Why we continue to use the term "Offbeat Lite" even though some people hate it

Oh yes, I can be a troll too!
I'll be delving into the results of the Reader Survey in more detail tomorrow, but I had one thing I wanted to talk about separately. In the survey, we asked about readers' subcultural identities. As always, the majority of our readers do not identify with any subculture. We call this non-affiliated majority "Offbeat Lite" and about 56% of Offbeat Empire readers identify this way.

Of that 56%, approximately 2% took the time to tell us that they hate the term "Offbeat Lite." Like, REALLY HATE IT.

I totally understand why, but you guys: stop being so easy to troll!

For context, here's some Offbeat Bride history: "Offbeat Lite" is a vestigial inside joke from Offbeat Bride's early days, when it was just me toiling alone. In the site's first year, I thought only uber-weirdos would be interested my silly wedding blog. By early 2008, I begun to realize just how many non-freaks loved Offbeat Bride… that's when I first joked to a friend, "Tons of my readers aren't crazy freaky — they're just subtly freaky. Sorta like, I dunno, Offbeat Lite."

At this point, I shifted the tone of the site to be more inclusive of folks all along the spectrum of traditions. "Taffeta-free alternatives" became "creative alternatives" because FUCK YOU, SNOB: some people LIKE taffeta, thank you very much! No more "offbeater-than-thou" — we're all just trying to be authentic! This was a wonderful evolution, and through it all the term Offbeat Lite stuck around as a playful, tongue-in-cheek way to celebrate and embrace some readers' more traditional tastes. (Need I remind you that we do a LOT of celebrating of Offbeat Lites on the blog?)

As always, we never force an identity on anyone without their consent: Like all other labels on the site, "Offbeat Lite" is only used when people self-identify.

I totally respect that a portion of non-culturally-affiliated readers may find the term dismissive and rude. As publisher, however, I find the phrase useful: we need a catch-all term to encapsulate the wonderful weddings we feature at the more traditional end of the style spectrum, and "Offbeat Lite" captures it all in two cheeky words. The few times I've considered getting rid of the term, I've found nothing suitable to replace it with — sneaky freaky, stealth offbeat, offbeat undercover? Just "ON-BEAT"? None of these terms capture it, and they're all confusing upon first encounter.

Furthermore, I find it kind of humorous when folks get so worked up over this playful phrase that invokes cheap beer and early '90s dance music. This ridiculous term is what whips a few of my sweet readers into an froth of rage!? I'm sorry, but that's funny and totally causes me to make this face.

You guys, we all need to have a sense of humor about ourselves and our tastes, and that includes those of us who are offbeat to the point of contrarian, contrived twee-ness (this is me raising my rainbow-arm-warmered hand and biting my lip after totally recognizing my stupid self in "Bein' Quirky"), as well as those of us who might outwardly look completely "normal." It's also worth noting that without this friction between mainstream and non-traditional, or "lite" and "offbeat," Offbeat Bride wouldn't exist. We'd all be content using theknot and be done with it.

Updated to bubble this thought up from the comments:
The issue here really boils down to privilege, which is why I find myself a little amused when people get angry about "offbeat lite." As folks who can more easily blend into the mainstream, many Offbeat Lites have an easier time of navigating the wedding industry than, say, a plus-size transgender Latina trying to plan a wheelchair-friendly Jewish/Hindu wedding. This is not to minimize the challenges that Lites experience — just that it's good to be aware of your own privilege in the matter.

Ultimately, Offbeat Bride was founded for folks who felt marginalized by wedding planning, so it's amusing to me that those who identify as more conventional get to experience this sensation of marginalization, thanks to a ridiculous term like "Offbeat Lite." Perhaps by keeping the phrase around, I'm just trying to do my trollish part to make sure that even those of you who don't identify with a subculture get to have a taste of "otherness." You're welcome!

Now let's do all pull out our favorite chair covers and do a deee-lite dance to celebrate our beloved Offbeat Lites!

  1. I totally agree with the self-identifying part as I know it's something that worries me as my wedding heads closer to the normal than I would like… However, the wedding isn't just about me(dammit!) and a celebration of my awesomeness but rather a celebration of P and I saying, "hah! We're getting married and being ourselves" and for our parents to say, "look we didn't mess them up too much!"
    So as I turn my head from button bouquets towards real flowers, just need to keep reminding myself that it's ok to not freak out the German cousin and it's ok to be offbeat lite!

