Wedding Shaming... Is it really a thing? Part I


Before I begin, let us pray... Father God, please don't let me be burned at the stake for the words I'm about to share. I'm just a humbled servant who just happens to want give a personal opinion. If no one wants to read said opinion, please let them scroll on by and mind their own business. Please protect my pure heart from vile vitriol because these good people didn't know how to scroll on by when told. Bless all those who keep on reading to have an open mind and heart to feel the love in my words. Bless all the couples getting married whether they are on a budget or got that Ciara - Russell Wilson wedding kind of money flow. AMEN!!! Can you tell I'm a pastor's kid?

As stated this is my personal opinion and if you don't feel the same, that's ok, let's just agree to disagree. I have a lot to share on this topic, especially from different perspectives, so this is going to be in two parts, maybe three. If you want a grand, luxurious wedding that will blow Yandy and Mendeecees' Love and Hip Hop New York wedding out of the water, then this post isn't for you, wait for part II. With that out of the way, NOW we can begin with part I...

If you're anything like me, you read wedding blogs after wedding blogs, stalk wedding editorials, pin every beautiful wedding pin and turn down the corners of a favorite picture in bridal magazines. When that isn't enough there is Instagram stalking. (I'm going to start sharing some of my favorite on Fridays, so you can see of my favorite wedding instafeeds but that's a whole other post.) Don't act like you don't, because I know that you do. I'm a professional Instagram stalker, so it takes one stalker to know another stalker.

I'm in the business of, what I like to call, "creating the pretty" so I get it, we WANT perfect weddings and events that look like they should be going viral on social media like Instagram, in the center spread of our favorite magazine or a featured spot in popular blogs. But what are we really saying? What is the message we are sending? Are we saying that the couples that don't have the time to curate vintage pieces for their custom designed groom's cigar lounge or hire the perfect design team to do it for them is less than worthy of being featured or acknowledged? Why can't we be focused on a couple in love and the love story between the couple instead of how many unique and crafty signs they have posted around their private resort location. Why isn't the love enough, when there are no 20 piece dance bands or tall glass vases overflowing with cascading flowers or perfectly placed lighting? Are we, society in general, wedding shaming couples because their wedding is not worthy in our own eyes? Are we wedding shaming the couples who may not be able to afford the luxuries of having the hundred thousand or million dollar weddings? Are you being shamed into having a wedding that's not you or or that you know you can't afford because you want to be better than the next person or because you don't want your guests not to be impressed? Have our tastebuds been saturated with the salt of the overly done that real, everyday weddings have lost their sweetness? Is Wedding shaming, really a thing? The answer is yes to all of the above. Don't get me wrong I love, love, love, loooooovvvvee a well-done luxury wedding, I do them and can make them happen but I'd love to see a well done simple, classic wedding receive the same amount of attention in the bridal industry and media for those who don't want the extravagance of over-the-top high end events. For every fantasy, over the top, luxury, high end wedding there are at least 8-10 couples that don't want their wedding to even reach that level.

NEWS FLASH... wedding shamers!!!!! There are couples that want weddings to represent them. Weddings are extremely personal and should speak to who they are as individuals and as a couple. There are couples who want to see weddings examples that look like theirs. They want to see examples of how to create a wedding that fits within their budget done right and not look like Aunt TeeTee did it in her living room. I promise that I am not shaming you Aunt TeeTee, but you know who you are... As a professional, I spend countless hours studying my craft so you don't have to guess or try to figure out how it's done and then get frustrated fixing what you don't have have the experience in creating. I also have tons of inventory so that you don't have to get stuck with 200 napkins and 20 lamour satin table linens that you won't be using again except at every church social because you are going to make sure that you get your money's worth out of them. TRUST a professional to do the job and to do it well so you have no stress or worries, but more importantly be a guest and simply Aunt TeeTee.

Wedding shamers; once in awhile, some couples want to see their favorite professionals they "instastalk" or like on facebook, create a wedding that looks like they can afford it. They want to see that you don't have to spend a fortune to have the perfect day. Now Listen couples, you have to help us wedding industry folks too - help us, help you. Please don't expect myself or any other floral designer to create quality work for $600 dollars and you want 20 bridesmaid bouquets, 25 boutonnieres, 10 corsages plus ceremony and reception decor - ALL for that price. Let's just be real!! I can work with you if you have a realistic number, not one that is pulled out of the land of make believe. I'm a floral designer not Jesus. I know he fed thousands with three fish and five loaves but I promise you, my delivery van is not a clown car and 20 bouquets are not coming out of there if you can only afford to pay for 5 of them - no way, no how, not happening. I'm all about quality and I will only put out quality work within said budget so if that means your bridesmaids get a wrapped single stem of a flower, I promise you that it will be the most fantastical wrapped single stem you have EVER seen. Please, don't show me Diann Valentines' bridal cuff and want it for $50 dollars because that's not happening either. Couples, if you are honest about what you can afford, I can tell you exactly what I can do. If it doesn't fit in with what you are comfortable breaking out your wallet for, then that's fine. It just means that we're not a good fit for each other. I'm not your "wedding vendor/person." I'm not going to just put out mediocre work just so that I can have your business. When you hire me, this is a relationship - we have to understand each other.

