Why read wedding blogs?

May 9 2016 | arielmstallings
Graphic courtesy of Splendid Insights. This is one page from an awesome market research document.
Graphic courtesy of Splendid Insights. This is one page from an awesome market research document.

Why are you here right now? If the data above is accurate, chances are pretty good that you're looking for wedding ideas (you KNOW we have a million for you to steal) or trying to get inspired. Neither of these are especially surprising, right? I see the same cycle happen every year — a wave of freshly engaged folks flooding in looking for ideas and inspiration… and then at a certain point being like, "Oh my god, I'm overwhelmed with ideas! I have too much inspiration! I need to stop looking at wedding inspo and start, like, actually getting some shit done."

This always seems to come with a bit of guilt ("I'm sorry, I have to stop or I'm going to get overwhelmed…") or even blame ("the site isn't as useful as it used to be" …because you've moved from idea-gathering into the next phase of wedding planning, just as you should!), but it's totally just the natural process of planning a big event. First you gather ideas and inspiration from wedding blogs, then you make some choices, then you start acting on those choices. Sometimes as part of those actions you need advice (53% of you!) or logistical assistance (40%).

According to this data, 18% of you are looking for commiseration and a sense of community. This is actually a little surprising to me. When the Offbeat Bride Tribe was still online, only about 1% of Offbeat Bride's readers signed up, and an even smaller percentage of that number were active on the site. The post-Tribe Facebook group that circled up is about 160 people. Offbeat Bride's Facebook page has over 150k followers, but it's a good week if 2% of y'all comment.

Don't even get me started on blog comments, which have never been the Offbeat Bride's community's medium of choice. Our experiment with open threads these last six months hasn't been especially successful, so I'm not sure how long we'll continue to dedicate resources to them. I mean, it's kind of depressing to be like OPEN THREAD… crickets. The one that did the best was kind of most depressing:

Part of this disconnect may be an issue of people wanting a sense of community and commiseration through lurking… as in, "I want community, but I don't want to actually contribute." That's a pretty common internet phenomenon. Honestly, I've spent years waffling over sustainable ways to provide for the 18% who want more community support… I've yet to find the sweet spot between resources expended and value offered. (Ooh, don't you love it when I talk adding value to business resources HONK SHOO BORING.)

Moving on… let's talk about my personal favorite: the 48% of you who are here to daydream or procrastinate. Friends! I think we're best at cheerleading, empowering, and inspiring… but daydreamers and procrastinators, we are you, and we are here for you. It's no secret that I'm an armchair demographer, and people-watching is my favorite hobby. Combine people-watching with fashion, food, good times, and making out!? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Offbeat Bride is the happiest place of all these things.

But now y'all tell me: why do YOU read wedding media? Especially as the internet shifts, with less and less people browsing their favorite sites, and more and more people just trawling their feeds for links ("I saw this hilarious thing on Facebook, but I can't remember where it actually — maybe it was Buzzfeed or HuffPo…?"), it's interesting to see how the ways people shift in the ways they use their wedding media.

 

  1. I keep coming back because I love the content and I love weddings. Also a lot of wedding sites that I read cover all kinds of articles about relationships. I've found some really helpful sponsored posts (about life insurance for example) as well as anonymous articles about sex, kids, death etc. It's like a wider community for me to participate in (or observe) than I have access to in my everyday life. Even with my in-person married friends, of which I have few, we don't talk about all this stuff very much.

    My own was almost 3 years ago.

    7 agree
    • Just playing the devil's advocate, I think this is something that has been turning me off from A Practical Wedding recently. I love the book and a lot of things about the site, but I feel like the "weddings" part has started to take a backseat to more general posts about marriage, work, etc. (and the comments section can get intense). I can see why they would do it to maintain a readership, but sometimes I just want to read about weddings and leave the harder stuff for real life.

      1 agrees
  2. I've been reading Offbeat Bride pretty regularly for, um, hmm, several years? Like 6 or 7 maybe–waaaay longer than I've actually been planning a wedding?? -_-;; So, I have definitely been in the "daydream and procrastinate" group.

