bachelorette party

Your Friends are Your Foundation… Love Them for Better, for Worse, for Richer, for Poorer, in Sickness and Health,’Til Parted by Death

My foundation (minus a few key players)...

My foundation (minus a few key players)...

I never had a bachelorette party. Perhaps it’s because I eloped and the party was a casualty of that decision, or maybe it’s because I didn’t want one. Either way, I’m on my back from Nashville, fifteen years after our engagement, fourteen years after we tied the knot, and about eight years after having our first child. Totally left my husband and kids to fend for themselves... Good thing my hus is perfectly capable of parenting without me. But, this wasn’t my bachelorette party, it was a weekend away with a few close friends; all of whom needed a fucking break from their current reality. All of whom have been married over ten years, lived a whole lot of life and wanted some time to play and rejuvenate.

According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, a bachelorette party is “a party for a woman who is going to get married, to which only her female friends are invited.” Honestly? That’s bullshit. Because, these parties should be for any and all who have dared to live and love even a little bit, married, engaged or single. You don’t have to be getting married to celebrate friendship and have some much needed time with your close girlfriends (and guy-friends too). Because with living and loving, there comes a price; a tax; a toll simply for having the balls to show up and participate, IF you actually dare to give your life everything you've got, and more. And for that kind of hustle, we should celebrate! Right? Fuck yeah! But, this trip? What I think we were really celebrating? Our friendship. Our foundation. Our fearlessness. Because when you allow somebody into your fucked up little world, and they don’t run away screaming, that’s totally grounds for celebration.

We’re celebrating the girls that get us through the day; the girls who understand our ups and downs. These are the girls who get us without strings attached and without judgement, even on our worst day (and trust me, once you get through your wedding and onto the next stage of your relationship with your sig other, you definitely don’t want anybody in your life who judges you!!). Now, ask yourself, bridey, as you prepare for your bachelorette, wedding, etc.… Are these your friends? Are these the girls (guys) you have in your life right now? Because if not, call bullshit and get rid of them. Because they will not enhance your life or your party, instead, they will suck the life out of you and your party.

I’ve touched on this previously, but it's worth mentioning again... These friends are the girls (or guys) standing with you on your wedding day. These are the girls (or guys) who have probably held your hair when you've had too much to drink. These are the girls who are wholeheartedly happy for you, and want the true you. They are happy when you are happy. They are sad when you’re sad. But, no matter what, they are there for you, and that alone is the real treat. Your wedding is only the beginning. It’s not just about you and hus, it’s about shoring up the foundations of the people who support you so that you can love in sickness and health, for better or worse... Celebrate your foundation. Don’t take it for granted and don’t stop celebrating. 

Bridey, if your marriage falls apart, your foundation will be there for you. Don’t lose it, nurture it as hard as you nurture you marriage. Got it? Good! Now, where’s that penis straw?

Image via the woman sitting in front of us at the CMA's!!

Bridey, You Should Always be Truthful... But, Here Are 10 Wedding Planning Scenarios in Which the Truth is ALWAYS Quicker

They say you get inspiration from unexpected places. In this case, my inspiration for this post comes from a quote I heard in the movie Cars 3. Yup! Cars 3… I honestly don’t remember which scene it was, just that there were a lot of cars discussing something car-race related, and one of them said that “the truth is always quicker”. I swear I had a fucking epiphany in that moment. I pretty much tackled one of my kids so that I could get to my phone fast enough to make a note before I lost it. And, that quote has stayed with me because it is SO relatable in so many situations in life. I mean, you should always make it a goal to tell the truth, but oftentimes the truth gets clouded with white lies or half-truths, usually because we’re attempting to spare somebody else’s feelings, right? But, what if you had the balls to always tell the truth; no matter what? What if you decided to be upfront, transparent and honest from the beginning of your wedding planning journey? What would happen? Allow me to educate:

1. Wedding Budget - This is the mother-load, bridey. Your wedding budget dictates everything else. Like, EVE RY THI NG else. Venue selection, the guest list, vendors, open bar, food, wedding dress, etc. So, cut the bullshit, and determine an actual budget; not an estimated budget, not a ballpark budget, but an ACTUAL budget, and who’s responsible for contributing. This conversation is usually best with some sort of alcoholic beverage, and props. Well, a spreadsheet at the very least. Remember, bridey, the truth is always quicker.