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    • The baffling part about letting folks self-identify is that sometimes readers decide someone has self-identified themselves incorrectly. I've seen this happen with both offbeat lite ("a blue wedding dress is NOT lite!") and plus-size. Believe it or not, we've gotten numerous comments on numerous plus-size wedding posts saying things like "This bride is what, a size 12?! SHE DOESN'T COUNT AS PLUS SIZE."

      We don't slap labels on people without their permission, and we also don't police how people identify themselves. You feel like an Offbeat Lite? VOILA! You identify as plus-size? As you wish! You identify as queer? We're not going to make you list all the people you've slept with so we can make sure you qualify.

      I think you nail the issue for some folks: when your wedding ends up more traditional than you might have originally envisioned, "lite" can trigger insecurities. Ultimately, weddings are about both authenticity and compromise, and finding the balance between traditions and individual expression is a major challenge…

      8 agree
      • This! Plus, I like that it makes people question their identity, because I think questioning ultimately results in them realizing that everyone is different and that whatever you decide to do with YOUR wedding is what's important. (Like, not in the grand scheme of the universe, but you know what I mean.) I think everyone should have the pleasure and authority to define themselves.

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      • A perfectly-phrased way to sum up those "Lite" insecurities. I identify as an OBB Lite, even though personally, I'm probably more of an all-around supergeek. But when it comes to our wedding, it's about "us", not "me". My FH is a lot more internal with his geekiness, while I wear mine on my sleeve for all to see. Our wedding will be a compromise that reflects both of us, so I envisioned it as more of an Lite wedding.

        Second, I love the term "Lite". As soon as I saw it, I actually felt more at ease on OBB. It made me feel like there was still a place for my FH and myself in the Empire, even if our Offbeat-ness was a little more on the subtle side.

        Also, I find it amusing how the definition of "Offbeat" and "Lite" can really change from person to person. If you ask our parents, we're having a pretty unusual wedding. But I look at it and think it's way on the Lite side. Different strokes, I guess! :)

        7 agree
  2. I like using it so I don't feel like I'm pretending to be something I'm not. That… and offbeat-ness is relative. Compared to just about all of the subcultures here, I am DECIDEDLY onbeat, with a capital on. But in other parts of my life, I land in a different place on the spectrum. Our house is in a unique and funky neighborhood, I like dresses as casual wear when most of my friends are in jeans, I sing in a barbershop quartet… which is both square and offbeat, I guess.

    In my thinking, offbeat lite is more about the degree to which one has to struggle to defend their choices. I don't get much static about my lifestyle or hobbies or appearance from my family or friends or the world… so, to me, that's lite. And I like the option.

    2 agree
    • Interesting! You touch on something here that I think can best be summed up as "privilege" — as you say, you "don't get much static about your lifestyle." Especially when compared to someone who might have a very visible difference (say, they use a wheelchair), you do have a choice and an easier time of blending in.

      I wasn't able to articulate it in my post, but I think this is why I find myself a little amused when people get angry about "offbeat lite." As folks who can more easily blend into the mainstream, Lites have a relatively easy time of navigating the wedding industry compared to, say, a plus-size transgender Latina trying to plan a Jewish/Hindu wedding. This is not to minimize the challenges that Lites experience — just that it's good to be aware of your own privilege in the matter.

      (Which you clearly are, which is clearly awesome!)

      2 agree
      • I am one of the people who wrote in about how I really, really hate Offbeat Lite, and I never got this point before. I think it's important enough to move up into the main post because honestly, I totally agree with you about privilege in the WIC, and yet somehow I always thought Offbeat Lite was all about saying "wink wink, we zombie chicks all know white dresses are for squares." Thanks for this.

        3 agree
        • You're welcome! And thanks for the suggestion to bubble the privilege discussion into the post. I couldn't quite pin it down when I was writing the post — so yay for comments that clarify!

