Broke-Ass Tag: wedding vendors

6/9

The thing with planning a wedding that gets to a lot of couples is that it feels like there are so. many. decisions. that, in the grand scheme of things, seem pretty inconsequential, but when it comes to the event that is your wedding actually make a big difference. It really is OK to waver back and forth between linen colors and wonder if you should alternate the seating colors with the buffet and dessert table colors. These seemingly teensy choices can have a large aesthetic impact, so give them some thought, but friends, make those decisions and own them.

As stressed as I allowed myself to get through my own wedding planning I discovered that I genuinely love weddings and that I have a bit of a knack for putting others at ease. Combining that with my love for DIY and Christen’s general wedding badassery, we started Little Wedding Extras where we focus on bridging that empty market space between full wedding planners and mere day-of coordinators, so we’re there for much of the process. We hear the questions (and guide as appropriate); we see the frustrations and know the struggles. Ultimately, though, our goal is not to encourage couples to do things a certain way; our goal is to encourage couples and the biggest, most significant piece of advice I can give them is just own it.

owning your wedding

Is your mother/brother/cousin giving you guff over something that you want? Well, is that person financially contributing a large portion to the day? Opinions can be bought and if someone is contributing it’s fair to be at least respectful of their opinion, but when it comes down to it it’s also fair to say: “This is our (not just ‘my’) wedding.” Explain why you prefer something and how it’s meaningful to you and your partner and how changing that would be detrimental to the overall feel you’re hoping to achieve … OR find a compromise and let it go, but remember to take responsibility for the choices you make.

Do you have a vendor who is failing to communicate with you? If you haven’t booked them (i.e., paid them a deposit and signed a contract), drop them. You may think that’s your dream photographer, but if you can’t get a response when you’re basically trying to say, “Hi, I’d like to pay you money to do something you supposedly like to do,” that’s a sign that your dream is probably going to be a nightmare. You do have to be reasonable. If you email a vendor on a Thursday during peak wedding season, they’re probably getting ready for a wedding that weekend. Try following up a few days later. If three weeks and a couple of emails go by with nothing, move on.

Don’t say, “I can’t find a [vendor]!” if you haven’t reached out to a few. As my mother would say, “Baby, get on the stick” (a reference to a manual shift, not a more … phallic … stick)! An unfortunate truth: for every potential vendor you cross off your list, you feel like you’ve been through a dozen. My personal experience leads me to believe that venues in particular can be daunting because you really feel like you need a place to get married and while most other vendors come down to price, little ticky-tacky things like not allowing animals when you wanted to include your dog or only being able to use their bartenders when you really wanted your badass uncle slinging those dranks can make you say nuh-uh. But any time something doesn’t work, it’s onward and upward.

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Christen in action, guiding a groom through event space set-up.

Do I sound like a drill sergeant? Probably a little bit, but I PROMISE you that crossing those tasks and vendors off of your (reasonable) to-do list is going to make you feel a lot better. We all have differing levels of importance when it comes to the details of our weddings, but we can all agree that the outcome is very important, so we need to treat it like it is. Stand up for yourself; hold vendors accountable for their communications or lack thereof and keep moving if your first choice doesn’t work. You’re going to make it and, hey, if you’re in the North Texas area, we can help!

Where are you struggling to take ownership of your wedding? What have you done to overcome it? Let us know in the comments below!

  • 5/20

    Affiliate Disclaimer NewEtsy TheAngelPaperie These are My People Quote on Canvas

    Quote on Canvas available from Etsy seller TheAngelPaperie

    I recently re-shared a post I wrote last year about fear-mongering, shaming and budget weddings because I’ve been noticing a trend that concerns me — not necessarily among our readers, but more among wedding businesses. Recently on BAB’s Facebook page, one of our advertisers was harassed and bullied due to the nature of her business. See, she was an online wedding gown retailer — her gowns were made by seamstresses overseas, but she was not the rip-off, knock-off business you’ve read about on Buzzfeed. Rather, like a very large majority of retailers across all sectors, she outsourced the manufacturing of her gowns overseas to cut down on costs and save her customers money. And her customers are primarily brides working with smaller budgets, so her advertising with us was kind of a no-brainer. I had thoroughly done my research before agreeing to work with her, because we try to ensure our partnerships aren’t only good for us as a business, but for you guys as consumers.

    One of our primary goals here is to provide a safe space for businesses and couples of all ilks to come and connect. Not every wedding business is cut from the same cloth and they tend to cater to a wide range of customers, just as not every couple is the same and will make decisions best for them based on their budgets and wants. But finding the right people for you when there are a million and a half websites and options out there can be tricky. So we try to help and support both you and those businesses.

    In the incident with the wedding gown retailer, she had purchased a Facebook shoutout sometime in April. Last week, a woman — who I discovered is the owner of a brick and mortar bridal salon in Kentucky — started accusing our advertiser of being a wedding gown counterfeiter. Though our advertiser responded that she was not a counterfeiter and offered to privately discuss her business with this woman, the comments did not stop. And in fact, the woman pulled in other brick and mortar bridal salon owners to comment as well, eventually leading to a thread about 50 comments deep and genuinely full of harassing and bullying comments. They even recruited a staffer of a well-known bridal magazine and started accusing the advertiser of tax fraud among other unethical business practices. I remained in communication with the advertiser the whole time, trying to support and defend her — because that’s what we do when we’ve vetted a business we believe is a good fit. And we certainly don’t tolerate bullying or harassment of any kind, especially not on our own social media platforms. In the end, the advertiser asked me to delete the Facebook post, which I did, and she decided to close her shop for a while.

