Bitchless Bride is on Yahoo! Finance! 6 Ways to Avoid Debt During Wedding Planning

 

I am so beyond THRILLED to have had the opportunity to be featured on Yahoo! Finance! Bridey, check out the video, read the article, and BE SMART WITH YOUR MONEY!

Your Friends are Your Foundation… Love Them for Better, for Worse, for Richer, for Poorer, in Sickness and Health,’Til Parted by Death

 My foundation (minus a few key players)...

My foundation (minus a few key players)...

I never had a bachelorette party. Perhaps it’s because I eloped and the party was a casualty of that decision, or maybe it’s because I didn’t want one. Either way, I’m on my back from Nashville, fifteen years after our engagement, fourteen years after we tied the knot, and about eight years after having our first child. Totally left my husband and kids to fend for themselves... Good thing my hus is perfectly capable of parenting without me. But, this wasn’t my bachelorette party, it was a weekend away with a few close friends; all of whom needed a fucking break from their current reality. All of whom have been married over ten years, lived a whole lot of life and wanted some time to play and rejuvenate.

According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, a bachelorette party is “a party for a woman who is going to get married, to which only her female friends are invited.” Honestly? That’s bullshit. Because, these parties should be for any and all who have dared to live and love even a little bit, married, engaged or single. You don’t have to be getting married to celebrate friendship and have some much needed time with your close girlfriends (and guy-friends too). Because with living and loving, there comes a price; a tax; a toll simply for having the balls to show up and participate, IF you actually dare to give your life everything you've got, and more. And for that kind of hustle, we should celebrate! Right? Fuck yeah! But, this trip? What I think we were really celebrating? Our friendship. Our foundation. Our fearlessness. Because when you allow somebody into your fucked up little world, and they don’t run away screaming, that’s totally grounds for celebration.

We’re celebrating the girls that get us through the day; the girls who understand our ups and downs. These are the girls who get us without strings attached and without judgement, even on our worst day (and trust me, once you get through your wedding and onto the next stage of your relationship with your sig other, you definitely don’t want anybody in your life who judges you!!). Now, ask yourself, bridey, as you prepare for your bachelorette, wedding, etc.… Are these your friends? Are these the girls (guys) you have in your life right now? Because if not, call bullshit and get rid of them. Because they will not enhance your life or your party, instead, they will suck the life out of you and your party.

I’ve touched on this previously, but it's worth mentioning again... These friends are the girls (or guys) standing with you on your wedding day. These are the girls (or guys) who have probably held your hair when you've had too much to drink. These are the girls who are wholeheartedly happy for you, and want the true you. They are happy when you are happy. They are sad when you’re sad. But, no matter what, they are there for you, and that alone is the real treat. Your wedding is only the beginning. It’s not just about you and hus, it’s about shoring up the foundations of the people who support you so that you can love in sickness and health, for better or worse... Celebrate your foundation. Don’t take it for granted and don’t stop celebrating. 

Bridey, if your marriage falls apart, your foundation will be there for you. Don’t lose it, nurture it as hard as you nurture you marriage. Got it? Good! Now, where’s that penis straw?

Image via the woman sitting in front of us at the CMA's!!

My Kinda, Sorta, Almost Weddingiversary… Why Eloping Felt Like Our Only Option

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May 22nd would have been my 14th wedding anniversary… If only we had gotten married. The plans were coming along beautifully. We put a deposit down at the venue (for you Bostonians, it was our very favorite restaurant, Michael Schlow’s, Radius), I went dress shopping with my mom, and we started to solidify our wedding vendors. So, why didn’t we get married on May 22nd? Well, my bridey drama queens, it’s definitely not what you’re thinking. There was no crazy controversy. There was no scandal or deranged lover or pregnancy, or whatever. I love the shit out of my husband; the one I was supposed to marry on May 22nd. But, I didn’t love the idea of planning my wedding. I know, I know, the wedding planner who didn’t want to plan her own wedding! Could I have “hired” one of my fellow wedding planner friends? Sure. But, that wasn’t the problem. Well, that wasn’t the only problem.

