One of the Original Indie Brides

On one of the last nights of the cruise we dined with the most interesting couple Dave and Lyn. They were on board to renew their vows for the fifth time. I found this interesting enough to dig a little deeper.

Of course I asked about their first wedding; it seems that Lyn was one of the original indie brides. Dave and Lyn were originally married in 1982 before the hoopla surrounding Princess Diana forever changed bridal expectations. Lyn wore a Gunny Sack dress off the rack, they had 25 guests and a pot luck dinner in her parents’ backyard at a budget of just under $1000.

I was curious as to just what traditions they carried from ceremony to ceremony. Apparently none, the only thing that was alike from vows to vows were the bride and groom. On their 15th anniversary they did wear the same clothes from the first wedding just to prove that they could. Beyond that everything has been different and unique to that particular time in their lives with special vows to commemorate where they are and where they have been.

They certainly seemed to be a happy couple. Maybe they are onto something with this whole renewing every five year thing.

“we should have PARTIES for ALL our leaps of faith!”

the above headline is shamelessly stolen from a post on this blog which was pointed out to me by the wonderful blog Offbeat Bride.

Summer, the original poster was lamenting how she felt she had to feel guilty about wanting to have a beautiful wedding with all the bells and whistles. All the negativity and admonitions not to “Go Bridezilla” had her hiding her excitement at marrying the man she was so obviously head over heels in love with. How sad.

If you read the entire post you can see that Summer sums up exactly why we celebrate weddings with the people we love around us: Marriage is the ultimate leap of faith.

Sometimes I think that the media has so flooded our conscience with the stunning, the spectacular, the amazing wedding vision that much of our culture has lost sight of why we have wedding celebrations in the first place. Today brides are pressured to choose between hosting a spectacle or turning their back on everything ‘weddingish’ and going indie. That is making the entire process about the appearance, not the reason behind it.

Ultimately a wedding is a chance to celebrate your leap of faith; a time for your family and friend to gather around you and support your choice. In some small way your guests are pledging to help you both stand strong in your leap and to cheer your courage. Now if that isn’t a reason to get excited about throwing a party, I don’t know what is.

Frock Horrors

Kudos to Camilla Chafer over at Bridalwave for her Frock Horror section. I have been reading Bridalwave for a while now but had never had the time to read the entire thing. Oh my, it isn’t just the gown’s that are hysterical it is the descriptions that Camilla writes. Take a few minutes and laugh out loud. I will forgo my ususal suggestion that you pour a glass of wine or a cup of tea so you don’t risk spitting it all over your keyboard!.

What was it that made me finally take the time to read through the complete Frock Horrors? Maybe it was the evite I received this morning to the runway show and launch party for the new INAGURAL COLLECTION


Ah yes, what fun. An entire collection designed to look like the Disney Princesses; Belle, Arrielle, SnowWhite. Oh, why not?

What A Million Bucks Will Get You

Ok, you have heard me rail against the over the top excess of some weddings before, but this one takes the cake. Just what does a million dollar wedding look like? I found one for you to peek at.

Oprah Winfrey ran a ‘wedding of a lifetime’ contest, hired Colin Cowie, coughed up a fat million and picked the happy couple. Want to see it?? Look here.

There is a three page write up in Cowie’s own hyper elegant words and a fabulous slide show of the three day event.

Be sure not to miss the description of the brides attire or a peek at the menu. Don’t miss Cowie’s plug for his Holiday Collection at WalMart. (why does that strike me as hysterically funny?) And for all you dear readers struggling to afford the bouquet of you dreams, don’t miss the 5000 roses flown in from South America.

According to the description there were 130 guests. That breaks down to $7692.30 per person. Try to explain that one to your parents or fiancé or your own common sense.

Is it just me or is it time to stop the insanity?

Why You NEED A Consultant

This is so sad. I can not begin to tell you how badly I feel for this bride.

I spoke with one of my florist friends today and this is the story as she related it to me.

She is doing the flowers for the wedding of a lovely young woman who is marring the son of an old family friend. It is quite the large wedding with over 800 guests invited of which nearly 500 are expected to attend. It is being held at one of the premier hotels in the area. It is scheduled for early June, one of the busiest times of the year. The décor is extensive with draping and a full on cocktail lounge being brought in. A very hot band out of Atlanta has been booked…

As a part of finalizing the details my florist friend asked what time the venue would be available to start decorating. The bride responded that the planner at the hotel had told her she had it all day. My friend suggested she check on that since the hotel had had a turn over in staff. Long story short… the new hotel staffer told her there was a conference scheduled for that day and they could have the room at 6 PM!!!!!!!!!!

OH MY!!! With an 8PM reception that leaves a scant 2 hours to transform this room. In most circumstances that would be a stretch but doable. Not this wedding. Draping, furniture for a lounge, place settings for 500; heck, the band’s contract states they require 6 hours to set up!

I have no idea what this poor thing is going to do. At this late date there is no way she could find a new venue even if she wanted to move her wedding. I will tell you, had she had an event/wedding planner this would have never happened. Even if this girl had already booked all her vendors it is the planner’s job to stay on top of just this kind of thing. She would have communicated with the hotel the amount of set up involved in this wedding. Oh my.

If you are planning a wedding for a hundred at a local hotel or your church maybe you really can do it yourself. Please, please, if you are planning something this big, hire help.


Did you know that 50% of all weddings are planned from out of town? With our mobile society more and more brides are having to resort to long distance planning. This is the where hiring a wedding consultant really comes in handy. But how do you pick one, especially if you are doing it long distance?

One of the big problems is that everyday some newb hangs a shingle. You know, she planned her own wedding and now thinks she is a pro. WRONG But how can you tell from a website? You can’t. Your best bet is to get referals. Do a little research on venues in the area that might fit your style and call them. Pick their brain a little and see who they refer. Also go to the local forums for your target area and ask the other brides. Sort your master list down to three or four and check their website. Look at how long they have been planning weddings and how long they have been in the area. If all the pictures on their site look like they are from the same event cross them off your list. Remember, you are looking for someone that really knows the players in this market. The longer your consultant has been in the market the more leverage they have. They also have a reputation to protect. Both of these things work in your favor. You are from out of town, they aren’t. The local vendors know them and don’t want to lose their business.

Call your top three choices and see if your personality and vison are a fit. Ask them to send you pictures of several weddings they have done and testimonials. Everyone worth their salt in the wedding industry has a file full of thank you letters from happy brides. Are they someone you can trust to look after you interests while you keep tabs from afar?

Once you settle on a pro to handle your wedding, step back and let them do their job. If they send you to specific vendors, there is a reason. They trust them, work well with them and feel they can best fit your vision and budget. Trust your consultant to do the job for which you hired them. A good consultant has a huge roster of vendors they use. It is their job to find the ones that are the best match for you. More than anything else, you are hiring an advocate.