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The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ ***FLASHBACK*** Meet My Parents

Three and a half years ago, my parents agreed to be on camera. And, I have to say, I LOVED filming my parents. Like, fucking LOVED IT! First of all, I couldn't believe they agreed to it. And, secondly, I couldn't believe how into it they got! They were just here visiting, and we laughed about how awesome they were. Go see for yourself!

August 2012: Brideys, I had to call in the experts because you JUST weren't listening. So pay attention... because when it comes to the wedding budget, it ONLY seems to sink in when it comes from a parent. Check out the OUTTAKES! My dad had some trouble with his "part" and swears like a lunatic! 

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ Why Finding the Right Venue Can be as Difficult as Finding the Right Sig Other... 5 Ways to Overcome Venue Finding Hell

Bridey, one of the most difficult parts of planning your wedding is choosing the right venue. I mean, there are so many factors to consider, and people to please that what used to be a fun experience has turned into more of a daunting task. Sorry, but true story! So, rather than let it get the best of you (and quickly), get your shit together before you start your journey so that you don't end up wasting a ton of your time, and that of those trying to help you. How? Well, let me help you get started before you lose your mind!

First of all, bridey, do your homework. I know that it's super exciting to start the process of searching for the right venue, but before you can even begin researching potential venue sites, you and your sig other need to sit down and determine a few important factors. Do your homework! Because, now is not the time to be impulsive. Outside of the down payment for your house, this is going to be the next biggest expense of your life. So, don't fuck it up by being impulsive and reckless. Determine your budget (give or take). Determine an approximate number of guests so that you know which venues will work, and which ones won't. Determine reasonable accommodations and concessions for your guests... Etc. Etc. Etc.

1. Budget: I know that this is difficult, but bridey, it's the most important factor when choosing your venue. At the very least, try to figure out what you have to spend overall (wedding venue, wedding dress, flowers, transportation, etc.), and what you have to spend on your venue (where you'll spend approximately 50-60% of your total budget). Have a 'worst case scenario', and a 'best case scenario' mapped out, and be honest. Better to overshoot than undershoot when it comes to your budget.

2. Number of Guests: While there is no way to know the exact number of guests this early in the game, at the very least try to figure out an approximate number. Why? Well, if you begin visiting sites without knowing how many people you're going to have at your wedding, then you are setting yourself up for disappointment. You'll fall in love with a place that will either be too cavernous or too small, and ultimately, you will need to start your search over. Why put yourself through that, bridey? So, chat with your sig other, poll your parents, and set some boundaries (based on budget)... Then go look!

3. Aesthetic + Reality: Really pretty basic, no? Are you an ocean side bride or a hotel bride? Are you a rustic bride or modern bride? What do you see when you daydream? Narrow it down. Start where you think you will end. Got something brewing? Great! Well, now compare what you know about your aestheic against your budget (aka, reality). For example, I know I like modern furniture, but I also know that it tends to cost a shitload more than "normal" furniture. Ohhhhh..... yeah......

Okay, it's your turn, bridey. Want an outdoor wedding at a your parent's house? Sounds lovely! But, stop and think for a sec... Think about renting every.single.item. from forks to bathrooms to power generators (for the DJ, caterer, lighting, etc.)... Yup! Your guests will need to pee,

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 ~ Five Habits of a Successful Bride

If you do a little browsing, bridey, you'll find that there is a ton of advice out there on pretty much anything you can plug into Google, Pinterest... you name it. Hell, yesterday I poached two perfect eggs in the microwave (in 75 seconds) because I searched "eggs" while procrastinating on Pinterest! And you know what? My eggs? Fucking awesome! Perfectly poached and delicious! But, when I searched "habits of successful brides" via Google? Nada. Zilch. Zero. Now, obviously I found a TON of articles on brides, weddings, bridesmaids, wedding shows, etc., but nothing that really satisfied my itch. So, what's a girl to do? Write it herself! I mean... I am a professional after all! So, bridey, based on my experience as a planner and recalling several of my "got their shit together brides", here's what I came up with... Ready?

Five Habits of a Successful Bride:

1. Become a time management guru. Start outlining "due by" dates. Set yourself up for success. Bridey, I hate to say this, but the second that rock landed on your finger, you became the proud owner of another full time job. And when you start a new job, it's important to begin with a bang! Right? So, take it on like one... Get organized and prove your worth! To yourself!!! Get your shit together, and the rest will fall into place!

2. Set a realistic budget. Seriously, you wouldn't buy a car or a house that you couldn't afford (because the banks wouldn't let you!), and this shouldn't be any different, bridey. Except this time, there isn't a bank standing in the way of your dream, squashing your credit score and preventing you from moving forward. Right? So proceed with caution. How much do you have to spend on your wedding? What's most important to you? Decor? Flowers? Food? Booze? Figure this piece out first and then work backwards. If food is super important to you, then set a lower budget for flowers and decor. Is music important to you? Then allocate a fair amount to the band/DJ. If you are on a tight budget, then I'm sorry to say, but you can't have it all, so plan accordingly.

