By ALANA SCHETZER
When I met Anita a few years ago, I instantly knew I liked her. She has a dry wit, a genuine smile and there is no, for want of a better word, bullshit with her.
Anita calls it truthfully but never with malice. She’s the sort of person you want to go shopping with because you know she’ll tell you, yes, your butt does look big in that, but you also know she’d rather go for a walk then browse the racks.
So when she announced she and her then-boyfriend were engaged, I had an image of what their wedding would be like – low-key, chilled but still organised within an inch of itself.
She (and her now-husband) didn’t disappoint, and she’s not the only bride who is rejecting outlandish notions of weddings with a budget the size of Fiji’s GDP or turn into terrifying monster-ladies who demands makes Mariah Carey’s rider look like very, very reasonable.
Anita is a bridechilla, the type of bride who wants her and her fiancé’s day to be special but not at the expense of going crazy, broke or sending friends and family running for cover.
She’s not someone who demands bridesmaids lose weight or change hair colour to ‘match’ in the wedding photos nor does she try to stretch her ‘special day’ into her ‘special week’ (or god forbid, longer).
A bridechilla is the anti-bridezila. She is not the bride who treats her wedding as the Oscars, Noble Peace Prize and Met Ball in one.
The ‘bridezilla’ phenomenon has been described as ‘temporary bridal insanity’ and there’s no doubt there are some women who genuinely mistake ‘bride’s day’ with ‘bride’s way’.
The bridechilla is simply a woman who is in love and is getting married. She still cares about the wedding and wants it to be nice, but she also recognises that it’s unreasonable to expect guests to shell out thousands of dollars to attend ‘destination weddings’ or be forced to attend half a dozen pre-wedding events, such as engagement parties, hen’s night and kitchen tea’s (where the bride will only answer to being call ‘Princess Bride’. Yep, that’s happened.)
Anita is joined by actress Keira Knightly, who recently got hitched in a simple dress (admittedly it was Chanel, but still), ballet flats and travelled to the reception in an old hatchback.
A paparazzi snap of her and new husband James Righton leaving the register’s office in the South of France show her skipping and looking as carefree as if she had just left a spa.
Anita and Knightly’s attitude’s towards their special day is part of a general trend in the wedding industry, which is worth an eye-watering $4.3 billion annually to the Australian economy.
DIY, low-key events or fewer guests, being environmentally friendly and ‘less is more’ are some of themes expected to be picked up this year and into the future.
With an emphasis off trying to make an unrealistic splash or being put in debt to afford custom-made crystal plates with your initials in them (for example), the bridechilla can relax and actually enjoy the day.
Without disrespect to the sisterhood, I do love reading about bridezilla horror stories. With the emergence of the bridechilla and the slow withdrawal of the bridezilla, it saddens me that these epic examples of wedding-induced bizarreness will too start to fall by the wayside. They make for entertaining reading.
But when it means that it paves the way for more weddings like Anita and David’s – where people laughed, ate, drank, talked, danced and had a pretty good time. There was no rigid schedule, demands, weird requests or temper tantrums because the bridesmaids weren’t the exact same size or because a button was missing on a groomsman’s shirt.
It was just a celebration of two people in love. And that’s what a real wedding is all about.
Is your approach to weddings more bridezilla or bridechilla?