budget

#TBT ~ Bitchless Bride Video #11 - Meet My Parents & Learn About Managing Your Wedding Budget

Brideys, back in 2012, before I comfortable spouting the truth, openly, I used to wear a hot pink wig and sunglasses to hide my identity. And, in this video, (one of my absolute FAVORITES) I somehow, I got my Dad + stepmom to wear hot pink wigs, sunglasses and rock the camera with some advice on your wedding budget. This originally posted in August of 2012, but is still SUPER relevant today. Oh! and Don't forget to check out the OUTTAKES! My dad had some trouble with his "part", gets frustrated, and swears like a lunatic... Totally priceless!

**Flashback** ~ All Weddings Are Not Created Equal – Comparison is the Thief of Joy

Bridey, when it comes to what your vendors are going to provide for you, avoid comparing what you heard your vendors did for your best friend, sort of friend, acquaintance or somebody that you know. Because each circumstance is different... Perhaps the caterer threw in an additional passed hors d’oeuvre during cocktail hour for your friend because they received a shitload of short rib that they needed to unload or else it would go bad. Or maybe the florist your acquaintance used was late paying her rent for the very expensive studio she resides in and lowered her pricing so that she would win the business. Your friend got a free cheese display? Perhaps the catering manager at the venue comped the damn display because your friend is awesome and she simply wanted to throw her a bone. Or, you know what? Maybe, they’re all lying or embellishing the truth. Whaaaa? You don’t think that you girls are competing just a bit? So be happy with what you got because as Theodore Roosevelt said, "Comparison is the Thief of Joy".

Whatever the case may be, bridey, I just can’t listen to it anymore! Remember when you told your mom that the whole class failed that stupid fucking geometry test and her retort was that, ahem (imagine your best mom voice), “I don’t care about the rest of the class, I care about you.” UGH! But, you totally remember, don’t you? Well, that is essentially what I am saying to you. When you approach your vendors with deals that they may or may not have made with your peers, it does nothing but piss them off in the same way it pissed off your mother. Because each circumstance is different!!! They are focused on what they are providing to you. And all weddings are not created equal! And frankly, all brides are not created equal. And... you guessed it! Not all "deals" are created equal!

Bridey, if you want a freebie, the worst possible way you can go about asking for it is to say that of your friend, or whomever, got a deal and therefore you want one too. Seriously? That’s just annoying. Be straightforward. Be nice. Show some respect for the vendor with whom you are working, and leave everybody else out of the equation. If something is out of your budget, tell them, and if they are in a position to discount it or offer it to you complimentary, so be it, but let it be their decision. No matter what, if you have been a delight to work with thus far, anything is possible. I told Elizabeth Vargas that when we sat down for a chat. Basically, we (vendors) want to go above and beyond for those clients who treat us with respect. 

Got it? 

Good.

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ All Weddings Are Not Created Equal – Comparison is the Thief of Joy

Bridey, when it comes to what your vendors are going to provide for you, avoid comparing what you heard your vendors did for your best friend, sort of friend, acquaintance or somebody that you know. Because each circumstance is different... Perhaps the caterer threw in an additional passed hors d’oeuvre during cocktail hour for your friend because they received a shitload of short rib that they needed to unload or else it would go bad. Or maybe the florist your acquaintance used was late paying her rent for the very expensive studio she resides in and lowered her pricing so that she would win the business. Your friend got a free cheese display? Perhaps the catering manager at the venue comped the damn display because your friend is awesome and she simply wanted to throw her a bone. Or, you know what? Maybe, they’re all lying or embellishing the truth. Whaaaa? You don’t think that you girls are competing just a bit? So be happy with what you got because as Theodore Roosevelt said, "Comparison is the Thief of Joy".

Whatever the case may be, bridey, I just can’t listen to it anymore! Remember when you told your mom that the whole class failed that stupid fucking geometry test and her retort was that, ahem (imagine your best mom voice), “I don’t care about the rest of the class, I care about you.” UGH! But, you totally remember, don’t you? Well, that is essentially what I am saying to you. When you approach your vendors with deals that they may or may not have made with your peers, it does nothing but piss them off in the same way it pissed off your mother. Because each circumstance is different!!! They are focused on what they are providing to you. And all weddings are not created equal! And frankly, all brides are not created equal. And... you guessed it! Not all "deals" are created equal!

Bridey, if you want a freebie, the worst possible way you can go about asking for it is to say that of your friend, or whomever, got a deal and therefore you want one too. Seriously? That’s just annoying. Be straightforward. Be nice. Show some respect for the vendor with whom you are working, and leave everybody else out of the equation. If something is out of your budget, tell them, and if they are in a position to discount it or offer it to you complimentary, so be it, but let it be their decision. No matter what, if you have been a delight to work with thus far, anything is possible. I told Elizabeth Vargas that when we sat down for a chat. Basically, we (vendors) want to go above and beyond for those clients who treat us with respect. 

Got it? 

Good.

