We are thrilled to introduce our featured day-of coordinator for The Big Fake Wedding Atlanta, Ashley of Flower Child Weddings! As the company name may suggest, the team at Flower Child Weddings likes to stay peaceful and keep the focus on love. Today, Ashley is teaching us something pretty crucial – 3 ways to keep the peace while wedding planning. But first, let’s learn a little bit about Ashley below!
I began helping to plan weddings in my early twenties. As I moved to Nashville to graduate from Belmont University, my event management experience grew exponentially. I have been coordinating events for almost ten years and have managed all different types of events, working behind-the-scenes at live national award shows, private music industry parties – and yes, lots of weddings! In fact, if you watch Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids, you have seen me in styling action! One thing I love most about this business is that with every client and wedding, I end up with new friends. I say it’s a testament to how much I embrace the personality and true self-expression of the couple versus how society and culture say it “should be.” We create and flourish in the FCW environment together, and I’ve purposely designed my business to be this way.
As you get to know me, you will realize my rescue dog, Captain, is my most prized possession. He is my little boy, and yes, I am one of “those” people when it comes to my animals. Side note: I also can’t live without cheese, 90’s country music (Garth and Reba is where it’s at, y’all), good beer, and A League of Their Own. If you see some girl with a flower crown on her head, rummaging through an antique store, chances are it’s yours truly. I am a true flower child, and I’d like to bring that out in you.
In a society where drama, hype, competition, and dollar-amount spent are glorified on nearly every cable network in some kind of “reality wedding” show, it’s not surprising that the sanctity of what is actually being created is often lost: that is, a wedding (and after that—a whole marriage!). So I ask you this: Who, or what, will define the wedding-planning experience for you?
At Flower Child Weddings, we provide a “Peace and Love” contract to our clients. With this, we declare that we will do whatever it takes to give you peace and love in every moment of the wedding planning process, and to support you with open lines of communication when concerns do arise—rather than leaving you feeling unheard, unvalued, or misunderstood. And guess what? Open, stress-free communication is possible!
Below are my 3 key points for being a “flower child bride”: that is, one whose planning experience is peaceful and life-altering, just as the wedding itself should be.
1. Manage Your Expectations
Because you are a human being, and because your wedding day is commonly referred to as “the biggest day of your life,” you will likely be flooded with expectations as soon as that ring is on your finger. And without even realizing it, you could get caught up in your own world of expectations–many of which have the potential to let you down (yes, I’m talking to you too, my “laid back brides”).
I make this point first on purpose. It’s to prepare you for the chance that you could experience letdown right out of the gate–like finding out that your “perfect” venue is booked for the next two years. From the size of your waist to the height of your bouquet toss; the perfect timing of your aisle music to whether or not your fiancé gives a damn about the color of the linens, you will have expectations. Some will be important and even healthy as you plan your day—but many will not be. Acknowledge them; say them out loud; write them down, even. Whatever you do, be aware of them and take ownership of them. You are human. You will be let down at some point with regards to an expectation. The key here is to acknowledge the expectation for what it is, and then tell it to go to hell. You’re planning your wedding. Ain’t nobody got time for trivial expectations to get in the way of pure creativity and excitement.
2. Don’t be a victim of society’s “Bridezilla Bubble”
“Oh my gosh! You mean to tell me I can plan and execute a wedding without drama and upset? Without going into massive debt? Without destroying relationships?”
Yes. I am here to tell you that yes, you can. As a former consultant on TLC’s reality TV show Say Yes to The Dress: Bridesmaids, I have seen a lot of insanity. More than I’d care to admit. And to be completely honest, I’ve found myself disgusted with how certain young women of my generation behave when it comes to planning their wedding. No, not all brides, but an alarming amount. I’ve seen the side-eye given from a bride to her father to just write the check already, dammit. I’ve seen a girl lock herself in the bathroom (in the freakin’ bridesmaids dress) to avoid body shaming from her supposed best friends. I’ve seen sisters in tears, destroying each other over “taffeta or chiffon.”
So make sure you “say yes to the dress,” but please, for the sake of humanity, also “say yes” to a great attitude.
3. Forget about it being “your” day.
Attitude really is everything. At Flower Child Weddings, we believe that a wedding is not just the “bride’s day” or “all about her.” Instead, we want couples to embrace the concept that “today is our day!” – a celebration of love and commitment to be shared with your entire community. Flower Child Weddings encourages inquiries such as, “What simple touches can we add to honor those whose love inspires us?” We find that by thoughtfully and appropriately including those that love and care for you, planning a wedding can be a joyful, affirming experience for your respective families and communities. Whether it’s honoring diverse religious beliefs or carrying on a tradition from your husband’s family, be open to honoring others – it won’t kill your “boho” theme, and it will most likely bring you even closer to your future in-laws.
A little thoughtfulness goes a long way when it comes to honoring your loved ones. After all, your mothers have probably been looking forward to this day for many years, too.
Hire a wedding planer (we exist for a reason, and most of us are happy to work within your budget), use your friends as resources (most of them want to contribute their love and time to you in some way), and HAVE FUN (seriously, HAVE FUN!)!
Edited by: Jessica Merrill
Stacey Bode Photography