wedding planner

Real Wedding Wednesday ~ A Stunningly Beautiful, Super Romantic, Mansion Wedding

I love this wedding, and I have a couple crush on Cindy and Dane. (Seriously, how could I not? Look at that dress! And, the dude's name is Dane. Total crush.) You know why, bridey? Because I heard that they were awesome to work with, insanely in love, super in sync and nice people. From a vendor perspective, it really doesn't get much better than that. Jackpot! Seriously, if wedding planners and other wedding vendors knew ahead of time what it would be like to work with each couple prior to the planning, the world would be a much nicer place. Working with lovely people who are genuine and genuinely nice is what it's all about, right? Or it should be for that matter!

Anyway, outside of the serious couple crush I am rockin', there are so many fab deets to share with you, bridey. I mean, the dress is total kickassery, but there is so much more! So, kick back, relax and enjoy the post!
I'm lovin' the subtle mint green Badgley Mischka shoes!I feel warm inside.Cindy, your wedding dress is absolutely incredible! I love the beading and the cut! You look amazing!This should be in a glossy... Cindy is GORGE and this pic is so FAB!!The "ring" boxes. Hell yeah! That's a great shot!!Such a fabulous way of politely saying, get off you're fucking phone during the ceremony. Such cuties!!

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ Bitchless Bride is Having a Baby!!

It's true! My life is about to be rocked, and this time not by a needy, bitchy bride, but by a needy (potentially bitchy) baby. I'm scared and excited, but most of all I feel completely elated. And, just like anything else in life, it was hard work to get to this point (put it this way, bridey, I could write a fertility blog peppered with pregnancy complications!), but here I am; I made it through, and realized that I am stronger than I thought I was... Kind of like you. The wedding planning is a bitch, but totally worth in the end. Well, so is this... And for many of you, pregnancy and babies are the next step in your lives following the wedding.

So, wish me luck! And don't miss me too much... Thinking BB will be back up and running by the end of August. In the meantime, bridey, I have put together a summer reading list (fan faves and my faves) for your reading enjoyment and education:

1. From Strapless to Fabulous! ~ This one kinda pissed some people off...

2. My Very Own Fantasy... Wedding!

3. The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ Defending Your Right to Choose... The Guestlist ~ Talk about HEATED & CRAZY! The comments (43 of them) from the Erica & Trevor's Real Wedding were absolutely abhorrent. 

4. The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ 5 Tips on How to Not be a Bridey Bitch ~ The cartoon makes me laugh every time!!

5. The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ Why It's Important to Hire a Wedding Planner ~ Sorry, but, DUH!!!!

6. Real Wedding Wednesday ~ A Rustic, Outdoor, Dinosaur, Tattoo & Kickass Cupcake Wedding 

7. The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ What if Your Wedding Vendors Review You, Bridey? ~ Probably one of my favorite posts to date... Would you change your attitude if you knew you were being reviewed?

8. Real Wedding Wednesday ~ A Warm, Gorgeously Romantic, Washington Wedding

9. Fantasy Friday ~ A Super Glam & Gorge, Masquerade Themed Styled Shoot ~ This is SO FUCKING COOL!

10. Real Wedding Wednesday ~ I Found Myself in Wonderland... An Alice in Wonderland Inspired Wedding ~ WOW! Just wow!!!

That's all I got, bridey! I'll still be tweeting, pinning and FaceBooking, so feel free to reach out to BB while I'm on hiatus! Got it? Good! Stay Bitchless! 

XO,

BB

Baby Image via Medical Daily

Real Wedding Wednesday ~ A Gorgeously Awesome, Deliciously DIY, Downton Abbey Inspired, Philly Wedding

Meet Laila and Stephen, the B+G. I think you can tell by the photograph that they are super fun, laid back and are perfectly suited for each other. I mean... that's what happens when you know each other for eleven years before you start dating and ultimately get married. Right? Wow! That's some serious courting!!

