Wedding Vendors

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ Bridey, It's Time to STOP Apologizing! Except When You do These 10 Things...

I've stopped apologizing. Seriously. I'm done apologizing for stupid shit. Sure, if I make a mistake or if I owe somebody an apology, then I will apologize to them, but other than that? I'm all done. I'm done apologizing when it's unnecessary. And you know what, bridey? You should be too. Seriously, ever find yourself in somebody's way at the store and realize that your very first instinct is to say, "I'm sorry"? Have you ever stopped and wondered why? Because, are you really sorry for looking at the same t-shirt or cereal as somebody else at the same time? I'm not. But, we are wired to think that we are inconveniencing somebody somehow simply by standing where we're standing. And lately? If I'm not done looking at the t-shirt in question (or reading the cereal box), then I'm not moving, and I'm not sorry. Good for you BB, but... how is this relevant to wedding planning? Well, bridey, you do it all the time! You apologize unnecessarily, and then you don't apologize when it's necessary!

Look, I promise to tell you when you need to apologize, but apologizing because you don't understand terms of a vendor contract or because you can't wrap your head around a service you are paying for? That's just silly! It's important for you to understand everything you are paying for and receiving, and frankly it's important for you not to apologize in the process.

Bridey, I know that I have spent a lot of time busting your chops for your sometimes entitled bullshit behavior, but I've also made it a point to educate you and stand up for you while you plan your wedding. Because I understand that it's difficult to plan a wedding on top of the countless other responsibilities you are busy juggling. I understand that most of you haven't had the pleasure of wedding planning, and therefore you have a lot of questions. It's normal, and it's okay. So, rather than apologizing for it, own it! You're not supposed to have all of the answers. You're not supposed to know what makes "the industry" tick or how attrition works in regards to food and beverage or guest rooms, etc.. So, it's completely acceptable for you to ask questions and get answers. No apology necessary.

When should you say you're sorry? Here are the top 10 moments when an apology is necessary: 

1. Apologize when you're being an entitled bitch. We get it, you're getting married! It doesn't give you carte blanche to be mean.
2. Apologize for getting pissed off because a vendor had the audacity to work on Saturday and couldn't meet you when you wanted them to.
3. Apologize for not being flexible with your vendors (see #2).
4. Apologize for being rude to your mom, sig other, MOH, etc. in front of your wedding vendors.
5. Apologize for monopolizing all of my fucking time going over and over the flowers, décor, linens, etc., etc., etc., once we've already made a decision.
6. Apologize for not being able to make a decision. Promptly.
7. Apologize when you miss an appointment because you had to get to the gym. REALLY!?
8. Apologize for keeping me waiting (see #7).
9. Apologize when you say you need a "quick minute to chat", and an hour goes by.
10. Apologize for paying your deposits, final payments, etc. late.

Bridey, this list could be a hell of a lot longer, but what I'm hoping you'll take away from this article is knowing and understanding when you should apologize, and when you shouldn't. Got it? Good! Stay Bitchless! 

Image via The Odyssey Online

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ A Bride Without a Ring, and a Wedding Without a Date

Bridey, have you heard the phrase, "No ring, no bring."? Usually this is in reference to whether or not one of your guests can bring a date to your wedding, but today, I am applying a new meaning to the phrase... How about, "No ring, no bring... YOUR ass in for an appointment. Because there is nothing I hate more than a "bride" without a ring. And, you know what? I'm not alone. Because all of us (your wedding vendors), have wasted a ton of time describing and selling our services, showcasing venue space, and bending over backwards for a "bride" without a ring. And guess what happens next? The "bride" doesn't get engaged, or the engagement is much further down the road than she thought, or the sig other wasn't "the one", blah blah blah...

Look, I know it's exciting just thinking about getting engaged, but it really doesn't count unless one of you has done the asking and one of you has done the accepting. Right? So, making appointments (or... eeeek, just walking into a venue without an appointment) is actually rude. I mean, it's like test driving a car knowing that you have another year on your lease or house hunting without establishing your budget. Honestly? It's a fucking waste of time, and just like you, wedding vendors are busy. So, if you're a future bride-to-be, it's totally cool that you're starting to explore weddingy things, and weddingy blogs, and all things weddingy, etc. because you're exploring on your own time, but when it begins to spill over onto my watch? Well, that's when you've gone too far.

