Perspective

Bitchless Bride is on Yahoo! Finance! 6 Ways to Avoid Debt During Wedding Planning

 

I am so beyond THRILLED to have had the opportunity to be featured on Yahoo! Finance! Bridey, check out the video, read the article, and BE SMART WITH YOUR MONEY!

A Friendly Reminder to Love Harder, Be Kinder and Plan On...

No Guns.png

Brideys, I was going to do a funny and educational throwback today, but after absorbing the enormity of the news and attempting to explain why people do the crazy shit they do to my seven-year-old daughter, I thought I’d go a bit deeper and remind you how important it is to embrace perspective while planning your wedding. And not that a school shooting or people needlessly dying is a direct correlation, because it doesn’t even begin to touch that kind of emotion, but it IS a direct correlation as to how you can go about planning your wedding day; with love, kindness and clarity. Clarity is key. You’re getting married, and therefore you should celebrate your love. But, do it with kindness. Do it with respect. Do it with tenderness.

Sadly, we’ve continually been reminded (over and over again) how precious life is, and how little control we have over our destiny. And I hate that it takes awful occurrences like a school shooting to readjust our thinking and for us to love harder and be kinder. I hate that I worked so hard to have my children (thanks to IVF), and now I live in fear every.single.day. for their safety. I’m afraid I won’t be able to protect them from a pissed off, deranged individual with a gun. I’m afraid that if I teach my girl to be strong and stand up for herself that she’ll have to answer to a bullet. I’m afraid that if I don’t, she’ll have to answer to a bullet. Honestly, I’m just afraid. 

Bridey, I want to make it clear that I am not minimizing how important it is to celebrate the union of two people who love each other. I know how stressful and expensive planning a wedding is. But, I also want to make it clear that it’s not the only hurdle you and your partner are going to have to overcome. Every day, it’s becoming more and more apparent that you are about to embark on a shaky future with no guarantees, and it’s important that your foundation as a couple is in tact so that when you have to explain that “not everyone is good” to your children, you can do it as a union. A solid, strong union. And on those days, those terrible, terrible days... You'll be grateful for the person, not the party.

Because your wedding? It’s only the beginning. And it doesn’t matter if you’re spending $5,000 or $50,000 or $500,000. Just remember that when the party is over, you are responsible for cheering yourselves on, even when it’s hard and sad and unbearable. I want you to look back on your wedding planning experience and your wedding day knowing that you made those around you, and involved, feel loved and respected. Because anything can happen at any time… So be kind. Be compassionate. Be strong. And plan on... Gently.

Image via The Liberty Block

#TBT ~ Bitchless Bride Video #1

Hello Brideys!! Happy planning! Soooooo... I've decided to bring back some of my of my older posts so that you newly engaged brides don't have to waste time digging around BB for some of my best "material". This GEM was posted on May 10, 2012! It was my first video blog, before I came out of the wedding planning closet, and therefore had to disguise myself (and my voice too). Enjoy, share and listen!

5 Wedding Planning Tips That Will Keep You (+ Your Sig Other) Sane as You Move Out of “Me” and Into “We”

Happy New Year, brideys!! And, a big ol’ Happy New Year to you recently engaged brides-to-be! If you’re reading this post, then I think it’s safe to assume that your sig other planted a shiny rock under your Christmas tree, menorah, kinara, or what have you. Am I right? Yes? Great! Well then, congratulations! And, welcome… Welcome to your new status, your new label, your new position, rank, order, footing, condition (I think that’s my fave!), etc.! Because that is what you are now, bridey, you’re a classification. The world views you differently (like it or not). The moment the word, “yes” slipped from your lips, you lost a little piece of your individuality quickly to be replaced with “we” statements. And, that’s okay, but it’s a big step and you probably need some bullshit-free instructions as to how the hell to get through the next year(ish) unscathed. Yeah? Cool! Here are my top five wedding planning tips that will keep you (and your sig other) sane as you move out of “me” and into “we”.

