A Kickass and Awesomely Low Key Wedding Under a Willow Tree...

I mean… THAT’S a fucking KISS! And, I LOVE it! Right? (OMG!! I even write the word RIGHT! I’m supposed to work on saying that word less according to the Bitchless Bride podcast!) Anyway, meet Stacy + David, the B+G, who lost everything they owned in a house fire a year before they said “I do”. Bridey, imagine losing your home, your belongings, and having to completely rebuild while planning your nuptials. YIKES! Such a sad and difficult time… So, it’s not surprising to me that one evening, as they sat on the porch, watching as the sun disappeared behind the horizon, they decided it would be a beautiful experience to get married at sunset. Fast forward to a Tuesday in August, S+D were married an intimate ceremony on the family property. The only guests in attendance were close family and friends, seated in white chairs next to a pond, and below a weeping willow tree. 

Bridey, you know that I tend to go on and on about perspective on Bitchless Bride because it’s incredibly important for you recognize that you’re not only planning a wedding, but an ever after too. Right? And, just think about what this B+G had to endure before getting married, and think about how they persevered unscathed, together (literally + figuratively)… You’ll hear from Stacy throughout this post, and she’s a fucking rockstar. So, listen + learn + enjoy!

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Stacy: My bouquet was stunning!! We went to the local florist (A.H.Christiansons), and asked if they could do succulents because I knew for sure I wanted those. I'm pretty laid back and wanted to go with the flow about almost everything. They did such an amazing job taking the multiple different photo ideas I took to them, and made my unique bouquet. All the different flowers they used really matched our rustic and outdoor wedding so well. They also made the boutonniere have a little succulent and rose to match my bouquet.

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Stacy! You’re SO super cute! I love your tattoos and your tank!

Stacy: Even though we did a super small simple wedding, I knew I still wanted the traditional wedding dress. I knew I needed a strapless dress to show off my tattoos! The dress I got was strapless, had a sweetheart neckline, and was multilayered. It had a champagne colored under layer with a layer of ivory lace and a layer of simple beading. It had a long train, but not too long. As for the groom, he is tall and skinny so we decided to get a custom tailored suit. He went with a nice grey suit and got to customize the liner and everything!

Stacy’s dad drove her to the ceremony in his restored Jeep…

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WOW! Look at that stunning willow tree!!

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Stacy: I could not wait to finally get married! My house is actually right next to my grandparents where we got married. My dad drove me over in his old, blue jeep to then walk me down the isle. The best part of the day, was getting to marry my best friend with our closest family there.

These two? Phenomenal kissers!! Like, I can’t even…

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OMFG with the hand on the face… Stacy + David, I LOVE you guys!!!

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OB FUCK ING SES SED with those boots!!!!

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Stacy: My best advise for brides to be, is bigger isn’t always better. Don't stress over the details; everything will work out. We didn’t set up our actual ceremony space until 30 minutes before the wedding due to rain. Our small intimate backyard wedding was the best thing we could have done. Not only was it mostly stress free, but it didn’t take a lot of planning or decorating. So don't stress and enjoy it! AMEN to that, Stacy!!!

CHEERS!

Thank you Stacy + David for sharing your BEAUTIFUL wedding with Bitchless Bride. I love your story!!

Industry Peeps:

Photographer: Lindsay Dawn Photography
Bakery: Giant Eagle Bakery
Floral Designer: A. H. Christiansons
Submitted via Two Bright Lights

A Dark and Moody, Gothic-ly Fantastic, and Supremely Edgy Styled Shoot

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Soooo… I wanted to get into the Halloween spirit without getting super Halloween-y. Because, honestly, as much as I LOVE Halloween, I’m already over it. Why? Well… I’ve already eaten way too much candy, already dressed my kids up one-hundred-fucking-times (before today), and already spent a ton of money on this holiday. So, I’m fucking done. And, I still have to get through trick-or-treating tonight!! UGH. At least there is more candy to be had, and a well hidden flask… Buuuuutttt, I did want to show you, bridey, something dark, moody, edgy and all around amazing on Halloween, and this styled shoot was a happy medium between me + Halloween.

This styled shoot features a STUNNING, tattooed bride in a black wedding dress (YES!!), a totally HOT groom, minus the traditional tux or fancy suite, and absolutely awe-inspiring details, delicious enough to steal for your own wedding. I’m OBSESSED with the décor and how it totally contradicts itself, and basically the entire gloomy yet cool backdrop of an unkept farmhouse. Remember, bridey, this is YOUR wedding! If you see something inspiring (like everything showcased below), then DO something inspiring! Enjoy!

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This table is awesome! I love the “royal” chairs paired with the black goblets and gold chargers…

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These days, I’m seeing SEVERAL wedding rings that aren’t rockin’ (total pun) a diamond as a center stone. Look how FAB!

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Um. Hi. I love your dress. I love your makeup. And, I love everything about these photographs!!