In 2012, I wrote an article for Huffington Post called, 5 Reasons Why I Eloped. And six years later, it all still holds true. Go read it, it’s quite good (if I do say so). But, the two major points of contention (which I still think about almost daily)? Family dynamics + budget. These two points are the biggies… Like, ruinyourfuckingwedding biggies. The power of family dynamics combined with the whole money thing can be brutal. So, to avoid dealing with the inevitable,  we proactively took ourselves out of the epicenter, and ran like idiots to Vegas. I know it’s not for everyone, and I know it’s not something everyone can do without some serious repercussions. But, in the spirit of staying true to ourselves, eloping felt like our only option.

I’m not gonna lie, there were some pissed off people upon our return and celebratory announcement. But, looking back, I still feel like we dodged a bullet. I still feel like we “won” somehow. We have a day that was truly for us, and only us. But, the most important lesson here, bridey? Do what’s best for you. That’s been my motto lately; as a wedding planner/writer and personally. Your best interests lie within you. Listen to them. Does that give you license so be a selfish asshole? No, but it does give you permission to stay true to yourself and your sig other. Filter out the noise, and listen to your inner voice of reason. You get one fucking day, bridey. ONE. Use it wisely… Which leads me to my other major point. Budget.

Oh the budget…. The fucking budget. The collapse of all things based in reality. I could go on and on, and I have. But, here’s the thing, and the “thing” is pretty basic. If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. And, even if you can, think about your financial goals after your wedding. It seems far away now, but I can afford my life now because I didn’t fuck it up then and spend all of my/our money on a wedding. Even if it’s not your money, have some respect for whomever’s money it is. Don’t buy just to buy. Prioritize your needs and wants and go from there. You definitely don’t want your benefactor(s) (ahem... usually your parents) to harbor any resentment because you took advantage of their generosity.

May 22nd will always have a special place in my heart as my kinda, sorta, almost weddingiversary. But, it also reminds me of how I (we) stayed true to what we wanted, and didn’t go for broke in the process. You should try it, bridey!

Photo by Tom The Photographer

A Totally Awesome, Insanely Cool, Rockabilly Tennessee Wedding

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Bridey, when I tell you that David's first look reaction is amongst the most incredible, emotional and straight out gut-wrenching reaction I've EVER seen in person and on Bitchless Bride, believe me. When I tell you that Holly + David are madly in love, and created a wedding entirely representative of that love, believe me. When I tell you that YOU too can create a wedding that is entirely about you and your sig other, believe me. Whatever you are doing that doesn't feel like it is about the two of you, stop. Remember that you can and deserve to have a wedding which represents who you are together. Just scroll down for proof of that sentiment.

Bridey, this wedding will absolutely blow your mind. I'm OB SES SED with this backyard throw down party filled with raw emotion, tons of delicious treats, WAFFLES and a l'il debauchery. H+D definitely know how to throw a party! But, beyond the party, it's apparent that these two belong with each other and put together a celebration symbolic of their love. You should try it.... I give you permission to have the wedding you want and to be has happy as Holly + David. Enjoy!

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I needed you to have a close u of this STUN NING dress. OMFG.

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You're gonna love her by the end of this post...

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Damn girl, you are beautiful!

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Are you ready for this? David is already wiping away tears and he hasn't even seen Holly yet!

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Right? Are you crying right now? Go get a tissue...

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Like... THE SWEETEST!!

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Holly, that dress fits you like a glove! Your bod is smokin' hot!

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<3 this...

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Can you hear it? It seriously came to life for me when I saw this pic!

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Awwwwww....

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I want to be sandwiched in-between these two pictures! Candy, cupcakes and cake, oh my!!

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Look how warm and inviting H+D's wedding is!

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Fucking WAFFLES people!!! 

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He looks like somebody I'd like to have some whiskey with, right??

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Right? Don't you LOVE her? And them together!! I wonder...

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Thank you for sharing your incredibly emotional and fabulous day with Bitchless Bride! 