1. Bridey, sit down (and grab a cocktail). This “tip" is super important, and not just for you, but for those working with you to create the most kickass version of your wedding day. Ahem… Commit to the process or else it won’t work. PERIOD. You know that nothing good ever comes out of half assed, phoned in “work”. Right? And your wedding day is no different. You get what you give. And, if you give very little, then you will receive very little in return. It’s like when you’re trying to lose weight. You can’t expect a successful outcome if you’re not willing to commit to making it happen, right? So, commit to the wedding planning process. And, sometimes that means doing shit you don’t want to do or taking a half day here and there with your sig other to plan details that need to be done during regular business hours. Whatever the case may be, by committing to the process, you’ll save yourself a ton of unnecessary aggravation and stress.

2. This leads me to my next recommendation… Get organized. Get your shit together, bridey. Believe me, I know it’s hard, but it will make you feel better. I’m going to need you to visualize with me for a sec. Imagine a closet. Now imagine this closet full of stuff, with things hanging off of the shelves, items knocked over and tangled, and the floor a mess with garbage. Now picture the closet ads you see from the Container Store. You know, the ones with the clothes hanging just so, the shoes spaced exactly an inch apart and a floor you can see? Which one feels better to you? The cluttered mess of a closet or the clean, neat and organized closet? See where I’m going? Wedding planning will feel better to you if you’re organized, so just do it.

3. Slow down. That doesn’t mean you get to go back to your unorganized, filthy closet. It just means that you don’t have to do your wedding planning all at once. Enjoy being engaged, and go at your own pace. Agree on the date, solidify the venue and hire your entertainment. BREAK + BREATHE. Take a beat and then fill in the blanks. The date, venue and entertainment are the most important (as far as availability), and once those are determined, the rest will fall into place (after the proper research, of course!).

4. A “one-of-a-kind” or “unique” wedding does not exist, so quit trying to make it happen. Because I can assure you with absolutely certainty that it’s all been done already… However, you know what IS one-of-a-kind, bridey? Something personal to you and your sig other that you choose to share with your guests. For example, if you two are enormous Kermit the Frog fans, then rock a green cake with FAB cake toppers and give Kermy favors. Love poetry? Then incorporate it into your vows and even into your menu. Share what is unique to YOU TWO with your guests instead of striving for “being different”.

5. Have fun! It doesn’t have to be all business all of the time. I mean, some of your appointments include tasting piles of cake and entrées and booze. Pretty fucking fantastic, right? So, don’t ruin it with mundane conversation about every single logistical detail of your wedding. Make your selections. Enjoy the food. And, most of all enjoy each other!!

Bridey, you’re getting married and that’s awesome! Just remember to keep it all in perspective. No matter what happens, you have each other, and when it’s all said and done, that’s what’s important, right?

Photo by louis amal on Unsplash

An Open Letter to One of My Favorite Brides (and Grooms) Ever...

Recently I worked with one the best couples ever. Like in all of my years as a wedding planner, this B+G climbed their way to the top of my awesome list immediately. Why? Well, they were kind and respectful (to me and to each other), they valued my opinion as their wedding planner and the opinions of their other wedding vendors, and they had some serious perspective about what it meant to get and be married. Actually, all they wanted was to be married, to each other, and then move forward with their lives. I became involved simply because they needed some direction and advice on how to execute a low key yet lovely day. What started as a wedding consulting call, morphed into wedding planning, and resulted in friendship. I have no doubt that this couple will be in my life for a long time. 

But, what made them so special? What put them on my awesome list? Well, at first it was the union of our personalities and some serious open mindedness. Initially this bride called for my wedding planning advice. But, after chatting for an hour, she listened to what I had to say, and then acted on it. I mean, fuck yeah! I love when someone who calls on me as an "expert" actually listens to me and runs with my advice. Because my biggest pet peeve is working with a client who needs/wants advice, but then thinks they know more than I do. I mean, why call me if you (think you) know more than I do? Right? A few days later she initiated another call and then ultimately hired Bitchless Bride to plan her wedding!! But, what really got me about this B+G was their spot on perspective. Their excitement for each other was apparent and everything else took a back seat. They never got wrapped up in the bullshit. They never wanted to "make a big thing" out of their wedding. They simply wanted to be together.