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      • I totally get what you're saying about privilege here, and think it ABSOLUTELY applies to the example you describe )the plus-size transgender Latina (etc.), however, I think privilege sometimes plays the opposite role in offbeat-ness (i.e. white middle class kids who have more access/affinity toward subcultures whereas sometimes tradition/lite-ness is more of a cultural necessity for minorities). Does that make sense? In other words, I think we have to be careful saying full offbeaters have less privilege because they can't blend into society because of their tats or love for zombies or whatever, when it is sometimes that lack of privilege that leads offbeat-lite folks to more traditional routes in the first place.

        5 agree
        • Totally makes sense, and totally agree. There are a lot of ways to slice the differences.

          1 agrees
      • This is an awesome description! I never quite knew where we fitted in before, because we had no complete theme and we don't belong to any particular subculture.

        Our wedding was quite different to the norm in our area, but we really didn't face much resistance at all to our ideas, so we had a nice smooth run with most things.

        I am really happy to know that I fit in as Offbeat Lite after all. Hooray, categorisation!

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    • Yes! That's what I ran into with my wedding… Compared to OBB, I was vanilla. Compared to my family, I was rainbow sherbet with chocolate chips and fish sauce.

      It's all relative, baby!

      9 agree
      • Rainbow sherbet with chocolate chips and fish sauce sounds DIVINE.

        1 agrees
        • Well, dangit. I just tried googling "rainbow sherbet fish sauce chocolate chips" and didn't find it. The internet has finally let me down. :(

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          • You found a googlenope? If Ariel has the comments SEOed, then it won't be for long :).

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          • Less than 5 days in fact. I just googled that phrase and this page was the first result. Sadly all the other results seem to be various menus or multi-purpose food pages that mention all of the items but not together.

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  3. I LOVE the term offbeat lite, and I really hope you don't stop using it! I've used it to describe myself (and my wedding) so many times. It's really useful, and it has definitely made me feel like I belong on this site, even though my wedding is relatively (to the full-Offbeat folks) traditional.

    2 agree
    • Don't worry: at this point we have no plans to change it or stop using it. :)

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  4. I like the term Offbeat Lite. I think it is inclusive and acknowledges that even the white dress wearing brides who love chair covers face judgment and can be made to feel bad about their decisions.

    1 agrees
  5. I am so okay with being Offbeat Lite, Offbeat, or whatever!

    It's a hilarious term, and I don't understand how it's demeaning–it's clever.

    I have pink hair, get shit from my family for just about everything I do and am, but I'm also fairly traditional in my lifestyle choices and political leanings. So…I guess that makes me Offbeat Lite? As opposed to Offbeat ^10? :)

    All that matters to me is that OBB *cares* about issues like these, and that you and all the other folks of OBB make this a safe and welcoming places for folks of all walks, shades, and stripes.

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    • "All that matters to me is that OBB *cares* about issues like these, and that you and all the other folks of OBB make this a safe and welcoming places for folks of all walks, shades, and stripes."

      HEAR, HEAR!

      2 agree
  6. You've already said "you're welcome," so I definitely need to say "thank you!"
    Being rather Offbeat Lite myself, I appreciate all the site does to welcome offbeatedness of many intensities.
    Someone's always going to hate what you do; rest assured most of us love y'all!

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  7. I think this sounds a little weird, but I'm not really sure how to say it! I hate the Offbeat Lite term myself and I can't really tell you why. I think all people are "offbeat" in their own way. I don't have a problem with people identifying that way, nor do I want to see it discontinued (I find it a handy tag, honestly), but it just makes me cringe!

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  8. **waffling on alert**

    I had no idea that Offbeat Lite had Deee Lite as it's theme tune!! I'm all over that sucker now!! I'm betting people are going to be jumping right on board the Offbeat Lite train and getting their groove on!

    As a plus sized, atheist, marriage equality supporting, first time, mid-stride, migrating bride with a chronic illness who wore TWO taffeta gowns WITH an age inappropriate bouquet (whatever the hell that even is) and never really felt like she fitted anywhere throughout the whole process I have to say Offbeat Bride is where I fitted most and I'm grateful that you take the trouble you do to be as inclusive as you are and that you do re-enforce positive self identity. Grouping people makes sense for the website in order to make it more search and user friendly. That people can pick their own "tribe" is one of the beauties of it all. I suspect you're just dealing with a majority of die hard individualists, which I think is pretty much the majority of your readership, and they're a feisty bunch in my experience. WHICH IS AWESOME! I still don't feel like I was Offbeat enough nor do I identify as Offbeat Lite but I doubt even you guys could remedy that…well not unless you started Offbeat misanthropes! In my mind I refer to my weddings as Offbeat Shitfight and Offbeat Clusterfark, one being somewhat better than the other, and I am still trying to find the place in my mind where they sit comfortably. Being a "bride" was exhausting and I'm glad it's over. I know you've probably answered this already at some point but what are the chances of an Offbeat wife/partner/spouse offshoot? I'm not ever going to be an Offbeat Mama but I'd love to read more about unconventional marriages/partnerships.

