Always a Bridesmaid … and the adventures of what not to do

Always a Bridesmaid … and the adventures of what not to do

After starring in several weddings as a bridesmaid (yes I said star because HELLOOOOO there’s a camera flashing in your direction all. day. long.), I have had a lot of fun and a lot of tears. Made new friends, lost some friends. Grew closer with others. And of course added to my formal wear section of my closet.
But mostly I have learned a lot of lessons. And because the topic of bridesmaids, do’s and don’t’s and expectations and support is a normal conversation I have with my brides… I wanted to share some of my experiences.
  • I’ve been the Maid of honor.
  • The Overachieving bridemaid
  • The bridesmaid who just showed up for all the parties and went in on the group gift.
  • The one who knows everything about the couple.
  • The one who barley knows the bride.
  • Who barely knows the groom.
  • The one who knows nothing about the couple, including their middles names or even occupation.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I was the jealous bridesmaid. Super duper jealous. I went above and beyond and complained most of the time until I literally gave myself a come to Jesus. This was one of my bestest most closest friends and I was acting a fool.
AND I’ve been the MOH who actually got kicked out of the wedding… After pricing out the bridesmaids dresses, the jewelry, the shoes. Getting that bride and groom phenomenal deals with killer vendors. Including a reception at MY VERY FAVORITE ballroom in town. The one which I imagined for years, making my own grand entrance into the space as the shades went up on the windows to reveal the most beautiful views of St. Louis. Talk about goosebumps. But yes, I loved her and I wanted the beautiful and the best for her so I negotiated with my contacts and got an INCREDIBLE deal for a HOT HOT HOT date. Either way, I got asked to step down and our friendship came to a steep hault. In fact it basically was pushed off a cliff and forgotten. All because I was unable to attend a dress fitting on a weekend in September. BECAUSE I AM A WEDDING PLANNER and WORK EVERY WEEKEND especially in the fall.  Oh and I also wanted to mention this was 14 months BEFORE her wedding. But I get it. Her wedding is important. Your wedding is important. Anyways I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason because I booked another wedding for that date AND I met some super awesome people after that door closed.
I’ve worn brown, and red and purple and persimmon and mocha and blush and black and maroon. And I did get to use them again. I had one ball gown torn apart to add some excitement to a bridesmaid dresses purchased from a consignment shop for a wedding I was planning. And I did wear one again. I wore it to her reception in the states after her destination wedding. And it was cut so low in the front AND the back that I was hiding NO secrets. At 25 years old, I thought this is sexy. But adjusting the “girls” every 2 minutes quickly changed my mind. I felt like I was wearing suspenders and grateful that my parents weren’t on the guest list.
I’ve been the bridesmaid who planned the majority of the wedding. Every little detail. Even spent a huge amount of time planning the best bachelorette parties and showers and creating the most perfect of gifts.
I’ve been the bridesmaid who showed up with NO moolah and NO gift. I was on my 8th month of unemployment and 3rd wedding that summer. I literally caught a ride to get across 3 states to the wedding…
I’ve been the MOH who kicked themselves out of the wedding. Or kindly stepped down, if you will. Sometimes you just have the feeling that you can’t and won’t live up to those expectations. The reason I am sharing this is because I  am human I talk to brides every week about their bridesmaids involvement and what is normal I understand a ton of the experiences of being in a wedding and of planning a wedding I have made the mistakes and know what that looks and feels like Expectations of bridesmaids now vs. 30 years ago are still the same, yet our lives, the               demands, conveniences, our jobs, our priorities are dramatically different. You are busy. Your bridesmaids are busy. We are all busy. It does not mean they don’t care about your wedding. It just means they are living their lives.
When the traditions of bridesmaids getting together to plan elaborate showers and bachelorette parties, making centerpieces, attending all the dress fittings and vendor meetings, were the norm, think about what a young woman’s life was like. Their job was to graduate high school, meet a man, build a home and have babies! Oh and to be pretty. Pretty was very important. Now we are all working, going to school, living independently, dating, volunteering, getting married, having families. And all the while still staying pretty. So basically I’m not saying your bridesmaids shouldn’t partake in all the excitement or all your scheduled events and to just show up day of. I’m merely saying that this is your wedding and it’s important to choose your maids based on your relationship with them. But knowing too that they have a lot going on and that they love you but may not have a ton of time to help glue wine corks together. That is what planners are for. To keep you excited, relaxed and enthusiastic. To keep you on track.   And heck, I am great at crafting. Call me, I love wine and glue guns. But most of all, I love weddings, I understand what your to do list looks like and I can help you stay organized and get you down the aisle to stand next to your bestest buddies, while you say forever to your other half.
Bridezillas: Myth or Reality

