Nerd Culture

Everything You Need to Know About Brides of March 2018

Say yes to the dress, as well as an afternoon of drinking and carousing, at Brides of March.
Say yes to the dress, as well as an afternoon of drinking and carousing, at Brides of March. Benjamin Leatherman
We’re smack-dab in the midst of wedding season, which means brides everywhere are donning dresses and gearing up for the big day.

The same situation (only geekier and goofier) will happen when the Brides of March event invades the Valley this weekend.

Equal parts costume bar crawl, urban prank, and gonzo free-for-fall, the annual event involves both men and women wearing wedding dresses as they drink their way across central and downtown Phoenix during a single afternoon.

And according to organizers, it's also a helluva good time.

Brides of March bar crawls take place every spring in cities across the U.S., including here in the Valley, and poke fun at wedding culture and traditions. Participants don dresses or other wedding finery for the occasion and visit a number of drinkeries in a specific area.

This year’s Brides of March bar crawl in Phoenix happens on Saturday, March 10, and will feature more than 100 participants dressing up and hitting up bars in the central and downtown Phoenix area (including Charlie’s and Kobalt).

If you’re interested in saying yes to the dress and participating in this year’s Brides of March, here’s everything you need to know.

click to enlarge Brides of March participants head to the light rail. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Brides of March participants head to the light rail.
Benjamin Leatherman
When and Where: Brides of March 2018 happens on the afternoon of Saturday, March 10. Participants will meet at Charlie’s Phoenix, 727 West Camelback Road, at noon for a few rounds and some pre-crawl activities (including the annual high-heel race).

Afterward, they’ll board the light rail at the Seventh Avenue and Camelback Road station and start the crawl, which will include stops at numerous bars in midtown and downtown Phoenix. (If you’re late to the party, the Arizona Cacophony Twitter account will post the crawl’s current location throughout the afternoon.)

Price: It’s a free event, but you’ll have to pay for your own drinks and dress. All-day light rail fare will cost you $4.

Age Limits: You must be 21 or older to participate in Brides of March.

Weather: Expect partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the 80s. In other words, perfect weather for a wedding or a wedding-themed bar crawl.

Parking: Most folks will be leaving their rides at Charlie’s, where there’s tons of free parking. Valley Metro has a few park-and-ride lots nearby, including by the 19th Avenue and Camelback Road and 19th  and Montebello avenues light rail stations.

Food and Drinks: Every bar will have beer, booze, and cocktails available for purchase. A few might have food or offer drink specials.

click to enlarge All kinds of brides participate in the Brides of March. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
All kinds of brides participate in the Brides of March.
Benjamin Leatherman
What to Bring: Your ID and a stash of cash, if you'd like to get your drinks as quickly and efficiently as possible. Sunglasses and sunblock are a good idea, as are a good pair of walking shoes and a camera.

What to Wear: Costumes are pretty much mandatory at the event. Any wedding dress, bridesmaid's dress, or other wedding apparel will do. You don’t necessarily have to wear white, however, and can sport bright colors.

Organizers recommend hitting up local secondhand and thrift stores for low-cost frocks and gowns, and any dudes who want to know how to fit into a dress can consult this online guide detailing how to make suitable adjustments.

High-Heel Race: During the first stop of the crawl at Charlie's, Brides of March organizers will conduct a footrace in the parking lot, where participants in towering ladies' shoes attempt to run. It’s quite an amusing sight and sort of sets the tone for the day. Anyone wearing 3-inch heels (wedges aren’t allowed) can participate, and prizes will be awarded to the first-, second-, and third-place finishers.

Schedule and Stops: While the exact schedule hasn't been posted as of this writing, the event will run through the afternoon and into the evening. Stops will be approximately 45 minutes to an hour each.
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.