Vendors

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ ***FLASHBACK*** What if Your Vendors Reviewed You, Bridey?

Recently, I had the opportunity to work with a truly amazing bride. She was friendly, organized and considerate of every single person who had a hand in the wedding planning. This chick was even friendly to those who didn’t have a hand in the wedding planning, but wished they did (like her soon-to-be MIL who I know was driving her crazy!). Totally a Bitchless bride! And, as I was placing the final touches at the venue, and bullshitting with the DJ, both of us said how great it was working with her because as we both know, it could go either way. And after we traded a few horror stories about crazy, bitchy brides of the past, he said, “Wouldn’t it be great if we could review them?” I stopped in my tracks... Holy shit. It would be great if we could review our brides. It would be fabulous if we could review our brides! It might even be life changing, for vendors and brides alike. But, how?

Well, think about it, bridey... If there was an outlet, similar to YelpWeddingWire, etc. where following your wedding, your vendors could write a review about you and your behavior/attitude while planning, would that impact how you conducted yourself? Wait! Before you answer the question, allow me to keep going for a bit... What if this outlet was powerful enough to alter the course of your professional life? Similar to the way a negative review can wreak havoc on our business, a negative review could potentially ruin a fantastic job opportunity for you, bridey (like it does for us), get you fired (as it can for us), and completely soil your reputation as you know it.

Imagine if a potential (or even your current) employer "Googled" you, and could read about how you treated your wedding vendors without hearing "your side of the story". Scary, right? Pretty fucked up? Yes! Because in their eyes? These reviews reveal a lot about how you behave under pressure, and how you treat people in the process... Bridey, if you were a raving lunatic or even had one looney moment, you'd probably have some explaining to do or maybe you'd miss a chance to land the next big career move; pretty damaging for some of you. Right?

Now, bridey, answer the question... If there was a site for vendors to review brides in the same way you very publicly review us, would that change your behavior during wedding planning? Would it change how you treat people knowing that your behavior and conduct could leave a lasting impression not only on your vendors, but on your career too?

Image via Box University Blog

Real Wedding Wednesday ~ A Super Glamorous, Super Luxurious Australian Wedding

Can I get a "OH MY GOD"? I mean... Just look at this photograph!! It's absolutely, insanely gorgeous! Right? I don't even know where to begin with what I love most about this stunning table and décor! Bridey, did you happen to see the wedding favors? Each guest got a bottle of Moët! Kinda beats a wedding cake shaped cookie, doesn't it?! Look, don't get me wrong, I love a good cookie wedding favor, but I love a delicious French champagne much, much more! Anyway, it was truly hard for me not to showcase every picture in the album, but, somehow I managed.

Bridey, I can hardly put into words how I feel about the totally fucking GORGEOUS flowers (more than 2,000 individual flowers were used in Kristi & Steve's wedding) or the metallic gold wedding cake or the two wedding dresses Kristi wore or the black dance floor, or or or!!!! The list goes on and on!!! I will let Kristi, the cool and beautiful bride, tell you a little bit more about the inspiration for this A MAZ ING wedding. Enjoy!

WOW! Look at those two dresses!

D.A.M.N.

Confetti.

That is one hell of a train!

Bridey, you know I am a sucker for how the B+G look at each other during the ceremony. And this is completely tear jerking! All the way from childhood sweethearts to the altar...

Super sexy!!

My dream car (although I really just picture it in the kickass chase scene in The Bourne Identity!)...

Kristi: I wanted our guests to be blown away, by everything! With this in mind we really had no limits set; the more glitz the better! Thousands of flowers and hundreds of candles, we wanted every element of our wedding incomparable and unforgettable.

Don't you love how the cake is reflecting the lighting?? Amazing!!

Kristi: Our wedding was glamourous! The fact that I wore multiple different dresses on the day probably showcased that. We also focused our wedding décor around the contrast of gold and different shades of red. Our reception included over 2,000 individual flowers which really popped against our clear glass furniture and gold detailing. I really do think that glamourous is the best description.

Um. OMotherFuckin'G!!! I can't... It's too good... W.O.W. FIVE layers of gold...

I mean... Kristi! You look sensational! I can't keep my eyes off of your bum!

Kristi: My dresses were very important to me; I couldn't decide between having a big princess dress, or having a more sexy, fitted dress... So in the end I decided to combine both! I also wanted to wow our guests with ANOTHER dress for the cutting of the cake, so I chose to literally match my dress with the cake and have gold detailing throughout. 

Thank you Kristi and Steve for sharing your utterly breathtaking, glamorous wedding with Bitchless Bride!

Industry Peeps:

Photographer: Blumenthal Photography
Wedding Dress: George Elsissa
Bridesmaids Dresses: Sweethearts Bridal
Shoes: Stuart Weitzman
Stationery: Adorn Wedding Invitations
Flowers: Sydney Wedding Flowers
Groom(smen)’s Suits: Hugo Boss
Jewelry: Nader Jewellers
Cake: Sweet Passion
Make Up & Hair: Natalie Anne Hair
Film: Untitled Film Works
Venue: Ivy Merivale

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ A Bride Without a Ring, and a Wedding Without a Date

Bridey, have you heard the phrase, "No ring, no bring."? Usually this is in reference to whether or not one of your guests can bring a date to your wedding, but today, I am applying a new meaning to the phrase... How about, "No ring, no bring... YOUR ass in for an appointment. Because there is nothing I hate more than a "bride" without a ring. And, you know what? I'm not alone. Because all of us (your wedding vendors), have wasted a ton of time describing and selling our services, showcasing venue space, and bending over backwards for a "bride" without a ring. And guess what happens next? The "bride" doesn't get engaged, or the engagement is much further down the road than she thought, or the sig other wasn't "the one", blah blah blah...