    Anyway not sure I'm making much sense and if I was less tired I'd probably be more succinct. Bottom line YAAY Offbeat Lite and how it came to be. I'm glad you're keeping it and thanks. Going to go get my groove in the heart on now.

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    • I still don't feel like I was Offbeat enough nor do I identify as Offbeat Lite but I doubt even you guys could remedy that…well not unless you started Offbeat misanthropes!

      HA! That's awesome.

      This boils down to the fact that regardless of what I do or what language I use, there are always going to be folks who don't feel like they belong on Offbeat Bride. We're all just doing what we can to find our places in the world, and while I feel like I work hard to make Offbeat Bride as inclusive as possible, I'm always aware that there's only so much we can do.

      As for Offbeat Spouse: we do relationship posts on both Offbeat Bride and Offbeat Home — so it's there!

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      • LOL! I ams what I ams!

        I hope that didn't come across as I was laying that at your feet? I agree there is only so much you can do and it's certainly not my expectation that you cater to every little idiosyncrasy and nuance. Specially not mine! LOL! I like finding evidence of like-mindedness at Offbeat Empire and I have found it before. I just feel I'm in the wrong place having a chat in the comments if that makes sense? But I completely understand you guys have more than enough on your plates. I'm grateful for what you do already.

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  9. This is a pretty fantastic clarification of the reason for using the terminology. It's definitely a cheeky poke at this universe of Offbeatness that everyone has created on OBB. I think it's a great way to make a nod to others who struggle to fit in – in general – feel like there's a place here.

    I think with all of my wedding planning I have moments where I feel Offbeat and moments where I feel Offbeat Lite so I can't say I necessarily identify fully with either but I like that I don't need to fit into any box/label/etc. on the tribe. I get to choose to just be me.

    Is there an Offbeat Medium? ;)

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  10. I dislike Offbeat Lite, but only in as much as I dislike intentionally misspelling words. It's hard enough to find proper grammar and spelling these days, I do not think we need to encourage it but spreading it around.
    But having said that, I do identify as Offbeat Light. I am not offbeat enough to be truly offbeat, but not conventional enough to be conventional. I fall somewhere in the quirky range.
    I once heard Jasper Fforde speaking about his Thursday Next series (which if you have not read, go do so now, you will not regret it), and he commented that in using famous literary characters in new ways, he considered himself "reverently irreverent." That's the way I think of Offbeat Light — respectful of convention and yet bending, not breaking, the rules just a enough to make things uniquely you.

    3 agree
  11. Thanks for that Ariel,you summed up the priviledge bit well.

    As a bride to be with a physical disability OBB has been a life saver, as I found a blog about someone getting married in a wheelchair and didn't feel as shut out of the industry.

    From this I also pointed my work colleague in the direction of OBB when she was beginning to plan her wedding with her partner and Australian laws dont support that. No wedding magazines in Australia show brides/ grooms using a wheelchair or walking sticks etc and if they do its always got a patronising tone to it ie isn't he good for marrying her(with the disability, cancer etc) and they dont show same sex couples getting married either, so I appreciate that OBB gets the idea of priviledge when people are getting married and what it means to have to navigate these things in a society that doesn't always include/consider these differences.