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Remember how I said “hot” groom? Yeah…

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Seriously!!! That black wedding dress is truly fantastic!

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STFU with the fur!!! OMG.

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A giant “thank you” to Bethany Melvin for sharing this Halloween alternative, styled shoot, for me to present today on Bitchless Bride!

Industry Peeps:

Photographer: Bethany Melvin Photography
Dress Designer: Nicole Miller
Invitation Designer: b.invited
Event Designer: Walker Down the Aisle
Jewelry: Sticks & Steel
Tuxedo + Mens Attire: JH & Sons
Hair + Makeup: Sabreena Frances
Floral Designer: Elaborations
Equipment Rentals: Ideal Wedding and Events

A Boho Meets the Beach Wedding Filled with Amazing Surprises, a Few Setbacks and a Brilliant Comeback!

See Kristen + Ben just walking along like it’s no big thing? Like they don’t have a care in the whole wide world? Kristen is just stunningly strolling in that fucking GORGEOUS wedding dress, avoiding pelican poop, while holding the hand of her handsome husband… No big deal. Right? Wrong. Amazingly enough, the story of this B+G is much deeper than this beautiful photograph. Kristen + Ben endured a ton of drama which could have turned their wedding planning experience into a living hell, but instead, was something they got through together… Well, together, and with their wedding planner. What “hell” am I referring to? Read it from the bride herself, and then go be inspired!!

From the bride: The best advice I could give a future bride would be to hire a wedding planner (especially if you are trying to plan a destination wedding). We had some major setbacks throughout the wedding planning process- Hurricane Irma- and along with that came two changes of venue, date changes, vendor changes, guest list changes and multiple invitations. Even though you may think you don't want to spend the money, it was well worth it for my sanity. Nicole from Simply You weddings was a rock star!

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Kristen! You’re incredible!! I love everything about you!!!

Bridey, are you dying over Kristen’s kickass wedding dress? I am!

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OMFG. That bouquet of flowers! I’m losing my mind! WHOA!

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From the bride: The most anticipated moment for me was seeing Ben, my fiancé's face, when we had the first look. It is just such a special moment to know that your about to commit to that person for life and I'm so glad Mike was able to capture that so well.

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From the bride: The first time I tried on wedding dresses at Olivia Bowen bridal boutique, I knew right away that I did not want to have a traditional wedding day style. I went with the Australian based designer, Made with Love, for my gown who I feel made the ultimate dress by incorporating a natural color pattern into the dress but still the traditional feel with an all lace gown. 

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Bridey, remember how this is plan B??? THIS is PLAN FUCKING B!! Just look how breathtaking this ceremony is!

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Sniff, sniff… I can’t get past this moment…

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Cheers!!! Two for me, please!

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The lighting, the venue, the wedding… OH MY!

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Kristen, I LOVE your facial expression here!

From the bride: I personalized the wedding with a gourmet donut bar including fresh fried donuts and just about any topping imaginable. The self serve bar included custom"to-go" bags that read "Glazed and delicious from the new Mr and Mrs". (PS- See the date on the bags? Different than the actual wedding day. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that they still used the bags with the original wedding date!)

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Thank you K+B for sharing your A MAZ ING wedding (part two). It’s clear that you persevered through the cray and had an incredible wedding day!

Industry Peeps:

Photographer: Freas Photography
Event Planner: Simply You
Transportation: Old Town Trolley
Cake Designer: Key West Cakes
DJ: DJ Buggy
Equipment Rentals: Keys Audio Productions, LLC
Floral Designer: Marathon Florist
Ceremony + Reception Location: Southernmost House
Hair Stylist: Bella Luxe Hair & Makeup

An Funny Anecdote from a Beautiful Wedding... Proving Once Again Why Wedding Planners are a Necessity!

Bridey, you know that over the years I have strongly suggested that you hire a wedding planner no matter your budget, and no matter how large or small your wedding is? Well, I haven’t been blowing smoke up your ass. There are some seriously solid reasons to hire a wedding professional to help you with your wedding plans, logistics and the several other moving parts for your big day. And, as I have preached this sentiment over and over again on Bitchless Bride until I am fucking blue in the face, some of you still would rather wing it. And, I get it. I really, really do. We are not cheap. We feel unpractical. We feel superfluous. But, we are not. We are “fixers”, not in the Ray Donovan kind of way (we aren’t hiding any bodies or embezzling money), but in the true sense of the word, FIX. We clean up some pretty big messes, literally and figuratively, and we make sure that you never know there was a mess in the first place. And, frankly, that alone is worth our price, and then some.

