The Truth Hurts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo by Tom The Photographer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo by Sweet Ice Cream Photography

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image via Lanty

ReBoot! ~ Wedding Planning... A Job You are Completely Unqualified For??

Congratulations! You’ve just been hired to do a job you are completely unqualified for… Best of luck! I mean… What if that really was the case? What if you were hired to do a job in which you lacked the appropriate credentials and connections to be successful? Sounds awful, right? And, why the fuck would you accept that kind of responsibility knowingly? Well, for most of you, I just described the minute after you told your friends and family you about your engagement. Yup! Your engagement and plans to betroth has just become your brand new, shiny job; one that has you completely ecstatic, and terrified at the same time. One that looks good on paper, but can totally suck and suck the life out of you at the same time. Bridey, welcome to the most unqualified time in your life (well, unless you’re already a parent!!). Welcome to your engagement! 

I know, I know, I’m a bitch for ruining the moment, and I hate to rain on your sparkly, bridal parade, but better you have some warning about the next step as opposed to thinking that this experience is going to be 100% rainbows and unicorns. I meet very few brides who are totally excited and ready for the task at hand. Because planning a wedding is a lot of work and takes a lot of commitment. And, the brides that are totally onboard, are usually an event planner, a spreadsheet whore or a control freak (that doesn’t end so well) who has some serious issues with pretty much every stage of the game. So, where does that leave you? Don’t worry, bridey, you’ll be fine. Just allow me to educate you a bit…

Last year, I wrote a piece called, Why Planning Your Wedding Actually IS a Full Time Job, and one of the primary points highlighted in the article isn’t the actual planning of the wedding, it’s more about the anxiety and feelings of inadequacy when it comes to family dynamics and money. For some you, these are issues you may deal with daily, but when you are planning your wedding, they become intensified and daunting. And kind of like a new job (qualified or not), you’re faced with new situations, tons of decisions and several conversations that feel uncomfortable and borderline risky. Risky? Yes, risky. Because with each decision, your psyche fucks with you, and tells you that you’re risking the budget or that you’re risking the delicate equilibrium that is your immediate family or that you’re risking your friendships… And the thing is, bridey, you can’t quit. You can’t decide not to move forward. (Well, unless you’re me. I eloped, but that came with it’s own set consequences.) But, you can persevere. 

How? Here are a few quick suggestions:

1. Cut yourself some some fucking slack! You’ve never done this before (well, most of you haven’t), and there is no need to be so hard on yourself. Take your time, filter out the naysayers and the noise, put your head down and just do it. Oh, and… See #2.

2. Surround yourself with professionals. PERIOD. I’ve said it a million times, bridey! But, if you don’t know what you’re doing, then hire people who do. We don’t hesitate to do this for every other facet of our lives, so why should your wedding planning be any different? Wedding professionals like planners, gifted photographers, etc. will walk you though the tough decisions, and advise you when you’re stuck. So, put some extra dough in the budget and consider it your “piece of mind” fund.

3. Avoid the 3 Ps…. the 3 Ps. Pressure, precedence and perfection. They all suck, and most of the time they are usually self-induced. So let it go…

4. Be honest with your fiancé, yourself and your family. AT THE BEGINNING. Don’t leave room for “risky" behavior to butt in… Even in a job that has you feeling insecure, honesty really is the best policy.

5. Please have fun. I mean, it’s not fun a lot of the time, but this industry and wedding planning have become synonymous with fucking rainbows, unicorns, glitter and cupcakes… So, when you come across one of those things, enjoy it. 

So, bridey, are you going to quit this terrible job that your 100% unqualified for? Fuck no you’re not! You’re going to plow through, and own it because if nothing else, it will get you ready for another job you may not be 100% qualified for… Marriage.

Image via Jobboard Finder News

Five Important “Bridal Traits” I Learned from My Favorite Bride

Five Important “Bridal Traits” I Learned from My Favorite Bride
As much as I attempt to educate you brideys with my anecdotes, crazy bitchy bride stories and a few nightmares, I think it’s only fair that I tell you a bit about one of my absolute favorite brides (like ever). Not only was she super cool, gorgeous and fun, but also really smart and trusting… of me, and the vendors we picked TOGETHER! She embraced the wedding planning process; the good the bad and the crazy, and walked around like she had a secret. Like a badass. You know that feeling… It’s like nobody can touch you, you feel almost invincible and awesome (TOTALLY the way I feel in Vegas!).