Image via France Dress

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

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

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

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

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ Don't Be Too Quick to Judge Other Brides

As you know, one of my favorite words in the whole wide world (besides the word, perspective), is the word ENTITLED or ENTITLEMENT. And, most of the time I am quite excited when I come across somebody else expressing themselves using this word. However, this is not one of those times. In fact this time, I am actually offended by the misuse of my very favorite word, for YOU, brideys! Because you know that I am a lot of things, but judgmental is not one of them. Do I call it the way I see it? Yes. Do I sometimes offend people with the truth or the use of my colorful vocabulary? Yes. Have I been accused of being "vulgar"? Yes. And while I am all of those things, I'm not a judgy bitch.  

If you find yourself asking what prompted this, here's the two cent tour... So, instead of indulging in gossip websites or even the news, I prefer to relax while reading the bridal chit chat on the wedding boards. Seriously, it relaxes me somehow. And I truly believe that it helps me be a better wedding planner. No really, I do! It's like being a fly on the wall and being able to hear all of the shit brides say that they might not say to their planner. However, as I was simply enjoying my day, trolling the boards, I came across this statement on The Knot:

Wedding Planning: Create a Stress-Free Wedding Guest List

Hey peeps... SO... I know that today is Wednesday, and that I should be posting a Real Wedding, but I thought this guest post was so helpful that I wanted to share it with you immediately. Plus, after the brutal The Truth Hurts Tuesday from yesterday, I thought I should give back a little! But, I'm not the one giving today... Lindsey, from Melbourne, is! She's got an fantastic post about creating a wedding guest list without the bullshit. So, obviously, I love it, and I know you will too!

And you know what? This is NOT a sponsored post, I just like what this chick has to say!

XO,

BB

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So you recently got engaged and are now ready to start planning your wedding. Congratulations! Now that you’re engaged, you will face a whole new set of problems and issues that may make you regret the decision to have a wedding in the first place. 

Luckily, there are many guides and tips that can help reduce the stress of wedding planning. One of the first issues you will have to discuss is the size of the guest list. This is an important first step, because it will help you determine where to have the venue, how big the wedding budget will be, how much food to order, and many other details about the wedding.

Use these handy tips to help you determine who to invite to your special day:

Real Wedding Wednesday ~ Hurricane Issac Didn't Get in Their Way

I say this every Wednesday, but I really am in love with Caroline (and Ben's pretty cool too). They got married the weekend of Hurricane Issac. Yeah... Yikes! But, they didn't let it get in their way. No no no... They pushed on, changed the plan, and rolled with it. How awesome is that? And what I find truly fucking cool? Everybody made it to the wedding, and as you'll see from the pictures, they had an amazing time! Go Caroline!

Another thing I say A LOT... BB is NOT from the DIYers, but I have a deep respect for those of you who are. I am no artist, and really hate following direction (shocking, I know), so usually anything I do myself, turns to shit. But, Caroline (together with her grandmother, mom, MIL, bridesmaids, etc.)? She rocked it! I mean, just look at her bouquet!!! 

So, please my brideys, enjoy this phenomenal wedding! Let it put things into perspective for you. Caroline had to plan TWO weddings (and not for the price of one) because of the hurricane. If she can do that, then you can certainly plan one without losing your cool! ENJOY!

(When Caroline tried on her wedding dress, she fell in love with a veil that was out of her budget (a third of the price of the dress). She looked for an alternative, but just decided that she could not spend that much on a veil! Her grandmother found a birdcage veil and hair comb for a steal at Joann Fabrics. She also bought a package of tiny rhinestones. So with a pair of tweezers and a bottle of craft glue, Caroline created her beautiful veil a few days before the wedding. She loved the outcome, loved the price, and received many compliments!)

1. Bridey, how did you meet your spouse? (The short and sweet version please.)

We met in college in Santa Fe, New Mexico (at a Toga Party!). We went on a few dates before Ben graduated and then I was supposed to leave for home. Luckily my car broke down and we dated all summer and then he moved to New York. We did long distance for a while and then I moved out here too. 

2. How long were you together before you were engaged?

4 1/2 years

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

A year and a half! 

4. Where did your wedding take place? (venue, city and state)

It was supposed to take place at a family members home in Chesterfield, MO, but instead we moved it indoors (thanks to a weekend of 100% chance of precipitation due to Hurricane Isaac) to Chesterfield Arts/Stages St. Louis. We were their first wedding ever!

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ Wedding Planning Breakdown

I know this may surprise you, but shockingly I don't have all the answers. I can't tell you why sometimes people can be complete assholes, only that it feels fucking fantastic to put them (assholes) in their place. I can't tell you why certain vendors can be just as diva-like as certain brides, only that I've learned to take care of them (or else). But, what I can tell you with absolute certainty is that it is in your best interest to hire a wedding planner. In any capacity...