But, bridey, there is so much to this wedding, that I really want to get right to it. Grace Winter, with the talented Asya Shirokova Photography, asked the bride and groom some FAB questions which are incorporated within the post. So enjoy, and get inspired!

The dress, where did it come from? My dress was purchased at David’s Bridal. Finding the dress was a bit of a process and we visited variety of types of stores – Lovely Bride boutique, second hand wedding dress store and David’s Bridal. It was important for me to understand the differences and opportunities there might be by investing time and patience in finding my dress.
Who planned the wedding? Steve and I did most of the planning, however, friends and bridal party were a huge help. We hired a day of coordinator (who is an old family friend and daughter duo) who helped think through all the last minute day of needs. This was one of the best decisions we made as they were incredibly helpful and dealt with all the last minute details of the event.

How did you meet? We met at Drexel University and were brought together by mutual friend. We would hang out often, share in the simple joys of listening to records, take road trips and even saw our City’s beloved Veterans Stadium implosion together. We were great friends, which blossomed over 11 years before we started dating.
Who did your flowers? The bridal party flowers were designed by a local florist called Falls Flowers. I became close to the owner through an old job and she was delightful in working through all the creative elements of floral design.

The tables and surrounding area flowers were all put together by my mother and her sisters from Brazil. They chose red roses for the tables as they were my grandmother, their mother, favorite flower and it was a great way to remember and symbolize her presence with us.

We had many DIY projects. Since Stevo works at a brewery, we had access to interesting resources to help customize our day. We made several signs from wood pallets (Welcome the wedding, photobooth and smoking section).
Do you have a tip for other couples that are currently planning their weddings? Realize the things that you care about and stick to your guns. Your family will have opinions in how the day will go. Pick your battles and know when to stick to stand up for things that really matter to you. They will respect you more in the end.

Get a day of coordinator! You don’t want to deal with all the minute details, get someone who will stick up for you. We hired a family friend and it was ideal in that they got the job done and had a great time with our family/friends.

Where did the cake come from? Why this cake flavor or design? What makes this cake unique? Our cake was baked by a family friend, Susan, who has a passion for baking and hopes to open her own bakery someday. She was kind enough to offer her talent to us and created a beautiful and delicious three tiered vanilla and coconut cake.

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ FLASHBACK: I'm Not Going to Say "I Told You So"

***For those of you who have been reading Bitchless Bride for the past few years, then you should recognize this post. The reason I'm re-posting? Well, let's just say that you perhaps you didn't learn your lesson the first time around. Because 2.5 years later, although I'm working with a different bride, I find myself in a similar situation. So, why reinvent the wheel? Right? This was a fantastic post (if I do say so...) So, just read it!!! Because, bridey, I cannot stress enough how important it is to tap into the network of the people you hire to help you plan your wedding. Or else, why bother, right?***

October 2, 2012:

I'm not going to say "I told you so", even though I am absolutely DYING to scream it at the top of my fucking lungs!!! Seriously, I am aching in my soul to tell this bride that she should have listened to me. And although I am a powerful source of knowledge, and definitely not afraid to put people (brides and vendors alike) in their place, I cannot force anybody to do anything once their mind is made up.

So here's the deal brideys, please please please take this to heart. If you hire a wedding planner or have a fantastic relationship with the wedding coordinator at the venue where your wedding is being held, then do yourself and everybody a favor... LISTEN TO THEM. Take their advice, and run with it. Because we do this every day, and you don't. I would never sit at your desk and pretend to know or understand the complexities of each task you manage, so please don't pretend to know and understand all of the aspects that go into wedding planning, even though you've seen it on TV. 