Actually, what they wanted was for their guests to have an amazing experience coupled with delicious food and a fabulous celebration. And that's exactly what they got. I mean, like all weddings, there were a few curve balls with some wonky family dynamics strewn in the mix, and work stressors (um, and not to mention the four stitches the bride got above her eye a few days ahead of the wedding which slowly became more and more black and blue), but shit happens and in the grand scheme of things, they handled everything well. They handled everything well and in stride because it was never really about the wedding and the "big day". It was always about the marriage, and their life together following the event.

Bridey, the reason why I'm telling you about this experience is twofold. First of all, I'm obsessed with perspective. I'm in love with perspective. I'm married to perspective (couldn't help it!). And this B+G owned the shit out of their perspective. They are in love and want to be together through the good, bad and everything in between. And secondly, every.single.person involved in creating a kickass day for them was simultaneously rooting for them. There was nothing that we couldn't or didn't want to do for them because they were so lovely and special. And as a wedding vendor, you hold on to that feeling and you run with it! But, more than anything else? You give. And you give a lot. Because it becomes more than just "a job". It becomes magical.

***FLASHBACK*** Help! I'm Not Excited for My Wedding...

My name is Bitchless Bride, and I was not excited for my wedding. Well, until I made some major adjustments to the wedding plans. Ultimately, my hus and I decided to elope, and no, that's not what I'm suggesting for you, bridey, I'm simply saying that perhaps you need to make some adjustments of your own if you're not excited for your wedding. And, sometimes those adjustments are mental, and sometimes they're actual. But, if you're not excited for your wedding, then take a step back and get to the bottom of it before you're stuck with enormous financial responsibility and subsequently, regret.

Planning a wedding is exciting, right? RIGHT? But, it's also a ton of work... It's basically another full time job. So, it's no wonder that some of you aren't excited. You're busting your ass with all of the details and shit still doesn't feel right. Maybe it's because there is so much fucking pressure for a wedding day to be perfect or maybe it's because you're drowning in debt, (or both) but, bridey, if you're not excited, you're not alone. Trust me, there are a considerable number of brides who are not excited for their wedding day. Why? Well, in my experience, I blame it on the three P's: Pressure, precedence and perfection.

Pressure. It's brutal. Seriously, when an entire industry, friends and family, and even strangers tell you that your wedding day is supposed to be the best day of your entire life, that's fucking stressful. It adds oodles of pressure on you for that one day to be incomparable to all of the other days, past, present and future. I mean... How are you possibly expected to live up to such an extraordinary standard? Bridey, I know that you can see beyond that bullshit, right?

I've been married for like a decade, and while I look back on my wedding day as one of the best days of my life, that's all it was... ONE FUCKING DAY (which was awesome). So, put it into perspective. Obviously, the birth of my kids is def at the top of the list (um... aside from the ridiculous pain, blood, sweat and tears...), but there have also been plenty of somewhat mundane days that have just been awesome simply because I spent it with my hus... See what I'm getting at? So, let yourself off the hook.

Precedence. This is a tough one especially if you're amongst the first of your peer group to get married. Everybody is looking at you to take the lead, and maybe you don't want the conch. Maybe you just want an intimate ceremony and small reception or maybe you want a kickass party, but no matter what you want, your wedding is going to be the measuring stick against all the rest just because you're first. Which leads to more pressure. But, you know what, bridey? Who cares!??? Let it go! As long as you and your sig other are happy with your plans and your future, then fuck the rest. Let the precedence be set, conch raised high, that you care about the marriage, not just the day. PERIOD.

