Imagine a bridal showroom that actually has as its motto “F*&k Weddings” (uncensored). Picture it as a cross between a hippie commune and a dreamy boho fantasyland with dreamcatchers and a fabric-draped yurt for a dressing room, and run by a young woman in an Indian-print dress and no makeup, her waist-long blonde hair twisted into a loose braid. Imagine a place where you can drink champagne and hang out with the laid-back cool girls you’d never imagine setting foot in a bridal showroom.
That’s a description of Stone Fox Bride, a wedding boutique in revolt against the traditional wedding-industrial complex, started by Molly (Rosen) Guy ’99 in 2011, when she couldn’t find the kind of boutique and dress she envisioned for her own low-key wedding. Stone Fox Bride has taken Instagram by storm, become a media darling, and been dubbed “the best anti-Bridezilla showroom” by Time Out New York.
BAM You were a creative writing concentrator—how in the world did you make your way into the bridal business?
GUY In 2000, after I graduated, I moved to New York and started working in magazines, first for YM, then Nylon, then writing freelance. Eventually I went back to school and earned my MFA in fiction at the New School. I actually sold a novel to Grove Press, but it required so many edits, I ended up dissolving my book contract. I was working at a beauty copywriting job I hated in a little windowless office on 57th Street, and was incredibly discouraged with where my career was going. That coincided with meeting my now-husband [Mike Guy], and, when I started planning our wedding, it was the first time in several years that I felt like I was doing something creative and fun. I said offhandedly to a friend, “Too bad I can’t do this as a real job.”
GUY When I couldn’t find the small, edgy wedding boutique I had imagined would exist in New York, I started thinking about opening my own. I had absolutely no background in business or fashion. By the time I started Stone Fox Bride, I was home with a new baby, and it was right when everyone was getting on Instagram. I started churning out content on Instagram, it went viral, and the business exploded.
BAM What turned you off about traditional wedding dresses?
GUY Now the term “boho wedding” is much more common, but six years ago, when I was getting married, and before that, when I was helping my sister shop for her dress, all we could find were big puffy white dresses. I wanted something with my vibe and style that was edgy, authentic, grounded, and cool.
BAM How do you think weddings have changed and what trends are you seeing now?
GUY There’s much more freedom. Today couples can create and craft whatever feels right for them, whether it’s two-dollar bottles of wine on the beach or a black-tie affair. It’s about creating a more meaningful spiritual experience instead of all the pageantry.
BAM On the other hand, hasn’t the influence of Pinterest, Instagram, and wedding blogs raised the bar even higher for what a wedding “should” be.
GUY The Pinterest board has become like the popular girl at school—it feels so unattainable, it’s making us all crazy and it can feel like a real burden. It’s great to browse and get inspiration, but you can be tricked by things that look so beautiful on the surface but really aren’t that way underneath.
BAM What advice do you have for couples planning a wedding who want to keep it personal and not out of control?
GUY It’s different for everyone, but just remember, it’s your wedding; it’s not your mother’s or mother-in-law’s or anyone else’s. Focus on the beautiful fact that you’ve found your soulmate.
It’s always nice to write your own vows. The drama of bridesmaids and a bridal party is not necessary, unless it’s something you really want. Incorporate family members into your ceremony. My Nonna [grandmother] died right before I got married, and I sewed a piece of her wedding dress into mine, and served a recipe of hers at our reception to honor her.
BAM What’s next for Stone Fox Bride?
GUY I have a book, Stone Fox Bride, coming out in fall 2016 from Spiegel & Grau, a division of Random House. It’s a very multimedia book, with essays, original photography, illustration—a very “Brown” project. And with two young children now, I’m hoping to expand into a maternity line.