Saturday, July 19, 2008

Book Review: Offbeat Bride

I just finished reading the book Offbeat Bride: Taffeta-Free Alternatives for Independent Brides by Ariel Meadow Stalling. I was excited to read the book as I enjoy the Offbeat Bride website. However, I found the book rather disappointing. I was hoping that this book would provide ideas for brides who don't want a McWedding. However, most of the book is simply Stalling's sharing about her own wedding experiences. Having recently become engaged and started the search for various wedding paraphernalia, I understand Stalling's distaste for the Wedding Industry and the cookie cutter wedding/reception. However, I do not agree with the author's approach to the independent wedding. Perhaps it is simply a personality clash. Unlike Stallings, I do not intend my wedding to be a symbol of my declaration of independence from the self-proclaimed sovereign Wedding Industry (or society). In my opinion, weddings should be a communal, joyful celebration which binds the community together. The author does not promote good communication skills among brides and their families; she encourages brides to hide details that their families might find offensive until the day of the wedding. While I believe that couples should plan weddings and reception that reflect their personal interests and beliefs, they should not at the cost of distancing their loved ones. The "F--- you" approach to weddings (and life in general) can only get you so far. (That being said, the level of cursing in this book is distracting and irritating.) Basically, I think Stallings encourages a Bridezilla approach to alternative weddings.

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