Inside My Wedding Day Bag of Tricks: a Stapler

Weddings cost as much as a down payment on a house these days. We are talking $30,000 to $50,000 and more. Who started this trend? No matter. It is on the upswing. You have to outdo the last one you attended no matter the cost. You have to up the ante with a novel venue, an amazingly creative cake, and super lavish flowers. Your reception hall should be off a lovely garden complete with fountain or pond with swans. As such, weddings are status symbols more than ceremonies and celebrations. So what is a budget conscious gal to do?

For one thing, you can do your own decorations with a little leg work and research. You can buy a variety of things as basic supplies and get ideas in magazines or online. You don’t have to go overboard as a few elegant flourishes will do. Select a color scheme for the event and the dominant table fabric such as net or satin. You want things to match. Then work around this palette with strategically placed details. The idea is to make sure the decorations are secure after they have been assembled and put in place. You wouldn’t want the embarrassment of anything falling down. You don’t want to overdo either, so that your installations are permanent fixtures and are impossible to take down.

One trick of the trade is to use a basic staple gun – electric or manual. You can install floral garlands and ribbons in a flash. You can populate a white trellis backdrop with fancy flowers or decorate around doors and windows. You can also repair anything that seems to be dangling precariously. You can also affix accessories to your table centerpieces such as miniature brides and grooms or wedding bells. A staple gun is your tool of choice for most wedding adornment. You could even use it to repair a ribbed bridesmaid’s hem! (Use only the tiniest staples please with a miniature device.)

A great part of the appeal of a wedding reception is the appearance of the venue. During daylight hours, you have scenic views to create ambience; but at night, you must rely on your ingenuity. The drabbest room can become exquisite with closed drapes, proper lighting, centerpieces, and random decorative accents. A good rule of thumb is to be consistent and not do things in a haphazard manner. Once you have a theme, stick with it top to bottom. Bridesmaid’s dresses and the bride’s bouquet are often aligned with these decorations as well. There is nothing worse than the makeshift look of borrowed items that hardly mix and match. Going cheaper does not mean looking cheap.

Thus, there is some outlay of funds required to do a beautiful job for a wedding reception, but using your own skills and those of your family and friends will keep the budget under control. You will save enormous amounts of money by not hiring a professional service for an exorbitant fee. You can apply your savings to the food and entertainment where it is difficult to “do it yourself.” My advice: start looking for bargain staplers now!

You and Your Wedding Planner

Some people have great experiences with their wedding planners. Other people may feel as if their wedding planners have become additional annoying relatives by the end of the wedding. Of course, plenty of wedding planners are going to feel the same way. Some wedding planners take their jobs and everything about their jobs way too seriously, making you feel like you’re scheduling a surgery instead of a wedding. Other wedding planners are so laid-back that you wonder whether or not they’re even going to get the job done. Sometimes, the quality of a wedding or lack thereof can be traced to the wedding planner.

It’s important to find a wedding planner that you click with in one way or another. Plenty of competent wedding planners just don’t bond with their clients for whatever reason. They may have very different tastes, or very different personalities. In some cases, you’re better off trying to interview an assortment of different wedding planners in order to find a good match for you, taking into account your specific plans for your wedding.

It’s easy to research wedding planners these days. All of the wedding planners that you could possibly find are going to have their own websites. Lots of them will probably have their own social media profiles. It should be easy to get a sense of their personality on the basis of how they interact with people on social media in many cases. That may not tell you the whole story, but it will at least give you an idea of what to expect.

Of course, the real story for anyone in business in the twenty-first century is going to be in the customer reviews that they attract. If you’re looking for a great wedding planner, the first thing you should try to find are customer reviews. Any great wedding planner will attract lots of customer reviews, and they will usually run the gamut. You shouldn’t worry about finding a few negative reviews, especially if there are dozens or hundreds of them. In fact, the presence of negative reviews in that situation should be seen as something of a positive sign.

If there are only a few reviews, and the majority of them are vague or brief, you should take that as a bad sign. Anyone can post customer reviews like these, and they don’t necessarily have to be real. There is no governing body that will ensure that you get honest reviews, especially since falsely flattering reviews are so cheap these days. However, if you see a full range of reviews and many of them are both positive and detailed, you’ve probably at least run into an objectively good wedding planner. That doesn’t mean that he or she is going to be the right wedding planner for you, but it does mean that you have a good chance.

At that point, you should try to set aside time to actually interview wedding planners. It may seem like a big and unnecessary step, but trust me, big and seemingly unnecessary steps are a huge part of planning a wedding in the first place. You’ll save yourself a lot of aggravation and frustration by making sure you get the right wedding planner to begin with, or this one little annoying chore of an interview is going to be replaced by a long list of annoying chores that can damage the whole wedding ceremony.

