Bride Shaming — No—-Shame on YOU!

Bride Shaming — No—-Shame on YOU!

OK, I admit…I am an avid Facebook reader.  As my handsome husband/chauffeur does most of the driving and we both work together from home, I have a lot of time in the car to peruse Facebook boards, as well as my early morning (ie: crack of crack) rise time. It’s practically an obsession, albeit, I DO wish I could overcome it. I moderate a board for wedding pros all over the country, so Facebook also serves as my “virtual water cooler” where I can talk about the news of the day and the news of the industry with people who actually care.

It's the playground all over again.

So, when the bullies bother you, and the popular girls make you want to cry, just walk away.

And, who am I to say that the trend of brides searching for wedding items, vendors, and advice onFacebook boards is necessarily a bad thing? It isn’t…that is, until I see the amount of “shaming” going on. Yes, Facebook is the virtual playground, complete with the popular girls, the wallflowers (or in this instance, the “lurkers”) and the bullies.

If you’ve every read one of these boards and followed a popular thread, you will see these characters (other than “the lurkers”) who have no problem telling you that YOUR way is wrong, that YOUR way is “cheesy”, and that YOUR way is cheap. Yes, this is definitely the playground/the cafeteria all over again.  All that’s missing is the lunch lady with the hairnet.

I don’t even have to give examples…I can hear the collective sigh. You get it! Maybe you’ve even been there. Your own family may have started shaming you the minute you told them the stress of wedding planning was too much and you were going to elope.

For me, the worst is when I see vendors shaming brides. Why? Many of these vendors wouldn’t be anywhere near a particular bride’s wedding—some aren’t even in the same state. I guess it’s just a lonely business, sometimes. Maybe they just need to vent. But shaming a bride, telling her she’s trendy, too late in the game, not budgeting enough for a service or a vendor, etc., never seems like a way to win friends and influence people.

We are in peak engagement season. So my advice to brides is this….it IS your day. Let cool heads and common sense prevail, and DON’T let anyone shame you into anything. Limit your exposure to people, Facebook and other boards, over-zealous vendors, etc., that try and cloud your judgement and practically bring you to tears. It’s not a popularity contest, there are no awards for the “Wedding of the Year”…it’s about two people who fell in love and are binding their relationship…and perhaps a celebration to follow.

Booking vendors – Are you lost in a crowd?

I don’t know where to begin!!

So, you attended a bridal show (or two or three). You’ve talked to a gazillion vendors, tasted cake and pulled pork, looked at pictures, ran your hands across paper and fabric…and you are now faced with many decisions. But, what do I do first? How do I start booking my wedding vendors?

Booking Vendors

Are you lost in the crowd? Not sure where to begin? There IS an order to planning your day and booking your vendors.

Where do I start?

As a vendor, I know that when I ask that all important question, “WHEN are you getting married”, I will get a variety of answers. Obviously, once he puts a ring on it, the next step is to choose a date. You may even have to choose more than one.  This can be one of the hardest decisions. And, it is made even harder for the budget bride.  A lot of vendors (ACCSVP included) DO offer special incentives for off-season as well as Sunday through Friday weddings.

OK, I have a date.  What’s next?

What’s next?  This may be even harder than the date.  Set a budget.  PERIOD.  Deciding how much you have to spend SHOULD influence that number of guests, the number in your bridal party, type of wedding, etc.  It is much easier if you know how much you have to work with.  And remember, any good budgeting tool will allow for “extras”, such as taxes, tipping, etc.  It all adds up.

I know when…and I know how much.  What should I be booking first?

This is obvious to most, but not all.  Without a venue or venues, you do not really have a date.  Set up appointments and visit venues.  Some venues are booking two years ahead, so once you find the one you love, be ready to put down a retainer to hold the date.  If your ceremony is not in the same location as your reception, make sure that you coordinate the dates prior to making any firm commitments.  Changing dates after putting down a retainer can, in some cases, result in the loss of your retainer.

We booked the church/venue.  Now what?

Now it’s time to book your other vendors.  Officiants, caterer, photo, video, DJ/band, ceremony musicians, stationary, florist, cake, limo, photo booth, dress, tuxes, honeymoon, etc.  And, contrary to popular belief, you shouldn’t wait.  Here’s why.  There’s only so much of a vendor to go around on a particular day.  Why miss out?  Waiting won’t save you money.  In fact, it will probably cost you money.  Prices increase year to year, a lesser-expensive vendor will book faster, proms and homecomings are vying for vendor attention, bridal show specials go away once the season starts—it just doesn’t pay to procrastinate.

