Guest List

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


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

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ Why Your Wedding Budget HAS to Take Precedence Over Your Guest List

Budget. It’s a dirty word, but somebody’s GOT to talk about it. Here’s the thing, bridey, when your guest list grows, then your budget needs to grow with it. PERIOD. THE END. Really, it’s as simple as that. Because it’s not fair for you to expect your vendors to adhere to your much smaller budget simply because you want to invite more people, and now you can’t afford the previously agreed upon menu/concept/bouquet/etc. In fact, you should be calling your vendors telling them that they have to provide MORE of whatever it is they are providing, not LESS, because your numbers have increased. 

I’m currently working with a bride who has about zero control over her guest list. And frankly, it’s starting to really piss me off. We’ve gone round and round and round regarding her fucking guest list, and I have had it. Bridey, if you can’t afford to invite the free world, then don’t. I know what etiquette says about whom you should invite, and who you shouldn’t feel obligated to invite to your wedding, but you know what etiquette doesn’t tell you, bridey? That your budget has to take precedence over stupid etiquette. I mean sure, invite everybody you know, but I hope they like the cash bar, one passed hors d’oeuvre and vegetarian meal. Because that’s what they are going to “enjoy” that evening. Not to mention that their table will stripped of anything resembling a centerpiece and MUZAK will be the entertainment because the DJ wouldn’t drop his prices.

Okay, perhaps I am being a bit melodramatic, but you get what I am saying, right?

Real Wedding Wednesday ~ The Definition of a 'Successful' Wedding Day

I love the sparklers! I am actually really DRAWN to those damn sparklers. But, I gotta say... You couldn't pay me enough money to actually hold one in my hand because they scare the bejesus out of me. I know it's silly, but what can I say?!!

But, anyway... How cute are Beth and Lane? Right? They met on a high school field trip! Can you believe it? That's just crazy for me to think about. I mean... If I married my high school sweetheart, I'd probably be... Well, that's a whole other post (and I don't want to ruin this one!)!

You know what I love about Beth and Lane? They get it. They really, really get it. If you scroll down, you'll see their definition of a successful wedding, and I have to say that I'm super impressed. So, if you want to learn a thing or two, bridey, then keep reading and enjoy the eye candy while you're at it!

1. Bridey, how did you meet your spouse? Lane and I met in high school on a field trip to DC.

2. How long were you together before you were engaged? Six and a half years. 

3. What was the length of time between the engagement and the wedding? 13 months

4. Where did your wedding take place? Christ United Methodist Church, Chapel Hill, NC

5. If you had to rate your wedding planning experience on a scale of one to ten with one being shitty, and ten being awesome, how would you rate it? I would rate it an 8. There were parts I loved, and parts I dreaded! Overall, it was fun and definitely memorable.

6. What was your favorite part of the wedding planning process? Least fave? Our favorite part was definitely taste testing! Both at the Country Club and at Ashley Cakes. Our least favorite part was definitely picking out flowers. Our florist was wonderfully patient and helpful, but flowers are just not my thing!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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