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The Offline Wedding Challenge... Can YOU Do It??

What if you were brave enough or crazy enough or loony enough or coo coo enough to take your wedding and your wedding planning offline? Like no online anything... No online planning. No finding your wedding vendors online, no Pinterest (yikes!), no free advice (including mine, and I’d fucking miss you, but sometimes you have to let go of the people you love), nothing. I mean holy shit, how would that even work? How would you manage to plan your wedding without these tools, these helpful tips, these “things” we’ve become so dependent on? Seriously, how the fuck did our parents do it? And well? Right? But, something tells me you’d find a way, and maybe, just maybe you’d even like it.

Bridey, I realize what I am asking you to do. And, frankly, I don’t know how possible it is because we’ve all become so accustom to finding anything, and pretty much everything we need, want and don’t want with a swipe of a finger. Myself included!! So, why am I asking you to make it harder on yourself? How could I possibly ask such a HUGE “ask” of you during such a stressful time in your life? I mean, planning a wedding is hard enough, right? So much to do, so many details, so many things…

Well, I’m 100% convinced that taking your wedding offline will bring the humanity back into planning. You will have the opportunity to really connect with your vendors, your family, your friends and even your sig other. We have become so disconnected because of the ease of gathering information, that even a friendly phone call to inquire about flowers or catering or wedding cake can make you feel good about your choices; good about people in general. You’ll get a feeling that you won’t get by filling out a questionnaire online. You’ll get to FEEL. And, hopefully that feeling will be one of excitement and joy. It’s amazing what a good conversation can do for your soul.

My birthday was a few weeks ago, and it was a fabulous day! I felt like a queen on FaceBook, my phone was blowing up with texts, I got some amazing presents, but my favorite part? My oldest friend, who lives across the country, called to wish me, “happy birthday”, and we chatted for over an hour. I have known her since I was six years old, and although we don’t talk often, she is somebody who will be in my life forever no matter how much time goes by… And, outside of it being a great day because it was my birthday, that phone call made me so happy. She absolutely could have texted me with birthday wishes, but actually talking? Amazing. Do I expect you to feel this kind of joy after you talk with a potential wedding venue? No, but it’s more likely that the person on the other end of the call will make you feel happy and excited about your wedding in a way that a questionnaire can’t. It’s more likely that you will make a connection on the phone instead of online. It’s more likely that you will feel joy from actually speaking with somebody about a pretty important day in your life as opposed to typing about it…

So, where do we go from here? How do we do this? Honestly? I have no fucking clue! Ask your mom! Somehow she managed to plan a wedding without Pinterest. Although, I think a great place to start is by picking up the phone and calling instead of picking up the phone and swiping, even if it’s only to one of your vendors. Or, call your friend and ask who did her gorgeous flowers instead of texting her. Allow yourself to get lost in great conversation. 

Bridey, is this whole offline wedding challenge logical? Doable? Manageable? I don’t know, but what I DO know is that taking a break from the continuous, endless web of choices might help connect you to your vendors, your family and your planning. Please, take this offline wedding challenge, and call it an opportunity to really connect instead of submit.

Has anybody taken this “old school” approach? How’d it go? Who’s willing to give it a try??

Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash

Five Reasons This Bridey Went From Being My Favorite, to my Least Favorite Bride

When we first met, it felt like we were separated at birth. No, really... We were finishing each other's sentences, laughing at each other's jokes and rocked some serious chemistry. It was totally love at first sight. She was the best.bridey.ever. Until she changed. Until she morphed into what I call “the bridal transformation”. And, I 100% should have seen it coming, but I was way too wrapped up our honeymoon phase (no pun) to look beyond our initial attraction. And I paid for it…

Fast forward a year? I'd cringe at the sight of her name in my inbox, and then hold my breath as I read page after page of ideas and questions. I mean, you’d think we were plotting our next heist instead of planning a wedding! And the texts? Holy shit with the insane, almost drunk sounding steam-of-thought texting... UGH. So, what changed over the course of a year? A lot. Here are the top five reasons (there are several other reasons, but we don’t have that kind of time) why this bride went from being my favorite to my least favorite bride:

1. I hate to say this because I find a ton of inspiration on Pinterest too, but, damn if this bridey didn’t become Pinterested... Yup! PINTERESTED! That’s how I refer to brides who fall down the deep and very lovely Pinterest rabbit hole of wedding planning. She would fall in love with these extravagant, over-the-top and very pricey wedding scenes adorned with amazing décor, have her heart set on mimicking the feel, and then become completely deflated when I would rain on her parade with reality. Pricing. Everyday, I became the bearer of bad news. And everyday, she would be less and less excited to plan her wedding. I swear, Pinterest should have price ranges attached to each pin so that brides-to-be would know immediately if what they are seeing in the photograph is realistic (price-wise) for their wedding! 

2. In many ways, self education is pretty awesome. Right? I’ve learned how to do many things simply by watching a YouTube video or reading about what I am trying to learn. But, self education while planning a wedding can be dangerous because there is a lot of bad advice out there, and the pushback wedding professionals see because of this is insane. Our brides stop trusting our advice and experience because suddenly she knows more than we do. And, my bridey? Well… Girl went nuts with self education, and came at me for pretty much every decision we made instead of trusting why she hired me in the first place. For my experience and network of vendors who get shit done! I started to resent her for constantly questioning my judgement and therefore making everything so fucking difficult.