    I feel like OBB has a great mix of really solid logistical advice, advice for dealing with wedding headaches, AND pretty weddings to look at. I love that OBB consistently has high-quality and polished content (some other super-popular wedding blogs I read are full of typos or boring posts that are thinly veiled ads), and a real commitment to inclusivity without being clickbait-y (e.g., another blog's post might be titled "feminist interfaith genderqueer wedding" but then the post itself will have little or nothing to do with any of those things). I also love reading the posts about individual weddings, especially when they're in the couple's own words rather than just the pictures and an intro paragraph.

    Thanks!

    7 agree
  3. I love many of the articles that you all publish. And I would like to participate/commiserate a bit more but I am not a huge fan of the way your comments section is set up. I find the threaded conversations here hard to follow, and the lack of a consistent screen name/login can make it difficulty to engage with other readers. I don't know that other commenters will agree with me, but have you all considered using a pre-existing system like Intense Debate, or Disqus?

    2 agree
    • There have been discussions about Disqus in these parts for years, and it always seems like it's half people being like OMG WHY DO YOU NOT USE IT, and half being like "thank GAWD you don't use it."

      I personally like it and would consider switching if I thought that was going to be the magic bullet for comments.

      • I'm not sure if it would help (although I can't imagine it would hurt). But personally I like Disqus, and I think their platform has gotten much better in the past year or two. I've been browsing your website for years as a 'daydreamer/procrastinator' but just recently got engaged and actually NEEDED a community to talk to.

        1 agrees
      • I don't know if it's a "magic bullet", but I personally would comment more if there was a better interface/comment threading.

        I also like the idea of more general "open threads" – so not based around a specific question, but maybe a recap of that weeks top few posts and then more general questions – what are your weekend plans, what's your next to do task for your wedding, what's been your least/most favourite part of wedding planning so far?

        3 agree
        • Totally with you on this weekly round up open discussion post. We'll work on that.

          1 agrees
    • I actually find the way the comments here are set up to be extremely accessible. Having the comments organised chronologically makes them easy to follow, and replies to specific comments are attached to said comment so that avoids confusion. I like not having to have an account and log-in to something like Disqus. With this system you can casually add a comment without logging in/logging out, and you don't need to remember passwords for a system you rarely use. I would have thought most people would keep a consistent screen name, unless they post so infrequently that they forgot what they used before, in which case they'd be difficult to engage with anyway.

      2 agree
  4. I started reading OBB when I started writing the wedding blog for the hotel I work for. OBB helped me be more inclusive in my language and worldview, as I was never really a part of the WIC before and I wanted to avoid the cliches.

    Then, I fell in love with the site and the stories. While there will always be times I like X wedding more than Y wedding, I love that weddings of all sizes, shapes and colors are represented.

    And now, I'm engaged myself! I'm a non-traditional bride (45, second wedding, nerd), so this has helped me when we're making non-traditional decisions (because I'm a nerd, it's my second wedding). I feel like our decisions are OK. Because they're ours. And that's good.

    Also? I love pictures of happy people. And this site has 'em!

    5 agree
  5. I'm not going to lie, I come back here for the shoe posts. And maybe the occasional headline that strikes my fancy (like this one) while I am looking for the latest shoe post.

    So shoes.

    4 agree
    • HA! It's so funny because when I first started doing the shoe posts (which are an affiliate revenue driver) wayyyy back in 2008, I was so worried that people would find them too monetized, too superficial, too silly, too consumeristic, etc.

      Instead, it turns out that for a certain slice of us, we just love looking at shoes. And that's ok.

      2 agree
  6. I used this site a bit when I was planning my wedding, but even the posts that weren't "useful" to me, I enjoyed reading–I was just in a really wedding-y place at that point in my life, and I didn't want to over-tax my friends talking about it. I enjoyed being on a all-weddings, all-the-time site that also mirrored my values, more or less. OBB was the only wedding site I really read in the run-up to the wedding…or after.

