Why you're not supposed to like everything you see on Offbeat Bride #Reader Mail#manifestos#tacky Updated Nov 4 2015 (Posted Nov 17 2009) Ariel arielmstallings Photo by Metro Style Studios I'm sorry, but some of the stuff on Offbeat Bride is just too weird. Some of the wedding shoes? Ugly. Some of the real offbeat weddings? Kinda tacky. I love Offbeat Bride, but sometimes I just don't get you guys. -Anonymous. Thanks for bringing this up, Anonymous. You know what? You're totally right. I don't like everything we feature on Offbeat Bride either — and that's by design. This website isn't about dictating one vision of taste or aesthetics upon my readers. Sure, we feature wedding trends when we start to notice Offbeat Brides getting obsessed with a particular vision. But part of why I continue to run Offbeat Bride is because it's an excuse to get exposed to a whole big wide range of cultures and styles and people and design outside my daily experience. If everything on Offbeat Bride was just a reflection of my personal tastes, we'd never see any rockabillies or goths or steampunks or church weddings. Offbeat Bride would be all West Coast neo-tribal forest weddings like these ones. (Love 'em — but yawn!) Related Post I am but your humble cheerleader Honestly: it's not like I love every single nontraditional wedding I see. It's not like I've never looked at a wedding photo and thought "Woah!... Read more If Offbeat Bride was all about Megan's personal preferences, it'd be all beach weddings, Star Wars couples, and gamer geeks. I say, bring on the "too weird"! Bring on the ugly-to-some-people! Bring on the kinda-tacky-to-some-people! Because our tastes are all different, and when some bride halfway across the globe dares to share her vision with the world and I get exposed to something new and beautiful and amazing and magical … we all win. Ariel Author of three editions of the Offbeat Bride book and the forthcoming From Shitshow To Afterglow, Ariel Meadow Stallings acts as the publisher of all the Offbeat Empire websites. She lives in Seattle with her son, and if she's not reading or writing books, chances are good that she's dancing or happy-crying. She writes weekly essays for her new publication, The Afterglow. PREVIOUS Arroxane & Mike's celestial, multicultural ceremony of matrimony NEXT Tasha & Andrew's fun, elegant, mustache extravaganza wedding Show/Hide comments [ 50 ] Damn skippy! That's what I try and tell people about offbeat-ness. It can be ANYTHING. It's really about showing your personality and doing what you like. Who cares what others think? Keep on rocking Ariel! Reply personally, i've never seen a wedding on obb that i don't like. why? because every bride says, "it's just what i wanted." and that's exactly what a wedding should be. it may not be my personal taste, it may not make me say, "OMG! i want that for my OWN wedding." but if it's what the couple wanted, dreamed of, and were ultimately H-A-P-P-Y with, then i love it. i love it for the personal touches and love that went into dreaming it up. i love every obb wedding featured on this site because, while you do see certain trends (trends that i often love, too), none of them are cookie cutter weddings. Reply This x 1,000,000 Reply This is how I feel exactly! I do get some damn good inspiration, but seeing a couple so happy with their big day is what I love about OBB. Reply Agreed! I seen plenty that's "not for me" but nothing I hate 🙂 Reply Katie you are singing my song – I've actually never seen a wedding on this site that I didn't love. They all make me happy. I have my own issues though – people like "anonymous" are head scratchers to me – but I dig that the world is so varied that there are people who manage to present in ways that even I can't 'get'. Reply Wow, what a generous, good-natured, and optimistic response to a mean-spirited, pointless, and obnoxious email. Who died and made "Anonymous" the Royal Arbiter of Taste? This is why Ariel is my hero — she can take something like that email and make it a "teaching moment" for diversity of tastes and inclusion. I'm with the commenters above. I love all the weddings here, because they show people at their best — personal, different, and totally happy and in love. You get beauty from the smiles on the blissful, fun-loving couples here that can't always be found in so-called "perfection." Reply This is an important teaching moment – so glad we have Ariel to post this! Ariel's post also makes me think about the OBT's policy of being supportive, which I think some people have criticized as being "wrong" because it means we can only say that we like each other's wedding things and ideas. I don't think that's what being supportive is at all – you can not like someone's wedding thing for yourself but still be supportive that they have found what they like for them! You can even offer constructive criticism and still be supportive! You just can't be a jerk and unhelpful and say someone's stuff is "tacky" or "ugly," because that is both un-supportive and useless! Reply Totally agreed, I don't share everyone's personal tastes, but what I do appreciate is that they're getting the wedding of their dreams and a wonderful beginning to a new life with their partner. That's what makes me smile when I see new wedding photos. And that's why I come back, even though I already have my own wedding vision worked out. Reply She "doesn't get" us, guys! Oh well. I get us! Yay happy weddings!! Reply Katie is sooo right. I don't think I've ever seen a wedding on