5 Reasons Why I Am the Only Wedding Planner on Earth Who Feels Bad for Prince Harry + Meghan Markle

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I am definitely a minority here. I mean, I am probably the only chick on the planet, let alone wedding planner, who is not excited about the upcoming royal nuptials between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. When I’ve mentioned this publicly (not on social media or anything crazy like that…) several eyebrows become raised, the music stops and I feel like I am standing in the middle of the room with a hot potato in my hands. My peers promptly utter, “Whaaaaaa?”,  like I have suddenly sprouted a unicorn horn, have rainbows shooting out of my ass, and hooves bulging from underneath my dress. I am instantly grilled on how I could possibly say such a thing. “Isn’t this your thing?” they ask. “Nope. Not really… I actually feel bad for them.” I say holding eye contact (just so I can catch their reaction to such a preposterous statement). “You feel BAD for them? You feel bad for two super wealthy, super attractive, and super famous (not to mention royal) people getting married?” they ask, stunned. “Yup.”I say. And immediately I am asked, “WHY?” Why? Well, I’ll give you five reasons…

1. I don’t care what anybody says, if Price Harry and Meghan Markle wanted to have a backyard BBQ wedding with a live band and tiki torches, or a tropical, destination wedding where they exchanged vows barefoot on a sandy beach, or a swanky, reception style, all-white wedding, it would never happen. It would never happen because their wedding and their wedding plans are probably 99% out of their control. Will they choose their color scheme? Sure. Will they have their hand in selecting the florals? Possibly. But, when it comes down to making their wedding all about them and who they are as a couple? Their banana flavored wedding cake is most likely the only decision they will make that is all their own. And frankly? That makes me sad for them. Because I love their story, and how they got to know each other, and I believe we are all missing out on the wedding they could have planned together without restrictions. Yeah, I’m pretty sure it would have been pretty fucking amazing. Don’t you?

2. Um, can we just talk about the guest list for a second? Prince William and Princess Catherine had 1900 people on the guest list. NINETEEN HUNDRED. And, I’m sure they knew all of guests… Sounds incredibly intimate, right? Even if Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have half of that  number (I’ll do the math for you, 850 guests), that’s still a fuckload of people celebrating the most important, and biggest days of your life. That’s like four weddings in one. I mean, holy shit… just imagine going from table to table to greet all in attendance?! And, I’m guessing it’s not too likely they will skip this particular piece of wedding etiquette, leaving them very little time to actually enjoy their wedding day.

3. Unlimited budget. OMG. Doesn’t that sound sexy? Unlimited budget… YES! It sure does! Who doesn’t love an unlimited budget? Right? It’s SO fucking sexy! As a wedding planner, when I have the opportunity to work with a couple rockin’ an unlimited budget, I get excited. Actually, I get elated! Because instead of squashing Pinterest dreams with the reality of the price behind the curtain, I get to help make dreams happen. I don’t have to say “no”, and that is an awesome feeling! But, although a tremendous budget is usually a tremendous blessing, it comes with a price of it’s own. PRESSURE FOR PERFECTION. More money? More problems. More perfection. And in Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s case? Gobs of it. Heaps of it. Loads of it. And, I don’t know a soul in the world (famous or not) who loves the idea of being bogged down with the pressure of perfection.

4. When you’re Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, there’s no such thing as skeletons in the closet. Those suckers are on display for the world to see. And, unfortunately, the most common complaint I hear from couples getting married? Family skeletons barreling out of the closet wrecking havoc on the wedding planning equilibrium. It sucks, but it happens, and you deal with it. But having to deal with it in a very public forum? UGH. Bridey, I’m not suggesting that I know anything about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s skeletons, but we all got ‘em, sooooooo….. 

5. We all love a good viral video, right? We watch cute cats chasing their tails, giggling babies, people tripping over their own two feet, etc. But, when it comes to your wedding, it’s nerve-wracking enough to even think about tripping down the aisle or fainting or crying in front of friends and family, right? And, broadcasted for the world to see? Terrifying! There is no shelter for these two… Nowhere to hide, and considering the enormity of the day without all of these obstacles, this has got to be weighing on these two, and that makes me feel sad for them.  

