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There was a time when young bohemians in love had two options: get married in a heavily air-conditioned hotel ballroom like the rest of the world, or declare weddings hopelessly bourgeois and shack up without a piece of paper from City Hall. Nowadays, though, there are a lot more options. Over the past decade, plenty of vendors have figured out how to cater to more alternative tastes, trading poufy gowns and glitz for a casual, natural approach. We asked Molly Guy of bridal showroom Stone Fox to guide us through the latest trends in hipster weddings.
The wedding gown: The best way to avoid looking like an exploding cupcake is to buy a dress that's not made by a wedding designer. "In our showroom we carry high-fashion dresses made custom for us," explains Guy—brands like Mandy Coon, Lars Andersson, and Electric Feathers. From Coon, they've got a white leather mini-dress with a circle cut out of the back which Guy calls "sexy, beautiful, understated, punk, and chic." Andersson does slinky knits, while Electric Feathers is versatile enough that you can wear the dress after the wedding. Some brides get their dresses dip-dyed to make them extra unique. Stone Fox works with Audrey Louise Reynolds, who hand-dyes everything with organic materials in Red Hook.
The veil: Wearing a veil might sound overly traditional, but Guy says she's seen renewed interest ever since Kate Moss's wedding appeared in Vogue. "People are opening up to the idea of a veil if it's been created using vintage flowers or lace and embellished with stones or flowers," she tells us. Pink and black veils are also popular, as is dip-dye. (Again, Audrey Louise Reynolds is happy to help.)
The bride's hair: "Long and natural," says Guy. "The cool bride wants to look as much like herself as she normally does."
The groom's suit: Something skinny, of course. If the groom has a big budget, he could also go with something high-fashion and edgy. Guy says a recent celebrity customer told her he was looking at Margiela suits at IF Boutique.
The engagement ring: "We do a lot of amazing rings with raw diamonds, so they're not as pricey and they're also unique and cool," says Guy. Anna Sheffield makes a band that's engraved with the phrase "Not to be fucked with," while Katherine Bentley does chunky custom rings and bands.
The bridesmaid dresses: Always a source of stress, bridesmaid dresses get even more complicated when you're dealing with a group of women who feel strongly about their personal style. Advises Guy, "Keep the price in the $200-$300 range and pick a dress that they can wear again." Stone Fox carries short dresses from Wren that can easily be re-purposed with a cardigan. Guy also points out that a bridal party that includes several different colors feels less stiff than the traditional phalanx of pink. This is another place where dip-dying comes in handy.
The invitations: Ask a friend who's an artist to do it. Actually, that applies to pretty much everything on this list. If you're that much of a hipster, you probably know plenty of people with wedding-applicable creative skills.
The DJ: Guy recommends the husband-and-wife DJ team Play Something Good.
The location: Somewhere unfussy. "A couple of our brides have gone to City Hall in the morning, then have a rager that night at the Jane Hotel or dinner at Freeman's," says Guy. "It's a nice, mellow way to do it." Guy herself got married at the Metropolitan Building in Long Island City.
The caterer: This one's a no-brainer: The Smile recently catered its first wedding. Book them now, then tell people you hired them "before everyone was doing it."
· All Weddings Week coverage [Racked NY]