Look, bridey-to-be, I'm not judging you, I swear! I get that you are excited about the next step in your life, and that you want to be prepared. It's a thrilling phase! And, planning a wedding is a huge undertaking, so why not get a head start? Right? And, depending on where you live, securing a venue and popular vendors can be brutal. But, as much as I am not judging you right now, I will start judging you the second you make start making arrangements for your wedding without a date, as a bride without a ring. For now? Stick to Pinterest!

The worst part of this equation is that these bride-to-be wannabes are usually quite lovely, and are simply letting their anxiousness about getting engaged get the best of them. I know because I have met with these almost brides, and sadly, when I follow up with them, they're either still in a holding pattern or they've broken up. And as badly as I feel (particularly when it's the latter scenario), I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a little piece of me that would be pissed off upon hearing the news. Totally an involuntarily feeling, but often, the first thought to cross my mind following the conversation. Because, no matter the situation, nobody wants to feel as though their time has been wasted, especially when there are engaged brides out there willing to make a commitment.

So, wannabe-bridey, thinking that your engagement is around the corner? Congratulations! But, hold the champagne, and the planning, until you've got a ring on it... Got it?

Image via Genesis Diamonds

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ The BEST Advice from the BEST Wedding Vendors in Boston!

Bridey, today's post is like hitting the jackpot of wedding planning. SERIOUSLY. If you are recently engaged or are in the midst of planning your wedding, stop what you're doing, and focus because you are about to be educated by the BEST in the wedding biz! I asked some of my absolute FAVORITE vendors in the Boston area to share the best piece of advice about planning a wedding, and these peeps? Well, they completely spilled the beans. I mean... There is so much wedding planning goodness in this post, that I could fucking chew it!!!

I rarely say cheesy shit like this, but this is a must read!! So, are you ready to learn? Ready to say, "Thank you, Bitchless Bride!!" Good! You're welcome! 

Wedding Planners:

When you are newly engaged, you tend to become inundated with information overload and it can be daunting to say the least.  My advice to newly-engaged couples is to forgo the route of hiring all of your vendors until you’ve secured the right, professional, experienced wedding planner. Some couples feel it’s best to hire a “day of” coordinator and do the rest themselves, only to learn how much money could have been easily saved by avoiding costly mistakes and uneducated decisions along the way. The right planner should be your guide, your educator, your confidant, your representative along the way and you need to put your trust into this person as they do this every day and truly look out for your best interests from the start. 

Paula Marrero ~ Marrero Events 

My advice to new brides: Don't panic, it's all overwhelming at first but it's important to book the top 3 first-top priorities (if you're not working with a planner) are to find your venue, photographer and band--then breathe!  I also advise brides to wait to design the space until about 6 months before the wedding... You'll be able to have a couple months thinking about ideas, pinning on Pinterest , etc... I find that so many of my clients go in with one idea and once they've relaxed and see what is out there or trending in their wedding year they change their idea of what their wedding looks like--so ultimately they get what they want instead of what they thought they wanted--big difference! 

Amy Kimball ~ Amy Kimball Events 

Invitations:

Invitations are the introduction of your wedding to your friends and family; they set the tone for the event. You can’t just get a quote as there are a lot of factors to consider such as quantity, quality, type of inserts, type of print, etc. There is a lot more involved then most people realize. So, plan accordingly.

Mara Weiner ~ Allure Invitations

Cake:

Be your own "bride" ...don't worry about what family, in-laws, friends & co-workers want for YOUR WEDDING. Follow what YOU have wanted & dreamed about. 

Paula Kirrane ~ Icing on the Cake

Entertainment:

Once your venue is booked, the next step is to lock in your entertainment. In order to get the best DJ or band out there, you have to book well in advance. Remember, first and foremost? Your guests are going to remember if they had a good  time. That’s why good entertainment is vital.

Always ask your entertainment vendor about their other recommended services. This is how you get the best deals without making a laundry list of phone calls. They may already have what you need and could save you time and money without sacrificing quality.

Mike Amado ~ Entertainment Specialists

Photographers:

Lately couples are asking me if they should do the "first look". My answer is always YES! The first reveal is always so sweet. The moment is far more emotion and allows for a more intimate/private moment with just the couple. 

