“Yeah, that’s how it starts: ooh, ahh….then it’s running and screaming…”

“Why do you like math so much?”

“Because it’s the same in every language.”

-Mean Girls-

Apparently not.

Ok, today is ridiculous. It’s not even like Mercury is in retrograde, it’s like the whole planet got swallowed by the sun.

This industry, the wedding industry, can be a little like high school or community theatre. Now, I’m sorry if you don’t understand that reference, but it’s the best analogy that I can come up with. Everyone has their table in the cafeteria, there’s an overrated diva running the stage and some underclassman who’s way more talented is overshadowed constantly, while everyone else is in detention because the teachers are on strike and random frick and fracks are running the show.

This article is for everyone. The vendors, the venues, the wedding websites, and every single person about to or currently planning a wedding. You all should read this, you all should share this and you all should comment, question and make a statement.

Because the crazies are the ones with the money and they are not only running the asylum, but they are opening up new wings in the building every day. Slap a straight jacket on me. I’m over it. Here I am, cans of kerosene and a blow torch to burn bridges that I never want to cross again and that no one should even think about. Buckle up bitches.

There are two major wedding websites ruling the universe and you know who they are. They are the sites that cater to brides and grooms and help them find the best people to plan and hire for their wedding. There are countless articles on how to incorporate your colors, vision and style boards, and pages of message boards where you can commiserate with everyone else the pain in the ultimate ass it is to plan a wedding.

And if you’re getting married it’s like “damn, this site is helpful.” Because how on Earth would you have known when sunflowers were in season without sites such as these?! And their advice is free! Hot dog, every couple has hit the damn jackpot.

“She’s a life ruiner. She ruins people’s lives.”

The best part of these sites is that anyone planning a wedding can find the ultimate best people ever to work their wedding. Every planner within a 20 mile radius of your venue, right there, for you, on the home page. And squeeeeeel there are four featured planners, which clearly means they are the bestest in all the land, right? I mean, why else would a wedding website, one that is about helping the couple and being on their side, shove these planners to the front of the line?

Because money that’s why.

Oh yeah, you think those planners, DJs, photographers and other vendors that have profiles with shooting stars and glitter and the word “featured” on them are better than the rest? Not the case. They are just paying this wedding website more money to make sure they are front and center and you see them first. Eventually, this is going to be known as caveman style SEO, I’m sure. But whatever, the point is, I have booked jobs (I am not alone on this)  because I had the word “unicorn” next to my name. (Not “unicorn”, but you get it, right? Cool.)

Over the years these sites have evolved to include helpful articles for the “clueless” couples. How do I make calla lilies work? My sister sucks, do I have to make her my Maid of Honor? Articles like these were, and still are, on these sites, and they used to outweigh any articles that talked about how to save money while planning your wedding.

But now, the 60 inch round tables have turned and it’s all about how to have a wedding like The Duchess of Cambridge for five cents. These sites, that exist on the money they are taking from vendors like planners, are now talking out of the other side of their mouths on how you can basically DIY the whole damn thing and come out looking like a princess. This industry has got to be one of the only, if not the only to trash most of their advertisers in order to get brides and grooms to visit their site.

I currently advertise with two large wedding websites. That ends this year.

“She doesn’t even go here!”

Ever heard the phrase, “consider the source”? Sure you have. But right now, we’re in an age that if someone shared a doctored video of flying orangutans taking over China on Facebook, we would share that to death as if it were Gospel. Why bother to take two seconds to check out Snopes? THERE ARE FLYING MONKEYS IN CHINA DAMN IT! SHARE SHARE SHARE!

And these wedding websites know that. These sites that are all pro-bride and pro-groom, basically think you’re stupid. You believe everything you read. You won’t take the time to go all FBI and figure out that an editor of a magazine actually has no wedding knowledge and is a glorified yoga instructor. Why would you do that? The article is telling you what you want to hear! Because you want to be Kate Middleton, and you now know how to have her wedding for like, a dollar.

Do any of these sites ever show any math? Even like 2 plus 2? What result do they come up with? Antelope? The average floral bill and decor for 250 people in NYC is $897? Please tell me who the wholesale provider is here, or share whatever drug is being injected, because this is insane and incorrect. These sites never show you the math, they never breakdown the items into something as simple as what is in each centerpiece and what it will cost. Instead, they tell you the average cost of florals and decor as if they know, or as if they could tell you the difference between a garden rose or a hydrangea.

So now these sites, these “best friends to the bride” are making money off vendors and venues that are advertising with them, and then pulling couples in by telling these couples that, guess what? They don’t have to hire a single one of these people! Yes! How is that not a win for the site? Grab a glue gun and some glitter and BOOM, centerpieces for days! Some florist telling you that your bill is going to be $10,000 for your 350 person guest count wedding, plus 7,893 bridesmaids, as well as that bouquet that you had to have because it’s so on fleek? Screw her! What a LIAR! She’s just jacking up the price of those phalaenopsis orchids because how could anyone with 15 years of experience know more than Bambi, the latest wedding consultant on these websites?! No way. Not even remotely possible. Bambi says that orchids cost 5 cents. The gospel of Bambi. Team Bambi.

That’s right. These wedding websites are now offering the services of a wedding planner. For free. No strings attached.

Yeah. You know what? No strings, just a big rope to hang yourself when you follow the advice of Thing One and Thing Two to plan your wedding, and then you trip at the finish line with the wrong flowers, bad vendors, a crap venue and more. This cute little service popped up on the scene a year ago and drove (like getaway car on fire drove) the most established planners to another site to advertise their services on. Some of us got tired of the (to be frank) bullshit that these sites were feeding brides and grooms. Education takes a long time and none of us that do this planning thing as a full time actual job, have time to educate thousands of people that are listening to the words of someone that can handle “downward facing dog” but couldn’t plan her way out of a paper bag.

Consider the Source

Ever hear that saying? Start using it again, because it’s really important. When the articles you read are written by someone that “OH-EM-GEE” was in 17 weddings and therefore and thereby thus are a wedding planner, start questioning what you are reading…because it’s nonsense. Let me ask you something, are you going to take marriage advice from someone that’s divorced 3 times? What about make-up advice from someone who, when they contour, look like a Pinterest “nailed it” version of Kim K? No, you’re not. Because you aren’t an idiot. You go Glen Coco.

Then why are you listening to these “wedding planners” being touted by these wedding websites? Why? That’s like going to Web MD and totally not dealing with an actual doctor. You. Get. Cancer. Every time. And now, your centerpieces look like dumpster fires.

Did you drink awesome shooters, listen to awesome music, and then just sit around and soak up each others awesomeness?”

But it’s so tempting right, because these sites are free, you can create a super cutesy water-color wedding website and it’s adorable how you and your fiance look! Sah-woon! You didn’t have to pay a dime and got all of that for nada! Where’s “bad”?

Everywhere. And nothing is awesome either.

Today, two things sparked this insane rage of “are you actually for real?” in me. Everyday I struggle with making sure that I understand my client and that I understand the current demographics. Millennials are this, millennials want that…fine, whatever. But are millennials dense? Because how is such a large portion of this group falling for what they are told and never questioning why they are told these things?! Ya’ll need to get it together because I just can’t deal with this mess anymore. I can’t. This is me can’ting.

“Don’t have sex, because you will get pregnant. And die.”

I really hope Millennials have seen “Mean Girls” because if not, I sound like a writer with Touretts. Don’t go all PC on me, you know what I mean. Anyway…

The first thing to make me want to asphyxiate myself, was being notified that complimentary wedding planners were being offered by a site that I advertise with. Advertise on. I pay this site to advertise as a wedding planner. This site is now offering couples wedding planner advice for free. I pay the salary of these random people, and they give free wedding advice to couples that went to this site to possibly look for a wedding planner and then hire them.

