The Atlantic: October 2019

At a “stag and doe” parties, communities come together to celebrate the spouses-to-be—and give them a financial boost.

… Maybe it’s better to look at stag and does as yet one more way weddings have become more financially transparent. “We are very much in the era of GoFundMe and crowdsourcing,” says Ariel Meadow Stallings, the author of Offbeat Bride: Create a Wedding That’s Authentically You. She points out that it’s now not uncommon for newlyweds to ask for financial contributions rather than things, perhaps in the form of a honeymoon fund or even just cash. “The idea of finding a cute way to ask people to contribute to the wedding is definitely gaining in popularity,” Stallings says….

Read the full article on The Atlantic here.


Refinery29: March 2019

Women Proposing To Men Is Still Rare — But It Doesn’t Have To Be

Offbeat Bride founder Ariel Meadow Stallings agrees that women proposing to men is becoming more common, and she attributes the rise in part to marriage equality. “As a woman, when you see your gay brother get proposed to by his longtime boyfriend, and then your lesbian BFF proposes to her girlfriend, I think it starts to rattle the cage of tradition and gender norms about who’s supposed to propose,” she explains. “If your gay bro can be proposed to, and your lesbian BFF can get down on one knee… then why wouldn’t you be able to propose to your boyfriend?”

Read the full Refinery29 article here


Refinery29: October 2017

Here’s What Feminist Wedding Bloggers Think About That NSFW Photo

A photo of a bride and groom simulating a blow job on their wedding day has gone viral around the world, and the photographer, Michel van der Klooster, is gaining followers and notoriety as a result.

We spoke with a few wedding bloggers and vendors to see what they think of the photo. Meg Keene from A Practical Wedding simply called it “the logical end point of weddings on the internet. We can retire now.”
Some were all for it.

“I’m with the photographer on this one — couples are free to play with their expressions of sexuality however they want,” Ariel Meadow Stallings, publisher of Offbeat Bride, an inclusive website that caters to nontraditional wedding planning, tells Refinery29. “I’m a sex-positive feminist, and I’m all for this. Feminism’s worst-kept secret: Some of us like giving head.”

Read the full Refinery29 article here


The Guardian: October 2016

Seven things I wish I’d known before my divorce: an optimistic guide to the future

November of 2015, my husband sat me down on the living room floor and told me he didn’t see a future for us. The abrupt end of my 18-year relationship left me feeling blindsided and disoriented, and my brain parsed the event as a trauma. I was in a surreal fight-or-flight mode for months, unable to sleep or eat normally, disoriented to the degree that I would walk into walls as I tried to cook for my son, or fall down the stairs for no reason.

On top of this personal shock, I also had to face my readers. In my work as a publisher of an online wedding magazine, I spent the winter of my divorce figuring out co-parenting while also co-producing wedding expos nationwide. I juggled meetings with child therapists and wedding vendors. It was rough.

But as I round out the first year since my divorce, things have calmed down. I look back and wish I could wrap my arms around that poor blindsided woman a year ago and whisper these truths into her ear…

Read my full article in The Guardian


The Guardian: Oct. 2012

Online bullying – a new and ugly sport for liberal commenters

As a publisher serving readers who identify as both progressive and marginalised (in many different, varying ways), this issue is hugely important to me – I’m protective of the quality of debate on my sites. As a progressive myself, it’s also complex and challenging because while I very much share the political values of the folks who engage in this kind of thing, I’m not on board with the tactics – which essentially amount to liberal bullying, and are way worse than anything I see from the conservatives who swing by my publications. The sad truth is that when it comes to the motivations behind this kind of commenting, it’s basically the same as the GOD HATES FAGS guys – even though the values are the polar opposite.

Read the full article


NPR, 2011

How The Internet Transformed The American Rave Scene

“I worked so much overtime trying to talk about how the rave scene wasn’t all about drugs,” says Ariel Meadow Stallings, who published and edited the rave zine Lotus in Seattle during the late ’90s. “It was very noble of me, and I still do believe it wasn’t all about drugs. But it is a drug culture. Even if you’re not on drugs, the culture of the party is determined by the fact that there are people there who are.”

Read the full post.


Mashable, 2010

Social Media Weddings: 4 Tips From the Pros

Your wedding planning strategy — as with most things — can either be helped or hindered by your use of social media.

“While there are great reasons for using social media to plan your wedding (convenient! fun! easy!), since social media is so often used for marketing, it can be difficult to find the line between using the tools to effectively organize your wedding and treating your wedding like another Twitter hashtag publicity campaign,” explains Ariel Stallings, the author of popular wedding blog Offbeat Bride.

Read the full article, 2010

Brides buck tradition and ditch the white dress

Instead of trying to fit a certain mold, Ariel Meadow Stallings cut up a lime-green prom dress she found on eBay, and paired it with an iridescent blue corset.

After all, it was her wedding day. She wanted to look and feel her best. “And that means wanting to wear the color you feel best compliments your skin tone and your hair,” she said.

While most brides aren’t ready to walk down the aisle in anything more colorful than ivory, bridal consultant Susan Rogers said the wedding industry is slowly changing its tune.

Read the full article., 2010

Bowling alley wedding: How creativity is priceless in a bad economy

Sifuentes’ bowling alley wedding in January may not have been traditional, but the creative ceremony saved her thousands of dollars at a time when wallet tightening has become necessary for many American families. Her offbeat wedding is representative of a growing trend, wedding experts say, as brides are discovering cheap can be chic, and also inspire innovative party ideas.

“Necessity breeds ingenuity,” said Ariel Meadow Stallings, a writer who runs the online bridal site Offbeat Bride.

She explains what has ushered in the recent trend of frugal yet creative brides: “It’s the combination of the economy with the fact that through the ’90s, there was a big explosion of the wedding industrial complex.”

Read the full article., 2008

Get your BlackBerry out of our bed!

Ariel Meadow Stallings, 32, an author, blogger and marketing manager from Seattle, recently started a project she calls 52 Nights Unplugged after realizing her dependence on technology had “gotten a little creepy.” Every Tuesday night, she shuts off the TV, computer and cell phone and takes a short digital sabbatical.

“When I first told my husband what I was going to do, he was dubious,” says Stallings. “He’s the one who brings me the laptop in bed. But I’m in my 10th week now and it’s going great. I’m doing a lot more reading and crafting and even taking a dance class.”

Stallings calls her project a “raging success,” although there are still occasional twinges of online envy.

“My husband’s not doing the unplugged thing; he doesn’t feel he needs to,” she says. “So there are nights that I’m unplugged and he’s checking his e-mail and surfing on his laptop, and I’m like, ‘Grrrrr.'”

Read the full article.