Last night, I had to have an "emergency meeting" with the florist for the wedding I am producing this weekend. The worst part (besides being our 4th meeting with her in five weeks to determine direction)? I was adamantly opposed to using her from the very beginning. Although I thought her aesthetic was lovely, I had my doubts about her, hmmm... how to say this... mental state? Basically, she couldn't articluate her ideas (so that we could fully understand them from a non-florist standpoint), and by the time we finally received a contract from her, it was on a word doc, not locked and missing some key elements such as:

1. The date of the wedding.

2. Particular services rendered (kind of a big deal).

3. The groom's name.

4. Liability clause, hold harmless clause, basically ALL clauses.

5. Etc. Etc. Etc.

So, after I completely rewrote the contract to satisfy my comfort levels (ie: this bitch wasn't going to screw us by not showing up, etc.), I told bridey that I had some serious concerns. And after several rounds on the not-so-merry-go-round, bridey decided to move forward with this lovely, yet completely scattered florist.

Please brideys, part of the reason you hire a wedding planner is to take advantage of the people we know. Use us. Use our network. And for the millionth time, it's not because we get a kickback (although it is nice...), it's because we trust them to show up, to creatively produce, to provide a clear direction, and to do their fucking jobs. If my bridey had gone with a florist in my network; somebody I have worked with on several occasions, we seriously could have eliminated hours of complete anguish, and stress for THE BRIDE (and for me too, but...)

If I had more time, I would tell you about the country bumpkin photographer who is unfamiliar with the venue, and yet has not carved out time to come to the big city to do her homework, and is now freaking out. BUT, because I have to go fix and coordinate all of these details that could have completely been avoided with my trusted group of peeps, I can't get into it. 

Bottom line? Listen to the people who are trying to help. Explore every vendor in our network before using choosing to look elsewhere. And then, and only then, go find somebody else if you aren't satisfied. Got it?

Fantasy Friday ~ Just a "Typical" Story of Girl Meets Boy Doing Good Work in Ecuador

I was completely drawn to this gorgeous wedding because as cheesy as it sounds, I can feel the love and happiness emanating through the screen. From Emily's cool pink wedding dress to the mismatched, mint bridesmaid dresses, and a amazing floral crown, this wedding is totally princess meets hippie with an insanely awesome sense of humor. Considering that Christian and Emily met at a pseudo bullfight in Ecquador (Christian was looking after the animals and Emily was a volunteer), it's safe to say that they bonded over their mutual love for animals. I mean, c'mon... One of their dogs was the ring bearer!! Right?? Did I mention that she is wearing a tutu, rockin' bright red painted nails, and the rings were safely attached to her collar? STFU!

I will let Emily take it from here... But, bridey... Please pay close attention to Emily's advice to future brides. All I'm gonna say is that I've been preaching it all along! 

How did you meet?: I met Christian while working in Ecuador for the non-profit Manna Project International. The day we met we were both volunteering with the Red Cross at a pseudo-bullfight. Christian was serving as the medical head that day and I was just another confused gringa volunteer. Our first "date" was on my 24th birthday when he accompanied a group of crazy gringos on a party bus around Quito.(Surprisingly, he stuck around after this belligerent event and that's when I knew he was a keeper. And the rest, as they say, is history...)

The theme of llamas throughout the day represents his home country of Ecuador (and her family), and the llamas they have rescued (and care for) over the years.

A MAZ ING pic! Amazing!!! 

I can't... It's too good. It's too cute... 

A little or a lot about your proposal...: Christian proposed on the top of a mountain in Vilcabamba, Ecuador. Surrounded by beautiful countryside and gasping for air (the hike was no easy feat), he asked me to marry him :)

What was your absolute "must have"?: A floral crown - my parents were total hippies so I'm a flower-child at heart. (Holy shit. Emily! Your crown is stunning!)

Any advice for other Brides?: If you can afford it, hire a wedding planner! Planning a wedding is a huge undertaking and you don't want to get bogged down with the prep and not be able to enjoy the months leading up to it. I started from 'zero' while wedding planning, knowing absolutely nothing about the process, so I feel I could have saved a lot of time working with someone who was knowledgeable in the field. (Ahem... Even if you hire somebody to help you manage the day, it will be a tremendous relief!)

