Seattle Times: December 2014

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



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,, 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.