What happens when a wedding blogger gets engaged?

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What happens when a wedding blogger gets engaged?
Champers, kitty tights, engagement ring… these are a few of my favorite thiiiiings.

Big fucking news, y'all: I'm fucking engaged! (If you're all “Wtf? What happened to that guy you married?” Read this. Long story short: I got peacefully divorced, and now I'm happily engaged!)

So what happens when a wedding blogger gets engaged? Let's find out together with Wedding Planning Wednesdays. Wednesdays are when I (ironically) take the day off of working for the Offbeat Empire, and then spend the day perusing Offbeat Bride, planning the wedding. Weird, right?

We thought, however, that y'all might like to get down on the wedding planning with me! So every(-ish) Wednesday I'll be posting about what I'm thinking about, bumping up against, and searching for this week. That way, those of you on the same path can commiserate and brainstorm with me, and those of you who have been there/done that can drop some knowledge.

Here's what I've done so far:

  • Set the date: June 24, 2017
  • Found the venue: Mike's mother's backyard in Mendocino County (located on the north coast of California, 2-ish hours outside of San Francisco)
  • Set a budget: Undisclosed, but self-funded
  • Worked up a preliminary guest list: 150-ish people so far
  • Contacted a photographer: Not booked yet, because Mike balked at the cost (oh, sweet sweet baby boy, get ready to be even more shocked at the cost of weddings).

What I'm having trouble with:

Finding the right wedding planner is my number one goal

This isn't my first rodeo, I know how stressful event planning can be, especially when they're taking place at your family's home! I want everyone to be able to relax (as much as possible) and not worry about the minutia. Therefor, we need a team of professionals to handle the bullshit, and help me brainstorm the cool shit. Sadly, my go-to wedding planner is no longer able to plan weddings out of the LA area. So here's my question: Do I hire an LA-based planner, who I can meet up with in person easily? Or do I hire a wedding planner from the Bay Area, and hope their knowledge extends two hours north of there? Or do I try to find a local planner, and hope that they can grok my Offbeat shiz?

I've been living in an Offbeat Bubble

I have been working at Offbeat Bride for 7 years — so long that I forgot that there is still an entire universe of people out there who still think that there are rules about weddings. I've caught people saying things like “I know it's supposed to be ‘all about the bride,' but…” or mentioning flower girls and first dances, as if they're obviously happening. I've already been called “Bridezilla” three times, because I dared to voice a strong opinion. Wow man, it's a wide world of wedding fuckery out there, and I have been in such a protected bubble for so long, I was shocked by it. I see now that I'm going to have to do a LOT of gentle reminding that there are no rules for weddings.


“I can't wait to see what kind of epic wedding you're going to have!” People say. “I'm sure there shall be all kinds of crazy things happening.” Here's the real crazy thing: If it were up to me, I'd track down that unicorn that sneezes glitter and pees lemonade, I'd have a bounce house, I'd get married in a most unexpected location in LA, I'd pepper the ceremony with foul language, and decorate with pop-culture references… but I'm not marrying myself. I have a wonderful partner who's always wanted to get married on his family's property (that's not in LA), who wants to create a safe (non-super-cussy) space for his niece and his friends' kids, who doesn't care for glitter-pissing unicorns, and thinks bounce houses are cesspools of disease (he's not wrong, but I think it's worth it). Relationships are about compromise, when you're not of the same exact mind.

So this Offbeat Bride's wedding won't be so intensely offbeat that it'll go viral. I'm going to, of course, get in offbeat touches here and there, and it will be unusual and fun. But if you're expecting glitter, pissing, and fucking, I'm going to let you down. I'm sorry.

Posts that I found particularly helpful this week:

What posts have you found helpful this week? What advice would you give to someone planning a destination-ish wedding in the same state as far as vendors? And what kind of things are you struggling with this week?

Meet our fave wedding vendors

Comments on What happens when a wedding blogger gets engaged?


    I am looking forward to this series. Right now, we are eloping with my dad officiating during Memorial Day weekend, so our planning looks mad different than yours. However, we are thinking of getting weddinged later on, so I’m sure this will be useful!

  2. Oh man, I’m really excited for this too!

    I think I’d feel out the local planners first, see if there’s anyone who gets you. You never know! We’ll have met our coordinator a grand total of twice before the wedding, all planning has been done through email. I feel like having a planner that’s close to you is less important than having one who knows the local scene and vendors.

    • Gooooood call. Local, or local-ish is what I’m leaning towards. Mike reminds me that Healdsburg (a la this wedding) is nearby too, and that’s offbeat hipster wedding-tastic. So I might look over in that direction.

      • Seconding the local attempt. Because it’s just SO HARD to find the vendors you need if you don’t know they exist, and in my experience the smaller the place, the more community and therefore less likely you’ll be able to find businesses online or on directories. So unless your non-local planner is some sort of magic, as local as possible is probably the way to go.

        So excited for you!