So, there you have it. Yes, I feel bad for two super wealthy, super attractive, and super famous (not to mention royal) people getting married.                                                          

Image via Getty Images

Reasons 990 through 999 Why You Need to Hire a Wedding Planner

It seems so ironic that as my wedding season is simmering down, there’s an entire crop of soon-to-be engaged brides out there. While I’m taking a deep breath, lounging in front of Netflix and chilling the fuck out, you, bridey, are gearing up to plan the biggest event of your life. Did you hear me? THE BIGGEST EVENT OF YOUR LIFE. And whenever you’re tasked with anything of that magnitude, like managing a huge event at work or planning your family reunion or even a mega Christmas dinner, odds are you raise your hand and ask for help, right? Seems like the most logical thing to do. But, here’s the thing… So many of you don’t ask for help, from a professional, when you’re planning your wedding. You automatically dismiss the biggest piece of the wedding planning puzzle as superfluous and too expensive. But, you shouldn’t, and here’s a million more reasons (actually, just ten really good reasons) why you need to hire a wedding planner to help you get through it.

Reason 990: You’ve never planned a wedding before, and while you think it’s going to be magical with unicorns floating everywhere as you sip champagne, it can be fucking brutal and stressful. So, hire somebody who does this for a living and can create a version of your wedding so fantastic that you can’t even believe it’s your own. Bridey, think of a wedding planner as a curator or guardian of the biggest day of your life;  somebody who always has your best interests in mind and will absorb your wedding planning stress so that you can enjoy being engaged.

Reason 991: Raise your hand if you have a lot of spare time. Um, I’m guessing not, right? But, if you have an extra 15-20 hours in your week to put towards wedding planning, then by all means, don’t hire a wedding planner. Although for those of you who don’t have those extra hours, hire a wedding planner so that she (or he) can spend her time so that you don’t have to spend yours. I mean, c’mon bridey, you can’t even get your ass to the gym consistently without juggling your day appropriately! 

Reason 992: A wedding planner will do it better than you. Plain and simple. Bridey, I am a wedding planner (writer, blogger, mother, etc.) who knew nothing about building and maintaining a website, so you know what I did? I hired somebody who does know how to do it even though there is a TON of information about how I could do it myself. But, you know what? Fuck that! Because a professional will do it better than me, just like hiring a professional wedding planner will plan your wedding better than you.

Reason 993: Shit will go wrong leading up to your wedding day or on the day itself. And having to deal with that craziness while you’re friends and family are flying into town, and while you’re trying to enjoy some down time really sucks. So let somebody else handle these “fires” so that you don’t have to. Let somebody else be your problem solver… Consider it your insurance policy.

Reason 994: Budget. Yuck! Such a dirty word… But, certainly an important aspect of wedding planning. And because you’ve never planned a wedding, I think it’s fairly safe to say that you don’t know what things like wedding flowers or a DJ or fancy linens cost, right? Right! But, a wedding planner does know what things cost, and can direct you according to your budget. The budget you two created together!

Reason 995: Can you say impartial? Or neutral party? Or mediator? Bridey, there will be times when you need somewhat of a referee to help you though a tough planning experience. Maybe you and your fiancé are at odds with who gets to provide a toast at your wedding or maybe you’re politely going round and round with your soon to be MIL about décor. Whatever the case may be, let somebody else be the voice of reason so that things don’t get ugly.

Reason 996: Inside information anybody? Bridey, I don’t expect you to know what you’re doing in my world. Because it’s just that, my world. And, similarly, I’d have no idea what to do in your world. But, if I found myself in your world, wandering around in unknown territory, you can sure as hell bet that I’d get help navigating from somebody who knew where to go. So, hire a wedding planner and use us for our inside scoop!

Reason 997: Details. Details. Details. I fucking love them. And, most of “my kind” do too. And you know what one of my favorite parts of wedding planning is? Creating the timeline. Some of you might have just had a panic attack while thinking about all of the moving parts, but I LOVE a good timeline, and seeing it all come together. It’s like following a script… All you, bridey, need to know how to do is read.