Perfection. Fucking perfection. Ick. That word... I can hear one of my least favorite brides reminding me that the "centerpieces really need to 'pop', and be perfect." Perfect? REALLY? Or else what? You're not going to get married? C'mon, bridey. I agree that for the money you're dropping on flowers that they should absolutely be gorgeous, but perfect or you're going "to raise hell"? Shut the fuck up. Why don't you spend more time examining your relationship than the flowers... Nobody is perfect, and there isn't an event or wedding in the world that has been perfect. There is always some snafu (large or small), and what needs to be perfect, is your attitude about how to handle a situation when there is a hair out of place. 

Bridey, if you're not excited for your wedding, it's completely understandable. With everything we just discussed, it's not surprising. However, if you can look inward, and let go of the three P's, then perhaps you'll realize that you're anxious about the wedding day, but ecstatic about the marriage. 

Image via Becoming Mindy

**FLASHBACK** ~ The Lone Bride... Why Getting Married Can Sometimes Make You Feel Incredibly Lonely...

So, I had an epiphany the other day while catching up with an old friend of mine. You see, bridey, she’s getting married, so of course we were discussing her wedding plans, annoying family drama (which inevitably presents itself during the process), and the seriously stupid shit people say when they hear you’re getting married. Like, “We were wondering when you were finally going to met the right one.” Right? BRUTAL! My friend is my age (just about 39), and comments like that are just dumb. But, what struck me the hardest was when she said, “It’s strange, planning my wedding has made me feel incredibly lonely.” Whaaaaaa? Lonely? “Why lonely?” I asked. Her answer stopped me in my tracks and literally made me need to sit down (I totally pace while I’m on the phone).

“Because, I’m 100% in it alone. Everybody else has already gotten married, had kids and is dealing with their own shit. They don’t care that I’m getting married. I mean, they’re happy for me, but they just want to show up on my wedding day, and be done.” she sniffled. WHOA… I never thought about the “lone bride”. I mean… I just wrote about why getting married in your 30s is so much better than getting married in your 20s because you’re smarter, and stronger and more resilient to the bullshit. And, while all of these things still hold true, this kind of conversation definitely shed some light on what it feels like to be the last 30-something standing. Complete isolation.

I mean… Does she not deserve to have her big day simply because she waited too long? That seems entirely unfair. But, do people really not care as time ticks by? I tried to put myself in the position of the married chick with kids dealing with her own shit… Oh wait! I’m actually that girl. I have two kids, been married over a decade, and yet, I’m still excited for my friends who are getting married now. Perhaps it’s because I am more tuned in due to the wedding-world I live in, but to not be happy or care that one of my friends is getting married? No. Absolutely not. 

Buuuuuutttt… If I’m completely honest, I probably don’t care the way I would have cared like 10 years ago. Because too much has happened since I walked down the aisle. Too much has happened since I said “I do”. Two kids, illness, hospitalization(s), job loss, new jobs,  buying a house, work, etc… All huge life events that make my actual wedding day, and planning that went with it, seem far away and small. Kind of like a mirage dancing in the distance. It’s still important, but certainly not the most important moment in my life.

Bridey, you know what I said to her? I uttered my favorite fucking word on the planet… Perspective (seriously, read the link)! I reminded her that while her friends and family love her, and want her to be happy, their perspective has changed since they got married. They have had experiences that have changed them, and changed their thinking about weddings and wedding planning. Does that mean that they don’t care? Absolutely not. But, they aren’t about to get wrapped up in the minutiae or give advice on which flowers to select. What they will give you, is advice. They’ll tell you to stop obsessing over the details, and enjoy the dude and the day. They’ll tell you everything they would have changed about their wedding if they didn’t get in their own way, and allow every.single.detail. to get under their skin. They’ll tell you how fast your wedding day goes, so enjoy every second, even if it’s raining. They’ll tell you a bunch of shit… So, listen, and learn.

Bridey, if you’re a 30-something bride feeling lonely, recognize that you’re not alone. Know that your friends and family DO care, and they love you. They just have their hands full with their own lives and their own perspective. It’s not personal, it’s literally just life. And, they will be there to celebrate with you (and your hus), and to love you, just leave them out of the plans…

Image via Fotonord

Five Ways to Make Your Wedding Planning go From Stressed to Relaxed

It’s pretty sad when your iWatch reminds you to breathe. Right? Seriously, at first I thought it was because I truly wasn’t breathing (I mean, obviously I was breathing, but maybe I was holding my breath), and that it was a personal reminder to catch some air, but then I realized that I had completed the most recent update for my watch, and this was a new feature… BREATHING, breathing was a new feature! What a fucking concept. But, you know what? I listened. And, it worked. I felt better after I took a moment to breathe in and let it all out. I hadn't realized it, but I was holding my breath. It was a tough day and I was wearing it like a badge of dishonor. My shoulders were up to my chin, my hands were clenched at my sides and breathing seriously felt like a chore. But then, an updated iWatch essentially reminded me to slow my roll. Something I tell my brides all the time. Breathe. Take it slow. Break it down into small, manageable pieces. Stop feeling like you have to conquer your to-do list all at once. Just breathe, bridey.

But, here’s the thing. Breathing is hard sometimes. Taking a step back and remembering to breathe in and let it all go is difficult when you feel overwhelmed in a world you to fully understand, and are left to navigate on your own. So, please allow me (not your damn watch) to remind you to breathe, and teach you a few things you can do to make your wedding planning feel and actually be more manageable.

1. Remember that shit will go wrong. It always does. Bridey, no matter how well you planned out every.single.detail for the big day, and no matter how well you organized the hell out of your spreadsheets, something inevitably goes wrong on the day of your wedding. So, take the surprise out of it, and embrace it. Breathe. Own it ahead of time. Own the fact that sometimes, even with the best laid plans, things get a little messed up. Just let it go. If you resign yourself to the fact that you did the best you can, and that literally, at the end of the day, you will be married, then fuck it. Don’t worry about what you can’t control. And, breathe.

2. The biggest problem many brides face is the wedding budget. Yup! The fucking budget is oftentimes the tip of the iceberg which leads to fights, insane stress and pure anxiety. So, how can you fix that? PLAN. I don’t care if you’re the worst planner/slacker in the whole wide world. Plan to go over your budget, bridey. And then budget the “over budget” into your budget. Sounds crazy, right? But, the reality is that something like one third of brides go over their wedding budget. ONE THIRD! The problem? They are not setting realistic expectations from the get-go. Be it with how much gets spent at the venue or on flowers or photography, etc.… Soooooo… Don’t just stick to your budget, stick to reality! Once you determine your budget, add 20% to the total. Now, take a deep breath, and let it go!

3. For the love of God, hire a “day of” wedding coordinator. I really don’t know I can be more clear. In reality, it’s more like “month of”, but whatever you do, hire somebody to take care of you and the details on the day of your wedding so that you can relax. Pass the baton, and enjoy the day. PERIOD. Oh, and breathe.

4. Perspective. There’s my favorite word again! PER SPECT IVE! Bridey, not to be fucking morbid, but the next time everybody you love in the world will be under the same roof is going to be at your funeral. Right? So, when you’re feeling especially stressed and overwhelmed, remember that. And, get excited! Everybody you love is coming to celebrate with you, and I can assure that you they won’t care if the details aren’t perfect. Because they care about you and your sig other. So, breathe. Let it go, and be present, not stressed for the people you love!

5. Take care of yourself and your relationship. Oddly enough, couples fight a lot during wedding planning because that’s all they end up talking about. So, just don’t. Remember to date during your wedding planning, and have fun together. You don’t have to be planning all of the time. Go out! Enjoy each other! And, breathe!

Bridey, I really hope this helps you break it all down… I know that it’s not always realistic not to be stressed when you’re spending a shitload of money and time planning one day, but if you just breathe, and remember that you CAN do this, your inner rockstar will shine through. Got it?

