Fashion/Inspiration

Portland Provides Cool & Colorful Wedding Inspiration For The Anti-Bride

Cool Anti Bride Wedding Inspiration with Colorful Wedding Dresses – Naba Zabih – Claire La Faye – Bridal Musings 10

I love Portland. You can find yourself a flower-filled lot amongst the beautiful evergreens and be 100% yourself. You can be free-spirited, innovative, avant-garde. You can be queer! An LGBTQIA community to rival many and creative to boot, it’s a breeding ground for great ideas & out-of-the-box style which, yes, includes weddings.

Take designer Claire La Faye. Filling the bridal world with color & sparkle, the Portland bridal designer’s closet of pink tulle skirts & whimsical details would seem fully femme were it not for her badass styling & cool bride attitude. You’ll remember a few of her anti-bride wedding dresses from our best black wedding dresses feature a few weeks ago.

And this editorial features not only Claire La Faye’s wild & wonderful world of bridal but models that I’d say represent Portland’s embrace of queer couples & alternative style. Styling their crew with trendy & retro accessories in a light-filled loft, stylist Mallory Jones & photographer Naba Zabih give an ode to Portland that makes me proud to be here.

Are you throwing a not-so-conventional wedding? Here’s how to tell unsupportive family & friends about your fabulous wedding plans.

Cool Anti Bride Wedding Inspiration with Colorful Wedding Dresses – Naba Zabih – Claire La Faye – Bridal Musings 24
Cool Anti Bride Wedding Inspiration with Colorful Wedding Dresses – Naba Zabih – Claire La Faye – Bridal Musings 20

From Styled by Mal

When you think of the word “Bride” what’s the image that pops into your mind? I’m sure your unconscious bias pictures a straight woman in a white dress. (To no fault of your own, we’re all predisposed to these things but we must continuously do the work and uncover them). This shoot was meant to be everything “anti bride.” Highlighting diversity and shedding light on an industry predominantly white, and hetero.

As a hair and makeup artist with over 10 years of experience in this industry, I have worked on hundreds of weddings and styled shoots. When you’re hired by a client you’re there to make them happy and obviously don’t have control over what they look like, or their wardrobe, hair, and makeup, etc. So when you bring creatives together to trade time for portfolio images on a “styled shoot” it’s our responsibility as vendors to represent all peoples.

Now I know 99% of all of said creators and wedding vendors put on these shoots without trying to be malicious and have every intention of putting together their most perfectly poised and polished versions of their work out there to attract clients. Speaking only for myself and experiences – I as a member of the LGBTQIA community have never walked away feeling like I saw myself, or people like me reflected in those images or any other underrepresented communities for that matter.

Cool Anti Bride Wedding Inspiration with Colorful Wedding Dresses – Naba Zabih – Claire La Faye – Bridal Musings 65

To be completely candid, I was tired of seeing the same perfectly contrived “Wedding styled shoot” of muted pinks, and that same braid, and bride and groom. I had so many questions constantly buzzing in my head. Where were all the different-sized bodies? Where were the gender-neutral pronouns when describing someone’s spouse? Where was the diversity that would give gender nonconforming folks inspo on their big day? Where were the accurately displayed versions of love between two women, or two men that didn’t feel like tokenism for someone’s social media? Why weren’t BIPOC, and APPI people splashed all over my feed as they should be?

Real-life marriage is raw and imperfect and all the special moments that I never want to forget are the ones that are small, in between the big ones. That’s the type of work I want to represent. That’s the type of work we should all be striving to put out.

Cool Anti Bride Wedding Inspiration with Colorful Wedding Dresses – Naba Zabih – Claire La Faye – Bridal Musings 43
Cool Anti Bride Wedding Inspiration with Colorful Wedding Dresses – Naba Zabih – Claire La Faye – Bridal Musings 37

So I threw the rule book out the window and created a concept for a shoot I could be proud of. For all my androgynous brides or nonbinary lovers who thought they couldn’t wear makeup. Do it anyway because hair and makeup have no gender. For all my brides who never dreamed of wearing a white dress and color outside the lines that it’s ok to dress however the hell makes you feel the most confident.

My hope is that this shoot will inspire other wedding vendors to put together their own styled shoots, workshops, and retreats that break down barriers, get out of the box and show up for underrepresented communities.

My mom always told me “If everyone were the same life would be so boring.” Let’s be disrupters, let’s be different.”

– Stylist, Hair & Makeup Artist, Styled by Mal

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Cool Anti Bride Wedding Inspiration with Colorful Wedding Dresses – Naba Zabih – Claire La Faye – Bridal Musings 44
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