Offbeat Bride: Taffeta-Free Alternatives for Independent Brides by Ariel Meadow Stallings
Seal Press, 1st printing, 2007
Genre: non-fiction, wedding planning
Synopsis & Review: Unenthused by a white wedding gown and bored by the hoopla of the Hollywood-style reception, Ariel Meadow Stallings found herself absolutely exhausted with the nuances of traditional nuptials. So, she chose to take a walk off the beaten aisle and embrace the non-traditional bride within. Through trial and error, Ariel and her fiancé managed to crank out a budget wedding with all-night dancing, guests toasting champagne in mismatched mugs, gorgeous gardens, no monogrammed napkins, no garter, no bridesmaids, and lots of lesbians. Shortly after her 2004 matrimony, Ariel began searching for other brides whose ceremonies defied age-old tradition and reflected who they are. From there, she developed the idea for a guide for the offbeat couple.
Offbeat Bride serves as an inspiration for those who are interested in a vegan buffet, avoiding bouquet tossing, doing away with the elitist guest list and being a control freak without becoming a Bridezilla. Filled with sidebars, tips, tricks and planner encouragement (all taffeta-free) to help you figure out your special day, this book sees couples through the wedding process from ideas on how to announce their engagement to answering the question, “So, how’s married life?” and everything in between.
Once I got over the initial OMG EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE part of getting engaged last fall, I suddenly realized that we had a wedding to plan. Fortunately, two of my sisters, the younger and an elder, had gotten married in the summer of 2006, and so I’d recently seen the American wedding machine in action. Since it was handy, the first source I consulted was Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior by Judith Martin. (This invaluable tome has been a favorite of mine since elementary school.) Then Maiya steered me toward The Knot. I bought one issue of Martha Stewart Weddings (the one with the butterfly cake cover; it’s so preeeetty!). And though Maiya swore up and down that she would be my mentor, my sensei, my defacto planner, I nearly collapsed beneath the awesome power of the Wedding Industrial Complex (WIC). There was much to do! So I refused to do it, and let our wedding languish. Read the rest of this entry »