I’d like to share an anecdote with you based on a recent wedding that went off without a hitch (pun absolutely intended)… Well, that’s what the B+G would tell you because they didn’t know what really happened behind the scenes. They didn’t know about how I re-iced part of their wedding cake after somebody literally rammed into it (before the B+G saw it), scooped dog shit off of the dance floor, filled a gaping hole in the floor of the tent with rocks so that ankles wouldn’t be broken, adjusted the diagram so that the tables matched the wishes of the bride (and people wouldn’t sit at the wrong table), and creatively hid some of the filthy linen that was provided by a third party vendor. Bridey, would these mishaps have ruined their day? Probably not. Would they have caused unnecessary drama and stress? Absolutely.

“Are you the wedding planner?”, she asked. 

Uh-oh… That was not a good question when the face staring back at me looked frightened and mortified all wrapped up into one. 

“I am.” I said confidently.

“I am SOOOOO sorry, but I just tripped and bumped into the cake.” she said with embarrassment (and fear). 

“Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it.” I said as I began heading towards the cake, not knowing what I was up against. 

HOLYSHITGODDAM. Yeah, that’s what I thought when I saw that fucking cake. I mean… She FELL into the cake. Seriously, I’m surprised she didn’t have frosting dripping from her elbow. Fuuuuuccckkkk…. So, I took a deep breath, remembered that I studied pastry a lifetime ago, and went into action. I borrowed a flat spatula from the caterer, stole icing from the extra cakes we had for service (the ones in which wouldn’t be seen by the guests), and fixed that cake. The guest was relieved and I was the hero that nobody would ever know existed. Phew!

“Is that shit?” asked the DJ. 

“Huh?” I responded.

“Is that shit on the dance floor?” he asked (again).

“Yup. That’s shit.” I said. 

SERIOUSLY? Yup. There was shit on the dance floor. Not human (THANK GOD), but dog shit. In retrospect, I really shouldn’t have been surprised. We were in a GIANT tent in a beautiful backyard and there were dogs. Not running around during the wedding, but I’m thinking they went out prior to, pooped, and were then stowed in the house. Somebody must have stepped in the poop and then headed to the dance floor. UGH. So, I got a hot, wet rag, dropped it on the floor (all very casually), and pretended to dance a little bit all while wiping the shit from the floor. Certainly a new experience for me.

“There’s a hole.” a dude from catering staff said.

“In in bucket?” I couldn’t help myself! 

“No. In the floor near that guest table.” he said pointing to a FUCKING hole in the floor next to a guest table (that couldn’t be moved at this point in game).

“Ugh.” I mumbled.

What to do? What to do? ROCKS! There were tons of rocks on the property that I could stuff into that fucking hole. I had pockets in my suit coat… So, my assistant and I filled our pockets with rocks, dropped them into the hole in the floor, stomped on them, and took care of a potential liability. Again, a hero that nobody would ever know about.

“The tables are backwards.” I said as the rental company was leaving.

“No they’re not.” he said.

“Look.” I said as I showed him the diagram that the bride worked her ass off on.

“Oh.”

Yeah. Oh! That simple mistake could have cost a shitload of confusion as guests were taking their seats. So, I fixed it, and I have a large bruise to prove it. 

Bridey… All of this happened on the day of the wedding. Quite frankly, there’s a few more details I could share, but those were the highlights. And, after all of that hard work + planning that went into this FABULOUS event, those “things” that happened ON THE WEDDING DAY, could have very well undone everything. We went round and round over the logistics, food, music, budget, YOUNAMEIT!!!! So, even if you’re working with a small budget, consider hiring a wedding planner as your “happiness insurance”. Can’t afford a full-time planner? Then hire a “day of” or “month of” planner to help you, and to be there on the day of your wedding so that you’re not faced with potential disaster. Got it? Good! Stay bitchless!!!

Photo by Aidan Hampson on Unsplash

BB's Hard at Work... Get Ready for Something BIG!!!

Brideys, SO sorry I haven’t posted anything inspirational or helpful this week. I’ve had my head down working on something BIG, something HUGE, something ENORMOUS! Get ready for the Bitchless Bride podcast!!!!! Yup! The Bitchless Bride podcast is launching next Thursday, October 18, 2018, and I couldn’t BE more excited! Be prepared to learn + laugh your ass off when you tune in! Oh, and feel free to share this news with anybody who will listen!!! Stay tuned… Pun 100% intended!

XO,

BB

Photo by Mikayla Mallek on Unsplash

A Super Elegant, Super Chill, New York Wedding, Rockin' Live Music + Cocktails

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Bridey, if you are completely stunned by this gorgeous wedding dress off of the hanger, just wait until you see it on the bride! OMFG! And, you know that I don’t usually open with a pic of the wedding dress (nothing against wedding dresses, but a nice photograph of the B+G is always a good way to start a post!), but I seriously think this one spoke to me. And, no, I’m not drinking at my desk or smoking or vaping or whatever… I was just moved by the beautiful details. Although, once you see it ON, it’s truly magical! Anyway, Nicole + Jon wanted a low key wedding with live music. How awesome does that sound, right? Well, that’s exactly what they got.

