We're seeing the rise of the 'anti wedding'. Here's what that means.

Listen to this story being read by Charlotte Begg, here.

The big white dress. Hundreds of guests. A spectacle. 

In 2022, weddings have swung so far in the other direction that many couples are now opting for everything a traditional wedding is not. 

It's being dubbed the 'anti wedding'.

Not to be mistaken for no wedding at all, the anti wedding is a movement that ditches perceived wedding essentials and over-the-top extravagances weddings are often associated with, allowing the couple to focus on the celebration without the stress or financial burden.

It might look like bucking traditions you don't believe in, or going small, with fewer guests and excessive extras. 

Watch: Here's what songs celebrities chose for their first dance when they were married. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

Maybe it's having a wedding at home, wearing an off-the-rack dress that's possibly not white at all.

Or drinking wine out of paper cups and making your own playlist instead of hiring a DJ.


Or walking down the aisle by yourself, or with your partner, or with both your parents, or not walking down the aisle at all.

It's saying no all the "usual wedding things" that simply don't feel like you, and being radically authentic in how you do represent yourself and your love story. 

Over the years, lots of betrothed celebrities have backed the concept.

Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick had an anti wedding way back in 1997.

They invited their friends to a "party" on a Monday night and SJP wore a black dress because she didn't want people to pay her too much attention.

More recently, Lily Allen and David Harbour tied the knot in a low-key wedding ceremony in Las Vegas, which was officiated by an Elvis impersonator. 

Allen wore a minidress, and the newly married couple ate In-N-Out burgers to celebrate (iconic).


And this year, of course, there was Bennifer. 

J-Lo and Ben Affleck finally married in Vegas, and their wedding ceremony couldn't have been more chill: Affleck got dressed in a public toilet beforehand, while Lopez wore an understated dress from an old film.

Mamamia's Head of Lifestyle and co-host of What Are You Wearing? Tamara Holland had an anti wedding in April 2022. But that wasn't her original plan.

"We were actually going to do a more traditional wedding in November 2020 at a venue with the whole costly package deal, but COVID cancelling our plan ended up being a blessing - we instead had a small and very sentimental celebration in our hometown on the South Coast which was largely DIY and brought together with the help of our friends and community, making it all the more special," she shared.

"But it was really about keeping it as low-key and stress-free as possible, because I'm an anxious person and couldn't stand the idea of feeling stressed and overwhelmed for months planning a large scale wedding," she added.


The main reason Tamara recommends having one? Because it takes the pressure off, she said.

"I think, or hope, that the pandemic has given couples permission to approach their weddings however they choose. It's solidified what's really important for people and allowed them to focus on those things - and it's created more of an understanding and awareness from others surrounding these couples. That was certainly the case for us," she said.


Not only did she and her now-husband ditch the religious traditions, they walked into their ceremony holding hands after having a private pre-wedding meet-up with just the two of them.

"I'm glad we made that call, but it wasn't strategic - for us this just suited our more laid-back approach to how we do life together. We weren't interested in preserving archaic traditions that weren't meaningful to us," Tamara shares. "It also helped with my nerves."

They chose not to have a bridal party, to take any pressure off their special guests, and styled the wedding themselves mostly from reclaimed furniture and decor - Tamara even found the rug they wed on in a hard rubbish collection.


Author and Executive Editor at Mamamia, Jessie Stephens, also plans on having an anti wedding - but for a different reason.


"The rise of the anti wedding has probably come from financial necessity - it certainly has for us," Jessie said on Mamamia Out Loud.

"Maybe we would like a wedding with heaps and heaps of people but we can't afford it, I think that's the case with a lot of people - they have to be really selective with what they do and don't want."

"I [also] feel like it's almost cheugy to have the big white wedding," she added.

"You do not want a wedding which looks as though it's from a catalogue, that looks exactly like everyone else's. It's gotta be a little more individual."

No matter your reasoning for having an anti wedding, the rules are well and truly out the window - it's your day, so do it how you choose. 

We'll toast to that.

Feature image: Canva/Mamamia.