Also, let Pinterest become your best friend - it is a great resource to discover what you like/what you don't like and what vision you have for your wedding. It's your day, make it reflect you as a couple!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues?: For a while now I had imagined my wedding at my childhood home. It's out in the country - beautiful scenery and llamas, what more could you ask for?! The reception was a unique situation because we actually won a radio auction! We got the venue, dinner, bar, and basic decor for like a 50% discount, AMAZING! (Um, HOLY SHIT!! That's fantastic!!)

Enter the ring bearer... That adorable dog in a tutu, is carrying the wedding rings on her collar!What was the most memorable moment from your wedding?: The ceremony in general, especially our vows. We did them in Spanish but had them printed in English for our guests to follow along. Our officiant was bilingual, which was really special as well.

What was your biggest challenge to overcome while planning?: Time management - I would become really focused on such a silly, minute detail and forget about the big picture. (Yet, another reason why hiring a wedding planner is helpful!) 

Did you use any blogs for inspiration? If so, which one/s?: Green Wedding Shoes was my absolute favorite! All the weddings were unique and special in their own way. (One of BB's faves too!!)

OMG! Love this idea!!! This girl loves reese's too!

Notice the dress change?! GORGE!

Thank you for sharing with BB (and letting all future brides learn from you!!).

Industry Peeps:

Photographer: Oldani Photography
Veils & Headpieces: BHLDN
Photo Booth Equipment: Big Smile Photo Booth
Bakery: McArthur's Bakery
Tuxedo & Mens Attire: Men's Wearhouse
DJ: Now That's a DJ
Specialty Foods: Red Sprinkles Cookies
Bridesmaid Dresses: Shop Ruche
Invitation Designer: SplashofSilver
Floral Designer: Walter Knoll Florist
Caterer: Windows Off Washington

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ How an Unorganized and Arrogant Photographer Can Put a Damper on Your Wedding Day

It was an amazing wedding. Like drop fucking dead amazing... From the deep purple décor to the floating orchids all the way down to the boutonnieres and the blinged out bouquets. A MAZ ING. Clearly, there was a lot to photograph, and it would have been an absolute crime to miss any of the intricate, well-planned (ahem) details. Well, I wish the photographer felt the same way. UGH. This dude... GRRRRR.... This fucking dude! Frankly, it was all I could do not to drop kick his ass and have a total meltdown. But, I am a professional, and having a meltdown (that seriously would have included stomping my foot and screaming at the top of my lungs) in front of my client is something I will never do.

Anyway, a few things were happening here. First of all, I had never worked with this photographer. He was somebody that the groom knew (not sure how well or what the relationship was exactly), and clearly, he was quite new to the biz. That's fine, we all have to start somewhere, but let's just say that I wish his start didn't include me (or my bride). And what do I always say, bridey? If you are hiring a wedding planner or you trust the event coordinator at your venue, then choose to work with vendors in their network. Because when you deviate from the professionals which are tried and true (by said wedding planner or wedding venue), and actually have their reputations on the line, you really do risk missing out on the best day of your life. Sounds dramatic, but it's the reality. And second of all... this asshole was unorganized and arrogant.

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ A Quick & Dirty Etiquette Refresher for All of You Brides to Be!

I feel a rant coming on... And maybe it's because I'm on vacation next week and I feel my patience wearing thin or maybe it's because I'm feeling completely burnt out from the craziness of wedding season, but this bridey really pissed me off. Know why? Well, she was a guest at this particular wedding (I knew she'd be there), and not only did she ask me several questions about her own wedding, comparing décor details and whatnot and even a few logistical questions, but she serial texted me décor ideas that she liked for her own wedding or would things she would change, as I was in the midst of running the event. Yeah... Are you fucking kidding me?