OB that didn't feature a radiantly happy couple, and that's what makes a kick-ass wedding. Reply I love Ariel's statement on the original "You're wedding is not a contest!" She said, "ALL WEDDINGS ARE TACKY." So true. Reply I've got to tell you, Ariel – you handled that so much more tactfully than I would have (for me, it would have turned into a rant about breaking traditions, and society dictating what's "normal" that would have only come off as pretentious by the end). I am so impressed. Seriously, this website keeps me so grounded, whenever I get wound up by people who tell me what's "acceptable" and what's "not." I can't wait until my woobie pops the question so I can become a member 🙂 Reply without OBB i would have never gotten to know about steam punk or see how rockabilly can be done in so many ways. with all the weddings posted, there are things that i would like to have and some things i don’t want to have. and i know when my wedding gets posted there will be many people thinking the same thing. when i found this site, i found salvation! all i had found in the world of “non-tradition” wedding was a white dress with a colored sash. THIS is the place to see how many million ways one can turn a wedding out! Reply & that is what makes this website so great. there is something for everyone on this blog. no matter how "offbeat," ugly, or tacky something may seem offbeat bride welcomes it, which is what makes it so great. no one should ever feel out of place or "too weird." Reply Until I found Offbeat bride, I had NO interest in having a wedding. I just wanted to run to the courthouse with my life partner and not tell anyone. The idea of planning a wedding used to make me break out into a cold sweat. But OBB has shown me that weddings don't have to be the nightmare train wrecks I've imagined and that a beautiful wedding can be achieved on a very small budget. But MOST importantly, OBB has shown me that a wedding can be nothing else but a beautiful declaration and celebration of love, shared with family and friends. Now THAT is something I am definitely interested in. For some strange reason, I never thought of it that way before. Reply Right on A! Way to clear up some misconceptions about the awesomeness of OBB. Reply AMEN! Diversity is a beautiful thing. 🙂 Reply Did someone actually take the time to write in and ask you this question, or did you pull it from a comment on a post somewhere? This isn't the first time I've seen a "question" like this before on OBT, and frankly I don't get it. It's inherently rude. Plus, I don't understand why it's even being asked….isn't it obvious this site is here to celebrate our own unique weddings that are authentic to us, so by definition they will be very different and likely not to everyone's taste? Sorry, I guess I'm cranky today, I just don't get it. Questions like this remind me of the snotty guest at the wedding who turns her nose up at the whole thing because it's not WIC-friendly…and that is exactly what this site is not about! Reply I don't understand either – why do people assume that, just because something is not to their taste, they get to dictate what we see, or what we like? Some things that I see here and on OBT aren't to my specific taste, but I still think they're awesome and love that the bride and groom have found something that is so them that they want to share it with the rest of us. Anonymous is an individual – just like everybody else! Reply OBB is like Punk Music. Just stick with me for a second…I love punk music and the whole point of following punk is that you do whatever you want. For a while punks dressed in dickies and that was 'punk' but when you get to the bottom of it, I can go to my favorite punk show in jeans and a t shirt (no dickies) and still be punk because, frankly, punk is whatever you want and not caring what everyone else thinks of you. That's OBB to me. Reply well said! Reply Anonymous has totally missed the point of offbeat bride! srsly! this is how i explain OBB to people–yes you might look at a featured wedding and go "what the…." but who the hell cares—you'll ALWAYS see the groom and bride beaming. that's all that matters 🙂 Reply Hear, hear! The point of obb is to give a voice to the niche, to the folks making different choices that suit themselves because they're throwing their own wedding, not the wedding dictated by tradition. I don't look at "traditional" weddings and agree with all their choices (matching jcrew bridesmaid dresses? eegads! Canon in D, again?) so why would I do that with the offbeat ones? Reply Well said, Ariel! Now if only our families and friends would get it. Reply Well said, Ariel! That's why I love OBB so much… it celebrates how different people are and how that diversity extends to the way we celebrate/mark an important event in our lives. How boring if we thought we had to toe the line of someone else's tastes, or if we all strove to have identical weddings… it'd be just like… oh, yeah, the rest of the WIC that tells us certain things are aren't "done." Which is why I enjoy every wedding on OBB, even if I don't personally care for the decor or cake or whatever – what I love is the thought and heart each person puts into their wedding, and how the celebrations always seem to be filled with such joy, whether that's a courthouse elopement or a bride in an uber-traditional white ballgown and veil. For me, what seems to be missing from so many "traditional" wedding websites is authenticity. Reply I agree. One of my fave sayings is "there's an ass