    You guys, this behavior lead her to CLOSE HER SHOP. As in, stop her business. That’s not very cool. And in the end, it came to light that the whole ruckus began because the brick and mortar salon owner believes online retailers are a threat to her business — so rather than doing her research, she attacked.

    Here at The Broke-Ass Bride, we have often promoted nontraditional methods of obtaining your wedding gown — whether it’s shopping off-the-rack, buying from online retailers, sewing your own gown or even daring to get your gown from an overseas retailer. We try to provide you with the best information and education possible so you can make the best decision for you and your budget. We know that your budgets vary, based on the figures you give us to work with for Can’t Afford It? Get Over It! and we know that bridal salons may not be the best place for you to buy your wedding gown, given they often have starting prices that are double what many of you would like to spend. For many of you, dropping mad cash on a gown you will wear for a single day is not a priority, so we try to help you find options that work for you. But others of you place high priority on the gown and want the salon experience, and we applaud that as well.

    And this goes beyond wedding gowns. We try to provide you with tips, tricks, DIY tutorials and advice to help you be creative and savvy with your wedding dollars, regardless of your budget. We realize no two of you darling Broke-Asses are alike, nor will your weddings be. You are all prioritizing differently for your weddings, which we well know just from our Real Brides, so we try to include as much information as possible. And we strive to make this a safe, judgment-free community for you to come to, regardless if your wedding budget is $100 or $50,000 (or more!). Budget means different things to different people, and is totally relative depending on where you live, what you do, etc. We stand behind the companies we we work with because we believe they’ll be a great fit for you.

    We often hear the word “tacky” thrown around a lot in Weddingland, and we actually have our comment moderation set up both here and on Facebook to require manual approval for any comment that contains the word, because we feel so strongly about not hurting other people’s feelings. We keep a close eye on all of our social media platforms to ensure everyone is playing nice and you, our readers, feel safe having conversations in the space we provide. Because weddings are stressful, y’all, and the last thing you or anyone needs is for a stranger to openly and wantonly judge or harass you based on the decisions you make that are best for your situation. In an industry that stretches into the billions in revenue yearly and relies on the likes of celebrities and their multi-million dollar nuptials to forecast trends, being a bride with a small budget — whether by choice or by circumstance — can be difficult and shade can and will be thrown.

    But not here. Whether you’re an advertiser who wants to work with Broke-Ass couples or you are a part of a Broke-Ass couple, this is your space. This area was made for you. And we try to make it safe so you can be who you are and throw the wedding you want, whatever that looks like and however you accomplish that.

    christen
  • 5/17

    skid_row_hotel

    Photograph available from Etsy seller StovallPhotography Whelp, BABs. Turns out the hotel contract that I raved about in my previous post got pulled. Last week Monday, I gleefully took my lunch hour to walk up to the hotel to drop our contract off. The hotel was more beautiful than the pictures. The historic look of the hotel would be perfect for our photos. I ended…

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    5/3

    hotel

    Photo available from Etsy seller KevinKlimaPhoto Hotels have been my largest vendor disappointment to date. Last year, I was really excited to learn that a brand new, boutique-style hotel was being built directly across the street from our ceremony location and venue. Couldn’t get much easier than that, right? I knew it would be a bit pricey, but was prepared to shell out some cash…

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    2/18

    Photo by Shaina Sheaff

    We talk a lot about taking the stress out of wedding planning and learning when to take a deep breath and let things go, but when it comes down to it, this is an incredibly special day and some things are worth a little fight. As our wedding day slips further and further into the past (almost five months, yo!), the glow of happiness is…

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  • 12/7

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    Being a bride and also working in the industry gives me a unique perspective. I'm involved with an online community of bridal professionals and creatives, and I reached out to them this week when my bridal side had questions. Long story short, I was getting some anxiety because I was getting bad vibes from my photographer. Nothing terrible, just not feeling like we were clicking.…

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    11/23

    Wedspire

    Wouldn't wedding planning just be a breeze if you could create a wishlist, share it on one platform and get matched with pros and rentals that fit into your ideal budget? Even better if you earned points toward dollars off said rentals and purchases? Well, you know that if I brought it up, it's because it's a REAL THING YOU CAN DO. No, for serious.…

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    10/29

    Notice my bridesmaid's face...
Photo by Shaina Sheaff

    It’s crazy to think it’s been just over a month since over a year of work and worry and celebration and joy culminated into our beautiful wedding. In that month I’ve had a little time to go over what went wrong because when you read that something will go wrong, yeah, they’re right. Plenty of things from small snafus to (seemingly) dire disasters popped up…

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  • 2/23

    One thing I see over and over again are couples who have issues with a vendor’s performance, and don’t quite know how to proceed. For instance, I just heard about a wedding photographer who has not delivered prints for a wedding that happened two years ago. Can you imagine? Here are the steps I suggest you take when you have a conflict with your vendor,…

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