At the end of the day though, I do think people should go easy on their wedding planners. Their wedding planners are doing a million things at once and working under extreme pressure. If you’re a wedding planner, you are literally planning an occasion that the other person thinks is going to be the best day of his or her life. Even if your particular client isn’t saying that or thinking that, you don’t always know that, and that is the cultural expectation. There are so many little details to square away before the actual day that it can be overwhelming for the wedding planner. They often have to appease relatives, caterers, deejays, and an assortment of other people all at once, and they’ll be fending off suggestions from everyone.

If it makes you feel better once you’ve had some sort of quarrel with your wedding planner, he or she probably still had at least as bad of a time as you did, if not worse. At least when your wedding is out of the way, you can move on with your life. Your poor wedding planner is going to have to do this over and over again for years to come. Yes, he or she chose this and yes it’s a living, but it’s fun to think about if you end up in any conflict with anyone as a result.

The Aftermath

cI couldn’t believe my eyes. I had to blink twice. I was watching a popular show on cable TV about a wedding. It was so lovely. The outdoor setting was gorgeous with grand views into the distance. The tables were set elegantly with flowers and candles and the bride was a vision in lacy white. (The groom wasn’t bad either.) The program was of the reality kind and showed the next day – the aftermath. It is supposed to be like the afterglow of a symphony. But no, it was not. There was litter everywhere. You would have needed a cordless vacuum (like this) to whisk it all away. Where did all this stuff come from anyway? The champagne and wine bottles I could understand, but the rest was a mystery to me.

In any case, it was a veritable pigsty. What a reversal of fortune! Once folded pristine white napkins were strewn on the ground stained with red lipstick and wine. Candy wrappers and cigarette butts were everywhere to be found, squished into submission. Some odds and ends entered the mix – a surprising olio of combs, lost earrings, hair bows, and a hankie or two. Okay, I said to myself. This is major work for the cleanup crew.

All of a sudden on my TV screen appeared the sleepy-eyed bride and groom, dressed in cutoffs and T-shirts with two friends in tow, similarly attired. What? I gasped. The voice over narration said that the couple paid for the wedding and could save money by doing the cleanup themselves. What! Are you serious?

Yes, this is fact. The story is true. The beautiful bride is a waitress at a local restaurant in West Hollywood, California and has limited funds. Remember the rule: the bride pays for the wedding! The reality show followed each “cast member,” a real person, through the comings and goings of ordinary life. This young woman just happened to have a wedding – great ratings for the show. People had been following her dating and subsequent engagement. Now it had all come to roost.

In any case, there they were scooping up junk and stuffing it into plastic bags which they tied with twine and tossed in a huge trash bin at the side of the resort that hosted the nuptials. Agh! Her elegance had all but been stripped away. She was still a pretty girl, no doubt of that, but it was sure a letdown after the wedding. Is this destined to be a new trend? I hope not. Is do-it-yourself clean up the new normal? I hope not.

The show ended with everyone changing clothes and hugs and the couple was off on their honeymoon. I’m not sure they mentioned the destination, but I do hope they didn’t negotiate a room discount for changing their own beds! Who wants to scrub tub while on holiday? I do hope the savings they earned after the wedding were applied to the honeymoon and that they could avoid manual labor of the worst kind.

The Perfect Day is After the Wedding

after wedding

You’ll hear all the time about how your wedding is the happiest day of your life. I hear people saying that all the time. When they’re asked about the happiest days of their lives, people will inevitably refer to their weddings if they’re married. Maybe some people might talk about the birth of their children if they have kids. I guess really young people might talk about the day they graduated high school or college or the day that they got their drivers’ licenses. All I can say is, I really hope your wedding isn’t going to be the best day of your life, because that may well say nothing positive about your life.

Your wedding is going to be a hassle. It’s probably the biggest day that you’re ever going to plan. How often do you hire caterers, priests, deejays, and wait staff and try to get them all in the same room together at some point? It feels like the setup for a bad joke, and that’s often the way that it is if the wedding doesn’t go well. In addition to all these different folks from really different industries, you have to get all of your friends and relatives in a room together too. That’s a lot of opportunities for crazy occurrences and mishaps.

Even if your wedding day goes completely smoothly, getting there is going to be the hard part. You may end up spending months in preparation for it, and then, it will be over in one day. It’s like a horse race, only there’s hopefully no gambling involved. Usually, by the time the day is actually almost there, you’re going to feel exhausted by the whole thing, and it will be just another time-consuming event to get out of the way.

The thing is, in many ways, that situation is even better. The fact that you’re going to be that relieved to get the wedding out of the way means that the day after the wedding is really going to be the happiest day of your life. You’re married to your beloved at last. The two of you have publicly declared your love for one another. You survived an encounter with all of your relatives and everyone else. Now, you can enjoy wedded bliss and the rest of the honeymoon. In addition to all of that, you can be relieved that the wedding is over and it only happens once.

This may sound like a negative take, but it’s more positive than it sounds. Do you really want the best part of your marriage to be the first day? That’s over before you know it. Really, the best part of your marriage doesn’t even have to be the second day. The best part of any marriage is going to be different for everyone. The thing is, knowing that your wedding doesn’t have to be the best day of your life should let you off the hook a little.