Image via EmbracingHealthBlog

**FLASHBACK** ~ How Your Psyche Can Fuck with Your Wedding Plans

I've been busting some serious ass lately. Like, no bullshit, pushing myself HARD in every facet of my life. I've been killing myself at the gym (consistently), prospecting new clients at work, focusing on truly being present around my kids (as in, not having my head down in my phone) and basically tucking in my "Badass" cape at the end of the day, before starting it all over again tomorrow. And, you know why I'm choosing (because, it really is a choice) to bust ass, bridey? Because I have a lot of shit I want to accomplish, and if I don't feel good about myself then I won't push myself to make shit happen, and you know what? I am a make shit happen kind of girl. So, I have to feel good about myself.

What's my point? Well, I was thinking about how great I've feeling due to the ass I've been kicking, and when you feel like shit about yourself, the shit follows you around like a dark cloud. And, oftentimes that cloud equates to raining on your success and dreams. Sounds super dramatic and completely psycho-babbly, but when your outlook is negative everything else becomes negative too... Including your wedding plans. So, if you want to have a successful, non-stressful wedding planning experience, then strap on your "Badass" cape, and get shit done! Take care of yourself (first and foremost) and the things that are important to you. Because once you start, you'll be amazed at how easy your wedding planning will become, and pretty much everything else in your life too.

Sounds awesome, right? Sounds almost unachievable, right? So, how? Where do I find the "Badass" cape? How do I begin? Look, bridey, I could offer you a ton of motivational one-liners right now, but I won't. Because all you have to do is search Pinterest, and get you'll be swamped with motivation. You'll be inundated with quotes, and piles and piles of pins that will inspire you for days, even months. But, the motivation you need to make positive change while planning your wedding, and in your life, has to come from you or else it won't stick. But, it's worth tapping into because this "cape" will change your life... If you let it.

But, the cape of badassery comes with a price. You see, the cape forces you to look inward, and some of you peeps won't like what you see. I didn't. Well, I didn't like most of what I saw. But, what I did see was an opportunity to make change, and to change my perspective (where's my soapbox?). Bridey, you don't need a crystal ball. You just need to be honest with yourself. And, while honesty is the best policy, sometimes that shit is brutal!

I know it's not easy. But, once you get started, it all seems to fall into place. You'll get into a groove, and you'll be amazed at how easy some of the more difficult wedding planning tasks and delicate family situations become to handle. You'll be amazed at how easy getting what you want becomes simply because you are no longer negative (and bitchy). You'll be amazed how people will respond to you with positivity and want to help you. You'll be amazed at how rosy life seems to be even without the glasses. You get the point. All you have to do? Get your hands on that cape!

Image via Etsy

***FLASHBACK*** Five Ways Not to be a Nightmare Disguised as a Daydream

Yup, I totally just stole a line from Taylor Swift, but why come up with another awesome line when one already exists? Right? Anyway, the point is, right now, so many of you are recently engaged, and while I truly believe that you don't think you're a nightmare, inevitably, the majority of you? Yeah, you're going turn into a fucking nightmare, and totally think you're a dreamboat. The fix? Well, leave that to me. Here are five ways to avoid turning into your very own nightmare disguised as a daydream:

1. Bridey, remember that just because you are getting married doesn't mean that everyone else is. All of your friends and family? Well, they're probably in different phases of their lives, and therefore it shouldn't be surprising to you that after the allotted "honeymoon" phase of your engagement, you will lose their undivided attention. Because some friends? Well, some are jealous of what you have, some are having babies, some are getting divorced, and some just don't give a shit about your wedding! So, bridey, remember that this is your phase, and not everyone is in it with you. 

2. Be a good listener. Those phases I just mentioned? Well, your friends and family will probably want/need some air time once you've finished talking about what's on your mind. Yes, bridey, you're newly engaged and dying to talk and obsess about every painstaking detail of your wedding day, but your friends have shit happening in their lives too. So, listen! And care! Give them the floor once in a while. Breathe. It's not about you all of the time...