3. Get in touch with your internal noise canceller. Remember, while weddings are a happy time in your life, all of the skeletons and bullshit that you thought was behind you, have a tendancy to rear it's ugly head. Honestly, you need to filter that shit, bridey. Filter out the noise. Filter out the negativity. And if necessary, talk to a therapist. Because, based on my experience, family dynamics are probably the biggest stressor for my clients. And you know what's crazy?

Go Get It Girls... Broke-Ass Bride's Wedding Guide!!

So... who likes to save money? I do! I do!! Bridey's, if you are planning a wedding, then I bet you need some help sticking to and creating your wedding budget, right? RIGHT. Then do yourself a favor, go get Dana's book! She'll tell you how to have the wedding you want without tapping into your 401K!

Take it from me, Dana is a no bullshit, truth telling, kickass girl... If you haven't visited her site, check it out, but if your budget is taking a beating, then get the book! Got it?

Super Stylish Sunday ~ Why Finding the RIGHT Photographer is SO Important!

I have to be honest, I LOVE Super Stylish Sunday! I feel like it gives me the opportunity to really educate you, bridey, through pictures and today, with a great story of love, committment and an awful photographer (from 14 years ago)... Bridey, I cannot even begin to stress the importance of hiring the right photographer for your wedding. Allow me to be blunt. Ready? You get what you pay for. PERIOD. If you hire a cheap photographer, odds are your wedding photographs will look cheap too... So bridey, a little tough love? Don't fuck up your wedding photographs because you are cheap. It's the wrong place to cut corners...

So, I encourage all of you brideys to browse this amazingly lovely photo shoot, and read Helena & Gabe's beautiful story. Although, as beautiful as a story as it is, it's incredibly frustating for those of us in the wedding industry to hear about a bad photographer! Apparently, the wedding photographs taken by their photographer were so bad that they didn’t want to put them up in their home!

I love a good shoulder kiss...

 

{I am FREAKING out over the details! That bouquet, and her makeup? DYING!!}

Tips Are Appreciated, Not Expected... Unless You Tell Me I'm Getting One

I've said this a million times before... Tipping is always appreciated, not expected. If you feel as though somebody has gone above and beyond for you, a tip is a nice way of expressing your appreciation. Gifts are nice too, but let’s be honest... money says it best!

But here's the thing bridey, it's one thing not to tip. Fine. I get it. But, if you request the names and positions of the people who participated in making your day special (AHEAD OF TIME), and then don't follow through... Well, that's just bad form. And frankly, it's rude.

Perspective is STILL a Bitch!

Listen, I am a fucking busy wedding planner, and it's fall wedding season so THIS bitch has got to keep it short... In a nutshell... Check yourself bridey, because it's really important to make sure that your expectations for your vendors, venue, wedding ring, vail... all the way down to your your wedding dress are in line with reality (ahem... your budget) during your wedding planning process. 

Bitchless Bride Video #11 - Meet My Parents

Brideys, I had to call in the experts because you JUST weren't listening. So pay attention... because when it comes to the wedding budget, it ONLY seems to sink in when it comes from a parent. Check out the OUTTAKES! My dad had some trouble with his "part" and swears like a lunatic! 

Your Broken Heart or Expectation?

Let’s talk about money. Like really talk about money because I am so sick of dancing around this fucking topic. Brideys, you have to set your budget and your expectations early so that you aren’t disappointed later. PERIOD. 

I’ve said this before, but apparently I need to say it again. The second after you get engaged, you must talk about money, and your overall budget with ALL parties contributing to your wedding. The reason?

Show Me the MONEY!!

Written by The Tipping Fairy...

You want a vent? Well, here it is.

I am just appalled/disgusted/frustrated/driven-to-tears by the information on the Internet by supposed bridal “authorities” regarding the issue of tipping wedding vendors. 

The common rule of thumb proclaimed by these wedding-wise leaders is usually along the lines of: “You’re already shelling out a ton of money for your wedding, the vendors probably charge you more for a wedding versus another event (i.e., we’re all out to screw young couples), and no, you really don’t have to do this.”

A Penny for Your Tweet


Written by Marta, Editorial Director of GigMasters.com 

Dear BB,

Although I’ve written versions of this that were definitely rants, I feel like I’ve calmed down a little and now have “a discussion I would like to start with others in the wedding business.”

Grooms and Your Bottom... Line

Does this sound familiar to you? You have all of the details planned, you are about to sign on the dotted line for 10K worth of absolutely stunning linen, chiavari chairs and stemware when out of nowhere, the groom swoops in and squashes your dream with his mighty checkbook (duh, I know nobody actually writes checks anymore, but it sounded better, okay?).

I know the feeling… You see as a planner, I see this ALL the time! And no matter how many times I tell you ladies to enlighten your grooms about the REAL budget, somehow you fuck it up. So, we go on several appointments, and the bride says, “Yeah, yeah… this is amazing. Let’s move forward with our design”.  And right as we get to the “alter”, the dream fizzles because the groom looks at the price tag and says, “No fucking way am I spending 10K tablecloths”!

Budget

Can we have a real conversation about budget please? Seriously… outside of purchasing a house, your wedding is probably the next biggest item you will ever “purchase” in your life. So don’t fuck it up. Each time you say, “what’s another hundred dollars… what’s another thousand dollars, what’s another…?” you know what it adds up to? A big fucking mess.

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.