Look, I know it's exciting just thinking about getting engaged, but it really doesn't count unless one of you has done the asking and one of you has done the accepting. Right? So, making appointments (or... eeeek, just walking into a venue without an appointment) is actually rude. I mean, it's like test driving a car knowing that you have another year on your lease or house hunting without establishing your budget. Honestly? It's a fucking waste of time, and just like you, wedding vendors are busy. So, if you're a future bride-to-be, it's totally cool that you're starting to explore weddingy things, and weddingy blogs, and all things weddingy, etc. because you're exploring on your own time, but when it begins to spill over onto my watch? Well, that's when you've gone too far.

Look, bridey-to-be, I'm not judging you, I swear! I get that you are excited about the next step in your life, and that you want to be prepared. It's a thrilling phase! And, planning a wedding is a huge undertaking, so why not get a head start? Right? And, depending on where you live, securing a venue and popular vendors can be brutal. But, as much as I am not judging you right now, I will start judging you the second you make start making arrangements for your wedding without a date, as a bride without a ring. For now? Stick to Pinterest!

The worst part of this equation is that these bride-to-be wannabes are usually quite lovely, and are simply letting their anxiousness about getting engaged get the best of them. I know because I have met with these almost brides, and sadly, when I follow up with them, they're either still in a holding pattern or they've broken up. And as badly as I feel (particularly when it's the latter scenario), I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a little piece of me that would be pissed off upon hearing the news. Totally an involuntarily feeling, but often, the first thought to cross my mind following the conversation. Because, no matter the situation, nobody wants to feel as though their time has been wasted, especially when there are engaged brides out there willing to make a commitment.

So, wannabe-bridey, thinking that your engagement is around the corner? Congratulations! But, hold the champagne, and the planning, until you've got a ring on it... Got it?

Image via Genesis Diamonds

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ The BEST Advice from the BEST Wedding Vendors in Boston!

Bridey, today's post is like hitting the jackpot of wedding planning. SERIOUSLY. If you are recently engaged or are in the midst of planning your wedding, stop what you're doing, and focus because you are about to be educated by the BEST in the wedding biz! I asked some of my absolute FAVORITE vendors in the Boston area to share the best piece of advice about planning a wedding, and these peeps? Well, they completely spilled the beans. I mean... There is so much wedding planning goodness in this post, that I could fucking chew it!!!

I rarely say cheesy shit like this, but this is a must read!! So, are you ready to learn? Ready to say, "Thank you, Bitchless Bride!!" Good! You're welcome! 

Wedding Planners:

When you are newly engaged, you tend to become inundated with information overload and it can be daunting to say the least.  My advice to newly-engaged couples is to forgo the route of hiring all of your vendors until you’ve secured the right, professional, experienced wedding planner. Some couples feel it’s best to hire a “day of” coordinator and do the rest themselves, only to learn how much money could have been easily saved by avoiding costly mistakes and uneducated decisions along the way. The right planner should be your guide, your educator, your confidant, your representative along the way and you need to put your trust into this person as they do this every day and truly look out for your best interests from the start. 

Paula Marrero ~ Marrero Events 

My advice to new brides: Don't panic, it's all overwhelming at first but it's important to book the top 3 first-top priorities (if you're not working with a planner) are to find your venue, photographer and band--then breathe!  I also advise brides to wait to design the space until about 6 months before the wedding... You'll be able to have a couple months thinking about ideas, pinning on Pinterest , etc... I find that so many of my clients go in with one idea and once they've relaxed and see what is out there or trending in their wedding year they change their idea of what their wedding looks like--so ultimately they get what they want instead of what they thought they wanted--big difference! 

Amy Kimball ~ Amy Kimball Events 

Invitations:

Invitations are the introduction of your wedding to your friends and family; they set the tone for the event. You can’t just get a quote as there are a lot of factors to consider such as quantity, quality, type of inserts, type of print, etc. There is a lot more involved then most people realize. So, plan accordingly.

Mara Weiner ~ Allure Invitations

Cake:

Be your own "bride" ...don't worry about what family, in-laws, friends & co-workers want for YOUR WEDDING. Follow what YOU have wanted & dreamed about. 

Paula Kirrane ~ Icing on the Cake

Entertainment:

Once your venue is booked, the next step is to lock in your entertainment. In order to get the best DJ or band out there, you have to book well in advance. Remember, first and foremost? Your guests are going to remember if they had a good  time. That’s why good entertainment is vital.

Always ask your entertainment vendor about their other recommended services. This is how you get the best deals without making a laundry list of phone calls. They may already have what you need and could save you time and money without sacrificing quality.

Mike Amado ~ Entertainment Specialists

Photographers:

Lately couples are asking me if they should do the "first look". My answer is always YES! The first reveal is always so sweet. The moment is far more emotion and allows for a more intimate/private moment with just the couple. 

Some brides envision this grand moment when they are walking down the aisle, and the groom is sobbing… However, in reality, in a traditional formal setting with 200 people looking at you… The groom often looks like a deer in head lights. Not at all the magical moment you think it will be! So yes, do a first look! 

Lauren Killian ~ Person + Killian Photography

Don’t do a winter e-session! People look freezing, and are super uncomfortable. Nothing like having dirty snow and branches coming out of everyone's heads! Wait until the spring when the temperatures are higher, and the trees start to bloom. I highly suggest April-November.

~ Anonymous Photographer

Cinematography:

1. Make sure that your photographer and videographer work well as a team. Even better, choose a team where your photographer and videographer have worked together and enjoy the experience.

2. Ask your prospective wedding film maker how they operate during the wedding day. Will they have lights on their cameras? Will they be on the dance floor circling the couple during the first dance? Will they stand behind the officiant during the ceremony - Or will they stake out spots based on experience and fade into the decor?

3. Ask your toasters to limit toasts to under 5 minutes. 3 is even better. There’s not much they can say (that won’t be dumb or embarrassing) after a couple of minutes.

4. Invite your guests to leave their phones and cameras in their pockets or purses. You’re paying for pros to document your wedding - don’t let the amateurs get in the way!

