As this year is drawing to a close we can't help recap a few moments of our year.
I have been lucky enough to meet so many designers, boutique owners, industry vendors and of course brides in the last year. I have been so fortunate to make connections all over the world and can't thank you enough for supporting my business - whether it be through our online shop, letting me play a part of styling you for your wedding, new collection shoots, look books or editorials, reading our Journal, sharing your work through styled shoots and real weddings, or following The Anti-Bride social media accounts. I am also so thankful for the Australian and International blogs and publications that have shared my styling and art direction work twelve times (at last count), with the majority of those features being shared this past year.
Thank you to the incredible anti-brides who reach out after their wedding to let me know you were inspired to be wholeheartedly yourselves on your wedding day - that's really what The Anti-Bride is all about.
When I started nearly two years ago, there was very little for anti-brides online and nothing in print that really encapsulated the idea that you don't actually need to follow 99.9 percent of traditions to make a wedding meaningful. There was also nothing for brides who haven't necessarily dreamed of getting married and don't have an alternative aesthetic. Since then, there are thousands of images under a variety of antibride hashtags, books have been written about following your own path in planning your wedding, the term has been used over and over by various print publications as well as online. 'Anti-Bride' has gone from being a barely recognised term to being widely understood - and that is incredible.
However, this last year hasn't been an easy ride. Having started The Anti-Bride just under two years ago has meant a lot of blood, sweat and tears. As anyone of you would know starting a business isn't an easy feat - it means a lot of hours, investing every cent into a dream that you believe will become a reality. It includes self doubt, sometimes working 2 or 3 jobs, or working for free out of the love for what you do and feeling incredibly hopeful and positive one day, and discouraged the next. It also means leaning on others, in my case my incredibly supportive husband - who puts up with a lot of screen time and continues to work a steady job, so one of us can be a self-employed creative.
If there is one thing that has been vital to the Anti-Bride, it has been authenticity. The Anti-Bride has never been about jumping on a bandwagon or being a 'cool' bride. The Anti-Bride is about being yourself on your wedding day, whether that be minimalist, maximalist or everything in between.
2020 will be a big year for us. I will continue to be working with brides, grooms, bridal parties and designers on personal styling, new collection shoots and look books. Styling and Art Direction are my two first loves and I thank each and every one of you who I will be working with next year. I am also looking forward to travelling to Europe and the US next year with Matt Godkin and can't wait to work with such talented designers and boutique owners from around the world. From the day The Anti-Bride started, it was never intended to have only national reach, so being able to work internationally next year feels like we are on the right path.
Aside from Art Direction and Styling, we will be expanding our online store to further include brands who genuinely share our philosophy, that we should do our best to look after our planet - in the perhaps two most unsustainable industries there are - textiles and weddings. At present all our designers are based in Australia and make their pieces ethically and in small quantities. We don't profess to be perfect and will look at ways to further improve our practices, despite the challenges of being a part of both these industries. We want our involvement to be more than a buzz word or a current trend. We have plans to further put our money where our mouth is early next year and are really looking forward to building further on our intentional, curated store.
We also can't wait to share more incredible weddings and styled shoots from all around the globe next year. It has been so humbling to be able to share such diverse weddings and beautiful imagery from photographers and couples from a vast number of countries around the world. Our brides (and grooms) love seeing how other couples celebrate their love in a meaningful and authentic way.
Of course there are also a few other new developments in the works for next year, which will be revealed in coming months - and can't wait to embrace unplanned opportunities and experiences that come our way.
I look forward to seeing what next year will bring - and riding the roller coaster through 2020!
Have a Happy New Year!
Image by Matt Godkin | Styling The Anti-Bride