Not infrequently, Offbeat Bride will be criticized for supposedly telling couples to ignore certain kinds of wedding etiquette advice. Or we'll catch shit for sharing weddings where folks went way off the beaten track when it comes to what you might think of as acceptable wedding etiquette. Over the years, this has included everything from crowdsourced wedding invitations to potluck weddings to honeymoon registries.
Given that the “Offbeat Bride hates etiquette!” critique comes up repeatedly, perhaps it's worth capturing our official stance on wedding etiquette advice.
We strongly believe that couples should consider their guests' comfort, and that couples must always hold themselves accountable for their nontraditional wedding choices. This means that if you choose to do something you know isn't typical in your community, you don't then get to act mortified when your guests are surprised or even upset by your choice.
By all means: Make your own choices! But hold yourself accountable that people may not like your choices. That's their prerogative and something you cannot control.
Guest comfort and couple accountability in mind, we think couples should feel free to consider all the wedding choices they want, without us or anyone else giving advice about which choices are acceptable wedding etiquette. Here's why:
- Traditions and etiquette vary widely by region and community. How are randos on the internet going to know what will make YOUR guests uncomfortable? Think of region-specific traditions like the Stag & Doe Parties! Only you know your community.
- Etiquette shifts and evolves. The first time we wrote about honeymoon registries in 2008, readers foamed at the mouth. By 2011, The New York Times reported on the trend. These days, most folks don't care.
- We believe in letting people make their own mistakes. As long as you make sure your guests know what to expect (overcommunicate, so guests can make an educated decision!) and hold yourself accountable for the decisions you make (and the hurt feelings or guest outrage that may follow), Offbeat Bride supports you in doing whatever you want.
All this means that no, Offbeat Bride is not anti-etiquette. Couples do indeed need to consider guest comfort when making decisions, and they absolutely are not off the hook for being responsible and accountable for people's reactions to those decisions.
We do not, however, believe that strangers on the internet (even awesome strangers on the internet like us!) can know what's best for you or your wedding.