Wedding Day

Bitchless Bride’s Top 11 Wedding Day + Wedding Planning Regrets

Let’s face it, we all have things we’ve come to regret in our lives, right? Because retrospect is a powerful, powerful phenomenon, but also because we are older, and we’ve come to realize that some of the stuff we obsessed over or prioritized, were just stupid. And, we, you and me, are really the only ones who can look back at our lives, recognize our mistakes and (hopefully) learn from them, right? Sort of. While I can’t undo the losers you (and I) dated before finding your sig other, I CAN offer you some pretty compelling advice about what other brides deem as their wedding day + wedding planning regrets for you to learn from and avoid. Some regrets are serious and some are silly, but both can leave a damper on your day. Ready?

1. Don’t be a bitch! You know this is a total hot button for me, but more than that, nothing good will come from being a ‘zilla. Nobody will want to help you. Nobody will respect you. And, nobody will want to be your friend. (And, nobody will want to come to your wedding!) So just be friendly. You’ll be amazed at what good can come from simply being human. Plus, you’ll regret it. I think it’s fair to say that no matter what the situation, we always end up regretting our shitty behavior. Right?

Side note? A friend of mine shared with me that I would have “hated her ‘zilla ass” because of how she behaved while planning her wedding, and also on her wedding day. Looking back, she 100% regrets her shit behavior, not only for obvious reasons, but because when she thinks about her wedding day, memories of her bad behavior squash the good memories. Yikes! So, just don’t be a bitch!

2. I am a fancy shoe wearing whore. I love anything super high, and super fance! I love the glitz, the glitter and the glam. But, not wearing comfortable shoes on your wedding day is a mistake. Because we all know that when our feet hurt, it can truly make you feel awful. Definitely an emotion you want to avoid on your wedding day. So, what are your options? Go for lower, more comfortable shoes or bring a replacement pair for after you’ve walked down the aisle/take photographs/danced your first dance. Oh, and put them in the freezer until you wear them. I know it’s crazy, but just do it. You can thank me later!

3. I am all for saving money with talented friends or family members, but not hiring a professional to do a big job (photographer, DJ, caterer) is a huge mistake! A mistake that you will regret when you have shitty pictures, or the entertainment sucks and nobody is dancing. Bridey, call in favors for the DIY elements that are simple, and leave the big jobs to the professionals. Got it!?

4. Who’s guest list is it anyway? Who’s wedding is it? Is it yours? Or your mothers? Sorry MOBs + MOGs, but the pressure you’re putting on the bride and her sig other is bullshit. It’s upside down. This is a celebration; an expensive one. A once in a lifetime gathering of people that want to share in it’s beauty. And, it’s unfortunate and sad when there are too many of the wrong people, and not enough of the right ones. So, fuck etiquette, and listen to your soul. You know who should and shouldn’t be on that list. Take charge, bridey, and fight the good fight! And, if you can’t (because of family dynamics, money, etc.), then strategically place your tables at your reception. Have your favorite people near you, and the others further away… 

5. A long, boring, and generic ceremony. Waaaa waaaa. Those suck. Right? Plus, it’s totally possible that you will be bored too! And, there is nothing worse than being bored at your own wedding, so add some spunk. Write your own vows, have a classical guitarist/harpist/banjo player, bring your heritage to your ceremony or even somebody else’s. Just make it memorable for you and your guests!

6. This one is tricky because I know that there is some superstition around seeing each other before the wedding. But, I will share with you, bridey, that seeing your sig other before the wedding will ease the pressure of walking down the aisle and falling apart at first glance, AND will allow you to get several of your photographs taken before the ceremony so that you two can make it to your cocktail hour (see #10). Plus, staging a first look is a pretty surreal opportunity. You can feel what you are going to feel, together, without 300 eyeballs on you. Think about it…

7. Relinquishing control to the wrong hands. Remember #4? Same idea. It’s lovely that your mom, or sister, or future MIL or future SIL want to help you plan the wedding. It really is… until it’s not. Be sure that the people helping you are actually helping you, not just creating (or recreating) a day that is less about you and your sig other, and more about satisfying their own needs. Find your voice (nicely), and use it. This is your day. Your life. This day represents who you are as a couple. Not what anybody else thinks it should be.