5. When considering wedding cinematography, check out the sound  as well as the images of potential pros. Capturing pristine sound of your grandfather’s blessing and knowing how to integrate it with music and image, is a complex art form. Don’t settle for pretty pictures if you already have a photographer you love. When it comes to film making, sound is 60% or more.

6. If you desperately want a top notch film maker to capture your wedding, and have a limited budget, consider one of the following:

a. Grab pics from the HD / 24 Frames per second of the video capture and forego the photographer.

b. Hire the film maker you want and see if you can work out a payment plan that works for you.

c. Opt for the best film maker you can afford, ask them to produce a short highlights now, and wait until you’ve financially recovered to have them edit the feature film.

Naomi Raiselle ~ Generations Cinemastories 

Florist:

The Best way to trim your budget is to trim you guest list (it literally makes every line item more affordable - period, the end)! (AMEN!!!!!!)

If you "absolutely love and have to have peonies" - know that you absolutely MUST select a wedding date in May or early-June!

Bring as few people to each and every appointment that you book ... the less opinions, the less stressed out you will be!

~ Anonymous Florist

And there you have it... You're welcome, bridey!!! Now, all you have to do is listen to the professionals trying to help you.

Image via The Perfect Job

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ A Vendor Vent... A Plea to the Wedding Industry

Style Me Pretty weddings are pretty, aren't they? But here's the thing: they look as though they were all photographed by the same photographer! Somehow, the trend has morphed into this film photography copycat technique where a cut off cropped shot of a bride's hands with her bouquet has become a standard in every wedding photographer's shot list.

And while it is so incredibly important to fulfill the dreams and desires of our clients, aren't we in a sense lying to them when we attempt to tell them that their weddings are unique?

What about the other photographers out there with so much more to offer? What about the award winners of the different photography associations year after year? Take a look again at these such blogs and websites. You will not see any of their work on any of these sites. Why? Because their style is highly dramatic, theatrical, technical, artistic, and (gasp!!!) DIFFERENT. Imagine your wedding photographer capturing your wedding day to look unique to you and yours!

What a concept.

I have a prestigious award I earned from my work as a photographer (no, I'm not one of the world's best photographers I mentioned before, but if I named the award, you'd recognize it), and yet receive rejection email and letter after another because my style does not “fit” the popularity contest that is going on in our industry. Guess who else has the same thing happening to them? The award-winning photographers with masters of photographer certifications. Yup.

So why aren't these photographers being featured on blogs, in magazines, and in bridal boutiques and shows? And why (dear god WHY) are burlap, lace, barns, and mason jars still a thing?!! Please don't play the budget card, because I've seen insanely elegant pulled off with a small budget.

Give us something DIFFERENT. Give us all CHOICES. Show us EVERYTHING there is to offer out there, not just one style. Don't we owe it to our brides to educate them, rather than dictate to them what to choose?

love,
an award winning photographer

***What do you think fellow vendors?!! I'm dying to hear your opinions. Leave a comment here, FaceBook or Twitter.***

Image via Money Crashers

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ When the Bride Knows More Than Her Planner... REALLY??

I had to share this vendor vent with you, bridey. And, I had to put it front and center because I think it's safe to say that pretty much every wedding planner I know gets frustrated when the bride (or the couple) thinks she knows more than her planner. It's irritating. It's annoying. It's fucking grounds for dropping you as a client. Seriously, bridey, don't bother hiring a wedding planner if you're going to challenge her/his every move. Do it yourself. Be a DIY bride, and I'm not talking about making your own centerpieces; I'm talking about planning your own damn wedding.

Written by Mrs. Peacock:

Hello! OK, so, I love your blog. As a planner, I feel like it should be required reading for all my brides and grooms. (Ahem... Me too!!) Thanks for giving us vendors a place to commiserate.

Anyways, one of your posts - Bridey, Don't Go Away Mad, Just Go Away!, really resonated with me.

Yes. So. Many. Times. Yes.

How I wish I followed this advice and my own intuition with my last bride + groom. You know those couples who think that they know how to plan a wedding better than their planner does? They often go hand in hand with the my wedding has to look exactly like this million dollar wedding but at a tiny fraction of the price couple? And so often, throughout the planning, you know that these people are going to find reason to be upset about something, so what's the point in bending over backwards to try to make them happy? The type that treat you like you are their personal assistant that they have always wanted to have just to abuse? The ones who flat out refuse to listen to your (and all the other vendors!) skilled advice, and then when things don't go according to plan (just as you told them it would) precisely BECAUSE of their own ill advised choices, they berate you for it? Yeah, it was one of those couples.

I knew I should've walked away in the early stages but I didn't because -and here's the kicker- they were friends of mine. Friends of mine who had hidden the entitled vicious privileged brat side of them very well over the years. Friends of mine who clearly viewed the roles of Bride and Groom as tyrannical King and Queen. And yes, I've learned my lesson working with friends now. But the point is, had I just walked away from what was clearly going to be a losing situation, I could've saved myself a lot of stress, time, heartache, and unfortunately, a friendship.

- Mrs. Peacock

***

Basically, bridey? If you hire a wedding planner, then it's up to you to decide to trust her/him. Make a conscious choice to trust her/him, just as you would with any other professional you hire in any other aspect of your life. If not, then plan it yourself.

Image via Friar Tux Shop

Real Wedding Wednesday ~ A Warm, Gorgeously Romantic, Washington Wedding

And they're nice too... Can you believe it, bridey? Can you believe that a couple so handsome and so loving with each other (and everyone who is lucky enough to make their acquaintance) can be so nice too? I mean, holy shit... Some people just have it all, don't they? Well, good for them! Because in my experience, the peeps who have it all, usually are simply getting back what they give. And Geneva and Kellen must give a whole hell of a lot! I cannot tell you how refreshing it is to hear a statement like this in my industry, "It’s really hard to accurately describe how wonderful it is to photograph a couple that are simply SO NICE that it blows you away." This from Geneva and Kellen's photographer, Jenn of Jenn Ireland Photography.

