Blue field like crop rows and burgundy border, saying "Don't Just Survive - Thrive

Offbeat Bride by Ariel Meadow Stallings

Thesis:  Fight the wedding industry power! Make your wedding your own and don’t succumb to the pressure of traditionalism and oneupmanship.

Specific Things to Remember:

Part 1 – Otherwise Engaged

  • You’re not alone if you’re a girl and people are pressuring you about engagement and he’s not getting it.
  • People will pressure you about everything, from date to what the wedding looks like. Tell them to shove it.
  • Set the vision for the wedding first, then get brought to reality as you look at options.
  • Don’t give your wedding party that responsibility unless they can handle it. It’s not an honor, it’s a job.
  • People are going to feel hurt and excluded, no matter what you do. OH WELL.
  • Pick wedding parties with chutzpah – they handle your problems.
  • Make a wedding website. Put up lots of photos. People like that. Think about tiny details like heels on grass. Sweaters.

Part 2 – Vanity and Fashion

  • Classy = a smidge above what you normally do
  • You can’t drive in a corset.
  • Think about what to do with your wedding outfit after.
  • Custom or wedding gown shop. You decide.
  • Help your guests by spelling out what to wear, but don’t get all bridezilla. Describe the tone, don’t make people wear blue.

Part 3 – In the Thick of It

  • It’s okay if not wanting to be a bride and a wedding embarrasses you.
  • It’s a chance to learn business and budgeting
  • Crowd source stuff – your friends can probably help you.
  • Be careful what you ask for on your registry – people may get a LOT of it for you.
  • Guest list sucks: set a number and set rules.

Part 4 – Loved ones, Ceremony, & Sanity

  • Figure out what group your in and plan accordingly: 1 – know what you want to say; 2 – Don’t know what to say but will see it when they see it; 3 – Don’t care as long as it gets you married.
  • There will be inevitably hurt feelings.
  • Ideas for alternate “dad gives you away”: both parents, husband leads, you go in together
  • You will flip your lid at some point. normal. It’s stupid, we know, but normal.
  • It’s just a party.

Part 5 – Wedding itself

  • Let go. You don’t have to set everything up for people. They are adults.
  • Offbeat brides can expect about 85% of their invite list to show up, along with wedding crashers.
  • Wedding photographers: contract, contact sheets (or unfinished digital shoots)
  • Photo booth
  • Get your caterer to give you leftovers.
  • Bouquet tossing options: give it to the oldest married, someone you want to honor, etc.
  • Rave lighting = overkill; make sure your DJ knows your favorite music; don’t force people to dance – just play music that makes people want to (ie, stuff your guests like)
  • Stay all night and party, but don’t count on consummating the relationship. You can leave early so you have energy to do it.

Part 6 – As the Dust Settles

  • Thank you for money before you deposit it.
  • Thank you cards = important.
  • Renaming yourself (if you’re a bride .  . . or not)
    • Keep it
    • Hyphenate (but if you do it to your kids, damn that’s a lot, and then they can’t do it)
    • Combine names
  • There will be some bridal let down. It’s okay.
  • Be prepared to get “wifed” in which people don’t think of you as you, but instead as a “wife’ and therefore not socially awesome or separate.