If you didn’t really enjoy your wedding all that much, it doesn’t mean that you did it wrong or that you’re doing it wrong. It also doesn’t mean that anything bad is going to happen to your marriage, or that your marriage is automatically going to get off on the wrong foot. Lots of happy marriages didn’t spring from happy weddings. There are also plenty of marriages in which it was pretty much all downhill from there after the wedding, and who wants that? Even if your wedding didn’t go well, your marriage can still be fantastic. You’ll have countless days to get that right, and only one day to get your wedding right.

Elope If It’s Right for You

Lots of people wrestle over whether or not to elope. Eloping was once considered scandalous, at least if you were upper class and a lot was riding on your marriage. Today, marriage is more of an emotional bond as opposed to a political contract. Elopement is definitely going to work better for some people.

Maybe you want to elope because you’re interested in a straightforward marriage ceremony. Maybe you want to elope because you don’t like the thought of a big wedding. In that case, I say go for it. You don’t owe anyone a big wedding, even if they say you do.

If you want to elope because you’re trying to avoid having to deal with your in-laws, that’s understandable. Obviously, it’s going to depend on the situation a lot. However, I’m still going to say that you should usually go with it. It’s your marriage, not theirs. If they’re going to ruin the wedding, you should stop them. They might be upset about it, but it’s possible that they’d be upset anyway. If it’s just a matter of choosing what they’re going to be upset about, then I still think you should make your wedding your own.

Obviously, you know your in-laws better than I do, and you know your situation. Sometimes placating them for one day is the right way to go, and sometimes you’re better off trying to slip beneath their notice. Everyone’s in-laws are different, and we weren’t all blessed with loving and understanding ones.

You may have the sort of in-laws that are going to give you embarrassing memories that you’ll have to live with for years, in which case, you’re better off eloping for the sake of your wedding album alone. If you have loving in-laws, you may regret it if you elope. However, your loving in-laws will want you to follow your bliss, which may not include a big and traditional wedding.

On the plus side, your in-laws will probably help you out more financially if you do decide to go with a traditional marriage. On the other hand, if you elope, you may not even need the help in the first place. Everything is a cost and benefit analysis, and I say weigh the pros and cons in favor of elopement.


You Can Have Whatever Weird Wedding You Want


You may think that your idea for a wedding is weird. Chances are, it really won’t be all that weird compared to what a lot of other people have come up with over the years. If you really want to have a Star Trek wedding, for instance, you should know that people have been literally doing that for generations now. You’re not alone. Really, Star Trek weddings have become traditional in their own right now, since they’ve been going on for so long.

If you want to play video game theme music during your wedding reception, I say go for it. Some of your guests aren’t even going to recognize it for what it is, since it may be a little before or after their time, depending on the person. If any of your guests do manage to recognize the music, chances are, they’ll actually be cool with it. Video games are cool now, and so is Star Trek. So what’s wrong with having a little of both at your wedding?

Some people like to go traditional when it comes to their weddings, and that’s perfectly fine. Not everyone is going to want to put a different spin on weddings. There’s no pressure. Weddings don’t have to be original, and really, no one is completely original when it comes to romance. The important thing is that weddings are good. Traditional weddings can certainly fall into that category if that’s what you want. Still, this is your day and your new spouse’s day, and you don’t have to let the people of the past influence your decision just because their wedding setup worked so well for them.

Are Bridezillas Real?

The question of whether or not maniacal brides are real is actually a very good one. Yes, many people swear by their existence like it’s a law of the universe, but their presence is certainly exaggerated in popular culture. The ladies on that Bridezilla reality show were paid to act like that, and the atrocious movie Bride Wars was by no means a documentary. Cat-fights in the aisle at a wedding do not occur in nature.

However, there are definitely women who go a little nuts when it comes to their weddings. This is kind of understandable when you consider that lots of women have been more or less raised to believe that this is supposed to be the one day in which you get to be a princess, at least apart from the prom. If you miss out on your one day to be a princess, it can be a real let-down. There’s also the fact that lots of women have been led to believe that it takes a great wedding to make for a happy marriage. A bad wedding, in marriage lore, is only going to lead to a bad marriage down the line.

If we want to cure Bridezilla tendencies, we’re going to have to go down to the basics. We’ll have to work together as a society to try to fix them, because the sufferers of this syndrome cannot be cured on their own. We’ll have to get together and make it clear that weddings are important, but they’re not the most important thing in the world. Rain on your wedding day doesn’t mean your marriage is headed for Seattle, so to speak, and Seattle is kind of a nice place.

You can be a princess every single day if you want, and you don’t have to save everything for this single day on any level. Your marriage and the love that it represents is what is going to count. The wedding, as fun and exciting as it is, is ultimately just a party. It should be a great party, but it isn’t the party to end all parties, at least not in a bad way.

Curing Bridezilla syndrome is going to take time. The roots are deep in the wedding industry and in our culture. However, it can be done. In the days when your parents just planned your whole wedding for you anyway, this was barely even a disease. It can go back to being dormant again.