Monday, January 17, 2011

Paying For Your Wedding

I have a confession to make - I absolutely love the reality tv megaseries known as "The Real Housewives Of Atlanta".  It's my guilty pleasure and judging from my social media comrades on Facebook & Twitter, they can't get enough either!!  Talk about shiggadashery and shiggity (yes, I have a propensity for making up words - don't judge me!) at it's finest - this show has it in spades.

Last night's episode continued the saga of  "supermodel" Cynthia and her supper-club owning fiance', Peter, as they head down the road towards matrimony.  Their journey has been fraught with anger, disagreements, money issues, with the smooth-as-silk-fine-as-wine actor and author Hill Harper even coming on to help them "mediate" (to no avail...in my opinion).  Well - last night, Peter dropped the shoe off his other foot...wait for it...wait for it....and told our bride-to-be that because of "financial issues", he officially CLOSED his business.  Yep - you heard me.  Closed it down.  Shut the doors.  Nothing to see here, folks - let's keep it moving.

Cynthia's response was not unexpected - she lost her mind.  She's been "dreaming" of this wedding and "it's all she had", especially since their relationship was most definitely "strained".  Peter was quite honest in saying that the lavish nuptial shindig she and her sister HAD been planning would more than likely not be able to happen, but (and here's the crazy part), he suggested that she "go and assume like it would".  **blank stare**.

Ok...time for me to shut this nonsense DOWN.  According to Peter and Cynthia, there was an extra $20,000 needed to finish paying for the wedding festivities.  I'm just going to put it out there - POOR PLANNING.  Period.  As a professional planner, I've got clients who come to me with all sort of "financial situations" - but it's my job to work with them and be the one willing to give em' a reality check in the BEGINNING.  Weddings cost money (that's a whole separate topic I'll be covering later) and as such, you need to be on the same page when it comes to shelling out the money for this event.  I know - stuff looks AMAZING when you see it on television, in the magazines, on displays in the store...but you have to be practical with the situation in general.  If you know that your finances are tanking - DON'T PLAN A HUGE WEDDING.  Appearances mean nothing - especially when you can't fund them

And before anyone comes back with the snappy retort of "stuff happens", let me clue you in right now:  I know that.  I've had it happen to clients where one of them got laid off or something else occured that changed the "picture".  But because we were prudent - those things didn't completely blow their event out of the water.  A couple of people decided to postpone their wedding until their financial footing was better - and I totally respected that move. Others scaled back on their plans and relied on my know-how to give them something wonderful to remember, within their new budget.  That's what I do - my job is to make it work..but in order for that to happen, you have to be upfront and honest.

People talk a good talk...but the proof is in the pudding.  Judging from what is shown on the series, it's not like Peter & Cynthia didn't KNOW there was trouble afoot with the supper club.  They did.  And if that's where the funding was coming from, it would have been in their best interest to rethink their celebration.  The economy, while rebounding slowly, is still erratic and mercurial - you have to be cautious and smart.  I always advise potential clients to be extremely realistic about how their event will be paid for and to have backup plans in place "just in case".  Life and it's situations can be extremely fickle...weddings are no exception.

I always tell people that money can be wonderful or a downfall.  It all depends on how you manage it.  For as much as I love a good wedding...I respect it more when a couple starts out on the right foot - able to live after the "I Do's" have been said.  Life starts the next day after the marriage license has been signed - I give you the first "24" to revel in the glow..after that, get ready for the real deal.  But if you are backed into a corner because of trying to finance a "blowout baller party" for everyone else, you're going to end up fighting like rats (amongst yourselves) to get out......

6 comments:

Elishabha said...

Well said Diva!!

Tracy Dapp said...

Right on point!

The Broke Socialite said...

LOVE this commentary!

Are you in Atlanta? Cynt/Cymp/Cynthia needs to call you quick, fast and in a hurry.

As much as I laugh at Dwight/Cicely Tyson/Willie Wonka, for $500 he could have planned a fly wedding complete with ballet dancers, male escorts, a floral halo and bejeweled eyelashes.

Did I hear someone say "red flag"?

Danielle [A Special Occasion, LLC] said...

Very well said! Something else a planner may have to deal with is the couple that says they don't really have a specific budget then when you starting giving them prices, then it's too much and they can't afford it. Well, when we ask about a budget, give us a number. Loving these posts!

WHITNEY said...

High five!!! Well said. We are planning for a May wedding and are actually thinking of pushing it back to the end of June provided we can still have our venue/vendors for that later date. If push comes to shove, it will probably mean scaling down.

kg said...

I think I love you! Awesome post...