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I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Entries in Wedding Planning Meltdowns (3)

Wednesday
Jan042012

Wedding Jedi Master

A few days before Christmas, I took myself shopping. I haven’t been shopping for myself in God knows how long. The Financial Lockdown Crisis of 2011 is basically a permanent situation until I either get a full-time gig or become a famous bridal accessory designer. You know, whichever comes first.

I went to the behemoth discount mall that’s-super close to my house and wandered aimlessly through the throngs of last minute Christmas shoppers. I was passing by Books-a-Million and thought I’d check and see if there were any good deals for last minute stocking stuffers. I considered The Zombie Survival Guide for The Candyman. I had the book in my hands and was wandering around the store contemplating the purchase, just browsing. I entered an aisle and nearly tripped over a woman sitting on the floor digging through books. We laughed, she moved, I stepped around her and glanced quickly at the shelves she was attacking.

Yup. Wedding planning books.

Figures.

So I stop and pretend to look at the books a section or two down from her and watched her for a few minutes. Not long. And no, I was NOT being creepy, just interested. I think it was really the way she was looking through these books that made me stop. She’d jerk one out, flip through it and sigh and slam it back into the shelf. She had a growing pile on the floor next to her that she would pick from, flip through and add back to the pile or slam back into the shelf.

I casually moved a section closer to her and watched her do this a few more times before I interrupted her wedding book assault. “Getting married?” I asked. She stopped, looked up at me with this face that I can only describe as totally exasperated and said, with the tone of someone who was NOT excited at all, “Yes. *sigh* I am. And I can’t find what I’m looking for.”

“Oh? What would that be?” I asked.

“A decent planning notebook.”

I squatted down and looked at her pile, then looked her straight in the face and said, “Can’t I give you some unsolicited advice?” She nodded, eyes like saucers. “Don’t waste your money on this shit.” Of course I got the shock-face for Swearing in the South, but I’ve found that if you ignore the fact that you just swore, so will they because they are Southerners and are too polite to do anything but be shocked.

I handed her my business card for this website and said, “You need to get online. You can find everything you’re looking at here for free on the internet. Design ideas, timelines, budget worksheets, DIY projects. And it’s all free.”

Her face lit up and she smiled. “Oh! I’ve been online! I  joined The Knot!”

“Oh. Um. No.”

“No?” The face crumbled again.

“No. The Knot is a great place to start [I was trying to be polite], but it’s a bit….dedicated to its advertisers, shall we say? Ever heard of Style Me Pretty? Snippet and Ink? The Broke-Ass Bride?”

*Deer-in-headlights stare*

Now at this point I almost launch into the whole WIC (Wedding Industry Complex) thing, but stop myself because I know this chick just wants some freakin’ relief from her own brain. Instead, I told her to go to my site, check out my Link ♥ section and review some of the websites listed under Wedding Planning Resources. I explained there were literally thousands of wedding pictures to look at with ideas, links to vendors, DIY tutorials, more than what was on the shelves in front of her and all for free. I also told her that there were brides, just like her sharing their own projects, ideas, pictures and frustrations.

She seemed a bit stunned at this information and my heart went out to her. She looked like I felt about 2 months after I got engaged, before I knew about the online wedding community. I wished her well, she thanked me and I walked away. I got an aisle or two from her and then ran back and handed her a TruLu Couture card too, you know, just in case. [Insert snarky self-promotion comment here]. When I went back, she was still sitting there, but she was just casually flipping through the books now. No more slamming. No more heaving of sighs. The panic was gone.

I decided not to get the zombie book for The Candyman and left the store feeling much like a Wedding Jedi Master. As I walked out of Books-a-Million and waded back into the pulsing river of Christmas shoppers, I gave myself a mental pat on the back and said to myself, “Your work here is done.”

Monday
Aug222011

Your Wedding Planning Timeline

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I think every issue of every wedding magazine ever published has a count-down style “to-do” list, starting from 10-12 months out from your wedding date. While some of these list can be helpful, all are over-kill and some painfully outdated (i.e. “Send your engagement photo to the local paper.” What? Oh, that’s right! Newspapers are still printed. Silly me).

So in response to many of these lists I’ve created my own, T30SB-style.

Congratulations! You’re engaged! Now what?

10-12 Month Before

Stare at your left hand constantly. Gesture wildly with it at all times. Stop biting your nails and pay too much for manicures. Plan to regret this expenditure in exactly 7 months when you’ll be needing that extra money to pay for [insert overly-priced wedding must-have here].

