Here at Every Last Detail, we’re all about educating couples about weddings, and often times that means setting the record straight about wedding myths that are perpetuated by mass media. You see, many wedding articles out there aren’t actually written by wedding professionals- they are written by writers, who do research on weddings, and draw their information from the same inaccurate articles also written by non-wedding pro writers. This is exactly why at ELD, we don’t hire writers- if we ever have any articles on here that aren’t written by me (the founder and editor, and former wedding planner), they are written by an experienced wedding professional.
As of late, the wedding world has been blowing up with shock and disappointment thanks to a particular article that talks about “truths your wedding planner will never tell you.” Sadly, and not surprisingly, the article was written by someone whose “wedding planner” status isn’t entirely accurate, and therefore, the information presented is unfortunately a bit misguided. Don’t get me wrong- some of the “truths” that are stated I do agree with, but when it comes to the majority of the “truths”, I and wedding professionals all over the world do not agree.
As someone who believes that the more you know as brides and grooms planning your wedding, the better your wedding (and your expectations) will be, some of these inaccurate “truths” presented are quite heartbreaking to see. As a publication, we constantly strive to educate couples about weddings, as it is a world that is typically entered upon with very little knowledge. So many disappointments and horror stories surrounding weddings are the result of a lack of education- including for my own wedding- and so it has become my goal to do what I can to help couples avoid this.
To provide you all with the most accurate information, I turned to my network of professionals to weigh in on what their responses to these “truths” (aka myths) would be, in order to provide you all with the REAL truth. And even though some of the information surrounding these truths might not be what you want to hear, if you are planning your wedding or ever plan on getting married, you deserve to hear it.
[Note: some of the following items we do totally agree with, in which case we have labeled them as “Myth/Truth” and have provided the professional opinion of the statement.]
[MYTH/TRUTH] Don’t worry about what people think.
The Myth/Truth: The engraved invitations? Tacky. Opting for a champagne gown rather than ivory? Tacky. Getting a groom’s cake? Tacky. No matter what you pick, someone is going to think it’s so tacky, so just relax and get whatever you want.
The TRUTH from the Pros: “I 100% agree that you shouldn’t worry about what people think but it’s not because your guest will walk around calling everything tacky. Your guests are loved ones, friends and family! They support you and will love everything you choose. I can’t imagine anyone thinking a champagne gown is tacky and grooms cakes are suppose to be “tacky” because they are meant to bring a sense of humor to your day! We had a bride who choose gnomes as her theme, each guest was given a gnome figurine and the centerpiece’s were little gnome houses made of logs! Everything was absolutely darling, and the guests LOVED it! My advice is, if you love it, it works! (And your guests will love it too)” – Moira of Whim Events
[MYTH] Cut back on the flowers, and buy wholesale.
The Myth: Planners often have relationships with florists, so they’ll recommend you use their friends. But if floral design isn’t a huge priority for you, ask around about wholesale vendors, or keep your flowers to just your bouquet and make it from the blooms at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods (they can be gorgeous — trust). Love magnolias but you’re getting married in January? Well, ranunculus are going to be a quarter the price and still totally bridal and lovely. Your floral budget doesn’t have to be sky-high, but if you’re imagining Monet’s Garden, it’s going to cost you.
The TRUTH from the Pros: “I am not sure in what universe the bride and her bridesmaid’s will have enough time to assemble arrangements the morning of their wedding, but this is one expense I recommend to not skimp on. Flowers do not have to cost you a fortune and paying someone else to do them for you is something you won’t regret. A florist will have relationships with wholesalers/suppliers and will bring the vision you have to life. Choose someone you trust & mesh well with and absolutely be up front about your budget. A great florist will tell you what is realistic and what isn’t. Spare yourself the stress- sourcing, cleaning, arranging, and making sure your flowers live to see your wedding day should be the last thing you and your pals think about.” – Tatiana Jones of Whimsy Weddings
[MYTH] Stop telling people you’re getting married.
