Mary Ellen Murphy of Off The Beaten Path Weddings event planning knows how to throw a real authentic Napa Valley chill wedding. She started a line of clothing that represents her ideal bride: a Bridechilla™. She sat down with Wine Country Weddings Magazine to talk about her inspiration and the art of being a Bridechilla™.
Q. What exactly is a Bridechilla™?
A. Think bridezilla and then think, polar opposite! A Bridechilla™ remains easy going during her entire wedding experience. [She] focuses on the true meaning of the celebration: her future husband, family, friends and fun. She is NOT defined by her wedding and would never say things such as “don’t ruin my day!” A Bridechilla™ knows that there will be many milestones in her life and the wedding is but one of them!
A bridechilla™ is hip and current with lots of style. She is aware of her environment and embraces a healthy life style. A bridechilla™ knows that things happen that are not controllable.
Q. Tell us what inspired your Bridechilla™ brand.
A. Well, that is a long story really –– a life process of learning to be “chill” myself. For years, I was a very well known wedding planner and have been featured in all the magazines, Town and Country, InStyle, etc., including having weddings featured on The Fine Living Network, and others. I traveled all over doing very high end over the top weddings. And to use a cliché, I was not happy –– in fact, sort of miserable.
After many years, I took some time away because I was pretty burnt out. During that time, I started processing what I thought a wedding should be. To use a quote from one of my heros, Robert Mondavi, ”All things in moderation, with a few glorious exceptions!” I began to really focus on that and started working on a concept that would embrace that spirit! I live in Napa Valley and am lucky to be able to experience all that makes Napa such a wonderful place –– the agriculture, the food, the beauty. I felt very strongly that most people who were coming to Napa to have a wedding were missing the real Napa!
I wanted to simplify but make the weddings real and about Wine Country, hence, Off the Beaten Path Weddings was born and launched.
Now in it’s third year, we are meeting the most amazing brides (and grooms of course)! What used to be such a chore is now divine! Last year, we had a very special bride named Jennine. She and her now husband came down the aisle (the aisle being a vineyard) on bikes. She enjoyed and embraced every moment and did not stress if something did not go as expected. One day in a meeting she use the term Bridechilla™ and I had never heard it before. Well, from that point, the rest is history. When the wedding season was over, I got to work on my new baby Bridechilla™. I trademarked the term and started working with my assistant Chelsea in launching this exciting brand of chill wear. I wanted it to be natural, simple, yet a little hip-an extension of what Off the Beaten Path Weddings is all about.
Q. What cool products do you have for soon-to-be brides who want to embrace a Bridechilla™ attitude?
A. First a little info about all our products! We have used shades of white –– from pure white to off oatmeal shades. The branding is done in tangerine/orange! ALL of our products are 100% cotton (of course)! Our product comes from top very hip companies: Alternative Apparel and American Apparel. We have named our items after our chillest brides from last year!
- THE JENNINE – A Destroyed Tee: This tee features a ground collar, cap sleeves and bottom hem for a distressed, worn-in look. A little bit edgy with a whole lot of style!
- THE LEILA – Flattering V-neck Tee: a little more traditional, white slim silhouette with ultra-light cotton and finished with a specialty satin wash for a luxuriously soft feel! (This V-neck has two versions, one with the “BRIDECHILLA” and the other that is branded “BRIDECHILLA, TEAM 2012.” ABSOLUTELY perfect as a gift for your bridesmaids! Imagine your “team” hanging out in Cabo wearing these shirts).
- THE EMILY – Fidel style hat: that is gently frayed and faded, this perfectly distressed cap 100% Cotton Chino Twill.
- THE JENNIFER – Boy shorts: Pure white and purely sexy. Super short-low waist Cotton/Spandex Jersey-Branded on the butt! We think that these are going to be VERY popular!
- THE RYAN – Hoody: This stylish and comfortable White hoody is perfect for all day wear. California Fleece (100% Cotton) construction
- THE CHELSEA – Boy Beater Tank: Our women’s version of a classic tank style featuring textured ribbing. It is perfect for “chillin” in the summer 100% Rib cotton construction.
- And we have not forgotten our furry family member, THE DEJA – doggie tee that is branded with, “My mom is a Bridechilla.” Made of 100% organic Baby Rib cotton.