8. Is a bridal party necessary? I don’t have the answer to this question. But, some of my brides have totally regretted the drama their bridal party brought to the planning, and to the wedding day. Sometimes, not having a bridal party is sweeter. It allows those who want to step up, step up without pressure, and with utter joy. Your friends and family will still celebrate you, but in a different kind of way. Think about it. (And, then picture the ceremony… You + Sig Other + Officiant = Pretty Awesome.)

9. Your wedding day will be the fastest day of your entire life. I’m not being dramatic, just honest. For all of the planning and money that goes into it, it totally FLYS by. So enjoy it. Love it. Savor it. Try to avoid getting wrapped up in some of the formalities + obligatory shenanigans, and instead be 100% present for every.fucking.moment because you’ll blink, and it will be over.

10. Try to talk to everybody at your wedding. I know that sometimes it’s easier said than done, but not getting a chance to talk to everybody because you spent too much time taking photographs or the guest list was to big, or because you didn’t have any time at the cocktail hour (a GREAT opportunity to chat with everybody) can leaving you feeling sad or guilty. And that that’s definitely not a lasting memory you want. So start talking!

11. I’ve mentioned this before, but your wedding day is a fabulous chance to hold hands with your sig other for the ENTIRE night. Don’t have separate evenings, bridey; not tonight. Hold that dude or girl tight and have the only time apart be when you’re indisposed. 

I hate to say it, bridey, but I could have added at least five or six more “regrets” to this list. But, I think I’ve covered the ones that seem to present themselves the most. And, like I said, while I can’t undo some of the losers you dated or that time you ran naked in the quad, I can undo these 11 regrets before you have the chance to regret them. So, you’re welcome!!! Good luck!

Photo by Dương Trí on Unsplash

Five REAL Reasons Why Nobody Wants to Come to Your Wedding

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Does anybody else think it’s ironic that nobody wants to come to your wedding, while concurrently, you’re secretly hoping they don’t? Really think about that. I mean, I know you want certain people to come to your wedding and certain people actually do want to come to your wedding, but what about the majority? Oftentimes, you don’t want them and they don’t want you. Strangely enough, sometimes, it’s for very similar reasons. You want to save money, and they don’t want to spend it. You don’t want to be surrounded with people you don’t care about on your wedding day, and they don’t want to be there out of obligation. To them, your wedding is a hassle; an interruption to an otherwise lovely weekend. So where’s the happy medium? And, what about the other reasons people don’t want to come to your wedding? Is it always about the money? No, it’s not, and some of the reasons will surprise you…

Bridey, last month I wrote a post titled, Please Don’t Come to My Wedding… How Cutting the Guest List Can Mean Cutting the Cord. That article was more about you, bridey, relieving yourself of toxic relationships simply by cutting certain people from your guest list, your budget and ultimately from your life, but how about some insight as to why people don’t want to come to your wedding (that has nothing to do with money). What other reasons could there possible be? Several actually… And, you better sit down because the truth hurts.

1. Perhaps they don’t like you as much as you like them. Whoops! Maybe I shouldn’t have started with such a doozy. But, please don’t kill the messenger, because it’s true. Just a stab in the dark, but this could be their way of cutting the cord with you in the same way not inviting somebody to your wedding is your way of cutting the cord with them. It goes both ways, it’s just hard to be on the receiving end.

2. Maybe they don’t like your who you’re going to marry, and don’t think you’ll be a together in the long run. Why go to a wedding to celebrate a couple who, in their opinion, has no chance of making it? And, if this IS the case, then I’m guessing that on some level, you, bridey, already knew this and therefore the RSVP shouldn’t come as a surprise.