The Myth: Fun fact: If you call a bakery and ask for a tiered cake, the price is lower than it is for a tiered wedding cake. Lower still? A couple dozen white cake cupcakes with white buttercream icing. Consider getting one small cake to do the ceremonial cut with and serve everyone else already-portioned cupcakes.
The TRUTH from the Pros: “Contrary to popular belief—and many cost-cutting articles—wedding professionals aren’t charging you extra simply because you mention the word “wedding.” The fact is that weddings simply cost more. For example, a photographer doing a wedding vs. a corporate event has to charge more because of the work involved on the back end. You’ll have many more meetings and hours spent with your wedding caterer or DJ than you would for say, the person dropping off buffet items for grandma’s 90th birthday or the guy delivering a playlist and only setting up two speakers. Most of us in the industry aren’t looking to rip you off or get rich. We truly love weddings and every second of work that goes into them, and we have your (and your wallet’s) best interests at heart.” – Julie Painter of Events by Jules
Want more insight on this topic? Read this –> Is The Wedding Industry Scamming You?
[MYTH] No one will notice your origami place card holders.
The Myth: The extras are lovely and fun to dream up, but they’re secondary at best. Here’s what they’re going to notice: (1) Were there enough chairs to sit in? (2) Was there sufficient food and drink? (3) Were there enough places to pee? (4) Did the two people getting married seem genuinely happy to be doing so? That’s it. Make sure you rent enough porta-potties, and don’t waste your money on silly stuff you don’t actually care about. It really adds up.
The TRUTH from the Pros: “Details show your personality and make your wedding unique to you. Details do matter! They are what turn your every day average wedding into one with heart and soul. Adding details is one of the best ways to show your personality. There are so many ways to do this. You can ask your florist to add a piece of your mom’s dress to the wrapping of your bouquet handle. You can pick a quote and use it on your stationary. You can incorporate a hobby or passion into your table decor, for example, if you love New York City, use an apple as the escort card; if you like space, spray paint toy rockets silver or gold and put them into your arrangements; if you ride horses, clip show ribbons to your vases. You can have your baker incorporate pets into your design. Trust me, these types of details make your wedding memorable for both you and your guests.” – Andrea of Andrea Layne Floral Design
[TRUTH] Bridesmaids dresses don’t have to be ugly or expensive.
Their Truth: The prom section at any department store and even mall standbys like Banana Republic have dresses that are easy to order, in a gazillion sizes, under $200, and sufficiently decorous. Just say no to the long lines and open dressing rooms at David’s Bridal.
The TRUTH from the Pros: Okay, we 99% agree with this! It may take a little extra legwork on you and your bridesmaids’ part, but you can definitely use just about any kind of dress for your bridesmaids! You can get dresses from places like ModCloth, Dillard’s or Nordstrom, or even check out places that have true “bridesmaid dresses” like Dessy or BHLDN.
[TRUTH] Pinterest is your wedded bliss’s no. 1 enemy.
Their Truth: Think of your wedding board as an inspiration source rather than a model. It’s like bringing in a picture of Blake Lively to the salon when you get your hair cut and leaving expecting to literally look exactly like Blake Lively. I can’t make you 6 feet tall and blonde, but we can definitely do long layers. We can totally buy peonies for your wedding bouquet, but I can’t make this suburban country club the Waldorf-Astoria.
The TRUTH from the Pros: “Over the last five years, Pinterest has completely changed the way couples plan weddings. This platform has increased the number of details and designs that can be incorporated into a wedding. But the key is not to obsess over designing your entire wedding on Pinterest. As professional weddings planners, we love Pinterest as a tool for our brides to define and hone in on their wedding style. In fact, quite often we ask our couples during their initial consultations if they have a Pinterest board they would like to share with us. We then use this board for direction and a better understanding of our clients’ taste and preferences. However, when couples get stuck believing that every single idea and detail they “pin” needs to be incorporated into the wedding day, that is when the stress level increases.