Industry Peeps:

Photographer: Wilde Company

Reboot! ~ Feeling Out of Control, Bridey? How to Climb Back Up the Downward Wedding Spiral of Despair…

It's really easy to lose yourself and your self control while planning your wedding. Actually, it's really easy to lose yourself in any large and somewhat daunting project. Right? I mean it starts innocently enough, but then it all seems to add up and up and up, and usually all at the same time. The big picture begins to feel really fucking big and unsurmountable. And wedding planning? On top of all of the other shit you have going on? Feels brutal and unforgiving. The endless details, the myriad of friends and family members offering their advice and suggestions, the constant changes and moving parts! OH MY!!! There seriously isn't enough Xanax in the world to calm your ass down! But, don't worry! That's why I have created a list of ways for you to climb back up the downward spiral of despair and kick some wedding ass! Ready?

1. Quit making it so big! Break your wedding planning down into small, manageable pieces. You don't have to have all of the answers now. Just know that you have to get them... eventually. Bridey, it’s been said that all great things take time to build. Same is true for weddings. So stop pressuring yourself to get it all done so fast. I mean... Don't be a slacker, but at the same time, don't push too hard too fast either. This is a giant undertaking; one that's expensive and emotional, and you have to break it down to be successful. Sometimes looking at the big picture can make it feel completely impossible. But, looking at it piece by piece? Totally obtainable! 

2. Be fucking nice. Be fucking nice to everyone whether they’re involved in your wedding planning or not. If what you put out is what you get back (the law of cause and effect), don’t be a nasty bitch. Seriously, I’ve been preaching this shit for years! Be nice! This is probably the easiest “fix” on the list because it’s so simple. Think about it… If you’re a nasty bitch, then inevitably you can expect to be greeted with nasty bitches in return. Right? So don’t be a bitch! You get more bees with honey, so be sweet, and delicious and golden. You’ll be amazed at how your wedding planning experience changes, and quite possibly your life too.

3. Ask for help. If I had to guess, I’d imagine that since you’ve been sporting that rock on your hand, you have had several people offer to help you… Right? So, take them up on it! Get some help! Bridey, there is no shame in asking for help and delegating tasks. Just be sure that you trust the delegates. 

4. Stop! You can totally drop and roll if you want, but I just want you to stop. Stop beating yourself up. Stop thinking about what you should be doing, could be doing, or what you didn’t do. Just stop, bridey. Stop the negativity. Because one thing leads to another and next thing you know you’re in a full blown panic over something stupid, something negative, and something completely ridiculous, and it can catapult into this monstrous snowball of negativity super fast. But, it can only have power if you give it power. So just STOP. Think about what you’ve accomplished thus far, and be proud. 

5. Be patient. Be patient with yourself, the people trying to help you, and your fiancé. When shit feels unbearable, be patient; take a step back. Find a distraction (that isn’t wedding related) that makes you happy and delirious. What do I do? I bake and then lick the bowl (and eat the cookies, but enough about me!). Just remove yourself from the situation, and be patient.

Bridey, I know what it feels like to be out of control, and feel helpless as you tumble. But, I know you can get through it! The crazy thing? These five steps? 100% applicable to your wedding planning AND your marriage. 

How to Get Past the Stupid Shit People Say About Your Wedding Planning (and You), and Survive!

It’s no secret that people say stupid shit, right? I mean, sometimes I am absolutely dumfounded at the pure stupidity uttered from people who generally mean well, but can’t seem to find the right sequence of words to string together to make what they are  TRYING to say purposeful and/or helpful. And, oftentimes, the “offender” will recognize their error in judgement almost immediately (probably after seeing you cringe), put their foot in their mouth and apologize, but those other times… Oh my Gaaawwwd! UGH! The “offender” is completely clueless, continuing on with their judgy diatribe of words, leaving you to pick up the pieces of your pride and self worth. Am I right? Did you just picture a few “offenders”? So, how can you, bridey, get past the stupid shit people are inevitably going to say to you about your wedding plans (and you personally) at a time when you are at your most vulnerable?

Here's some of the stupidest shit people say — and the solutions:

The Complimenter: This is by FAR my favorite insultingly awesome “compliment” I hear my clients grieve over (usually for weeks).

