marriage

ReBoot! ~ Wedding Planning... A Job You are Completely Unqualified For??

Congratulations! You’ve just been hired to do a job you are completely unqualified for… Best of luck! I mean… What if that really was the case? What if you were hired to do a job in which you lacked the appropriate credentials and connections to be successful? Sounds awful, right? And, why the fuck would you accept that kind of responsibility knowingly? Well, for most of you, I just described the minute after you told your friends and family you about your engagement. Yup! Your engagement and plans to betroth has just become your brand new, shiny job; one that has you completely ecstatic, and terrified at the same time. One that looks good on paper, but can totally suck and suck the life out of you at the same time. Bridey, welcome to the most unqualified time in your life (well, unless you’re already a parent!!). Welcome to your engagement! 

I know, I know, I’m a bitch for ruining the moment, and I hate to rain on your sparkly, bridal parade, but better you have some warning about the next step as opposed to thinking that this experience is going to be 100% rainbows and unicorns. I meet very few brides who are totally excited and ready for the task at hand. Because planning a wedding is a lot of work and takes a lot of commitment. And, the brides that are totally onboard, are usually an event planner, a spreadsheet whore or a control freak (that doesn’t end so well) who has some serious issues with pretty much every stage of the game. So, where does that leave you? Don’t worry, bridey, you’ll be fine. Just allow me to educate you a bit…

Last year, I wrote a piece called, Why Planning Your Wedding Actually IS a Full Time Job, and one of the primary points highlighted in the article isn’t the actual planning of the wedding, it’s more about the anxiety and feelings of inadequacy when it comes to family dynamics and money. For some you, these are issues you may deal with daily, but when you are planning your wedding, they become intensified and daunting. And kind of like a new job (qualified or not), you’re faced with new situations, tons of decisions and several conversations that feel uncomfortable and borderline risky. Risky? Yes, risky. Because with each decision, your psyche fucks with you, and tells you that you’re risking the budget or that you’re risking the delicate equilibrium that is your immediate family or that you’re risking your friendships… And the thing is, bridey, you can’t quit. You can’t decide not to move forward. (Well, unless you’re me. I eloped, but that came with it’s own set consequences.) But, you can persevere. 

How? Here are a few quick suggestions:

1. Cut yourself some some fucking slack! You’ve never done this before (well, most of you haven’t), and there is no need to be so hard on yourself. Take your time, filter out the naysayers and the noise, put your head down and just do it. Oh, and… See #2.

2. Surround yourself with professionals. PERIOD. I’ve said it a million times, bridey! But, if you don’t know what you’re doing, then hire people who do. We don’t hesitate to do this for every other facet of our lives, so why should your wedding planning be any different? Wedding professionals like planners, gifted photographers, etc. will walk you though the tough decisions, and advise you when you’re stuck. So, put some extra dough in the budget and consider it your “piece of mind” fund.

3. Avoid the 3 Ps…. the 3 Ps. Pressure, precedence and perfection. They all suck, and most of the time they are usually self-induced. So let it go…

4. Be honest with your fiancé, yourself and your family. AT THE BEGINNING. Don’t leave room for “risky" behavior to butt in… Even in a job that has you feeling insecure, honesty really is the best policy.

5. Please have fun. I mean, it’s not fun a lot of the time, but this industry and wedding planning have become synonymous with fucking rainbows, unicorns, glitter and cupcakes… So, when you come across one of those things, enjoy it. 

So, bridey, are you going to quit this terrible job that your 100% unqualified for? Fuck no you’re not! You’re going to plow through, and own it because if nothing else, it will get you ready for another job you may not be 100% qualified for… Marriage.

Image via Jobboard Finder News

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.

Wedding Planning... A Job You are Completely Unqualified For??

Congratulations! You’ve just been hired to do a job you are completely unqualified for… Best of luck! I mean… What if that really was the case? What if you were hired to do a job in which you lacked the appropriate credentials and connections to be successful? Sounds awful, right? And, why the fuck would you accept that kind of responsibility knowingly? Well, for most of you, I just described the minute after you told your friends and family you about your engagement. Yup! Your engagement and plans to betroth has just become your brand new, shiny job; one that has you completely ecstatic, and terrified at the same time. One that looks good on paper, but can totally suck and suck the life out of you at the same time. Bridey, welcome to the most unqualified time in your life (well, unless you’re already a parent!!). Welcome to your engagement! 

