Still thinking about Offbeat Bride, a year after the wedding

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Emails like this make my inbox smile, so I had to share. -Ariel

Liz at her 2009 wedding
Liz at her 2009 wedding
Dear Ariel/Offbeat Bride,

I just wanted to say thank you for your site and your book. I first came to the site before I was engaged or married. It was several years ago, and I was shopping online for gifts for a few different upcoming weddings. I'd become entirely overwhelmed with the commercialism and the materialism of it all.

Somehow I came across Offbeat Bride, and it was such a refreshing change from so many of the other wedding sites. I got completely lost in reading about these lovely and beautiful weddings that seemed inventive, honest, and unique. It made me excited about the prospect of going to a wedding, reminding me what a wedding can and should be — a celebration of relationships and communities, not a contest for the most expensive or elaborate cake.

Eventually, when my partner and I decided to get married, I came back to Offbeat Bride and was a regular reader, drawing inspiration from the real weddings that were featured, finding most, if not all, of our ceremony readings and language, getting idea for songs and invitations, but perhaps most of all, appreciating the down-to-earth tone and sound advice of the editorial pieces.

It has been more than a year now since our wedding, but I’ve recently been thinking about it, because my friend who made my wedding dress (or re-made it from my mother’s dress, rather), just posted about the process on Instructables as a part of their DIY Wedding Contest.

Sending her pictures and helping with the post, I realized how valuable Offbeat Bride was for me. As a source of inspiration, as a site where I felt comfortable and liked/agreed with much of what was written, and just as a wonderful resource.

Although our wedding was, in the end, quite traditional, I appreciated and valued Offbeat Bride so much for reminding me, and us, to make choices that were right for us, rather than simply doing things for convention’s sake. So, while I did wear a white dress, I wore it because it had a story and a personal connection to me, but was also able to make it my own. And while we did have a wedding cake, it was a gluten-free cake made and decorated by Andrew’s (the groom) sister. And I had a big bouquet, but it was assembled as I walked down the aisle from a bunch of mini-bouquets that I picked up from women who were important in my life, and so on.

In the end, it was beautiful and personal, a celebration of the two of us and of the families and communities we are a part of. Offbeat Bride certainly helped me, as we went through the process of planning the wedding, to keep the important thinks in mind, and for that, I am so very grateful.

So, a huge and heartfelt thank you to you and everyone involved with Offbeat Bride!

With best wishes,
Liz

Comments on Still thinking about Offbeat Bride, a year after the wedding

  1. Our first anniversary is this weekend and I could’ve written this exact same letter.

    In the frenzy of wedding planning, I consumed a lot of wedding-related blogs, tv shows, mags, etc. It even got so bad that I was watching Bridezillas!! I knew that once the ceremony was over, I’d quickly find myself disinterested with it all.

    Everything, that is, except OBB. OBB is the only wedding site that stayed on my RSS feed and I still look forward to the pictures every day.

    I think that definitely means you’re doing something pretty awesome! Consider that letter seconded!

  2. totally agree with everything she said here. i’m halfway through my engagement and whenever i get too many “you have tos” or “you’re what?!s”, i always know i can take a deep cleansing breath reading this site. thanks for providing such a space to be real.

  3. I actually can’t read any other ‘indie’ wedding blogs as they just seem to be a ‘cool’ contest urgh. Yay for OBB, always refreshing and fierce!

  4. Yes!! Our wedding (just over a year ago) was very traditional, but I found so much courage and inspiration from this site. It really kept me sane throughout the entire process and always reminded me WHY I was getting married. Even though I had a white dress, we got married in a church, paid a photographer and DJ, etc., I was inspired to add small touches that were meaningful to us and represented us as a couple. And because it was so traditional, I have an extra reason to say thanks-this site is about having YOUR wedding, not the wedding that everyone thinks you should have. And that meant there was no bashing the big, expensive parties, which I really, really appreciated (hey, throwing a party for 120 people in a metro area is EXPENSIVE!).

    So, long story short, over a year later I’m still reading OBB on a regular basis and thoroughly enjoying the posts. 🙂

  5. Me too- one hundred percent! OBB was the only wedding site I read in the end – all the others just switched me off completely. We’ve been married almost a month now and I’m still hooked to the site!

  6. Nearly 4 months on for me and here I am! still addicted to the site and loving reading about the weddings! I will get my pix on flikr and questionnaire filled in and submitted -honest-just got to drag myself away for long enough, from the inspiration that is OBB! It was a constant source of ideas,diy help, advice & a reality check in a world where you put the word wedding in front of something and it quadruples the price! Long live OBB!! 😉

  7. I’m not even engaged yet, but I’ve been reading OBB for over a year and everytime of one of my friends gets engaged, I immediately refer them here. Such a great resource and even if you end up having a more “traditional” wedding, it is so freeing and liberating to realize that you don’t HAVE to do anything the WIC wants you to do unless you want to, too.

  8. I too got lots of inspiration from OBB, and almost 2 months after my wedding, I’m still checking back. Glad to see I’m not alone! Some aspects of our wedding were traditional and other’s not so much. This site gave me the courage to go through with some of the less traditional ideas that I had, even after some negative comments. In the end we recieved the most complements on the things that were “different”.

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