This coupled with the extraordinary details like sparkly red shoes, a deliciously warm and almost intoxicating ambiance and the love that these two have for each other made me feel like I have been getting through to you, bridey!! It's fucking working!! Bitchless Bride works! Anyway... Enjoy the beautiful details and the beautiful couple.

Um... I need those shoes! (Suddenly, I keep chanting, "There's no place like home. There's no place like home.")Phew, we did it!! Got those FAB shoes on!Def one of my fave first looks!What a fine looking group of maids and men!Love the personalized flasks! Put them to good use boys!

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ ***FOLLOW UP POST*** - A Sometimes Sweet, Sometimes Snide Jekyll and Hyde Bride

Bridey, have you found yourself curious as to how the Jekyll and Hyde bride I told you about in December made out? Has she gotten married? Did I fire her? How was her wedding day? You know, the bride who was SUPER sweet and awesome one second, and then a crazy bitch the next? Well, if you weren't you curious, then you should be because it's juicy. It's meaty. It's dirty. Actually, it's fucking nasty. And, the reason why I'm sharing it with you is so you can learn how NOT to behave if you have issues (or imaginary issues) on your wedding day. Because, bridey, how you handle yourself post-wedding is just as important as you you handle yourself during your wedding planning, particularly if you're looking for compensation.

Unfortunately (for all of us), this bridey bitch was not in a state of euphoria on her wedding day. Quite the contrary... She was emulating Mr. Hyde with her bitchy, self-important bullshit attitude. So, needless to say that her wedding day didn't end well for anybody; vendors and bride alike. Frankly? It was a shitshow (TOTALLY wished I fired her in December!), and the only one to blame is the bride herself. She single-handedly ruined her wedding day with her crazy 'zilla behavior and demeanor. The worst part is that after all of the hard work that went into planning the specifics for "her day", this bridey will have a skewed perception of how her wedding day actually went down. Because the way I see it, there is nothing I'd have done differently. And, I'm not being defensive (let's just say, I'm not the one who took the brunt of the crazy), just honest.

Which leads us to today. She is looking to be compensated for her "losses" (still trying to figure out exactly what those losses are!), and if she doesn't get her way, she is threatening scathing reviews "all over social media oulets". Come the fuck on! Right? Instead of having a conversation, she's hiding behind email, and threatening everybody in her path! WHAT the fuck? SHE is exactly why I wrote "What if Your Wedding Vendors Reviewed You, Bridey"...

It's not in my nature, but I am dying to "leak" her three page email (somewhere where her employer will hopefully see it) listing how she was "wronged" on her wedding day. Does she really think that threats and her loony antics will get her what she wants? I doubt it. In fact, I think it will have an adverse effect... Or at least, I hope it does. 

Bridey, there you have it... I will write a follow up post, to my follow up post, as the bullshit progresses. Godspeed (for all of us).

Image via Bernie Siegel, M.D.

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ Bridey, It's Not What it's Worth to You, It's What it's Actually Worth!

Show me the money, bridey! Seriously, I kinda can't believe we have to cover this. I mean... You've been doing so well, so to have to have this convo with you feels like somewhat of a regression. Look, I am all for saving money (especially as you plan your wedding), but sometimes I think you are borderline insulting when you push your wedding vendors too hard. Particularly if you haven't even hired them yet! Huh? Allow me to explain.

I was shooting the shit with one of my fave hair people as I was getting my locks cut, and as we were chatting, she told me about a bride who had reached out to her, inquiring about the cost for wedding updos, etc., and before my friend could even get a word out, this bride immediately asked if she could do "bridal hair" for $25 per person at the venue site. Now, before I go on, bridey, I just want you to answer a simple math equation. Let's say, this bride had six bridesmaids, okay? So, a total of seven girls (including the bride) getting their hair done on the most important day of this chick's life (just sayin'), and she thinks it's completely acceptable to ask a total stranger to do hair for seven girls for $175 TOTAL? REALLY? I mean... Most of us can't even get our hair cut for less than $50 (I say very generously), and this girl wants to pay $25/pp for wedding hair? Fuckin' lame.

I know I am not making myself very popular with this post, but bridey, surprisingly, this has nothing to do with your wedding budget. I could give a shit about your budget. But, let's face reality, shall we? If my hair person were to accept this job, she would lose money. A lot of money... Simply by being absent from the salon. Not to mention her travel expenses... I've said previously, that I am a huge fan of "if you don't ask, you don't get". But, perhaps some of you need to do your research before you ask (and ultimately waste your time and the time of the vendor).

This is not limited to your the vendor you are selecting for your hair, bridey. All of your wedding vendors field these kind of questions, and it gets pretty tiresome. Not because you can't afford us, but because you haven't done your due diligence. I know that you don't know what things cost in "the industry", in the same way that I don't know what things cost in your industry. But, before I were to throw a number out there (which could be insulting), I would have done the appropriate research and ask about pricing shortly after pleasantries are exchanged. See what I mean? Then you can see if there is a happy medium between the two of you, and if not, then move on; find a vendor that fits your budget.

Image via Taranaki Weddings

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ What if Your Wedding Vendors Reviewed You, Bridey?

I had the opportunity to work with a truly amazing bride this weekend. She was friendly, organized and considerate of every single person who had a hand in the wedding planning. Totally Bitchless. And as I was placing the final touches at the venue, and bullshitting with the DJ, both of us said how great it was working with her because as we both know, it could go either way. And after a few traded horror stories about crazy, bitchy brides of the past, he said, "Wouldn't it be great if we could review them?" I stopped in my tracks... Holy fucking shit. It would be great if we could review our brides. It might even be life changing, for vendors and brides alike. How?

