What have you learned from Offbeat Bride? #Advice#Reader Mail#reader photos October 21 2010 | Megan Finley Horowitz meggyfin Photo from Sara & Nick's majestic movies wedding by Vince from Making the Moment An Offbeat Bride reader named Hespestos started a conversation called "What have you learned from your time on Offbeat Bride?" and the answers have ranged from the silly to the inspiring… Hespestos wrote: I was thinking about how much my time on Offbeat Bride has taught me — from practical matters to how to approach situations in my daily life. The list is long –here are just few: What a crinoline is. What a tea length dress is. That tea lights and paper lanterns can make any place look snazzy! That you cannot get married outdoors in England. That DIY does not have to be scary (!). That things could go catastrophically wrong and still be handled with grace. The most important lesson I learned is that there are many lovely ladies out there who are tackling much larger problems than the ones with which I am dealing. My wedding planning has been far from smooth, but I should be very grateful that things are going as well as they are! What have you learned from your time here? And here are what some Offbeat Bride readers answered… Steampunk AND a corset. What steampunk is. About Etsy. That Australians have to say very specific words as part of their legal ceremony. That corsets are gorgeous and should be everyday wear. Whilst Americans might have more choice in their ceremony, having a non-religious ceremony can be really difficult, and through that I've learned what 'seperation of church and state' actually means (I always thought it meant anything legal could not have any religious elements). Holding to a budget is NOT mean. That weddings are beautiful whether they're 1k or 50k. In a British civil ceremony you can't have any religious elements whatsoever in the ceremony. I did not know this. Part of wedding planning is learning about the new family and learning to compromise. Dia de los muertos is not just another name for halloween. There are a LOT of fellow World of Warcraft brides out there who are completely awesome and nerdy. All the super awesome vendors that I had not previously explored. Paper flower bouquet. That wedding planning doesn't have to be a contest. I don't have to prove to you how "wacky" I can be — I can have a traditional wedding and still be an Offbeat Bride. That I'm not nearly as weird as I thought! How to not get screwed by a florist. Amongst many things I learned how to make paper roses! There are awesome gamer chicks out there like me. Being someone's wife is not at all as scary as I thought it would be. That legalising gay marriage might not actually be a bad thing for the sake of love, commitment and families. That I actually love tattoos. About a lot of different wedding traditions associated with a lot of different cultures. Just because you're using another culture as a theme for your wedding definitely doesn't mean you are a wanna-be. Maybe you just appreciate aspects of that culture. I learned that there is much more to BDSM and Polyamory than just sex. Honestly it never occured to me that it could be a lifestyle, something people did all the time or that it could ever be worked into a wedding. About loving who I am — not some "wedding-version" of myself, and acknowleging that is who my d00d wants to marry in the first place. Just what recycling cans can accomplish. Tattoos and crazy colored hair! That I could actually LIKE weddings. I used to find them annoying because it was always the same old boring shit. But Offbeat Bride taught me that weddings don't always suck! Just because there's skulls on the cake doesn't mean that the couple is goth. In short, I've learned tolerance, acceptance, and, maybe most importantly, perspective. Oh and also tattoo's and brightly colored hair improve any and all wedding photos. Like I said, this conversation fascinated me, and we all wanna know… what have YOU learned from Offbeat Bride? Leave 'em in the comments… Related Post Reader photo from someone who's been following my weird-ass advice for 15 years You guys, we all know I'm a sucker for reader photos of folks with my book, but this one has extra special meaning for me... Read more Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Megan Finley Horowitz When Megan's not writing, traveling, and sleeping, she's eating like the fate of the world depends on it. (You're welcome, world!) You can snoop into her personal life over on her website The Dash and Dine! @meggyfin @thedashanddine @meggyfin PREVIOUS Sam & Ian's Casual-chic, Peacock-inspired Wedding NEXT DIY Fail: When your Cake Pops turn out like Vomit Blobs Show/Hide comments [ 29 ] I was just going to say a different version of this above: "That I could actually LIKE weddings. I used to find them annoying because it was always the same old boring shit. But OBB taught me that weddings don't always suck!" And, that "not everyone is like the women on That Other Wedding Site." So refreshing. (Though I've also been on That Other Wedding Site recently and was relieved to see some different perspectives, but I can tell you that in the past, That Site was much more conformist. Sign of the times, maybe. Anyway – OBB has always been awesome). Thanks for having this site! 