the anti-wedding

photography by kara pearson

Yes, you are reading something on a wedding dress site, and it is titled, "The Anti-Wedding". No, I haven't put away my orange clips and handfuls of sashes. I still adore tissue organza and dream about being bff's with Vera Wang. And I most certainly haven't stopped planning my own dream wedding (just missing the little details like, you know, a groom). I'm hailing the anti-wedding as a way to break free of all the traditional elements you don't care about because, guess what, it's YOUR wedding!!!
There are tons of books in the world telling you who should sit with whom (...and when to use the word "whom"), that your bridesmaids are responsible for certain things, or that you have to buy whatever laundry list of items. Sure, we've relaxed some of the rules it's no longer a social taboo to do a buffet as opposed to a sit down dinner, and many brides love having cupcakes instead of a traditional cake...but there is literally nothing you HAVE to do. Heck, you don't even have to wear white... or ivory... or a light color. (just ask my bff Vera, or "V" as I like to call her in my head, she's shown wedding dresses in citrus green, nude, and even black).
There are certain elements that I think matter in making a wedding a wedding. Family, great friends, great food and drink, and feeling beautiful. I think where you spend your wedding budget really speaks to where your priorities are. I am a big believer in fewer, higher quality items over lots of stuff where quality has to suffer. Natural fibers, great architecture, and really really good wine. I'm as happy with a big bowl of pasta or grilled cheese sandwiches as I am with pecan-crusted dusk in a truffle-infused demi-glace. And I love all my college buddies back in NY, but I'd personally prefer taking care of 10 friends flights to come party with me then adding another 50 acquaintances to the guest list.
If mom and dad are paying for the wedding, of course, they deserve a say. But parents want their kids to be happy, and your mom doesn't want you to be uncomfortable and awkward on your big day. Having an honest conversation often reveals she was gunning for the oversized bouquets of roses and orchids because she thought that's what you wanted.
Weddings are the one event our society still lets us throw a big party, and many girls want to make something as large as their childhood dreams. But doing things your way, even if it means super low-key, is the only thing you really owe yourself. Don't be someone you're not just for the sake of what your friends think or to impress people. What every group of friends and family want to see most are two smiling faces of people in love. The rest, is just the small stuff.