We were only two sips into our coffee this morning when this advice column from our fashion favorite, Harper’s Bazaar entitled 16 Truths Your Wedding Planner Will Never Tell You popped up on our Facebook feed. Correction ladies – this is not an advice column – rather an opinion formed by someone who doesn’t know a lick about weddings. Sorry, not sorry. While we wholeheartedly respect the big name magazine folks at HB, we cannot turn a blind eye to such misguided information about something we are the experts in. So, we chugged the rest of our coffee and dissected the good and the bad. Of the writer’s 16 “truths,” we found 4 of them to be way off…. more like myths. So we’re setting the record straight.
Here’s the thing. The post starts off on the wrong foot just in the title with the key words “your wedding planner.” The 16 truths as told by this supposed wedding planner lead us all to believe that you have actually hired a wedding planner up to this point. But the advice given is riddled with DIY alternatives to real wedding services. Typically people don’t hire wedding planners and then DIY everything else.
MYTH: Cut back on flowers and buy wholesale.
TRUTH: Wholesale flowers aren’t even an option for you.
True wholesale flowers are actually only available to industry florists. You cannot walk into a wholesale flower supplier and buy flowers. You have to have a tax ID number, business card, etc. So, what she really means is grocery store flowers. And those are just regular ole retail prices. Let us be the first to tell you the hydrangeas you see at Trader Joe’s are not the same hydrangeas your florist sources on the morning of your wedding from her supplier. We tapped Atlanta wedding florist, Holland Muscio of Flowers by Holland to get the inside scoop and she says “who knows the path of that flower that in the end will lead to its quality/presence in your arrangement or bouquet?” Grocery stores make money on food, not flowers so who knows how long they’ve been in that cooler, whereas flower wholesalers make money on providing the best quality flowers. “I know that those flowers were cut, put on a plane and sent to Atlanta within 24 hours, that they have been ‘asleep’ in the coolers and that we as florists will have to wake them by feeding and handling them properly to make them live at their fullest potential,” says Muscio.
That doesn’t even take into account the time, energy and effort it takes to design centerpieces, source containers, arrange bouquets, deliver said flowers to the church, set up on tables at the reception venue, and then breakdown that stuff at the end of the night when the party is over. Do you want to do that on your wedding day?
MYTH: Stop Telling Everyone You’re Getting Married (because weddings make everything more expensive).
TRUTH: Wedding vendors don’t price gouge just because you tell them you’re getting married.
This one really gets everyone at The Celebration Society worked up because it’s a widely spread myth about the wedding business that is so not true. In HB’s post they suggest that your wedding planner would tell you to “stop telling people you’re getting married” so that you will be able to get the same items cheaper. We asked wedding industry veteran, Tony Conway of Legendary Events if his company has ever charged more for an item because it was for a wedding and he explicitly said “Never. All events are charged based on what the event is and what the components are. A wedding of course may be more elaborate than a ‘corporate banquet event.’ To Tony’s point and in the case of the white tiered cake referred to in the article, we say this…. No bride in the history of brides (that we know of) has ever wanted just a plain ole white cake. Wedding cakes often come with elaborate scroll work, flowers, and fondant. “It’s the Design: complexity: the labor of where it is transported or shipped,” adds Conway. You get the idea. If you do want something simple, we love the look of the five cake layers all displayed separately on cake stands seen above.
Here’s the thing about legitimate wedding vendors. They are fired up, wildly passionate, incredible artists who live, eat and breathe weddings. They are in love with love and especially love being able to work in an industry everyday that allows them to flex their creative muscles making other people happy. People like you. Trust us, you want them on your team.
MYTH: No one will notice your origami place card holders.
TRUTH: If details matter to you, they will matter to everyone else.
One of the great things about modern day celebrations these days is that the party hostess, or in this case the bride and groom (and well parents too) are really expressing their creative side to make the wedding day “their own.” No longer do weddings look like they are a direct replica of the famous one in The Father of the Bride. Instead, it’s the tiny details like save the dates, escort cards, event signage, cocktail napkins, guest books and photobooth props that carry the design vision of the party throughout each phase. Atlanta wedding planner, Sarah Chancey of Chancey Charm Weddings says “For our clients it’s all about the details, and their guests are raving about them. Whether it be a monogram that finds its way onto everything from the invitation to the napkin at cocktail hour, or a cake that mimics the gown design, details are popping up everywhere at our weddings, and clients are still asking for more of them. Guests are loving these aspects too, especially when it comes to a specialty cocktail that reflects the couple’s favorite destination or a midnight snack from their favorite donut shop!”
MYTH: Don’t rent, buy!
TRUTH: Renting is cheaper.
Lawd Hammercy. This might be the worst advice of them all. Tell us, what are you going to do with 100 Ivory table linens after the wedding? Or 100 forks? Oh, you’re going to sell them on ebay? Like you have the time for that.
Let’s start with linens. To buy them, you’d head over to Bed, Bath and Beyond and start from there. You’re going to spend no less than $50 on a basic ivory linen. But, if you opt to rent linens, you’ll pay between $20 – $120 per piece. You’ll coordinate that rental through your florist, caterer or venue and they will then handle the logistics of getting the linens to the venue, on the tables, off the tables and then shipped back to the linen company for washing. Oh ya, don’t forget you have to WASH the linens after the event if you buy them yourself and plan to use or sell them. You’ve got the washing machines to handle that load right? Wrong. For more clarification we called Eleanor Simmons at Nuage Designs, a speciality linen rental company based out of Miami, FL to find out about the ins and outs of linens. She says “Fabric is heavy, with a box of just 8 linens weighing as much as 50lbs! A rental company knows how to package your items so that they are convenient to transport before and after your event. If you own the items, you could have hundreds of pounds of fabric to manage following a long day of activities — and where will you store them?” Steaming? Storage? No thank you. “A specialty linen rental company is going to offer a broad range of styles that have been sourced from textile designers all over the world, so you’re more likely to find something unique that may not be available to the average shopper…. and with 13 standard size rental tables and countless non-standard size tables that your venue may offer, relying on someone with knowledge of the correct fit will prevent your guests from seeing the unsightly mechanics of your tables.” No one likes to see table legs. No one.
To sum it up, buying = bogged down. Renting = wiping your hands clean.
When it comes to weddings, we say go with the pros or you’ll go crazy trying to wrangle your family into too many DIY projects just to save a dime. And to Harper’s Bazaar, we love your fashion sense, so no hard feelings, but if you ever need some wedding planning expert advice in the future, you can contact The Celebration Society over on the ole contact us page here.