for every seat." I don't dig it all, but I am certain folks look at some of the things I want to do for my wedding and wonder if I've recently survived some major head trauma. I like that the site shows people doing what makes them happy, what makes that couple themselves, not what -insert whatever or whomever here-expects them to do. I've opted for an ivory dress (gasp! ) and will have my kids in the wedding, because it makes me happy, and makes my family (all 8 of us) happy:) I love that I see things that make other couples happy on their day. Reply I feel sorry for Anonymous. They obviously don't understand the point of Offbeat Bride. Reply Thanks to OBB I have realise that my wedding ideas are actually ok and that no wedding should be the same as everyone else's as we are all different. I work in a printers and I meet alot of brides who are rail-roaded by their family and friends into picking stationery thay dont really like, so I tell the bride to be about this website and it amazing how many of them come back to me and say how great everything is on here. Currently I have a bride with a medieval theme wedding who has asked me for wedding stationery ideas – which is great as I am so fed up with doing chocolate and cream or claret and cream wedding stationery. Without the input from Anonymous we wouldn't have had this debate and I think we have all raised some valid points. I love Off Beat Bride and I thank Ariel for here wonderfully unique website. Reply Imagine how boring the world would be if we all liked the same things. Reply Awesome response! I have often been pleasantly surprised by the inspiration I've found from weddings or other features on here that didn't immediately strike me as something I'd be into. If it wasn't for this site I don't think we'd have half the ideas we do for our wedding, not to mention how lovely it is seeing all the different ways people choose to express themselves and their love. Reply I love this site. I have to confess our wedding was considered really offbeat by almost everyone who attended, but after looking at the weddings featured here, I would probably be classified as "offbeat-lite" maybe even extra-lite. Anyway, there are some things and wedding I just don't get or remotely like, but like most people have commented…those peeps are just beaming from ear to ear. That's awesome! Thanks for sharing the wide variety of porn that we've all come to expect and enjoy. Reply As many people have said in these comments, the reason I LOVE Offbeat Bride is that the weddings are AUTHENTIC!!! Whether it's an almost completely traditional wedding in a church, or a couple white-water rafting down the "aisle," every wedding on here is about the couple being united in THEIR OWN STYLE, and IN LOVE. Love of friends, of family, and each other. And THAT'S what a wedding SHOULD be about, no matter how "tacky" or "weird" it is! Reply Now if only people would realize that saying "oh no your wedding is TOO WEIRD" is just as bad as saying "OMGZ your wedding is so not 'Offbeat'": I thought the whole point was NOT judging people at all and celebrating their free-spiritedness personal choices, church or no church, gay or straight, white dress or red dress etc… Reply amen gurrrrl Reply We are all different, and our weddings will all be different. That's why we're all Offbeat! Reply If "anonymous" doesn't like what is on the site, then she shouldn't read it. What was the point of that comment? Reply MOST of the weddings you show are not my personal taste. I'm planning an intimate family wedding a restaurant. A lot of women are just flabbergasted. 'No bridesmaids?!' 'COLORED shoes with your white wedding dress?' 'If you don't get married in church, then are you really married?!?! ' That's why I like coming here. I can do exactly what I want to do. Y'all think its great that I wear my full-on bridal regalia – veil, train, AND gloves, even though I'm having the reception in my living room. My civil ceremony doesn't send you into a tizzy. And I need you for that, when the closed minds that surround me to convince me that my wedding isn't good enough. I want to be that support for you too. Bring on your ceremonial wedding nose piercings, underwater handfasting, and ugly ass shoes. Your wedding is perfect just the way it is. Reply To me, this site is all about supporting each other in our unique choices and providing a safe place for sharing weddings that don't fit the mold. Who gives a rats hinder region if your taste isn't mine? I'm just thrilled you're going for it and having a blast on your day! I can't tell you how important OBB has been to my own wedding planning process and how many times the WIC had me in tears before I found you, because I'm not thin enough, or crafty enough, or rich enough to have the "PERFECT WEDDING (TM)" that all these other websites endlessly try to convince me I want. Now this is the only wedding site I allow myself to look at, and I am totally cool with all our delightful and individual decisions, that maybe some other people would hate. This site has given me the courage to have the wedding I really want and I can't wait to share it! Reply But what if that bride found her all-white dress on Craigslist for 10$, or her best friend's teenage-sister fashion designer wannabe made it, or she found it in a dumpster behind a punk-rock club? I don't think White automatically means not-OffBeat! Reply I don't think there's anything un-offbeat about having a white dress. I'm going to have a whitish (ivory) dress but I'm not going