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A Letter To The Bride

Dear Blushing Bride,

First, congratulations on your engagement! Along with everyone you shared the big news with on social media, I’m equally as excited about your Special Day. (And your big ring, which you were so quick to share with a finger selfie along with the words, “I said yes!) I assume there is a wonderful man that indeed got down on bended knee to propose but somehow the diamond blocked out his face. Let’s keep it real, your friends in this moment, only care about the 4 C’s; cut, color, carat and clarity, and not some lovey-dovey image of you and your betrothed. I look forward to seeing the Ken to your Barbie in the wedding photos.

Now that you are officially off the market, and you are giddy with wedding excitement, there are a few things we should get straight, so follow me down the aisle as we have an honest chat.

You hired a wedding planner because you wanted help to design what will arguably be the most important day of your life. But let’s get something very clear; I should be considered a partner in the planning. I’m not your therapist, or Girl Friday that will jump at every wail you have when you think your wedding world is falling down around you. I’m a seasoned professional that is going to guide you, support you and to work feverishly on your behalf. Help me, help you, by treating me like the professional I am, and for appreciating the stripes I have earned through experience.

If you want to sign contracts without running them by me, you will be put on restriction in the time out chair. I realize you are trying to be an independent woman but the reality is that there is a language within the event industry, and unless you are fluent in it (Rosetta Stone can’t help you), you should defer to the pros for translation and guidance. When you get confused between a final guarantee and an estimate, things can get expensive. Unless you want to confess to Daddy that you just cost him an extra $25,000 because you prematurely signed the contract without running it by your wedding planner, you might want to consult with me. Remember, you hired me to be your guide. Contract negotiations do not faze me.

Please realize that the images you have pinned on Pinterest, will realistically cost you $1.8 million. Weddings are expensive. If you think your day won’t be complete without tuxedo-wearing doves and diamond confetti, Daddy is probably going to have to sell the vacation home. An excellent wedding planner will take your Pinterest inspiration and turn it into the event you can afford. Please don’t look at us with those puppy dog eyes, full of disappointment, when we tell you what things really cost. It’s the reality of an open market. Sorry to be the one to tell you “NO”for the first time in your life. Lighting is like Spanx; it highlights what you want and camouflages what you don’t. When in doubt about what to cut out of the budget, never cut lighting. You are a pretty girl; be lit appropriately.

Please don’t hire me for “day of management” and assume I’m going to do full wedding management. First of all, there is nothing called a “day-of coordinator” in our industry. No good planner is ever going to just show up on site without coordinating with vendors. At a minimum, I would do a month-of management but even that window is closing. Experience tells me a client asking for discounted services will always be a discounted client in terms of attitude, appreciate our relationship. Don’t be that client.

If you do not want an over the top wedding to rival Harry and Meghan’s, speak up. If that is what your parents want you to have, it’s time to put on your big kids pants and have the conversation.  If your idea of a perfect wedding is wearing lace trimmed coconuts with a seaweed skirt, while your fiancé sports Bermuda shorts and a rosary made out of star fish, you better find the courage to alert the family.  While doing so, I’ll coordinate the officiant arriving by kayak just as the sun begins to set. Going through the motions, and designing a wedding that is not 1000% authentically you and your special someone, is a waste of time and resources for everyone.

Please don’t send your Maid/Man of Honor to ask if I’m really going to wear jeans and a Guess shirt during the wedding.  Of course, I’m not. I am well aware of when the guests are arriving; remember I created the event timeline. If you have ever walked in my shoes you know I’ve had to crawl under tables to access electrical plugs, lay flat on my stomach on the pool deck because you want candles to float perfectly in spite of a wind storm, and I have had to scale precarious heights to make sure your twinkle lights indeed twinkle. I’m a master of the wardrobe change having had to shower with hand sanitizer and a make-up remover towelette in stairwells, porta-potties and a horse stable. If you give me 5 minutes, I promise I can come back to the event site looking like a million bucks.  If you give me 7 minutes, I might actually be able to do something more than leave my hair in the event set-up ponytail I’m sporting (well used to have).

You are allowed one (and only one) complete meltdown during the planning process. Please plan accordingly. When we first met, you were a very mature, capable and right-minded woman. Let’s keep her front and center, shall we? Losing your mind because the shade of pink in your centerpieces is slightly different between Table 15 and 25 makes you look like a spoiled brat. Get some perspective in life.  If you want perfection, you shouldn’t be getting married.  I can guarantee Ken is not going to be perfect every day.  The slight differentiation in your flowers is not ever going to be your biggest problem.  Mother Nature purposefully doesn’t give us perfection because she wants there to be texture and interest in everything we see.  Your life is going to be the same.  Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Should you feel the need to have a meltdown beyond the one I allow in the contract, you will be charged a PITA tax. (Pain in the Ass) Last time I checked, you weren’t on the Housewives of whatever city, so you don’t have permission to flip a table over the consistency of cake frosting or scream like a banshee at the photographer because he won’t let you take selfies with your sorority sisters while he is trying to herd your family for the post-ceremony photos.

Whatever happens, remember to enjoy the experience. Share your story with your guests. Be authentic. Celebrate the fact that all the people you love are in one room, on one day, showering you with best wishes. Put way more thought into your marriage than your wedding day. I promise it will make all the difference in the world.

I hope I have made myself clear by laying the groundwork that is going to make our working relationship very successful. I realize you might be taken aback with my straight talk, and I could very well be the first person to take this tone with you, but if you are old enough to get married, you are old enough to hear the truth. Don’t forget, I’m here to be your biggest cheerleader, the bad cop to your good cop, your sounding board and your support system. However, that doesn’t mean we are going to allow crazy to creep in to the process. Promise me you will keep your head on straight, your perspective in check, and your mind wide open to all possibilities. I, in turn, promise to be the planner worthy of your referral.

Happy Planning,

Your Wedding Planner

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