'm not as obsessive, I still love coming here and seeing all the joy and personalities. ๐Ÿ™‚ And offbeat home is equally amazing and a bit more in line with my life now. Love this empire.

  3. I had joined a certain "wedsite" (who shall go unnamed) and read the community advice section. It was like Be-yotch Central up in there! Needless to say, I quit them and came here. This site is a breath of fresh air:)

    • Me too!! I asked for advice and they were just RAWR! because my situation didn't fit into a nice little box. One of the users was kind enough to refer me here, and I haven't gone back since! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Ok, I know I'm SUPER late to this game, but I NEEDED to read this article again, because today, I, too made the mistake of going into the forum of a certain wedsite to look up reviews on a certain registry.

      Ho. Ly. Smokes. What a load of b*tches. Good god, everyone was just SO nasty to one another, and always ganged up on the one person who was doing something (whatever it was) that wasn't "the norm." I couldn't get out of there fast enough. And I was so damn pissed that I really, really felt the need to vent about it. (And where better to do that than OBB?)

      Honestly, I had though about just taking the rant to Facebook, but I figured 1) Most of my FB friends don't care about/have no connection to said wedsite and/or wedding planning or 2) Are those forum girls and, frankly, I didn't want to incur the wrath. So I'm here. Nine months late. Venting about the horrible things women say to each other on wedding etiquette forums.

      I'm sorry, but if you're that up-in-arms about a STRANGER'S wedding, then you're the problem, not them. Do you genuinely lose sleep at night about someone else's wedding halfway across the country that you have nothing to do with? Because that's just sad.

      Yay OBB for supporting each other, not tearing other brides/women down every chance we get.

      tl;dr
      Women on traditional wedsite forums can be major b*tches and I hate it. OBB-ers aren't. Phew!

  4. There is no other community on earth that is as awesome as the offbeat one! The advice is bar none maaaarvelous. However in my quest to find more coloured tattooed wedding porn I found rock n roll bride! Lots of great photos over there to once you've chowed through the offbeat content here.

  5. Offbeat is awesome! But just as a note: it's virtually IMPOSSIBLE to find a size 0 white wedding dress. Seriously. One of many reasons I'm choosing to wear blue ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Couldn't have said it better! As soon as I found this site, I quit all others because I knew immediately that they couldn't (wouldn't) do for me what OBB does/will!! I'm a happy fat girl (yeah, I said it!) who knows she's a sexy beast and have been happlily accepting of my body for many years now. I love the vibe here that really jives with how already I feel about myself, so thanks for being another beautiful human who won't take the negative. GO YOU!!

    ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. I have spent the overwhelming majority of my time here, so when I started looking for photographers in the chunk of MN where we found our venue, I just got depressed. All their websites just feature size-8 23-27 year-old white women (in white dresses, of course) marrying strapping sorts of youngish white men.

    I'd gotten so used to the body-positive, "diversity is the norm" attitude around here, that I was shocked and sort of horrified. This is the best place. I'm so, so glad my friend recommended it.

    • I like A Practical Wedding, but they definitely cater more to the Offbeat Lite folks (yes, I know it's a retired term! But I still identify as it, for now :)). I find Offbeat Bride to still be more inclusive and diverse, as well as the OG.

      (apologies if discussion of a competitor is verboten!)

  8. shameless plug (to another blog post here… but I wrote it)!

    I think this ties http://offbeatbride.com/2012/03/i-am-not-a-bride really, really well.

    The Wedding Industry can be a dark, scary and damning place. The "hey, you are SO COOL for DOING THE THING!" attitude here is what keeps me coming back and reading posts, even now more than a year after I got hitched.

    I could go on for aeons about how fucked up representation can be in wedding media, in general. All sorts of people get married to all sorts of other people. If all you're doing is showing us what an American WASP wedding looks like, you're alienating yourself from, oh, I dunno EVERYONE ELSE EVER. Unless the white WASP wedding is your thing, in which case, have all the fun.

  9. WORD!!! The other sites kind of make me gag, whereas here, I feel like I've found my people. One giant virtual hug for Offbeat Bride ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. There was an article even on Jezebel the other day (/on Jezebel/ for, god's sake) that totally bummed me out! It was supposedly wedding/fem/something subversive because it talked about hilarious ways women "broke their wedding diet". I'm so glad that I'm entirely shielded from that crap here … I literally forgot that 'the wedding diet' was a thing that people did!

    I'm so glad I when I started googling things for my wedding, I found Offbeat first and never left!

  11. Same as me! Trying to plan a geek-tastic non-traditional green and purple budget wedding. I have said the words 'green wedding dress' to 5 bridal stores and you'd have thought I'd said 'live kitten sacrifice'.

    • I just completely LOLed. Live kitten sacrifice…oh god the laughs just keep coming…picturing HORRIFIED salespeople…

    • My wedding dress is going to be green, courtesy of the fabulous Tova at Wedding Dress Fantasy. I couldn't be more excited. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Having never thought about my wedding ever before, after becoming engaged I realised I might need to learn something new. I was like a rabbit in headlights that was very confused about the bright white pictures and rules that were very important but hadn't filtered through the world to my ears.First day reading OBB the first article was about a poly triple lesbian wedding. I was hooked.

    Time to stop panicking, I'll be fine. Love the positive vibes

  13. Oh hecks yes!

    Admittedly I've been an OBB reader long before I got engaged, but since that I've looked into a few other sites/magazines/whatever, and … wow. No. So many make judgemental air-brained sexism look like a disappointing art form.