Offender: “Oh my goodness! You look great! You’ve definitely lost A LOT of weight.” You see, this seems and feels like a compliment, however the implication is that you had A LOT of weight to lose, and that you were a giant fat ass prior to losing all of this weight for the wedding.

The solution?: Reinterpret the statement as, “Oh my goodness! You look great! You’ve clearly been working hard.” Because, in my heart of hearts, bridey, I know that this is what the “offender” meant to say. It’s just that they didn’t say it tactfully, which means you have to change how you hear it.

The Comparer: When the “offender” is trying to stir the shit… This bitch knows exactly what she is doing, and is purposefully trying to get you riled up.

Offender: “Wow. When I planned my wedding, I had all of my vendors lined up within weeks of choosing the date.” OR “I already had all of that stuff done at this point in the planning.” The implication here is that you are way behind the eight ball, and you’re fucked; your wedding is fucked, and she’s better than you.

The solution?: Rise above, bridey, rise above! Walk away from this conversation, and rid yourself of the bullshit comparison. Even if you ARE feeling behind in your wedding planning, you don’t want to engage with somebody who isn’t there to help you, but would rather compete with you. So, don’t compete. And, the good news for you slackers (kidding), is that being behind in your wedding planning doesn’t mean you won’t catch up. And fast. A lot of the time, all it takes is an hour or two to sit down, get yourself organized, and then knock things off of that “to-do” list.

The Inquisitor: We all have these people in our lives. They are super inquisitive, super annoying, and super nosy. Quite simply, they ask too many questions and don’t know when to quit.

Offender: “Your ring is huge! I can only imagine what your wedding budget looks like…” OR “How much is this whole ‘wedding thing’ setting you back?” OR “How does it feel to be the last of you friends getting married?” See what I mean? Too many fucking questions! Rude ones! Insensitive ones!

The solution?: Other than saying nothing and walking away? Or being an asshole (I give you permission, but…)? Don’t use seven words when four will do (totally stole this line from Brad Pitt in Ocean's Eleven)… Be short and concise as you gently tell the “offender” to mind their own business. You don’t have to answer these questions, bridey. In fact, please don’t. Shut it down, and move on.

The Diminisher: This one KILLS me. Like scrape me off of a busy road, kind of kills me… The diminisher has a tendency to make you feel small for caring as much as you do about your wedding (and the planning).

Offender: “I don’t know what the big deal is… It’s just one day.” Holy shit! Hold me back! Buuuuuut, the thing is, I actually agree with the “offender” because it IS just one day, and your marriage is about so.much.more than the day itself. However, it is a stressful, expensive and emotional day, and to downplay the enormity of it gives me rage.

The solution?: Don’t give in. Don’t let the “offender” get away with that bullshit, while at the same time don’t sink down to their level. There is no need to justify this statement. Simply say that it’s important to you, and they don’t have to understand.

The “Ought-er”: The ought-er is somebody who generally means well, but has a strong opinion about what you should be doing.

Offender: “You ought-a look into getting your haircut before the wedding.” OR “You ought-a make sure you have the budget for the extra flowers.” OR “You ought-a BLAH BLAH BLAH!!!” We get it, and perhaps you’re right, but whenever anybody starts a sentence with “you ought-a”, I immediately tune out because I am annoyed.

The solution?: Tune it out like I do. The ought-er is usually a nice person who has your best interests in mind, but doesn’t express it well. So be polite and take the “ought-er” with a grain of salt.

Bridey, you are doing great! It’s super important for you to ignore the stupid shit people say as you plan your wedding. 99% of the time, it’s them, not you!!! So, keep your wits about you, and continue to slay the cray!!!

Photo by Sweet Ice Cream Photography

A Lush, Mountain Wedding Filled with Extraordinary Colors, Creatures + Décor, Disguised as a Rockin' Party!

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Bridey, Sarah + Andy's wedding looks absolutely nothing like this pic. Like, not even a little bit... I mean, if I told you that this pic was part of an engagement shoot, you'd believe me. Right? Well, it's not. Not at all. Not even remotely. This shot is of the B+G sneaking away for a few photographs after the ceremony, and before the RAGER that was their wedding reception. And, I mean RA GER! The kind of party filled with overflowing shots, men rockin' some HOT makeup, the bride with a bottle of booze on the dance floor, and clothes disappearing. Honestly? It's fucking awesome!!! And, the décor?? Dreamy. Delicate. Delicious. A complete contrast to the vibe, and for that, I am OB SES SED!