I know, I know, I’m a bitch for ruining the moment, and I hate to rain on your sparkly, bridal parade, but better you have some warning about the next step as opposed to thinking that this experience is going to be 100% rainbows and unicorns. I meet very few brides who are totally excited and ready for the task at hand. Because planning a wedding is a lot of work and takes a lot of commitment. And, the brides that are totally onboard, are usually an event planner, a spreadsheet whore or a control freak (that doesn’t end so well) who has some serious issues with pretty much every stage of the game. So, where does that leave you? Don’t worry, bridey, you’ll be fine. Just allow me to educate you a bit…

Last year, I wrote a piece called, Why Planning Your Wedding Actually IS a Full Time Job, and one of the primary points highlighted in the article isn’t the actual planning of the wedding, it’s more about the anxiety and feelings of inadequacy when it comes to family dynamics and money. For some you, these are issues you may deal with daily, but when you are planning your wedding, they become intensified and daunting. And kind of like a new job (qualified or not), you’re faced with new situations, tons of decisions and several conversations that feel uncomfortable and borderline risky. Risky? Yes, risky. Because with each decision, your psyche fucks with you, and tells you that you’re risking the budget or that you’re risking the delicate equilibrium that is your immediate family or that you’re risking your friendships… And the thing is, bridey, you can’t quit. You can’t decide not to move forward. (Well, unless you’re me. I eloped, but that came with it’s own set consequences.) But, you can persevere. 

How? Here are a few quick suggestions:

1. Cut yourself some some fucking slack! You’ve never done this before (well, most of you haven’t), and there is no need to be so hard on yourself. Take your time, filter out the naysayers and the noise, put your head down and just do it. Oh, and… See #2.

2. Surround yourself with professionals. PERIOD. I’ve said it a million times, bridey! But, if you don’t know what you’re doing, then hire people who do. We don’t hesitate to do this for every other facet of our lives, so why should your wedding planning be any different? Wedding professionals like planners, gifted photographers, etc. will walk you though the tough decisions, and advise you when you’re stuck. So, put some extra dough in the budget and consider it your “piece of mind” fund.

3. Avoid the 3 Ps…. the 3 Ps. Pressure, precedence and perfection. They all suck, and most of the time they are usually self-induced. So let it go…

4. Be honest with your fiancé, yourself and your family. AT THE BEGINNING. Don’t leave room for “risky" behavior to butt in… Even in a job that has you feeling insecure, honesty really is the best policy.

5. Please have fun. I mean, it’s not fun a lot of the time, but this industry and wedding planning have become synonymous with fucking rainbows, unicorns, glitter and cupcakes… So, when you come across one of those things, enjoy it. 

So, bridey, are you going to quit this terrible job that your 100% unqualified for? Fuck no you’re not! You’re going to plow through, and own it because if nothing else, it will get you ready for another job you may not be 100% qualified for… Marriage.

Image via Jobboard Finder News

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ Later to Launch? Why Couples Should Get Married Later...

So, the other day, I felt like a total adult. Like, so adulty, that it made me feel uncomfortable. Why? Well, my hus and I took a long overdue trip to the attorney's office to sign our wills, health care proxies, and other important documents so that we could protect our kids from any additional anguish should the worst case scenario become a reality. Wouldn't you say that I am officially an adult? I know! Right? Ugh. It was a tough day, but necessary!

The reason I'm writing about this? Well, Mr. Attorney said something to me that I couldn't shake in regards to when my kids should have access to their trusts (when we actually have $$ to give them!). He said that age 35 is the new 25. What does that mean? Well, depending on how my kids develop (and who they develop into), giving them access to a decent sum of money without a chaperone (the executor), could be a mistake. I mean... Who's to say that my future, 25 year-old daughter wouldn't blow it on shoes or, gulp, drugs, instead of a wedding or down payment??? Right? When I went to fight him on this point, he said that "kids these days are later to launch..." That phrase totally stopped me (and my argument) dead in my tracks. Why? Because he's right!

I'm in my late 30s, and my parents and most of my friends' parents got married and had kids by 25(ish). Seems totally insane, right? Seriously, I couldn't even imagine having a kid in my 20s, let alone being responsible for his/her well-being! And, when you look at the trend as far as age in relation to weddings these days, people are getting married later in their lives because, they are later to launch! They are leaving their parents homes later, they are settling into their careers later, they are finding love later. So, it makes sense that they are getting married later. And later is better for a lot of reasons. Why?