To rub salt into the wound, these two (yes, two) people are listed as “wedding planning consultants”. Girls, bye. You are the consultant of Jupiter and turf grass before you are a consultant of wedding plans.

Oh, and in case the salt in the wound wasn’t enough, this site was super clever to play to every couple signing up, by selecting three “wedding” pictures: one of an inter-racial couple, one of a gay couple and one traditional running through the forest get married in a barn couple.

But wait, there’s more! You’re getting married and you are brought to this page and wonder what the details are behind Door Number 1. Well, I’m glad you asked, because here’s what you get from this site now…for free:

  1. Assistance finding the best vendors to make your wedding day possible
  2. Assistance with everything from your guest list to your wedding website and “more”.
  3. Assistance making decisions…because this free planner is “just a neutral person to help you decide” and they “get it”.

The site then goes on to introduce the entire team! All two of them! Complete with headshots and bios that don’t say anything other than being in a bunch of weddings and working for a wedding website, which totes mcgoats makes them qualified to be your wedding planner guru. And one  of the experts really likes cheese.

I can’t even.

This is then followed up by Frequently Asked Questions (how frequent are these questions coming in when you just launched this 24 hours ago?). They confirm in this section that yay, they are real and it’s so free like wow! To put the cherry on top they are so there for like, you, and they are going to be mega-besties the entire time, braid your hair and help you narrow down your vendor search.

Best part? You can call them anytime!!!!!**

**Please note that anytime will be defined as 8:30am-5:30pm, but you can email like whenever**

Let me tell you how many of my clients can meet with me at 8:30am. Or 11am. Or 3pm. Or 4:30pm.

Zero.

Here is another question: how are these people/”planners” helping you select your vendors? Because, let’s not be stupid here, these recommendations are only vendors that already advertise with the site (and you could’ve found on your own). If the vendors recommended aren’t on the site, then the ones paying to advertise might be a bit annoyed. But how do you (you being “just add water instant planner) recommend a particular vendor?

Well, there’s another major site that did this first, and here’s how they did it:

Vendor and venue recommendations made to couples planning their weddings based off the vendors and venues already advertising with the site…and willing to pay to be on the list…and willing to pay a percentage off every package booked this way.

In English? Your “free and costs nothing” hack job wedding planner from some website, was recommending someone to you based solely upon how much money they were going to receive from said someone. But these sites are pro-bride and pro-groom, right?

How about pro-money? Let’s call it what it is.

“Boo, you whore.”

Depending on which site you like to play on, most brides (sorry grooms) do have an allegiance to one wedding website over the other. At a time when a bride is flying high about marrying the love of her life, she is not going to be worried about a site lying to her. No one actually believes they can be the victim of total lies on a website, and many don’t take the time or even have the time to understand the motive to lie in the firstplace. Furthermore, why would any bride question how she is being told to save money on a wedding? This is how you save because the website said so.

Doesn’t add up, now does it?

Of course, the second issue that came up today which has me spinning, is an article that published revealing “true” wedding costs. There is one person, one organization cited as the source for the article. That source is pretty much the equivalent to Web MD, which means not only do you get cancer, but your centerpieces are wilted too. The article has been shared hundreds of thousands of times already and probably got a few couples to believe they could do their wedding for so much less, even though that’s not the case.

But these articles, much like this one, are in writing. So therefore, they must be true. Until they’re not and you’ve received wedding planning advice from a college drop out that doesn’t care about anything because her father invented Toaster Strudel.

I guess what I’m saying here is to realize that you get what you pay for. If you pay nothing, then that’s what the advice was worth in the first place.

And if you’re a wedding website taking money from established planners, and then turn around to run a “beta-test” on your “couples consulting program”, maybe you should start using those words and stop sending cut and paste emails to the subscribers that make your site exist in the first place.

What a wonderful world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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