2. Guest List - It’s really very simple, or it can be. Who do you want around you on your wedding day, bridey? You get this one day, ONCE (well, maybe twice or even three times… no judgement). One day where you are lucky enough to have everybody you love under the same roof. So, make it count. Look around… Who’s there. Who’s cheering you on? Do you know everybody? Who’s (purposely) not there? Okay, were you able to capture that? Now, how will you make it happen when faced with resistance from family? How can you get through this painfully uncomfortable, usually brutal and awkward discussion? Tell the truth. Be brave. The truth is always quicker.

3. Skeletons in the Closet - We all got ‘em, but how you deal with them is what counts. Two words: Recognize and address. Say it with me, bridey… Recognize and address. You know what they are, so acknowledge them early on in the wedding planning process! For example, is your sister is a serial dater who you know will want her current flame at your very intimate and expensive wedding? Deal with it NOW! Parents went through (or are going through) a tumultuous divorce? Brutal. Talk about who’s going to walk you down the aisle, where everybody is going to sit, and if dates are allowed… This conversation is going to SUCK, but save yourself a lot of time (and pain and anguish) later. And, don’t save this beauty for the week before the wedding. The truth is always quicker.

4. Sig Other Responsibilities - I swear this is a precursor for marriage. Don’t set yourself up to be disappointed; be honest from the beginning. If he/she isn’t into “wedding planning stuff”, then believe them. Raise your hand if you need help, but don’t go assigning tasks and then getting disappointed when the follow through is lacking. The truth is always quicker.

5. Bridal Party - Who? Who do you want standing next to you on your wedding day? Now, who do you feel obligated to have standing next to you on your wedding day? Bridey, if you feel obligated, then I bet they do too. Suddenly they are obligated to contribute to bridal party shenanigans, showers and the like. Obligated to be excited about the bridesmaids dresses and then buy one. Obligated to show the fuck up. Imagine what would happen if you gently broached the subject with the “obligator”, and lightened the bridal party load? Might eliminate some stress and unmet expectations later, right? The truth is always quicker.

6. Bachelorette Party - I love Vegas. Probably because I got married there, but more than that, I love all of the bells, whistles, pasties, smoke and mirrors… But, if I’m standing up in more than one wedding this year, and I’m still working my way up the corporate ladder, my funds are limited. Bridey, while it is the responsibility of your ‘maids to make this happen for you, it is your responsibility to not be a greedy asshole. Your ‘maids will take cues from you. So if you know that three out of the six girls are broke, then suggest a local party with local fun, and save them the embarrassment. The truth is always quicker.

7. Weight - I hate this one. This is all about being honest with yourself, and obviously being honest with yourself is difficult. Bridey, if you want to lose weight for your wedding, then do it. If you don’t care, then you don’t care. The bottom line is really about how you feel on your wedding day, not how you look. You want the girl smiling in the photographs to be happy with herself, fat or thin, and only YOU can answer that question. Remember, the truth is always quicker.

8. Wedding Dress Shopping - Are you wondering why I included this? Because, over the years, I have heard all sorts of various viewpoints on wedding dress shopping. Some brides LOVE a huge entourage to accompany them to the bridal salon, while others would rather vom than have a group of girls expressing their opinions about their favorite lace or bodice or whatever. This is up to you, bridey. You determine who (if anybody) comes with you, but set the expectations early. The truth is always quicker.