While Pinterest greatly contributes to your wedding day design, it can also lead to overwhelm as you navigate through thousands of wedding ideas, services and products that you may love, but don’t necessarily need and ultimately don’t have place for in your budget. Sometimes couples will even consider turning to Pinterest for wedding DIYs (remember the DIY wedding tent liner?), which most often lead to more complications in wedding planning. Does this mean you need to swear off Pinterest? Absolutely not! My advice? Brides, use Pinterest to help you outline your basic wedding vision and get an idea of the aesthetic you are trying to achieve. Then step away and send your board off to your planner and/or stylist to create a wedding design perfect for you!” – Keri Ketterer of Always Yours Events
[MYTH/TRUTH] Can’t afford me? You can still get a planner.
Their Myth/Truth: Look up a “day-of coordinator” in your area. For a fee, she’ll make sure the florist shows up on time, your gown gets steamed, the DJ never plays the Chicken Dance, and myriad other things you haven’t even thought of. You, your mom, and your bridesmaids can just enjoy the day. If your eyes bulged out of your head when your planner gave you a quote, ask if she can recommend a good day-of colleague.
The TRUTH from the Pros: “It’s incredibly hard to be successful at Day of Coordination, which is why I personally don’t offer it. I don’t know you and you don’t me and there isn’t the level of trust that exists between planner and client when they’ve worked together throughout the process. This goes back to the overall value of the wedding planner’s package. Yes, it may seem expensive but there is quite a bit of work involved during the planning process and many things outside of your contract that planners are typically called to do (i.e. mediate family disputes and deal with unforeseen circumstances). Do you really want to get a deal on the person who is in charge of the whole shebang?” – Emily of Get Polished Events
[MYTH/TRUTH] I know better than you do.
Their Myth/Truth: You’re going to play a vital role in planning hopefully no more than two or three weddings in your life: yours, your sister’s, and your best friend’s. I’ve done dozens of these suckers. The biggest day of your life is my Tuesday, so trust me — I’m going to great lengths to make this perfect and it will be. When I need my taxes done or a tooth pulled, I’ll call you.
The TRUTH from the Pros: As a wedding coordinator, I eat, live, breathe and dream weddings. As with any professional, I’ve come to have an expansive knowledge of the wedding industry I work in and I want to do everything I can to share that knowledge with you. BUT (notice the caps, because this is a big but), at the end of the day, this is YOUR wedding with your partner. If, after hearing my professional advice, you and your partner decide that a different decision is better for you, than that is absolutely what you should do.
The biggest day of your life is NOT my Tuesday. It’s a day that you’ve entrusted to manage every little detail (see what I did there?) and I hold that responsibility with the highest respect. I will do everything in my power (and then some) to make the day as wonderful, magical, and effortless as I can. And you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll tear up when you walk down the aisle and share your First Dance with your partner, because I’m emotionally, physically and mentally invested in the biggest day of your life – and I don’t typically cry on Tuesdays (unless it’s an emotional Real Housewives episode).
Bottom line: Yes, there’s a reason we go to accountants for taxes, dentists to get a tooth pulled and wedding planners to help with weddings. But, as much as we know about our trade, you know you and your partner. It should always be a collaboration and while all wedding planners want to guide their couples to have the best day ever, it will only be the best day ever if you are 100% on-board with each decision you make.” – Danielle Pasternak of DPNAK Weddings
[MYTH/TRUTH] Don’t do business with your friends, no matter how much you like them.
Their Myth/Truth: You have a cousin who’s trying to get her photography business off the ground or your neighbor is an aspiring DJ? That’s great, and you should definitely support them in their dreams. That said, if Sheila overexposes every shot of your ceremony, or Steve is hungover and misses your reception, you’ll ruin that relationship and be crushed about your wedding getting messed up. If Christy the Wedding Photographer does a crappy job, well, you never have to see her again and can hate her over martinis with Sheila.