🙂 Reply It's OK to not be completely head-over-heels in love with the wedding planning process and feel ambivalent about it from time-to-time. Blue is absolutely still my favorite color, and just so happens to look pretty rockin' in any aspect. And I still don't like pink, but it works really well for others. Reply I have learned how easy it is to be me. That however tough it feels sometimes, my friends and family and society at large really give me no flack for being who I am. Many, many people are not so lucky. All of us have struggled and to varying degrees continue to struggle to figure out just who our "authentic" self is. This journey of self-realization and self-actualization is made infinitely more challenging for people who find that their truest expression of self is not a version that is readily acceptable to the world at large. I have learned what hardship is, what discrimination is, what hope is, what courage is. Reply "That I could actually LIKE weddings. I used to find them annoying because it was always the same old boring shit. But OBB taught me that weddings don't always suck!" oh my god you've sneaked inside my head and stolen my thoughts!!! when me and him started talking about getting hitched we both sorta kinda didn't want to actually have a wedding, cause most irish weddings come out of the same identikit mould. we hate going to them unless it's close friends, and we couldn't think of one single aspect of them that we'd want ourselves. so finding OBB has been so amazing for me. and it's not just the PMS talking here when i say that i never ever EVER come away from an OBB ogling session without tears in my eyes. the amount of awesomeness, love, camaraderie and general loveliness that eminates from OBB makes me weak â™¥ Reply When you really have no idea what you'd like… it is perfectly FINE to allow someone else artistic freedom to plan your decorations and reception for you! Know that you trust them with your life (or your wedding day) and rest in the knowledge that it will be everything you NEVER dreamed of! Reply that i am not the only person out there obsessed with weddings that truly represent the couples having them, and that it is ok if my fiance' arent sure just how we are going to express ourselves yet Reply I learned that I can have my wedding my way. I always assumed I knew what my wedding would be and I wasn't all that excited (lots of people, white dress, small-town reception/dance, minister, tuxes, church). One of my first posts on OBT was about being excited to discover that there were options! Red dress, no tux, small wedding in an art gallery with only the guests we want. It is amazingly freeing to realize that my wedding will really be my wedding! Reply The BDsm/poly comment made my heart all sorts of warm. Thank goodness for this website. Reply That I don't HAVE to wear a floor length wedding gown… THANK GOODNESS!!! Reply That standing up to your family while still being gracious, loving and full of goodwill, telling them that certain things are not up for discussion but knowing when to compromise, is in fact an art form. That in some parts of the USA and world, it is in fact OK to have a cash bar (it would be beyond the pale in my social circle/family. Just not done). We still had an open bar, but I learned a lot about how it can be perfectly acceptable not to in some circles. Just how common non-white dresses are (previously it seemed like nobody in Western society ever wore anything but a white dress), but also how common it is for offbeat brides to still wear white. Reply I've realised that it's ok to be weird and I'm not the only one with tattoos and a wedding dress in mind! With two other of my very close, yet very traditional (in style and one is very religious) friends getting married in the next year, I have had the *occasional* pang of wanting-to-keep-up syndrome. But the reality is, mine & my FH families aren't as well off, and it's just not want we want. Even though I drew the line at my fiance's request of "just sending a text to everyone" regarding invites. (He didn't really consider my 83y.o nana who is techno-illiterate.) Reply Sometimes its hard on us offbeat brides when our families/friends are reacting poorly to our ideas and choices- but I started to realize, its hard on our families/friends as well. They haven't done this with us before, so they're figuring it out as we go too. Reply I found out what a fascinator is. They're so pretty! Reply I've actually learned alot about ME, who I am and what I really like which is resulting in a totally different wedding than my FH and I (mostly I) had planned on from the beginning. I've truly realized that this is OUR wedding and it'll be like WE want it, dammit! 😀 And I've been confirmed of the fact that the world is full of awesome, loving people. 