    I still read the site pretty regularly because I miss my wedding–the only downside of being married is that, if it all works out, I can never have another wedding. I like to reminisce and, again, this is a good place to do it without annoying anyone.

    Also, as the other commenters mentioned, I like some of the products mentioned here–shoes and clothes especially. So while I read less than I used to, and use almost none of the advice offered, I'm actually still the right demographic for some of the advertising here, at least a little bit. Huh–weird!

    4 agree
    • So, question: do you read Offbeat Home & Life now that you're married? The idea of course has always been that people could "graduate" over there to find Offbeat Empire related stuff that's less weddingy, but I'm always curious to hear about when/if folks actually find the site a fit for their post-Offbeat Bride needs.

      3 agree
      • I'm a graduate, but I just read both now that I'm married! I just really like looking at wedding stuff even though ours is over. Plus, we want to throw a big anniversary party every time it falls on a Saturday so I'm still using it for inspiration! That coffee bar post from a few days ago? Definitely will be featuring a version of that at anniversary 2020!
        For me Offbeat Home & Life has made a nice transition from the OMG WEDDING! phase into the OMG LIFE! phase.
        The articles featured on both OB sites have really opened my eyes a lot. I was a lot less accepting and way quicker to judge others than I am now, and I truly believe it's because of all the awesome and different perspectives I've been exposed to through these sites. So thanks for helping me be a better me! 🙂

        4 agree
      • Hi Ariel,

        Yes, I do read Home & Life, and I like a lot of what's posted there. But some of it is not my jam–I don't have a house or kids–and since there's only one post a day over there, I often drift over to OBB. I feel like I'm getting the content I want in general, just over a couple different sites.

        1 agrees
    • As far as marriages working out and not getting another wedding, you can always throw vow renewals. I knew a woman who threw a big to-do every 10-15 years for it!

      3 agree
  7. Totally a procrastinator/daydreamer here. My entire romantic experience consists of something I didn't realize was a date at the time, so I'm not exactly looking for practical advice; it's pretty and it's good at making me feel calmer, and that's all I ask right now. (I've actually been reading it as something to do in my half-hour break between classes this semester.)

    1 agrees
  8. I have always explained the appeal of wedding blogs (both pre- and now post-wedding planning) as 'nice people doing happy things'. I think there is something special about weddings as a way of bringing together not only people, but also things that are somehow special to individuals, and I love reading about all the little meaningful details.

    Weirdly enough, I didn't get anything more out of wedding blogs while I was actually wedding-planning. Thinking about it now, I wonder if that is because I'd used wedding blogs as cheery fantasy procrastination material for so long that they basically continued in that role, and never quite joined up with the reality.

    6 agree
  9. I read because I feel happy and hopeful when I see other people's weddings going through. I'm currently long distance with a fiance who had to put our wedding plans on hold because we didnt make the financial cutoff for a family reunification/fiance visa for his country. So it's another year for us until we can get married and I can move, since we dont want to be married and still seperated.

    So looking at Offbeat bride and other wedding blogs helps me put it into a "its coming" attitude instead of a "its not going to get there" attitude. Even though I can't necessarily get the details ready, I feel like when its time itll fall into place.

  10. I have a boyfriend, it's super serious, and we totally plan on getting married. We have no idea if it will be before kids or after kids or whatever, but it's in the cards.
    I come here because the "nontraditional" weddings at The Knot feature $20,000 weddings, big, expensive, white dresses, at least 5 matching bridesmaids and groomsmen (and it's always girls on one side, boys on the other), and maybe (maybe!) a suitcase cardbox and a video game doohickey (only on the groom's side, because only male people are allowed to like that stuff).
    I come here because no one is going to be scared off by the fact that my boyfriend and I are going to have a $1000, GoT, Doctor, Marvel, Animaniacs wedding, that I'm wearing a $150 purple dress that I bought online, that I made my own cake, that it's in my parents' backyard, or that I hired my 11th grade speech teacher to be the photographer.
    I come here because it's super feminist and accepting of people of all shapes, sizes, colors, creeds, beliefs, ideals, orientations, identities, and living spaces, and no one is fazed by any of that.
    My boyfriend hasn't proposed yet, nor have I proposed to him. We've still looked at this website together, and said "that looks like something we would do" or "that's not us, but it works for them" or even "I'm never doing anything like that" and all of that is okay. I'll almost certainly continue to look at this site after I get married, because I like the inclusiveness.

