Family

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

When it Comes to Weddings, Size Really Does Matter. Five Ways Not to be a Pain in the Ass While Planning a Small Wedding...

Is it true what they say about size? That bigger is better and that size really does matter? Ten years ago, I would have taken a much more politically correct stance on this topic, and told you that size isn't important; that it's what you do with it that counts... But, as I get older, I've come to realize that size is super important. And no, you dirty dirty people, I'm not talking about penis size, I'm talking about the size of your wedding!! Don't get me wrong, I love a small and intimate wedding, surrounded only by those you really love, but usually, planning these small and intimate affairs is a bigger pain in the ass than the bigger more elaborate weddings. Why? Because there's more at stake and less buffer. That said, I do have some advice on how to not be a pain in the ass during planning. Look down.

1. First of all... Remember that while your party may be small, your attitude doesn't need to be big. And as I've written a hundred, million times before, your shit attitude will hinder your success and will only get in your way. So, while you may be falling apart on the inside (for reasons listed below), putting on a face and being nice to those around you will only make for a better planning experience. Trust me, I know it's hard, but as several wise women (and probably some men too) have said in the past, "fake it 'till you make it". 

2. Managing family dynamics can be more difficult with fewer people acting as a "distraction" to the big picture. And fewer people still means big opinions. And, if I had to guess, I'm sure you're fielding plenty of big opinions about a having small, intimate wedding. Opinions from your mom and dad or your soon-to-be in laws about all of the friends and family they can't invite. And that can be absolutely rattling. I get it. I really do, but, bridey, it's really simple. Stay strong, and remember why you made the choice to have a small celebration. Perhaps you wanted an intimate day and money in your pocket for your plans after the wedding. Or perhaps you don't love your giant extended family. Whatever your reasoning may be, remember it when things get tough. Own it when things get tough. Stand by it when things get tough. And stay strong when things get tough. Which leads me to my next point... The fucking guest list. 

3. Determining the guest list can be painful. You and your sig other are choosing to have a small wedding and unfortunately that choice comes with consequences. Don't get me wrong, I really love the idea of a small wedding; I get it... I did it (well, I eloped, but still dealt with a lot of the same issues as you!). And, I pissed off a lot of people in the process. But, deciding to essentially eliminate friends and family can be hurtful. So, be blunt. Don't dance around guest list. Be open with the people you're not inviting and tell them that although they're not invited to your wedding doesn't mean that you don't care about them. No need to get into budget conversations or reasons here bridey; you don't owe them an explanation or an apology, just the truth. And leave it there. The less you say the better. I've said it before and I'll say it again... You might be doing them a favor because maybe they don't want to go your wedding anyway.

4. Hire a wedding planner. I know that you think you don't need one simply because your wedding is small, but your wedding planner can act as the perfect liaison for shit you don't want to deal with, and I'm not just talking about logistics. I'm talking about your mom whining about how you didn't invite Aunt Shirley or how sometimes glitches are more noticeable with less people. THAT'S why you here a planner. It's not because I don't believe in your planning abilities, it's fielding the bullshit that can get tricky.

5. Break tradition. Get rid of the formalities that aren't important to you. You're already breaking the rules by having a small wedding, so skip stupid shit. Skipping a DJ or band? Then get an amazing guitarist as entertainment so that you can have a first dance (if you want). No cake cutting? Fine. You should still have an amazing cake! That's one of the things I regret about eloping. We never cut the cake because we didn't have one! And I fucking love cake!!!! Anyway, all I'm saying, is that you've come this far... So, don't succumb to the pressure of "the norm" now! 

Bridey, you see a theme here? I'm telling you to stay strong and stand behind your decision. You're not doing anything wrong by choosing to have a beautifully small and intimate wedding. Just own your decision and kill any haters with kindness. You'll be surprised at how staying strong will empower your decision and your attitude! Got it?!

