Believing that weddings ought not bring out the bridezilla in each of us, Stone Fox Bride — a high-fashion boutique in Manhattan — was founded on the principle that planning a wedding is also a process of self-discovery. Molly Guy, creative director at SFB, is our source for the nontraditional bride.
Last week we focused on couples who took the plunge in the thick of New York City — right in the belly of the beast. Forget aisles made out of rose petals, ice sculptures melting in palatial gardens, and intimate parties in mom and dad's quaint backyard — these guys went hardcore. Chinatown, the Statue of Liberty, City Hall, The Jane hotel, the works. Today we want to honor our fave Stone Fox California couples who said their vows on the opposite side of the coast, in the total opposite way. From the mountains of Big Sur to the gleaming Pacific Ocean and mystical Mill Valley to a raucous night of dancing in a tent in Palm Springs, check out how these brides and grooms said their "I dos" amidst the beauty and abundance of West Coast country.
Paula and Todd
It rained all day — then the clouds parted and the sun started shining right before the ceremony. Two red-tailed hawks graced us with their presence. I totally believe they were incarnations of our loved ones who had passed. Especially a sign from my brother. The Pacific Ocean is our good-luck spot. My brothers walked me down the aisle, then passed me to my parents who walked me the rest of the way. We recited our vows, Todd picked me up to go through the archway, and my veil got caught in the branches. I totally came tumbling down, no joke. I basically ate shit on my wedding day. How humbling! When the ceremony ended my aunt yelled from the top of a cliff: “There are two whales! Come look!” Total fairy tale. As we walked to the reception the clouds started to roll in. I panicked for a sec until I realized everyone was dancing in the rain.
Nick and Emily
We had a ceremony on a small piece of grass outside, then a dinner in their living room with long tables in a U-shape. We wanted a small, intimate wedding. We wanted to feel that everyone who was there was an integral, meaningful person in our lives. Nick's uncle, Kevin, a buddhist teacher and minister, officiated. The weather was stunning. The craziest moment was probably several hours before the actual wedding when I had a total emotional breakdown and my husband-to-be led me sobbing up the hill in Brentwood to an overlook and talked me down off the ledge. I'm not sure what the ledge was even about. I had no doubts about getting married, but I think I felt tremendous anxiety about crossing over some imaginary threshold into true adulthood and I fully lost my shit. We wrote our own vows, which I really recommend doing. We walked down the aisle together. No music. We had three flower girls: Cynthia Rowley's two daughters and Nick's cousin, Graham. I carried a pair of calla lilies tied with the same twine from my ring.
Deb and Josh
The ceremony and party were at the Colony Palms Hotel in Palm Springs. It's where we had our first weekend away together. It was unusually cold and a little rainy, which was scary at first but worked out fine after we tented it. I barely slept the night before, because I was so excited, and a bunch of friends stopped by my suite to help me get ready with lots of champagne. Both my parents walked me down the aisle. We had a string quartet playing Beethoven's "Ninth," which my parents also got married to. Afterwards, there was delicious family-style food at the party. Steak, fish, veggies — stuff like that. Then we opened up the dance floor until two in the morning. There was a DJ and lots of dancing. It was totally raucous and spirited. Tons of skinny-dipping and staying up all night.
Leigh and Andrew
This great band played a blues-y/gospel-y "Here Comes the Bride" on an upright piano that we brought outside, and my dad walked me down the aisle. My grandfather's 80-year-old judge/friend officiated, and we wrote our own vows. I vowed to bring him toast, and he vowed to bring me coffee, and we talked about the value of making each other laugh. After the ceremony, we had cocktails in the orchard and then moved to this big tent, so everyone could dance. Our first dance was to "I Believe" by Stevie Wonder, and we were both like, possessed — we had never actually danced together in public before — we just went for it. It was amazing. And then everyone swarmed the dance floor.
Chantal and James
There were about 24 people in total at our wedding. My 95-year-old grandpa walked me down the aisle as Nina Simone's 'What More Can I Say' played, and I sobbed like a damned baby the entire time. Afterwards, we went to The Palm. We love it there, and everyone ordered what they wanted. Then we had a big party at our place and invited a ton of friends and danced the night away.
Stephanie and Vincent
We got married in Mill Valley, my hometown. Saturday night we had a rehearsal and champagne toast in a complete magical foggy whiteout on top of a mountain. We got married in a redwood grove the next night. Before I walked down the aisle, I did a shot of whiskey and had an oyster. Our wedding procession was “Please, Please, Please” by The Smiths. Vincent’s dad is a Buddhist monk, and he married us. Both our moms are Jewish, so we did some Buddhism, some Old Testament, some of our own shit. Then cocktails, dinner, and full-on raging dance party. We drove away in a Rolls-Royce and went straight to bed in our hotel. The next day we slept till noon and took a cab to In-N-Out Burger, where we had breakfast.