    6 agree
  11. I just like to read, honestly. (and occasionally look at things, like shoes i'll never be able to afford)

    As far as the community part, I comment sometimes, but I tend to disagree with some of the articles I read and I feel like it's better to move on than try and debate in the comments. Other times there's just not much to say and I would feel silly saying something like "nice article".

    I also don't feel super at home in any wedding communities tbh, I'm a nerdy weirdo planning a big weird nerd wedding and throwing what I see as unnecessary or outdated pieces of etiquette to the wind! Some people in the more well known wedding communities would say what I'm doing is tacky and horrible! ..But I'm also a pretty traditional and fairly socially conservative person. My relationship kinda has traditional gender roles and we're happy like that, among other things. Obligatory disclaimer to say that I don't judge anyone whose relationship is structured otherwise! You do you, whatever makes you happy. I just find it hard to relate and connect sometimes, I guess.

    On top of that I have crushing social anxiety so a lot of the time I just get too scared to actually leave a comment lol.

    And as far as open threads go, while I read them because well, back to my first point I like to read and see people's opinions or experiences, I usually have nothing relevant to say because they kinda tend to be specific discussions/questions and outside of my interests or experiences.

    1 agrees
  12. I would love to see more open topics as well – even on broad subjects like tackling invite lists or solutions for finding a photographer within your budget – hearing from people about what worked & didn't work for them. I know there are articles on it & it helped, but I often find myself skimming through comments from years ago to see the creative solutions people came up with. And some broad-based topics on wedding budgets – what ppl cut & why, how they cut, etc etc. For me, I love that this site actually has quite realistic budgets because nothing irks me more than when I see "low-budget" and it's over $10k!

    And I'd love to see more on "destination" weddings. Not meaning you went down South, but maybe he's South African & you're American, but you live in France & are doing the ceremony in either South Africa or the States & how you managed it. Or maybe not as far apart as that – he's German, you're Irish & you're getting married in Italy because your grandma is Italian & you loved her village & everyone's traveling, etc. The world is getting smaller, we're all traveling more & I really think that's a big area that's missing in the whole WIC world – traditional or not. A lot of my friends and I are in this situation. We all moved away for work or education, met people who had moved away & live somewhere else & are trying to plan weddings from abroad. Because the landscape changes a bit. Yes, if everyone is relatively local, you can save money and have an amazing wedding brunch instead of dinner. Or do as my cousin did, a fabulous cocktail hour with tapas in her dad's potato storage barn (that was all gussied up). But if every single person is traveling and outlaying at least $1000 to be there, you do kinda need to feed them & figure out stuff for their kids & so on while doing it on a budget. I'd just like to see more of that because most people I know had a hard time finding solutions & ideas for "destination" weddings that weren't of the all-inclusive kind.

    4 agree
  13. I found about about the existence of Offbeat Bride when a friend of a friend re-posted the AMAZING Katy Perry Lemonade Peeing Unicorn wedding on facebook to show another Unicorn obsessed friend who was planning a non-wedding related party. I have also pointed people who were just event or non-wedding party planing here too.

    While I was wedding planning, I loved seeing all the different ideas, especially on lesbian weddings. My wife and I were completely stumped as to what we wanted to wear, two dresses or two groom suits just weren’t right but the only other options we could find in the shops made us look like we were going to a board meeting for God’s sake. We ended up both in chinos, waistcoats and converse doing our own thing with the colours and accessories. I totally stole it from a post I saw and we made it ours.