So, why did I choose to open this rockin' party of a wedding with this particular photograph? Because, I love that while these two clearly love to celebrate, they also clearly love each other. There is a tenderness and ease captured here that would 100% get lost in the scroll, and I really wanted you, bridey, to see every corner of this wedding day. Remember, you can have the wedding of your dreams, and celebrate with your friends and family, but please don't lose sight of the why. YOU TWO!!! Enjoy every.single.photograph. It's truly impossible not to!

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You're not imagining the glittered fabulousness... It's there, and it's wonderful!!

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I can't even with this wedding dress. OMFG!

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Sarah, you are incredible! Everything about your look is stunning. EVERYTHING!

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I feel like this pic could be in a perfume ad... "SexyFab".

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Totally breathtaking...

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You just can't manufacture this kind of emotion. These guests are not only in attendance, but they are present. 

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There is so much to love about this photograph!

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I mean... Such amazing tenderness between these two.

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WOW! Just WOW!

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Meanwhile, back at the ranch... Bridey, just look at how incredible this escort card "table" is! OMFG. It's so well done, that the planner in me is going to cry.

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Speaking of a crying wedding planner, the décor at this wedding is simply phenomenal. The details are absolutely exquisite!! I truly love everything about everything!

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Like, this is a summer wedding, and yet S+A are rockin' deer as part of their décor. How fucking awesome is that?

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It's clear to me (and probably to you too if you have even a shred of emotion), that the guests at Sarah and Andy's wedding WANT to be there to support the B+G and celebrate with them.

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I'm thinking that the photographer thought it was a good idea to get a group shot before things got super cray... Keep scrolling, bridey. All I gotta say is, HOT DAMN!

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I dunno know who she is, but I love her and would be holding her hand if I was lucky enough to be at this wedding!

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Soooooo.... YAAAAAASSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Party! Party! Party!

Look at the faces of the peeps in the background of these pics. Totally awesome!

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Sarah, Andy, you had EXACTLY the right mix of emotion and celebration (not to mention your incredible décor). Thank you for sharing the first day of the rest of your lives together with Bitchless Bride!!

Industry Peeps:

Photographer: Adam Kealing International Wedding Photography
DJ: DJ Mitch Fourtune @ Remix Weddings
Flowers: Beth Hohensee @ Studio Flora Diva
Dress: Cleo & Clementine
Event Venue: Hawkesdene

Reboot ~ Please Don't Come to My Wedding... How Cutting the Guest List Means Cutting the Cord

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“Please don’t come to my wedding,” she said jokingly, although with a bit of truth behind her words. I laughed with her because I understand how out of control the guest list can become, and when those invitees whom you thought were not going to accept your (strained) invitation decide to grace you with their presence, along with all of those guests you knew were going to come to your wedding, the budget struggle and the lost prospect of an intimate wedding suddenly become very, very real. Bridey, the guest list is probably the hardest part of wedding planning you will encounter because it affects everything. Every decision. Every selection. Every dollar.

So, what is a bride to do? How do you cut the guest list so that you don’t have to cross your fingers every time an RSVP arrives? How do you do it without hurting feelings? Honestly, you don’t. Somebody is going to be hurt because they weren’t invited even if they had no intention of going to your wedding. That’s just how it goes. And it sucks, but that’s the reality of it. So, I need you to do something for me. Imagine a world where you got to decide who would be in attendance on one of the biggest days of your life. Really think about it. Now, write it down. Who’s on that list, bridey? Close family, friends, etc.. Right? Awesome. Now, stop thinking about who’s not on the list and start thinking about how you’re going to handle your ideal guest list. Because, this is it! And for those who didn’t make the cut? Too bad. Remember, you don’t have to apologize, you just have to understand the consequences of your actions and figure out the balance between the two.