Some brides envision this grand moment when they are walking down the aisle, and the groom is sobbing… However, in reality, in a traditional formal setting with 200 people looking at you… The groom often looks like a deer in head lights. Not at all the magical moment you think it will be! So yes, do a first look! 

Lauren Killian ~ Person + Killian Photography

Don’t do a winter e-session! People look freezing, and are super uncomfortable. Nothing like having dirty snow and branches coming out of everyone's heads! Wait until the spring when the temperatures are higher, and the trees start to bloom. I highly suggest April-November.

~ Anonymous Photographer

Cinematography:

1. Make sure that your photographer and videographer work well as a team. Even better, choose a team where your photographer and videographer have worked together and enjoy the experience.

2. Ask your prospective wedding film maker how they operate during the wedding day. Will they have lights on their cameras? Will they be on the dance floor circling the couple during the first dance? Will they stand behind the officiant during the ceremony - Or will they stake out spots based on experience and fade into the decor?

3. Ask your toasters to limit toasts to under 5 minutes. 3 is even better. There’s not much they can say (that won’t be dumb or embarrassing) after a couple of minutes.

4. Invite your guests to leave their phones and cameras in their pockets or purses. You’re paying for pros to document your wedding - don’t let the amateurs get in the way!

5. When considering wedding cinematography, check out the sound  as well as the images of potential pros. Capturing pristine sound of your grandfather’s blessing and knowing how to integrate it with music and image, is a complex art form. Don’t settle for pretty pictures if you already have a photographer you love. When it comes to film making, sound is 60% or more.

6. If you desperately want a top notch film maker to capture your wedding, and have a limited budget, consider one of the following:

a. Grab pics from the HD / 24 Frames per second of the video capture and forego the photographer.

b. Hire the film maker you want and see if you can work out a payment plan that works for you.

c. Opt for the best film maker you can afford, ask them to produce a short highlights now, and wait until you’ve financially recovered to have them edit the feature film.

Naomi Raiselle ~ Generations Cinemastories 

Florist:

The Best way to trim your budget is to trim you guest list (it literally makes every line item more affordable - period, the end)! (AMEN!!!!!!)

If you "absolutely love and have to have peonies" - know that you absolutely MUST select a wedding date in May or early-June!

Bring as few people to each and every appointment that you book ... the less opinions, the less stressed out you will be!

~ Anonymous Florist

And there you have it... You're welcome, bridey!!! Now, all you have to do is listen to the professionals trying to help you.

Image via The Perfect Job

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ Bridey, Did You Know You're My Only Client? Oh Wait...

Why don't you just lift your leg and pee on me? Huh? What the fuck are you talking about BB? Well, I'm talking about how territorial brides become once they secure their wedding vendors. Seriously, it's like they literally become bitches (in the doggie sense of the word), claim you as their possession once they pay the deposit, and piss all over you. I swear, the wedding industry is the only industry where this seems to be the case, and where vendors work super fucking hard to make brides feel like they are in fact their only client...

I mean, can you imagine if this was acceptable or the norm in any other industry? Clients becoming jealous or needy because their hairdresser has cuts hair for some other chick, or that their real estate agent shows houses to other potential buyers or their project manager manages other projects? Yeah... wouldn't happen. It needs to stop. And now. And, the more I thought about it, the more it bugged me that this is the norm, so I thought I'd try to get to the bottom of why most brides seem to hate the idea of their wedding vendors having other clients... So, here are the three big ideas I had as to the reasons behind this craziness, and some ideas as to how we can fix it. Ready?

1. Exclusivity... Or lack thereof... Bridey, your wedding vendors have other clients, and you feel as though it somehow minimizes the enormity of your day. You're not the only one getting married. Yikes! Did I hit a nerve? In fairness, we all love the idea of exclusivity, and you are no different. So, if your vendors have other clients who have hired them to do the same thing, then you are not feeling the exclusivity you want and need to feel. Am I getting warmer, bridey? Look, I get it, I really do, but at the same time, bridey, your vendors having other clients won't make your wedding day any less special. You hired them because they are fantastic, so knock off the cray cray and let go of the drama.