9. DIY or DI-CRY - I am 100% a DICRYer. I always have these grand ideas about whipping up something I see on Pinterest (bridal or otherwise), and then crash and burn pretty awfully. Hence the crying… Bridey, there’s no shame on not being a DIYer. If you choose to become a DIYer, please practice and give yourself plenty of time to accomplish these tasks because they will always take longer than you think. The truth is always quicker. (And your truth might be to hire somebody else to do it…)

10. Open Bar - Yes! Oh wait, the budget. That pesky fucking budget. Can you afford to have an open bar? Can you provide an open bar all night? Can your crowd handle it (will they take advantage and turn into assholes)? How important is it to you? I’m pro open bar, but this is not a question I can answer for you, bridey, but, I know you know the answer. The truth is always quicker...

Bridey, you see why this one quote resonated with me do thoroughly? It is truly applicable in every situation, wedding planning and beyond. I recommend you keep this link handy if you need some encouragement as you plunge into these 10 wedding planning scenarios. When in doubt…the truth is always quicker!

Photo by David Thomaz on Unsplash

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ The Truth About Your Wedding...

We've been told throughout our entire lives that honesty is the best policy. It begins in kindergarten and morphs into something much deeper as we age. I mean, just look at Pinterest. Seriously, there are millions of quotes littered on Pinterest about honesty and truth... "Children and fools speak true," by John Lyly or "A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal," by Oscar Wilde. And, honesty really is the best policy, right? RIGHT, bridey?? Well, it should be, although in so many cases, it's not. And, 99% of the time, when it comes to our friends getting married, we sugarcoat the truth or simply lie. And, it's time to discuss WHY.

If you think about it, our lying and sincerity about being in a wedding (and sometimes even attending a wedding) is entirely widespread and universal. (Remember this video?): 

We talk about it all of the time... Just not to the person who desperately needs to hear it, the bride! I've spent over three years educating brides on how not to be a bitch while planning her wedding, and when I saw, "If Bridesmaids Were Honest", I felt justified. I felt like chicks are finally starting to talk about the bullshit behavior and expectations that weddings tend to draw out in even the most lovely bride. So, enough sugarcoating! Talk about how you feel with the bride! Tell her you can't afford the dress or the bachelorette party! Ladies, bridesmaids lose friends because of weddings, and it's not because they were fucking the groom. It's because they resent the bride. They resent her attitude, they resent her entitlement and they resent her complete obliviousness to how they are feeling.

Please learn something from this bridesmaids video. Yes, it's funny, but more than that, it's true! So, stop letting your bridey friend get away with her shit attitude, and for the love of God, tell the truth! 

Video via Kelsey Darragh, BuzzFeed

Real Wedding Wednesday ~ A Fabulously Gorgeous, Waikiki Hawaii Wedding

I love a good story about sig others meeting when there's booze involved. Perhaps it's because I met my sig other in a bar (def a lot of booze involved), and we are still going strong! And the cool thing about Lancer (TOTALLY love that name!!) and Eddie? Yes, they met during a booze-filled celebration walking down St. Ann Street in New Orleans (in front of the Bourbon Pub), but, they kinda knew each other. Well, they had heard of each other over the years through their friends, but hadn't met in person. And, when they finally did meet, sparks flew! How fucking FAB is that? Lancer (still dying over how awes that name is!) says it best, so I'll let him tell you the story in his own words. 

From the Groom: So all of my friends already knew Eddie. He was managing the Planet Hollywood hotel in Las Vegas and all of my friends would go to Vegas and he would hook them up. I was supposed to go once, but something else came up, so I never met him and only heard of this Vegas Eddie. So, in March of 2010 I went to New Orleans for my friend's Bachelor/Bachelorette Party. We arrived on Friday, March 19th and started drinking early. We were walking down Bourbon Street and turned the corner at St. Ann when Eddie came around the corner. Everyone I was with knew Eddie and saw him and yelled "Eddie!!". So, I met Eddie for the first time in front of the Bourbon Pub. I just thought he was so handsome. I have a thing for gray hair. 

