A few of the most common questions about Offbeat Wed, as cheekily answered by the site's Seattle-based founder, Ariel.
How do I submit a wedding to Offbeat Wed?
Check out the submissions page to submit a wedding — we've got separate submission processes for couples submitting their weddings to us directly, or vendors submitting a client wedding.
How do you pick which weddings to feature?
We love weddings full of nontraditional style, but our highest editorial priority is diversity — not just ethnic/cultural diversity, but weddings representing those who identify as LBGT, disabled, neurodiverse, nonbinary, older folks, etc. Basically, we choose to prioritize featuring folks who challenge the mainstream vision of weddings being about young, white, slender heterosexuals. Here's more about how we select weddings to be featured.
I'm a wedding vendor — can you promote my services to your readers?
We'd love to! Our advertisers and vendors keep Offbeat Wed online, and a big part of that is our curated Vendor Guide. It's literally our business to get YOUR business in front of our hundreds of thousands of blog readers and social media followers. We love working with vendors who jive with our values of inclusivity and acceptance — the New York Times even featured our wedding directory in an August 2023 article about finding inclusive wedding vendors! Here's how to get started with us.
What do you mean by OFFBEAT?
The dictionary defines offbeat as “not conforming to an ordinary type or pattern.” To me, offbeat has never been about rebelling or showing the world how weird you are. Rather, it's about questioning all the wedding visions you've been fed and striving to create an event that's an authentic reflection of you and your partner. Offbeat Wed is NOT intended as a judgment against traditional weddings — this site aims to support people all along the spectrum of tradition. (If I could go back to 2006 and pick a more accurate word, I should have used the word authentic instead of offbeat.)
What happened to Offbeat Bride? Why did you change the name?
I launched offbeatbride.com in 2007, and started getting questions almost immediately about why the name of the website was gendered.
My initial answer was, “the website is named after the book, and the book was published by a women's press, and they picked the name.” And it was true!
But as the website slowly became bigger than the book that it was named after, I shifted my answer to, “We believe bride is a state of mind not a set of genitals.”
But the questions about gendering kept coming for a decade. For a while, my answer was “It's too expensive to rebrand at this point. If someone wants to help me pay for it, I'll do it.” That was also true!
But when I started working on our inclusive marketing guide for wedding vendors in 2021, I realized that it was time. I could no longer justify keeping the old name. It took me a full year of planning, but Offbeat Bride relaunched as Offbeat Wed in September of 2022.
I'm not the first wedding publisher to strip the word “bride” from their name, and hopefully, I won't be the last. Being inclusive is an ongoing process, and we're ALL still learning… and that includes us. As I told the New York Times: Part of my personal values is growing and changing as the culture that I’m serving grows and changes.
If you're offbeat, why are some of the weddings on your site more traditional?
One of Offbeat Wed's top editorial values is diversity and inclusivity, which means the site celebrates weddings all along the offbeat spectrum, including a few that might appear more traditional. Your wedding and this website are not contests to see who can be the weirdest.
Our commitment to inclusivity also means that diversity is a top priority — something we're very open about on our submissions page, and have written about going back to 2012. Talking about diversity can be uncomfortable for some folks, but we've decided it's more important that Offbeat Wed features couples with a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds, ages, abilities, and identities, than it is that every wedding adhere to some mandate of “offbeat enough.” This means that sometimes Offbeat Wed sharing a range of wedding styles, regardless of whether they have more overtly offbeat visible details.
Offbeat Wed readers are encouraged to self-identify. If you're reading Offbeat Wed, then you're offbeat enough. If you've found a happy place here, then you belong here!
Aren't some of the weddings you feature sort of, um, tacky?
Honey, it's not just some of them — they're ALL tacky!
Why are the banner ads on your website so aggressive?
Offbeat Wed has always been a for-profit endeavor. This website is a business, not a nonprofit. I work with a company called Raptive to monetize the site with video and banner ads, and I know that they can feel a little intrusive. Please remember that these ads (combined with our vendor guide, downloadables, and revenue from our affiliate partners) are how I can continue paying my diverse staff and keep the website online. If they really bother you, ad blockers are always an option.
What happened to the Offbeat Bride Tribe?
The Tribe was our forum from 2007 – 2015, back in the days when forums were a thing. Some folks really loved it, but man was it ever difficult to manage. For more information, head over here.