Well, think about it, bridey... If there was an outlet, similar to Yelp, WeddingWire, etc. where following your wedding, your vendors could write a review about you and your behavior/attitude while planning, would that impact how you conducted yourself? Wait! Before you answer the question, allow me to keep going for a bit... What if this outlet was powerful enough to alter the course of your professional life? Similar to the way a negative review can wreak havoc on our business, a negative review could potentially ruin a fantastic job opportunity for you, bridey (like it does for us), get you fired (as it can for us), and completely soil your reputation as you know it.

Imagine if a potential (or even your current) employer "Googled" you, and could read about how you treated your wedding vendors without hearing "your side of the story". Scary, right? Pretty fucked up? Yes! Because in their eyes? These reviews reveal a lot about how you behave under pressure, and how you treat people in the process... Bridey, if you were a raving lunatic or even had one looney moment, you'd probably have some explaining to do or maybe you'd miss a chance to land the next big career move; pretty damaging for some of you. Right?

Now, bridey, answer the question... If there was a site for vendors to review brides in the same way you very publicly review us, would that change your behavior during wedding planning? Would it change how you treat people knowing that your behavior and conduct could leave a lasting impression not only on your vendors, but on your career too?

Image via Box University Blog

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ I Think I Know Why You're Such a Bitch, Bridey

I've made it no secret that I have a love/hate relationship with the wedding industry, and what it has come to represent. Lately, I feel like it has become SO gaudy, SO overdone, SO overpriced and lacks personality... Seriously, bridey, when I wrote my very first entry, "The Industry", I truly believed that we (industry peeps), your wedding vendors and professionals, were just a bunch of masochistic yes-men who perform a job which allows us to get away with our ADD, and an addiction to action and socialization. An industry which started out innocently enough has turned to shit. With all of the garbage on TV, and million dollar weddings strewn across blogs and magazines, it seems like a bride who simply wants to get married to the love of her life, will have to go broke in the process as she attempts to achieve wedding greatness. Right? I mean... Holy fuck! How'd we get here?

Well, I have an idea... As addicted as I am to Pinterest, I still love to curl up with my favorite bridal magazines and thumb through the pages. I try to picture myself as a newly engaged bride; completely ignorant as to what is about to take over my life for the next year or so. It's one of the ways I stay current, and try to adjust my perspective, which in turn helps me deal with bitchy brides. Besides shoe shopping, it's one of my very favorite girly things to do. And, the other day, as I was enjoying a latte and checking out one of my fave bridal mags... I nearly choked on my epiphany. 

Specifically, I was looking at a "must have" page or some page implying that any bride would have to be crazy to do without the pictured goodies, and I choked. Because after I whipped out my iPhone calculator I realized that if a bride were to purchase all of the "must haves" on the page, it would cost close to $40,000!!! OMG! WHAT the fuck? No wonder why brides lose their minds!! It's stressful enough to plan your wedding, but to feel like you're missing out on a "must have" every time you troll the pretty wedding blogs or wedding magazines? Totally preposterous! No wonder why you're such a bitch!! We all get bitchy when we really want something that we can't have, right? I mean... These mags are dangling the carat, actually the three carat, when you can only afford the simple carat on your hand... That would make me pretty angry too.

Listen, I'm not excusing shitty behavior, bridey. Because if you're nice to the peeps helping you plan your wedding, then you'll be treated better and perhaps land a few perks, but what I AM saying is that I understand your behavior a little more than I did with each turn of the glossy... Words of advice? Sounds trite, but stay true to yourself. Stay true to who you are as a couple. Just because you are overwhelmed (daily) with what "the perfect wedding" represents, doesn't mean you have to follow suit if it's not perfect for you! Seriously! Look at the real weddings I post on Bitchless Bride! They are all completely different, with different budgets and different qualities that are important to each bride and groom, and that is on purpose!! 

Bridey, try playing hard to get when it comes to planning your wedding. Be inspired and appreciate the blogs and the glossys, but do try to keep it all in perspective... Got it?

Image via mra marketing

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ FLASHBACK: Am I Supposed to Tip These People???

***Brideys, for those of you who have been reading Bitchless Bride since inception, then you should recognize this post. This was one of my very first posts on BB; one that received 19 comments (when I had like no fanbase!). The reason I'm sharing this with you again? Because I'm proud of you, bridey! So many of you have been inquiring about who to tip, so that rather than reinvent the wheel, I thought I would share it again. Right? So, just read it and learn!!! And, don't forget to tip your vendors! (And check out all of the comments!!)***

November 29, 2011:

"Am I supposed to tip these people?" I will never understand why this even a question. The question SHOULD be, “Who should I tip, and how much?” not “Am I supposed tip these people?” Think about it… Tipping is a token of appreciation and gratitude for a job well done… Perhaps it isn’t as obvious to those of you not in “the industry”, but to put it into perspective… Would you leave an incredible dinner at your favorite restaurant without tipping? Well, consider this the dinner of your life. So, express your sincere gratitude to those lovely people that had a hand in the most important day of your life with some cash. Put this as a line item in your budget from the get-go. Please note, it’s important for me to state that if you don’t feel as though you received extraordinary service from any of these professionals, then skip it. But for now, allow me to take you back to grade school... Who? What? When? Where? Why?

Who Should I Tip and Why?

Tip anybody who had a hand in your wedding. I don't care if the woman who did your duchess ‘do owns her own shop. Do you love your hair? Well then tip her! I own my own shop too, and you know what? After a year of working with you, I shoulda charged more... A tip makes it all feel better.

Tip the wedding manager in charge of your wedding at that fancy venue of yours. Why? Well, first of all, I can assure you that they don't make nearly as much money as you think they do. And, secondly you probably have no idea how many hoops they had to jump through to get the job done, and done well. Don’t forget the banquet manager.... This person(s) literally made the floor plan come to life for your wedding. And while we are at it… remember the head server (or captain as they are sometimes called), bartenders, servers, etc. Basically, the whole crew. And, don’t forget the chef! Especially if your food rocked! 

