First, the nitty gritty:
- Unsurprisingly, 98% of you are women, with 1% each identifying as male or transgender (Aside: big thanks to the reader who suggested I add “Neither/Both” as a gender option. I'd let the survey software autopopulate the gender question with Male and Female as the only options, which was dumb. Sarah Dopp of Genderfork recently wrote a great post on this)
- The majority of you are in your mid- to late-20s
- 85% of you are white and 7% of you are multi-racial
- 13% of you identify as gay, lesbian, transgender, or otherwise queer
Now, let's dive into some more nuanced data…
It's interesting to me that really only half of you are currently engaged. Offbeat Bride is of course primarily about wedding planning, but a third of our readers are either not yet engaged (18%) or recently married (14%). Y'all show up for the party early, and stay late to help us wash the dishes — I love that about you!
When I last did a reader survey just over a year ago, the most shocking thing I learned was how few offbeatwed.com readers read my book. In December 2008, 65% of you hadn't read my book, prompting me to write a post titled 10 reasons you need to read Offbeat Bride the book, and not just offbeatwed.com. Clearly, my efforts were fruitless because this year 72% of you haven't read the book. I'm trying to convince myself that it's because some of you are waiting for the second edition to be released in a couple weeks. If you've been waiting, ladies: NOW IS THE TIME!
In terms of what y'all want to see on the site, you told us loud and clear that you want more DIY content, more advice, and more budgeting tips. Well, I've already got Offbeat Shrie bumping up her DIY efforts, and I've recommitted myself to answering more advice questions. As far as budgeting, I'll see what I can do to bring in a few guest-posters.
The write-in comments for what you want more of on the site were super interesting. One of the challenges of running a site dedicated to nontraditional brides is that ALL of you wants to see more people like yourself on the site — and you're a diverse lot! More Native American brides, more plus size brides, more international content, more Jewish weddings, more stuff in the Midwest, more interfaith weddings, more black wedding gowns, more information about elopements, more men.
Of course we try to provide ALL these things, but the sad truth is this: Offbeat Bride will never be everything for everyone. We do the best we can to keep the site varied and diverse, but ultimately there are a few things we just aren't:
- Offbeat Bride is written for women. Offbeat Grooms get coverage here and everyone is welcome to read, but ultimately I wrote my book and founded this website to cater to women, and that focus will remain. In having this focus, I'm certainly not saying men shouldn't love weddings and be actively involved in planning them. I'm just saying I do my best writing and community building for women, and so that's what I choose to do. I recommend the Offbeat Groom Gang for the menfolks!
- Offbeat Bride is based in the United States. We LOVE international weddings and featured tons of weddings in the UK and Australia/New Zealand, but ultimately we're American and it would be disingenuous to claim we're experts on wedding traditions or trends in other countries.
- Offbeat Bride is focused on weddings. This means that we're not especially interested in engagement stories and photos, and we don't dedicate a ton of time to talking about marriage. I'm trying to integrate a bit more of this “offbeat wife” post-wedding writings for y'all, but for the most part I chose to keep this site focused on weddings.
All this is to say: YES! We're always aiming to get a wider diversity of brides and weddings on this site. But, NO! There's just no way we'll be able to be absolutely everything to every single one of you. There's only one person who can make the perfect website for, say, an Inuit rockabilly planning a queer interfaith Jewish ceremony in a cave — and that's you. So while you might not always relate to every single thing you see on Offbeat Bride, hopefully you can enjoy most of it.
Coming in Part 2: What subcultures do most Offbeat Brides identify with? What's coming next for Offbeat Bride? And what Offbeat website will we be launching next?