Vendors

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ When the Bride Knows More Than Her Planner... REALLY??

I had to share this vendor vent with you, bridey. And, I had to put it front and center because I think it's safe to say that pretty much every wedding planner I know gets frustrated when the bride (or the couple) thinks she knows more than her planner. It's irritating. It's annoying. It's fucking grounds for dropping you as a client. Seriously, bridey, don't bother hiring a wedding planner if you're going to challenge her/his every move. Do it yourself. Be a DIY bride, and I'm not talking about making your own centerpieces; I'm talking about planning your own damn wedding.

Written by Mrs. Peacock:

Hello! OK, so, I love your blog. As a planner, I feel like it should be required reading for all my brides and grooms. (Ahem... Me too!!) Thanks for giving us vendors a place to commiserate.

Anyways, one of your posts - Bridey, Don't Go Away Mad, Just Go Away!, really resonated with me.

Yes. So. Many. Times. Yes.

How I wish I followed this advice and my own intuition with my last bride + groom. You know those couples who think that they know how to plan a wedding better than their planner does? They often go hand in hand with the my wedding has to look exactly like this million dollar wedding but at a tiny fraction of the price couple? And so often, throughout the planning, you know that these people are going to find reason to be upset about something, so what's the point in bending over backwards to try to make them happy? The type that treat you like you are their personal assistant that they have always wanted to have just to abuse? The ones who flat out refuse to listen to your (and all the other vendors!) skilled advice, and then when things don't go according to plan (just as you told them it would) precisely BECAUSE of their own ill advised choices, they berate you for it? Yeah, it was one of those couples.

I knew I should've walked away in the early stages but I didn't because -and here's the kicker- they were friends of mine. Friends of mine who had hidden the entitled vicious privileged brat side of them very well over the years. Friends of mine who clearly viewed the roles of Bride and Groom as tyrannical King and Queen. And yes, I've learned my lesson working with friends now. But the point is, had I just walked away from what was clearly going to be a losing situation, I could've saved myself a lot of stress, time, heartache, and unfortunately, a friendship.

- Mrs. Peacock

***

Basically, bridey? If you hire a wedding planner, then it's up to you to decide to trust her/him. Make a conscious choice to trust her/him, just as you would with any other professional you hire in any other aspect of your life. If not, then plan it yourself.

Image via Friar Tux Shop

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

And they're nice too... Can you believe it, bridey? Can you believe that a couple so handsome and so loving with each other (and everyone who is lucky enough to make their acquaintance) can be so nice too? I mean, holy shit... Some people just have it all, don't they? Well, good for them! Because in my experience, the peeps who have it all, usually are simply getting back what they give. And Geneva and Kellen must give a whole hell of a lot! I cannot tell you how refreshing it is to hear a statement like this in my industry, "It’s really hard to accurately describe how wonderful it is to photograph a couple that are simply SO NICE that it blows you away." This from Geneva and Kellen's photographer, Jenn of Jenn Ireland Photography.

This coupled with the extraordinary details like sparkly red shoes, a deliciously warm and almost intoxicating ambiance and the love that these two have for each other made me feel like I have been getting through to you, bridey!! It's fucking working!! Bitchless Bride works! Anyway... Enjoy the beautiful details and the beautiful couple.

Um... I need those shoes! (Suddenly, I keep chanting, "There's no place like home. There's no place like home.")Phew, we did it!! Got those FAB shoes on!Def one of my fave first looks!What a fine looking group of maids and men!Love the personalized flasks! Put them to good use boys!

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ ***FOLLOW UP POST*** - A Sometimes Sweet, Sometimes Snide Jekyll and Hyde Bride

Bridey, have you found yourself curious as to how the Jekyll and Hyde bride I told you about in December made out? Has she gotten married? Did I fire her? How was her wedding day? You know, the bride who was SUPER sweet and awesome one second, and then a crazy bitch the next? Well, if you weren't you curious, then you should be because it's juicy. It's meaty. It's dirty. Actually, it's fucking nasty. And, the reason why I'm sharing it with you is so you can learn how NOT to behave if you have issues (or imaginary issues) on your wedding day. Because, bridey, how you handle yourself post-wedding is just as important as you you handle yourself during your wedding planning, particularly if you're looking for compensation.

Unfortunately (for all of us), this bridey bitch was not in a state of euphoria on her wedding day. Quite the contrary... She was emulating Mr. Hyde with her bitchy, self-important bullshit attitude. So, needless to say that her wedding day didn't end well for anybody; vendors and bride alike. Frankly? It was a shitshow (TOTALLY wished I fired her in December!), and the only one to blame is the bride herself. She single-handedly ruined her wedding day with her crazy 'zilla behavior and demeanor. The worst part is that after all of the hard work that went into planning the specifics for "her day", this bridey will have a skewed perception of how her wedding day actually went down. Because the way I see it, there is nothing I'd have done differently. And, I'm not being defensive (let's just say, I'm not the one who took the brunt of the crazy), just honest.

Which leads us to today. She is looking to be compensated for her "losses" (still trying to figure out exactly what those losses are!), and if she doesn't get her way, she is threatening scathing reviews "all over social media oulets". Come the fuck on! Right? Instead of having a conversation, she's hiding behind email, and threatening everybody in her path! WHAT the fuck? SHE is exactly why I wrote "What if Your Wedding Vendors Reviewed You, Bridey"...

It's not in my nature, but I am dying to "leak" her three page email (somewhere where her employer will hopefully see it) listing how she was "wronged" on her wedding day. Does she really think that threats and her loony antics will get her what she wants? I doubt it. In fact, I think it will have an adverse effect... Or at least, I hope it does. 

Bridey, there you have it... I will write a follow up post, to my follow up post, as the bullshit progresses. Godspeed (for all of us).

Image via Bernie Siegel, M.D.

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ Bridey, It's Not What it's Worth to You, It's What it's Actually Worth!

Show me the money, bridey! Seriously, I kinda can't believe we have to cover this. I mean... You've been doing so well, so to have to have this convo with you feels like somewhat of a regression. Look, I am all for saving money (especially as you plan your wedding), but sometimes I think you are borderline insulting when you push your wedding vendors too hard. Particularly if you haven't even hired them yet! Huh? Allow me to explain.

I was shooting the shit with one of my fave hair people as I was getting my locks cut, and as we were chatting, she told me about a bride who had reached out to her, inquiring about the cost for wedding updos, etc., and before my friend could even get a word out, this bride immediately asked if she could do "bridal hair" for $25 per person at the venue site. Now, before I go on, bridey, I just want you to answer a simple math equation. Let's say, this bride had six bridesmaids, okay? So, a total of seven girls (including the bride) getting their hair done on the most important day of this chick's life (just sayin'), and she thinks it's completely acceptable to ask a total stranger to do hair for seven girls for $175 TOTAL? REALLY? I mean... Most of us can't even get our hair cut for less than $50 (I say very generously), and this girl wants to pay $25/pp for wedding hair? Fuckin' lame.

I know I am not making myself very popular with this post, but bridey, surprisingly, this has nothing to do with your wedding budget. I could give a shit about your budget. But, let's face reality, shall we? If my hair person were to accept this job, she would lose money. A lot of money... Simply by being absent from the salon. Not to mention her travel expenses... I've said previously, that I am a huge fan of "if you don't ask, you don't get". But, perhaps some of you need to do your research before you ask (and ultimately waste your time and the time of the vendor).

This is not limited to your the vendor you are selecting for your hair, bridey. All of your wedding vendors field these kind of questions, and it gets pretty tiresome. Not because you can't afford us, but because you haven't done your due diligence. I know that you don't know what things cost in "the industry", in the same way that I don't know what things cost in your industry. But, before I were to throw a number out there (which could be insulting), I would have done the appropriate research and ask about pricing shortly after pleasantries are exchanged. See what I mean? Then you can see if there is a happy medium between the two of you, and if not, then move on; find a vendor that fits your budget.

Image via Taranaki Weddings

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ What if Your Wedding Vendors Reviewed You, Bridey?

I had the opportunity to work with a truly amazing bride this weekend. She was friendly, organized and considerate of every single person who had a hand in the wedding planning. Totally Bitchless. And as I was placing the final touches at the venue, and bullshitting with the DJ, both of us said how great it was working with her because as we both know, it could go either way. And after a few traded horror stories about crazy, bitchy brides of the past, he said, "Wouldn't it be great if we could review them?" I stopped in my tracks... Holy fucking shit. It would be great if we could review our brides. It might even be life changing, for vendors and brides alike. How?

Well, think about it, bridey... If there was an outlet, similar to Yelp, WeddingWire, etc. where following your wedding, your vendors could write a review about you and your behavior/attitude while planning, would that impact how you conducted yourself? Wait! Before you answer the question, allow me to keep going for a bit... What if this outlet was powerful enough to alter the course of your professional life? Similar to the way a negative review can wreak havoc on our business, a negative review could potentially ruin a fantastic job opportunity for you, bridey (like it does for us), get you fired (as it can for us), and completely soil your reputation as you know it.

Imagine if a potential (or even your current) employer "Googled" you, and could read about how you treated your wedding vendors without hearing "your side of the story". Scary, right? Pretty fucked up? Yes! Because in their eyes? These reviews reveal a lot about how you behave under pressure, and how you treat people in the process... Bridey, if you were a raving lunatic or even had one looney moment, you'd probably have some explaining to do or maybe you'd miss a chance to land the next big career move; pretty damaging for some of you. Right?

Now, bridey, answer the question... If there was a site for vendors to review brides in the same way you very publicly review us, would that change your behavior during wedding planning? Would it change how you treat people knowing that your behavior and conduct could leave a lasting impression not only on your vendors, but on your career too?

Image via Box University Blog

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ I Think I Know Why You're Such a Bitch, Bridey

I've made it no secret that I have a love/hate relationship with the wedding industry, and what it has come to represent. Lately, I feel like it has become SO gaudy, SO overdone, SO overpriced and lacks personality... Seriously, bridey, when I wrote my very first entry, "The Industry", I truly believed that we (industry peeps), your wedding vendors and professionals, were just a bunch of masochistic yes-men who perform a job which allows us to get away with our ADD, and an addiction to action and socialization. An industry which started out innocently enough has turned to shit. With all of the garbage on TV, and million dollar weddings strewn across blogs and magazines, it seems like a bride who simply wants to get married to the love of her life, will have to go broke in the process as she attempts to achieve wedding greatness. Right? I mean... Holy fuck! How'd we get here?

Well, I have an idea... As addicted as I am to Pinterest, I still love to curl up with my favorite bridal magazines and thumb through the pages. I try to picture myself as a newly engaged bride; completely ignorant as to what is about to take over my life for the next year or so. It's one of the ways I stay current, and try to adjust my perspective, which in turn helps me deal with bitchy brides. Besides shoe shopping, it's one of my very favorite girly things to do. And, the other day, as I was enjoying a latte and checking out one of my fave bridal mags... I nearly choked on my epiphany. 

Specifically, I was looking at a "must have" page or some page implying that any bride would have to be crazy to do without the pictured goodies, and I choked. Because after I whipped out my iPhone calculator I realized that if a bride were to purchase all of the "must haves" on the page, it would cost close to $40,000!!! OMG! WHAT the fuck? No wonder why brides lose their minds!! It's stressful enough to plan your wedding, but to feel like you're missing out on a "must have" every time you troll the pretty wedding blogs or wedding magazines? Totally preposterous! No wonder why you're such a bitch!! We all get bitchy when we really want something that we can't have, right? I mean... These mags are dangling the carat, actually the three carat, when you can only afford the simple carat on your hand... That would make me pretty angry too.

Listen, I'm not excusing shitty behavior, bridey. Because if you're nice to the peeps helping you plan your wedding, then you'll be treated better and perhaps land a few perks, but what I AM saying is that I understand your behavior a little more than I did with each turn of the glossy... Words of advice? Sounds trite, but stay true to yourself. Stay true to who you are as a couple. Just because you are overwhelmed (daily) with what "the perfect wedding" represents, doesn't mean you have to follow suit if it's not perfect for you! Seriously! Look at the real weddings I post on Bitchless Bride! They are all completely different, with different budgets and different qualities that are important to each bride and groom, and that is on purpose!! 

Bridey, try playing hard to get when it comes to planning your wedding. Be inspired and appreciate the blogs and the glossys, but do try to keep it all in perspective... Got it?

Image via mra marketing

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ FLASHBACK: Am I Supposed to Tip These People???