    If my woodsy-Nordic-gothic inspired wedding complete with tattooed/pierced wedding party and an all-metal reception doesn't sound acceptable, then you're probably not going to be invited anyway.

    I will say that I am going to be attempting to lose weight while planning my wedding, but not so that I can fit in a dress – I put on a hell of a lot of weight while I was ill a while back, and that really doesn't help my control of my existing health conditions. (Type 1 diabetes mixed with insulin resistance is a painful, frustrating bitch, and fixing it is an uphill struggle.) I'm attempting to set off on the right foot for the future in as many senses as possible. The number of beautiful curvy brides on OBB has totally negated any worry of being "too fat", though. I'd be damn pleased to be half as fabulous as the majority on here!

    • "If my woodsy-Nordic-gothic inspired wedding complete with tattooed/pierced wedding party and an all-metal reception doesn't sound acceptable, then you're probably not going to be invited anyway."

      as it should be!

  14. ALL OF THIS. YAAAS!!!! I've been thinking so much about this kind of thing lately. When I first got engaged, I joined another wedding site, and let me just say, those women scared the living shit out of me! I posted something about being sad and slightly upset that my MOH might not be able to make it, but that I understood because she lives a 20+ hour drive from me. Instead of the types of responses I receive here when I post (friendly discussion, thoughtful advice, etc.), I got things along the lines of "You're so selfish!" and "ERMAGERD!!!! HOW DARE YOU!!!" The last one is not a direct quote, but the first one was. And then people starting agreeing with the initial negative poster, and I received nasty, rude, angry comments. And I've seen it on there before. They gang up on you and attack and the vibe is very negative. There are very few post where someone doesn't say something negative and it turns into a bloodbath. And then there are the pages of pictures: white dresses on tiny little models, huge peony bouquets, perfectly coiffed, matchy-matchy bridesmaids (no disrespect meant if that's your thing!), and how "you must do this to have a perfect day!" just as long as you please everyone else. I see it all over the place. I didn't want to go on there anymore. And then one of my bridesmaids was talking to me and she recommended OBB, because that's where she went. I haven't looked back. The support and advice and just all around awesomeness that I've found here has been overwhelming and amazing. I feel like each and every one of you is a friend who I haven't met yet. Coming here is my sanity in this crazy world of wedding planning, and if those snooty picture perfect wedding websites don't like my brewery wedding with kilts, Legos, alternative 80's music and tattoos, well they can sit on it and spin. I just don't give a fuck.

  15. I have been thinking this lately as well. I am planning my second wedding, and have been told that some of the ideas I have come up with are "not appropriate for 2nd weddings". According to whom, exactly? This is my wedding, and if I want to wear a peach colored dress AND a veil that I made from grandma's wedding dress, I CAN! I don't understand the other sites (that I have been avoiding like the plague) where women feel it is ok to bash each other. I finally joined the Tribe (super awesome) and am so happy to get the encouraging comments and tips. I want to put out there, a very huge THANK YOU to Ariel and the rest of OBB for starting this site. You are a definite sanity saver.

  16. Preach! I feel like the Offbeat sites are really an internet home for those of us who wander from the proverbial beaten path. Nowhere else have I found a wedding blog that tells me "You have purple hair and tattoos? That's going to look SO COOL with your wedding dress!" or "You're having an LGBT wedding? Awesome. Now let's plan it just like other weddings because you don't need to be pandered to."

  17. I would just like to also add that I appreciate that Offbeat is Inclusive with a capital "I." Meaning that when I joined the tribe, there was a disclaimer that said "Don't worry if you don't think your wedding isn't offbeat enough!" or something along those lines. And that sentiment is continued with my entire Offbeat experience so far. I guess our wedding will be somewhat offbeat, but there are still a few things I'm keeping somewhat traditional. I am glad that I'm not judged for any of my decisions, offbeat or traditional. Matter of face I am usually greeted with a "That's awesome!" type of response from my fellow tribe.

  18. This is also one of the reasons I follow Offbeat Bride ever since I got engaged. I'm from Brazil, things are somewhat different from the US. Here we find all these types of weddings I don't see anywhere else. I had an idea of doing something very offbeat, but considering my soon-to-be husband and his family are very traditional, we're doing it all as the "wedding book" says. With things I've seen here I was able to include 2 offbeat things that I'm very proud of, and I don't care what anyone else says. The first is that we're having a real rock and roll band in the reception and I'm not entering the church with the traditional nuptial march (very common here and to which I always felt a bit uncomfortable) but I'm entering with Game of Thrones theme song. It's one of my favorite shows/books ever and it's a very beautiful song. I know some people will not like it, some will not even know which song it is and people who watch the show will be thrilled… But I don't care. As you've made me realize in all the OBB posts it's MY wedding. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  19. Thank you for articulating what I have been unable to. I joined a myriad of Wedding websites with the naive thinking that brides would be considerate, caring and open to other brides. After all… it's not THEIR wedding. How foolish I was!

    I had to contact a particularly popular website to have my account canceled after I made the mistake of suggesting this person was making the right decision for her and really lighting a fire when I suggested to move to the off beat tribe because she didn't need a virtual beat down.

    What I don't understand is that the comments before and after mine were violating their own code of conduct. I reported it and nothing. I was left with no other choice but to discontinue. And I truly hope that poor girl saw my comments somehow. It's just so degrading and upsetting. I find myself getting upset and truly sad that people can be so cruel.

    I'm determined to seek advice from no other community after that terrible experience. I just never understood why people felt they could place such strong judgments on other people's lives… in person or virtually.

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