    What I also I really loved and still love was/is all the philosophizing about weddings and relationships, especially stuff around conflict resolution and boundary setting. I am an eldest child of a complex blended family and I have always been the go-between and the peacemaker and I find this stuff really useful and totally transferable. I was overjoyed to find more of the same on Offbeat Home and Offbeat Families while it existed. I struggle with anxiety and for me the entire Offbeat Empire is an oasis of sanity and safety on the internet and in the world. I love the comments after posts as much as the articles, gold dust.

    I keep reading Offbeat Weddings and the whole flipping Empire because I love the communication that happens here and the way it happens.

    2 agree
  14. This is my modern-day magazine of choice. I like looking at beautiful things, I like reading personal stories from people's weddings, I like reading articles about relationships or difficulties that people overcame or introspective thoughts about marriage, I like seeing new and interesting ideas. It's exactly the same as buying a magazine, except it's in little bite-sized article chunks that I can carry around on my phone and read on the bus.

    I arrived here a couple of years before my wedding and I'm still here nearly 5 years after it 🙂 I stay because I like my horizons being broadened by the inclusivity of the writing and exposure to people of different tastes, ethnicities and cultures from my own.

    3 agree
  15. I'm not currently engaged nor expecting to be soon, and I've been reading this site for a couple of years now. It's my anxiety tonic! I guess I'm not a typical user, because I completely skip over the featured weddings in favour of the open threads; I love reading everyone's opinions and suggestions and debates. I also read Home and Life, but I find that often deals with sadder and more difficult topics, so it depends on whether I'm in a feed-the-angst or cure-the-angst mood as to which I favour.

    I'm also a little old school in that I much prefer this style of commenting, rather than through a third party app or website. I like the threads, the fact things stay in chronological order rather than being up or downvoted, the ability to choose whether or not to get email notifications. I don't care for the relatively recent loss of the year in the date stamps; it makes it hard to tell how old a comment is (was it posted last week, or last year?).

    6 agree
    • I totally agree about the year in the date stamps. It's really annoying not knowing how recent a comment is if you want to reply, or how old the original post is and therefore how relevant it might be. Why doesn't the year show? It seems like it would be such an easy thing to do, when the rest of the date is RIGHT THERE already!

      8 agree
  16. I'm totally one of those readers who (almost) never participates and isn't planning a wedding (been married for over 10 years) but I thought I'd share my reasons for reading in case you find it helpful. I occasionally help friends with weddings but not enough to justify my daily blog reading. I just love looking at beautiful things (and have a boring desk job).

    I also love the community. I feel like this is the only website where I can actually read the comments without feeling like the world is a terrible place full of terrible people. I like the safety of that and I learn a lot about what other people think and value who have experiences that are different than mine.

    I also read Home&Life and definitely enjoy and learn a lot from the articles and discussions (and again, actually let myself read the comments!). I wish there was more regular content there, I'd probably cut back on how often I read the wedding section is there was. I love reading about how different everyone's families are. I know that the idea of the "normal" path (married, 2.5 kids, house in the suburbs, all in your 20's) isn't actually normal, but it's such a relief to see that validated by the writers and commenters.

    I don't have opinions about comments or sponsored content, I hope you do whatever you need to do to keep the site going 😉

    1 agrees
  17. I've been reading since 2012 and got married in 2013, but I still like reading Offbeat Bride as both someone with various not-yet-married friends and as someone who occasionally shoots wedding photos. I'm 100% on-board with reading just for the gorgeous everything, as well as some of the relationship buildy type things.

  18. I followed a link from tumblr to this wedding: http://offbeatbride.com/california-gothic-wedding/ because I was all like "DANG her HAIR," and got very distracted by all the other pretty pictures on this site. I just seem to keep hanging around. I'm not engaged, never have been, so I guess I'm in the "daydreaming/procrastinating," which is doubly odd, as I've never been one to daydream about my wedding day. I have made what few decisions I think can be made alone (Wearing my mothers dress, older brother will be my Maid of Honor, smaller wedding preferred), but I don't think most of it can be planned without an S.O. I think a lot more about being married, 'cause I like somebody right now and 'cause I really hate dating and want to be done with it. : P So yeah. Came for purple hair, stayed for pretty pictures and relationship advice. I often don't comment because, as a person who's not in a relationship, I don't know how much there is I can say.