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Recently Engaged? Congratulations! 5 Steps to Take Before Falling Down the Wedding Planning Rabbit Hole

It’s that time of year again… It’s what I like to call “engagement season”. Yup! ’Tis the season when several million happy couples take the next glorious step in their relationship, and decide to tie the knot, take the plunge, buy the cow, get hitched, plight one’s troth (I think this is probably my fave), walk down the aisle, become husband and wife, lead to the altar, etc., I really could go on and on, but I’m pretty sure you get the point! No matter what you call it, you’ve decided to get married, and that’s fantastic… But, the thing is, most of you are embarking on a completely new and somewhat scary endeavor together. I mean, what should be amongst the greatest time and experience in your life is also one in which you’re about to spend a ton of money, fight about stupid shit (um, like linens and flowers), and open many of pandora’s boxes. Sounds fun, right? So, how do you keep your sanity and preserve the sanctity of your relationship before falling down the wedding planning rabbit hole? Try these 5 steps:

1. Enjoy being engaged! Live it up! Right? It seems so obvious, and yet so many brides (and grooms) rush into the wedding planning with hopeless abandon! Bridey, don’t rush it… Take some time to show off your beautiful ring and simply be engaged. You don’t have to know the details right away. Seriously, there’s no trophy for who can plan their wedding the fastest. So, chill the fuck out. Take this time to really be with your fiancé and embrace why you want to get married to him (or her)! Because marriage is much more than just a wedding, right? It literally symbolizes the first day of the rest of your lives together. And, if that’s not what it means to you, then run away… Fast, and NOW! 

2. Get the BIG discussions out of the way before you even think about planning your wedding. Look beyond your wedding day, and discuss your life after the honeymoon. Bridey, have you talked about having kids? Have you talked about what each of you want out of your career(s)? What do your finances look like? The sooner you tackle these big talks and determine if you two are on the same page, the better. I’ve seen couples deteriorate shortly after they get married simply because they got so wrapped up planning one fucking day, that they forgot to plan the rest of their lives! Focus on what matters, and remember that 99% of the time, people don’t change. For example, if one of you wants kids and the other doesn’t, then put the planning on hold… Probably forever… 

3. The wedding budget! AHHHHHH!!! Bridey, set your budget early, and then fight like a lunatic to stick to it. Oh, and add 20% in miscellaneous bullshit to that total. YUP! 20 fucking percent! I really can’t explain it, I just need you to do it! Listen, the budget has the potential to ruin everything; even your relationship. So, start doing your homework to get a feel for what wedding-y things cost where you live, and prioritize. How? What do I mean? See number four.

4. Determine what is most important to you two as a couple, and incorporate it into your wedding. For some of you, it is an open bar and music, and for others it is impeccable décor and food. Whatever it is, own it and filter out the rest… Spend your money and your time planning the things that will make your wedding day awesome, and then politely decline free advice from those eager to give it. Remember that this is the one day in your life where you get to call the shots, and make it all about who you are as a couple. So, fuck the peanut gallery and focus on what you want!

5. Take a vacation. Have a lot vacation sex (But, use protection… Nothing speeds up wedding planning like an impending birth!). Have fun! Enjoy each other! Come home strong and unified before the reality of wedding planning sinks in, and times get a bit strenuous. 

Some advice as you make your way through the planning? Make a pact and limit the wedding conversation to once or twice a week. Talk about other stuff… Like you used to before you got engaged. Don’t make every conversation and date night a planning session. Got it? Good! Then bitch less!!! 

Image via MARATHON

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ Monkey in the Middle... It's a Real Bitch!

Bridey, I gotta ask you a question... Who's in charge? Who's wearing the pants? And, I'm not talking about your relationship with your sig other. Not only is it none of my business, but I don't give a shit. (I mean... For the sake of womankind, I hope it's an equal partnership, but again, none of my biz.) How you manage your relationship is your business, but what is my business is managing the details of your wedding. So, when your soon-to-be MIL calls me (or the venue, or the florist, or DJ, or the band, or the caterer... you see where I'm going with this), and wants to make significant changes to items we've worked hard putting in place, I get a li'l nervous. Therefore, I need to know, who's in charge?

