The term has become popular, but it doesn't just mean wearing black instead of white, but more non-traditional elements that spice things up and make your day more unique like you!
In many ways of weddings today, tradition seems to be a thing of the past. Some tradition will always stay with us close to our hearts, but other things have become more and more flexible to make each celebration a thrill of its own distinctiveness. One of my favorite things circling around in the wedding world is the "anti-bride". Many would think that that term is coupled with a bride who only wears black or any color besides white, or a woman who refuses to marry at all, but actually, it's entirely different.
The Anti-Bride is a bride that embraces breaking beyond the boundaries of tradition and creating a day to fit the style, desires, and attributes of the couple - whether it's two that elope on the mountain in hiking boots and a backpack, or a rooftop parking lot ceremony with a retro car decorated in florals and the bride in a suit with the groom. Many 'anti-brides' also embrace older traditions and styles from generations past, featuring wedding dresses paying tribute to the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s, pairing it with makeup and jewelry to match the style. The Anti-Bride is fun, adventurous, and true to herself. So why leave the tradition behind?
Reason #1: The opportunities are endless.
Leaving tradition (or just a little tradition) behind, you release the pressures of booking the grand chapel, hiring the band or DJ, and buying real flowers. If you know anything about weddings, it's that they can be one of the most expensive things you ever spend your money on. Everything adds up and fast. Most wedding dresses today start at over $1,000.00 with brides willing to spend 3-4x that amount just on what they wear. Once you consider a style of day, venue, and guest count dollars start to pile up quickly on accommodating all of those who are invited to celebrate with you.
Now, if you start with a clean slate, and decide to do only what YOU want to do the way YOU want to do it (which is how things should be done in the first place), you opt to spend only want, where you want, and likely, spend less.
Meaning: you have more money to go where you want, wear what you want, or hire who you want to.
Reason #2: When you are true to you, you are your best you.
I remember the pressures of wedding planning and wondering if I was going to get all of my boxes checked, making sure that all of my bridal party, family, and friends would get the experience they all expect from attending a wedding. Unfortunately, I would all-too-quickly forget that the wedding I was planning was MY wedding (and my husband's), and I would feel pressured to do things, buy things, and pursue things that didn't really feel like me. I remember trying on my wedding dress and fighting within myself to go a route that would please the "traditional" crowd, but when I did, I didn't like what I was wearing. No bride deserves to feel a tension within herself on her big day! If you truly don't feel an emotional connection to what you are planning on your day, DON'T DO IT. Stay true to you and your fiancé's personalities and everything will fall into place.
That being said, if you don't want to wear a long dress, DON'T.
If you don't want to rent a chapel for your ceremony, DON'T.
If you don't want to do a garter or bouquet toss, DON'T.
Wear what you want to wear because YOU like it. Get married where you want to get married because YOU like it. If you are living your life for someone else, you won't feel connected to it - and on the biggest day of your life, you deserve to feel like it's 100% true to your love story and your personalities! So if you're feeling like an un-traditional bride, break those traditions and be proud of it!
Reason #3: Being unique = having fun!
Yes, doing all of the traditional things you see all of the brides in the magazines doing, all of your friends, and all of your family can feel like your own princess dreams became a reality, BUT going to alternative route gives you the chance to really do something you've always wanted to do. And there's nothing more special than seeing your wedding photos reflect you and your honey having the time of your life on your big day. Whether you elope on a mountain top and spray champagne everywhere after exchanging your vows, or you and your entire bridal party jump in a pool or lake after the party is over, do the thing that you will always wish you did. When you're really having fun because you're doing what you really want to do the way you really want to do it, no other wedding day of your friend or family member or anyone else will compare to yours, and you'll treasure those memories in your heart forever.
I remember when I got engaged, all of my other friends had gotten married already. Of course all of their weddings were beautiful, but since I had waited so long to be a bride, I didn't want my wedding to feel or look like anyone else's. I wanted to have a day that stood out because I truly desired to honor that feeling of "finally" that I was experiencing in my heart. I remember trying on dress after dress intentionally looking for something that didn't look like a "traditional bride" because I wanted to be remembered and make a mark on my entrance. I remember going back and forth on having an at-home wedding, or eloping in the mountains because I really wanted my pictures to be the most gorgeous they could be and celebrate the sense of adventure that my husband and I share. When we opted for an out-0f-state wedding, we compromised and got what we both wanted, and then our bridal party took it from there. At the end of the night, my entire bridal party and many of my guests jumped in the lake at the ceremony spot and were soaking wet when we ran through our sparklers to get in the getaway car. It was the best day of my life because of the unique memories that I hold in my heart that I know will last a lifetime.
So, don't look back on your wedding day and wish you would have been more adventurous and bold. And don't just do what every other bride and groom are doing. Do what YOU want, how YOU want to.
Ultimately, at the end of the day, your wedding is yours to plan and dream about. How you want to celebrate you and your love coming together is up to you, but do it how you want to do it. If you want to ball out on a traditional style, go for it only if you want to. But if you want to elope in the mountains or the jungle wearing hiking boots, or go to the desert and celebrate with just a small group of people, DO IT.
Weddings are changing. Traditions can change too. You and your fiancé can make new traditions together to honor the unique love that you share. Be bold. Be YOU. That's the best version the world deserves to love and witness. XO,