3. Uh-oh... The P word! Um, I'm talking about perspective!! Yup! You're wedding is one day out of your entire life, bridey. One.fucking.day. And there's a ton of shit you'll probably have to overcome with your partner after that one day. Personally? I dealt with nearly losing my hus to pulmonary embolisms (less than a year after we were married). And then there was the whole IVF journey. What a shitshow... (Yeah, you spend all of your 20s trying NOT to get pregnant, and when you're finally ready, you can't! WTF?) And then several ups and downs thereafter... So, while I look back at my wedding day fondly, I usually find myself reflecting on the marriage, and our concrete foundation, not the day.

4. You don't know shit. You are new to this whole wedding planning bit, so quit pretending like you know everything. Do your research. And, no that doesn't mean "pin" your research, I mean really do your research, bridey. Research your wedding as if you're going to spend the equivalent of a down payment for a home on one day... Oh wait... You are! So, own it bridey! Own the shit out of your wedding! Know what you're getting yourself into. Make a point of understanding what things cost in the industry. Hire professionals to help you do so. Either way, educate yourself, and do it honestly! Act as though there was a price tag on every pin. 

5. Be fucking nice... to everyone. Because, bridey, in my world? You are a nightmare first, and then, if you're lucky, you become my daydream. And, if you're nice and genuine? Then people (inside of the industry and out) will genuinely want to help you plan your wedding. They will care about the details, they will care how you feel about the linen or food or wedding cake, and most of all, they will care about you! But, if you treat everyone like crap, then you will get crap in return. 

Got it?

Image via magic4walls

The Lone Bride... Why Getting Married Can Sometimes Make You Feel Incredibly Lonely...

So, I had an epiphany the other day while catching up with an old friend of mine. You see, bridey, she’s getting married, so of course we were discussing her wedding plans, annoying family drama (which inevitably presents itself during the process), and the seriously stupid shit people say when they hear you’re getting married. Like, “We were wondering when you were finally going to met the right one.” Right? BRUTAL! My friend is my age (just about 39), and comments like that are just dumb. But, what struck me the hardest was when she said, “It’s strange, planning my wedding has made me feel incredibly lonely.” Whaaaaaa? Lonely? “Why lonely?” I asked. Her answer stopped me in my tracks and literally made me need to sit down (I totally pace while I’m on the phone).

“Because, I’m 100% in it alone. Everybody else has already gotten married, had kids and is dealing with their own shit. They don’t care that I’m getting married. I mean, they’re happy for me, but they just want to show up on my wedding day, and be done.” she sniffled. WHOA… I never thought about the “lone bride”. I mean… I just wrote about why getting married in your 30s is so much better than getting married in your 20s because you’re smarter, and stronger and more resilient to the bullshit. And, while all of these things still hold true, this kind of conversation definitely shed some light on what it feels like to be the last 30-something standing. Complete isolation.

I mean… Does she not deserve to have her big day simply because she waited too long? That seems entirely unfair. But, do people really not care as time ticks by? I tried to put myself in the position of the married chick with kids dealing with her own shit… Oh wait! I’m actually that girl. I have two kids, been married over a decade, and yet, I’m still excited for my friends who are getting married now. Perhaps it’s because I am more tuned in due to the wedding-world I live in, but to not be happy or care that one of my friends is getting married? No. Absolutely not. 

Buuuuuutttt… If I’m completely honest, I probably don’t care the way I would have cared like 10 years ago. Because too much has happened since I walked down the aisle. Too much has happened since I said “I do”. Two kids, illness, hospitalization(s), job loss, new jobs,  buying a house, work, etc… All huge life events that make my actual wedding day, and planning that went with it, seem far away and small. Kind of like a mirage dancing in the distance. It’s still important, but certainly not the most important moment in my life.

