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