This B+G had their decided against a traditional wedding venue, and celebrated their nuptials at a restaurant. I gotta say, I like their style. Before my hus and I decided to elope, we put a deposit down at a FAB restaurant in Boston. Because not only did we love the food and ambiance, we wanted to break away from the ballroom, and celebrate in a space that felt more like us. That’s exactly what what N+J did! Enjoy this incredibly low key yet totally fantastic wedding!

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On occasion, Jon plays the bass in a wedding band…

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See what I mean about the details? A MAZ ING!

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The dress + the birdcage veil = STUN NING!

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Cheers!

Just look at those fabulous bridesmaids dresses! I LOVE LOVE LOVE all of the gold, and how they’re all different!

The dress is tea length! OMG! It just keeps getting better!!

Beautiful. Such a great shot!

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Great smooch!

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Lovin’ this B+G together!!!

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YAAAASSSSSSS!!!!

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I truly love seeing all of the guests happily dancing and celebrating with the B+G! Thank you Nicole and Jon for sharing your wedding with Bitchless Bride!

Industry Peeps:

Photographer: Casey Fatchett Photography
Hair Stylist: Fox and Jane Salon
Floral Designer: Adore Floral Design
Band: Rhythm Dogs
Dress Designer: Michelle & Henry Roth Bridal
Reception Venue: Public

An Intimate, Backyard Wedding Filled with Tons of Charm, Warmth and Some Mischief

On occasion, I can get a bit corny. It’s a rare occurrence, saved only for special moments, and today is definitely one of those days. Betsy and Suliko are a super chill, super romantic couple, and I am absolutely OB SES SED with them and their awesomeness. Seriously, they are like the couple of my dreams (totally corny!). First of all, they did something I could never do… They kept their relationship private for a very long time! Right? OMFG! Usually after a first date (provided it went well), I’d be blabbing to anybody who will listen. I couldn’t imagine keeping anything quiet, let alone meeting my soulmate! But, more than the cool nature of their relationship, the B+G got married in their backyard, right in the heart of Raleigh. The best part? They moved in less than a month before their wedding day! That alone is completely badass and totally risky!

Betsy and Suliko’s gorgeous wedding was made up of only their closest friends and family (20 people), and their friend Meredith, whom they work with, became ordained so she could marry the B+G. Awwwww…. Bridey, there are so many exquisite details for you to absorb. The mismatched chairs, the twinkle lights, the food, the cakes (yes CAKES!), their dog, Olive… But, my favorite part? I love that these two stayed true the nature of their relationship, and had a super lovely, super chill at home wedding, and did it well. Enjoy!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the ceremony seating!

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Olive! You’re such a cutie!!!

This truly made me laugh out loud! When Suliko went to read his vows, he pretended that they were so long they spilled to the ground. Hence the mischief! YAAAASSSS!!

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They did it!! And Olive is just chillin’!

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So, I have cats, and they don’t do cool shit like this.

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See what I mean about the corny-factor? How could I NOT be corny about the B+G?!!

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First of all, I love the blue door! Secondly, Betsy wore a stunning David's Bridal gown, and added the ribbon sash tied around her waist. LOVE IT!

The MOG, Inga, made all of this totally delicious food!

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Love this beautiful, backyard table!

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Love a good cake smash!

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The garden gnome was a gift to Betsy from Suliko, and it kept making an appearance during the course of the evening. HAHA!

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Thank you Besty and Suliko for sharing your awesome wedding, and letting us get a glimpse of your lovely relationship!

Industry Peeps:

Photographer: Rose Trail Images
Cake
Designer: Linda's Cakes
Dress: David’s Bridal
Floral Designer: Fallons Flowers

The Top Five Wedding Planning Woes… How to Have a Strong Day When Wedding Planning Makes You Feel Like Shit…

“Have a strong day.” he said. And, all I could think about as I walked away is how clever it was to say, “Have a strong day,” as opposed to, “Have a great day,” or “Have a lovely morning,”. I mean, even though I was walking towards the treadmill at the gym, prior to embarking on a super difficult boot camp session, and, oh, the dude who uttered such brilliance was a trainer, I’ve been thinking about it all morning… I can’t shake it and it’s dual meaning. And, I’m 100% going to steal this double entendre, and use it every chance I get. Why? Because it resinated with me. It literally moved me. It made me run faster on the treadmill, and push myself harder during boot camp, but more than anything else, it made me get out of my head, move past the bullshit I’ve been holding onto, and DECIDE to have a fucking strong day! Literally and figuratively! And, you know what, bridey? You can have a strong day too! Allow me to elaborate…

Bridey, I know that there are days when it all feels like too much. You have a job, you have responsibilities, you want to workout or spend time with your sig other, and at the same time you need to keep up with wedding planning timelines, deadlines, and targets. Annnnnndddd…. On top of all of that, there are quite a few factors that make you feel like shit while wedding planning; shit that depletes your strength and makes you feel like crawling into bed, hiding under the covers and sleeping until it’s all over. Am I right? A lot of things can make you feel like shit, and they range in decibels as they echo over and over in your head. So, why don’t we focus on the top five (so that your head doesn’t explode)? Because as much as I hate to admit it, there are way too many wedding planning woes that can fuck with your mojo, and by discussing the top five, hopefully we will set you up to handle the other, smaller woes that can make you feel weak, and diminish our “strong day” goals. Ready? I’m just gonna spew them out, and then give you some pointers… Family dynamics, budget, weight loss, loss of a parent and bridal party drama. 