We met and hit it off right away. Later that night...ok, within 5 minutes... I was coming onto him. Our friend pulled out his phone and started recording me hit on Eddie. We have our first kiss recorded and our friend in the background said "wouldn't it be wild if they ended up together". Eddie was just stopping for the night in New Orleans on his way back to Atlanta, but ended up staying the whole weekend and came with us to all the weekend party events.He was living in Atlanta at the time and we ended up taking a few trips to get to know each other. We met in Vegas for a weekend and Boston for a weekend. Eddie then got a job in Trinidad, in the Caribbean. He was planning to go for a year, but the job was not what he wanted, so he moved back to Houston, where I was. He was planning to move in with his sister, her husband, 2 kids and their mom until he figured out his next move. I was excited to see him again and suggested that he move in with me since I was living alone in a 4-bedroom house. He didn't want to be a bother or move too fast, but I insisted.Everything was great after that. So, the proposal was not that exciting. No random flash mobs or hot balloons involved. We already bought matching rings.\In December 2012, we went on a cruise. While sitting at The Red Frog Pub on the Carnival Magic, we were talking about names. I said that boyfriend seems too juvenile, partner seems too professional, and husband is not accurate until we get married. Eddie took off my ring and said, let's get married, and put it back on my finger. I said yes, so now we can be called finances. We didn't pick a date or start planning until earlier this year.One of my FAVE pics ever!!

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ 5 Ways to Show Your Bridesmaids the LOVE!

Bridey, there's been some serious hype about the awful way brides treat their bridesmaids these days. So, after the millionth story I've heard in like two weeks, I thought I would throw in my two cents because I just can't stand it anymore! The problem is, is that I could probably throw in a fucking dollar, and nothing would change. Because this seems to be an ongoing dilemma. A dilemma that doesn't change no matter what anybody says or writes or who says or writes it! So, let me give it another shot.

Back in February of 2013, I wrote about how to keep your bridesmaids happy, and now I have a little more to add. This time I will keep it simple so maybe it will sink in:

1. Throw a bash! Bridey, once you have asked your girls to be your 'maids get everybody together, and have a little party. Perhaps some of them don't know each other or know each other well? Then this is a perfect way to introduce them. Party with them, drink with them and have fun together! By the time your wedding rolls around, these chicks will be psyched to see each other which will make your day even that much more exciting! (Even better? Invite the groom and his men. One of my clients met her hus-to-be at an initial gathering of the 'maids and men! True story.)

2. At your big bash, ask them what they'd like to wear on your big day. That's not to say that they can have carte blanche, but let them know that their opinion is valuable and important, and then work around their feedback. After all, they are (most likely) paying for the dress! At least give them a shot of being able wear it again! (Best way to do that? Little black dress, baby!) 

3. Accept them for who they are. Perhaps one of your girls is rockin' some crazy (awesome) hot pink hair or a new tat or a shaved head? Bridey, I know it's killing you, but don't say a fucking word about changing their appearance. Leave it alone. You asked them to be in your wedding, and they are supporting you, so it is only fair that you support their choices too.

4. Want the girls to look their best on your wedding day? Then it's up to you to pay for their hair and make up services. Bridey, they've dished out a ton of moola to be at your wedding (um, the bridesmaid dress, shoes, shower, shower present, bachelorette party, etc...), the least you can do give back. And while you're in the giving mood, I hope your girls enjoyed the bridesmaids gifts you gave them (something super personal, and thoughtful, right?)! 

5. Get crazy with your girls! It's your wedding day! Have some fun! Order some champagne, and some food and enjoy this time with your 'maids. Focus on losing the "stress" and just have a ball; let go. I mean, you're surrounded by your best friends, getting all dolled up and you're getting married!!! Holy shit!! So, lose the stress and enjoy it!

Brideys, I know that you picked these particular girls for particular reasons, right? Right. When your big day has come and gone, I'm guessing that you'd still like these girls in your life, correct? Well, then it's up to you to take care of them the way you're expecting them to take care of you.