to buy it from some money-grubbing bridal shop. I think the idea behind offbeat is making it about your vision and what you like, no matter what you like, rather than conforming to a standard as all "traditional" weddings seem to do. If you like white dresses that's perfectly fine. There is no "standard" to meet while envisioning your own wedding, especially for an offbeat wedding. The idea is to be yourself and not some kind of trying-to-impress-somebody "poser cool". The idea behind "offbeat", to me, is all-around "open-mindedness". The color of your dress shouldn't matter. Reply This site was such a HUGE help when I was planning my wedding, specifically because it was so open and encouraging and awesome. My wedding was more typical-white dress, church, 120 person reception- but it's because that's what we wanted. I was however so inspired by what I saw here that I added some fun "odd" details, and they still make me giddy. I will reccomend this site to every friend who gets engaged foe that same reason. Rock on, fantastically awesome brides. Reply I agree with A LOT of what has been said. When I was planning my wedding and I'd see something on Offbeat bride that was maybe TOO offbeat for my taste I would breathe a sigh of relief and say "If SHE can get her granny to deal with the skulls and black dress then I can get my grandmother to deal with my wearing short hair and serving pizza." I was bolstered a great deal by the brave, trail-blazing brides here and even if I didn't want to have their wedding I had total respect for them and hoped my wedding would be as "me" as hers was "hers". So I hope everyone keeps sharing their events knowing that rather than judgment I was much more interested in the spirit of sharing and celebration that abounds here. Reply I like them all because it always looks like people are having so much fun. Now, they are not all to my *taste,* certainly, but . . . so what? They're not my weddings. It's none of my business. Reply What was interesting to me was that our August wedding looked VERY offbeat to some (no church! You wrote your own ceremony! Different bridesmaids dresses!) and VERY traditional to others (three-tier buttercream cake! Big white dress!). Guess you can't worry about how different, or not, your wedding is…just do what you and your partner like! Reply Absolutely!! Thanks to OBB I've fallen in love with Steampunk & 50s style. I also would never have found wai-ching or had the guts to wear converse. I love all the weddings on OBB. I am holing on to the book for my little sis when her time rolls around… Reply It's so cool to see everyone's different ideas! So not everyone has the same ideas on OBB either – Big surprise, that's what life is like! But even if you don't like what someone else does you see different styles and learn more about OB weddings and not so OB weddings too. Reply "Sure, we feature wedding trends when we start to notice Offbeat Brides getting obsessed with a particular vision. But part of why I continue to run Offbeat Bride is because it's an excuse to get exposed to a whole big wide range of cultures and styles and people and design outside my daily experience." This website really inspired me on that account. My initial wedding idea was only mildly offbeat — a Halloween wedding with a pumpkin-and-raven theme. But every time I come here I see ideas that I didn't even think of and I imagine how I can incorporate variations of that into my wedding (and how to do it on the cheap to, as I am a cheapskate and the less expensive I can do something I win. Plus I love diy lol). The wedding I am planning now I am calling "Imaginarium"-themed because it's a collaboration of all the awesome I can imagine. If I didn't consider other people's ideas, I wouldn't even be able to think of some of it. It makes me really really excited about my wedding, and makes the planning process really fun. And about being to weird or too tacky, I think everything in life is subjective. I have never seen anything on this website that was too weird nor too tacky. To me there's only "awesome", "not as awesome", and "not my thing but that's cool". Nothing is bad or good or weird or tacky. To me, if anything, traditional weddings are tacky (and boring)–particularly the part where the groom goes up the bride's dress for the garter in front of everybody. And hummer limos. But for some reason this has been going on for so long nobody thinks that it is. So who gives a damn. lol. And weird is -definitely- relative. PS: I LOVE LOVE LOVE this website. It's the only place I go for wedding support and ideas. I only need two books: "Offbeat Bride" and "Bridal Bargains" and I am rocking it. lol Reply Ariel, thank you so much for adressing this issue (that some people might not like everything they see on OBB but still read it) without deleting their comment or pulling the whole' if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all' thing. All the OBB obsessives here have very different styles and opinions, and if their opinion is that heaps of the stuff here is tacky, cool. That's the point. We are all sharing our differing points of view… Reply Love your outlook on this! I feel the same way. Plus, who wants to see the same thing over and over again? Snoozeville. Reply Join the conversation Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Sign me up for your offbeat awesomeness newsletter! No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. Biz owners & wedding bloggers Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.