Yesterday, I was boozy brunching with a friend of mine (God I missed mimosas while I was pregnant!), and when I told her about Bitchless Bride, she starting sharing some crazy-ass stories with me (that's usually the reaction I get when I tell people about BB). Anyway, she told me how a friend of hers had some serious issues with her MIL as she was planning her wedding. You're gonna want to sit down, bridey... Trust me.

So, this poor woman's MIL had the audacity to call the bakery and change the flavor and design of the fucking wedding cake. OMG! What the fuck is that about? Right? And, for some of you, the cake is like Holy Grail. It's the one thing you care about the most. You've invested tons of time and energy selecting the particulars, and then this bitch makes a single call and ruins it.

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ Speak Up Now or Forever Hold Your Tongue

Bridey, it's time to speak up! It's time to use that big mouth of yours. It's time to put your pedicured foot down! Huh? WTF BB? Well, it's come to my attention that some of you are... meek. Yikes! OMG! Right? And, while I've done a ton of writing about how not to be a bitch while planning your wedding, I've not focused as much energy on when it's absolutely appropriate to get in touch with that inner bitch of yours and unleash! Maybe not unleash, but definitely stand up for yourself! To whom you ask?? Drumroll please... Your future, opinionated, meddling mother-in-law! Yup! I'm sorry to say that the stereotype exists for a reason, and if you don't stand up for yourself now, then you're essentially allowing her future bad behavior to win in every.single.situation for the rest of your life for as long as you both shall live. So, squash it now, bridey.

I hate to say it, but some of your future mother-in-laws (MILs) have the power to destroy marriages. True story. And if yours is "helping" you and your sig other plan your wedding or worse, paying for it, then you must stand for yourself! I'm lucky... I happen I love my MIL (and I'm not just saying that because she's a fan of BB). But, this lady? She stood back and let us do what we wanted to do, and when we eloped, she was one our few supporters... Unfortunately, she learned the hard way that awful MILs can destroy marriages; that their power is strong enough to rock the foundation of a marriage and fuck it all up. The silver lining? She learned from her own experience, and has been nothing but loving and accepting of me (and my foul mouth) and my relationship with her son. Period. Like it fucking should be!!

The reason I'm bringing this up? Well, outside of the fact that sadly, many of you are currently dealing with this shit, I've learned that if you don't start standing up for yourself as you plan your wedding, then it becomes like a fucking cancer.... And it grows and grows until it ultimately takes over your entire life. However, if you catch it early, then you have a better chance of surviving, and your quality of life improves drastically.

Look, I don't care who's paying for the wedding, bridey, or how much it costs. What I care about is you and your sig other. And if your wedding day is going to mean anything at all or symbolize your glowing future with your hus, then make sure it's actually about the two of you and not your MIL. How? Start small, and fight the fights only worth fighting. Fight loudly enough so that your needs are getting met, but not loudly enough to bring down the precious foundation. Some of you may actually have to unleash depending on the severity of the situation, but do so only if it's a last resort. Because, as I mentioned, this "cancer" does not go away... It gets worse. 

Got it? Good luck, and Godspeed!

Image via Maestrano Blog

Fantasy Friday ~ A Colorful, County Fair Themed, Intimate Wedding

This wedding is just so awesome! I mean… Joann and Dimitri had a county fair theme! WOW! It really doesn’t get much cooler than that, right? (Totally reminds me of the carnival post I did a little while ago...) Seriously, they were able to pull off a casual and intimate wedding day, all while rockin’ a FAB and exciting theme! And, I am obsessed! Bridey, there are so many titillating (that word always makes me chuckle) deets to absorb… For instance, Dimitri made the ceremony backdrop as a gift for Joann. Awww… But, can we talk about how he MADE it! And, it’s gorgeous! Look up! The backdrop coupled with the rich jewel-toned colors exploding from the photographs… I just love it!

And would you believe that all of this took place outside of Zion National Park? Talk about location! Between Dimitri’s homemade ceremony backdrop and the stunning aesthetics of the park, I am in love! Enjoy!

