10 reasons you need to read Offbeat Bride the book, and not just offbeatbride.com

Updated Mar 15 2021


One of the most interesting things I'm already learning from my Reader Survey that two-thirds of you haven't read my book, Offbeat Bride: Creative Alternatives For Independent Brides!

I've been wondering why I get so many advice questions asking me things like "Should we just have two weddings?" (it's in the book) and "How can gently give my guests suggestions for how to dress?" (it's in the book) and "Do other people deal with post-wedding depression?" (it's in the book!) … and now I know.

It's a painful irony for me as an author: I set up offbeatbride.com to promote Offbeat Bride, and now it turns out that almost 70% of my readers opt for the marketing materials instead of the book itself! Ack. Despite having Offbeat Bride's cover and sale link on every page on the site, I'm doing something very wrong.

I'm assuming you're all thinking "Why read the book when I've got the website?" and so I now present to you:


Top 10 Reasons You Should Read Offbeat Bride The Book, And Not Just offbeatbride.com:

  1. You want to know what one word can diffuse most family drama (page 123)
  2. You want to know how to save money by starting your own wedding co-op (page 77)
  3. You're looking for the whole story about why my mom was talking about "Humanure" the night before our wedding (page 141)
  4. Because you want to know the one question you should ask anyone you're considering as a wedding photographer (page 151)
  5. You want to know how to deal with stoners at your wedding reception (page 179)
  6. You want to read the world's only wedding book that includes the phrase "ass-fucking"
  7. You need to know what information you should put on your "wedsite" (page 37)
  8. You want to know what one article of wedding attire you should never drive in (page 49)
  9. You're curious about post-wedding depression and the frustration of "getting wifed" (page 202)
  10. Because you love this website and you want to express your thanks to the woman who makes it happen. 🙂

…Did I convince you? If so, the book is on sale! Alternately, you could add the book to your Christmas wishlist. Since it's only $11 on Amazon, it makes for an inexpensive gift that's easy to give (and receive).

I'll also open this question up to the one-third of you who've read the book: Why do YOU think offbeatbride.com readers should read Offbeat Bride the book?

  1. I haven't bought the book… yet. But as soon as the actual engagement comes (his idea), I won't feel odd about buying official wedding stuff (He's okay with my "research" but might freak out about "official" planning).

    This book is definitely on the must-have list, especially because I want to make sure and support one of my favorite internet sites! But I just wanted to point out that some of your readers are technically in the pre-planning stages here, so maybe that's why you haven't got all of us on the book-train yet?

  2. I fully intend to read the book, for months now! Sadly, I'm still about 25th in the hold line at the Seattle Public Library. 🙁 Someone feeling particularly philanthopic should donate more copies! ^_^

    On the plus side for you though, Ariel, this means I'm on the verge of finding something to sell on eBay so I can justify just buying my own copy. Ha!

  3. Because it's not just a wedding book. It's also a hilarious and well-written memoir about an indie wedding. And the internet, while awesome, is not a substitute for the printed word.

  4. Weddings are an addiction of mine. And, honestly, I don't want to freak out my boyfriend by buying a wedding book! I fully intend to buy it should I ever get engaged. 😀 Until then, I'm going to keep reading this site to feed my hunger!

  5. The only reason I haven't read the book is…I'm not actually planning a wedding. I just like the blog a lot!

    But, as SOON as I get engaged (if it ever happens), I will buy it!

  6. I know for a fact that your book is sitting under my Christmas tree! I can't wait until December 25th!!

  7. i'm with Becca and Amanda and all the others who don't want to freak out their boyfriends. sure, i'll totally buy the book if and when the time comes, but right now i'm just window shopping.
    i also like seeing the design aspect and visual aesthetic of weddings. and the site is a nice pick-me-up: pictures and stories of other people who are finding love, celebrating love and enjoying their lives with loved ones make me happy. so that's my defense…

    as far as reasons for buying the book… it's like most movies based on books/novels; you just know the book is more detailed. and really, almost everything is better in book form!

  8. I bought it to express thanks and give back to Ariel for the awesomeness of OBB and I wanted to know more about her own wedding. People should read it because it's damn funny and like Baxter said it's not just a wedding book it's a great memoir.

  9. I can't afford to buy any books, (seriously, broke, even $11 is too much), so I requested that my local library of ye old Decatur, Georgia buy a copy. They bought 9 copies for the whole library system!
    I've just borrowed one of them and am thoroughly enjoying reading it. I've been watching Offbeat Bride online for awhile, and it is totally worth reading the book, there is a lot in there you don't get from the website, awesome as the site is.
    Anyhow, I'll buy a copy one day when I'm not totally broke anymore 🙂

  10. I bought the book before I discovered the site; one of my friends is mentioned in it (although she's not on the list in the back, bummer).

    Baxter, commenter #3, said it well. And, well, Ariel's Top 10 Reasons is a great incentive!

  11. If I weren't dirt poor, I'd buy a copy and read it it! The only reason I haven't is because I have no money, and none of my friends are cool enough to own a copy a could borrow!
    And my library doesn't have a copy either

  12. You should buy the book so that you can be the awesome friend who has the one book people want to borrow!

    Honestly, I think I'd re-read it when planning any sort of party.