    I filled out the survey and I can say it didn't even occur to me to comment on offbeat lite, I have only just learnt what it meant from this blog! I see myself as having privilegde as the laws allow me to marry so I'm off beat lite in one sense but in another trying to navigate venues, dresses and first dances with a physical disability without being patronised by vendors is a whole other thing, and nothing lite about that, so I think people can be in both camps at the same time :)

    Keep up the great work

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  12. i self-identify as "offbeat lite" and i FUCKING LOVE this term. i use it to identify myself in many aspects of my life now because i feel it so succinctly sums up how ive felt my entire life and never been able to adequately put into words. do i wish i were more "offbeat"? yeah. sure. that'd be cool. but i'm not. i'm just not. and i'm not going to pretend to be to fit anyone else's label or ideal.

    it was this term that helped me come to terms with my own wedding planning struggles. the part of me that wishes she were cooler wanted an uber themey wedding that expressed my love of the color black, punk rock, skulls, sugar skulls, star trek, and victorian era everything VS. the part of me that knew that displaying all of that so flagrantly on a daily basis is not me, not my husband (yay!), and would have achieved nothing but embarrass my parents and alienate a guest-count that was 75% their guests (all of my friends, my husbands friends, and most of his family are a bunch of flakes). i love the people we invited. i love them. the point of our wedding was to share a life changing moment with and celebrate with the people we love. i did that in an ivory/red dress, tattoo tights, bright red satin pumps, faux flowers, black feathers, rocking 40's victory curls, pin-up makeup, playing Enterprise & Super Mario themes, and shakin it to The Time Warp and Baby Got Back!

    and offbeat lite or not, my wedding turned out FUCKING AWESOME!! i got so many compliments. and i was so proud when people made comments like "most weddings are just nice and there, ya know? but this one is definitely memorable!" THAT'S what i wanted more than anything.

    so being offbeat lite rocks!!! and if you dont like offbeat lite (light) people, or you dont appreciate the term… TOO BAD! its obviously not YOUR term. its OURS!! you get to be whatever you identify yourself as; let us have this! :)

    1 agrees
  13. I love the term Offbeat Lite because it makes me feel like I have a place in the world of weird people and subcultures. I come from an extremely conservative family. My dad was consider a rebel in college (during the 70's) for letting his hair grow over his ears. I couldn't wear nail polish until I was in high school, and I had a driver's license before I was allowed to get my ears pierced. So being really, in-your-face offbeat would also mean never going home for Christmas again. (And seriously? I'm not missing Mom's dressing over blue nail polish or a tattoo.)

    So I came late to being quirky, and I'm trying to walk a line between being disowned and being myself. And the idea of "Offbeat Lite" gives me permission to walk that line without feeling like a sellout.

    3 agree
    • "And seriously? I'm not missing Mom's dressing over blue nail polish or a tattoo."

      This made me smile! I would do A LOT to make sure I still had access to Mom's dressing, Sister's pies, etc.

      1 agrees
  14. I identify as Offbeat Lite because I kind of see it as a way to say I'm not totally mainstream, but I'm also not trying to co-opt something that I'm not fully a part of. I suppose it's also a way to say that I'm intrigued by different lifestyles, hobbies, and identities, but I'm not going to take those labels to identify myself. (I hope what I'm saying makes sense…) Anyway, I love the term offbeat lite-I feel like it gives a way for less offbeat readers like myself to feel included in the offbeat love!

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  15. I just wanted to say that this post made me decide to start reading offbeatbride regularly! It's popped up a number of times as I've looked for inspiration for our (so lite it's not even offbeat… but it's gonna be fun!!) wedding this June, and have been really impressed with what I've found. But THIS made me want to start reading the site as an actual source of wisdom about, oh you know, weddings, and families, and people, and life, and all that important stuff. So, thanks!!

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  16. I think I remember the early days of Offbeat Lite… I was glad to have a place to "fit in" as well. I mean, I had a white dress and a Catholic Mass wedding, which for many probably begged the question, "Why are you here, again?"

    Our wedding shocked the pants off our friends and family with the non-traditional choices we snuck into event, and I remember a convo on the Tribe at one point about how having a mostly-onbeat wedding with little unexpected changes is its own can of worms; people bring a LOT of expectations to a white dress, Catholic Mass wedding and are scandalized when it's not all the things they expect. If guests are going to a wedding on a mountaintop with spelunking-themed invitations, I think the guests leave some of those expectations at home.

    In all that, the main point is, I do think there is an experience of "offbeat lite" and I appreciate that is it editorially acknowledged in such a direct way, regardless of the name.

    0 agree
  17. I used to hate Offbeat Lite, but it's mostly because I wanted to fit into a Truly Offbeat subculture. I think everyone wants to be noticeably different, but the title really applies only to the people who are living it, whether it's intentionally or by circumstance.