Hi. I am in love with you. Can I take you home? (Yeah, I've def said that a few times in my life.)Check out Dimitri's tie!! Confetti tie!!Can you smell them? Simply stunning.It's beautiful to see how in sync Joann and Dimitri are...Hi cutie!!Think hers are CLB too?That's FAB!! Hey daddy! Don't fuck it up!!Yup! Dimitri BUILT that! And, it's fantastic!Such whimsicle decor... LOVE IT!Time to change shoes and play!!!Such a lovely wedding!!!

Industry Peeps:

Photographer: Gideon Photography
Floral Designer: Bloomers flowers & decor
Event Venue: True North

Real Wedding Wednesday ~ A Rustic, Outdoor, Dinosaur, Tattoo & Kickass Cupcake Wedding

I can't. I just fucking can't. Just look at how amazing the top of this cupcake wedding cake is! OMG! Totally makes me eat my words. Remember? I wrote a whole post about climbing down from your cupcake tree because typically, I think cupcake trees are lame... But, Chelsea and Dusty's tree? Holy shit! It's absolutely sensational!! Not to mention the photograph, captured by Mercedes Morgan of Mercedes Morgan Photography. I'm obsessed with it! 

Bridey, if you are as obsessed with the tree and the pic as I am, just wait until you see the rest of the photographs from this wedding. Chelsea and Dusty nailed it in every aspect of their wedding! Seriously, I felt like I was at the ceremony, hanging with the bridal party and dancing the night away. Maybe I even got a tattoo while I was enjoying myself!! Whaaa? Yeah, just scroll and you'll see! Enjoy!!

It really doesn't get much cuter than this!Wait a second... I think we have a cuteness toss up!!I love this pic...Rings please!!Bubbles are so much better than rice!Are you dying over the angle of this shot?I don't want to jump to conclusions, but the bride and groom both each twins... Thinking we have found their other halves...Greatest signing board ever!I love how Chelsea and Dusty embraced and took care of the kids at their wedding.Hell yeah!I CANNOT get over the pizza!!!Dusty, you're a FAB dipper.Seriously? Have you ever seen people having so much fun at a wedding?Congratulations Chelsea and Dusty! I love your wedding!!!

Industry Peeps:

Photographer: Mercedes Morgan Photography
Makeup Artist: Alison Paige Makeup
DJ: C4 DJ Productions
Bakery: Capital City Bakery
Event Venue: The Wildflower Barn

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ How to Get Your Mom to Stop Texting on Your Wedding Day! Whaaaa?

Every now and then, I get an email from a distraught bride fretting over such a universal topic, that I feel like I would be missing out on an opportunity to educate all of you brideys, so today I am sharing it on Bitchless Bride. Below, you will see an email which I received from "Bridget" regarding her mother's obsession with her iPhone. Bridget is asking for some advice on how to handle her MOB's addiction with said phone, and wants to be sure that mama is present, both physically and mentally, for the big day. 

I am getting married in about six weeks. While my mother and I don't have the perfect relationship, she has been phenomenal through the planning process. She has kept her personal opinions to herself and aimed to give my fiance and I the wedding we desire. She has been key to planning the event from 1,500 miles away.

The problem? My mother is addicted to her iPhone. She is constantly texting, emailing, Facebooking and often during very important times. Much of this is because she runs her own business and doesn't have normal hours (I am sure you can relate), but she has yet to set boundaries. For instance, when I come home to visit, she is often on her phone during family dinner and movie night. I am afraid my wedding will be a victim of her addiction too.

I am very worried that my mom will miss a momentous event in her and my life because she is so concerned with taking pictures she can text or post to Facebook. She has worked very hard and waited a long time (8 years of us dating) for this day and I want her to be fully present. I know I can't tell her what to do, not that would I consider that, but is there a tactful way to let her know I would like her to be engaged in the day and not so concerned with her virtual presence?

Thanks,

Bridget

Dear Bridget,

My very first thought, is that while it would be inapprorate to tell her what do to, you certainly CAN tell her how you feel. You don't have to be nasty about it, bridey, but you should definitely have a candid conversation about how you are feeling.