Bridey, you know what I said to her? I uttered my favorite fucking word on the planet… Perspective! I reminded her that while her friends and family love her, and want her to be happy, their perspective has changed since they got married. They have had experiences that have changed them, and changed their thinking about weddings and wedding planning. Does that mean that they don’t care? Absolutely not. But, they aren’t about to get wrapped up in the minutiae or give advice on which flowers to select. What they will give you, is advice. They’ll tell you to stop obsessing over the details, and enjoy the dude and the day. They’ll tell you everything they would have changed about their wedding if they didn’t get in their own way, and allow every.single.detail. to get under their skin. They’ll tell you how fast your wedding day goes, so enjoy every second, even if it’s raining. They’ll tell you a bunch of shit… So, listen, and learn.

Bridey, if you’re a 30-something bride feeling lonely, recognize that you’re not alone. Know that your friends and family DO care, and they love you. They just have their hands full with their own lives and their own perspective. It’s not personal, it’s literally just life. And, they will be there to celebrate with you (and your hus), and to love you, just leave them out of the plans…

Image via Fotonord

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ ***FLASHBACK*** Bridey, Five Ways Not to be a Nightmare Disguised as a Daydream

Yup, I totally just stole a line from Taylor Swift, but why come up with another awesome line when one already exists? Right? Anyway, the point is, right now, so many of you are recently engaged, and while I truly believe that you don't think you're a nightmare, inevitably, the majority of you? Yeah, you're going turn into a fucking nightmare, and totally think you're a dreamboat. The fix? Well, leave that to me. Here are five ways to avoid turning into your very own nightmare disguised as a daydream:

1. Bridey, remember that just because you are getting married doesn't mean that everyone else is. All of your friends and family? Well, they're probably in different phases of their lives, and therefore it shouldn't be surprising to you that after the allotted "honeymoon" phase of your engagement, you will lose their undivided attention. Because some friends? Well, some are jealous of what you have, some are having babies, some are getting divorced, and some just don't give a shit about your wedding! So, bridey, remember that this is yourphase, and not everyone is in it with you. 

2. Be a good listener. Those phases I just mentioned? Well, your friends and family will probably want/need some air time once you've finished talking about what's on your mind. Yes, bridey, you're newly engaged and dying to talk and obsess about every painstaking detail of your wedding day, but your friends have shit happening in their lives too. So, listen! And care! Give them the floor once in a while. Breathe. It's not about you all of the time...

3. Uh-oh... The P word! Um, I'm talking about perspective!! Yup! You're wedding is one day out of your entire life, bridey. One.fucking.day. And there's a ton of shit you'll probably have to overcome with your partner after that one day. Personally? I dealt with nearly losing my hus to pulmonary embolisms (less than a year after we were married). And then there was the whole IVF journey. What a shitshow... (Yeah, you spend all of your 20s trying NOT to get pregnant, and when you're finally ready, you can't! WTF?) And then several ups and downs thereafter... So, while I look back at my wedding day fondly, I usually find myself reflecting on the marriage, and our concrete foundation, not the day.

4. You don't know shit. You are new to this whole wedding planning bit, so quit pretending like you know everything. Do your research. And, no that doesn't mean "pin" your research, I mean really do your research, bridey. Research your wedding as if you're going to spend the equivalent of a down payment for a home on one day... Oh wait... You are! So, own it bridey! Own the shit out of your wedding! Know what you're getting yourself into. Make a point of understanding what things cost in the industry. Hire professionals to help you do so. Either way, educate yourself, and do it honestly! Act as though there was a price tag on every pin. 

5. Be fucking nice... to everyone. Because, bridey, in my world? You are a nightmare first, and then, if you're lucky, you become my daydream. And, if you're nice and genuine? Then people (inside of the industry and out) will genuinely want to help you plan your wedding. They will care about the details, they will care how you feel about the linen or food or wedding cake, and most of all, they will care about you! But, if you treat everyone like crap, then you will get crap in return. 

Got it?

Image via magic4walls