As a high-end, longtime wedding planner with a stellar reputation, I of course never get upset with my brides... well, at least not that they ever know about! I have, on more than one occasion, cried into a large glass of merlot after a long, hard day with a frustrating client. So if you'll allow... this article includes all the things I think, but never actually say to those demanding brides. Yes, it's a bit of a vent, but it's also helpful information for any bride who wants to get the most out of her wedding planner. Here it goes--my top ten ways to make this process a nightmare for everyone.
1. Be Indecisive
Ok, I'm not talking about the bride who debates eggplant verses fuchsia bridesmaids dresses. I'm talking about the bride who changes her mind constantly, right up until the day of the wedding. An indecisive bride is often an unhappy one because she never lets go enough to enjoy the day. She also wastes a lot of time and money (mostly her own) having us change things over and over.
2. Have Unrealistic Expectations
I get it. You've been dreaming of this day forever and I truly want to make your dreams come true. That being said, your dreams need to be directly in line with your budget. I once showed a bride at least 30 locations in Los Angeles and she didn't like that all of her favorites cost so much. She demanded we find her a luxury hotel location on a Ramada budget. It was literally impossible to deliver and the entire process was a nightmare.
3. Email Me 47 Times a Day
It's not the communication that's the issue here, because if you're fired up about your wedding, I love that. The issue is that if you're sending a hundred emails, we're not sure which ones are important and which ones are just fluff. Ultimately we end up watching the YouTube wedding videos you sent us, but we missed the blurb about your uncle being allergic to shellfish. I suggest one email with bullet points and the action you'd like us to take for each.
4. Don't Email Me At All
The polar opposite of the bride above is the one who doesn't communicate at all. She's flaky and hard to reach making it nearly impossible to plan with her and then suddenly she's hyperventilating at the number of to-do's on her list. Help me help you by staying in touch.
5. Let Your Mom Bake Your Wedding Cake
Here is my golden rule: Unless your friend/cousin/great aunt actually is a baker, florist, candlestick maker, etc., do not let them be a wedding vendor! The majority of my wedding horror stories start with something like "well, her mother in-law wanted to bake the cake..." It stresses you out; it stresses them out, and when something goes wrong, everyone is devastated. Just. Don't.
6. Abuse Cell Phone Privileges
Most brides and grooms are lovely and professional to work with. Then there's the occasional bride who thinks that because you're her planner, you are also her lady in waiting. She'll call and text you at all hours of the day and night for unimportant chats or because she "just thought of something great." Please be mindful that your planner is human too, and respect her need for radio silence between the hours of 8pm - 8am
7. Withhold Information
This isn't a pet peeve so much as an important lesson. Tell your planner everything she could ever possibly need to know; your grandma will need wheel chair access, your cousin is bringing her two month old, etc. The more info we have in advance, the better prepared we are for your wedding. There's nothing more frustrating than clients getting upset after the fact because you didn't do something you had no idea you were supposed to.
8. Be Mean
"Bridezillas" isn't just a show on WE. It's also a very real personality who treats her bridesmaids, her family, and her vendors (or all three) like crap. I understand that stress can drive anyone to a bad place, but please don't take it out on everyone else. Because while I'm contractually obligated to fulfill my commitments to you, I will not go above and beyond for meanies.
9. Allow Others to Be Mean
I can't tell you how many times I've showed up to the wedding rehearsal and met parents of the bride or groom who are downright rude. Maybe they're nervous too, maybe they're unhappy people, but whatever the reason, I'm working for you, not your father, so don't ignore it when he berates the officiant in front of everyone. You're the captain of this ship and you need to keep your crew in line.
10. Don't Let Go
The honest truth is, nothing makes me sadder than a bride who can't have fun at her own wedding. Chances are, she and I have planned this day flawlessly and even though everything is perfect, she's still double-checking the centerpieces and reminding me to have the gifts sent to her hotel room. Please have a glass of wine, and calm down! Your wedding goes by far too fast and you've put in way too much effort to miss it all.
Follow Rachel on Twitter @msrachelhollis