PS: What would you tell other brides about making the choice to go casual on their special day and staying true to their personal style — especially as so many brides are going this route in response to COVID?
VK: No regrets! I know it's not for everyone, but I felt like myself, which was important to me. If casual is your thing, then I say do that. When I was mood-boarding for my wedding, I was overwhelmed by how monotonous a lot of wedding looks are — beautiful, but lacking personality or charm. I love traditional and classic, but I also believe in individuality and creativity. For me, the brides who stood out were always the ones whose personality emitted from their wedding ensemble. For example, my friend Cynthia Cervantes Gumbs, whose Luar-designed Mexican inspired dress was a viral hit, or Kate Moss's effortless Bohemian 1920s wedding dress ensemble.
"It's interesting because most of us never question the norm — of what we accept a bride 'should' look like, when in reality - these standards don't even stem from our own cultures or interests."
PS: What should brides keep in mind if they have to scale down or change their plans?
VK: I grew up poor, my husband isn't rich, and we are far from wealthy, but that doesn't mean our special day can't be special or memorable. Sure, an expensive destination wedding to an exotic land paid for by rich parents would be grand, but you can make a $5,000 backyard wedding just as fab. And you don't need to let social distancing stop your wedding plans — you can find ways to make it work even while keeping guests six feet apart. Take, for example, my friend Elaine Welteroth, who had a gorgeous COVID wedding on her Brooklyn Brownstone steps.
The same goes for your bridal look. A designer dress is nice if you can afford it, but if you can't, you can still create a memorable look. Every person and couple is different, so spend some time thinking about what those differences are and find chic ways to add it to your look. If you love cats, get a cat silhouette beaded into your veil or maybe you hate wearing dresses so wear nicely tailored pants. It's interesting because most of us never question the norm — of what we accept a bride "should" look like, when in reality - these standards don't even stem from our own cultures or interests. We could all be tapping into our own style or heritage to form our own unique identity if we want. Again, that's just me. Maybe 100 percent classic is your thing, and you should do that.