If you think you can do it on your own, then do it ON YOUR OWN! Business ethics 101

When you own a successful business, it is natural that with growth comes the hiring of employees. You look for someone that has an interest in the industry in which you work so it is also natural that your employee might one day work for a competing company, or even start their own business. Unless you have a non-compete clause in your employee contract, there really is not anything you can do to prevent this from happening. After all, your employee deserves to grow personally just like you want your business to grow.

Moving on and moving in your own direction is not necessarily a problem in my industry specifically. We have a lot of work to go around and new businesses and venues are popping up every day. The hope (at least from my perspective) is that clients will know the difference between the talented real professionals and the bored unemployed looking to make a quick buck. A lot of times price can set us apart and, in most cases, those of us that have been in the industry for a while are not fighting to work with the “bargain shoppers” anyway. Quality over dirt-cheap prices speaks volumes when you only have one day to get it right!

But what happens when you have someone working for you that actually steals from you? Steals your client base, lies about her credentials and then uses your name to get your clients to come to her? Well it is happening right now as I am writing this. In order to protect the individuals, I’ll say that I have a “best friend” who owns a photography studio. I know this is totally throwing you off so do not even try to guess who it is! His bread and butter comes from repeat business with children and families and he truly is the best at working with the kiddos. He had an assistant that worked for him for years until he found out that she was stealing clients from him by working side deals offering exactly the same thing as he did only cheaper (oh yeah, and the quality was even cheaper than the price!)

Upon being confronted, the assistant cried and swore that she was sorry and would never do it again. She begged for him to keep her on staff. He was much nicer than I would have been and told her that he needed to think about it because now the trust was broken. Instead of coming to him and saying that she wanted to be a photographer and start photographing with him (YES, that’s right. She had never actually shot a session before! Maybe I didn’t mention that she was an editor and office assistant) she started going to his clients and offering lower pricing in order to take the clients away from him.

While, legally, nothing much can be done at this moment, my question to these types of people is: If you are good at what you do, why do you have to tap into someone else’s client base? I have been in business for 10 years and I have never gotten a job by reaching out to a client that I know is working with someone else and cheapening myself by offering a lower price for them to leave their current planner. First of all, I know my worth, so there’s that! But secondly, I’ve found that ethics in business is one of the most important things in creating a long lasting career.

Thank God he has loyal clients that have come to him to tell him that they were told that “his business was closing” or told that “she was now working that specific portion of the company” etc. You cannot match a great photographer with the relationships that he has even if you are doing pictures for free. But for the clients that fell for this or switched over due to pricing, we’ve all been this rodeo before. When you realize that you only like the photo because your child is the subject, but upon second glance the photo is not good enough to hang in your closet much less your living room wall, you’ll realize that you definitely got what you paid for!

The point of this article is to let the business owners out there know that you have to protect yourself and watch who you hire. Employees like this are like younger siblings that never could match up to the accomplishments of their elders. Jealousy and insecurities take over and that’s just not a good look. Just stay the course and know that, in the end, talent and truth always come out on top, and mediocre photographers are a dime a dozen. They all fade out eventually!

And if you are someone that wants to move on and have a business of your own, then have a business of YOUR OWN! Not someone else’s. How about starting by using different spots in the park and different poses or a unique concept? Just an idea. Creating and running a business is about more than just the task at hand. It is about building up your own clients, and having your own ideas and techniques. It is about managing money and marketing and hustling! If you are that good and you think you can do it on your own, then be that good and prove yourself. Right now, you are just proving that you cannot do it without your old boss and that’s just pathetic!

I took this with my cell phone – no photo credit necessary!

Just stop your whining…. PLEASE

Look, Americans, I understand. Some of you are unhappy about our President. I totally get it. Trust me. I get that some of you are unhappy about the local government as well. I live in New Orleans where crime is skyrocketing, and my local government is more concerned about cement statues than living, breathing people. And after this morning’s shooting of Steve Scalise, and the four other victims, I physically cannot take anymore of the anger and bitching that is fueling a divide in this country and perpetuating the violence that has gotten so out of control.

The more I look at the news and social media, the sicker I am of this country and its entitled, selfish attitude. There’s a huge difference between freedom of speech and marshal law. LEARN it. For the most part, peaceful protests no longer exist. I am sorry. Do not argue this point. They should be able to exist, but we are hard pressed to find any group that can protest peacefully these days. It doesn’t matter who is making it violent, the republicans or the democrats; it is not working anymore. People are not able to voice their opinions without getting physical or disrespectful. Why? Why are you so angry? Let me tell you why I am angry.

