Instead, what I've turned to are a few dream wedding coordinates, aimed to remove some of the Wedding Industrial Complex frouf while keeping things gorgeous in a multitude of ways. You won't see a long satin pick-up skirt or matching dyed shoes, and there's not a veil in the bunch, but all of them are pretty damn awesome. In my humble opinion, of course. :P
Sophie had always been a bit of a free spirit, but when her darling of a partner proposed with a gigantic yellow diamond and a hopeful look in his love-struck eyes, she realised a rather large wedding was in her near future. Accordingly, loins were girded for a big white dress and all the associated palaver. That is, until she popped into Kate Sylvester one day and found a white lace maxi-skirt and matching camisole. "It's white!" she said to him. "And long! And I can wear it again! And why does your family expect such a huge wedding anyway?" After much discussion, they switched the venue booking from Wellington Cathedral to a gorgeous waterfront restaurant, cut the guest list by half, and cancelled the order for frock coats. Sophie wore her hair loose and curly with a pretty floral headband and a raw citrine pendant she'd always loved, but she kept the mirrored glitter high heels she'd bought for the Big Dress Wedding. Some things are worth compromising on, after all.
Katya was the first to admit she was a bit of a girly girl, so the pink diamond ring her girlfriend picked out was just a little bit perfect. That said, even Katya, inveterate wearer of ridiculous shoes, had to admit that high heels in a Rarotonga beach wedding probably weren't the best option. Instead she went barefoot in a floaty pink chiffon dress from Miss Crabb, threw a Deadly Ponies necklace around her neck and tucked a hibiscus blossom behind one ear. After the vows, she put on a pair of Karen Walker sunglasses and went paddling hand-in-hand with her new wife, who'd opted for a white linen shirt-dress and gold jandals.
When Alexandra evaluated her wedding budget, she realised one thing rather quickly: the Christian Louboutin high heels she'd always dreamed of weren't on the cards. Well, if she wanted a dress, that is. Luckily, Alexandra had never been much of a girl for the big white dress fantasy - she picked out a linen Kate Sylvester frock from her closet, borrowed a vintage string of pearls from her mother, and went straight to Louboutin with her dress budget money. After much window-shopping with her boyfriend, she finally explained that she didn't actually want an engagement ring with rocks in. They caught on things and were just too flashy. The girls in her office looked a bit askance at the Deadly Ponies ring they settled on, but when Alexandra married her boyfriend in a wing of the city art gallery, carrying a bunch of daisies from her best friend's garden, in gold glitter high heels, she couldn't have cared less.
Penelope decided pretty much immediately upon receipt of her Meadowlark rose quartz ring that she was going to make her dress. It took her two months, two hundred dollars in dupion silk, and more than a couple of evenings swearing at the sewing machine, but once it was finally finished, she was pretty damn pleased (if only that it was finally finished...) She pinned her hair up into the biggest bouffant hairspray could create, added a beaded headband, some pearl earring drops and a pair of her chunkiest wood-sole high heels, and carried a bouquet of peonies almost as fluffy as her crinoline petticoat. After the ceremony, Penelope, her husband and their guests partied the night away, dancing to a live band covering sixties pop hits and Lady Gaga in about equal volume.
Rhiannon definitely didn't dream about a big white wedding, so when she unexpectedly had to marry her charming Nordic coworker in order to keep him in the country, she was more than a little taken aback. And even more so when he insisted upon having a proper wedding 'do (to keep up the image for Immigration, of course - having a grand old knees-up shindig was just an excellent side-effect). Luckily, this Kate Sylvester slub-silk dress with a studded waistband was just the ticket. So what if it's black - men get married in black suits all the time, reasoned Rhiannon, and she had flowers in her hair and on her shoes. Well, yes, the shoes were actually Doc Marten boots, but every princess needs a pair of excellently stompy boots. The Byzantine cocktail ring her yes-Immigration-we're-totally-in-love darling presented her with was lovely, but so was the silver cat-face ring she wore on her right hand. And her outfit just wouldn't have been complete without some red roses to match her tattoos, but she had far better things to do with her hands than heft around a bunch of flowers. A boutonnierre pinned to her dress was just right. Thus attired, she had the best civil-union-in-a-courthouse followed by a raging all-night party ever, especially when her new husband tried to get her to model a wedding veil. Which he had worn all night long. :P