So, my clients obviously knew each other, which is great, but when I'm running the event that I have put my blood, sweat and maybe even a few tears into, get outta my face. Seriously. Bridey, your day will come, and right now, I'm fucking busy making sure this event is flawless and as much as I like you, you don't matter to me right now. You hardly exist. Plus, your wedding isn't for months, and therefore I'm not focused on it as I'm running around checking every last detail for wedding I am orchestrating, TODAY!!!

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ It's Time to Trash the Wedding Day Countdown

Today, I've decided to pick up from where I left off last week… In case you missed my post last Tuesday, I wrote Five BASIC Ways to be The Best Bride Ever! Let's focus on # 4… You know the whole wedding day countdown? The “63 Days Until I’m Mrs. Whogivesafuck” post on FaceBook? Don't get me wrong, some of you need a countdown so that it prompts you to remember to get off your ass and get the shit done for your wedding which has been on your “to do” list for too long. But, for you cray cray brideys (and you know who you are), a wedding day countdown can be your own personal hell. You log into your account on The Knot, and you see that you have 68 days until your wedding, sorry, ONLY 68 days until your wedding, and you break out into a cold sweat, and then proceed to torture the rest of us; namely your vendors.

Outside of constantly seeing wedding countdown shit all over FaceBook, I happen to be working with a bride who EVERY TIME we talk (and that's quite a bit), she tells me how many days there are until the wedding. EVERY FUCKING TIME! I mean, it’s all I can do not to dropkick her ass. Seriously, when she breaks out into the whole number of days, hours, and minutes until her wedding, I reach for the Xanax. And, it's not for her, it's for ME! NOT because I am stressed; this is my job, bridey, I got this, but because I need to calm my body so that I don’t pound this chick!

Bridey, of course you should be aware of how much time you have until your wedding! But, knowing how long you have until your wedding should excite you, not stress you to the point of panic. Because panic makes you say and do shit that isn’t logical.

Real Wedding Wednesday ~ A Beautiful Harmony

I really, really, really love that Melissa and Robert met on eHarmony. I mean, it feels like yesterday, when I first started planning weddings, that people still met in bars... Just kidding (I mean I met my husband in a bar, but we all can't be that lucky now can we?), but seriously? I do remember when meeting online was somewhat of a faux pas. And now, it's totally commonplace. Seriously, today I'm like a walking advertisement for online dating sites! Just read what Melissa had to say about meeting Robert, and the rest of the deets!

Rachel: "Robert & I met on eHarmony. We actually both remember looking at each other’s profiles. After he saw that I viewed his, he emailed me. We started communicating around Thanksgiving in 2010 and just talked for a few weeks. We went on our first date on 12/11/10 at Cuba Cuba in Denver (Robert is ½ Cuban). We hit it off on our first date and the rest is history!"

Yeah... Wedding Paper Divas! Truly stunning invitations, don't you think?I know that I shouldn't tell you this, but I am really proud of how my little mash up of photographs turned out. I am a wedding planner, not a web designer, and I'm pretty proud! Just sayin'...So honest. So lovely.Loving the purple!!Such a proud papa!! Melissa is barely holding it together...

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ Quit F*cking Around, Bridey

**Written by The Peeved Planner"

My Dearest Brides,

Please understand that we, as wedding planners, love you. If we didn't, then we wouldn't be in this business. I love everything about planning a wedding, seeing the plans come together and the big day, and well, it just makes me smile. 

I think back to the time when you and I were just starting out… Looking at venues, sending you off to do tastings, picking out flowers, you know, all the fun stuff. I also think about how you stressed me out more than my 4 yr. old. Ya, you deary, you did that to me. 

Girls (and guys), my job is to narrow down your choices and offer you some that will fit within your budget and style. I offer you a few fab venues out of the 4000 or so that are out there, bakeries that will make the type of cake or desserts you want, hook you up with a bad ass florist, hold your hand while we check out linens, décor and such. Because that’s my job. Basically, it’s my job is to narrow down and weed out the vendors that won’t work for you and offer choices that will, (and have you make a timely decision on which one you like). Did you catch that, bridey? YOU make a timely decision!   

