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Offbeat Bride
April 11, 2014
4:52 pm
avatar
pommed
Hamcat
Meows: 108
Snarking Since:
January 23, 2014

I can't be the only person who finds Offbeat Bride somewhat insufferable, can I?

Let me first say that there are things about it I do like. I particularly like that it features couples who aren't exclusively white, attractive, and heterosexual. I like that it isn't just about weddings that fit the either over-the-top ballroom model or the rustic-barn-mason jar model and attractive people. I like that has a lot of fairly inexpensive-seeming weddings.

…but. I feel like a lot of the weddings on there border on cringe-worthy for me. I mean, good for you, you guys are both nerds and like LARPing or Harry Potter or books or whatever. I like a lot of weird shit too. But I feel like some of the weddings end up looking like children's birthday parties. Incorporating some personal details is awesome! Making your grandmother uncomfortable because you need to have everyone dress in costume for your steampunk-meets-Dinotopia wedding is not. Most guests will probably just end up kind of confused about this stuff anyways (at least, in my experience).  

My other issue is that couples on there are pretty aggressively against the Wedding Industrial Complex, and I feel like they bring it up pretty frequently as some kind of badge of honor. The whole thing just gets really competitive about who is having the Most Offbeat Wedding Ever. Sorry, but your wedding really isn't automatically better because it looks different from everyone else's. A theme is still a theme, and commercialism is still commercialism whether you're wearing a white dress or a red pirate costume on your wedding day. I mean, there are just as many advertisements for vendors on there than on sites like Style Me Pretty. You're still buying into something! 

Anyone else? Or am I just especially cranky today? 

April 11, 2014
6:15 pm
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TurkeyVulture
Feline Porklord
Meows: 2075
Snarking Since:
December 23, 2011

I totally feel that way, too, and I say that as somebody who actually really likes a whole lot of other things about the site (great DIY tutorials, and I do love staring at the weddings that are unusual but still tasteful.) I actually had my own wedding featured on it, too, not too long ago. But some of them make my eyes go wide when I imagine what it must have been like to be a guest at that event. Just…confusing for other people. And sometimes I feel a bit like some of the couples are trying to prove something to the world about their quirky personalities or something like that, and I guess I'm just too old now to understand why proving one's extreme individuality in such an in-your-face display of DIFFERENTNESS! feels so damn important when you're in your early 20s.

But hey, I think on the whole it's really refreshing to have a place that gives equal airtime to nonstandard, nonpretty, nonrich, nonwhite weddings. It's nice for people who don't have the budget to see what can be done on the cheap, and it's a good resource for people who are looking for something other than the cookie-cutter stuff you find on sites like The Knot.

All in all, in spite of its moments that make me raise an eyebrow, I totally love OBB.

April 11, 2014
7:05 pm
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Katnip
Expert Hamcat
Meows: 269
Snarking Since:
June 20, 2013

ONLY LOVE for OBB as a concept (and the families, and the homes)

 

And yeah, some of the couples are just sooooo urgh (I'm very articulate today)

 

But on the subject of: 

"The whole thing just gets really competitive about who is having the Most Offbeat Wedding Ever."

Ariel is SUPER STRICT and has written a few very good posts (too lazy to search now) on why that is NOT the case and should never be like that, i.e. replacing one anxiety (is my wedding 'proper' enough) with another (is my wedding offbeat enough)

April 11, 2014
7:49 pm
avatar
pegatha
Feline Porklord
Meows: 1271
Snarking Since:
November 7, 2012

Katnip said 
But on the subject of: 

"The whole thing just gets really competitive about who is having the Most Offbeat Wedding Ever."

Ariel is SUPER STRICT and has written a few very good posts (too lazy to search now) on why that is NOT the case and should never be like that, i.e. replacing one anxiety (is my wedding 'proper' enough) with another (is my wedding offbeat enough)

This. I mean, of course online communities sometimes can get a groupthink type thing going on, that can lead to someone feeling out of place if they don't think they meet whatever the criteria is, in this case offbeatness. But I think that can't truly be avoided, and the problem is when the community leaders don't do anything to offset it or even encourage it (see: APW), and I also feel like Ariel does a good job addressing this and encouraging people to not give into it.