2. Jealousy. I think jealousy should be considered a four letter word. Right? I mean, there is nothing worse than a jealous woman (sorry, true story!), and more than that, a jealous bride (oh dear God!)! Bridey, if you're worried that the more clients a vendor has then the less they care about you, you're coo coo. But, it happens! I once had a bride tell me that she felt like I was cheating on her (openly) when I mentioned that I was off to an appointment with another bride after our meeting. REALLY? Bridey, it's amazing, but your vendors do have the capacity to love and adore all of their clients. Well, the ones worth loving and adoring. So BE one of those clients and drop the jealousy routine. It's super annoying. 

3. Entitlement. Bridey, you're spoiled. You're used to being number one all of the time, and you hate it when your vendors have the audacity to put another bride before you. Why can't they make time to talk to you everytime you call? Why can't they meet you as often as you would like? Why don't they seem as enthusiastic as you do? Well, usually it's because they are working with a client (or several clients) whose wedding is before yours. Like, well before yours. Like a fucking year before yours. When you take a step back and look at the big picture, it makes sense, right? The best part? Your time will come too... Just be patient.

So, the message here? The big secret? Bridey, you're not my only client. If I am any good, I have lots of clients. So, please, go pee somewhere else.

Image via Scientific American

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ Bridey, Don't Go Away Mad, Just Go Away!

Based on the title of this post, and this FAB photograph, you can totally tell that I'm a product of growing up in the late 80s and early 90s. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that some of you have no idea what the hell I'm talking about! I quoted a Mötley Crüe song... Just click on the link if you're curious (and be prepared for some really bad music). Anyway... I was chatting with a friend of mine and we decided that sometimes it's easier to tell the bitch to go away (now) as opposed to suffering through whatever may be in store for the future. I mean... Hopefully she won't go away mad, she'll just go away... Better now than a week before the wedding, right?

My friend went so far as to say that she'd PAY a particularly brutal client to get out of her life, and when I balked, she said something that struck a chord... "You can either buy happiness today, or pay the price for a bad decision in the future." Holy shit! Right? Good point! And in the wedding industry, paying the price for a bad decision can last for a long fucking time.

Bridey, this is not limited to vendors firing brides. If you aren't feeling the love with a vendor you've hired, then cut the cord and move on. Fire them. Trust me, the sooner the better. Life is too short and weddings are too expensive for you to be unhappy. I mean... Sometimes it's worth losing a little money to gain a lot of happiness.

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

Real Wedding Wednesday ~ An Exquisite, Black & White Wedding at the Mandarin Oriental, Boston

We've all heard the phrase or even said that we were going to, "roll out the red carpet", right? Well, imagine if you, bridey, were going to roll out the black carpet? And, that black carpet was going to be used to transform a space so magnificent as the ballroom at the Mandarin Oriental in Boston for your wedding? I mean, holy shit... That's exactly what Paula and Greg did (well, their group of incredibly talented wedding vendors anyway...). This kickass group of industry peeps created the most A MAZ ING black and white wedding; one that will leave you absolutely drooling over the details. 

Bridey, close your eyes and imagine a shiny black dance floor, mirrored tables (seriously, who needs linen when you have mirrored tables!), an insanely GORGE floral installation (which doubled as your wedding altar), charger plates that I totally would hang in my house, etc. etc. etc.... Oh wait! Open your eyes! Silly me! Just scroll down, bridey, scroll down and prepare to be blown away. Enjoy!!

Paula... Wow! I can't... It's too good... This bouquet seriously brings tears to my eyes! And look down... I love tying sentimental value into something so special.This is awfully romantic!We did it! We signed the Ketubah! Let's go get married!Exquisite. Simply exquisite chuppah!!I love how her parents catch her half way down the aisle.Ghost chairs... LOVE!

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 ~ Bridey, Don't be Mental... 10 Behavioral Characteristics to Avoid While Planning Your Wedding

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.

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ Hey Bridey! Keep Your Bullshit Opinions to Yourself!

"Your prices are outrageous!" Yeah, that's how the conversation began with this potential bride. (Told you I am losing faith in humanity.) Nice way to start, huh? She had called a day prior requesting information about wedding packages, etc., although without the willingness to share a bit about herself, her "dream" and most importantly, her budget. So, I got as much as I possibly could get out of her before she abruptly ended the call. I hesitated, but then said, "Fuck it", and emailed the wedding packages and pricing for her to review.