Purchase every bridal magazine known to mankind.

Instead of his name, say “my fiancé.”

During office meetings, practice writing different versions of your name, even if you’re keeping your maiden name.

Reconfigure your office so that your computer screen isn’t visible to passers-by since you’ll basically be planning your wedding from your cubicle.

Stare woefully at your bank account. Start researching new recipes made with Top Ramen.

9-6 Months Before

Kick the DIY into high gear, bitch. Plan for every project to take twice as long as anticipated. Buy two of everything and save yourself trips back and forth to the craft store. Return unopened shit later. Remember, just about every single issue of every bridal magazine that you’ve already bought has a 20% off your total purchase for Michael’s in it. Find them. They are now your new currency.

Come to the realization that your fiancé is really only into this wedding planning stuff up to a certain point. It is the rare male specimen who will go beyond this point. Do not push him. Do it yourself so that you can play the martyr later instead of blaming him for not doing something. And honestly, it’s better if you just do it.

Now is the time to STOP looking at wedding magazines. Dress-envy helps no one, least of all you.

5-4 Months Before

It’s all about the CAKE TASTINGS! Forewarned is forearmed: excessive buttercream consumption may cause adverse bowel movements.

Eyeball potential family crises and decide which battles are worth it. Start assigning friends to the drunks in your families. For instance, Bridesmaid Mary is in charge of putting Uncle Albert in a cab should he imbibe in too many Alabama Slammers at your reception. For those serious troublemakers, assign two people per asshole. Muscle might be needed.

Get those scanners to beeping and register! It’s totally OK to register for the Dyson, just realize you’ll probably not get it. And register for cheap shit too – not everyone wants to shell out $100 for a gift. Times are tight. Get real and give multiple price point options. It’s really the polite thing to do.

3-2 Months Before

Yes, you’ll be hemorrhaging cash. Time to get over it.

STOP starting new DIY projects. If you haven’t already paid for the supplies and started it, you’re only going to make yourself nuts. Look, I warned you.

STOP looking at the eye-candy blogs. You may read this one and other, non-WIC (Wedding Industry Complex) blogs that are bride-friendly (see my Link ♥ list of Blogging Brides, The Marrieds, Hard-Core Stylin’ and Good Reads. Stay away from the All-Star Bridal Favorites because even those great sites will start to make you feel inadequate as a human).

DO watch episodes of The Housewives of [Insert City] on Bravo TV. Those crazy bitches can make a tightly-wound bride feel completely sane. It’s TV therapy, I swear.

2-1 Month Before

Go ahead and have yourself a break down. Best to get it out of the way now before the shit really starts to hit the fan.

Consider anger management classes instead of dance classes. You need the former for the RSVP hell you’re about to enter. Try not to kill anyone.

Thinking of Botox or a chemical peel or facial? Do it now so that any allergic reactions, open sores and drooping eyelids have time to heal.

When you get home, put on your wedding shoes. Cook dinner, get the mail, walk the dog. Break those suckers in.

3-4 Weeks Before

Seriously. STOP reading those blogs.

Call all the assholes who didn’t RSVP. Tell the people who added a plus one that they can’t bring their slutty dates. If you need an email on how to do this semi-politely, email me and I’ll send you what I sent out.

Gather all your wedding shit into one location and make yourself a checklist of what goes where and who is taking it there. Wrap up those DIY projects, lady. Time’s a tickin’.

Cry, but only a little because you already had your break down last month. 

Go shopping for honeymoon lingerie, it will make you feel better and you’ll start looking beyond the wedding day. There is life post wedding-planning, I promise.

1-2 Weeks Before

Get your pretty on: massages, pedicures, manicures. Pamper yourself, budget be damned.

Ignore the nay-sayers.

Screw your fiancé’s brains out. Sex is a total stress reliever.

Job? What job? Oh right. Just show up and do the best you can, OK?

Day Before

Breath. In, then out. In, then out.

Herd your cattle. Tell them what to do, when to do it by and not to be late. Crack the whip, sister. It’s time to take charge.

Eat something, but don’t eat anything with a lot of sodium. You’ll bloat.

By 6pm, all wedding planning stops. Have fun with your people if you’re doing a rehearsal thing. Now’s the time to mingle with your B-List people, in case you miss face time with them at the wedding.

The Wedding Day

Eat. Light, but filling. Avoid sodium. Don’t over do it on the coffee. You don’t want a caffeine slump right in the middle of like, all the action. Nor do you want to pee every other second. 