    I feel a little less ridiculous on Offbeat Home & Life because hey! I live in a home! I have a life! There's still a lot I can't relate to personally (stuff about raising children, mostly — not at that point in my life yet), but there's a lot of ways to be offbeat. Can't expect to relate to all of them.

  19. I've been married for 7 months but still come back to OBB to give advice–passing the baton, as it were. Wedding planning was like studying for an English final and what I studied was Romanticism but the test was actually writing an essay on To Kill a Mockingbird, so I have to warn students in the next finals section.

    When wedding planning, I read Offbeat Home in tandem with OBB–just because you're wedding planning doesn't mean you suddenly stop needing Cinco de Mayo recipes. Plus my affinity for OOH PRETTY that was there long before I started wedding planning and will probably continue long after keeps me coming back to the OBB shoe posts and to featured weddings with awesome details.

  20. I was never one of those girls who had a dream wedding all planned out from childhood. Sometime in middle school I decided that an early marriage and kids wasn't for me, I figured staying unwed until 27-ish was probably prudent.
    I became engaged at around 25, a little early but we were broke so there was no rush. We were engaged for like 4 years and I never had a plan, not even a date. I knew who my bridesmaids were, and had a vague idea of what kinds of dresses I wanted for them and myself. That's about as far as planning ever went.
    Part of that lack of planning was, I think, that deep down I knew he wasn't the right choice. So my procrastination saved me from an expensive party and divorce. But it also helped me realize that I really had no idea wtf I'd do if I ever did get married. Fast forward a few years, I'm now 33, cohabitating with a partner I do want to spend my life with, collecting ideas. We're planning on buying a house hopefully in 18-ish months, and I've been slowly cultivating ideas for a backyard wedding (/housewarming, maybe?)
    So I'm very much in the daydreaming stage! We aren't engaged, and at this point I'm thinking I'll have to be the one to ask, but we're both soooooo un-romantic, and I'm such a chicken about these things that I'm totally at a loss for ideas :\
    So, I guess I read OBB to catch up on all the daydreaming I never did as a kid, and also because I'm a champion procrastinator. I do also read the other sites, but more posts here means more content to browse. And most of the stuff here can be used in other parts of life too. I've only commented a few times, usually because the articles I have input on are kind of old, I missed the window for active conversation.

    1 agrees
  21. When you say the comment section is not Offbeat Bride community's medium of choice, is that in comparison to Facebook or to the former Offbeat Tribe? ( Or both? Why can't it be both, Kathy??)
    I know I've heard you say this before and it's always a shock because.. I love OBE comments! They seem plentiful and rich and well-tended. How could something else be better??

  22. Honestly, I intially came because I was in a serious long term relationship that we were discussing engagement, marriage, wedding and what our intercultural future would look like(which imploded, but that's a side note). Honestly I stayed for all the practical discussions how how to deal with people, family and conflict. I learn about new perspectives and life lessons intertwined with geeky wedding porn!

    2 agree
  23. Not engaged, not married, may give in to the inevitable and start considering it in the next few years (boyfriend of 7.5 years would like to).

    Started reading for entertainment–the pretty, the awesome, the creativity. I work in theatre, so there's a some crossover appeal to event planning. Enjoy the good cheer, good manners, and exchange of ideas in the comments. Don't comment often, but love that I don't have to create yet another account to do so.

    Over the past few years I've also been reading as a way to explore what marriage is to different people and different options for what it could mean for me and my relationship. I'm very ambivalent about whether I want to partake of the institution, and the Offbeat sites have been helpful as I continue to wrestle with the question.