1. Why don’t we start with a big one? Family dynamics. BRUTAL for some of you… And unfortunately, without knowing the specific details, I can’t give you specific advice, but I can tell you that these problems will not fix themselves. It’s important for you to deal with the issues that arise as they happen because sitting on them will not make them go away, (nor will wishing them away). For example, if your soon to be mother-in-law is super opinionated, and attempting to recreate her wedding vicariously through you and your sig other, then squash it as quickly as it begins. How? Give her a few wedding planning jobs to do (that you either aren’t fond of doing yourself, or that you don’t particularly care about) so that she feels like she’s contributing. I’m betting that’s why she’s behaving the way that she is. Because she’s feels excluded from the big picture. Don’t underestimate the power of inclusion (or exclusion). And even though she’s not communicating this well, or the way she’s expressing herself grates on the very fibers of your soul, it’s the truth.                             

Look, bridey, no matter what you’re up against, oftentimes, tough family dynamics usually boil down to very simple roots; roots that were tangled a long time ago and need to be addressed with kid gloves, and carefully. So, if it was your parents tumultuous divorce, drama over the guest list, or the budget, think back to where this trouble might have stemmed from… And, handle it using the basics we learned in kindergarten. Be nice to others, include others, respect others… It’s important for you to dig deep, be STRONG, and remember why you are getting married in the first place.

2. Budget. I swear it should be a four letter word. Because it sucks, it stings, and it stinks. Seriously, don’t you wish weddings were free? Fuck yeah you do! But, the truth is that they aren’t. And the other truth is that you, bridey, don’t really have a clue what things cost because you’ve never done this before (most of you anyway). Weddings are an expensive milestone. And, staying strong during money conversations is HARD especially because most of the time it feels like you’re giving up something that you really want. Right? That’s where I need you to adjust your thinking… Every time you have to let go of something you want, just think of what you’re replacing it with…    

Not enough cash for a band? Don’t worry! A great DJ will rock your wedding, and you don’t have to worry about a band learning new songs or eight vendor meals. Purchase a preowned designer wedding dress instead of buying a new one. Are most of your guests local? Awesome! Then get married on a Friday or Sunday. Most venues will work with your budget on their “off” days. You see where I’m going with this, right? 

3. Losing weight. Fuuuuuuuccccckkkk! Fuck it’s hard to lose weight. You gotta measure, calculate and workout. Seriously, I’m exhausted just thinking about it! Here’s the thing. I LOVE to workout. I always have… But, I also LOVE to eat, and poorly. Well, not poorly, just sugary, boozy and carby. Is that so bad?? But, what I have come to learn is that I feel better when I eat healthy. I have more energy. I don’t feel lethargic at 3 PM. My mind is sharper.

Bridey, if you “need” to lose weight (I say need in parenthesis because a lot of the time it isn’t necessarily a necessity, but more of a desire), focus less on the number and more on how you feel when you treat your body well. Focus on getting strong. Focus on how great it feels to sweat your stress out. And then balance it with what you eat. And quit beating yourself up when you do eat sugar, booze and carbs. Just get back on track, immediately. Don’t give in to a case of the “fuck-its”. Try to make this less about sweatin’ for the weddin’ and more about living a healthy lifestyle, forever. HAVE A STRONG DAY!

4. Loss of a parent. Gulp. First of all, I am deeply sorry. I feel for you, bridey. Not having one or both of your parents present on your wedding day is difficult at best. And it sucks. And you are absolutely allowed to feel like shit about missing them as you plan your wedding. But, do your best to find a way to honor them without making yourself too sad. Because on your wedding day? They are there with you, and the last thing they’d want for you on such a big day is sadness, right? So, honor their memory and celebrate their life as you enter a new phase of yours. 

5. Bridal party drama. I am literally cringing as I type. This one gets me every time because of what I have seen first hand. Here’s the thing… Don’t choose your bridal party out of obligation. I can assure you that by doing so, you are absolutely setting yourself (and the others) up for drama. Who do you want next to you on your wedding day? Who will listen, like truly listen, as you vent about your wedding plans, and care? Who will tell you that your ass isn’t right in that wedding dress, and to keep searching for one that fits you better? THOSE are the peeps you want by your side! And if that means that your sister from another mister doesn’t make the cut because she’s not reliable, forgetful and sometimes selfish, so be it. Be strong. Get ahead of it. Have a conversation with her before asking the others to stand. Stop the drama before it begins.

