Attitude

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

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

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

Why Ditching Your Wedspectations will Create Wedding Planning Bliss

elena-koycheva-774495-unsplash.jpg

Bridey, do you have you ever have those fights in your head that never (thankfully) actualize in real life? You know what I mean… You set your internal stage for this big emotional “fight”, including (but, not limited to) each and every possible witty retort, amazingly shrewd comebacks, and “told you so” jabs, although when the real situation presents itself, all of the energy you put into this big to-do typically ends up being completely moot (totally love this word!). You have these unfounded expectations about what something will be or should be, but the truth is, you have no idea what to expect, so you automatically expect the worst. Right? We all do it. And, how many of those imaginary altercations actually happen in real life? Probably none. So, instead of being present and enjoying the present, you spent the last hour, or day or week wasting your energy on this bullshit concoction. How fucked up is that?

I hate to say it, but I see this kind of thing all the time in wedding planning. There’s this BIG expectation, this BIG feeling built up of what it should be like, or what you should be doing/feeling/experiencing, and because most of you haven’t done “it” before, the truth is, you really have NO idea what to expect. All you know is what you’ve absorbed via what I call, wedding osmosis. Wedding osmosis is the shit you’ve mentally stored away based on what you’ve seen at weddings you’ve attended, photographs you saw on Pinterest or Insta, or blogs, etc.… So, how do we adjust your reality so that you can enjoy preparing for this big event instead of building it up to be something terrifying? How can you start with a clean slate? Trust me, it’s possible, but you have to be willing to let go of your coo coo internal dialogue and start small. But, how?

Bridey, imagine entering the world of wedding planning without any preconceived notions? Zero assumptions. Clean slate, baby… What if instead of starting the process with these great expectations, you started the process with no expectations? HOLY SHIT! Could you do it?! Yaaaaassss you can! Ditching your wedspectations will create wedding planning bliss and change your experience tremendously! Because, it’s really simple. Just dare to go at your own pace. Dare to filter out the noise, and fuck the “rules”, fuck the pressure, and fuck anybody who attempts to wedding shame you about all the shit you are or are not doing. You do you. Period. By squashing your own inner beast and limiting wedding osmosis, you can take charge of your plans on your terms without going crazy, broke, insane and friendless.

There’s so much pressure for you and your sig other to get started planning at this ridiculously feverish pace, that not only will you forgo enjoying your engagement, but you won’t take the appropriate time to learn what the hell you should be doing to build a beautiful day. Hitting the ground running is one thing, but simply hitting the ground is something totally different. Baby steps will still get you to the end, and you’ll be better for it. So, take a deep breath. Take one day at a time, and ditch your expectations. I promise, you’ll be absolutely amazed at the outcome. 

Photo by Elena Koycheva on Unsplash

The Offline Wedding Challenge... Can YOU Do It??

What if you were brave enough or crazy enough or loony enough or coo coo enough to take your wedding and your wedding planning offline? Like no online anything... No online planning. No finding your wedding vendors online, no Pinterest (yikes!), no free advice (including mine, and I’d fucking miss you, but sometimes you have to let go of the people you love), nothing. I mean holy shit, how would that even work? How would you manage to plan your wedding without these tools, these helpful tips, these “things” we’ve become so dependent on? Seriously, how the fuck did our parents do it? And well? Right? But, something tells me you’d find a way, and maybe, just maybe you’d even like it.

Bridey, I realize what I am asking you to do. And, frankly, I don’t know how possible it is because we’ve all become so accustom to finding anything, and pretty much everything we need, want and don’t want with a swipe of a finger. Myself included!! So, why am I asking you to make it harder on yourself? How could I possibly ask such a HUGE “ask” of you during such a stressful time in your life? I mean, planning a wedding is hard enough, right? So much to do, so many details, so many things…

Well, I’m 100% convinced that taking your wedding offline will bring the humanity back into planning. You will have the opportunity to really connect with your vendors, your family, your friends and even your sig other. We have become so disconnected because of the ease of gathering information, that even a friendly phone call to inquire about flowers or catering or wedding cake can make you feel good about your choices; good about people in general. You’ll get a feeling that you won’t get by filling out a questionnaire online. You’ll get to FEEL. And, hopefully that feeling will be one of excitement and joy. It’s amazing what a good conversation can do for your soul.