***Brideys, for those of you who have been reading Bitchless Bride since inception, then you should recognize this post. This was one of my very first posts on BB; one that received 19 comments (when I had like no fanbase!). The reason I'm sharing this with you again? Because I'm proud of you, bridey! So many of you have been inquiring about who to tip, so that rather than reinvent the wheel, I thought I would share it again. Right? So, just read it and learn!!! And, don't forget to tip your vendors! (And check out all of the comments!!)***

November 29, 2011:

"Am I supposed to tip these people?" I will never understand why this even a question. The question SHOULD be, “Who should I tip, and how much?” not “Am I supposed tip these people?” Think about it… Tipping is a token of appreciation and gratitude for a job well done… Perhaps it isn’t as obvious to those of you not in “the industry”, but to put it into perspective… Would you leave an incredible dinner at your favorite restaurant without tipping? Well, consider this the dinner of your life. So, express your sincere gratitude to those lovely people that had a hand in the most important day of your life with some cash. Put this as a line item in your budget from the get-go. Please note, it’s important for me to state that if you don’t feel as though you received extraordinary service from any of these professionals, then skip it. But for now, allow me to take you back to grade school... Who? What? When? Where? Why?

Who Should I Tip and Why?

Tip anybody who had a hand in your wedding. I don't care if the woman who did your duchess ‘do owns her own shop. Do you love your hair? Well then tip her! I own my own shop too, and you know what? After a year of working with you, I shoulda charged more... A tip makes it all feel better.

Tip the wedding manager in charge of your wedding at that fancy venue of yours. Why? Well, first of all, I can assure you that they don't make nearly as much money as you think they do. And, secondly you probably have no idea how many hoops they had to jump through to get the job done, and done well. Don’t forget the banquet manager.... This person(s) literally made the floor plan come to life for your wedding. And while we are at it… remember the head server (or captain as they are sometimes called), bartenders, servers, etc. Basically, the whole crew. And, don’t forget the chef! Especially if your food rocked! 

Photographers, florists, DJs oh my!!! Yes, tip them too. All of them… The same rule goes for the photographers as with the hair peeps. Most own their own shop, and all of the verbiage online says to tip their assistant and not the owner. I completely disagree with this thought process. If you have a great photographer, it will show in pictures and can truly change the story of your album. Throw them a few bucks.

A few more peeps to consider: officiant, limousine driver, and caterer…

What should I tip?

Listen, I know that your wedding probably costs a lot more than you anticipated when you initially started planning the details, and I am certainly not about to assume anybody’s finances. So my best advice to you is to use your best judgment. If you’ve chosen wisely, then the wedding professionals you’ve hired aren’t cheap, and the last thing you want to do is throw more $$$$ at them. However, if you feel like they’ve done an exceptional job, then show them. A tip is never expected, just appreciated. If you are uncomfortable giving them cash, go for an AMEX gift card or a gift certificate to a fabulous restaurant. 

When and where should I give them their tip?

Most vendors receive their tip at the end of the night. Designate somebody you trust (like one of your parents) to handle this for you. Obviously tip your hair and make-up people before they leave wherever you are getting ready. And finally, I’d tip the chef (or caterer), wedding manager and banquet manager a day or two prior to the wedding. By giving them their tip ahead of time, odds are they will want to “earn” it by providing even more exceptional service.

There you go my bubbling brides… I hope this helps clear the air. Remember, every professional you’ve hired to be a part of your wedding day is in the service industry. In this country we reward good service, so quit being a cheap bitch and take care of the people that helped you set the tone for the rest of your lives!

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 ~ A Replacement Venue, An Almost Replacement Heart and a Love Story

Damn. Jen and Daniel are one hell of a couple. Seriously. Talk about having to deal with their fair share of shit even before becoming husband a wife... These two strong individuals certainly make one solid couple! During the wedding planning, Jen found herself in the hospital for weeks with heart failure. Thankfully, she pulled through even without a transplant (which is absolutely AMAZING!) as her heart began to slowly heal itself. Daniel refused to leave her side, and then took on the bulk of the planning so that Jen did not have to endure the stress. And, bridey? Besides the emotional roller coaster of heart failure (oh my goodness!), they lost their wedding venue due to the asshole owners shutting their doors, and taking their money with them. WHOA... Because that's not stressful... WTF???

Being the amazing (and quite handsome) guy that Daniel is, he reached out to Brooke of Brooke Taylor Studios, and wrote the following absolutely heartwrenching (no pun), and sincere letter: Good evening, my fiancé and I have been dealing with having to find a new venue for our wedding that we had already sent out the save the dates to. In April, my fiancé Jen got sick and ended up at UW Hospital with heart failure. She was at the top of the transplant list but her heart slowly ended up healing itself. A few weeks ago, she finally got out of the hospital and we started up planning our wedding again. I am trying my best to make sure she does not have to do much or stress since her heart is still healing. It would mean a great deal to us if you were able to do the photography for us. Our wedding date is planned to be on October 5, 2014 and will be somewhere around the greater Seattle area once we narrow down the replacement venue. Thank you so much for offering this opportunity.