Bridey, I know that by simply encouraging you to have a STRONG day, doesn’t mean that you will. And, I know that some days will be harder than others. But, you are in charge of how you feel. You can choose to feel strong or weak. So any time anybody says, “Have a good day,” I want you to change that sentence in your head to, “Have a STRONG day,” and then go do it! Got it??

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Wedding Planning + Side Hustle or Hobby = Wedding Planning Bliss

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Bridey, did you read the title and have a mini panic attack? Did you read the title and think, “isn’t this the same person who wrote, Why Planning Your Wedding Actually IS a Full Time Job!”? Did you read the title and think, “That bitch is crazy! How can I possibly add one more thing to all of my things?!!”? Trust me, when I wrote the title of this post, I realized that I was going to have a whole lot of explaining to do! But, here’s the actual thing, we get through the shit we don’t particularly enjoy so that we can move on to the shit we really do enjoy. Right? It doesn’t matter what “it” is, because the truth is, we all need motivation to get through the hard parts of life. So, we dangle the carrot of joy in front of our eager belly when we need a push, when we need a kick in the ass, when we need to finish whatever the fuck is weighing us down so that we can focus on what truly makes us happy. And, a lot of the time? It’s the shit we do on the side... It’s our side hustle or our hobby that becomes our “temple”.

So, bridey, time to get a hobby. Get a little somethin’ somethin’ on the side (obviously in the non-cheating sense of that phrase!!). Go do something that brings you joy; that makes you happy. For some of you, that may mean making some extra cash to put towards the wedding or an over-the-top wedding dress or some extravagance related to the wedding, and for others it’s truly just for fun; an escape from the planning which will allow you to separate yourself from the stress. But, whatever the case may be, go get your hustle/hobby on. It’ll save you... from YOU. But, no matter what your hustle/hobby is, bridey, dive in. Go crazy. Let go. Allow it to seep into your soul.

When I was discussing this hustle/hobby mission of mine with one of my friends, she asked, “So, what would I do? What would your hobby be?”. And after some serious consideration, the last bite of dessert and a swig of my cocktail, I told her that if I were in the midst of wedding planning (my own wedding, not yours), I’d take a class. Something I really look forward to; something scheduled. A class like martial arts or cooking; something that built on what I had learned the previous week so that making excuses for missing my new hobby would be uncomfortable. In my early 20s, I went to culinary school to become a pastry chef (see the extremely large pic of me below in cake class), and while I completed the program, I didn’t pursue the dream (because it became clear to me that I belonged in the front-of-the-house, engaging with people, not chatting in the back-of-the-house where my colleagues simply tolerated my enthusiasm), and my skills are super rusty. I’d love to take a cake decorating class, and update my skill because when I’m in the kitchen, I’m at peace, I’m focused on what I’m doing, and the noise of the rest of the world is quiet. 

 Yeah, I made that cake, and those amazing white chocolate flowers!!

Yeah, I made that cake, and those amazing white chocolate flowers!!

That brings us back to you, bridey. What are you going to do to quiet the wedding planning noise? To be at peace? To make a little extra money? To learn something new? The options are pretty endless, seriously, just Google it, and you can see for yourself. The thing is, it has to excite you not stress you. The whole point of this is to escape, not to bring on additional stress. So, go… Get a hobby. Go hustle. Go be happy. I’m giving you permission to enjoy your life while planning your wedding… Got it? Good! Then stay Bitchless! 

Photo by Clark Tibbs on Unsplash

An Incredibly Polished Wedding Oozing with Glam + Sophistication + Class

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I look at this photograph and while I know it’s not the traditional “post opener” kind of pic, I couldn’t help myself. I feel like this photograph absolutely captures the spirit of the B+G. It’s like they got caught in a moment that was just for them, and yet we have the privilege of getting a glimpse. So, I just had to show it to you, immediately, instead of waiting for the scroll! Anyway… Amy + Nick’s wedding day was lavishly gorgeous, dripping with exquisite details that will have you completely awestruck. As a wedding planner + writer, I love everything about this wedding. Every time I scroll, it’s like somebody is whispering sweet (and sort of dirty) nothings into my ear.

A+N hosted their wedding at The Bluestone, a cool venue overflowing with simple complexity (totally one of my better descriptions!). Guest were stunned as they arrived to the ceremony, taking in the beautiful sweeping + floral arbor, elegant glass vases lining the steps up the altar and the sheer magnitude of the total experience. But, it didn’t end there… The reception was totally GLAM. And, OMFG, just wait until you see A+N’s perfect (like seriously perfect) cake! Bridey, take all of the inspiration you can from this wedding. It all started with a FAB couple, and ended with good taste an quite a bit of joy…

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OMFG. That dress! Those windows!! Totally gorgeous!

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Amy, your wedding dress + veil is ridiculously amazing! And, your flowers are bad ass!

