Why Offbeat Bride became Offbeat Wed

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OBWparty22 148 edited alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
This is me back in May, announcing the Offbeat Wed rebrand at a small wedding industry gathering we had in Seattle. Photo by Jenny GG.

Hi, everyone. It's me, Ariel, author of three editions of the Offbeat Bride book and owner of Offbeat Empire LLC. And as of today, I'm the publisher of Offbeat Wed, the new name of this here website!

That's right: Offbeat Bride is finally ditching the gender in our name and relaunching as Offbeat Wed.

We've been talking about this change for months, but for those of you just joining us, here are a few questions that have come in the most frequently from readers:

Why did you change the name from Offbeat Bride?

I've fielded questions for over a decade about why the brand was gendered. Initially, I would respond, “the website is named after the book, and the book was published by a women's press, and they picked the name.”

As the website became more popular than the book, I shifted my answer to “We believe bride is a state of mind… not a set of genitals!” That was a cute quip, and it bought me a few more years.

Honestly, I was terrified to rebrand. As anyone who's changed their name knows, it's a grueling process… and with a brand as well established as Offbeat Bride, it was a change involving a team of lawyers, web devs, sysadmins, graphic designers, and more.

When I produced our inclusive marketing guide for wedding vendors earlier this year, I realized it was time. I could no longer justify keeping the old name.

I'm not the first wedding publisher to strip the word “bride” from their name; hopefully, I won't be the last. Being inclusive is an ongoing process, and we're ALL still learning… and that includes me.

Why did you pick Offbeat Wed as the new name?

The most obvious new name would have been Offbeat Wedding or Offbeat Weddings. While I own the trademark for both these names, the sad truth is that domain squatters snapped up both URLs years ago, and I refuse to pay squatters thousands of dollars to buy a domain. Therefore, I opted to shorten Offbeat Wedding to just Offbeat Wed.

We're using the word “wed” in the verb sense, as in “get married to.” So whereas the old branding was a noun (“I'm an offbeat bride!”), the new branding is a verb (“Casey and Taylor got offbeat wed”).

Is this name the perfect solution? Nope. Will some folks hate it? Sure. Is it short and sweet, and does it work? HELL YES!

offbeat bride rebrand offbeat wed logos alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

What's changing as part of the Offbeat Wed rebrand?

Our branding has changed… but just barely. Our logo has a new font and flag shape, but that's about it. Other than that, the branding isn't changing much — same colors, same shapes. Likewise, absolutely nothing is changing with our website design, although I am using the rebrand to do a little administrative reorganizing with categories and tags.

Our URL changed from offbeatbride.com to offbeatwed.com, which is honestly the most terrifying and revenue-destroying part of this process. We've got a million redirects in place, but the new domain name has expensive consequences for our third-party ad revenue. Wish me luck there!

We're also going through the tangled process of changing our social media handles on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Pinterest. Especially with Facebook, it's a fiddly process that takes weeks, so things might be a bit tangled over there. It'll probably take me most of the fall to get everything tidied up… our email series need to be updated, downloadables need to be rebranded, offbeathome.com and offbeatempire.com need to be updated, etc.

Thanks for your patience with the process!

What does this mean for readers?

Ideally, this change has minimal impact on our readers. Nothing changes with the kind of content we produce or how we make it. We have redirects in place, so hopefully, all your bookmarked links will still work.

That said, if you want to support this transition, there are a few things you can do:

  • If you have a website where you've ever linked to Offbeat Bride, I'd be deeply grateful if you could update your links to offbeatwed.com. Of course, links are always great, but they're extra helpful during this rough time when we're trying to help search engines understand our name change.
  • Tell engaged folks about us! Again, this is always helpful, but extra appreciated now. If you know engaged folks, tell 'em about your old pals at Offbeat Bride, who are now even more inclusive with their name change to Offbeat Wed.
  • If you're a member of our Wedding Vendor Directory, we've updated our vendor badges! You can grab yours over here (email [email protected] if you need help with your badge, or anything else with your vendor listing). Not yet a vendor member? Now's a great time to get listed! Show the world that you stand with and for inclusive wedding planning.

Whew, ok, that's a lot. If you have a question I didn't cover, or if you found something on the site that's broken, leave a comment below.

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Comments on Why Offbeat Bride became Offbeat Wed

  1. The BIGGEST congratulations to you. I know what a huge push this has been for you and am so glad you made it to the other side!

    • THANK YOU, Dot! I so appreciate all the guidance and support you provided through this process — thank you for beating me to the punch with a rebrand, and for sharing everything that you learned during the process.

  2. Sounds like a very positive change! Though, time intensive to change/update everything everywhere. My little business is also 17 years old and I have wondered over the years about a name change – preferably something shorter – but haven’t done it because of all that. I actually like Offbeat Wed as it’s shorter, but it is annoying that people can squat on domains that you have a trademark for.

    • Yeah, I’ve been debating a name change for years, but it’s such a daunting process… Totally worth it to get the brand name more inline with its values.

  3. I’m grateful wedding brands like Offbeat are becoming more inclusive with their language, especially since as you’ve shared, it is a time-consuming and expensive endeavor.

    I feel this post has missed the mark in the portion where you compare the name change to coming out as non-binary by saying, “That’s right: Offbeat Bride is coming out as nonbinary. You can call us Offbeat Wed.”

    It feels minimizing to me as a non-binary trans person. I’d much rather see Offbeat taking accountability by sharing that you realized you haven’t been inclusive and you were taking action, without the need to be playful on behalf of those you’ve potentially harmed. The non-binary existence isn’t a marketing strategy for your rebrand. We deserve better in an industry that already fails us time and time again.

    • Thanks so much for this feedback, Shannon. I’ve edited the post to remove nonbinary references, and to adjust how the post was centered (based on feedback Suki received from your colleague Jasper). I genuinely appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me, and supporting Offbeat Wed’s mission of always listening & learning from our folks. This was a mistep, and I’m grateful for folks taking the time to voice their concerns.

      We’ll continue to try to do better. Learning and growing is a life long process. Thanks for being a part of the journey.

  4. I appreciate you taking the time to edit the post and respond. It’s great to hold each other accountable and work together to make this industry a more inclusive one. I’m thankful Jasper took the time to reach out about those nuances as well. Thanks again!

    • Absolutely. The greatest lessons I’ve learned in my career have been when I’ve made a mistep and been fortunate enough to have folks come forward to let me know.

  5. Whew I bet this was a lot of work! Congrats, dear Ariel.

    Knowing your flagship website had a gendered name must have been like a pebble in your shoe for quite some time now.

    The site is how old now? 15 years??
    Time to get it a learner’s permit!

  6. Thanks, Kathy! I launched the offbeatbride.com on January 1, 2007… which is to say THE DAWN OF TIME. (Not quite, but it sure feels that way some days.)

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