Bridey, the truth? No bullshit? Those you don’t invite will be pissed off and hurt, and potentially hold a grudge against you for the rest of their life (and yours). So, the question becomes, are you willing to cut the cord? It’s completely possible that some of these people will never speak to you again, un-friend you on FaceBook, and fall off entirely. And honestly, this might not be a bad thing. Perhaps it’s even an opportunity to filter out the people in your life you’ve been dying to let go of, but haven’t quite found the right excuse. Well, I’d say that by not inviting them to your wedding you’re pretty much sealing the deal!

Although, what about those who you still adore, but didn’t make the cut simply because by inviting them would mean that you would have to invite the string of relatives associated with them (to keep it “fair”)? Sadly, they might end up being collateral damage, however if you’re able to have an honest conversation about your reasoning, then you could potentially salvage these relationships. But, there is no guarantee, and that is what you have to internalize and decide how important certain relationships are to you. And, only you can answer that question.

Look, I know it’s not easy, be that as it may, it’s still your wedding, and your choice. In my opinion, down the road… you’ll end up filtering out those people who really don’t matter to you or make much of a difference in your life (family or not) simply by living. That’s how it goes. So, why not cut the cord now and mark your wedding day as the day you didn’t succumb to the pressure of being all inclusive even at your own expense (literally and figuratively). Got it? Good! Now, go write your list! And good luck!

Image via Lanty

A Unicorn Disguised as a Bride, Some Superhero Puddle Jumping, and a Whole Lot of Weddingy Awesomeness!!

Bridey, I don't care what people say about luck + rain on your wedding day, because you know what? It sucks. It sucks logistically, it sucks organizationally, and it sucks frizzily (I'm pretty sure I made that word up)... But, people feel like they have to say that to make the B+G feel better about a sucky situation. Right? And as a wedding planner, I'm the one dealing with the logistics, the reorganization and rockin' some seriously big hair. Anyway... I have to say, Marianna + Kyle are total rebels, and used it to their advantage. I mean... Just look at that gorgeous pic!! These two crazy cats were jumping around in the puddles and loving every second! And, obvi, I'm completely obsessed with her FABULOUS pink hair!!! 

Know what I love? I love that Marianna will tell you she's really a unicorn. I will tell you she's really a badass. But, actually, I think she's really a unicorn disguised as a bride and I find her magical... Marianna said that, "People used to tell me I would never get married with pink hair and a nose ring, but now I am married to my best friend." WTF?? Why do people say that shit? And, more importantly, why do we believe it? We shouldn't! And, thankfully, Marianna didn't believe that shit, and married a cool guy who clearly (based on the amazing pics below), gets her. Bridey, you are who you are, you'll marry who you marry, and your wedding will be amazing. PERIOD. Now, go... Get inspired!!! Two words: DONUT CAKE.

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Guuuuuurrrrlllll.... I LOVE your pink locks and your nose ring! LOVE LOVE LOVE!

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Kyle gave his groomsmen engraved pocket watches... 

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I love how Kyle is admiring Marianna in this pic!

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Yaaaaaassssss!

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Greatest.pic.ever.

Gorgeous. Completely gorgeous and magical...

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I might be in love this man...

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Oh my fucking goodness... How DELICIOUS does this "cake" look???

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This pic could easily be my mom and me... Sniff... Sniff...

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Thank you M+K for sharing your amazing wedding with Bitchless Bride! Together, you two are the best unicorn, superhero, puddle jumping duo I've ever seen!!!

Industry Peeps:

Photographer: Le Image Photo
Reception Venue: Deity
Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Bridey, You Should Always be Truthful... But, Here Are 10 Wedding Planning Scenarios in Which the Truth is ALWAYS Quicker