1. You're done weeding. Huh? You're done weeding out the bullshit. You've dated and dated, and now you know what you want. Gone are the days of sowing oats... Now, you're aged to perfection, and you only want one oat to sow.

2. In the same way you know what you want in a partner, you have a better understanding of what your wedding will look like. More of what you want, less of what other people want, and most likely, more of your own money. You begin to think practically and take responsibility for that practicality.

3. Perspective. Yup! My favorite word. You care more about the person you're going to marry, and your life after the wedding, than the wedding itself. I mean, you're excited about your wedding day, but it's not the only day you will look back on fondly... Especially when you have your whole lives to look forward to!

4. It's not your parent's wedding, it's yours, and the people on the "A" list are on the only list. Not to mention, they actually want to be there. An added bonus? You know everybody who's coming. 

5. You're used to yourself, and you like who you've become. No more "faking it until you make it". Or settling. You'd rather be alone than settle for the wrong dude (or lady).

So, later to launch...? Okay Mr. Attorney, I understand what you're saying, and now that I've had time to let it marinate, I'm going to rest my case.

Image via marie claire

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ None and Done? Bridey, Here's Why You Should Believe Your Sig Other When They Say They Don't Want Kids...

So, I had the pleasure of sitting next to a truly incredible man last night. Like a super gregarious, super funny and super full of life kind of dude. He's the kind of guy that sucks you into the vortex of his crazy little world, has his way with you, and spits you out better than you started. Noooooo, it's not like that, bridey, I'm married with two kids, remember?!! And, I love the shit out of my hus! But, I was definitely drawn to his cool energy.

Anyway, we (the hus and I) were at a belated holiday party for company we do a lot of work with, and I ended up sitting next to this super fun guy who we will call, Abel. And, after a few bourbons and friendly convo, we got a bit more serious. Abel told me that he is officiating a wedding next month, and so we started to discuss the expectations of the B+G and the guests (ceremony length, readings, etc.), and ultimately this lead to a deeper discussion about marriage.

You see, Abel is divorced and for the same reason he divorced, his long term relationship ended. Why? Because Abel does not want children, and the women he committed to knew that he did not want kids, but thought they could change his mind. I never understood that shit... Seriously. Why we think we can change the fundamentals that make a person who they are is simply baffling. Clearly, this thought process is completely toxic and flawed for everybody involved. And yet, so many of us (ladies) still think that we can change the men (or women) we choose to be with or persuade them to falter to our wishes. What the fuck is that about? Right? But, to try to persuade somebody to have a baby when they don't want one? Yikes! I mean... That's a lifelong commitment, and I couldn't imagine wanting to have a baby with somebody who doesn't want kids. PERIOD.

And, this is not about liking kids. I like my own kids and pretty much hate everybody else's. Sorry, but not really. And, there are plenty of people who like kids, and like being around them, but just don't want to procreate. We all know these people, and usually they just want to be the "fun uncle" or the "fun aunt", and after spending the day with somebody else's kids, they want to give them back, and continue on with their hedonistic lives. Frankly? Sometimes I'm jealous! I mean, my kids are awesome, but there are definitely days when I wish I only had to worry about my own needs, not mine + two small human's needs.

The best part of this story is that Abel brought his girlfriend to the party (they celebrated their year anniversary last week), and she doesn't want kids either. There is no agenda. There is no persuading. There is no guilt. Just them. And, although I can't relate to not wanting kids, I can relate to resenting the shit out of trying to be forced into something I know I don't want. So, think twice, bridey. If your sig other is telling you that he (or she) doesn't want kids, and this is a deal breaker for you, then fucking listen.

Image via The Plaid Zebra

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ 7 Reasons Why Couples Divorce and How to Overcome Them...

The other day, I ran into a groom whose wedding I had planned 8-9 years ago. Once it registered who I was, the first thing out of his mouth was, "Christin and I are still married!" After nearly choking on my gum, I said, "Good! You two were one of the good ones!" He thanked me and then asked, "You must wonder about that a lot... Like, if couples you've worked with are still married?" Another jaw dropping moment for me... But, yes, I do... ALL THE TIME! So, following a few pleasantries, chatting about our kids, etc. we parted ways, but I couldn't shake what he said to me. I mean... It's a perfectly valid question considering the shitty wedding statistics, right? Bridey, as you embark on the biggest day of your life leading up to your future, let's talk about how to over come the dismal marriage statistics, shall we?

