Tis the season to get engaged and my computer has been burning up with new wedding inquiries from all the fabulous couples who got engaged over Christmas and New Year's. If you're planning a 2012 wedding, now is the time to block your wedding date before every Saturday in your first choice month is booked.
Today we're going to talk about what it means to "overdo it" at a wedding. I don't mean that you shouldn't have the sort of wedding that suits your taste and style, whatever it may be. But there are things that we've all seen done at weddings where we thought to ourselves "Really? REALLY?" (Think Pandora's pink feathered invitations costing $200 each on "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.") While I believe it's absolutely the bride's day, I'm not sure I can co-sign the desire to toss every bit of taste and decorum out the window just to be different. At some point, over the top becomes just too, too much.
The wedding industry has grown by more than $20 BILLION in the last five years, at the same time our economy has been going down the potty. You might think fewer people would put time and money into lavish weddings, but that just isn't the case. It seems like brides and grooms have realized that there's never a good financial time to get married unless you have parents with very deep pockets or are independently wealthy, so they're taking the plunge when they want to and damn the consequences.
Destination weddings have become wildly popular because they let couples reduce the guest list and do more with their money. Meanwhile, famous folks (think Kim Kardashian for a truly hideous example) have figured out how to make mucho dinero on their own nuptials, simply by letting the paparazzi attend and selling their stories to magazines. Too bad the real brides of the world can't do that.
A few weeks ago, I snuggled up with my dog Houdini to watch the end result of all the planning for Pandora's big day on "Real Housewives." While I'm sure some considered it a lovely wedding, and the groom is a Prince William-with-hair sorta hottie , there were a few things that made me say "hmmm."
What's up with that wedding planner? Who is he and why would anyone hire ANYTHING that looked and sounded like that man? Lisa and Pandora told him what they wanted, and each time he'd tell them "No, this is what I want and this is what you're getting," while he waived his arms around in the air dramatically. Ha! He was conspicuously absent on the wedding day during the setup and only rolled in at the last minute to take the credit. The MoB spent all afternoon asking where he was and making snarky remarks. Is that really what constitutes professional event planning in Beverly Hills? OMG. Ticky tacky. It was probably a million-dollar wedding but it featured $5 fake crystals on nylon fishing line that were visible to the naked eye on television! Nice...
Why, for God's sake, was Lisa Vanderpump channeling Cinderella on her daughter's Dig Day? I know the party line was that Pandora chose the whole outfit (and maybe she did -- she chose those god-awful invitations, didn't she?), but really, putting "Mummy" in a pink ballgown and tiara was a bit too too much, dontcha think? Perfect example of when taste and common sense have RSVP'd "no" to the wedding. I'd make a snarky remark about the dog too, but I have a lot of clients who would probably bring their four-legged friends along if they could do it more easily so I'll bit my tongue.
You might be wondering what I would consider "over the top" at a normal person's $10,000 or $25,000 wedding. Pandora Vanderpump and Kim Kardashian aren't real, even on reality TV... and neither was at least one of the marriages. But real brides do horrible, tacky things all of the time without spending much money to do them, and unfortunately, I have pictures to prove some of it.
The most offenders I could name for one particular wedding crime would be the brides with more than two wedding gowns. What's that all about? Especially because they're usually the ones whose guests are drinking $30/bottle fake champagne and kitchen wine while the bride twirls around in $5,000 worth of fabric. And you know what... I have a secret for them (whispering now so former clients won't hear me) it doesn't matter how many times you put lipstick on a pig, it's still a pig. Not that I'm calling any bride a pig... I'm just sayin'.
Any audio visual presentation about the bride and groom that lasts for more than 15 minutes is just too much. Nobody, other than your parents, loves you enough to want to watch more than 15 minutes of a bad montage created by one of the groom's uncles. I don't care how good the music is. To show these fabulous creations on a loop at the wedding venue so guests might stop by and watch it while they're eating cake isn't a bad idea. Trapping guests in their seats for 45 minutes at the end of a long rehearsal dinner in an outside, un-airconditioned venue, on the other hand, isn't quite as much fun.
Insisting that all the service staff at your wedding wear a specific color or accessory is reasonable as long as you're willing to purchase or rent whatever is needed. Did I mention I just finished buying a leprechaun suit for the cocktail hour at my March 17th wedding? Oh, the glamour of wedding planning.
I know you were hoping I'd tell the famous story about the bride who wanted elephant rides on the beach at her wedding on Vieques Island in Puerto Rico, but we didn't end up making that happen (there isn't much I can't do, but a cargo ferry reservation for a pachyderm is probably one thing -- not to mention issues regarding his accommodations and hygiene) so I'll spare you the gory details.
Until next time, when we're going to discuss why it's a good idea to tell your Jewish mother that you're a Wiccan before she gets smudged with sage at your wedding ceremony, happy wedding planning from Weddings in Vieques and Weddings in Culebra.