Review: Stone Fox Bride
I have two dear friends getting married this year, and one of them in particular is very much the "wild at heart" soul who is the target audience for this book. So when Penguin Random House offered "Stone Fox Bride" to me as one of their Bookstagram partners I jumped at the chance to gain a little insight into what kind of wedding my friend might be hosting, and to reflect on my own wedding, and the almost five years of marriage since then.
I wasn't familiar with Molly Rosen Guy and her fascinating brand until I cracked open this book. Guy shares in the book about how she spent her twenties in New York jumping from tumultuous relationship to another, living the kind of life that often found her drinking too much while singing karaoke with celebrities. I spent part of my twenties in New York living with the guy I had been dating since I was 19, watching movies and strolling Central Park. He became my fiancé and then husband during our time in the city. The wedding in our hometown was lovely and frankly, a little basic, and it suited me fine. In other words, even if I had this book a few years ago, I wouldn't have been looking to channel Bianca Jagger as a bride.
Guy got married in the pre-interest days, something I was so happy to read because when I was planning my wedding Pinterest had gained a lot of popularity, but it was still by invitation. I learned this when the photographer I hired offered me an invite so that I could make a wedding board so he could better understand my style. And I was like, "Cool. Thanks. What's a wedding board?"
Obviously, there are plenty of creative people who didn't need Pinterest to give them permission to have their own kind of wedding. But like Guy, it felt like there was a certain template I was expected to follow. "Stone Fox Bride" is one part delicious permission to do your own thing, one part helpful hints for how to achieve that thing, and one part brand experience.
The book starts by introducing Guy and her story then breaks down the individual aspects of getting married: from buying the ring and picking out a dress, to maintaining friendships and navigating the actual marriage that comes after the wedding.
Many SFB products are included in the book, dresses, rings, veils, and flower crowns, but it makes sense that many of the people that Guy would ask to contribute their individual stories and experiences to the book would be brides that she had worked with personally.
My only complaint about the book comes from working with an eating disorder non-profit. In "Beauty and the Beast: Keeping Body Dysmorphia at Bay on the Big Day" Guy briefly mentions her history with serious eating disorder behavior and book ends it will a single "So sad." She goes on to share that after meeting her husband and entering into a stable relationship that those behaviors mostly disappeared. While I so appreciate that Guy's purpose for this chapter is to encourage bride's to avoid the awful "shedding for the wedding" mentality and to instead focus on taking good care of yourself I wish that I felt like she could acknowledge her disordered eating history in a way that didn't sound like it's a phase one just falls out of.
That minor issue aside, the rest of the book is a celebration of women, from finding a wedding outfit that suits your level of comfort and personality to addressing the realities of wedding night sex and sex in marriage.
It's a visually engaging book full of pictures that dazzle, but that also offers a more cultivated insight to the process than just endlessly scrolling through the now supersaturated wedding content on Pinterest. Not much about Guy's personal style speaks to my own, but I especially love peeking inside the lives of people who are so different from me, making this book a particularly fun read for me.
And Guy never asks you to be just like her either. In order for every bride to do her thing, to create a wedding that makes her happy, she acknowledges that might mean some solidly traditional style.
I do wish that someone had told me that I didn't have to have a bridal shower, that's one I could have happily skipped while subscribing to a lot of the other traditional wedding details. Although I do genuinely love a good toiler paper dress competition.
I think this book would make a great gift for that newly engaged friend, especially the one who loves picking wild flowers and bright red lipstick. It would also be a nice option for that friend who has been talking marriage with their partner if they want to get the skinny on engagement ring shopping.