Which brings us back to the beginning... "Your prices are outrageous!" Yeah, this bitch called back the next fucking day to share her feelings with me. Know what? I totally should have sent her the PITA wedding packages (they're ones which incorporate the Pain In The Ass fee). No, I don't actually have those, but it sure is tempting! OMG... I can only imagine how outrageous she would have thought my pricing was if I emailed those! Again, not that I have them...

Anyway, here's the thing... Some of you may find certain wedding vendor pricing "outrageous", and that's perfectly fine. Don't use them. Choose somebody else. But, please, bridey, do us all a favor and keep your bullshit opinions to yourself! I mean... There's really no need to call back and preach your outrage. Just move on. But, keep this in mind... Most vendors who rank on the pricey side of the spectrum? Yeah, they got there because they're fucking worth it.

I want you to do me a favor, bridey. I dare you to walk into Louis Vuitton and tell the chick helping you select the "perfect" bag that LV's prices are outrageous.

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ Don't Call me Until There's a Ring on it...

You know what makes me laugh and feel annoyedat the same time? When I meet with a potential client, gaze down at her ring finger, and notice that there is no sparkly rock shining up at me. I immediately think that this meeting is a giant waste of time. And you know what? So does everybody else in "the industry". Bridey, if you're not engaged yet, please don't call me. I know... I know... "It's going to happen soon; it's imminent." But, you all think that. You all think that he or she will pop the question over the next romantic dinner or stroll down the beach, and while you're probably not wrong that it will happen at some point, you're still wasting my time. Because it's not soon enough for me to take you seriously. So, bridey, until you get the rock, get off my clock!

Look, I know it feels like I'm being really mean, but allow me to shed some light on the situation from the perspective of your wedding vendors. We're busy with weddings or events every weekend, but we also know that securing future business needs to happen even when we don't have time to spare. So, when you, bridey, call us and inquire about our services, we put on a face, go into our spiel, and sell our souls to make you like us over the phone. Because that's what we do. And, if the phone call was a success, then an initial meeting is confirmed, and you've officially made onto our books. Score!! (A bit of a side note? Now I make it a point to weave the whole "how'd you get engaged" question into all initial phone calls so that I can avoid these situations...)

Fast forward to the meeting...

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ Phone First!!!

I am working with a bride (who I took on against my own better judgment), and the other day as we were discussing next steps, etc., she mentioned something about how she was just going to “stop by” the florist to see if she could get a handle on her centerpieces. When I asked who she was going to meet with, she said, “Nobody, I’m just going to stop by.” I stopped in my tracks. I broke out into a cold sweat. My hands started shaking. I felt breakfast making its way back up. Okay, I am exaggerating, but the truth of the matter, bridey, is that you should NEVER just “stop by” or “walk in” on any of your vendors. Nobody appreciates it. Nobody is prepared for it. And frankly, it’s fucking rude.

Not to sound like a third grader, but how would you like it if somebody did that to you? Just walked into your office, plopped themselves across your desk with a stack of papers, and told you that they were ready to chat about XYZ? I’m guessing that the first thing you’d ask is if you missed an outlook appointment on your calendar, right? I would. And what if you were on a deadline; the project you were currently working on had to be in by noon? Most likely you’d politely ask if you could chat about XYZ later… Right?

Now, I need you to do something for me, bridey… Please click on this link, and re-read the post I wrote about appointment etiquette, Five Crucial Wedding Appointment Etiquette Guidelines.

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ Back OFF Bridey!

I'm frustrated. I'm annoyed. I'm pissed off. I'm working with the bride who is actually quite nice. She's funny and intelligent. She knows what she wants. And so far, working with her has been lovely. Well, until recently. Her wedding isn't until 2015 (June of 2015 to be specific), and she is absolutely so hung up on one detail of the wedding (that she just wants to "cross off" her list), and is getting all pissy because the vendor she is beginning to stalk, I mean working with, isn't so quick to get back to her.

Here we go again, bridey. It seems like no matter how many times I say it, I cannot seem to get it to stick. So, let me jump up on my fucking soap box (yet again), and remind you that if your wedding isn't until 2015 or even 2016, you don't count right now. Sorry, but I speak the truth. And your vendors are too nice to say it (as they should be), but I am not! Right now, your vendors are in the middle of fall wedding season, 2014, and unless your wedding is rapidly approaching, then you'll just have to wait. And, I know it's hard. And, I know that you want to cross shit off of your list, but it's not okay to budge in line. And, by being a demanding bride, that is essentially what you're doing when you're stalking a vendor for an answer that you need RIGHT NOW.