And yeah, some of the weddings are pretty far out there, but I have to assume the individuals are probably offbeat enough in their everyday life that their guests aren't too surprised by it.

Any other Tridesmaids here? I'm currently on there (same username) and planning for a July wedding.

April 11, 2014
9:02 pm
avatar
thingsandstuff
Cat
Meows: 26
Snarking Since:
June 6, 2013

pegatha said

Katnip said 
But on the subject of: 

"The whole thing just gets really competitive about who is having the Most Offbeat Wedding Ever."

Ariel is SUPER STRICT and has written a few very good posts (too lazy to search now) on why that is NOT the case and should never be like that, i.e. replacing one anxiety (is my wedding 'proper' enough) with another (is my wedding offbeat enough)

This. I mean, of course online communities sometimes can get a groupthink type thing going on, that can lead to someone feeling out of place if they don't think they meet whatever the criteria is, in this case offbeatness. But I think that can't truly be avoided, and the problem is when the community leaders don't do anything to offset it or even encourage it (see: APW), and I also feel like Ariel does a good job addressing this and encouraging people to not give into it.

And yeah, some of the weddings are pretty far out there, but I have to assume the individuals are probably offbeat enough in their everyday life that their guests aren't too surprised by it.

Any other Tridesmaids here? I'm currently on there (same username) and planning for a July wedding.

Yeah, I totally agree. OBB isn't perfect (can a website ever be perfect?) and there is definitely pressure to be super offbeat (or a "special snowflake", as they say) and to have a unique yet super-duper budget wedding…but I really feel that pressure is not coming from Ariel and the OBB team. I love that Ariel actively says "hey! Check yourself when you think that!" I love that OBB actually listens to their readers, even if the comments are highly critical.

I actually like the wack-a-do content. But I'm a huge nerd so obvious bias…

 

However, the tribe can be a whooole different story. There is some seriously mega drama on some of the journals. My #1 guilty pleasure popcorn

April 11, 2014
10:46 pm
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Croosets in Trendy Colors
Senior Hamcat
Meows: 871
Snarking Since:
August 29, 2013

The site itself I like, as well as the weddings, even ones that aren't my style.

The tribe is a whole other ball of total f**king crazy, though. Sooooo many brides who are like, broke and unemployed and fighting nonstop with their family, inlaws, their dumb friends, etc about f**king everything and they post about it endlessly. I feel like the tribe attracts the manic pixie drama queens in droves. My favorites are people who haven't set a date and are on and off with their "fiance" every other week. Pass that popcorn please… popcorn

Formerly known as Lean In Right Over a Cliff
April 12, 2014
1:22 am
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The Great Passport Fail
Senior Hamcat
Meows: 748
Snarking Since:
March 14, 2014

I really dislike a lot of the themed weddings, especially the ones that are themed around kid's movies or books, they remind me way too much of a children's birthday party.

I was a Clothes Mountain, now I'm Jenna's hygienic children's toy
April 12, 2014
10:06 am
avatar
TurkeyVulture
Feline Porklord
Meows: 2075
Snarking Since:
December 23, 2011

Nothing but love for the philosophy behind the site and the way Ariel and her crew run the place. They are so encouraging and positive, but in a way that is genuine and not YOU GUYS, ONLY PEOPLE WHO AGREE WITH MY POINT OF VIEW, PLZ, YOU DO NOT GET A SAY like you see on so many other popular blogs. The staff really does a killer job of making OBB a truly inclusive and open-minded place, and that in and of itself is a miracle when you consider it's on the internet.

 

Holy wow, some of the Tribe journals just make me go:

April 13, 2014
7:49 pm
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dramarama
Cat
Meows: 33
Snarking Since:
January 7, 2013

Tribesmaid here! I haven't logged into OBT for a while, since I overdosed on it for the first 8 or so months of my engagement. I did happen to go to the Lovesick Expo in my city and chatted it up with Ariel for a good half hour. She's super sweet and down to earth and it made me appreciate her site(s) even more. I dig that she openly admits how OBB can seem exclusive to people trending toward offbeat-lite or even full on traditional, and reminds everyone they are welcome to stay while Judgey McJudgersons are welcome to leave. Even as a member of GOMI, I like that OBB is a snark-free zone.