STEP INTO YOUR DRESS so you don’t fuck up your hair and make-up. Do this WITHOUT your shoes on. If you can’t get your dress up over your hips and you MUST put it on over your head, bring a pillow case or other light weight fabric to drape over your hair and face so that zippers and beads and whatever don’t catch on your hair and so you don’t get red lipstick on your gown. That would suck. Get people to help you with this. Put ALL accessories on AFTER the gown is on.

Chill. Whatever happens will happen and will be the story of your wedding day.

Get your party on.

 

So there you go. Now you know when to do everything. Easy, right?

Tuesday
Jun142011

Be A Moment Junkie

We can talk a lot about those moments in weddings, whether captured on film or experienced first hand, that speak to us emotionally. Or perhaps the correct thing to say is, I can talk a lot about those moments in weddings.

Right now, I’m following Becca’s (A Los Angeles Love) wedding recaps and I swear, I tear up at every post. The woman is an incredible wordsmith. Couple that fine and amazing talent with a heart so big, you feel like it takes over a whole room, and yeah – the waterworks are gonna happen. Her most recent post discusses her décor, their small-budget-in-a-big-city and the final outcome.

In Becca’s photos, you don’t see a lot of over the top floral masterpieces. You don’t see aisle runners, flower poms, chair covers, up-lighting or pin-tuck linens. There are no fancy chargers. No initials on the dance floor. No gum paste flowers on the multi-tiered cake.

There were folding chairs (the metal variety). There were paper picadel strands. There were DIY sprayed spaghetti jars. There were Ikea vases and strands of white Christmas lights purchased on-line at the last minute. There was a trip to the L.A. Flower Mart. There was a food truck.

How does it sound to you? Does it sound cheap? Does it sound ugly? Is it something you cringe to read because a) ohmygod I would never or b) I’m in the same damn boat and I hate it or c) what the hell is paper picadel?

Check out some photos from Becca’s blog that share some of the moments from her wedding.

These are a few of her “décor” shots. You might think, but I want roses! I want Lily of the Valley! I want orchids! Well, sometimes, you don’t always get exactly what you think you want. And realizing this during wedding planning is a fantastic time to learn because when you’re married, you don’t always get what you want. It’s all about compromise and adjusting and learning, so if flowers (or the dress or the venue or whatever it is) is causing a WPM (Wedding Planning Meltdown), it’s time to approach the problem from a different angle. Trust me on this. I knew that our wedding was all about the love, but there were so many times I got lost in the worry. WAY too lost in the worry and I let it take over the love. Please don’t do that. I know Becca got lost a few times, but what she got out of it was exactly what she wanted: a beautiful wedding on a budget that was incredibly meaningful and chock full o’ love. The décor pictures are inconsequential to the photos of her getting ready and her ceremony/reception that can be found here, here and here.

For all the worry and WPM that Becca had, this is one wedding I can’t get enough of. I tear up at the sheer happiness of it. Sometimes I wonder if it’s because Becca and I are friends now. I wonder if I have a few happy-jealousies at all the dancing (not a lot of that going on at my wedding). Mostly, I am just so over-the-moon elated at the sheer wonderfulness of it.

Becca claims her wedding isn’t blog worthy. Au contraire, my friend. It is so worthy, I can’t even stand it.

The point of this post was not to hijack Becca’s wedding. Seriously, it wasn’t! In her last post she shared an incredible link called Moment Junkie. I’d never seen this site before so now I’m totally addicted. I wish I’d seen this in my planning. It’s basically a collection of really cool, funny, emotional based wedding photos. They are the photos that you need to see. They are the photos, like many of Becca’s that capture the love, the fun and the meaning of a wedding and a marriage-to-be. Here are a few pictures that I hijacked from Moment Junkie:

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Dennis Pike Photography via Moment Junkie.

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Mindy Leigh via Moment Junkie.

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Roving Girl Photography via Moment Junkie.

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Mahal Bella Photography via Moment Junkie.

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Heather Nan via Moment Junkie.

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EpLove via Moment Junkie.

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Get Stak via Moment Junkie.

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Brad Ross via Moment Junkie.

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Nordica Photography via Moment Junkie.

And because I just can’t help myself, one of my favorite Wedding Junkie Moments from my own wedding.

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Nashville Photographer Jonathon Campbell Photography, natch.

OK, I have to stop the madness! I could post pictures all day long, but if I did I’d be a big blubbering mess. So go get all choked up on your own!  Check out the Moment Junkie site, check out Becca’s wedding recaps. Whatever you do, remember the love, people.