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Remember Bridezillas? It was a show that was all about brides who had out of control demands, threw fits, and occasionally would get left at the altar after being totally awful to all their loved ones. That show is a favorite of mine, but mostly because it's one of those "train wreck in slow motion" type deals.
This isn't a show that made me feel empathy for many people. In most of the Bridezilla episodes, there was a spineless man, a psychotically narcissistic woman, and a bunch of enablers who really shouldn't be anywhere near such a toxic personality. Everyone was to blame for enabling that behavior—and the abuse women unloaded on their men.
There was one person I consistently felt sorry for though: the wedding planner. It was the show that made me realize how much wedding planners can go through with clients, and for that, I'm thankful.
After watching a particularly bitter episode of Bridezillas, I decided I wanted to know what it's really like to be a wedding planner. I figured there are probably a lot of secrets to the industry.
After doing some research, I found that there's a lot your wedding planner won't tell you about their job. What they keep quiet about might even shock you.
"It's an extremely emotionally charged job, and we're paid to be emotionally invested in your wedding."
Let's be honest. Wedding planning is a very emotionally draining process. There's arguments, things go wrong, there's a little bit of panic from time to time, and once in a while, guests might have hissy fits too. Wedding planning, as an industry, is one where emotions almost always run high.
Most brides want a planner who is emotionally invested in their wedding. If you can't get excited about a client's wedding, you won't keep your job. In other words, it's a super high stress job and the wedding isn't a party for them.
"We know all the couples' secrets—or can figure them out pretty well."
One thing your wedding planner won't tell you is that they can read couples like a book, and that they often will be privy to information that would shock family members, as well as the vast majority of your wedding party.
In the case of a bride that's pregnant, they will often know because they'll be in charge of getting "cranberry vodkas" that are actually just cranberry juice. Most planners can also tell you which bridesmaids the groom has hooked up with, just based on their body language alone.
"For all that is good and holy, please do not mention Pinterest."
If there is one thing wedding planners loathe more than a bridezilla, it's Pinterest and the best DIY wedding ideas of 2018. Many well-meaning brides plan their wedding for years using Pinterest boards, but those good intentions usually lead to babysitting sessions for the wedding planner.
Your wedding planner won't tell you this, but those DIY fees and "outside vendor" fees are usually done to dissuade women from using Pinterest for planning a wedding. If they can't dissuade the bride from Pinteresting it up, they at least get a better fee.
One wedding planner explained, "We call it a PITA fee, or 'Pain in the Ass' fee."
"We hate having to wrangle up bridesmaids, but it's a part of the job."
You'd be surprised at some of the stranger aspects of life as a wedding planner. They often have to act as a buffer for bridesmaids who might cause a problem once they drink too much, and corralling a very intoxicated bridal party is basically a given part of the job.
Acting as a babysitter for a massive crowd of people isn't fun, but it's necessary. It's just the way things are when you're hired to make sure a party runs smoothly.
"Brides aren't the only ones who make demands."
Diva behavior and weddings just go hand in hand, and that's not only bridezillas we're talking about. Wedding planners often have to field unreasonable requests from guests, grooms' mothers, and even bands that are hired to play at weddings.
Apparently, wedding bands are the worst offenders. Your wedding planner won't tell you this, but you can bet planners will breathe a sigh of relief when they hear you booked a DJ rather than a band.
"We are constantly nickel and dimed by our own clients, and it's infuriating."
With all the high stresses of work as a wedding planner, you would expect people to charge a lot of money for their service—and most do. The thing is though, most people try to haggle and will do what they can to argue the price down.
One wedding planner we talked to explained, "I honestly feel like most of my clients really don't understand how much work we do. At times, I make less than $5 per hour for clients. That's not even a living wage!"
Most wedding planners have non-negotiable pricing. Please respect that!
"We roll our eyes when we hear someone say they can plan a wedding as well as we can."
Yes, you might have planned your cousin's wedding, but that doesn't mean that you are a wedding planner. You might have found a lower rate for airfare on a destination wedding, but that doesn't mean you have the connections to get the perks you want to get from resorts.
At the end of the day, wedding planners are professionals who save you money on weddings while also saving your sanity. It should be no surprise that one of the things wedding planners hate is how disrespectful their clients can be when it comes to respecting their profession.
"We will most likely act as your therapist at least once."
One of the things your wedding planner won't tell you is how often they have to work as a part-time therapist for couples. People get upset, brides get cold feet, the mother of the groom will throw a tantrum... and when all that happens, it's usually a wedding planner who will be the one collecting everyone.
You'd be surprised at how often wedding planners have to act as counselors for families who are struggling with the wedding. It's a fairly common thing.
"Your groom might have hit on us, but we'll never tell."
One of the strangest phenomenas that wedding planners deal with is fielding groomsmen who want to sleep with them. Your wedding planner won't tell you if the groom is being a cad, but she will tell him to buzz off.
A lot of wedding planners have to push away grooms who want their "last fling," and some even claim to have grooms who ask them to join them in the hotel room. Maybe it's something about the floral arrangements?
"We still cry at weddings."
Weddings are still a beautiful thing, and wedding planners know this better than anyone else. Your wedding planner won't tell you this; or who knows, maybe they will; but they really do see joining your family as a planner as an honor.
If you see your wedding planner reaching for a tissue, don't freak out. One of the reasons why hiring a wedding planner is the best decision is because they really do appreciate seeing what a huge role they played in your wedding, and it's totally normal for them to get overwhelmed about it.