Bridey, the truth is that one out of every TWO marriages fail. Um, that's 50%! Holy shit, right? Pretty grim stats! I mean... We spend all of this time and energy dating, obsessing and finally committing, thinking we finally found the right one, and then BOOM! A few years after the wedding (that I worked my ass off planning), divorce. WHY? What changes after the wedding that didn't present itself before you said "I do"? Or better yet... Maybe nothing changed, and the little red flags were there the whole time.

Here are a few well known reasons why couples divorce and my ideas on how to overcome them before you walk down the aisle:

1. Lack of communication. This one always baffles me. Do you communicate now? Yes? Good! Well, then keep communicating. Not communicating so well? Then fight it out if you have to! Yell it out! Scream it out! But, no matter what, bridey, get it out! If something is on your mind, then do something about it! Shockingly, this tends to come easily for me, as I am a bit of a loud mouth, and the people in my life always know where they stand, but you don't have to be a loud mouth to communicate. Just do it, bridey. In your own way. Sometimes it's as simple as an email outlining how you feel. Hide behind the screen if it helps you tell your partner how you feel. Who cares how you do it, but just get it out there! Because if you're starting your marriage with shattered lines of communication, then ultimately? You'll be communicating via attorney after the wedding.

2. Cheating. Why? I know I sound naïve when I say this, but WHY cheat? Seriously, besides the fact that cheating is the most cowardly, selfish and insensitive thing a person can do to somebody that they supposedly love, it's breaking the ultimate bond; the sanctity of marriage. A bond which both parties are about to knowingly enter into. So, keep your junk in your pants, and get in touch with why the urge to cheat is present in the first place. Bridey, if cheating is something that you're currently dealing with, then I highly suggest adjusting your focus from choosing your linen colors to reexamining your choice in partner.

3. Money. There's a shocker. Right? People fighting about money? I think it's so sad how money has the power to make things weird and cause friction between people. And yet, it totally does! Throw in the differences in your spending (or saving) habits, then the whole money thing can definitely contribute to the great divide. Why people aren't up front with their expectations, money wise, astounds me. Bridey, you're about to spend a shitload of cash on your wedding,  but, when it comes to the everyday stuff like bills, and groceries, etc., you argue. For the love of God, start having REAL conversations about money before you get married! If one of you likes to shop, and one of you likes to penny pinch, this could be a real problem, so figure it out now or allocate a portion of your salary to your divorce attorney.

4. The "we" is killing you. There's no "I" in "we". Bridey, you've lost your sense of self, and you're feeling the ramifications. It's really hard not to lose a piece of yourself when deeply ensconced with another person, but... TRY. Don't let go of your friends simply because you found "the one". Don't forget about the hobbies you enjoyed prior to getting into a relationship. Don't forget who you were before the rock! You're a big girl... You don't always need to do couple things. So, loosen your grip on "we", and focus on "me" every now and again.

5. Sex. Or, lackthereof. Do I really need to say more? Just do something about it. This is the easiest fix on the list.

6. Lack of effort. Um, you have to work at maintaining a healthy relationship. And, sometimes? It's fucking hard. We all fall into ruts, but it's how we dig ourselves out of the rut that counts. Bridey, put you're heart into your relationship in the same way you're putting your heart into your wedding plans. You gotta work at it... Period.

7. Wrong partner. I'm about to tell you something you already know, bridey. He/she isn't "the one", and you know it. So, quit fucking around... It's not going to get better, so get out before you waste time and money getting married.

Sadly, I could go on and on, but why bother? Bottom line, if it doesn't feel right, then quit while your ahead... OF THE WEDDING!

Image via GCSE Religious Studies

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ Speak Up Now or Forever Hold Your Tongue

Bridey, it's time to speak up! It's time to use that big mouth of yours. It's time to put your pedicured foot down! Huh? WTF BB? Well, it's come to my attention that some of you are... meek. Yikes! OMG! Right? And, while I've done a ton of writing about how not to be a bitch while planning your wedding, I've not focused as much energy on when it's absolutely appropriate to get in touch with that inner bitch of yours and unleash! Maybe not unleash, but definitely stand up for yourself! To whom you ask?? Drumroll please... Your future, opinionated, meddling mother-in-law! Yup! I'm sorry to say that the stereotype exists for a reason, and if you don't stand up for yourself now, then you're essentially allowing her future bad behavior to win in every.single.situation for the rest of your life for as long as you both shall live. So, squash it now, bridey.