The TRUTH from the Pros: “Working with friends can be a wonderful and fulfilling experience, especially if they are established wedding vendors. Who else would be better equipped to make your vision a reality than a friend? They will have your best interest at heart and will work even harder to help create your dream day. Granted, if your friend is an aspiring wedding professional you should use some caution. If they don’t have the experience, then you may consider allowing them to do a small portion of your wedding. Such as photographing your rehearsal dinner or creating a flower arrangement for a memorial table. In the end, trust you gut when deciding to work with a friend.” – Stefany Allongo of The Majestic Vision
[MYTH/TRUTH] Your mom is so crazy.
Their Myth/Truth: I know what you’re thinking. No! Angie is so great! Really fun, laid-back, cool lady. She is now. Once you’re getting married, a switch flips and everything goes to hell. You’re going to call me crying because she’s convinced you that you’re not really married if you don’t have foil-stamped custom cocktail napkins at your reception. And if it’s not her, it’s your mother-in-law, Aunt Judy, or Meemaw. Trust me, there’s one in every family.
The TRUTH from the Pros: “Your mom IS crazy. Crazy excited for you! She’s elated and proud! Weddings bring out a plethora of emotions. Mostly the good, warm and fuzzy kind. Maybe bad, and sometimes ugly. And yes, occasionally a wedding can bring people to give their input, even when it’s not wanted. It’s all about remembering what’s important. You’re getting ready to spend the rest of your life with your mister right. So if things get a little heated, and you need a cool head to listen, your planner is there for you. There might be one in every family, but your planner can tactfully re-focus your mom, mother-in-law, Aunt Judy, or Meemaw on what really matters.” – Erica Bull of Erica Sarell Weddings + Events
[MYTH] Buy, don’t rent.
Their Myth: Renting tablecloths, plates, and forks is really expensive, and you don’t get a thing out of it. Check and see if there are some on eBay you can purchase — you can get a steal on a couple hundred cloth napkins. Buy a ton of inexpensive china plates and silverware from a restaurant supply store, then keep them in your garage for when you have big parties. Better yet: if you have some friends who are getting married around the same time, go in on these items together and pass them around.
The TRUTH from the Pros: “Of course, my opinion may seem biased since I am the owner of a linen rental company, but in my experience I do not believe it is not worth it for someone to buy their linen (unless perhaps they plan to keep it for a few other events and in this case they will want to buy quality fabric and have it cut & sewn which can get expensive). When purchasing linen from most of the online companies you will find that the fabric quality isn’t that great when it comes to satins in particular and when you open up the packaging the linen is NOT table ready. Can you imagine pulling a room full of linen from the packages to find out that they are beyond what a steamer can handle and need to be flat-ironed just hours before the reception begins. Furthermore, following the reception one will have to be prepared to bag all the linen and make sure none. are damp or have any food debris or they will need to wash the linen right away to avoid mildew damage. Most linen used with food has grease stains that will not be removed by normal cleaning methods so if the goal was to purchase and re-sell the linen than you will likely have to take the linen to a dry cleaner to try and get them cleaned which can get pricey. Also in our experience of trying to sell off clearance linen it does not move as quickly as one would think so we wind up donating much of it to the Humane Society when its cold or to other local charities. In theory it seems like it might have cost savings to buy vs. rent but in reality buying will likely will come with a lot of undue aggravation and a hefty price tag.” Kristin Rose of Kate Ryan Linens
[MYTH/TRUTH] We really want to work with you. Even when you’re being a nightmare.
Their Myth/Truth: No, really. You’ve entrusted a virtual stranger to help start you off on your married life. That’s an incredible honor we don’t take lightly.
The TRUTH from the Pros: “All the wedding planners I know, including myself, do this job because we love planning and designing weddings, we love serving our couples, and we love love, but to be very clear, there is absolutely no amount of money that makes it worthwhile to have a client treat us rudely or inappropriately. In fact, if you read the fine print, many of us have a clause included in our contracts that protects both the planner and the planner’s team from brides, grooms, family members, wedding party attendees and even guests from treating us in an inappropriate manner without the threat of having to refund any dollar amount.