OK…we have all of our vendors.  Next?

First, enjoy being engaged.  In the scope of your lifetime commitment, it’s a very short period of time.  Second, work at the little details at a leisurely pace.  All night marathon centerpiece-making the day before your wedding makes the day tense.  Take your time…do it right.  It doesn’t have to be stressful with a little forethought and planning.

Booking Vendors and Wedding Planning

Plan ahead so you can enjoy your special day!



“I’ve Just Seen A Face”—not covered by a cell phone!

I’ve just read ANOTHER article about technology and your wedding. The order of operation has become ring, dress and then “plugged or unplugged”. Five years ago, our biggest concern was Uncle Faux-tographer and whether or not he would get in the way of the pro. Today, it’s a sea of cell phones and I-Pads, hashtags, posting, Liking, Instagraming, etc.

Who came up with the brilliant idea that we should no longer observe the world with our senses—everything must be documented?
What can be done?
When did we lose sight of what a wedding was about?
Where do we start?
Why is this a problem?

As I talk to couples, I have come to realize that many do not see this as an issue—they’ve grown up with every event of their lives being documented on The Internet. Their cell phones are their lifelines. Flattering or, often times unflattering, every move they make ends up on some social media site.

But, at the same time, couples DO express their concerns about pictures in general. Will we have enough time? How can we hide imperfections? Can we get a more “candid” feel?

Unplugging your wedding, or politely asking your guests to refrain from using their electronic devices at your event will be looked at with disdain by some. But, if you want to accomplish YOUR goals as a couple with regards to photo/video AND the general demeanor of your day, be the trendsetter.

You’ve all read about photographers who claim that guests taking pictures ruin THEIR pictures. MOST of what is said is true. However, how does guest faux-tography affect YOU? Here’s the real story…

–Bridal party, parents, family and guests who are concentrating on taking pictures are NOT paying attention to their assigned duties. This can cause delays, loss of photo opportunities and added (and unnecessary stress).

—Unflattering or even unwelcome images can end up on social media at inopportune times. You didn’t want the groom to see you in your dress, but your maid of honor just posted it — and he saw.

–Instead of eye contact, joyful tears, and smiles during all of your well thought-out events, you see cameras, phones, devices. Not exactly what you envisioned, right?

–That short, sweet family photo session you wanted after the ceremony? Allow everyone to practice their image capturing skills and it will become THE most long, drawn out session with heads and eyes turned EVERYWHERE. A little more candid than you may have hoped for, but hey—-you encouraged your guests to do this.

Yes, you CAN say no. You do not have to go as far as confiscating devices at the start of your event. But, you CAN make your feelings known and you can absolutely delegate the responsibility of monitoring this to a trusted friend. Not everyone will comply, but if you make it clear through signage and information in programs or at place settings, people WILL get the message.

We realize that everyone wants a picture and there is a time and a place. Discuss your options ahead of time. But when you consider the need to unplug your wedding, remember that a professional photographer who has no guest obstruction will be able to get the shots that you need with warm faces in the background—not cold electronics.

Couple Reunited With Wedding Album After 50-Plus Years

Rose and Patrick Roach on their wedding day (Photo Courtesy of Birmingham …
In June of 1952, the month Rose Scott and Patrick Roach were married, Harry Truman was president, Queen Elizabeth II had just inherited the monarchy, and photo albums were exclusively items you could hold in your hands.
When the Roaches lost their leather-bound wedding album, they thought they’d never see it again. But with the help of a thoughtful stranger and a local newspaper, they were reunited with their irreplaceable photos.

Couple reunited by letter after 63 years

“It’s a miracle to have it back,” Patrick Roach told BBC News. The couple can’t recall when or how the book was misplaced, but a lot has happened in the 61 years since their wedding day at Hall Green Parish Church. It’s possible the book was lost during one of their moves in the 1960s. The couple relocated to Ireland and South Africa for Patrick’s work before settling in Staffordshire. Somewhere between the couple’s raising their two children and becoming great-grandparents of four, their treasured wedding photos landed in a scrap basin in a Birmingham-area steel company. Years later, they ended up in the hands of Tina Bradley.

“I think my dad found it on a skip and thought it was a shame because it was somebody’s wedding album,” Bradley, a 56-year-old salesperson, told the Birmingham Mail, in a plea to find the album’s rightful owners. “He must have brought it home to reunite it with its owners like I’m trying to do now.”