Bridezillas: Myth or Reality

It turns out that weddings are a booming business. Especially for those in reality TV production. I have plenty of clients who refer to David Tutera and Kleinfeld’s within the first 10 minutes of our consultation. I never actually paid much attention to these shows because they don’t really showcase all the magic of a wedding to me. And other shows sensationalize the not-so-great parts of a wedding. Sure, that’s awesome for ratings because folks love a little drama, they love to see a girl fly off her handle, demanding the best of the best, having unrealistic expectations and then coin her bridezilla.
Wikictionary defines it as such:
bridezilla (plural bridezillas)
  1. (usually humorous) A woman who, in the course of planning her wedding, exercises or attempts to exercise a high degree of control over all or many minor details of the ceremony and reception.
 
And exactly what may I ask is wrong with someone who wants to control all of the details?
We live in a society that expects perfection. The perfect job. The perfect house. The perfect body. The perfect clothes. The perfect spouse. The perfect relationship. The list goes on and on and on.
 
Now of course, daughter of the Life Coach, I know perfection doesn’t exist.
And as a planner of 6 years, I tell every. single. one. of. my. brides. that it won’t go perfectly.
BUT we will put a team of professionals together that will create the best day for you no matter the circumstances.
AND that something little may happen that you can’t control, your mom can’t control, the venue can’t control and that the planner can’t control, etc, etc, etc
BUT this dream team will do their best, I will do my best, to make sure it gets taken care of.
Let go of the idea of perfect.
Once you do that, things will seem way easier.
 
And not everyone understands this.
And not everyone operates under this idea.
And not everyone understands what it is like to plan a wedding.
You have one day.
One shot. One opportunity. (thank you Eminem)
to create and execute something you have imagined for a long time.
Something that defines your relationship with the person you are marrying.
Something that will entertain your guests.
Something that is breathtaking and beautiful.
Something that will be a night to remember.
That you can look back on with no regrets.
That is A LOT of pressure.
These girls have nightmares about it.
They have opinions being thrown at them from every direction.
They have a budget- and the majority of the time- its hard to stick to and still get everything you want.
They have moms that want it a certain way.
And mommy in laws that want it a certain way.
They have a groom that wants to elope.
They have dads that don’t think the groom is good enough.
And bridesmaids who are jealous that they aren’t getting married first.
And cousins who are mad they aren’t bridesmaids.
And venues that only allow set up 3 hours before show time.
I could keep going….
Oh and by the way, they also have full time jobs- some with multiple jobs.
And kids.
And volunteer.
And take care of their elderly family members.
Oh and did I mention taking care of yourself because you have a gorgeous dress.
You want to look your best.
And you need your sleep while still tracking those hours for work, and making it to the gym at 5am and helping the kids with the homework and keeping up with the laundry or even having a social life.
And there are only 24 hours in a day.
You see, I understand that it is a lot.
Which is why I am in business.
My clients understand the need for someone to help them keep it organized, to stay on track, to offer suggestions, advice, to listen, and to be there every step of the way, especially for those just-in-case moments.
But not everyone works with me. Or is me. Or understands the pressures and struggles of planning while still being a good mom, a daughter, a boss, a co-worker, a partner…
We are human. And it’s normal to get a little anxious with all the added stress.
So yes, you may snap when you didn’t mean to.
And you may cry because you want everyone to be happy.
And you may say things that aren’t true.
I understand that.
And so should, in my opinion, anyone who chooses to work in the wedding industry.
We know what the pressures are, what our clients are trying to manage.
And we certainly shouldn’t judge you for a few slips.
And we won’t take it personally.
Because we are professionals who know that this is normal.
That you are dealing with a lot.
And you will NEVER catch me calling my brides a Bridezilla.
In fact, when folks find out I am a planner, or ask about my business, they 9 times of of 10 say: any bridezillas?
No way jose, because they do not exist in my world.
Only girls who want their day to be magical.
To live up to their expectations, and their parents’ and his parents’ and the bridal party and the guests…
Moral of the story:
Brideszillas are myth. Because we are human.
Just a little wedding cake for thought:
If you are a wedding professional, be that calm, collected individual who offers a shoulder perhaps.
Who lends some kind advice such as: you look amazing, your girls will look amazing and we can find something in your budget.
If you are a family member, friend, co-worker of a bride, don’t take any of it personally; she really doesn’t mean it and she certainly doesn’t hate you.
And if you are the bride, take a deep breath pumpkin, recognize that it won’t be perfect, but in the end you are marrying your best friend.
And if that still doesn’t work, call me, I am a great wedding planner and I happy to help!
XOXOXOOXOXO