When I got married back in 2009, I didn't walk down the aisle – I walked up my garden path to the patio of the home I already shared with my husband. I didn't carry flowers – or anything for that matter – I walked in with my mother and five-year-old son, while Ben Lee played on our stereo and our cats wrapped themselves around our guests' legs then sat at our feet as we exchanged our self-written vows.
I had two of my best friends as bridesmaids, but I had told them to wear whatever they liked – they didn't match at all but they both looked beautiful. My dress was a Lisa Ho number which, while off-white, wasn't bridal in any way.
In hindsight, I now know that I was one of the OG 'anti-brides'.
And while that marriage ended in divorce, I’m pleased to report I was clearly ahead of my time, because ELLE declared this year that we have entered 'the Anti-Bride Era'. (Their use of capitalisation tells us this is Very Important.)
"There's a renaissance happening in bridal wear," they declare, "and it's about as far from Say Yes to the Dress as it gets."
There's no question that the 'anti-bride' movement is having a moment. The Zola x Pinterest 2023 Wedding Trends Report tells us the search for 'anti-bride wedding' has increased 490 per cent this year alone. In related news, other searches that have increased are 'underwater wedding' (305 per cent), 'non-traditional wedding vows' (205 per cent), 'ugly wedding' (110 per cent), and – perhaps most upsettingly – 'terracotta men's suit wedding' (175 per cent).
Watch: Reddit users detail the worst (best) wedding disasters. Post continues after video.