Believe me, I know all too well that emotions and stress run high during the planning process of your big day, but there is really no excuse for being a nightmare to you wedding planner (or any wedding vendor for that matter!), and we most certainly do not really want to work with anyone who treats us poorly. The only ounce of truth in the original statement is that we professional planners do highly consider being a part of your big day an honor, but we also highly value couples who appreciate what we do. And we really want to work with brides who are kind!” – Megan of Megan Martin Creative
[TRUTH] Don’t do a cash bar.
Their Truth: Just … don’t. Throw the wedding you can afford so your guests feel welcome and no one has to think about the proper amount to tip on what should be a carefree, fun day. Tight on cash? Try doing beer, wine, and a signature cocktail instead of an open bar. Really tight on cash? Make like your grandmother and do a punch and cake reception in the morning. It’s tasteful, plus everyone loves punch.
The TRUTH from the Pros: We definitely agree with this. Keep your options limited when it comes to your bar if you need to keep your costs down!
[MYTH/TRUTH] Buffets sound lame, but a staffed buffet is actually not a bad low-cost option.
Their Myth/Truth: Multi-course dinners are awesome if money’s no object, but for most of us, money is definitely an object. Buffets can seem a little casual, so try doing a staffed buffet. The cost will be lower because there’s less food waste (everyone is heavy-handed when it’s a free-for-all), and it feels a little fancier because you’re being served.
The TRUTH from the Pros: “Having worked in catering for many years before becoming an independent event planner, I have talked to lots of brides and grooms about the most cost-effective meal options for their weddings. If you are working with a venue that offers in-house catering, a plated meal will almost always be the least expensive option, because they can control the portions they are serving. If you are working with an off-premise caterer, a staffed buffet may be a good option to consider. They can still control the portions served, but may not need as much kitchen staff or service staff. However, from a guest-experience perspective, no one likes to wait in line or juggle plates. Your wedding planner or catering manager should be able to guide you to the best choice for your venue and budget.” – Heather Canada of First Coast Weddings & Events
[TRUTH] Read. The. Contract.
Their Truth: Break off your engagement? The venue doesn’t have to give you your money back. Need to postpone because you broke your leg in a bike accident? You may have lost your deposit. Get it in writing, read it carefully, and don’t sign anything that makes you uncomfortable. Any good, reputable vendor will take your concerns seriously and will help you. Conversely, a lot of the shadier vendors are actively looking to take you for a ride, so if it smells fishy, get out of there.
The TRUTH from the Pros: “Yes – read the contract, but know that if you break off your engagement you will be losing money. And if you try to negotiate this clause out of the contract before signing, most vendors are not going to budge. Once you hire them, they are turning business away for your date. If you break your commitment to use their services on that day, they cannot take a hit that big to their business. What you should ask them is what customer service they can provide if you do have to break your contract. We’ve had this happen once, and the couple actually ended up owing many vendors money on top of their lost deposits. But we went above and beyond to try and work out deals with vendors, found other clients to fill their spaces, or find a way for the company to still provide services for the couple, just not towards their wedding.” – Kate Franzen of Glint Events
[TRUTH] All that matters is that you tie the knot.
Their Truth: As long as the two intended people get married by the end, the wedding was perfect. Don’t lose sight of that.
The TRUTH from the Pros: “When you met your fiancé, wasn’t it the experience of time together, dates and special moments that brought you to say, “I want to spend the rest of my life with this person”? Everything in life is about balance. Balance means focusing on the fact that you are marrying the love of your life but also putting time, energy and effort into planning the details. At the end of your wedding day, don’t you want the last thought on your mind to be “best day ever!”, instead of, “it was a train wreck but we’re married”? When you put time and energy into the details beforehand, you can honestly say on your wedding day that you have done everything you can and not stress if something doesn’t go as planned. It is about marrying the love of your life but it’s also about balancing the experience that will make your wedding day unforgettable…in a good way.” – Rebekkah Rosado of Runway Events
So there you have it- myths and truths straight from the professionals who deal in weddings every single day. This information may not be what you want to hear, but it’s the truth. it It’s incredibly important to make sure the information that you receive in regards to weddings is accurate and true, and I hope this information will help you in your wedding planning journey!
Anything else to add? Feel free to comment below!