You might be an Offbeat Bride if…

Guest post by Cassie

You might be an Offbeat Bride if…

…you ask your engaged friend, “What are your centerpieces going to be, and how are you making them?” and she looks at you funny and says the florist is bringing them. Then you remember, oh yeah, centerpieces are usually beautiful flower arrangements brought in by florists, not the homemade weird concoctions made from a combination of dried gourds, vintage buttons, wind-up toys, and mini cast-iron bicycles that you were planning on.

…your relatives think your engagement must be off just because they can't find a big box registry for you.

…you ask a bride-to-be what color her dress is and she says, “Do you mean ivory vs. white?” and you remember not everyone considers red/purple/rainbow/polka-dotted dresses for their wedding day.

…when you mention you're getting married, strangers, store clerks, and vendors give your bare ring finger a long look mixed with pity and suspicion.

…your engaged best friend plans a 5-hour-long mimosa/hair appointment the day of the wedding and you remember not all brides plan to spend their pre-wedding time carting in the alcohol, dishes, glasses, decorations, etc. to the DIY reception site.

…your friend asks, “What are your colors?” and you stare at her blankly for 10 minutes because you have no idea what the heck she's talking about.

…friends and family announce “Yourname Hislastname!” and then say how good it sounds before you can stop them and explain you're keeping your own name.

…friends are not amused when they ask what your theme is and you say, “Um…getting married?”

…a coworker asks, “Have you found a church yet?” and you respond, “For what?”

…your toilet tank conspicuously lacks a stack of thick bridal magazines, and instead features a funny little blue book by some chick who has “Meadow” in her name.

And finally, you know you're an Offbeat Bride when you celebrate your best friend's traditional wedding, because that is exactly what she wants and that is exactly awesome for her!

…And then you go out searching for the perfect set of hot pink and purple polka-dotted frogs for your cake topper and all is well in the world.

Now I'd love everyone reading to make their OWN lists of “You know you're an Offbeat Bride when…” and post it in the comments! We all have different experiences and weddings and obviously my list doesn't apply to everyone. Tell me about how you knew when YOU were an Offbeat Bride!

Comments on You might be an Offbeat Bride if…

  1. Ariel – totally, I get that the writer is wanting to say that everyone can dig everyone else’s style of wedding, and is simply providing some funny examples that many OBB readers can relate to! My concern is that the article nevertheless creates, through humour, a stereotype or standard of what you’re supposed to be doing if you’re an offbeat bride.

    Some of the comments reinforce this – for example, one person said that she was an offbeat bride because her groom “actually has a say”. I’m sure that person didn’t mean to offend, and was presumably responding in the humourous tone of the article, but isn’t it both unfair and inaccurate to suggest that a groom to anyone other than an “offbeat bride” gets to participate in the planning process?

    Or, directly addressing the article – does the fact that someone wears a white dress, gets married in a church and takes their husband’s last name with happiness and pride disqualify them from being an offbeat bride in any other respect? Isn’t that like saying that “you’re not doing it properly” if you don’t have your father walk you down the aisle or if you want to marry your same-sex partner?

    I guess to me, the idea of being an offbeat bride is not to have any stereotypes about what a wedding is or has to be. By creating defintions, humorous or otherwise, about what “offbeat” means, you might be inadvertently creating standards that people new to OBB (or just feeling freaked out and unsure about how to plan their wedding) think they have to live up to.

    Obviously, the article is meant to be lighthearted (and had me giggling!), and I’m probably over-analysing this – but I just thought the article doesn’t do justice to the positive, fun and inclusive resources this website and OBBT provide. A overwhelmed bride-to-be might feel lesser of herself after reading this (ie, “Hmmm… guess I’m not quite offbeat compared to these people”). Hence my two cents. 🙂 Lovin’ the ability to discuss this though! 🙂 Props to you and Cassie.

    • I must admit that I do feel ‘maybe I’m not offbeat compared to these people’ – but I get that from every page of this website, and it doesn’t stop me from loving it.