  3. I think “delighted” and “excited” are the two words that describe Offbeat Bride readers right now. So happy for you and Mike, and happy for us that you’re giving us this glimpse into your process! It’ll be a fun year, for sure! 🙂

  4. Yaaaay!! Congratulations!! I’m so happy for you!
    Also, yeah, culture shock. A lot of our decisions happened after I’d found OBB so I’d journal about whatever the weird thing of the day was, get a ton of “OMG that so awesome!” comments and then be really sad / pissed / disappointed when people I knew in real life weren’t totally thrilled by the weirdness. Just surround yourself with awesome people who get what you’re going for. It’ll give you strength to face the naysayers!
    Congrats again!! 😀

  5. I’ve also had some comments from my family about how they’re excited to see how weird our wedding will be. It’s flattering, but I know they’ll be mildly let down by the non-viral levels of weird. 23 more days and I can report back on people’s reactions, though. 😀

  6. Congrats! I am really excited to see what you do in terms of the planner. I am about to be engaged and have started browsing your site/ talking with my mom about our planning process and the hiring of a planner will be first on our list too. I am based in the same area as you but there is a strong possibility the event will take place elsewhere so I’m interested to see what you do!

  7. Already circling like a vulture waiting to crash this wedding…

  8. Congratulations 🙂

    I’m in the UK and, interestingly, my partner and I have not come across too many ‘rules’ yet, but I think that may be because we’ve gone so DIY that we’re not really coming across any ‘wedding industry’ people.

    My Ma is making my wedding dress and his suit (she actually makes wedding dresses for a living, so that was not a tough choice), our venue is a blank slate letting us do whatever we want (our own decorations, our own catering, self-stocked bar), we’re buying flowers from a market and arranging them ourselves and we’re doing the legal part quickly and quietly the day before so my best friend is acting as our officiator.

    But I do get the ‘pressure’ side of things. We’re fairly non-traditional (I proposed to him), and also very creative. Our friends know the legal bit is happening elsewhere and we are getting a lot of comments along the lines of being excited about going to a wedding that will be so different to any they’ve been to before and so forth. I’m excited about the decor (spoiler – books everywhere) but it’s not going to be unrecognisable! I’ll be wearing a dress, there will be vows and rings and speeches.

    Anyway, I’m excited to read about your wedding journey! Good luck 🙂

  9. Weird coincidence, you’re getting married on the same day as me! I’m in England so a lot of things are different but I’ll be really interested in following your planning process. One thing that shocked me was the price of catering – depending on the venue, if they don’t even have the basics (like ovens or plates or glasses) it can get really expensive hiring all that stuff along with the actual cost of the food. Probably not something you’ll have to deal with, getting married at someone’s house.

    I was also surprised how far in advance people book things. I got engaged at the end of February 2016, so I’ve only been engaged for a couple of months. In that time, while looking into what we need, I’ve had a bar service and a photographer both say they’re fully booked up for our wedding date and a catering company tell me (in March) they only had one space left on that day. I’m not bothering with flowers, DJ, band etc but if I was I expect some of them would also be fully booked. Considering I find it hard to plan even a month in advance it was really baffling that people would be putting down deposits and setting things in stone over a year in advance!

    Regarding a wedding planner; I have zero experience in this but I would think it would be best to get one who knows the area in which you’re getting married, and will therefore have local contacts and be able to physically visit places/vendors. But the main thing is one you get on well with who won’t baulk at any weird ideas you have! I’m lucky so far, none of our family or friends are particularly conventional so when we talk about off-beat wedding plans the most we get is my mum finding it mildly amusing that we’re so weird. I hope you don’t get too much flak from people who think your wedding should be “conventional”, though if they know you I’m sure they won’t be too surprised if you do something a bit unexpected. Good luck!

  10. My son works for one of the premier wedding event planners in the country (think: $1,000,000 for just a rehearsal dinner… not counting the food or beverages). So, when the owners of the company were married 18 months ago, everyone expected this blowout of epic proportions, but their wedding was intimate, creative, and beyond lovely. Beautiful touches everywhere, but nothing grandiose or over-the-top. Don’t get me wrong; it was original! But it wasn’t expensive or blingy. Oh, it could have been, as they own everything that makes their client weddings sparkly and Kanye-esk, but they chose a different route altogether and is was glorious!

  11. I’m a wedding planner in Denver, so I can’t help you (:( ), but I don’t think WHERE the planner is from matters so much as someone who jives with your style and who will stand up for you and be the one everyone calls a bitch so you can sit back and smile like a happy bride. Choose a planner who will stand up for your strong opinions. And yes, the bubble is hard. Every day I have to tell someone, ‘you know, that’s not the only way to do it.” Get your planner to fight those battles for you! GOOD LUCK and I look forward to more news!

  12. Congratulations thats awesome news. :):):)
    I have been told that i should ware white (not going to happen ) been yelled at for not wanting my mum and dad to pay for it, been told off for not wanting to ware normal shoes and yes been called a bridezailla for it by people who think every wedding should follow the same so called rules!!
    I wish you lots of luck and i hope things go well!

  13. Big congrats! Looking forward to a blogger planning their wedding “along with me”.

    My go to-post this week is the classic “Your Wedding is Tacky”. Looking for other folks planning weddings (and lamenting that the Offbeat Tribe forums are closed!), I joined another wedding forum, which will remain nameless. I’m still loving the planning pieces, but absolutely turned off by the attitude of “Don’t even bother mentioning [INSERT CONCEPT HERE], we all think it’s tacky”. Thank God for Offbeat Bride, or I might be getting turned off wedding planning!

  14. Congrats on your engagement. I am from Aus and live quite remote. Our wedding planner was recommended through emails that I sent out looking for local businesses. She is two hours away and an absolute God send. Being so far away from everything I thought would mean extra travel costs on top of normal expenses. She has sourced out local theatre groups, weekend markets, etc… and has found a small treasure. Try these ideas you never know what may pop up (spoiler alert…chandelier)
    Good luck

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