They say you get inspiration from unexpected places. In this case, my inspiration for this post comes from a quote I heard in the movie Cars 3. Yup! Cars 3… I honestly don’t remember which scene it was, just that there were a lot of cars discussing something car-race related, and one of them said that “the truth is always quicker”. I swear I had a fucking epiphany in that moment. I pretty much tackled one of my kids so that I could get to my phone fast enough to make a note before I lost it. And, that quote has stayed with me because it is SO relatable in so many situations in life. I mean, you should always make it a goal to tell the truth, but oftentimes the truth gets clouded with white lies or half-truths, usually because we’re attempting to spare somebody else’s feelings, right? But, what if you had the balls to always tell the truth; no matter what? What if you decided to be upfront, transparent and honest from the beginning of your wedding planning journey? What would happen? Allow me to educate:

1. Wedding Budget - This is the mother-load, bridey. Your wedding budget dictates everything else. Like, EVE RY THI NG else. Venue selection, the guest list, vendors, open bar, food, wedding dress, etc. So, cut the bullshit, and determine an actual budget; not an estimated budget, not a ballpark budget, but an ACTUAL budget, and who’s responsible for contributing. This conversation is usually best with some sort of alcoholic beverage, and props. Well, a spreadsheet at the very least. Remember, bridey, the truth is always quicker.

2. Guest List - It’s really very simple, or it can be. Who do you want around you on your wedding day, bridey? You get this one day, ONCE (well, maybe twice or even three times… no judgement). One day where you are lucky enough to have everybody you love under the same roof. So, make it count. Look around… Who’s there. Who’s cheering you on? Do you know everybody? Who’s (purposely) not there? Okay, were you able to capture that? Now, how will you make it happen when faced with resistance from family? How can you get through this painfully uncomfortable, usually brutal and awkward discussion? Tell the truth. Be brave. The truth is always quicker.

3. Skeletons in the Closet - We all got ‘em, but how you deal with them is what counts. Two words: Recognize and address. Say it with me, bridey… Recognize and address. You know what they are, so acknowledge them early on in the wedding planning process! For example, is your sister is a serial dater who you know will want her current flame at your very intimate and expensive wedding? Deal with it NOW! Parents went through (or are going through) a tumultuous divorce? Brutal. Talk about who’s going to walk you down the aisle, where everybody is going to sit, and if dates are allowed… This conversation is going to SUCK, but save yourself a lot of time (and pain and anguish) later. And, don’t save this beauty for the week before the wedding. The truth is always quicker.

4. Sig Other Responsibilities - I swear this is a precursor for marriage. Don’t set yourself up to be disappointed; be honest from the beginning. If he/she isn’t into “wedding planning stuff”, then believe them. Raise your hand if you need help, but don’t go assigning tasks and then getting disappointed when the follow through is lacking. The truth is always quicker.

5. Bridal Party - Who? Who do you want standing next to you on your wedding day? Now, who do you feel obligated to have standing next to you on your wedding day? Bridey, if you feel obligated, then I bet they do too. Suddenly they are obligated to contribute to bridal party shenanigans, showers and the like. Obligated to be excited about the bridesmaids dresses and then buy one. Obligated to show the fuck up. Imagine what would happen if you gently broached the subject with the “obligator”, and lightened the bridal party load? Might eliminate some stress and unmet expectations later, right? The truth is always quicker.

6. Bachelorette Party - I love Vegas. Probably because I got married there, but more than that, I love all of the bells, whistles, pasties, smoke and mirrors… But, if I’m standing up in more than one wedding this year, and I’m still working my way up the corporate ladder, my funds are limited. Bridey, while it is the responsibility of your ‘maids to make this happen for you, it is your responsibility to not be a greedy asshole. Your ‘maids will take cues from you. So if you know that three out of the six girls are broke, then suggest a local party with local fun, and save them the embarrassment. The truth is always quicker.

7. Weight - I hate this one. This is all about being honest with yourself, and obviously being honest with yourself is difficult. Bridey, if you want to lose weight for your wedding, then do it. If you don’t care, then you don’t care. The bottom line is really about how you feel on your wedding day, not how you look. You want the girl smiling in the photographs to be happy with herself, fat or thin, and only YOU can answer that question. Remember, the truth is always quicker.

8. Wedding Dress Shopping - Are you wondering why I included this? Because, over the years, I have heard all sorts of various viewpoints on wedding dress shopping. Some brides LOVE a huge entourage to accompany them to the bridal salon, while others would rather vom than have a group of girls expressing their opinions about their favorite lace or bodice or whatever. This is up to you, bridey. You determine who (if anybody) comes with you, but set the expectations early. The truth is always quicker.