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Ever wonder what the photographer said to make them smile? Or, is that just me? Meanwhile, below…

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Cheers! But, please, not too many shots!

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Totally obsessed with this fabulous idea!!

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Whoa! Such a lovely altar…

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It’s official!!!

Great shot, but what I can’t help looking at are the bridesmaids dresses. I love the soft pink. It’s playful and elegant at the same time.

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Time to party!

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See what I mean about the perfect cake? I love all of the gold A+N have at their wedding!!!

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A+N, thank you for sharing your elegantly FABULOUS wedding with Bitchless Bride!!!

Industry Peeps:

Photographer: Peppercorn Photography
Reception Venue: The Bluestone

When Quitting Your Wedding Feels Like the Only Option, and How to Persevere

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“You’ve come too far to quit.” she said. “Push yourself!” she screamed into the mic attached to her headpiece. I was in spin class and wanted to fucking die. My whole body was sore from boot camp the day before, and my legs felt like noodles. Plus, it didn’t help that we were doing all sorts of fancy moves like pushups, side to sides, etc., ON THE BIKE, and I felt like a total jackass, because coordination is definitely not one of my strong suits. I was completely flailing. I had nothing left to give; nothing left in my body, and all I wanted to do is get the fuck out of there. But, something clicked when she uttered those words into that headpiece. Something made me continue to move my ass even though I didn’t think my muscles would listen to my brain. And, so I did. And I didn’t quit. I persevered, and I pushed myself even though I thought I couldn’t get it done.

You know how I did it, bridey? I went at my own pace. Because she was right, I had come too far to quit. So, I slowed down just enough to feel my heart settle back into my chest, and did the best I could with the fancy shit (although, I do have a bruise on my collar bone…hmmmmm). The point is, that you’re 100% going to feel like quitting one or more times during your wedding planning. It’s overwhelming. It’s stressful. It sucks sometimes. It’s not always what you expected it to be. But, don’t quit. You’ve come too far to quit! Don’t screw up everything you’ve already accomplished because you’ll only make it worse for yourself when you come back to it. Just slow down. Take a breather and let your heart settle back into your chest. Sometimes that’s all it takes. Breathing. Breathing is key.

I find myself saying that a lot these days. “Breathe. Take a breath.” Bridey, we’ve all become so programmed to GO! GO! GO! that so often, we forget to breathe while we race to the altar. And, frankly? That’s bullshit. I don’t care if your wedding is tomorrow or next year. Go at your own pace. Don’t allow yourself to succumb to the pressure of feeling like you have to accomplish everything immediately. Don’t put that kind of stress on yourself. It’s you versus you, not you versus every other bride getting married with better Instagram photos or a juicer Pinterest page. Fuck that noise! Appreciate the things you like, and then move on.

So what are you supposed to do if you’re having trouble getting over the wedding planning hump? Change your perspective; see it from an outside view. And, go long… What would your future married self tell your current engaged self as you struggle with this particular piece of your wedding planning? She’d tell you that, no matter what, you’re still going to marry to your sig other, and to take a break. Come back with a fresh set of eyes after you’ve taken some time to focus on you. Or, perhaps she’d tell you to plan your wedding out of order. The reality is that the order in which you plan your wedding is flexible. Crazy, right? Stuck on food selection? No problem. Just work on the color scheme/florals/linen instead, and come back to the food after you’ve had some time off. Can’t determine your bridal party? Worried about hurting feelings? Perhaps you shouldn’t have one… I don’t know, but what I DO know is that you’d be amazed at how easy these choices can be once you’ve given yourself permission to breathe and quiet those inner demons.

Bridey, you’ve come too far to quit. Push yourself. And maybe that means pushing yourself to a yoga retreat or girls weekend or romantic weekend, but either way, do push yourself because you WILL persevere! You can do this! 

Photo by Johnson Wang on Unsplash

Bitchless Bride’s Top 11 Wedding Day + Wedding Planning Regrets

Let’s face it, we all have things we’ve come to regret in our lives, right? Because retrospect is a powerful, powerful phenomenon, but also because we are older, and we’ve come to realize that some of the stuff we obsessed over or prioritized, were just stupid. And, we, you and me, are really the only ones who can look back at our lives, recognize our mistakes and (hopefully) learn from them, right? Sort of. While I can’t undo the losers you (and I) dated before finding your sig other, I CAN offer you some pretty compelling advice about what other brides deem as their wedding day + wedding planning regrets for you to learn from and avoid. Some regrets are serious and some are silly, but both can leave a damper on your day. Ready?

1. Don’t be a bitch! You know this is a total hot button for me, but more than that, nothing good will come from being a ‘zilla. Nobody will want to help you. Nobody will respect you. And, nobody will want to be your friend. (And, nobody will want to come to your wedding!) So just be friendly. You’ll be amazed at what good can come from simply being human. Plus, you’ll regret it. I think it’s fair to say that no matter what the situation, we always end up regretting our shitty behavior. Right?

