Yes, you DO need the book in addition to reading the website

Guest post by Lucy_Tuppa

Tribe member LucyTuppa explains how she was “saved by the book” as it were. Turns out, not everything is on the website… -Megs

yanina w book alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
The lovely Yanina brought her Offbeat Bride book to our photo shoot.

So I bought the Offbeat Bride book right at the start of the planning and read it avidly. It was entertaining and comforting. It made me laugh out loud at times. I read sections aloud to the Bloke to help explain my ideas. It made me think about my wedding planning and my “Bridentity” in a more in depth way.

The “smidge above” beauty preparation section has been my mantra when figuring out what to do and what not to bother with in my pre-bridal preparations, so I've found the book generally diverting and pleasing and helpful.

About four weeks ago — six weeks out from local party/reception — I started getting lots of calls/emails/texts from out of town guests asking for advice on finding a hotel room for the night. I had anticipated this and had a pre-prepared email full of links to local hotel websites.

Now, bear in mind that, while we live in a conurbation area, it's not a city centre or an area with a great tourist interest and, therefore, not that many hotels. So I sent the links, but then got loads of urgent and frequent contacts saying “oh, those hotels are all full,” or, “they're too expensive.” Now, granted, I know that a lot of my friends are on a budget, but about FOUR MONTHS ago I did mention that the cheap deals at the Travel Lodge don't last long, so they should get a shift on. But maybe I'm the only person here who likes to get organised in advance…

I tore my hair out over this issue. Our friends would not make it, no one would be there, it was going to be a disaster! I stomped and shouted at the Bloke, until he snapped one night and bellowed at me: “SO WHAT ADVICE DOES YOUR F**KING BOOK HAVE ABOUT THIS, THEN?”

Good point.

Among the advice, I found this:

When I started planning, I felt this ridiculous need to take care of all of the guests… it took me a while to let it go and realize that all these folks are grown ups who manage to get through life without me the rest of the time, so I didn't have to get obsessive. Figure out where you're staying, and consider letting your guests fend for themselves. Make recommendations, but stay out of it.

(Offbeat Bride, Chapter 26, 1st Edition.)

So I did. I sent the email and left them to it. I made vague noises in response to texts, but left them to it.

Over the last forty-eight hours I have received three texts from independent groups of friends — the ones that I had all but given up on — confirming that they are booked into hotels and that they are sorting their journeys and they will be there! I am overjoyed! It worked! I let go and they went and did it all by themselves.

So I wanted to say a big “YAY!” for Ariel, for OBB, and for advice that actually works! Because really, how often does that happen in this crazy life of ours?

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Comments on Yes, you DO need the book in addition to reading the website

  1. Nice. I haven’t run across this issue yet (still too far out), but it’s a great thing to read before I go the hair-tearing route.

  2. I knew there was a reason I kept giving your book as a gift, Ariel – there really is good stuff in there!

  3. I’ve had more than one occasion where I’ve said, “Ariel had some advice on this, hold on!” Glad to know I’m not the only one.

  4. If nothing else, I just like HAVING my copy around. It makes me feel more prepared to fend off my other wedding planning friends with their issues of Ultra-Traditional Bridal Weekly. The advice is totally useful and it’s my own little umbrella, keeping the WIC from soaking into my skin.

  5. Ok this sums up my wedding planning EXACTLY! I found the website early in the planning stage last year – it was my touchstone in a world of bridal magazines – and shoulda bought the book too! I had way too many stressful moments just like this one last spring heading into the last few weeks before the wedding. (Don’t move houses, have a health crisis, make a career change, start school, AND plan a wedding in the same few months.)

    Very good advice Ariel. Take a deep breath and know what’s really important to you about your wedding and know what you can control.

  6. Yes!!! Have read the book cover to cover, and I have a feeling I’ll be reading it a few more times before my big day!
    It’s been a life saver and a BIG sanity saver. As soon as I saw the f-bomb in one of the chapter titles, I knew this book was for me!! I read too many ‘traditional’ books telling me what I should have, I love that this book pretty much told me what I already knew deep down: That is is mine and my FH’s day. THE END!! 🙂
    Congrats to all the offbeat brides and grooms out there!!!

  7. Yes! The book, website and the Tribe is invaluable.

    Specifically on the topic of hotels what I did beforehand was figure out the maximum number of rooms I could expect if every out of town guest came. I planned my wedding to occur during a popular regional event and knew hotels would sell out and before they sell out that the prices would start to get ridiculous.
    I then went to a travel website and put in the number of rooms I wanted to reserve and other specifications (like location, price, etc). And then I got bids from hotels. I eliminated any that didn’t meet the specifications (some hotels still bid that didn’t meet criteria) and any where I had to put any money down to reserve rooms or where I had to obligate myself that we would book all of the rooms. Then I went to hotels and choose 2 of them with different price points that were close to each other.
    Then I put the links and details on our wedsite and e-mailed everyone with the link and the notes of the deadline they needed to reserve by if they wanted that special rate.
    Only one family booked even up to a week before the deadline. I started to freak. Partly because I was worried that people would then have to spend tons on a hotel and truthfully also because I spent a bit of time doing this to help my guests.
    Then I took a breathe and I updated the wedsite and reminded people of the deadline and didn’t look back.
    Every out-of-towner who rsvped was able to get a room at one of the hotels. I had actually overestimated the number of rooms but since I didn’t choose any hotels that required us to obligate ourselves to a certain number of rooms once the hotel’s deadline passed they just put the rest of the rooms back on the market. (which I am sure they sold form two if not three times what my guests paid)
    Ariel is right. People are grown ups. You can only do so much.

    • Hi Carmen!
      great idea! would you be willing to share the travel website you used?
      thanx either way – j

      • I used:

        I don’t think they’re the only ones out there though so it couldn’t hurt to shop around but we had a short engagement so when I found something I liked I stuck with it and moved on to the next item/issue.

  8. Yay! I agree too. I hung out on the website for months before I even realized I was about to start planning a wedding. At that point I wanted the book, and I’m so glad I got it (won it as a prize, no less!). Considering buying the new version just for the budget chapter, although I think I’m doing okay. But I will happily buy the book for anyone I know about to get married, because seriously, it puts all the important stuff right there.

  9. I bought the book for my sister-in-law – they’re a very casual couple who are not fussed at all about anything fancy or traditional (I think HE would be happy in a flannelette shirt, and SHE wants a short dress so it doesn’t get caught on the grass at their property where the wedding will likely be held) I wanted to be able to tell her that it was ok to do what she wanted to do without worrying about what other people might expect or demand from her as there were a few incidents at her engagement party.
    She really liked it, and she was happily telling me that she’d already found some great tips (for example, she went and asked some of the shops for their old ‘white’ themed window decorations, I haven’t read the book so I will take her word for it! :P)

    Anyway, it seemed well worth it, and I hope it will help her out 🙂

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