Majoring in the humanities, my approach to wedding planning–surprise, surprise–is to research it to death. I am all for getting lost in tabs of the grand internet, but sometimes its nice just to settle down with a book. I decided on four wedding-planning books that I felt fit my personality and situation. The first book is Ariel Meadow Stallings’ Offbeat Bride: Creative Alternatives for Independent Brides. I was excited to find a used 2010 copy at a Hastings and read through it quickly. Offbeat Bride is one of the first wedding blogs I had ever visited, and I admire its attitude.
Since I have a history of reading more nontraditional wedding blogs, a lot of the information presented was not new to me. However, if I were a greener bride-to-be, I think this book would be a great introduction to rethinking what weddings are “supposed” to be and how to plan. Stallings’ raver, camp-out wedding is not necessarily my personal vision, but I loved reading about how she navigated planning a wedding with an out-of-the-way location, lots of DIY contribution, and her personal tastes and values. She covers a lot of the hurdles of planning and the traditions feminist couples may be struggling with, and she does it all with a fun and honest voice. What I respect most about her experience, her book, and her blog is that she always brings home the fact that however you want to plan your wedding is the right way to do it. She gives examples of couples she interviewed who had weddings ranging from church ceremonies to underwater unions. There is no sense of a line for being too different or not offbeat enough.
My recommendation is for any bride who feels like taking an alternative path down the aisle to read this. Her breakdown of her planning is helpful; her writing style makes for an interesting and fun read; and her story can make more nontraditional couples not feel so alone in an industry that may not have offer the day they want.