Image via StyleSizzle

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

Fabulous Friday ~ The Story Behind the Invitation

I’m not gonna lie… I kinda hate getting invited places. Bridal showers, bachelorette parties and honestly, sometimes even getting invited to a wedding makes my stomach turn. It’s that just horrifying? I’m a wedding planner who prides herself on creating and executing a kickass parties, but when I’m invited to a party I don’t plan? Well, I’d rather stay home watching shit TV instead of forcing myself to get off of my ass and have a good time. I am pathetic, I know… But, here’s the thing. After much thought, I realized that it all comes down to the invitation. If the invitation sucks or is completely lackluster, then almost immediately, I am turned off. And no amount of Viagra is going to fix my problem. It’s gone. I’m utterly deflated, and what’s worse? I’m already bored.

The invitation has to be the gateway to the experience. Period. The end. Especially if we are talking about a bridal shower or the bachelorette party… Seriously, if I receive a basic invitation to a fabulous party, then how the hell am I supposed to know that it will actually be a fabulous party? I don’t,

Fantasy Friday... My "Rustic" Style Bachelorette Party

So, I have to admit... I never had a bachelorette party. I know, right? Well, it would have been rather difficult for anybody to plan one for me considering I eloped and didn't tell my friends until afterward. Do I regret not having a huge party? No, not really. Because there is no way I could have done then what I would want to do now (and still can't afford)! So what's the point?

However... here's a glimpse into what I had in mind. Now, it's kind of embarrassing, but I am definitely not a rustic kind of girl. In fact, I love an outdoor wedding, appreciate nature, but I don't love the great outdoors! That said, I do appreciate everything about what GOES with the outdoors... In a fancy way of course, and because this is FANTASY FRIDAY, let's just leave price out of the equation, shall we?

See that cabin up there? That's my idea of "roughing it". (See what I mean... BB is def not an outdoorsy kind of chick!) I would take about eight of my girls to this cabin where we would each have our own room, bathroom, and a fucking blast!

Upon arrival to the "cabin", we'd change into our comfortable clothes and head outside to gather around the campfire. I'm a huge believer in dessert before dinner, so as somewhat of an amuse bouche, we'd start with bacon s'mores and a few glasses of wine... And because this is only my fantasy bachelorette paty (and my mom is probably reading this), I would smoke a few camel's with my s'more and my Barolo (Barolo Bricco Rocche, Ceretto 2001 to be exact) as my bestie started reading from the best scary story book ever! 

After the campfire, we'd retreat back to our rooms to take a soak in our giant tubs (all of them created by different designers) washing the smoky smell from our bodies. Once dressed, we'd meet downstairs for a very special dinner...

A very special dinner because it it's prepared by my favorite chef, Michael Mina (my hus and I ate at his restaurant in Las Vegas the night of our wedding), and my favorite pasty chef, Jacques Torres. After all, it is my bachelorette party... And I don't mess around with my food. Plus, the chicks I'm with are good eaters and have a deep appreciation for food as an art form(that tastes good too)...

Once our bellies are full, we linger into the family room which rocks a cathedral ceiling, fireplace and several comfy couches (because we gotta rest after that amazing meal). The wine Barolo is passed around, some ciggys are smoked and we are just happy being with each other. It stops being all about me, and becomes all about us and our friendship... 

We talk until two o'clock in the morning, and finally go to our fancy rooms to get some sleep. In the morning, we are awakened to freshly baked cinnamon rolls (Jacques is still there) and espresso... I look around the table and there is nowhere else I'd rather be... 

Photo cred: {Luxury Cabin pic via Watershed Cabins}, {top left Campfire pic via How You Can be Cool}, {Toasted Marshmallow & Pig S'more pic via Man Made}, {bottom right Campfire pic via Etsy}, {Camel Cigarettes pic via The New York Times}, {Barolo Bricco Rocche, Ceretto 2001 pic via Forbes}, {Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark pic via Life Unsweetened}, {Japanese Soaking Tub pic via eHow), {Modern Soaking Tub pic via Hotel on Rivington}, {Jacques Torres pic via James Beard Foundation}, {Michael Mina pic via Star Chefs}, {Brioche Cinnamon Roll pic via Learning How to Cook}