Stunning wedding dress, and truly beautiful bridesmaid dresses (you don't hear that too often!)...
I mean... Holy shoes!!!
Passing notes...
I think dogs in weddings is on the rise. How cute is this pooch?!

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ Trust the Process... When Time is Not of the Essence

Sooo... I gotta say, I really lucked out this weekend. I worked with awesome clients who not only trusted me unequivocally, but also took my advice, hired vendors in my network and then let me do what I do best... Plan their event (and got the hell out of my way so I COULD do my job)! Because that is what I do best, brideys. Plan. And when you're in my face bossing me around and getting involved without fully understanding the nature of the beast (that is your event), you're only hurting yourself. Why? Well, let me explain.

Yesterday morning, over a delicious boozy brunch, I was chatting with a vendor friend of mine who wasn't as lucky as I was with her bride from the weekend. Her client just couldn't let go. This chick micromanaged every single detail to the point of nearly ruining her wedding for the sake of being on time. Really? I'm sorry, but that's fucked up. I've said it a million times, bridey. It's not about the time things happen, it's about the order and flow in which they take place. The order of events will always trump the time they take place.

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ Tipping... Honestly? It's Always Expected and Always Appreciated

As I come off of my high from the weekend filled with super successful events, I am even more elated because this girl is on her way to go get herself some absolutely not needed new shoes. Why? Well, because first of all, I am awesome, but more importantly because I got a fat tip from one of my clients. Did I expect it? Sure did. But, even though I expected a tip doesn't always mean that'll I receive one, regardless of how much my client "loves me, and couldn't get through it without me." Call me an asshole, but it's true. I expected and this time I received. 

Sounds terrible, right? Yeah, I know it does, but I also know that no matter how much time and energy I put into planning every wedding and event, I don't get paid nearly enough. None of your wedding vendors do, bridey. Because all of us are focused on staying competitive (with each other), even if it means taking a hit financially. And quite frankly, usually the breakdown in hours spent ensuring your wedding day is going to be fucking sensational, is about that of an hourly employee at McDonald's. Actually, I bet in some cases, they make more dough then we do. Because, never mind how much we charge, nine times out of ten you're always going to get more than you paid for... It's just the nature of the the industry. We say "yes" a hell of a lot more than any other industry.

Bridey, I have written quite a bit about tipping your wedding vendors, and have also had guest bloggers write about tipping your wedding vendors. Bottom line? TIP YOUR FUCKING WEDDING VENDORS.

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ I'm Not Going to Say, "I TOLD YOU SO!!!!"

Yeah, I'm feeling kinda ranty today. Honestly, I'm fucking exhausted. I'm so tired of being the shrink, mediator, personal assistant, and hand holder. This wedding season has been awesome and brutal all at the same time! Seriously, I feel completely bipolar because one day, I am absolutely elated; lovin' life and my clients, and the next, I am down in the dumps wishing I had a chosen to do something else with my life. Something that didn't require so much brain power; something where my "product" wasn't dependant on people and their ever-changing ideas and opinions.

This wedding season, I've had some truly amazing clients who really understand that there is life beyond their wedding day, and then I've also had some clients who are so self absorbed and seem to have some serious issues with sharing. That's an odd thing for me to say, huh? I guess it is... Why don't I explain with a story...

Recently, I worked with a client who was absolutely OBSESSED with the fact that her gorgeous and extremely popular venue had the nerve to have another event booked in their ballrom prior to her big day. Outrageous, right? I mean, how could they have the audacity to maximize their profit on a busy Saturday in June? Yeah... hoping you're picking up on my sarcasm... Anyway, almost every single conversation we had either started with or ended with a diatribe, asking me if "I could believe that they had another party ending so close to the beginning of her wedding." Perhaps I am somewhat immune to a tight turn (meaning that the venue and vendors have a short period of time to flip an event space from one party to the next), but a two hour window is nothing; easy peasy. In fact, there are plenty of us (vendors, wedding planners, etc.) who have turned a room in an hour! But, no matter how hard I tried to explain this to my client, she would not HEAR me. And goddamn if I wasn't annoyed.