I am angry because we are STILL talking about race and gender issues. Why? Why do you care if I am black and you are white? Or if I am RED and you are yellow? Why is it your business, and why are you pissed about it? I am angry because we are STILL talking about homosexuality, and I am angry because it does not stop there. Besides who can sleep with whom, we are NOW talking about who is wearing what and who is allowed to dress a certain way. Why do you care if you are sitting next to a man in a dress? Would you care if you were sitting next to a woman in a baseball cap? WHY? I am angry because it has been one thing after another with the bitching and complaining, and what people – especially the media – do not understand is that the more we bitch, the more the fire is fueled.

I am most angry because we never talk about right and wrong. We never give the benefit of the doubt, and we never care when someone is genuinely going against the right thing, the law, and then suffers the consequence. All we do it bitch and play the blame game. Everything is someone else’s fault and everyone has an ulterior motive. We are creating so much hate simply because we’re bored, or dumb, or wrong and can not admit it. But mostly, it could be because we are listening to the media, who, for some reason, cannot get any facts straight, never can stick to the facts in general, and thinks the most insignificant things are significant while the most important things that we should be focusing on fall behind a story about the Kardashians, or whether or not Trump’s wife held his hand that day. STOP!

Not getting your way and then becoming disrespectful and bullying others because they do not see things the same way that you do is not what freedom of speech is all about. As a matter of fact, adults acting like this is, what I believe, the reason for so much hate and bullying in schools and on social media. It may seem like nothing to you when you get on Facebook and call everyone out for not believing what you believe. But calling people names and assuming that you know who they are just because of their stance on one political issue is ridiculous. Cyber bullying by adults is why children are doing that and much worse to each other. Adults are taking the lead from the media and the children are taking a lead from the adults. It’s a vicious cycle.

The suicide rate is out of control in young kids today. When children are getting beaten up at school, why are our children video taping it rather than stopping it? Why are our children telling each other to kill themselves and, when they do, the parents take up for their child and say, “Well he didn’t have to listen to my kid.” STOP. Stop teaching your children that they are above punishment, above the law and above being kind hearted people. Life is not always going to rule in their favor, but when they see adults holding the bloody head of our President in their hands, they tend to get the idea that they can do whatever works for them without consequence.

Teaching your children that they do not need to respect authority if they do not like the particular person in the authoritative position is creating this divide in the country. If your child rapes someone, they deserve to be in jail. No one cares that the backlash is hard on him, Brock Turner’s parents. Your son is a rapist and deserves the punishment that fits that crime. He can be so sorry, and we hope he is, but he has to take his punishment for his actions. And it shouldn’t matter if he is black, white, or grey and it should not matter if the victim is black, white, or grey. The punishment should be the punishment. Get over it and teach your children to live with the consequences of their actions. If your child just took a match to your family pet, get your child the help he/ she needs and stop ignoring the beginning signs of the psychopath that you are raising! Stop letting the media convince you that people are against your child because he or she is a red head. People want your child to get help because he lit an animal on fire. DO YOU SEE THE DIFFERENCE? Right and wrong!

We are turning this country into something it is not; a heartless, selfish, unethical, violent, and unaccepting country with no loyalty to its people, no strength to fight against anyone but each other, and no will to move forward and make a change once and for all. We are weak, we are becoming more ignorant, and we are becoming a target. And this won’t be Trump’s fault, although I know that’s where many people will point the finger. Next election, get him out of office! In the meantime, start looking at yourself on a personal level and in your household.

Start with the people directly in front of you. I bet you have a lot more changes to make in your immediate circle before moving on to judge the rest of the country. Stop being so angry. Accept responsibility and do the best you can to raise good hearted people. Raise children that will say something rather than record something horrible and put it on Facebook. Raise children that do not see the color of skin so we can get over the racial issues, and raise children that could care less if a man is sleeping with a man or a woman so we can get over this homophobic nonsense. Teach them about love, helping others, doing the right thing, hard work and accountability. These are the things we should be worried about and working toward as a country. Start seeing good and start spreading positivity. Stop fueling the hate!

The biology and insecurity of mothers – biological vs nonbiological

I had drinks with colleagues the other night and our conversation turned towards my stepchildren. I personally despise the word “step.” Perhaps Cinderalla ruined it for all of us, but it somehow has a negative connotation that I am very uncomfortable with. Because of that, I will refer to my boys as my sons for the remainder of this article. It is a shame that I have to explain or have an excuse to call them my sons, but that is the purpose of this article, as you will see.

At any rate, one colleague expressed her discomfort with my story of discipline that I had bestowed upon my son who broke curfew. I was told that it was not my “place” to punish, reprimand, guide, voice opinion or, God forbid, parent my sons. