Look how beautiful!!! Seriously, could ya' bust? Totally reminds me of my fantasy bachelorette party post!! Now, imagine getting married on a mountain top, and then partying the night away at this beautiful venue. Right? Can I get a, "fuck yeah"?!! Seriously, talk about a memorable evening (or weekend!)! And, know what I absolutely love about Jessi (and Nick)? This girl had the balls to get married outside (as in host the ceremony outside!!) in March! WOW! That's pretty impressive and unique! Although, when you see all the incredible deets, bridey, you won't be too surprised.
Pepper, with Pepper Nix Photography, (my new FAVE and FAB photographer!) asked the bride quite a few questions about her wedding plans, overall experience, etc. My favorite? Scroll down and see Jessi's advice for future brides.... Clearly, Jessi was a Bitchless Bride! Enjoy!
Hello GORGEOUS canary diamond... WOW!!!I love this photograph...OBSESSED with the shoes and the gold toes!Why a Mountain Wedding? Nick and I love to ski. It is something we have been doing since we were very young. Additionally, when we first started dating it was something we did together several times a week. We also love, love, love the mountains, fresh air, and fantastic perspective their majesty brings!
Lovin' the ass grab!I love the wedding dress and the snow boots!I had all my bridesmaids pick their own dresses. I told them blue, above the knee, and no sleeves. They all picked out dresses that were incredibly flattering and somehow it worked out. Additionally they all wore printed black tights. I bought them coats and boots to keep them warm. One of my bridesmaids, Christina, made muffs (instead of flowers) and we all had a fantastic time making crass poses with them. (HA! Obviously, BB LOVES this!)
So so so cute! What brand new elements did you bring to the day? Getting married outside in the snow. The planner was a bit apprehensive, but I stuck to my guns and am glad I did.Best pic ever!! Did you follow that tradition and if so, what did you use? Yes, yes, yes...Old was my mothers ring in my bouquet, new was my dress, borrowed was ring from my aunt Ginny that she wore on her wedding day, and blue was my shoes.
Any advice you have for future brides? Take a deep breath when you are up front and look at everyone who is supporting you. Two, don't get so caught up in the details that you forget what you are doing, joining two people together. Three, surround yourself with people you love...don't be obligated to invite people or put people in your bridal party who you don't want there. Four, hire someone to do things the day of...it was the best decision we made. Five, make a weekend of it. We did a pub crawl on Friday night and it was so fun. We had many activities and stayed together, so it felt like a vacation!
Look at this room, bridey! OMG! So warm and beautiful without being overdone!Such a romantic couple!What did you serve? A sit-down plated dinner of our signature pistachio nut encrusted Utah trout with local wild mushroom and truffle mashed potatoes, grilled filet mignon and a vegan friendly grilled polenta cake napoleon with a smoked tomato puree. We wanted something less traditional, so we opted for a brown cake with swirls. Honestly, Nick and I were hanging out with my aunt and she asked us a couple questions about what we liked and what we absolutely didn't want. In the end we told he she had complete creative control and the cake was deish! So many people came up to us and told us it was the best cake they had ever had, maybe it was because there was no fondant!
The other day, I tweeted that I've been brunching so much that I really think I am subconsciously aspiring to be a "lady who lunches". But, how could I leave all of this? (I say super sarcastically...) Leave all of you? I mean, what would my life be like without you crazy bitch brideys? The truth is, I couldn't leave planning (and know how to function). And, that fact became brutally clear to me during brunch yesterday as I was surrounded by some of my favorite peeps in the whole wide world. Actually, not the whole wide world, but in my world; "the industry". You see, all of us work in hotels or private planning and deal with the craziness of the hospitality culture, the constant need to say "yes", and the brutal hours. But, as we got to talking it became clear to me what I needed to write about today. You! And, your cray cray attitude.