My birthday was a few weeks ago, and it was a fabulous day! I felt like a queen on FaceBook, my phone was blowing up with texts, I got some amazing presents, but my favorite part? My oldest friend, who lives across the country, called to wish me, “happy birthday”, and we chatted for over an hour. I have known her since I was six years old, and although we don’t talk often, she is somebody who will be in my life forever no matter how much time goes by… And, outside of it being a great day because it was my birthday, that phone call made me so happy. She absolutely could have texted me with birthday wishes, but actually talking? Amazing. Do I expect you to feel this kind of joy after you talk with a potential wedding venue? No, but it’s more likely that the person on the other end of the call will make you feel happy and excited about your wedding in a way that a questionnaire can’t. It’s more likely that you will make a connection on the phone instead of online. It’s more likely that you will feel joy from actually speaking with somebody about a pretty important day in your life as opposed to typing about it…

So, where do we go from here? How do we do this? Honestly? I have no fucking clue! Ask your mom! Somehow she managed to plan a wedding without Pinterest. Although, I think a great place to start is by picking up the phone and calling instead of picking up the phone and swiping, even if it’s only to one of your vendors. Or, call your friend and ask who did her gorgeous flowers instead of texting her. Allow yourself to get lost in great conversation. 

Bridey, is this whole offline wedding challenge logical? Doable? Manageable? I don’t know, but what I DO know is that taking a break from the continuous, endless web of choices might help connect you to your vendors, your family and your planning. Please, take this offline wedding challenge, and call it an opportunity to really connect instead of submit.

Has anybody taken this “old school” approach? How’d it go? Who’s willing to give it a try??

Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash

What's Your "Why" Behind Wedding Planning?

 For LC + NV.

For LC + NV.

My mom and one of my close friends work for a company that provides pretty amazing training and seminars for their teams around the country. And their BIG thing? The “thing” they ask to get juices flowing and bodies moving? It’s a very simple question meant to brew up some pretty big answers. The question is, “What’s your why?” What’s your dream? The thing(s) in your belly that gives you butterflies when you think about achieving it or conquering it, the thing(s) that get you excited or terrified or both, the thing(s) that keep you going... What is your motherfucking why? Well, I clearly added that last part in, but the question remains the same. And, after a few strong cocktails and fancy food, my friend asked me what my “why” was; what got my juices flowing? What scared me? What excited me?

I thought it was pretty obvious, but I told him that my “why” was to give every part of my life everything I had. Right? Or else there is no “why”! In clearer terms, my “why” is to be a fucking rockstar mother (who accidentally swears in front of her kids), a trophy wife (not the fake bullshit, but a wife who supports her hus, and at the same time makes him proud to be married to her), to bring Bitchless Bride off “paper” and onto TV (stay tuned for more on that), to bring perspective into weddings and wedding planning, and most of all, my “why” HAS GOT TO BE to enjoy my life as it’s happening. And, bridey, that was not the sauce talking, (although maaaaybe it helped me to vocalize my “why” more definitively), it was the juice mixed with some butterflies.

So, allow me to ask you the same question, but in regards to your wedding... “What’s your ‘why’ behind wedding planning?” What gets you motivated to make it all happen? To celebrate the shit out of your nuptials? What get you excited or nauseous? Why do this? Why go through the process, the planning, the pain? Because we all know it ain’t easy... So, what’s your “why”?

A few ideas about your “why” that come to my mind based upon my years of wedding planning, coaching, writing, and, ahem… preaching?

1. I think the most obvious answer is because of your intense love for your sig other. Right? And, if it’s not, then it should be! But, seriously, all of this work shouldn’t be in vain. If your sig other isn’t the driving force behind your “why” of wedding planning and oh, I don’t know, getting married, then stop what you’re doing and reevaluate. It’s better to realize this now, instead of 1.5 kids later… Truly loving your sig other will make the wedding planning SO much more bearable! IF this is your number one “why”, then congratulations, bridey, you’re in it for the right reasons!!

2. You’ve “earned” it. You love your sig other, and you’ve been to SEVERAL weddings together over the last few years, and now it’s your turn to create an event that is about you and your love. Share who you are together through your wedding. Make it memorable and awesome!

3. You’re smart. You’re smart together. You’re a smart couple who are budget savvy. You’re not going to fuck it up with overspending, drama and unrealistic expectations. Just celebrating.

4. “If I get married, I want to be very married.” Audrey Hepburn said that. Be very married, bridey. Be in it. Be content. Be courteous. Be conscientious. But, more than anything else, and as I just mentioned, enjoy your life as it’s happening… TOGETHER.

Bridey, your “why” is your truth behind wedding planning. While I’ve shared the most “popular” “why’s”, I can’t completely answer this question for you. However, I’d make pretty damn sure that I was doing it for the right reasons, and that your “why” equals that of your sig other. Got it??

Photo by Dominik Vanyi on Unsplash

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!!