Anti-Bride Wedding Planner: Hip Tips and Tools for Getting Hitched

Chronicle Books, 2004

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Tie the knot outside the box with sass and savvy. The Anti-Bride Wedding Planner provides creative inspiration for brides-to-be who want to kick the conventional wedding to the curb. The Anti-Bride philosophy is simple—it is all about you. Shattering preconceived notions of what society expects from a bride or a wedding, the Anti-Bride Wedding Planner features smart and sassy ideas, tips, and tools for brainstorming, planning, and enjoying the big day and beyond.

Filled with oodles of creative ideas for tying the knot outside of the box, this is the ultimate tool for the nontraditional bride!


  • Clever questionnaires for potential vendors, from florists, bakers, musicians, photographers and more
  • Handy pockets for holding business cards, pictures, invitation ideas, sample menus, swatches, and magazine clips
  • Plenty of space for your notes, doodles, and inspirations

Sample Chapters:

Sparkle Plenty

We all want to look stunning on our big day, and this means taking stock in whatcha got and filling in the blanks for whatcha don't. Having gone down to your fighting weight, you could be wearing the latest John Galliano confection, but if your face is embalmed in a makeup mask, you run the risk of looking like a soap-opera bride. No matter what you've seen in the magazines, more is never better-and the photographs don't come out more vivid if you pile it on. Wear what feels comfortable. Trust yourself and the most stylish gal you know, and then do the final editing. If you need inspiration, look in beauty mags and find a model who most closely resembles your coloring and facial structure-the accompanying text usually lists products used. If there is a Sephora store in your town, you're in luck-it's a candy store of try-on glamour with a no-pressure sales team (and all products are available online at

When you're thinking about hair, think about climate: Are you in the humid South, the foggy Bay Area, or in windy Chicago? What you put in your hair and how you wear it should track with the weather. We don't want that sculpting wax melting into your tiara or that precision updo blowing out in the wind!

Change is good, but not two weeks before the big day-don't try on any new looks, techniques, or diets right before your wedding. Razor-thin brows or chunky hair streaks might not jive with your natural beauty. Remember, you want your family and friends to recognize you, not worry that you've entered a witness protection program. Fad diets can cause skin allergies or, worse, weaken your immune system to a point where you become ill. The ideal look is the best version of you that's possible: the most glowing, pretty, and relaxed gal that ever sashayed down the aisle, even if you're shaking an extra five pounds.

For that healthy glow, Jeanine Lobell of Stila Cosmetics suggests good old-fashioned exercise in lieu of cosmetic shimmer creams, which make your face look oily. Only use on the collarbones. She loves the modern classic look-defined eyebrows, beigey sparkly eye shadow with matching eyeliner, and shimmer lipstick. She also says not to follow every trend: "Some trends are hip, but they aren't all pretty."

Get a trial run of what your hairdo will look like in advance of the wedding, says Kellie Little, owner of Zindagi hair salon in San Francisco. Bring a dress of similar neckline and color, the jewels, and, if possible, the headpiece. Tight, constructed updos are formal and nighttime; messy updos are sexy, outdoorsy, and daytime. Hair considerations: formality of wedding, time of day, climate, what looks best on you, how your hair behaves with your headpiece. Let your stylist know the wedding location-indoor hair behaves differently than outdoor hair and needs different styling products. If you're getting married out of town and want your hair styled, have a consultation beforehand.

• Anti-Bride Tip
At your wedding, have handy a facial spritzer that can be used throughout the day to hydrate skin.

Anti-Bride Makeup Suggestions

Pink-and-gold shimmer on lids is a universally gorgeous look.
Cleanse with rose water and glycerin (available at most drugstores). It's an inexpensive but moisturizing clarifier. Lose all the alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) cleansers and creams, which can be harsh on your skin. Using a body butter the night before will make your skin the softest ever in the morning.
Keep colored lipstick from budging by moisturizing around the mouth. Pat with silicone cream (such as Fresh Face Primer by Fresh) to fill in lines. Put on a coat of color. Place a tissue over the lips, and pat loose powder through the tissue. Apply another layer of color. Seal the whole deal with a lip sealer.
To keep your sensual scent going all day long, use essential oils. Since they are not alcohol based, they don't dissipate so quickly.
Have your eyebrows done (tweezed or colored) a week before the wedding. If you are on Accutane, no waxing you will blister! Take an old mascara brush, run it under water and run it across your eyebrows. Your brows will look more natural than using pencil.

Dressed to Thrill

Have you seen a gal walk into a room in a dress that defies description-and the necklace, heels, and handbag all work even if they don't match? That's style. There's a certain savoir-faire and lovely recklessness that comes with true chic: Coco Chanel had it, as did Elsa Schiaparelli and Audrey and Katharine Hepburn. These women turned their well-heeled feet in the opposite direction of whatever the fashion press was doing. Using the guidelines to veer off the well-trod path is the key, and you, dear Anti-Bride, can make you and your bridesmaids' fashion mark this way.

Many brides and bridesmaids are happy to plunk down a reasonable fee for a dress they'll wear again. For example, bridesmaids' dresses designed by stylish names like Max Azria or Thread often go for $300 or less and fly out of stores. The reason? The dresses can be worn as a wedding dress, as a bridesmaid's dress, or at any evening event after the main event. They come in a range of palettes, configurations, and materials, and they're a little easier on the beaded clutch than a $10,000 Vera Wang. You could the balance as a down payment on a house! Anti-Brides mix up their color, material, and embellishment choices, and have fun with it.


•Anti-Bride Tip
Think big, bold-colored stones-canary diamonds, pink diamonds, rubies, emeralds. If you are wearing a white dress, it is perfectly okay to wear a large, vintage garnet necklace. Get away from the "matchy" look of traditional bridal jewelry.

1. Work with your assets.

Know your body shape, height, and coloring, and stick to what shapes and silhouettes suit you. Look in a three-way mirror with the jaundiced eye of a Thoroughbred trainer. The French have a word for how to create a lovely silhouette: ligne or "line." Ignoring figure flaws calls attention to what needs work; working with your proportions and shape amplifies what's right.

2. Not every runway trend is real-way trend.

Chic is all about choosing your clothes with thought and discretion, and then not thinking another moment about them. It's not about spending a lot of money on a lot of different looks; it's about finding the perfect look for you and being the very best version of yourself.

3. Wear the garment; the garment should not wear you.

Nothing is worse than pinching shoes, a tight bodice, an itchy crinoline, or a constricting corset. Comfort is key to truly enjoying your wedding. Choose garments that transform you in gorgeous ways, not garments that ask things of your body that it cannot deliver. Create a look that offers private pleasures: silk underwear, a cotton-lined bodice, shoes you can dance in, a dress that doesn't feel like a suit of armor. You will look more relaxed and glow like a candle.

4. Do not ask your bridesmaids to wear something that you would not wear yourself.

Do not ask them to buy something that can't be worn again, or is out of their price range. Do not expect all bridesmaids to wear the same style, especially if they have different body types.

5. Wear color in your jewelry; create size, scale, and drama.

Just don't wear everything all at once. Remember when your grandmother said, Get completely dressed and take off one piece of jewelry? It's not bad advice.