 

I do have to agree that the journaling of some Tribesmaids is confused, but I respect the need those people have for a private space to vent. I've written a few journals about dealing with my fiance's mom and her expectations not being on the same level as ours, but because I do honestly love her, I would die if she somehow found them (which is why I don't understand people who b***h so publicly and VICIOUSLY on other boards). OBB definitely does attract a "type." Can't afford XYZ, Parent A hates my partner/Sibling B is trashing my wedding, no one is RSVPing as Attending, EVERYTHING WILL BE HARRY POTTER/DOCTOR WHO/BATTLESTAR GALACTICA THEMED, we're such nerds we're nerding the nerd with the nerd nerd types.

 

Overall, I love OBB. I don't "get" all of the themed weddings or the extreme WIC hate (even though I do agree with the underlying sentiments), but I love what Ariel is trying to achieve, and I think she's succeeding. I remember she once said that she and the other editors often have to heavily edit wedding submissions to tone down the More Offbeat/Holier Than Thou attitude some of them have, which certainly isn't true for other websites.

April 14, 2014
11:21 am
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KiraPi
Cat
Meows: 40
Snarking Since:
December 7, 2012

I met OBB not long after I got married. I enjoyed it until all the weddings started to look alike to me. Generally, Rockabilly with a smattering of uber geek for variety.

 

Also, I've read this blog post by Ariel (http://offbeatempire.com/2012/10/liberal-bullying) on another website that was dealing with a bit of an issue with some folks who decided that the group need more social justice. I thought it was a brilliant summary of what was going on in our group. I have a lot of respect for Ariel for keeping the website up and running and generally civil (sometimes too civil, if that can even be a thing) for so long if she has to deal with this sort of thing. I'd go insane.

April 14, 2014
11:33 am
avatar
pommed
Hamcat
Meows: 108
Snarking Since:
January 23, 2014

I'm glad to hear that Ariel is aware of the one-upmanship regarding being Offbeat enough–it does seem like the admins are on top of their shit regarding that. I probably should have clarified that it's the couples I feel are the ones trying to outdo one another by mentioning the WIC so frequently. I feel like the new WIC standard is that every single little thing about your wedding has to be Pinnable and personalized–and that a lot of OBB weddings are just as guilty of that as the shindigs you see on Style Me Pretty. 

In general, I do like the tone of the site–and I think a lot of the advice is pretty good. It's pretty damn refreshing after reading APW, which everyone and their mother recommended to me and made me want to tear my hair out. I feel like OBB is pretty much like, "You can care or not care as little or as much as you want to," and that's really nice. Still, though, I just don't "get" some of the weddings, and they honestly seem like they might be a little weird for the guests. That being said, I owe OBB my gratitude in convincing my mother that I would not be the only bride in the history of the world to have a visible tattoo in my white wedding dress. 

I hadn't read that post before, KiraPi, and it's really interesting, thanks. It seems like the team at OBB is definitely trying to curtail the behaviors I've mentioned. Now maybe they can please stop posting so many damn library weddings? 

April 14, 2014
3:48 pm
avatar
bacon tulle
Cat
Meows: 15
Snarking Since:
April 14, 2014

I find Ariel insufferable.

A friend/coworker talked me into Offbeat Bride when I was planning my wedding but I guess my wedding wasn't "offbeat" enough. It wasn't a traditional wedding but I always felt like Offbeat Bride was trying to "one up" each other with how super cool and non-traditional they could be, to the point of ridiculous.

This is my friend and (former) coworker's wedding featured on Offbeat Bride:

http://offbeatbride.com/2009/01/brady-bunch-beach-wedding

I think she planned in on Offbeat Bride, too, where she was advised things like, "MORE BLACK EYESHADOW!" (The wedding was daytime on the beach.) And "MORE PINK CRINOLINE! MORE!"

I was not at the wedding but I heard it was insufferable and those pics are the worst. I didn't understand the posing or any of it. I guess that is the point of an offbeat wedding but to me so much of Offbeat is more like Tryhard Weddings. rolleyes

wtf

 

Just NO!

April 14, 2014
4:00 pm
avatar
Jeremys voting for president
Senior Hamcat
Meows: 803
Snarking Since:
May 20, 2013

Not the worst I've seen but yeah that photography is bad.

Why would you include this in your PUBLIC wedding photos on the internet? dead

 



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