Side note? A friend of mine shared with me that I would have “hated her ‘zilla ass” because of how she behaved while planning her wedding, and also on her wedding day. Looking back, she 100% regrets her shit behavior, not only for obvious reasons, but because when she thinks about her wedding day, memories of her bad behavior squash the good memories. Yikes! So, just don’t be a bitch!

2. I am a fancy shoe wearing whore. I love anything super high, and super fance! I love the glitz, the glitter and the glam. But, not wearing comfortable shoes on your wedding day is a mistake. Because we all know that when our feet hurt, it can truly make you feel awful. Definitely an emotion you want to avoid on your wedding day. So, what are your options? Go for lower, more comfortable shoes or bring a replacement pair for after you’ve walked down the aisle/take photographs/danced your first dance. Oh, and put them in the freezer until you wear them. I know it’s crazy, but just do it. You can thank me later!

3. I am all for saving money with talented friends or family members, but not hiring a professional to do a big job (photographer, DJ, caterer) is a huge mistake! A mistake that you will regret when you have shitty pictures, or the entertainment sucks and nobody is dancing. Bridey, call in favors for the DIY elements that are simple, and leave the big jobs to the professionals. Got it!?

4. Who’s guest list is it anyway? Who’s wedding is it? Is it yours? Or your mothers? Sorry MOBs + MOGs, but the pressure you’re putting on the bride and her sig other is bullshit. It’s upside down. This is a celebration; an expensive one. A once in a lifetime gathering of people that want to share in it’s beauty. And, it’s unfortunate and sad when there are too many of the wrong people, and not enough of the right ones. So, fuck etiquette, and listen to your soul. You know who should and shouldn’t be on that list. Take charge, bridey, and fight the good fight! And, if you can’t (because of family dynamics, money, etc.), then strategically place your tables at your reception. Have your favorite people near you, and the others further away… 

5. A long, boring, and generic ceremony. Waaaa waaaa. Those suck. Right? Plus, it’s totally possible that you will be bored too! And, there is nothing worse than being bored at your own wedding, so add some spunk. Write your own vows, have a classical guitarist/harpist/banjo player, bring your heritage to your ceremony or even somebody else’s. Just make it memorable for you and your guests!

6. This one is tricky because I know that there is some superstition around seeing each other before the wedding. But, I will share with you, bridey, that seeing your sig other before the wedding will ease the pressure of walking down the aisle and falling apart at first glance, AND will allow you to get several of your photographs taken before the ceremony so that you two can make it to your cocktail hour (see #10). Plus, staging a first look is a pretty surreal opportunity. You can feel what you are going to feel, together, without 300 eyeballs on you. Think about it…

7. Relinquishing control to the wrong hands. Remember #4? Same idea. It’s lovely that your mom, or sister, or future MIL or future SIL want to help you plan the wedding. It really is… until it’s not. Be sure that the people helping you are actually helping you, not just creating (or recreating) a day that is less about you and your sig other, and more about satisfying their own needs. Find your voice (nicely), and use it. This is your day. Your life. This day represents who you are as a couple. Not what anybody else thinks it should be.

8. Is a bridal party necessary? I don’t have the answer to this question. But, some of my brides have totally regretted the drama their bridal party brought to the planning, and to the wedding day. Sometimes, not having a bridal party is sweeter. It allows those who want to step up, step up without pressure, and with utter joy. Your friends and family will still celebrate you, but in a different kind of way. Think about it. (And, then picture the ceremony… You + Sig Other + Officiant = Pretty Awesome.)

9. Your wedding day will be the fastest day of your entire life. I’m not being dramatic, just honest. For all of the planning and money that goes into it, it totally FLYS by. So enjoy it. Love it. Savor it. Try to avoid getting wrapped up in some of the formalities + obligatory shenanigans, and instead be 100% present for every.fucking.moment because you’ll blink, and it will be over.

10. Try to talk to everybody at your wedding. I know that sometimes it’s easier said than done, but not getting a chance to talk to everybody because you spent too much time taking photographs or the guest list was to big, or because you didn’t have any time at the cocktail hour (a GREAT opportunity to chat with everybody) can leaving you feeling sad or guilty. And that that’s definitely not a lasting memory you want. So start talking!

11. I’ve mentioned this before, but your wedding day is a fabulous chance to hold hands with your sig other for the ENTIRE night. Don’t have separate evenings, bridey; not tonight. Hold that dude or girl tight and have the only time apart be when you’re indisposed. 

I hate to say it, bridey, but I could have added at least five or six more “regrets” to this list. But, I think I’ve covered the ones that seem to present themselves the most. And, like I said, while I can’t undo some of the losers you dated or that time you ran naked in the quad, I can undo these 11 regrets before you have the chance to regret them. So, you’re welcome!!! Good luck!

Photo by Dương Trí on Unsplash