Photographers, florists, DJs oh my!!! Yes, tip them too. All of them… The same rule goes for the photographers as with the hair peeps. Most own their own shop, and all of the verbiage online says to tip their assistant and not the owner. I completely disagree with this thought process. If you have a great photographer, it will show in pictures and can truly change the story of your album. Throw them a few bucks.

A few more peeps to consider: officiant, limousine driver, and caterer…

What should I tip?

Listen, I know that your wedding probably costs a lot more than you anticipated when you initially started planning the details, and I am certainly not about to assume anybody’s finances. So my best advice to you is to use your best judgment. If you’ve chosen wisely, then the wedding professionals you’ve hired aren’t cheap, and the last thing you want to do is throw more $$$$ at them. However, if you feel like they’ve done an exceptional job, then show them. A tip is never expected, just appreciated. If you are uncomfortable giving them cash, go for an AMEX gift card or a gift certificate to a fabulous restaurant. 

When and where should I give them their tip?

Most vendors receive their tip at the end of the night. Designate somebody you trust (like one of your parents) to handle this for you. Obviously tip your hair and make-up people before they leave wherever you are getting ready. And finally, I’d tip the chef (or caterer), wedding manager and banquet manager a day or two prior to the wedding. By giving them their tip ahead of time, odds are they will want to “earn” it by providing even more exceptional service.

There you go my bubbling brides… I hope this helps clear the air. Remember, every professional you’ve hired to be a part of your wedding day is in the service industry. In this country we reward good service, so quit being a cheap bitch and take care of the people that helped you set the tone for the rest of your lives!

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ FLASHBACK: I'm Not Going to Say "I Told You So"

***For those of you who have been reading Bitchless Bride for the past few years, then you should recognize this post. The reason I'm re-posting? Well, let's just say that you perhaps you didn't learn your lesson the first time around. Because 2.5 years later, although I'm working with a different bride, I find myself in a similar situation. So, why reinvent the wheel? Right? This was a fantastic post (if I do say so...) So, just read it!!! Because, bridey, I cannot stress enough how important it is to tap into the network of the people you hire to help you plan your wedding. Or else, why bother, right?***

October 2, 2012:

I'm not going to say "I told you so", even though I am absolutely DYING to scream it at the top of my fucking lungs!!! Seriously, I am aching in my soul to tell this bride that she should have listened to me. And although I am a powerful source of knowledge, and definitely not afraid to put people (brides and vendors alike) in their place, I cannot force anybody to do anything once their mind is made up.

So here's the deal brideys, please please please take this to heart. If you hire a wedding planner or have a fantastic relationship with the wedding coordinator at the venue where your wedding is being held, then do yourself and everybody a favor... LISTEN TO THEM. Take their advice, and run with it. Because we do this every day, and you don't. I would never sit at your desk and pretend to know or understand the complexities of each task you manage, so please don't pretend to know and understand all of the aspects that go into wedding planning, even though you've seen it on TV. 

Last night, I had to have an "emergency meeting" with the florist for the wedding I am producing this weekend. The worst part (besides being our 4th meeting with her in five weeks to determine direction)? I was adamantly opposed to using her from the very beginning. Although I thought her aesthetic was lovely, I had my doubts about her, hmmm... how to say this... mental state? Basically, she couldn't articluate her ideas (so that we could fully understand them from a non-florist standpoint), and by the time we finally received a contract from her, it was on a word doc, not locked and missing some key elements such as:

1. The date of the wedding.

2. Particular services rendered (kind of a big deal).

3. The groom's name.

4. Liability clause, hold harmless clause, basically ALL clauses.

5. Etc. Etc. Etc.

So, after I completely rewrote the contract to satisfy my comfort levels (ie: this bitch wasn't going to screw us by not showing up, etc.), I told bridey that I had some serious concerns. And after several rounds on the not-so-merry-go-round, bridey decided to move forward with this lovely, yet completely scattered florist.

Please brideys, part of the reason you hire a wedding planner is to take advantage of the people we know. Use us. Use our network. And for the millionth time, it's not because we get a kickback (although it is nice...), it's because we trust them to show up, to creatively produce, to provide a clear direction, and to do their fucking jobs. If my bridey had gone with a florist in my network; somebody I have worked with on several occasions, we seriously could have eliminated hours of complete anguish, and stress for THE BRIDE (and for me too, but...)

If I had more time, I would tell you about the country bumpkin photographer who is unfamiliar with the venue, and yet has not carved out time to come to the big city to do her homework, and is now freaking out. BUT, because I have to go fix and coordinate all of these details that could have completely been avoided with my trusted group of peeps, I can't get into it. 

Bottom line? Listen to the people who are trying to help. Explore every vendor in our network before using choosing to look elsewhere. And then, and only then, go find somebody else if you aren't satisfied. Got it?

Fantasy Friday ~ A Replacement Venue, An Almost Replacement Heart and a Love Story

Damn. Jen and Daniel are one hell of a couple. Seriously. Talk about having to deal with their fair share of shit even before becoming husband a wife... These two strong individuals certainly make one solid couple! During the wedding planning, Jen found herself in the hospital for weeks with heart failure. Thankfully, she pulled through even without a transplant (which is absolutely AMAZING!) as her heart began to slowly heal itself. Daniel refused to leave her side, and then took on the bulk of the planning so that Jen did not have to endure the stress. And, bridey? Besides the emotional roller coaster of heart failure (oh my goodness!), they lost their wedding venue due to the asshole owners shutting their doors, and taking their money with them. WHOA... Because that's not stressful... WTF???

Being the amazing (and quite handsome) guy that Daniel is, he reached out to Brooke of Brooke Taylor Studios, and wrote the following absolutely heartwrenching (no pun), and sincere letter: Good evening, my fiancé and I have been dealing with having to find a new venue for our wedding that we had already sent out the save the dates to. In April, my fiancé Jen got sick and ended up at UW Hospital with heart failure. She was at the top of the transplant list but her heart slowly ended up healing itself. A few weeks ago, she finally got out of the hospital and we started up planning our wedding again. I am trying my best to make sure she does not have to do much or stress since her heart is still healing. It would mean a great deal to us if you were able to do the photography for us. Our wedding date is planned to be on October 5, 2014 and will be somewhere around the greater Seattle area once we narrow down the replacement venue. Thank you so much for offering this opportunity.