    But I realized, quite importantly, that I'm not comfortable being super nonconformist. As much as I enjoy observing other lifestyles, I wouldn't want to live them myself. It would be a lot of energy to push myself in that direction because it's not who I naturally am.

    Of course, after coming to accept how not Offbeat I am, I found my calling in the homesteader movement… It's different from the norm, but it feels so natural to me that I can't even call it Offbeat.

    Anyway. It just is what it is.

    1 agrees
    • Doing something because it "feels so natural" is Truly Offbeat. As another post on OBB says, it has nothing to do with the purple hair, and everything to do with what's going on inside your head.

      1 agrees
  18. I love the term "Offbeat Lite", because it helps identify a unique set of challenges that those of us who are balancing tradition with authenticity face. I totally get that full-on subculture stuff can be really hard to explain to family, but there are also a lot of challenges in drawing the line between having real flowers (because they really are pretty) and not having baby's breath (because it's too WIC-y and doesn't fit the vibe we're going with. I've come to realize that a lot of doing the Offbeat Lite thing, at least for me, is picking my battles. There are a lot of things (chair colour, whether we have tablecloths, whether I even have a bouquet) that I find it difficult to care about at all. I'm marrying my best friend, why the *!@# would it matter to me whether we have tablecloths? And in the end, since I really don't care, we're having tablecloths. And white chairs. And flowers. But somewhere in all of that unnecessary-as-far-as-I-can-tell stuff, I'm still trying to keep this authentic to us.

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  19. I like it, and I think its cute. But I like being cute, and I understand some people may not :)

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  20. I love the term Offbeat Lite. I don't look offbeat at all, and you wouldn't know know that I'm fairly unconventional unless we got on certain conversation topics. I'm a white married heterosexual women, plus my husband and I are both bureaucrats (one day, I swear I'm going to submit a post about being a public servant and maintaining your own identity and values). So I'm kind of offbeat in cognito, but the truth is that I don't get treated the way someone who is visibly goth or hippie gets treated, so I don't really feel comfortable with identifying as anything but Offbeat Lite. Funnily enough, given that I'm in the environmental field, my visual onbeatness has at times caused an issue of its own (I've tried to dress like a hippie to fit in, but I feel like I'm wearing a costume, which is I'm sure how my hippie friends would feel if they dressed like me). All this to say – I love this label, its the first one I've tried on that fits!

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  21. I love being offbeat lite.

    Pull your head outta your butt – if you've got a problem with the term – you've got bigger problems!

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  22. I don't mind "offbeat lite" since it works as a good catch-all when the couple you make up 50% of has it's hands in lots of subcultures. There's no real other way to describe it when you're melding a punk gamer with a flamboyant new romantic and don't want to get terribly involved in explaining what ends of gamer-ville and punk land (critically acclaimed and technically savvy, old) he comes from and what the hell exactly a flamboyant new romantic is. (Goth elegance with a wider color pallet.) We're completely disinterested in the common lite elements of jars, bunting, mini-flags, and hipsterism, but since it's too complicated to go through all the subcultures and because we can halfway blend in while in public (he does, I don't) we become lite out of convenience.

    1 agrees
  23. I think offbeat lite covers it, but I have an alternative: Offbeat ninja! Sneaky like a ninja! Hidden like a ninja!

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  24. I love the term Offbeat Lite. I agree that I have a much easier time blending in then other more Offbeat people, it's always been that way . I never had a term for myself when I was a part of the Goth subculture, I wore a lot of black but always velvet never leather or bondage wear, a lot of eye makeup but never pale base and had custom fangs. Really I looked more like a Renissance hippie with really sharp teeth then a Goth like all my friends were. Now grown up I'm a upper middle class housewife that wears a lot of vintage inspired clothing and my hair is occasionally pink or purple. Which the people in my life think is quirky more then offbeat.. So it's great to have a term that represents my insides oppose to my colorful conservative outside.. So thank you for the term and keeping it..