  13. I bought the book shortly after joining OBT. It really is such a good resource…OBT is like a supplement to the book. Yes they're good separate, but together they're unbeatable ^_^

  14. Oh, the book is not expensive! And it is so much better to buy a BOOK and support a WRITER (I say as a writer myself) than to spring for that fancy latte three times a week (or insert your own personal splurge item).

    Just buy the damn book! You won't regret it. It is hilarious and helpful and even though I'm on OBT and read the site on my feed reader daily, I still turn back to the book to remind myself the answer to certain questions. And it is a great memoir and it's an easy way to support Ariel who has given us this outstanding community. It's not like she's asking for donations; this is a writer asking us to read her actual work, not, as she says, the marketing for it, which has grown into much more, but still….read the damn book! Buy a copy for whoever catches the bouquet at your wedding so she can start her planning off right if she follows the silly tradition of being the next in line!

  15. wow. i suck. i plan to buy the book today. i kept putting it off because i am lazy. i definitely plan to support the fantastic person that created this website. i only imagine the book is great as well! Thanks for the push, Ariel!!

  16. Ok so I read the blog every day before the wedding, and still check up daily after… and didn't buy it because I too was broke. But just reading this on Amazon makes me want it for this very question…

    "this book sees couples through the wedding process from ideas on how to announce their engagement to answering the question, “So, how’s married life?” and everything in between."

    I'm so tired of people asking how married life is and I want to know how to answer them (do they really want to know it's hard f*&%ing work!?)

  17. Oh, I feel terrible. Eventhough I am getting married in less than a month I will still buy it because I want to support you, Ariel!!! If it means anything, I can't get the book in South Korea. Amazon doesn't ship here and my family is tired of sending me packages (I've been here for over 3 years and they're over it) 🙁

  18. The following item will be shipped to [miss_s] via Standard Shipping:
    Offbeat Bride: Taffeta-Free Alternatives for Independent Brides (Book)
    Sold by: Amazon.com, LLC

  19. Buy the book because it supports Ariel and all the work she does to maintain this awesome site. And – DUH – it's a great read! Buy it as a gift for any bride…it'll be a welcome relief from the godawful wedding mags she's probably been reading.

  20. I found OBT through the book and omg, thank the lord! I feel totally enlightened and excited by everyones ideas and overall awesomeness.

    I also have purchased an additional copy for an offbeat friend of mine who got engaged.

    Props to the girl who put in the library request!

  21. I found the website and told another engaged friend about it. She bought the book, had an awesome wedding, then sent me the book as a thank-you present for doing her invitations. 3 weeks before my wedding my good friend/MC got engaged so I gave him the book as a thank-you present.

    He's been charged with passing it on as well–on the inside cover we've written our names, wedding dates, and one piece of advice. I hope it makes its way around and bring happiness to everyone it encounters!

  22. It's the best bridal book out there. If you are not into the wedding-industrial-complex and want to stay sane, this is the book for you! I bought three copies-one to give to my mom after we got engaged (so she would understand where I was coming from. I wrote a sappy note on the inside cover so she would keep it in her collection for years to come :-), one for my fiance, and one for myself (that I keep giving to brides to borrow).

    The book made me laugh and gave me the confidence to do what I wanted to do because no matter what decisions I made, I would "end up pissing someone off". That's the best advice ever (and very true, I found out). The second best piece of advice is that you will have a bridal freakout at some point and how to deal with it. I didn't end up with a completely off beat wedding, but I did change up a lot of traditional things and added some of my own flair and this book made me feel that that was okay and that I wasn't making this "terrible mistake that people will take about for years." I am happy to say that I didn't cave into anything that was opposite of what we wanted.

    So if you want a straight forward, to the point book,on how to get through the wedding planning and all the drama that goes with it, please read this book. It will put you in a good mood, get your creative juices flowing (has great ideas), allows you to handle stress better, and make the whole wind whirl experience better.

    And she NEVER once says you "have to have/do this". That's refreshing!!

  23. You should read the book because it is super easy to read and way more entertaining than any other wedding literature you'll find!

  24. Buy the book FOR YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS. Seriously–if your peeps are like mine and generally liberal but puzzled by your insistance that bouquets and white dresses aren't actually necessary for weddings, this book will SAVE YOUR BUTT. My mom ended up reading it -out loud- to my dad! And then called me up with more offbeat ideas than I'd come up with on my own!

    I can't recommend this enough. By giving this book to your friends and family, they will get some good belly laughs, and then they will be way, way more supportive of your wedding than they otherwise might.

    Also they just might be relieved that you're not having an underwater scuba wedding.

    Unless you -are- having an underwater scuba wedding, in which case you DEFINITELY want this book, which has some suggestions for family harmony in that situation too.

  25. Hey, Elena? I'm going to be visiting your country in February. Do you want a random stranger to ferry a book to the right continent? Even if you're nowhere near where I'll be staying, in-country mailing has got to be more reasonable than international… right?