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ Defending Your Right to Choose... The Guest List

As a wedding planner I am pretty used to drama. In my profession I’d say that it’s almost unavoidable. Any time you bring families together, for better or worse, typically it’s an open invitation for unwanted opinions, numerous complaints and harsh judgment. As a bride and groom planning your wedding together, it’s easy to feel as though the two of you are riding an emotional roller coaster that just won’t stop until it breaks down or until one of you breaks through the restraints and fights your way off the ride. And I believe the number one argument amongst families during wedding planning is the guest list.

Recently, I posted what I thought was an absolutely incredible real wedding on Bitchless Bride. For short money and a carefully determined budget, Erica the bride and Trevor the groom put on a beautiful wedding. It was really important for them to take care of each and every guest, and by doing so they had to eliminate a good portion of the guest list to make the appropriate accommodations. You see they paid for every cent of this wedding by themselves. In fact, they were engaged for eighteen months just so they could gather enough money to fund their celebration.

And frankly, I am absolutely floored at the pure nastiness of several of the comments received on Bitchless Bride. You know why? Because the bride had the audacity to tell the truth during our interview… She describes how they (she and her groom) “pissed off a lot of people” because they were “super picky about who was invited.” They were paying for the wedding by themselves so if they didn’t really know somebody, then they didn’t want to feel obligated to invite them. Period.

Believe it or not, I tried to stay neutral. I really did... Because I recognize that feelings were hurt and the wounds are fresh. But after reviewing the 37 comments, and seeing how Erica and Trevor felt as though they had to defend their actions very publicly... I can’t stand it any longer! I feel strongly that it’s plain old fucking rude to judge how people spend their money. The bride and groom paid for the wedding all by themselves, and therefore it is up to them to determine who makes it onto the guest list, what food is served, the flavor of the cake, the style of band and who they want to celebrate with them. And if you don’t like? Too fucking bad. It's not up to you.

And seriously, don’t blatantly insult the bride and groom for standing behind their choices. If your feelings were hurt, then confront the issue and have an adult conversation with them. Don’t whine about how you didn’t receive a “thank you” note after five months, or that it’s “un-Christian” to set boundaries. It’s really simple actually; they did set boundaries, you just didn’t like the boundaries that were set. And you know what I think? I think it's more "un-Christian" to very publicly and very unhesitatingly air your dirty laundry on a fucking wedding blog (as fabulous as BB is). Because as an outsider looking in? It seems to me that those who left hateful comments completely validated the bride and groom's position that led them to make the decision that they made...

Although, I guess the authors of these tasteless and upsophisticated comments actually did me a huge favor. You see, though your impudent disrespect, you've helped me to educate brides everywhere to stand their ground. If you don't want somebody at your wedding, then there's probably good reason...

Brideys, the guest list is a tough one; it's an issue that 99% of soon to be married couples experience. As much I’d like to think that you will have the support of everybody in your life during your wedding planning, you won’t. But, it’s up to you where to set the boundaries, and what you can live with after your celebration comes and goes.

There is No Better Friend Than a Sister...

Happy Thanksgiving brideys!! I hope you all made it to where you're supposed to be and are enjoying some time with family and friends. But, wherever you are I hope you are happy to be there... Me? I am quite happy. Yeah, my fucking car might have been stolen (Is There Really Always Something to be Thankful for?) with no word from the police, but I still managed to make it home, and have been enjoying myself ever since. Plus, I have an awesome Thanksgiving story to tell these days...

Let's Avoid the "Concession" Stand

As I continue to nurse myself back to health after a weekend filled with way too much "nice", too much bullshit, and shoes that were a bit too high, I can't help but wonder how the fuck I got here. Actually, it's more like how the fuck YOU got here. Because last time I checked it was supposed to be your wedding... And considering all of the concessions we made (against my best advice), I feel like we lost part of you simply by pleasing everybody else and their needs.

The Modern Day Romeo and Juliet

You would NEVER know it by looking at them. To me, they just looked like a handsome couple. She had long, gorgeous brown hair and big brown eyes, and he was tall and striking. They were truly an ascetically pleasing couple who seemed in to be in love. But... would they make it past the wedding weekend or even down the aisle? Because there was one little problem... Their parents. Yeah, they fucking hated each other.