Bridey, you must give all of us (vendors) some time to not only GET the answer to your question, but do the appropriate research required so we don't give you the wrong answer simply so that WE can cross YOU off of OUR list. Again, bridey, I am in no way suggesting that it is okay for a vendor to not respond to you; all I am saying is that if you receive an email stating that they will look into it once the dust settles (from the current wedding season), then let it go! And in fairness, you might not realize it, but what you are asking of your vendor might require precious hours that they just don't have. The solution? Move on to a simpler task for you to "cross off" of your list; one that does not require assistance from your vendors, wait your turn and quit your bitchin', bridey!

Vendors? Care to chime in here? Are you working with a bride who is driving you nuts for answers, but her wedding isn't until 2015 or 2016???

Image via she FINDS

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ Sometimes, I Wish I Wasn't a Planner

OMG, bridey... I just don't fucking feel like it! I don't feel like plunging into the fall wedding season pool of drama. I don't wanna. I don't feel like being a shrink, a referee, a "nice guy" and your bitch this fall season. You know why? Because I have some shit that I'm dealing with lately, and while I have learned to put my personal "baggage" aside, so that I can sift through yours, bridey, some days are harder than others. Some days I find it almost impossible to keep my grin plastered on my face.

Honestly? Sometimes I wish I followed in the family footsteps and became an attorney so that a callus, straightforward attitude was the norm; no bullshit required. Just the truth, no rainbows, no unicorns, no fluff, no bullshit... only the truth. Because I'm getting pretty tired of the bullshit, bridey. It's exhausting. And like I said, I don't fucking feel like it. I don't feel like putting on a face when all I want to do is tell you to quit whining about finding the perfect flowers to perfectly match the bridesmaids dresses. Because I don't care... But, what's a girl to do? Seriously? Wedding and event planning is ALL I know how to do! It's all I have ever done. And right this second, I don't want to play anymore.

Some of you will read this, think I'm full of shit and move on to the next pretty, frilly wedding blog.

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ Five Ways to Avoid Being a Micromanager on Your Wedding Day

Bridey, I can handle a lot of things, but the one thing I cannot stand is to be micromanaged. Period. So, please don’t micromanage me. And please don’t micromanage your vendors. The funny thing is that I’m not talking about now; the wedding planning process. I’m talking about on your wedding day. Seriously, don’t you have enough on your mind? Like, oh, I don’t know… your wedding vows, your reception and how basically every single person you love will be in the same room at the same time… That’s a big deal, bridey. HUGE actually, and I hate to say it, but that will most likely only happen one other time in your life. Yeah, I’ll let you figure that one out yourself.

As I was saying, this is our job. We, your vendors, do this most every weekend throughout the year (more or less), and hopefully you will only do this once. And when you take a step back, who has more experience? I’ll give you a hint, it ain’t you babe! So, please, just enjoy your wedding day because not only do you deserve to be utterly happy, but we have worked incredibly hard making it happen for you.

Look, I know that it’s easier said than done, so I thought I would give you a few pointers on how to prevent your bridey ass from turning into a micromanager on your wedding day:

1. I know this is simple, but just resist the urge to micromanage. Every time you feel it bubbling up, think about the big picture and all of the professionals you have hired to do their jobs. Bridey, you are not on the clock today. You should literally just sit there looking pretty and enjoying yourself.

2. Remember how I said that you hired professionals? Well bridey, give yourself a round of applause because there is a reason why you hired WHO you hired, right? So let go of all your Type A mannerisms and allow said professionals to do the job you hired them to do.

3. On that note, let them (your vendors) do their job their way. Perhaps you’ve dabbled in photography or were an MC in college. That’s great, but please don’t begin suggesting amazing shots that your photographer just “has to take” or making turntable recommendations to your DJ. They’ll figure it out! They always do. Bridey, unless there is something specific that you forgot to communicate to one of your vendors or the venue prior to your wedding, ease off and just relax!

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ For the Sake of the Invitation

Okay, this topic is coming up quite a bit in my world and those of my talented vendor friends, so I thought I would step in and write a bit about it so that you, bridey, can stop killing us with all of the back and forth. Here's the deal, your wedding isn't until November or December, but for sake of the invitation, you need to know what you're serving at the wedding so that you can complete the insert. Sound familiar? What is a girl to do? Well, here's a little test. Let's see how you do:

a. Call your wedding venue and demand a tasting?
b. Email your wedding planner (or invitation vendor) stating "emergency" in the subject line?
c. Panic, I mean your wedding is only six months away; why isn't anybody getting back to me?
d. All of the above.
e. None of the above.

NONE OF THE ABOVE! Bridey, a tip? Relax. Everything is going to be okay. I swear, I'm totally not meaning to patronize, but everything will be okay. Let me walk you through this one, because it's a very valid point, although if your wedding isn't for six months or so, frankly, you don't matter to most of your vendors right now (sorry, but true story!). I know you don't want to hear this, but your venue, caterer, etc. are in the middle of a very busy spring wedding season. And if your wedding isn't until late fall, I can assure you that the last thing they want to do is hear from you, let alone arrange a tasting so that you can figure out what to put in your invitation. 

So, what should you do? Well, it's actually quite simple.

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ What Happens When You Stray... From Your Wedding Planner & Her Good Advice

Dear BB,

My name is Katrina, a very excited bride-to-be from Las Vegas. I’ve been a fan of Bitchless Bride for a good year now. I love your no-bullshit approach and I love the Vendor Vents. I’m a graphic designer for a huge gaming company in Vegas, so I know just how bitchy them bitchy brides can get.

I will be marrying my Dashing Gentleman Friend in June, which means all the little details are coming together now. We’re having a small, happy, hopefully-fun, hopefully-sunny wedding in California. 30 family and friends will keep us laughing all day long.

All my vendors are in the town where are are to be married; most of them referred from my super cool planner with whom I just clicked right away. Everything has been smooth and easy and fun. Now there’s just one teensy problem that I’m hoping you can lend your glorious insight to–or just tell me to shut up and let it be.

I strayed from my planner’s referral once, for my hair/makeup artist, and now I regret it. I did it for the budget, which is tight and carefully controlled because Gentleman Friend and I are paying for everything. I did some research, consulted a few married friends, Yelped around and found a hair/makeup artist that had great reviews and was more in budget than my planner’s recommendation. Neither were outrageously priced, but saving a couple hundred here and there is a big deal for us. 

She (let's call her H/MU) was quick to respond to my request for an estimate, which was cool because some others took three weeks. After the deposit was paid in January and the date booked, I asked to schedule a trial. I didn’t hear back for two months, during which I emailed her three times because I didn’t want to be a needy jerk. Plus I figured I had time and she probably didn’t have her summer schedule set just yet. In March she got back to me and we scheduled a date for the trial. 

This week, my photographer put together a day-of schedule and I contacted H/MU to see if she was cool with it. She was, then was asking me when my trial was because she hadn’t written it down. And then she said “only hair, right?” Which was not right because not only did I ask for both, I emphasized that testing out my makeup was much more important than hair. 

Now I need to figure out how to politely tell H/MU that she needs to get her crap together so I’m not sitting around on my wedding day with pretty hair and no makeup. The contract says four people for makeup + hair, but if she doesn’t follow through, we’re screwed. I don’t want to be an ass because it’s wedding season, it’s Southern Cali and she must have a life beyond other people’s faces. 

Is it ok to ask to confirm my details? Should I just chill the hell out and talk to her at the trial? (I’m not sure if it will be H/MU doing my trial, she mentioned another girl’s name when scheduling.) Her emails are always super short, sent abruptly at 1:00 am and somehow riddled with typos despite being 10 words long. And at the end of all this, should this affect how much gratuity I give to her/her team? I love tipping generously, I think it’s the Vegas way. But it’s the overall experience that I consider and so far, she’s at a 4 out of 10. 

I would appreciate any advice you have, bitchless or otherwise. 

All the best,
Katrina

Dear Katrina,

I totally understand why brides stray from every now and again from good advice, and usually it does come down to saving money (which I totally get), but this is exactly why we, wedding planners, wish you'd listen to us from the get-go. You see, now you find yourself in somewhat of a kerfuffle that needs fixin', and remember, the amount of time spent fixing this problem is probably worth the money you'd have saved if you listened to your wedding planner initally... But, enough about how you should have listened to your planner, because my goal isn't to tell you, that "I told you so", it's to help you out of this shitty situation. 