3. Did you go to their wedding? No? Well, what goes around comes around. Sure, it’s childish, but they’re getting even with you. Even if you had a valid reason, they’re obviously still pissed off, and consider not going to your wedding as retaliation. This person isn’t married? Are they engaged? Because if they are, perhaps you’re not on their guest list, so it’s only fair if they don’t go to your wedding.

4. It’s possible that their RSVP has nothing to do with you, bridey. Maybe they’re just in a shitty place personally, and the idea of being around happy people, happily celebrating and just being happy is the last thing they want. I mean, we’ve all been there and it sucks, and feeling depressed in a big crowd of people makes it worse.

5. Two words: Vacation Time. Or lack thereof… Using those precious and limited vacation days for your wedding isn’t exactly the vacation they had in mind. Because your day can’t compete with a week in sunny and fabulous destinations like Barbados, St. Thomas, Cabo…

Bridey, we’ll never really know why people do the crazy shit they do or what makes them tick. And, sadly, this list could have been ten deep, but the five listed above are the most “popular”. However, I’ve been doing this long enough to tell you that if they don’t want to come to your wedding, then you’re 100% better off without them there. So, please, try not to dwell on the people that aren’t coming, and focus on the people that are coming to your wedding! Got it?

Photograph viaPhoto by Ben Rosett on Unsplash

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

What Would Happen if We Hit the Wedding "Reset" Button?

I was sitting at a birthday party for a six-year-old little girl, sipping a delicious glass of wine (things have certainly changed since my birthday party days!) minding my own business (totally lying), when this kickass woman struck up conversation with me. After we figured out how we were all connected to the birthday girl, we started the typical "What do you do, and how do you balance it with all of the family shit?" banter, and when I told her about Bitchless Bride, we obviously started talking about weddings, and how we tied the knot. This chick? She had a dinner party for 17 guests at a beautiful restaurant in Lake Tahoe. Sounds dreamy, right? Well, it was. And, considering that she broke away from the "norm", she still had an amazing wedding day.

After I drilled her for the details (a fancy sit-down dinner, stunning wedding dress, and beautiful cake), I told her how my hus and I eloped in Las Vegas. Ultimately, the other moms around the table began chiming in, and even though all of us are on a similar path (raising six-year-old little girls) livin' it up in the 'burbs, we all had completely different wedding experiences. Which got me thinking about the bigger picture. Life after your wedding; life in general. Because, somehow, we all made it here, to V's birthday party, despite our differences, and despite the pressure to have the perfect wedding. The funny thing is that although we all viewed "perfect" a little differently, the pressure was the same. 

My Tahoe wedding friend? Well, she took some serious heat for breaking the norm and not including everybody at her wedding. And, me? OMG. I took some major heat for eloping with just my hus. The other ladies? Well, they got shit for doing certain weddingy things the way they wanted to do them, as opposed to the "norm". By the second glass of wine (it was a long birthday party), I announced that my goal was to reset how we "did" weddings. Erase what we knew to be normal, and start the fuck over. Let's get naked! Not literally, but figuratively! I mean... What would happen if we stripped everything we knew about weddings, wedding planning, and weddings in general and started over? Clean slate... No rules, just two people who love each other figuring out the best way to celebrate that love and their future together?

As somebody who is in "the industry", and has been for several years (and who can't seem to get the fuck out no matter what I do), I've seen so much. Too much. The good, the great, the bad and the worst (usually in people)...  And for what? One day. One super expensive, super inflated day that has morphed from two people celebrating something as simple as love, into a big fucking circus. I've watched couples deteriorate under the pressure to keep up with current wedding trends, and how they think their day "should be", versus staying true to who they are, and what they want to achieve in their future together. So, let's hit "reset". Let's erase it all... Let's start over. Let's dump the "how it should be", and focus on the "how you want it to be". 

Because one day, bridey,? You'll find yourself drinking at a kids birthday party with the other moms (and dads), comparing notes about life, and realize that your wedding day was only one of the best days of your life. So, give yourself permission to hit the "reset" button. Let go of the "my wedding should be", and allow yourself some room to determine "how you want it to be". Got it? Good! Stay bitchless!

Image via sujanpatel.com