Close your eyes and picture a typical bride. You’re probably envisioning a big white dress and an elaborate bouquet, right? Now close your eyes and picture a modern bride. The image might look a little different, but probably not as clearly-defined. That’s because when it comes to what’s de rigueur for today’s brides, the rule is that there are no rules. When it comes to attire, the options are limitless!
For many brides, the most meaningful aspects of a wedding often get marred by having to conform to a bridal ideal that’s simply not for everyone. Personal style is celebrated so fervently in real life, but oddly it’s often discouraged when it comes to weddings. Daring to think outside the box—even if it’s just a few inches outside–is something many brides want to do, but often feel it’s more trouble than it’s worth, and settle for looking like a generic bride on their wedding day, instead of truly looking like themselves.
To offer some more unconventional style inspiration, we partnered with Stone Fox Bride—a New York-based showroom that manages to be both high-fashion and giddily laid-back when it comes to wedding dresses—to help brides-to-be realize that it is possible to dress like yourself and still look fabulous (and bridal!) on your wedding day. (Stone Fox Bride was voted the Best Anti-Bridezilla Bridal Showroom by Time Out New York in 2012, and the studio is covered in dreamcatchers, which really says it all.) In fact, it’s this very idea that prompted Stone Fox Bride creative director and co-founder Molly Guy to start the company.
“When I was getting married a few years ago, I found that the conventional wedding world was really geared toward pressuring brides-to-be to look and feel pretty, fluffy, and perfect,” says Guy. “There’s so much emphasis on the perfection, the patina—the heavy foundation, the perfect updo, and sprayed bouquet of flowers—that the ethos of love and authenticity can get really get lost in the process.”
Guy and her easy-going Stone Fox Bride team make it their business to act as de facto cheerleaders for unconventional brides by encouraging them to not abandon their personal style just because they’re shopping for something to wear to their wedding.
“We [want] brides to look like the most radiant, luminous, happy version of themselves on their wedding day,” insists Guy. “To wear the black nail polish if that’s what they’re into, or the messy braid, or barely-there makeup. Most likely, your partner fell in love with you when you were unkempt and perfectly relaxed and true to yourself, so there’s no reason to try to step into a role you’re not comfortable with just because you’re becoming a wife.”
With that in mind, we enlisted Guy and her team to imagine five different wedding scenarios and create stylish outfits for each that incorporate all the elements of traditional brides, while also thinking outside the box enough to make any bride stand out from the princess-y pack.
Photography: Angela Hau
Photography Assistant: Aran Tharp
Stylist: Molly Guy, Creative Director and Co-Founder, Stone Fox Bride
Model: Megan Hickey, Q Model Management
Hair and Makeup: Jennifer Brent
All Jewelry Provided by Tacori