Katrina, here are my thoughts... Call your wedding planner immediately. Have her do some nosing around to see if any of the H/MU peeps in her network are available on your wedding day (this may be difficult considering the timing). Concurrently, I want you to call your H/MU person and ask that she call you as soon as she can. Now, just a hunch, but I'm guessing that you will get her VM. If that's the case then I'd leave somewhat of a cryptic message that would pique her interest enough to call you back. Something like, "Hey H/MU person, there's been a change of plan and I really need to talk with you. Thanks a lot!" 

If she doesn't call you back, then send her the same cryptic-type of email. You may have to be persistent because we (your wedding vendors) are in the midst of wedding season, and if your wedding isn't within the next week or two, she may not get back to you so quickly. If you do get her on the phone, be honest about your expectations of service. I mean, based on your email, you seem quite bitchless; I don't feel as though you're asking anything of her that wasn't promised to you from your initial agreement. And, it's only fair that she not only follow through, but she's got to instill confidence in you too. Tell her that. 

Remind her that you hired her based on her awesome Yelp reviews and referrals, but if she continues to leave you feeling like you might get stood up on your wedding day, then perhaps you need to reevaluate. And then listen... See how she bounces back, and then make your decision. If you are still left with a bad taste in your mouth, then cut your loses and run. I hate to say it, Katrina, but you're probably out your deposit if you bail now, but if you're not comfortable, then it's well worth it. It'd be awful if this H/MU person left you (and/or your wedding planner) scrambling on your wedding day. Right?

Please let me know how it all plays out!!

GOOD LUCK!

XO,

BB

Image via True Photography

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ Are You Waiting in Line or Enjoying the Ride? Some Perspective from a Very Perceptive Groom...

So, Eric, a super intuitive groom, emailed me and said that he'd written a post on his blog regarding the commercialization of weddings. And after I read his post; his perspective if you will, I fell in love with his idea that we are so busy waiting in line that we forget what we are waiting for... You see, bridey, he's currently engaged and wanted to share a bit about his perspective, as a groom (which we all see to dismiss most of the the time), about what he and his future wife, Leigh, are going through as they plan their wedding. His post begins as a dude watching USA hockey team duel Russia in the Winter Olympics.... I've underlined particular sections which I feel are so incredibly insightful that I needed them to stand out. 

Eric of The Sea Log:

I’m preparing for an Olympics of my own. My first, and hopefully last wedding (Leigh loves that joke).

I’m taking the big plunge into marital bliss. The world might not be watching, but the majority of my family and friends will be. So we have to make sure everything is perfect.

A wedding is stressful. So much thought, resources, and time go into planning one day*. Just like that, it’s over and we invade the Ukraine.

It’s troubling though. Somewhere along the line wedding planning dropped its trousers and took a big ol’ steroid shot of commercialism.

I’ve heard that people send out Save the Dates… not for the wedding, but to tell people that a Save the Date is coming.

Exsqueeze me?

I bet that Suit who invented Sweetest Day is pulling these levers.

I love my fiancé. I’m excited to marry her. I think about this quite a bit. I want it to be a great day that we remember for the rest of our lives, but I also don’t want to lose sight about what the marriage is actually about.

I don’t want to build up one day of wedding bliss and then business as usual a month later.

Life can feel like a busy theme park. We spend an hour in line for the coaster. Our anticipation grows as we imagine how great this 2 minute ride is going to be. Then it’s over and we get in line for the next thing.

At days end we stood in line talking about the future for 8 hours and shouted into the wind for 10 minutes.

I live in this theme park. Mostly in my head. The lines are really long too. Measured in years not hours and minutes.

  • Wedding day line – The girls always wear white in this line. Some strange tradition.
  • Buy a house line - No specific date on the calendar. It makes the line seems a lot longer than it is.
  • Start a family line - Currently as a single guy, this is like the line to the Haunted Catacombs. Scary anticipation greeted with screaming tears… mine not hers.
  • Save for kid’s college line - You got the point long before I ran out of analogies.

Eventually my theme park will close. When they board me up I hope I wasn’t standing in lines my whole life. Thinking about the next ride, instead of how I can make today awesome.