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  25. I am another who totally agrees with the term "Offbeat Lite!" When I discovered the blog, after spending many frustrating hours on The Knot and Wedding Bee, I was afraid I would just be another outsider because of my in-between-ness. When I saw this term and the communities within the site dedicated to it, I thought 'EUREKA! EXACTLY! There ARE more people like me and we have a NAME!' So, thank you for putting my feelings and identity into a term and a place where I can belong. :D People who are getting angry are just still a little lost and I hope they can find their way to this happy place soon. :)

    2 agree
  26. I love the inclusive nature of the Offbeat sites. I definitely fall more into the "Offbeat Lite" spectrum, and feel part of a community here. I totally understand the usefulness of it to you and your team, Ariel, and appreciate this article about it.

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  27. What?! Why would people get offended at that? When I first started reading the blog a few months ago and saw you describe a wedding as offbeat lite I thought it was clever and described me perfectly. I'm just a Jewish girl that wants a fun Jewish wedding and long happy marriage, but doesn't want to buy into the ridiculous drama that seems to surround so many weddings. I don't want to go into thousands of dollars of debt and I don't need the "OMGPERFECT day that's all about meeeee or I'll dieeeee!!!1" But I'm also not a sadomasochist, gay, transgender, a crazy rocker, into dungeons or dragons, or part of many of the other subcultures here. HOWEVER I FULLY support people who are in whatever they want to do with their wedding day (and life). And those two reasons are why I'm here. I am offbeat lite. So shoot me.

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  28. Self-identification is always hard for me! I AGONIZE over the reader survey every year, trying to figure out what boxes I should be checking. My trouble with Offbeat Lite, is that it seems to be the only one of the categories that I fit in, because I don't identify with any subculture, but I feel it doesn't accurately capture my extreme weirdness. I know there's an "other" with a text box that I can fill in, but I don't feel like that is statistically helpful. I feel like there should be another box, like, "Really weird but otherwise uncategorized!"

    And then I realized that this is the most ridiculous thing in the world to complain about.

    4 agree
    • Hear hear! My feelings exactly – including your final statement :-) – not in the last place because in a way I think we have to do more navigating ourselves than those who represent a particular subculture, for whom a 'template' already exists so to speak.

      1 agrees
      • THIS!!!

        "… in a way I think we have to do more navigating ourselves than those who represent a particular subculture, for whom a 'template' already exists so to speak."

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  29. I just spent half an hour reading all of the comments on this post and the thing that struck me the most is that I love OffBeat Empire purely because it is a platform for anyone to express themselves. Anyone being the key term here.

    I don't think that we should judge a member/visitor to the site because they don't conform to our level of offbeatedness. I thought that the point was to include everyone.

    I found this website through (believe it or not) theknot.com.au and I love both sites! They have both been instrumental in planning our wedding the way that we want it, white dress, father/daughter-walk-down-the-aisle, pagan ceremony, first dance together, M&M cake, hand-made invitations, hand-painted shoes, video gamer elements, and giant pinata inclusive!

    I don't want to be judged for the level of my off-beatedness. On theknot.com.au I am definately offbeat, but here I'm probably offbeat lite in terms of my wedding and full-strength offbeat in terms of my hobbies/lifestyle choices.

    I loved a comment earlier that said "It's about what's going on in your head" and would like to add: You should get to decide whether or not you are offbeat, and just how offbeat you choose to be.

    1 agrees
  30. p.s. I don't *need* to fit in, but it sure is nice to come to offbeat empire every day and feel it here :) That, in my opinion, is what the empire is about.

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  31. I love the term Offbeat Lite too! I have never been "normal" but never really fit into subcultures either, so for me, this term is finally a name that makes sense (and is fun, especially when you associate it with early 90s dance music!), which has a comforting effect I guess? I've always just tried to be myself, which has gotten me rejected from both the normals and the weirdos on many occasions, so it is a joy to be included, to be not judged, to be accepted for being me. I love seeing what other people are doing to manifest their own places on the spectrum, too, and I love to support them in it, because they are being true to their hearts and, duh, that's where the Groove is! I might not be as whatever as the who-evers, and I might be more whatever that so and so, but I do my best to be satisfied with who I am, who my partner is, and what we want out of our wedding and our marriage.

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  32. I'm okay with it really, it does describe me reasonably well considering I haven't met anyone on this site. I think the issues some may have with this is because it stems from the fact that being a "lite" version of offbeat may not be the norm… on this site; that being said I feel from what I have read that everyone involved is accepted, so happy days!! :) x

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