Bridey, based on the anecdotes and sheer hilarity that took place during brunch, I thought I would give you a few tips on how not to be mental while planning your wedding! So, here it goes...:
10 Behavioral Characteristics to Avoid While Planning Your Wedding:
1. Entitlement: Bitch, please... I don't work for you; I am attempting to work with you. I am your vendor. I am the chick busting my ass at a fancy hotel, or country club or I'm a private event planner, photographer, DJ or or or... And all I am trying to do is help you achieve "the dream". So, knock off the bullshit, drop the entitlement, and let me do my job... Without hating you. Trust me, nothing pisses us off more than some bitch who thinks she is better than the rest of the world. You'll get more out of your vendors if you're nice. PERIOD.
2. Moodiness: Look, we're women... And, I've heard that we tend to get a bit moody when we're stressed. Right? But, as your vendor, I am not your punching bag or your Xanax. And you know what? I can be just as moody as you, bridey, but I have mastered the concept of "faking until I make it". Have you?
3. Perfectionism: I strive for perfection too (um, I'm what they call super detail oriented), bridey, but I also know when my best is good enough. And, I suggest you start learning how to do the same. It's really amazing, but you can have the "perfect" wedding day, and still have shit go wrong. Seriously, I think every single recently married bride will tell you the same thing. And, I know that with the amount of money you're spending, comes pressure for perfection, but please remember, above everything else, comes the person you are marrying...
4. Irrationalism: Do I really need to say more? Bridey, when you feel yourself starting to go off of the deep end, go for a walk, workout, get your nails done or whatever... Basically? Take a break and use the time to think things through. I promise, the craziness will pass if you give it chance. But, you gotta give a little.
5. Procrastination: Procrastination fucks us all up. Your wedding vendors, that is. Bridey, if you procrastinate, then it slows down the entire process for all of your wedding vendors. It's a total domino effect, and it all starts with you. For instance, if you need to make a decision regarding your floral arrangements, do it. Now. If not, you may not get what you want on your wedding day. And, then you put your florist in the position to rush an order or feel as though she is harassing the bride. Not good. (And, not for nothing, but, if you're renting linen, a lot will depend on your arrangements, etc., hence the domino effect...)
6. Indecisiveness: Indecisiveness can be just as annoying as procrastination. It's like you're procrastinating because you're indecisive, and, that's fucking annoying.
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 other day, a friend of mine asked me who my dream bride would be. Huh? Of course, I immediately asked if she was serious or if she was fucking with me. She assured me that she was dead serious, and then said, "if you could design your dream bride, what would "she" be like?" Oooooooo.... This was getting interesting! Right? If nothing else, it certainly got me thinking... What DOES my dream bride look like? And, with Christmas just a few days away, and millions impending proposals and engagements on the horizon, the timing of her question seemed appropriate. Just think... If even just 90% of you, brideys, read this post right after your engagement, then my job is done! So, here it goes... Bitchless Bride's Dream Bride:
1. My dream bride would remember who she was before she got engaged! Kinda the whole point of my blog, right? Just because you're engaged, doesn't give you the right to be a bitch. Remember, what you put out there is what you'll get back. So, bridey, if you're nice to people (vendors, bridesmaids, etc.), then they will be nice to you. They will do nice things for you. They will go out of their way for you. However, if you are a total bitch, then you'll get the bare minimum from those around you. Seriously, why would your bridesmaids go out of their way for you if they are beginning to hate you? Same goes for your vendors. If you treat them like shit, why should they go above and beyond? Right? Consider this a fact.
2. My dream bride would remember WHY she wanted to get married in the first place... Um, the dude or the chick your want to spend the rest of your life with... Your sig other! PERSPECTIVE!! See the girl in the picture? She's happy! And, you should be too! You're marrying the love of your life!! (And if you're not, then that's a whole other blog post!)
Bridey, I eloped, and I know that eloping isn't for everybody, but all I could think of at the time was that I loved my hus, and we had a shitload of family dynamics that could have presented themselves at the worst possible time. But, no matter what? I wanted to be with the dude. So, even if we had stuck to the plan and had a big wedding, all I wanted was him...
3. My dream bride would treat people with respect (friends, family, vendors). Piggybacking off of number one... Don't be a bitch. Treat people with respect. It's so simple and basic (human decency), and yet oftentimes it gets lost when the wedding planning gets stressful or emotions become extreme. Just remember to breathe, bridey, and be nice. It will be well worth it!