9. DIY or DI-CRY - I am 100% a DICRYer. I always have these grand ideas about whipping up something I see on Pinterest (bridal or otherwise), and then crash and burn pretty awfully. Hence the crying… Bridey, there’s no shame on not being a DIYer. If you choose to become a DIYer, please practice and give yourself plenty of time to accomplish these tasks because they will always take longer than you think. The truth is always quicker. (And your truth might be to hire somebody else to do it…)

10. Open Bar - Yes! Oh wait, the budget. That pesky fucking budget. Can you afford to have an open bar? Can you provide an open bar all night? Can your crowd handle it (will they take advantage and turn into assholes)? How important is it to you? I’m pro open bar, but this is not a question I can answer for you, bridey, but, I know you know the answer. The truth is always quicker...

Bridey, you see why this one quote resonated with me do thoroughly? It is truly applicable in every situation, wedding planning and beyond. I recommend you keep this link handy if you need some encouragement as you plunge into these 10 wedding planning scenarios. When in doubt…the truth is always quicker!

Photo by David Thomaz on Unsplash

#TBT ~ Bitchless Bride Video #11 - Meet My Parents & Learn About Managing Your Wedding Budget

Brideys, back in 2012, before I comfortable spouting the truth, openly, I used to wear a hot pink wig and sunglasses to hide my identity. And, in this video, (one of my absolute FAVORITES) I somehow, I got my Dad + stepmom to wear hot pink wigs, sunglasses and rock the camera with some advice on your wedding budget. This originally posted in August of 2012, but is still SUPER relevant today. Oh! and Don't forget to check out the OUTTAKES! My dad had some trouble with his "part", gets frustrated, and swears like a lunatic... Totally priceless!

A Stranger Things Inspired Boudoir Sess Rockin' a Total Badass Babe!

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Bridey, meet Kaity. Kaity is amongst the bravest women I know. This FABULOUS lady did something so spectacular, so daring and so fucking amazing that she has inspired me to join her in her badassery, and make it a point to do something that scares me. Could be something little or something big, but I'm just going to fucking do it! I'll write about it when I'm done and then we can talk about what you did that scared the shit out of you! Anyway, this post is about more than a badass babe killing a Stranger Things boudoir shoot. It's about conquering self-deprecating behavior, owning who you are and running with that determination to kill our inner beast and replace it with self-love and acceptance.

Kaity said, "To me, self-love was forcing myself to come to terms with who I was, and committing to the fact that I was worthy, regardless of the worth that I was assigned by other parties. My assignment was forgiving myself for not meeting standards that were grossly unattainable, despite setting them myself. It was understanding that one bad interaction did not mean I was incapable of romance, and did not mean that I was unlovable... I had spent so long living under the “if you just lost some weight” mentality. As if a number on a scale would somehow give me the validation to be respected? I got this idea that I could love myself just like I was, in a body that I swore wasn’t worthy. Acting on the idea was an entirely different venture." A MEN sister! Bridey, please remember to love yourself NO MATTER WHAT, because you are worth it. We are ALL worth it... Stop letting fear paralyze your dreams, and go live them! Now, go get inspired by Kaity's awesomeness.

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Eggos still make me happy, but not as happy as they make our alien friend, Eleven, in Stranger Things.

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Holy heatwave! Kaity you are HOT HOT HOT!!!

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I always wanted blue eyes! Kaity, you truly are a hot fucking ticket! DAAAAAMMMMNNN!

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Is there a naughty school girl in Stranger Things? Do they need one? Just curious. Asking for a friend...

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Kaity. I applaud your bravery + badassery. You owned the SHIT out of this boudoir sess, and you are BEAUTIFUL! Congratulations on conquering your inner beast! Thank you for sharing your journey with Bitchless Bride!!

Industry Peeps:

Photographer: Jessica Hunt Photography
HairVIVID: Cut. Color. Style. 
Beauty: Pretty and Pinned
Venue: 701 Whaley