Stunning wedding dress, and truly beautiful bridesmaid dresses (you don't hear that too often!)...
I mean... Holy shoes!!!
Passing notes...
I think dogs in weddings is on the rise. How cute is this pooch?!

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ Trust the Process... When Time is Not of the Essence

Sooo... I gotta say, I really lucked out this weekend. I worked with awesome clients who not only trusted me unequivocally, but also took my advice, hired vendors in my network and then let me do what I do best... Plan their event (and got the hell out of my way so I COULD do my job)! Because that is what I do best, brideys. Plan. And when you're in my face bossing me around and getting involved without fully understanding the nature of the beast (that is your event), you're only hurting yourself. Why? Well, let me explain.

Yesterday morning, over a delicious boozy brunch, I was chatting with a vendor friend of mine who wasn't as lucky as I was with her bride from the weekend. Her client just couldn't let go. This chick micromanaged every single detail to the point of nearly ruining her wedding for the sake of being on time. Really? I'm sorry, but that's fucked up. I've said it a million times, bridey. It's not about the time things happen, it's about the order and flow in which they take place. The order of events will always trump the time they take place.

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ Tipping... Honestly? It's Always Expected and Always Appreciated

As I come off of my high from the weekend filled with super successful events, I am even more elated because this girl is on her way to go get herself some absolutely not needed new shoes. Why? Well, because first of all, I am awesome, but more importantly because I got a fat tip from one of my clients. Did I expect it? Sure did. But, even though I expected a tip doesn't always mean that'll I receive one, regardless of how much my client "loves me, and couldn't get through it without me." Call me an asshole, but it's true. I expected and this time I received. 

Sounds terrible, right? Yeah, I know it does, but I also know that no matter how much time and energy I put into planning every wedding and event, I don't get paid nearly enough. None of your wedding vendors do, bridey. Because all of us are focused on staying competitive (with each other), even if it means taking a hit financially. And quite frankly, usually the breakdown in hours spent ensuring your wedding day is going to be fucking sensational, is about that of an hourly employee at McDonald's. Actually, I bet in some cases, they make more dough then we do. Because, never mind how much we charge, nine times out of ten you're always going to get more than you paid for... It's just the nature of the the industry. We say "yes" a hell of a lot more than any other industry.

Bridey, I have written quite a bit about tipping your wedding vendors, and have also had guest bloggers write about tipping your wedding vendors. Bottom line? TIP YOUR FUCKING WEDDING VENDORS.

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ I'm Not Going to Say, "I TOLD YOU SO!!!!"

Yeah, I'm feeling kinda ranty today. Honestly, I'm fucking exhausted. I'm so tired of being the shrink, mediator, personal assistant, and hand holder. This wedding season has been awesome and brutal all at the same time! Seriously, I feel completely bipolar because one day, I am absolutely elated; lovin' life and my clients, and the next, I am down in the dumps wishing I had a chosen to do something else with my life. Something that didn't require so much brain power; something where my "product" wasn't dependant on people and their ever-changing ideas and opinions.

This wedding season, I've had some truly amazing clients who really understand that there is life beyond their wedding day, and then I've also had some clients who are so self absorbed and seem to have some serious issues with sharing. That's an odd thing for me to say, huh? I guess it is... Why don't I explain with a story...

Recently, I worked with a client who was absolutely OBSESSED with the fact that her gorgeous and extremely popular venue had the nerve to have another event booked in their ballrom prior to her big day. Outrageous, right? I mean, how could they have the audacity to maximize their profit on a busy Saturday in June? Yeah... hoping you're picking up on my sarcasm... Anyway, almost every single conversation we had either started with or ended with a diatribe, asking me if "I could believe that they had another party ending so close to the beginning of her wedding." Perhaps I am somewhat immune to a tight turn (meaning that the venue and vendors have a short period of time to flip an event space from one party to the next), but a two hour window is nothing; easy peasy. In fact, there are plenty of us (vendors, wedding planners, etc.) who have turned a room in an hour! But, no matter how hard I tried to explain this to my client, she would not HEAR me. And goddamn if I wasn't annoyed.

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ What Happens When You Stray... From Your Wedding Planner & Her Good Advice

Dear BB,

My name is Katrina, a very excited bride-to-be from Las Vegas. I’ve been a fan of Bitchless Bride for a good year now. I love your no-bullshit approach and I love the Vendor Vents. I’m a graphic designer for a huge gaming company in Vegas, so I know just how bitchy them bitchy brides can get.

I will be marrying my Dashing Gentleman Friend in June, which means all the little details are coming together now. We’re having a small, happy, hopefully-fun, hopefully-sunny wedding in California. 30 family and friends will keep us laughing all day long.

All my vendors are in the town where are are to be married; most of them referred from my super cool planner with whom I just clicked right away. Everything has been smooth and easy and fun. Now there’s just one teensy problem that I’m hoping you can lend your glorious insight to–or just tell me to shut up and let it be.

I strayed from my planner’s referral once, for my hair/makeup artist, and now I regret it. I did it for the budget, which is tight and carefully controlled because Gentleman Friend and I are paying for everything. I did some research, consulted a few married friends, Yelped around and found a hair/makeup artist that had great reviews and was more in budget than my planner’s recommendation. Neither were outrageously priced, but saving a couple hundred here and there is a big deal for us. 

She (let's call her H/MU) was quick to respond to my request for an estimate, which was cool because some others took three weeks. After the deposit was paid in January and the date booked, I asked to schedule a trial. I didn’t hear back for two months, during which I emailed her three times because I didn’t want to be a needy jerk. Plus I figured I had time and she probably didn’t have her summer schedule set just yet. In March she got back to me and we scheduled a date for the trial. 