And yes, we've covered this a million times before. And yes, I sometimes feel like I and say and write this shit and nobody listens, but lately I am starting to think that maybe you really are listening. Because within the pile of emails I receive daily with questions about wedding planning, ceremony ideas, terrible bridesmaids, etc., recently I have been getting quite a few emails about hiring a wedding planner. For instance:

"I have a quick question regarding wedding planners, I know what full coordination service entails; but what does "Wedding Day Coordination" generally include? Also, what does "Consultation only" include? I am considering hiring a planner, but if it is not in my budget, is consulting with a planner then hiring them for the day of a viable option?"

Allow me to break it down for you, but please note that each wedding planner works independently, and what I perceive as wedding day coordination (or month of coordination), another planner may completely differently than me:

Wedding Day Coordination or Month of Coordination:

Real Wedding Wednesday ~ Brooklyn Baby!

You know how there are just those couples that are "cool"? Well then, meet Jantra and Mercer. They are a cool ass couple who got married in Brooklyn, and according to the photographer, they were fun to work with... No complaining (a true Bitchless Bride!), and no stress. They completely enjoyed their day, their way, even stopping to take a drag off a ciggy before the ceremony!

Jantra and Mercer (even their NAMES are cool!) exchanged their vows at Rebar in Dumbo, Brooklyn. The incredibly beautiful views of the East River and Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, made for stunning photos as you can clearly see. Plus, Mercer's awesome mustache was super fun to photograph, and anybody can see his cool personality through the stash!

For me, the best part of this wedding? They had fun. Their guests had fun. And... while a few things went wrong, they didn't let it get in their way of having the time of their lives! I mean, just look at these fantastic photographs! Jantra and Mercer danced the night away with their family and friends! 

1. Bridey, how did you meet your spouse? 

We both attended NYU for undergrad. We met while working as orientation leaders who welcomed incoming freshman over the summer. He was a year ahead of me and I think my first words to him were, "Can I smoke here?" 

2. How long were you together before you were engaged?

We were together two years, but were friends for ten years and already living together.

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

It was a year and a half of planning.

4. Where did your wedding take place? (venue, city and state)

 Our wedding took place at ReBar gastropub, Brooklyn, NY.

5. If you don't mind my asking, what was your budget, and where did you choose to spend most of it?

Real Wedding Wednesday ~ What to Expect When You're Expecting... A Wedding

I am so completely in love with all of the glitz and glam of this beautiful wedding! Brittany, the bride, envisioned a very lovely, completely timeless and classy affair... And you know what? She pulled it off beautifully! "Putting on the Ritz" style baby! Brittany and Aubin's wedding day was on Jan 4th, and it was important for them to keep the holiday vibe going with glitter, the many shades of champagne, silver and gold, and a lot of candles to create a sexy and fun ambiance.

Seriously, how cool is it that they had two different bands? Right? The layout of the venue was such that it lent itself well to the two bands, one a jazz 1920's style band, Miss Rose and her Percolators, which played upstairs during the dinner, and Van Eps rocked it downstairs in the "speakeasy lounge".

But... I must say, although I have heard it before, I am always surprised when a bride compares the intensity of her wedding plans to the intensity of of planning for a baby... She mentions this twice! Hmmm... leads me to wonder... Following the honeymoon, does baby make three? Only Brittany can answer that one! 

Enjoy this fabulous wedding!

1. Bridey, how did you meet your spouse? (The short and sweet version please.)

I had joined a putt putt golf league, and two of my teammates worked with Aubin. We ended up meeting through those friend's gatherings.

2. How long were you together before you were engaged?

Two years... Seemed like a lifetime for some reason. 

(Right before the ceremony, Aubin had a surprise gift delivered to Brittany...)

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

One year... Actually, a good friend of mine pointed out that you have more time to plan for a wedding than you do for a child. Granted we weren't 'trying' to get pregnant, but it's definitely a crazy thought... 

The Happiest Place on Earth... A Super Gorgeous Disney Wedding

First of all, I am completely OBSESSED with Mindy's wedding dress and shoes! WOW! I mean... If you know me at all, then you know that I love pink, and this dress and shoes... I can hardly contain my excitement!

Now that I got that out of my system... I think it's really too bad... I feel like when people hear that a couple is choosing to get married at Disneyland or Disneyworld, they throw some serious attitude. They don't get it. I mean... How could two adults get married at a place typically reserved for children? Why would they want to have Mickey and Minnie Mouse at their wedding? Isn't that childish? And the worst part? They do NOTHING to hide how they feel when the bride reveals her venue. Honestly, that's just bad form. Mindy took some serious heat from people, but it wasn't from her family and friends, it was from opinionated assholes online. 

Here We Go Again... Vendors Afraid of Being Hit on Weddingwire and Yelp!

**STORY SUBMITTED BY AN INVITATION PROFESSIONAL**

Hey BB,

I have to share a story with you. I know this bride who complained about everything (I know this is a huge shocker for you). Seriously, nobody could make this bride happy. Of course, her poor fiancé was a doll, and we all just wanted to say, “Why are you with her?! Run while can, please!." Yes, she was on a tight budget, I get that but…