  26. I've read the book, but I always thought that the OBB blog fulfills kind of a different purpose than the book. The website doesn't make me want the book because it kind of stands alone, if that makes sense. I think it's two different audiences. There's a culture of people who would rather just get this kind of info online.

  27. The book is more than just a wedding planning book. It is a memoir too, filled with plenty of wicked advice that has been tested! I think that reading the book gives a bit more insight to the personal posts on the site. I get that people only want to get stuff online, but there's something about the book that you just can't get from the site. But that's just me 🙂

  28. I've read the book. Not only is it a witty, well-written memoir, but it also provides really good commentary on issues like feminism and consumerism.

    Like someone said in a previous comment, it's really not that expensive. If you can afford to eat fast food a couple of times a week, then you can afford to buy the book.

    A lot of people prefer the instantaneousness of the internet. It's one of the reasons why the number of readers in America decreases every year. I would like to think that OBB.com readers are a little different, but we'll see.

  29. I want to buy it but the bookstore is always out of copies and I'm too shy to ask them to special order one.

  30. I found the book while dicking around on Amazon shortly after getting engaged and I ordered it from my store (we didn't carry it then, but we do now!). I sought out the site afterwards.

    The book was ABSOLUTELY a required read for me. It is the thing that got my wheels a-cranking. I already knew in theory that J and I could have any kind of day that we wanted, but what exactly did that MEAN (keep in mind this is the girl who thought it was the law to take your husband's name, until I was 14 and met my friend's mom who *gasp* kept her own name)!? I mean, sure, we can read as many profiles and see as much wedding porn as we want on the site, and it all is very interesting and helpful, but my favorite part about the book was reading about Ariel's wedding experience from beginning to end. From engagement to planning to wedding to newlyweds.

    Yes. Everyone needs to read it. So says me.

    If I may say, I'd recommend ordering it from a bookstore that doesn't carry it. You'll pay the list price, which is something like $13? But it may mean that the buyers for that bookstore consider carrying the book on a regular basis. That way more people will happen upon it, when they are looking through that sea of pastel pink and blue blahhhhh that is the current state of most bookstore wedding sections.

  31. I haven't bought the book simply because it's not available in Indonesia, shipping often costs more than the book itself 🙁 but I promise I'll get myself a copy somehow …

  32. My own personal reasons, having read it, are: because it gives you the warm fuzzies about getting married in your own way and to your own awesome guy or gal, causes you to go "hmm" in a thoughtful way, and it does make you burst out loud laughing 🙂 No better way to brighten up a day than warm fuzzies, thoughtfulness, and laughter, in my opinion…

  33. I am also in the "not engaged yet, don't want to freak out the boyfriend" camp as well. He already IS freaked out about this whole marriage idea, I don't want to add any more to that! The blog feels more subtle, and even then for the longest time I was kind of nervous about reading it if he was around. I definitely will buy it and read it when the time comes. I've kind of used stuff I've learned from here to try and relieve some of his fears about what a wedding has to be, that it doesn't have to be this big ordeal.

  34. Yeup, another one of those "not engaged but I likes me some wedding porn!" girls. That's me.

    I fully intend to buy the book when the time comes.

  35. Guess what! The website promoted the book for me. Someone recommended the website to me, and I am not waiting for my book to come to me via Amazon. It is my personal Christmas Present!!!!

  36. Ditto (tritto?) on the not squicking the boyfriend-who-doesn't-know-he's-an-FH. He doesn't know I read the site but a book would be hard to hide. Upon my honor as an future OBB, I vow (ha) to buy The Book when I become engaged.

  37. A friend of mine told me about the website and then a few months into the wedding planning I bought the book … and LOVED it.

    Also, it was a fabulous way to get my husband involved – at night before bed, i read aloud chapters to him and he loved it, too!

  38. The BOOK made me take a deep breath about my BIGGEST concern for my wedding day… people "smoking" around my family ACK! Thanks Ariel!

  39. Alright, you've convinced me! I'm buying the book…

    The only reason I haven't was to not freak out my partner, as is the reason others have evidently not bought the book yet, but I think he's pretty use to me "researching" and showing him things on the site. 🙂

  40. Speaking as one of the two-thirds, I haven't picked up the book yet because–much as I love wedding porn, crafty ideas, and good advice–I'm nowhere near ready to get engaged yet. I guess you could say that I'm saving the book (and all that it holds) as a sort of present for myself whenever I do get that ring.

    (You can bet I'll be suggesting this book to any of my friends who might get engaged between now and then, though. *wink*)

  41. I'm not engaged but I think it could potentially go that way in another year or so. I decided to buy it just now because I really want to support Ariel and that was the item that put me over for free shipping on Amazon. 🙂

    I like the reading, I'll just hide the book in my porn drawer where all of the other potentially embarassing-if-someone-found-it kind of things.

  42. As Amazon does not ship to South Africa anymore , I thought I'd look on wantitall who are a SA branch of amazon (so to speak). The creeps are selling it for 30US$!!!! And that's without the shipping to my neck of the woods. Boohoo 🙁

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