This week, my photographer put together a day-of schedule and I contacted H/MU to see if she was cool with it. She was, then was asking me when my trial was because she hadn’t written it down. And then she said “only hair, right?” Which was not right because not only did I ask for both, I emphasized that testing out my makeup was much more important than hair. 

Now I need to figure out how to politely tell H/MU that she needs to get her crap together so I’m not sitting around on my wedding day with pretty hair and no makeup. The contract says four people for makeup + hair, but if she doesn’t follow through, we’re screwed. I don’t want to be an ass because it’s wedding season, it’s Southern Cali and she must have a life beyond other people’s faces. 

Is it ok to ask to confirm my details? Should I just chill the hell out and talk to her at the trial? (I’m not sure if it will be H/MU doing my trial, she mentioned another girl’s name when scheduling.) Her emails are always super short, sent abruptly at 1:00 am and somehow riddled with typos despite being 10 words long. And at the end of all this, should this affect how much gratuity I give to her/her team? I love tipping generously, I think it’s the Vegas way. But it’s the overall experience that I consider and so far, she’s at a 4 out of 10. 

I would appreciate any advice you have, bitchless or otherwise. 

All the best,
Katrina

Dear Katrina,

I totally understand why brides stray from every now and again from good advice, and usually it does come down to saving money (which I totally get), but this is exactly why we, wedding planners, wish you'd listen to us from the get-go. You see, now you find yourself in somewhat of a kerfuffle that needs fixin', and remember, the amount of time spent fixing this problem is probably worth the money you'd have saved if you listened to your wedding planner initally... But, enough about how you should have listened to your planner, because my goal isn't to tell you, that "I told you so", it's to help you out of this shitty situation. 

Katrina, here are my thoughts... Call your wedding planner immediately. Have her do some nosing around to see if any of the H/MU peeps in her network are available on your wedding day (this may be difficult considering the timing). Concurrently, I want you to call your H/MU person and ask that she call you as soon as she can. Now, just a hunch, but I'm guessing that you will get her VM. If that's the case then I'd leave somewhat of a cryptic message that would pique her interest enough to call you back. Something like, "Hey H/MU person, there's been a change of plan and I really need to talk with you. Thanks a lot!" 

If she doesn't call you back, then send her the same cryptic-type of email. You may have to be persistent because we (your wedding vendors) are in the midst of wedding season, and if your wedding isn't within the next week or two, she may not get back to you so quickly. If you do get her on the phone, be honest about your expectations of service. I mean, based on your email, you seem quite bitchless; I don't feel as though you're asking anything of her that wasn't promised to you from your initial agreement. And, it's only fair that she not only follow through, but she's got to instill confidence in you too. Tell her that. 

Remind her that you hired her based on her awesome Yelp reviews and referrals, but if she continues to leave you feeling like you might get stood up on your wedding day, then perhaps you need to reevaluate. And then listen... See how she bounces back, and then make your decision. If you are still left with a bad taste in your mouth, then cut your loses and run. I hate to say it, Katrina, but you're probably out your deposit if you bail now, but if you're not comfortable, then it's well worth it. It'd be awful if this H/MU person left you (and/or your wedding planner) scrambling on your wedding day. Right?

Please let me know how it all plays out!!

GOOD LUCK!

XO,

BB

Image via True Photography

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ Wedding Planner, Personal Assistant or Bitch?


Last year, I wrote a piece similar to this for the Huffington Post, called Wedding Planner or Personal Assistant? And all I have to say is that I'm glad to know that I'm not alone. If other wedding planners feel the same way, then we MUST be onto something... Right? So, bridey, jot down a few notes... You'll need them!

Written by the "Peeved Off Planner"

I thought I'd include what this wedding planner wrote to me in the same email as the vent...

Hey BB!

I wanted to send you a little vendor vent. I am to the point of ripping my hair out from the past couple of wedding weekends I have had. I work my ass off and when brides start being demeaning I wonder if they are just incompetent or just bitches. So below is a vent. I can definitely expand on it, but I definitely will need a prozac and a glass of wine beforehand.

I am your Wedding Coordinator, not your slave, personal assistant or bitch.

The fact that it is getting to the point where I have to explain to brides what I DO NOT do is unfathomable. Brides, I am planning your wedding, I will be supportive to you over family feuds, bitchy bridesmaid and crazy mothers, but I am not your BITCH. I repeat, I am not your bitch, your slave, or personal assistant. My job is to make sure your wedding runs smoothly, so that you can enjoy the day.

My job is not:

- to make your nail appointment
- pick up groceries for you
- contact your mother about her plans because you just cannot speak to her any more

Yes, I have had brides ask me to pick up groceries for them!

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ Trust Your Vendors!


Brideys, I HAD to put this post FRONT AND FUCKING CENTER even though it's a Vendor VentTechnically, this vent should go on another page of BB, but I had to do it because almost a year ago to the day, I wrote something quite similar, Trust is NOT a Four Letter Word (although perhaps a bit more venom packed), and seriously, I don't know how many wedding planners, or people in our industry need to tell you this, but TRUST YOUR VENDORS! Don't hire me if you're not going to trust me. PERIOD!

Now... read it and learn...

Written by "Another Hot Pink Planner"

Last year I met with an out of state bride referred to my team by one of my favorite clients. I knew going in that she was really excited to work with us, so I was looking forward to meeting her. Actually, she was so excited to work with us that she hired us on the spot! I have to admit, I was quite thrilled to work with her too because the gal who referred her to us was amazing, so I figured she would be as well. Boy was I wrong!

I can distinctly remember this bride at our consultation asking questions about ways we would be able to save her money, and how we would be able to make her wedding planning easier. I gave her several examples, and let her know that we would closely monitor her budget, making sure that she stuck it. Plus, we would be happy to provide her with vendors she would love.