Updated: Sep 1, 2021
The part of "coaching" that I don't always relish, but which is absolutely necessary, is the telling of hard truths. While I've always had to be the messenger when it comes to budget truths, 2020 brought a whole new set of disappointments to convey. From guest list restrictions to trying to make light of the fact that we are all (still!) living in the town from Footloose, it really breaks my heart to hear how disappointed all my clients are with the options in front of them.
When the pandemonium is behind us, and we can literally dance again, I will still have to deliver the bad news and come up with creative solutions for my clients. Because it will rain, and we'll have to move your outdoor ceremony indoors. Someone will forget something crucial (last week I had a DM about having to use port-a-potties because the person responsible dropped the ball on renting a bathroom trailer!) because human beings make mistakes. Or, a supplier will have personal stuff come up, and have to send a replacement.
And in those moments, I, the perpetual big sister, will be telling you to take a deep breath, and remember what matters most to you about your wedding day: marrying the person you love in front of the people who are rooting for you.
This is how I show up for you with my Big Sister Energy.
I have three younger sisters (and one older, who modeled for me exactly how to firmly set a boundary with someone, and yet have them continue to admire you), so even before I became a wedding coach, I had a lot of experience with BSE. As the cheapest babysitter on the block, I was constantly tasked with keeping my littles entertained and safe, with the golden rule being: keep them from calling our parents and somehow getting *me* in trouble.
But I love a challenge.
My mission (and one reason why I call myself a wedding coach, and not just a planner) is to remove all of the stress from wedding planning. So while it does break my heart to give you bad news, I also firmly believe that transparency is not just fair, it's really helpful in clarifying for you why you can't have something you really wanted for your wedding day. This is the same strategy I employed with my sisters - I didn't treat them like idiots. Yeah, they are younger than me. Maybe they don't know everything that I know. and maybe they don't need to know it all yet, but they deserve to know the reasoning behind the "no."
Wedding planning is really fucking challenging. Even for me. It’s stressful as hell, because the event industry is so dynamic. There is always the new latest trend to research, alliances and behind-the-scenes drama to know about, and advances made in sustainable solutions to seek out. It's constantly changing - so I'm perpetually in problem-solving mode, knowing that my old hacks aren't going to work this time, because y'all are snowflakes and no two events are alike.
But... here are a few mistakes I see a lot of marriers make:
They make the process harder on themselves with unrealistic expectations;
They get caught up in a Pinterest-vortex and start comparing the wedding they can afford to the wedding of someone else's dreams;
And they piss off their suppliers by telling them what they want to pay or how they think things should work, instead of listening to the experts.
This adds tons of stress, and will impact how much you enjoy the planning, your engagement, and ultimately, your wedding day. And all of this absolutely takes a toll on your relationships with your wedding crew, your families, and your partner.
I want to take away all your stress, but because some things are out of my control, here's what I can promise you instead:
I will never lie to you.
At some point during the planning, I will have to tell you something you don't really want to hear, like that:
You can't afford the photographer of your dreams;
You're wrong, and your mother-in-law has a point about the centerpieces;
Or that we can't fit the number of guests you want in the space you love.
It's often a game of You-Can't-Have-Both.
I will hold space for you to be upset about these things, but I will also put them in perspective - i.e., I'll tell you when it's time to let it go, get over it, or stop talking about this thing because it's not something you can change.
Look, feeling your feels is important. One of my favourite quotes is from Charlie Brown. He says, "This is my depressed stance. When I'm depressed, I always stand like this." If you don't wallow a little, if you're the type of person to blow right past disappointment, you might not uncover what's at the root of that feeling, and you'll just end up transferring that emotion along to some other aspect of the event. Let's say you didn't get the venue you wanted. If you don't acknowledge it, there's a chance you'll take that anger out on someone else, or become really rigid about some other aspect. You'll feel like, "I already didn't get what I wanted in this area, so now I have to have XYZ."
And that is where I step in and tell you that you're being a brat.
No, not seriously. But that is exactly what my big sister would say to me. I'll tell you that it does suck that you didn't get your venue, but I'll also remind you of what really matters to you about your wedding, and let's be clear about that. Your happiness isn't tied to any one vendor or aspect of the day. It is tied to the human you're marrying, and your ability to trust that I will handle any complications that arise with the plan or the timeline. Let go, relax, and enjoy your wedding day.