🙂 Reply That no matter what, we are all still beautiful and there are so many hands waiting to help us, both on the Tribe and off. That doing it "our way" is perfectly ok. That it's not all puppies and glitter and that's perfectly ok too! Reply I thought I'd already posted all of mine in the Tribe topic but another conversation reminded me of one: I've learned to own my decisions. Whether we're doing something traditional, offbeat or somewhere in between the important thing is we're doing whats right for us. Reply That it's ok for us to be engaged for four years…even if people who have been together for less time than that are already married. We don't have to hold up our relationship or lives to anyone else. Reply You're absolutely right! Carl and I were engaged on July (Friday) 13th, 2007 and we didn't have a wedding until May 22, 2010! Reply Completely agree with this! Brian and I have been engaged for a year and a half, getting married next July, and have been together for five years total. I feel like at least we know our relationship is solid and there is no reason to rush into marriage. We know a bunch of people who have barely been dating each other and area already married. Hopefully their marriage lasts but I don't think you can really know someone you've only known for a year or less (Granted there are some couples who make this work but this does not seem to be the norm.) Reply It's so good to hear that there are other people out there having a long engagement as well, my FH and I are waiting six years for him to get out of the marines (he just left for basic today 🙁 ) it's something we both agreed on and he's really making a leap of faith and converting to my religion while he's enlisted cuz he says he wants to marry me god as our witness but the time is a good thing, it gives us lots of time to plan and save up for our wedding, our honeymoon and our future life together (: Reply I totally agree with "Oh and also tattoo's and brightly colored hair improve any and all wedding photos." I am a natural redhead, but about once or twice a year I get a little brighter red put in… I cannot WAIT to have some bright red hair for my wedding day because those OBB photos with bright hair rock my world! I'm even getting my "wedding tattoos" so they'll be nice and bright and healed for us the big day. Reply That my big back tattoo is totally gonna rock a strapless wedding dress. That not having attendants is okay! That really amazing shoes exist in this world and I need to buy them. 😉 Reply o yes us wow brides are very awesome and nerdy 😀 Reply 1)It is not only acceptable to ditch random traditions nobody cares about, but that your guests won't even notice! Who knew? 2) Don't ditch traditions for the sake of being nonconformist. Rebelling for no reason is only cool when you're 16. 3) Tattoos and brightly colored hair and dresses really do make awesome photos! But it's ok if I have blonde hair and wear an ivory dress. My pictures are pretty too! 4) My wedding is not a competition. My wedding is not a competition. MY WEDDING IS NOT A COMPETITION. Could not stress that enough. Thank you OBB! 5) While it may not be "my special dayyyyy", it WAS our special day and it was awesome just the way it was, even if the flowers didn't match the drapes or there wasn't enough pepper in the antipasto. Nobody cared and it was fabulous! The end. Reply It's great to see how much learning we can get from this site! For me: I love tattoos (previously did not think I did!); fans and non-matching bridesmaids dresses look awesome; and – your wedding does not have to become your whole life! Thanks OBB! 🙂 Reply I love Offbeat Bride (and Offbeat Mama)! It (and the many other offbeat peoples who read it, and comment on it, without which it would not be the same) reminded me that our wedding was not about our wedding day, it's about everything that is us, it's about our life and our future and that is more than one day – it's forever. It has showed me that I can get support and help from people I have never met – who actually care about my stuff, it has opened my eyes to so much. Most of all I think it (and offbeat mama) has showed me that yes, I can be obsessed with something on the internet, that that obsession can make me feel good, and that I'm not alone! Thank you offbeat everyone! Reply I learned that it's okay that I'm bad at weddings – it's not that I'm bad at planning, or even knowing how to get things together, it's that I'm bad at following arbitrary rules that don't make sense to me and my fiance. And I'm not alone! There are all kinds of people out there who do all kinds of things and it is not only okay, but really really fun. Fun fact: Offbeat Bride was the very first wedding book we bought the morning after I proposed to my boyfriend, and the blog was a big part of helping me make the decision that yes, it really was okay for the woman to propose. Reply I learnt its okay to be a 'fat' bride. I don't have to LOSE weight before my wedding day! Because it turns out, thats exactly why my FH loves me, and you know what? Im gonna look beautiful in the photographs just the same, no matter what my size! Reply I learned that I don't have to have a "proper" wedding dress, I can just have a dress I think is pretty. Also, that I don't need real flowers, we can diy them. Aaaaand…Full sleeve tattoos look AMAZING on brides. Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your 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.