Reason 998: Ever wonder who handles all of the “stuff” at the end of a wedding? Stuff like making sure your gifts/cards make it back to your guest room or that the family photographs make it safely back to where they came from or even the whereabouts of your veil? Without a wedding planner, you and your exhausted (and potentially drunk) groom do. Unless you have a wedding planner. Bridey, not only will a wedding planner handle all of the “day of” stuff, but they will handle the logistics on the backend too. 

Reason 999: Because you will absolutely look back and wish you had hired a wedding planner. Be 100% present on your wedding day and the days leading up to it. Let somebody else worry or you.

Photo by Sweet Ice Cream Photography

Five Reasons NOT to Surround Yourself with “Yessers” While Planning Your Wedding

She’s the friend that tells you that your glitter nail polish should be reserved for a seven year old little girl. She’s the friend that sides with your sig other when you’re whining about an argument you had last night because he was actually right. She’s the friend that tells you that you don’t need the waffle when you can get the fried chicken by itself. This friend, bridey? This friend, is your real friend who tells you the truth even when it isn’t exactly what you want to hear, and she’s absolutely who you need around while planning your wedding. Contrary to what you might think, you don’t need a gaggle of girls (and boys too) “yessing” you to death and agreeing with all of the shit you say as you plan your wedding because it can drastically slow you down and prolong your decisions instead of helping you come to the right one. But, the top five reasons why you shouldn’t surround yourself with “yessers” while planning your wedding?

1. Because a yesser is so worried about upsetting the contrived facade of a happy bride planning her incredible wedding that she is afraid to tell you that you’re being ridiculous when you are in fact being ridiculous. It’s important to have your friends tell you that surpassing your budget by three thousand dollars on your wedding dress is stupid. Or that nobody can really tell the difference between chartreuse and lime green linens so make a decision and move on. This friend doesn’t concern herself with worrying about your precious bridal feelings (I mean, she’s not an asshole either), but instead, focuses on being a true friend and helping you make tough choices.

2. Because a yesser is phoning it in, and sometimes it’s by accident. Ever “yes” somebody just so they’ll shut the fuck up? Seriously, if you answered “no” to this question, then you’re totally lying. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I have definitely “yessed” somebody simply to end a brutal conversation or avoid a disagreement that I didn’t feel like engaging (no pun) in. And you know what, bridey? This brand of yesser? She’s not necessarily mean spirited, just not interested. Perhaps you’ve included her in your bridal party and she’s not into it, but felt badly declining. So rather than immerse herself in lengthy conversations she doesn’t care about, she says “yes” just to shut you up. If you feel like you got yourself one of these, then cut the cord. Trust me, you’d be doing both of you a favor!

3. Because some of these yessers? They’re not really your friends. They’re followers. They are only there because everybody else is doing it. And, unlike the followers you have on instagram, twitter, facebook, etc., this yesser is a follower because they don’t have a mind of their own so they need to do what everybody else is doing. I mean they might not even like you or care that you’re getting married! They’re superfluous; they’re redundant; they’re a stupid waste of a bar stool and cocktail. Okay, that definitely came out a lot meaner than I had anticipated, but still all true. If you’re smart bridey, you’ll steer clear of this follower.

4. Because a yesser feeds you when she should be encouraging you. It’s like an intertwining of bullshit, and frankly, it gets confusing. Bridey, your friends should be helping you be decisive and true to yourself during the wedding planning process, not simply yessing you because that’s what they think you want to hear. It’s counterintuitive. A real friend will help you focus on what’s important, has your best interests in mind, but will tell you the truth too.  

5. Because some yessers? Well, they like to be “yessed”, so they will yes you to death if you allow it only because that’s what they think you want. If you suspect that this is happening, then it’s your turn to be honest and let then know that you value their opinion and truly need it so please stop the bullshit.

Bridey, we are all intuitive. And, trust me when I tell you that you know who these people are, and by having them “yes” your every move you will only make your wedding planning more difficult. So don’t. Consider this a cheat sheet, and if you even think that one of your friends falls into any of these categories either confront it immediately or purposefully leave them out of your inner circle. Got it? Good! Stay bitchless!

Photo by Sam Manns on Unsplash