Teenage sweethearts rekindle romance after over 50 years

Bradley discovered the photos while cleaning out her father’s shed a month after he died at age 83. Bradley took it upon herself to bring closure to the photo mystery, in honor of her late father, a World War II veteran who, as Bradley put it, was “on the right side of everything.”

On June 28, 2013, exactly 61 years after the Roaches’ wedding day, a few of their photos were published in the Mail, along with Bradley’s appeal for information on the mystery couple.

The Roaches today. (Photo courtesy of Birmingham Post)
Images of the couple cutting a three-tiered cake and standing with their wedding party outside of the church, were shown along with a hotline number for readers to call.

(Courtesy of Birmingham Mail)
Tiger photobombs couple’s wedding photo

A month later, after a daughter of one of Rose Scott’s bridesmaids spotted the photos, the Roaches contacted the Mail to reclaim their album.

With gratitude and a bittersweet remembrance, couple revisited the images. “Looking through it and seeing all those people, so many of them have passed on, it brings a tear to your eye as well as remembering the happy occasion,” Patrick, now 84, told BBC News.

“We can’t thank the woman [who found it] enough,” added Rose Scott. “We’re so touched by the effort she made to track us down.”

In the past few years, the Internet and local media have made it easy to create a virtual lost-and-found for wedding photos. Despite the newfound wave of retouched wedding images, photobombs and flash mobs, the precious nature of photographs still holds value—even to strangers. In 2011, a workman found a wedding portrait that dated back to 1925 behind a hotel sofa. After a public appeal to find the owner, a woman identified the bride and groom as her parents. Around the same time, a man was reunited with a 1986 wedding photo he thought he’d lost in a flood, after a good Samaritan found the tattered image in the mud and contacted local media.

Last year, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, a Connecticut woman found a wedding album from 1962 near her home. It belonged to Betty Elio, 82, whose belongings had largely washed away in the storm. Elio was reunited with the album after one of her relatives spotted it on the news. In an interview with the Hartford Courant, which had posted photos from her album online, Elio pored over the images of her wedding day and said, “This is like walking back in my life.”

Wedding Day Timeline

Well, it happened again.  Another bride came to me with NO idea where to start.  A simple timeline was the answer.  And I’m always happy to see the frustration leave the bride (and maid of honor’s) face as I explained how everything could be taken care of and her day run smoothly.

Wedding coordination is definitely in my blood.  I’ve been organizing events since I was little.  Neighborhood puppetshows with snacks was where I got my start.  I may have been all of six, I’m not sure.  Later it was desks and sock drawers at home, followed by a home of my own, life with three small children, and lastly, social and charitable events.  From charity luncheons to PTA carnivals to class reunions, my family has witnessed me plan events from the ground up, as well as tweak established happenings and make them run smoother.  Planning weddings is definitely a natural progression, after following brides around with a camera, video camera, and/or microphone.

Do YOU need help with this important aspect of your day?  Please give me a call.  I’d love to help you!  As part of your service from our company, I make sure you are comfortable and are aware of what needs to be done as well as offer you some options on what can be done. 

Our photographers and videographers will keep you on track and make sure that you get the pictures you want — the memories that you will keep long after the wedding is over.  And our DJs make sure that the LAST accessory you should need on your big day is a watch.  A careful review of the day before the wedding ensures that YOU don’t have to worry. 

The running joke is that I’ve taken on the role of Jennifer Lopez (aka:  “The Wedding Planner”).  Truth is, I have….and I enjoy it.  Call me–let me prove it to you!

Saving and sharing memories…YOUR way!

When I joined my husband’s company, the first thing I noticed about his policies was that he gave people the rights to their photos. Oh, the endless opportunities!

In my younger days, I remember holding on to one or two pictures for dear life…keeping a fading photograph in my wallet until it practically crumbled. Now? I have flush mount photo books on my coffee table. There are at least 50 pictures in a book (if not more), commemorating important, silly, romantic, and MEMORABLE moments…and there’s no fading or crumbling here!

We DO make beautiful albums, if it’s within your budget. But, if you want the freedom to create YOUR memories, whether it is through a traditional scrapbook, digital book, or even framing, keep in mind that receiving your digital images on a disc allows you to be able to create a memory at a moment’s notice.

You don’t have to be an artist, or even highly creative. There are many resources on-line to help you (Snapfish, Shutterfly, etc.) Every picture tells a story—why not tell yours in YOUR special way. And, if you’re getting married soon, remember…there are always anniversaries and other special occasions where you’ll want to relive your memories. Having images on disc preserves them the best way possible—and we give you that as part of our services.