      I don’t have tattoos, or piercings, I don’t want plastic dinosaurs or nerf guns at my wedding, I might end up in a white dress and I will have a ring and be taking my groom’s last name. BUT we are complete book fiends and want to get married dressed like a Jane Austen couple, with centrepieces made from books, etc.. I’m really sick of the usual wedding websites which make it seem compulsory to spend thousands on a designer dress and high-end vendors. And I have a friend whose plans are the most stereotypical a person can imagine (she’s going to end up with a standard ‘Pinterest wedding’ 😛 ) and who doesn’t understand that I might want a floral dress or homemade food. Even though I make an effort to appreciate her choices because they’re very ‘her’.

      So having rambled on – I do sometimes see ideas on this website that are way too wacky for me, but the wacky brides need somewhere to go! And I’d rather hang around with them and be slightly offbeat in my own way, than hang around with traditional types and feel like there’s nothing original for me at all. I just took this list as a personal account of the struggles of being offbeat. The specifics don’t matter, the point is that we here can all relate to a friend wrinkling their nose at our ideas.

    • And from this perspective, it kind of makes the “am I offbeat enough” question resurface

  2. I know Im an offbeat bride when people say “oh ok” when i tell them something about the wedding and the colour black is thrown in somewhere!!

    • haha, I can definitely relate to the “oh, okay…” response, especially when it’s accompanied by a confused stare 😛

  3. Lol, i love my engagement ring but I never wore it so i can relate to the blank stares at a blank hand. I finally bought my “wedding band” which was a $6.95 sterling silver ring from amazon. Don’t know why anyone would care, but that just did not seem to go over well with some family and friends, lol.

  4. Hahaha… I love this. Especially the last line, that fits me!

    “…your engaged friend plans a 5-hour-long mimosa/hair appointment the day of the wedding and you remember not all brides plan to spend their pre-wedding time carting in the alcohol, dishes, glasses, decorations, etc. to the DIY reception site.”

    I tried to explain this one to my mom, she’s under the impression that I get to relax! 😀

  5. Kim W – It’s funny, I would consider myself an ‘offbeat’ bride, but none of those things on the list really applied… except for the last one, about accepting my best friend’s princess fairy tale wedding as her own style. I guess I just figured that most of those ‘You know you’re a XXXX when’ lists are never 100% accurate, and, as we’ve seen in the comments here, people are not feeling left out but rather adding their own entries to the list!

    I totally, totally understand where you’re coming from, but I think the intention behind the list is nothing but awesome. And for that I have a smile on my face.

  6. First, ladies, thank you so much for all your lovely comments. I appreciate it! I have just as much fun reading your comments as I did writing this.

    Now, for Kim. Nope, I didn’t mean this as either a “formula” for how to have the most offbeat/original/awesome wedding. I’ll out myself and say that it was entirely biographical (well, except my centerpieces and cake toppers will be different from what I described). Everything else — the lack of a name change, the ringless finger, and so on came right from my experiences, which is why I wrote this piece.

    The bottom line is, at the end of the day, if you make a range of non-traditional choices like I have, then yes, you are going to get some weird/funny/bewildered comments from those who aren’t expecting your choices. I don’t think I was being harsh toward these people — if anything, I was painting myself as the freak and laughing at myself as much as their reactions to me.

    The only thing that I have considered slightly inappropriate was that I gave the bride w/ the white dress a line of dialogue that included “Like,” which could make her sound like a ditz and therefore seem like I am putting down brides who choose white dresses. I realized that after the fact but figured everyone would know I was just joking around and not take it personally!

    I invite Kim and others to make their OWN lists of “You know you’re an offbeat/feminist/lesbian/semi- traditional/cake-hating/etc. bride when…” and post it on OBT. We all have different experiences and weddings and obviously my list doesn’t apply to everyone. I made it all about me, me, me.

    Anyway, thanks again everyone, especially to Ariel!

  7. Of course our weddings are not about competing over who can have the most outlandish and offbeat affair, but many of us do have details that deviate from the norm in wedding planning and many of us get a lot of negative comments from others in our lives because of it. That’s why I love OBB, and the OBBT. We have a place to celebrate ourselves in our all quirky glory and if sometimes we make posts celebrating our different-ness, I find nothing wrong with that.

  8. This made me feel so at ease! I am making my dress, centerpieces, hair accessories, etc. My mom scoffed at my choice to include black in my dress so that I could wear black Converse All-Stars. We are having the reception in a retirement communities’ clubhouse! The list goes on, but I’ll have to wait until August to post up my own Offbeat Wedding story. 😉

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