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No, you this is NOT a typo – I did mean the brides of March! We did our usual Saturday errands today. As we were driving to the supermarket, I spotted a man in a wedding dress waiting to cross the street . . . and then another . . . and then a women similarly attired. I asked Hub what was going on and he mumbled something about “The Brides of March.”

BRIDES OF MARCH? Yes he did mean brides! Apparently there in an annual event here in San Francisco (and now in various other cities as well!), started originally by the Cacophany Society, ‘a randomly gathered network of free spirits united in the pursuit of experiences beyond the pale of mainstream society’. The name of the event is a pun on the Ides of March. Its intention is to parody the traditional idea of a wedding. On the official event website there is a potted history of the event, which has been running since 1999. The original organizer, Michele Michele, was inspired by the sight of a rack of used wedding dresses in a thrift store (charity shop). She says that she “realized how often the dreams of an ideal marriage had failed” and “thought it would be funny to take the primary symbol of the institution and twist it around”. The website encourages wannabe brides to grab a wedding dress, alter it to fit (instructions are provided in a hilarious piece on the site called, Hacking Your Dress)  and parade, wedding-dress clad, through “the heart of San Francisco” on the chosen day (which was today!) along with many other revelers similarly attired (we did spot a handful of grooms as well), pausing from time to time to proposition tourists and touch up their make up!

Needless to say, the heart of San Francisco – namely Union Square – was where we headed next, cameras in hand, having decided to take a bit of a detour on the way to the supermarket! We managed to find a parking spot, which was a near miracle, as today was also the day of the St Patrick’s Day Parade and downtown was completely overrun with people. Luckily the parade had ended a couple of hours earlier, so most of the emerald-clad participants were heading home.

St Patrick's Day revelers heading home (I think).

As we walked up to Union Square, we saw a cluster of brides outside the Nieman Marcus department store. My excitement grew!

Before long they paraded into the store, so avail themselves of fresh make-up and lipstick, from the samples in the store. Of course, we had to follow them in. It’s a bizarre experience, spinning through a rotating door at the same time as three white-dressed men!

Once we were inside the store we took full advantage of the photo op.

One of the brides at one of the beauty counters at Neiman Marcus.

A bride with a backpack inside Neiman Marcus. Where did she leave her delicate beaded bride bag?

Some preening brides in the foyer of Neiman Marcus . . . and one . . .no two grooms!

We then proceeded to Union Square itself, where the bulk of the brides were gathered. We saw brides of every description – every age, size, sex – most in white dresses, a few in black, some in other colors and one in green (as a tribute to St Paddy!).

Check out my photos! Click on them to enlarge them if you want a better look.

The sight that greeted us as we approached the Union Square Steps. Look at the shoes on the bride on the right!

More brides on the steps.

This was my favorite - a boy bride with doll!

Close up of boy bride. Don't you just LOVE those sparkly rainbow eyelashes?

Some Goth/Valkyrie brides

Well, the website did mention that there would be extra marks for dresses with trains . . . I also love the way that this svelte young bride has added a rustic rope knot to give her dress that individual look!

A cluster of brides in the middle of Union Square.

A blushing blonde bride!

The girl with the zimmer frame was in pjs and had a sign reading 'Just Hitched Again'!

When i got home, I zoomed into the photo of the pjs. Look what I found!

I thought these ladies should get prizes for being the most elegant brides!

Didn't I say that there were brides of every shape and size? This group were willing to have perfect strangers have photos taken with them!

A brides in a pink veil. Perhaps she's texting her grooms to ask him where he is?

Since purple is my favorite color, I had to post this photo of a purple-dressed bride.

The bride in the green St Patrick's Day dress. I tried and failed to get a front-on shot of him/her! Don't miss his/her black-dressed, pink-haired friend!

More Valkyrie brides . . .or are they zombie brides?

As you can see, brides also get hungry! At least this one has a matching handbag!

As you can see, brides also get very tired on their big day (this comes fairly early on in the day if they’re wearing 8 inch platforms!)

Parting shot - I took this last photo on our way back to the car! You get to see Backpack Bride's (that's what she will always be to me!) lovely flaring skirt!

And just when I was thinking that this sort of thing only happened in San Francisco, I looked at the website and found that similar events occur in LA, Portland, Austin and Arizona. I am now quite looking forward to the next big Cacophany event – Santarchy! You might even see me donning my santa suit and white beard for it! Watch this space!


One comment to “Beware the Brides of March!”

  1. Fran

    How did I miss this? Aaargh. Great photos!


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