3. Wedding planners and event specialists at venues have established relationships with particular vendors for good reason, bridey. We trust them, and we know they will do a great job for you, and for us too. And, while you’re more than welcome to use a vendor outside of our network, one you find on your own, don’t look to us when things start falling apart. It’s a slippery slope, and it’s incredible how just one inexperienced vendor can wreck havoc on your wedding day. 

4. Anybody home? It was crazy, this bride went from being the most overly communicative bride I’ve ever worked with to pulling a disappearing act as soon as I needed answers from her. The venue would need meal counts or the photographer would need a final deposit, and I couldn’t for the life of me find the fucking bride. Honestly, this was a first for me. I’m pretty sure she was hiding under the covers wishing it all away, and I was seriously about to show up at her apartment, when she surfaced. Needless to say, when I found her, she didn’t like my tough love. But, when you don’t get back to your vendors a few weeks away from the wedding, it becomes very difficult to put on a successful event. So, please, don’t disappear on the people trying to help you!

5. Attitude. ‘Zillatude. Plain ‘ol bitchiness. Bridey, none of your vendors, bridesmaids or family members want to be around you or help you when you’re being a bitch. So, please lose the ‘tude. It just makes everything feel worse.

In the end, the wedding was beautiful and the bride was surprisingly relaxed and sweet on her wedding day. I got to see the girl I met a year ago, and it was a relief for all us involved in her planning. But, everything in-between certainly made the planning more difficult. And, really? Was it worth it?

Image via Casarei

**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

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

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ 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

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 ~ Why I'm Dreading the Fall Wedding Season

I'm totally dreading the fall wedding season. I am. I hate that I am, but I really, really am. And, it's not you, bridey. No really! I happen to have a fantastic "crop" of brides for the fall months, but I'm feeling like the amount of details required for some of these over-the-top shin digs is more than I feel like orchestrating. See? For once, it's not you, it's me! (Wow! I think that is the first time I have said that phrase, and actually meant it!) Call me lazy, call me over indulgent, call me a bitch, call me what you will... And you know what I'll say? You're absolfuckinglotely right. I am all of those things right now.

And because it's me and not you, bridey, I thought I would give you a few pointers or ways to help me help you. Holy shit! Does that even make sense? Whoa... See what I mean? I'm a fucking disaster right now! Clearly, I need help, and I need you to give it to me. Here's how:

1. Send me one email. ONE. UNO. UNE. Not 25 stream-of-thought emails. Consolidate, bridey! If you need to "remind" me of something or share something super important, that's great! But, please don't email me (or text me) everytime that little light bulb goes off in that bridey head of yours. ONE email will do... Just use some fucking bullet points!

2. Once we've selected your color scheme, and therefore your linens, centerpieces, bridesmaids dresses, etc.... For the LOVE OF GOD, please don't go changing your mind. You know why? Because it sucks!

Bridey, I know that you saw something on Pinterest or at a friend's wedding that "really meshed" with you, but, put it away. We've been there done that, and unless you want to spend a shitload of money redoing all of our hard work and plans (plus an additional "pain in the ass" fee for me), then simply appreciate the beauty in what you saw elsewhere, and then forget it!

3. I am not a realtor. Nor am I am not a travel agent. I am a damn wedding planner. And while I can certainly assist your parents in finding their accommodations for the TWO weeks before your wedding, I cannot be responsible for solidifying the details and signing the short term lease. I mean seriously... Why the fuck are they coming two weeks ahead of time anyway?!!

4. Don't plan your bachelorette party too close to the wedding. I need you to BE at the final meetings with your vendors, and by BE, I mean be present. Don't come all hung over, or tired or whiny... Because this is your last chance to make changes before the big day, so I need your full attention. Got it?

5. Please, bridey... Don't include me in your fights with your sig other. Somehow this always happens the closer we get to the wedding and while I pretend I am a therapist, it's only pretend. I am not licensed and it makes me super uncomfortable. 

Okay... With all of that said, I feel better. All you have to do, bridey, is follow these teeny tiny rules and perhaps I will make it through the fall wedding season. Okay? Oh... Stay Bitchless!

Image via Ducky-Bob's

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ When the Pinning Starts to Hurt

Okay... I'll admit, my name is Bitchless Bride, and I'm a Pinterest-aholic. I love all of the pretty pictures. I love it when people repin my pins (like this one... or this one...). I love being able to find amazing photographs and then use them as a way to describe an idea I'm working on. But, there is one thing I'm getting awfully tied of... Super fucking high expectations BECAUSE of what you see on Pinterest

Bridey, 90% of those beautiful images? They're not cheap. In fact, if I had to guess, I would say that most of those stunning "pins" via some of our favorite famous wedding planners? Well, I'm thinking that their client base is in the top 1%... And shame on us, the vendors, for misleading you into thinking that you can afford all of the pretty little weddingy things... Seriously, maybe we need to start labeling our pins with price tags. Right? How genius would that be? I mean... It would be just like searching MLS for a new condo or house... Wait a minute. What the fuck are you talking about BB? 

Rainbows and Unicorns

So… I was going to write a post that is somewhat related to my Pinterest post on OneWed today (which will be up later), but I am not in the mood. So go read it on their site because it’s fucking funny and insightful. But, I am not in a Pinterest writing place. Because today on Bitchless Bride, I want to complain. And, while some haters think that BB complains everyday, this is different.