Every girl supposedly dreams of her fairytale wedding.
It turns out that the fantasy of a pouffy white dress, dramatic walk down the aisle, and a dozen bridesmaids in Vera Wang may actually be the dream of the bridal industry, which is profiting off all the chocolate fountains, personalized water bottles, and unity candles it can convince a budding Bridezilla to buy. Eluding the bridal guides and planners, and making a wedding your own can be unexpectedly challenging.
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"I think it's because your wedding is a very important day and you want to do the right thing," says Rebecca Mead, author of One Perfect Day, an exposé of the wedding industry. "So you turn to the wedding magazines and websites and there's tremendous pressure to conform to what a wedding is supposed to be."
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"I think what people have to remember is your wedding will be different because it's about you, you're in it," Mead says. "It doesn't really matter what you party is like, the people who love you will have fun."
Here, three brides who managed to escape the clutches of the bridal industrial complex and have truly personal weddings.