    1 agrees
  24. I am a lurker and daydreamer…but also an idea stealer for sure. I feel like I would be a service reviewer too (after my wedding in 2017) but this site doesn't really do that…plus there isn't a whole lot of partners for my area listed (live in DC but wedding in rural VA—aka. middle-o-nowhere)

  25. I've been reading since 2008 when I was planning my first wedding, and now I'm only a few months away from my second. I generally skim quickly over real weddings to see if there are any ideas that could work for us, and its nice to skim the archives for things ceremony structure, but it's the lifestyle and advice type posts that keep me coming back to the Empire sites. I love getting a little window into someone else's life. I don't think I'll ever forget the Offbeat Families lotus birth/placenta print post from years ago.

    2 agree
  26. I started stalking OBB because it's the only wedding website that seems to be able to feature people with disabilities without turning it into inspiration porn. Now I'm hooked!

    1 agrees
  27. I read for a few reasons- mostly to help me chill the f- out, and to find somewhere with people that know why I'm skeeved out when the WIC feels like it's reducing both myself and my fiance to caricatures of ourselves.

    Like at mywedding I read an article with some practical registry suggestions for getting organized. And it had a laundry hamper (that I thought looked great, btw, really big and sturdy with wheels) with the caption "somewhere for him to toss his clothes that isn't the floor!" and next to the shoe tree "while he may not ever understand your shoe obsession, he'll be happy to get them up off the floor". Gag. Seriously? (1) I'm the slob and while I do the laundry, he does the dishes. Please don't assume all this just because I'm female and he's male. (2) Why do you assume the only people who would look at a registry ideas list are female and/or marrying a "he"? Yes, I am, but my fiance would be just as interested in organizing our apartment as me, since it's tiny and filling rapidly with presents. And it's just as much his wedding as mine. (3) Really with the shoes comment? I like shoes, but the whole thing just reeks "females can never be understood by males, so take pity on the poor dears". Ugh.

    Basically, you help me remember: My wedding is not a contest, or a big defining "who I am" statement. Just because I'm getting married does not make me a "bride" caricature, nor does it make my groom a "groom" caricature.

    Also, shiny things.

    And vendors- please expand your list to more of them on the east coast, and more in a variety of categories! I don't like most other wedding sites, so I'd love to have used you for all my vendor-finding needs, but the selection was too thin in the DC area, except for photographers which I found lots of on there. Maybe you could have a stub gallery of vendors other users recommend who aren't a full listing, but include a link? As it is, I still hired 2 of my vendors off your list.

    3 agree
  28. I don't remember when or why I found OBB, and this is my first comment on any article (yay lurking!), but this is my happy, grounded wedding place. I occasionally check out the more WIC-y sites, and I find the forums so full of judgmental harshness that I just…I can't. I love the "everything's tacky, so just picky the tacky that makes you happy!" understanding that you have going on here. In fact, I think that's my favorite article on here. So supportive, so creative, so many pretty things to look at!

    1 agrees
  29. I honestly like looking at wedding blogs because I always hope for pictures of other fat ladies getting married. I'm so nervous about finding a style that suits me and the thought of going to a boutique is terrifying. I just wanna find more gowns worn and looking good on chubby ladies with big bellies so I can see if I like how they sit. 🙁

    Also, and more cheerful if much more casual: I love getting ideas for my Halloween-themed, low-budget wedding.

    Also also: my day job is for an ecommerce company – sometimes I see merchants listed here that use the system I work for and I get excited because I love my job so much and I get proud of merchants getting some publicity. <3

    1 agrees
  30. Offbeat Bride (& Empire) is the site I wanted to create waaaay back when I was getting married about 16 years ago. I even bought a very similar domain name! But obviously, I never got it off the ground, & when I found it a few years ago, I was chuffed & then just read along. I'd followed a few wedding net groups past my own wedding planning, trying to insert an offbeat attitude, but it was always a bother.

    OBHL is more my everyday read now, but I pop over to Bride for shoes & shiny things every so often 🙂

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