New York Times: July 2016

Rocking Out in the Mosh Pit, With Baby in Tow

Ariel Meadow Stallings also considers family time paramount. She took her then-5-year-old son to Beloved, a music-and-art festival in Tidewater, Ore., to share her passion for dancing. “Of course, we can always dance in the living room, but there aren’t many places to dance to a full sound system and light show,” she said. “Music festivals give me the chance to share that part of my life with my favorite person.”

Read the full NY Times article here

 

Seattle Times: February 2015

Lovesick Wedding Expo

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“It’s an alternative to the big box, white glove, bridal show,” said Lovesick co-founder Tom Wright. “It’s our fifth year of defying the wedding mainstream.” Wright and Jon Holmes founded the alternative wedding expo in Philadelphia, but partnered with Seattle’s Ariel Meadow Stallings, with Offbeat Bride, to bring the event to the West Coast last year. Lovesick now tours Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Boston, Atlanta, Seattle, Denver, Los Angeles and the Bay Area. McGeough said she was looking for decorating ideas, vendors and was planning for a wedding where “vintage meets crazy,” she said.

 

Read the full Seattle Times article here.

 

Seattle Times: December 2014

Married … with children: an up-close view of Seattle’s ‘weird’ distinction

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Like many Seattleites, Ariel Meadow Stallings is unconventionally conventional. A former raver who grew up in the bucolic setting of Bainbridge Island, she published the book “Offbeat Bride: Creative Alternatives for Independent Brides” in 2007. Part memoir and part how-to, the tome details the quest to have a wedding that didn’t include a white princess dress and a waltz down a church aisle.

The success of the book spawned a website,Offbeatbride.com, a popular wedding blog that Stallings says garners a million readers a month.

With all the interest she found in nontraditional weddings, Stallings, 39, was surprised to learn Seattle ranked first in the nation for kids living in a nuclear family, beating out conservative bastions Colorado Springs and Salt Lake City.

“It’s definitely weird to me,” she said of the distinction for Seattle, where three-quarters of all children live with married parents. “It really speaks to this disconnect between how we identify as progressive and liberals and then the life we actually lead being more conservative — not in a political sense, but in a lifestyle sense — than we might expect.

“The city that is so dedicated to progressive politics, and a liberal social view, and marriage equality and even communal living — that doesn’t translate into how we are raising families,” she added.

 

Read the full Seattle Times article here.

 

NY Times: July 2014

With an Original Score, I Thee Wed

…But you needn’t be a musician marrying into an august musical family to have songs composed or customized for a particular wedding. A Google
search reveals numerous songwriters and musical groups offering to write music specifically for a couple’s nuptials.

“I’ve definitely seen an increase of couples doing it, as well as vendors offering it as a service,” said Ariel Meadow Stallings, the founder and
publisher of Offbeat Bride, a wedding blog. Taking on these songwriting commissions, she said, is also proving to be a boon for musicians, who are
often struggling financially.

Those who have commissioned original music and those who create it say that what most want from original music is something around which
their families can coalesce. “It’s an opportunity to create a piece of art that can be part of the family legacy,” Ms. Stallings said. “Almost a musical
heirloom.”

 

Read the full NYTimes article here

 

NY Times: May 2014

Today in the roll of flower girl: Grandma!

Ariel Meadow Stallings, the founder of Offbeat Bride, a wedding blog that features nontraditional weddings, said that brides selecting grandmothers as attendants is part of a larger trend: couples wanting to include their family members in the wedding, but not in a traditional way.

“For a lot of couples and their families, there’s friction between the traditional role that families play in weddings and the couple’s concerns about where those traditions come from and the feeling that they don’t reflect their lives,” Ms. Stallings said.

Rather than eliminating those roles completely, which can cause family turmoil, she is seeing more couples incorporating family members in ways that highlight those individuals’ character traits or abilities.

Ms. Stallings suggests asking, “How can we celebrate who this person is?”

Read the full NYTimes article here

 

NY Times: September 2012

Moving Past Traditional to the Science Fictional

…The 2008 wedding of Mr. and Ms. Marovich in San Pablo, Calif., details of which were later posted to Offbeatbride.com, was not the first to contain references to zombies. But it highlighted something of a trend among a certain subset of couples who are looking outside (sometimes way outside) accepted custom.

Ms. Marovich, 35, said she received several e-mails from people who wanted to copy her vows, and the Offbeatbride site has since featured dozens of zombie-themed weddings. So many that the site’s founder and publisher, Ariel Meadow Stallings, said she recently cut back on them, for fear of overexposure.

“It’s being used in ceremonies in ways that aren’t just gimmicky,” she said. “It’s actually kind of a powerful cultural metaphor that people are tapping into.”

Read full article.

 

NY Times: August 2012

Remember when Mark Zuckerberg had a relatively simple backyard wedding a couple months back? Well, the New York Times ran an article this weekend about that fits into the growing trend of simple weddings, and we were featured:

Over at the wedding site Offbeatbride.com, the publisher, Ariel M. Stallings, said the number of visitors to her Simple Wedding archive has grown since the Zuckerberg-Chan event … “The backyard is the new ballroom,” said Amy Kaneko, an events planner in San Francisco.

Read the full article.

 

NY Times: June 2012

Schlopp with a Cherry on Top!

From Let Them Eat Cinnamon Buns:

Ariel Meadow Stallings, the founder and publisher of Offbeat Bride, a wedding blog, said, “It’s not an anti-cake movement, it’s more like: If you’re going to spend a fortune to feed your guests at your wedding, you might as well feed them something you’re going to really enjoy, and that they’re going to really enjoy.”

She has featured ceremonies in which candied apples, churros and even schlopp, a Dr. Seuss-inspired parfait, take the place of the cake. Ms. Stallings said the couples’ challenge is making less formal substitutions look special.

Ms. Stallings added, “Candy buffets can be really colorful, and really playful, and have a real sense of fun.”

… 

 

U Magazine: 2012

Last month I was interviewed for an article in an Irish magazine called U Magazine about women proposing to their boyfriends as part of Leap Day. Granted, I didn’t propose to Andreas on a Leap Day — I had no idea women needed a special day to propose. I proposed to him on New Year’s, when I felt like it.

Anyway, for a look at the whole “proposing to your boyfriend” phenomenon (and some revealing truths about how it worked out for me), you can read the article.

(Oh and PS: and we’ve got lots more proposal stories.)

 

SF Chronicle: 2011

One of Vera Wang's designs for David's Bridal

The San Francisco Chronicle interviewed me about the nontraditional perspective on two new wedding dress lines: Anthropologie’s new BHLDN dresses and the Vera Wang designs at David’s Bridal.

After checking out the new bridal gown line from Urban Outfitters called Bhldn, Ariel Meadow Stallings, who created the Offbeat Bride Bride website, found something to like. This is someone who wore a custom blue corset over a green skirt and a multicolored ribbon veil at her nuptials.

“In the Bhldn line, you’ll notice a lack of structured taffeta and a welcome absence of the ubiquitous strapless white ball gown,” she said.

“And I love that Vera Wang’s designs are more accessible to brides who are into her vision. For years, budget-minded brides have fallen in love with Vera Wang gowns and have had them replicated by dressmaking shops in China, so this is a smart business move for her…”

Read the full article.