4. My dream bride would trust me (and all of the other professionals she hired) unequivocally. She would trust that if we are working together, that I know what I am doing, and let me do it. Don't get in my way. Don't think that because your maid of honor (MOH) got married a month ago that we should listen to her (or whothefuckever). Just let me take your dream, and run with it (with established boundaries, of course)!
5. My dream bride would skip the micromanaging bullshit. Again, you have to trust me, and let me present you with the applicable details. Bridey, your vendors are not going to share the nitty gritty with you, and honestly, you don't want to know all of the behind the scenes shit that you are missing. Just back off,
You know how I perpetually say that wedding planning always comes together in the end? Well, I lied. Wedding planning always comes together in the end if you have a fucking fabulous wedding planner like me, but if you don't, then you might be in some trouble. So, for all of you "newbies" or newly engaged brides, sit down and listen to me. Actually, why don't all of you, brideys, have a seat. Because after this past weekend, I clearly have some more educating to do.
It's no secret that I am a big fan of hiring a wedding planner to orchestrate your wedding plans. Be it a wedding planner who will help secure all of the details from start to finish or a "day of" wedding planner who jumps in a few weeks to a month prior to the big day, or a something in-between the two, but allow me to say it again. BRIDEY, HIRE A WEDDING PLANNER! Just do it. You know why? Because I single-handedly saved a wedding this past weekend. I did. Go me.
Okay... So I am being a touch melodramatic, but here's what happened. I was working with a truly amazing couple. Really, I swear, I'm not writing this with an ounce of sarcasm! Anyway, they were so amazing that several guests wanted to say a few words (or many, many words) about this amazing couple, and as lovely as that was, it was fucking up my perfectly sculpted timeline of events for the evening. And the DJ kept allowing these people to take the mic without clearing it with me first (great guy, but not in my network of trusted vendors)... NOT COOL!
Most of you probably don't think that this is a big deal. I mean, what's wrong with guests who wish to take the mic for a few? Well, it becomes a chain reaction.
It seems like every wedding planner I speak to during this insanely busy time tells me the same thing… “OMG, I really love this bride, but…” Or, “This fucking bride is driving me crazy because...” So, because I really, truly want to help YOU, bridey, get the most out of your wedding planner, be it the one you’ve hired independently or the catering manager you’re working with at a hotel or resort, I thought it would be helpful if I shared a few of these… hmmm… “insights” so that you can get the absolute best out of your planner, and not have her (or him) hate you.
Here it goes:
1. Don’t be a micromanager. Just don’t do it. Bridey, I know that some of you have great big jobs that require you to be in control of a large team or an enormous budget, etc., and that’s fantastic. But, please don’t let that spill over into MY domain. The reason I'm in charge is because you don’t know shit about planning a wedding, and I do. Listen, bridey, I'm not telling you something you didn't already know! Right?? So, let me do it! Stop trying to control me! Wedding planning is MY full time job, so please, give me some room to do it. I mean... You are well aware of this fact because you are the one who hired me. So, back off… Let me handle the details without having to run each decision by you first.
2. Don’t be a penny pincher when it comes to paying me! When the penny pinching begins, I seriously want to bang my head against the wall… HARD! It tells me that you clearly have no idea just how much I am doing for you, and dammit, I deserve to get paid for the four hours I spent attending an “emergency planning meeting” with your mother.
3. Don’t confuse me for your therapist. I love to listen. I really do, but
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:
Good afternoon Mr. General Manager,
Please excuse the tardiness of this note; however it's taken me a while to determine exactly how I wanted to praise an absolutely incredible manager I had the pleasure of working with at your venue. Ms. Sarah Smith and I began our journey together last August 2011 upon signing the wedding contract of Ms. Amanda Frank and Mr. Samuel Counter to be married at your venue on October 13, 2012. We signed the contract with your sales team after much back and forth finally agreeing on the terms and conditions presented to us.
Sarah was quick to reach out and introduce herself. I immediately found her to be extremely knowledgeable, friendly and encouraging. And that was just the beginning...