Whenever people are like BOO MAINSTREAM WEDDINGS BOO WIC I HATE THE WEDDING INDUSTRY RAH RAH RAH, I’m always like “I get your frustration there, guys — but stop fighting so much against what you don’t want, and start proactively working to determine what you DO want. Construction is always more difficult than demolition!” Here’s why creation is more interesting to me that reacting.
The New York Times recently ran an article called Your Hand in Marriage, and Offbeat Bride got a nod for our DIY posts. That’s cool, but what really caught my eye was this quote from a bride named Lauren Ireland:
“I felt like there’s such a movement to homogeneous wedding styles with Pinterest and Etsy, which are wonderful tools but do seem to make things seem very similar,” she said.
Her wedding, she added, represented “not an effort to be unique, but an effort to be us.”
I don’t want any of you looking back on your wedding and being like, “God, I don’t even like Game Of Thrones that much.” Offbeater-than-thou weddings just for offbeatness’ sake? That’s a misdemeanor right there, and we won’t arrest you, but we will escort you off of the property to head over to Offbeat Home & Life’s archives, where we can support you with awesome articles to build self-awareness and confidence. We believe in rehabilitative treatment here.
There’s a lot of talk in the alt-wedding world about the “wedding industrial complex,” that runaway freight train of wedding industry grossness that’s always pressuring you to do things a certain way because supposedly that’s how things are done.
Lots of us hate the Wedding Industrial Complex, which some people abbreviate as “The WIC.” I feel y’all on the loathing of an industry that can be insidious and damaging. I think it’s also important, however, to reiterate something I’ve written about several times before: Offbeat Bride is absolutely part of the wedding industry.
Over the years, I’ve seen something come up time and time again from Offbeat Bride readers: people will send an email, post on the Tribe, or leave a comment that basically amounts to, “Do I REALLY count as an Offbeat Bride? Do I really belong here?” I think of it as the Offbeat Bride’s version of othering: this way those of us who’ve defined ourselves as non-normative have of pushing ourselves away from other people. The push makes sense, of course — if you live in a region where your politics aren’t aligned with those around you, of course you’re going to feel a push, and like you need to clearly define yourself as “not that.” There are a lot of social and cultural contexts where it makes perfect sense that people who feel a little bit off the beaten path would push against the people and society around them. What makes less sense to me is when I see us push against each other…