I hate to say it, but some of your future mother-in-laws (MILs) have the power to destroy marriages. True story. And if yours is "helping" you and your sig other plan your wedding or worse, paying for it, then you must stand for yourself! I'm lucky... I happen I love my MIL (and I'm not just saying that because she's a fan of BB). But, this lady? She stood back and let us do what we wanted to do, and when we eloped, she was one our few supporters... Unfortunately, she learned the hard way that awful MILs can destroy marriages; that their power is strong enough to rock the foundation of a marriage and fuck it all up. The silver lining? She learned from her own experience, and has been nothing but loving and accepting of me (and my foul mouth) and my relationship with her son. Period. Like it fucking should be!!

The reason I'm bringing this up? Well, outside of the fact that sadly, many of you are currently dealing with this shit, I've learned that if you don't start standing up for yourself as you plan your wedding, then it becomes like a fucking cancer.... And it grows and grows until it ultimately takes over your entire life. However, if you catch it early, then you have a better chance of surviving, and your quality of life improves drastically.

Look, I don't care who's paying for the wedding, bridey, or how much it costs. What I care about is you and your sig other. And if your wedding day is going to mean anything at all or symbolize your glowing future with your hus, then make sure it's actually about the two of you and not your MIL. How? Start small, and fight the fights only worth fighting. Fight loudly enough so that your needs are getting met, but not loudly enough to bring down the precious foundation. Some of you may actually have to unleash depending on the severity of the situation, but do so only if it's a last resort. Because, as I mentioned, this "cancer" does not go away... It gets worse. 

Got it? Good luck, and Godspeed!

Image via Maestrano Blog

Happy Wife, Happy Life… Really?

Doesn’t the phrase “happy wife, happy life” seem a bit archaic to you? Perhaps a bit chauvinistic? It’s like this phrase single-handedly justifies a certain crop of women to behave badly. It’s like; “Uh-oh husbands… if your wife is a miserable bitch then you will be too, so you better keep her happy at all costs.” And you know what? You probably will be a miserable husband if your wife is miserable, but it’s not your fault. Well, it’s not all your fault. It’s only your fault if you enable your wife’s bad behavior, and buy into the bullshit that she’s the only one who gets to be happy in your marriage.

Winery Wedding Gone Right... Well, Minus a Few Dramatic Moments

Let me tell you brideys, I am a HUGE fan of winery weddings! And Kelly and Ty's wedding is no exception!While some of the craziness that occured could have gotten Kelly down, turning her into a bridey bitch, my girl persevered, asked for help, looked amazing and most of all, had fun! Brideys, Kelly will tell you that shit will go wrong on your wedding day, but it's really your attitude that can ruin you day if you let it. This is an incredible wedding and story of strength! Enjoy!

Happy Anniversary to My Sneaky Love... Why I Still Love You.

Today is my (our) anniversary. And the sad part? Neither of us remembered. Right? Pathetic! But, in our minds, it will always be the Friday after Thanksgiving... in Vegas... Who needs the actual date when you have Vegas? We eloped. Just him and me. And if you want to know more, then read BB's 5 Reasons Why I Eloped over on the Huffington Post, but now it's time to explain how we pulled it off, and the secret to why we still love each other so fucking much. So get out your notebook brideys, because I am about to spill the beans on two very important, life changing topics; sneakiness and love. Yeah, usually they don't mix, but in this case it was meant to be. 

In Sickness and in Health... Before the Wedding

{Photograph via Jennifer Brotchie Photography}

So, remember that freebie I mentioned a while back in my "Listen Up" post? You know, the wedding I am planning for free because the bride and groom are my friends? Well, it is coming up this weekend and I could not be more thrilled for several reasons, but most of all because the groom is healthy. The groom is alive, and not in pain. And for that, all of our hard work feels absolutely incredible. This truly is a celebration not only for the union of two people who love each other, but for two people who have already been through sickness and health together. Not to mention a groom that survived a major surgical operation with flying colors, and loves to show off the scars. 

Let's Get Physical... Physical

I downloaded this picture before I wrote the story. I never do that, but I needed some direction and the beautiful, naked couple "doin' it" in the sand has given me exactly what I was looking for... A hard on... JUST KIDDING! But it does have me all fired up, and considering that I must have sex on the brain this week (boudoir post, "morning after" post on the Huffington Post Weddings...) I thought I should end it with a climax and go out with a bang (or maybe I just need one... OMG... SORRY DAD!)!