Deciding three days before your wedding to change your mind? Well, that’s pretty ridiculous. Oh, NOW you want your hair and makeup done by "the girl" you met with more than two months ago? Really? And then, not understanding why she isn't available?? Seriously?? Oh, and your friend, the wanna be florist, who you “trust with your life”, you know, the one who said that she might be able to do your flowers, but instead she bailed? (Not going to say, “I told you so.”) Great. So now, here I am begging any and all of the florists in my network (a week before your wedding) to do your arrangements and not upcharge you for the short notice, simply because you decided that you didn’t need a “real” florist even though I begged and pleaded with you to get one. Bridey, I know the wedding is all about you, but having me, and my vendors scramble at the last minute because you can’t or won’t make a decision is pretty crappy.   

Here’s another thing, please don’t lie to me! 

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ Five Signs You are in Desperate Need of a Wedding Planner

I had a lovely meeting with a potential client today. This bride was charismatic, bright and pretty awesome actually... But, all I kept thinking during our meeting was that I got to her in the nick of time! Seriously, this bridey was about to go from pretty awesome to pretty cray cray real fucking fast! And the more she spoke, the more I was able to see it... Seriously, I felt like I was watching myself in some horror movie. You know the ones that make you think you are going crazy, but what you are seeing is really happening?! I swear I saw an invisible crack slowly creeping down her body. It started from the top of her skull and was getting bigger and bigger... It's a good thing she found me or else this chick would have CRACKED! And then? Well, this bridey, bitch would be on the loose!

Sooo, bridey... I starting thinking about the signs when it becomes apparent that you need to hire a planner:

1. Your husband-to-be threatens divorce before you even walk down the aisle. That would suck, right?!! Bridey, it's okay to admit you need help. For some, wedding planning truly is a second job. My advice? Just don't wait until you're in over your head to do it. Get help sooner rather than later.

2. When vodka starts becoming your dinner, regularly... We all hit the sauce during stressful times (I'm legit drinking a delicious vodka tonic right now!), and that normal. But, when the sauce starts becoming a food group? Well, then you many have yourself a little bit of a problem. Brideys, I'm allowed to drink because I am busy planning all of your crazy weddings! Like SEVERAL. But, you? Not so much. If you're turning to the sauce or any vice for that matter, then it's time to call in the big dogs. Okay?

3. Your friends don't want to play with you anymore.... Because you suck...

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ Wedding Planner, Personal Assistant or Bitch?


Last year, I wrote a piece similar to this for the Huffington Post, called Wedding Planner or Personal Assistant? And all I have to say is that I'm glad to know that I'm not alone. If other wedding planners feel the same way, then we MUST be onto something... Right? So, bridey, jot down a few notes... You'll need them!

Written by the "Peeved Off Planner"

I thought I'd include what this wedding planner wrote to me in the same email as the vent...

Hey BB!

I wanted to send you a little vendor vent. I am to the point of ripping my hair out from the past couple of wedding weekends I have had. I work my ass off and when brides start being demeaning I wonder if they are just incompetent or just bitches. So below is a vent. I can definitely expand on it, but I definitely will need a prozac and a glass of wine beforehand.

I am your Wedding Coordinator, not your slave, personal assistant or bitch.

The fact that it is getting to the point where I have to explain to brides what I DO NOT do is unfathomable. Brides, I am planning your wedding, I will be supportive to you over family feuds, bitchy bridesmaid and crazy mothers, but I am not your BITCH. I repeat, I am not your bitch, your slave, or personal assistant. My job is to make sure your wedding runs smoothly, so that you can enjoy the day.

My job is not:

- to make your nail appointment
- pick up groceries for you
- contact your mother about her plans because you just cannot speak to her any more

Yes, I have had brides ask me to pick up groceries for them!