Sidebar: Future clients of mine, please don't just select me based on the fact that you like pictures of my work only. I want you to select me because after you have spoken to me - you believe in my character, love my personality, are comfortable with me, want to build a lasting relationship with me and on top of all of that have complete confidence in the craftsmanship of my work.

I get sick of hearing wedding industry folks tell clients that they can't work with them because their budget is too small or beneath them. Really???!!! I know, I know; as professionals, we all have minimums and standards that we can't go below, I am not saying go below those minimums because we all have bills to pay and this is a business but, have we as vendors become bigger than our personal reality? Have we lost our creative edge in stretching ourselves to create what works for our client and their pockets in the hunt of the luxury bride? We all want hundred thousand, million dollar weddings but there are more clients that don't have wallets that stretch that far, so are you alienating them because you're a wedding snob only out for so-called social media fame? I don't know about you but I can only deposit checks, I can't deposit likes and followers. As amazing, incredible, and breathtaking the work of my mentor, Preston Bailey is you would be surprised to know how many people have no idea who he is, even in the wedding industry. I recently went to The Knot Pro cocktail mixer, an event for wedding and event professionals, someone had mentioned to another wedding pro that I was a Preston Bailey Protege. That event pro then leaned over to me and asked 'who was Preston Bailey?' Who doesn't KNOW Preston??? Y'all know I love me some Preston and will probably fight somebody over him. Don't judge my life, I'm just forever grateful of the lessons that he and his team shared during my protege experience. So if someone in the same industry doesn't even know the great and powerful Preston Bailey, I have news for you, they don't know you either. You are NOT the "Beyonce" of the wedding industry. There is enough business for everyone and you are not going to get every celebrity bride or couple with deep pockets; if you do, then cheers to you. I'll celebrate and high five you on all your hard work because I know that it takes tons of faith, perseverance and many long hours to get to on to that level. I just don't want the luxury weddings to be the only ones we celebrate and share. I want to celebrate real people living real lives who have an extraordinary love they want to share with the world. Couples, if you run into a vendor that is pushing you into something because that is their aesthetic and they don't want any client , on their roster of all-star couples who won't do as they say, RUN!!! Do not pass go. Do not collect $200 dollars. That vendor is not for you or your love, they are out for themselves. Don't say I didn't warn you.

At the Lush Floral & Event Stylists headquarters, every couple is treated the same way; whether they spend $300 dollars, $3,000 dollars or $3,000,000 dollars. Just like every couple is unique and special so is your wedding. Your style is your style and at the end of the day, it's YOUR money. My job is not to force you to be anything other than who you are. I'm just here to help guide you, give you options, show you things you may not have thought of or knew about but within your budget, within reason and execute them in excellence. If what you want is not within budget, then you have to make a decision on what your priority is. You choose the experience you want for you and your guests, it's YOUR day and wallet. All I'm saying is to KNOW your priorities. Your wedding dreams are your own and not for me to demand that you do it a certain way because it will make me feel comfortable about life. If you don't care about flowers, guess what?? There are options that I can come up with to still make your day beautiful and uniquely you. Challenge my crazy mind and see what I can design specifically for you. It's all about being creative, thinking outside the box and being honest.

I don't work for wedding bloggers or magazine editors, I work for my clients. I "create the pretty" for their vision of their perfect day. I work hard to highlight their love. When their guests walk into their event, I want them to say that this is definitely my clients, a perfect representation of the couple together. Weddings are not about being perfect enough to be featured, it's about celebrating a perfect love. Weddings are a reflection of who you are, where you are going as a couple, the community around you that helped you to get there and that will continue to support you all the days of your life. There is nothing wrong with having a once in a lifetime, fairy tale. lavish and freakishly large wedding; I'm just asking that others who don't want the same or can't afford one not be looked down upon. In my Miranda Priestly from Devil Wears Prada voice, "That's all."

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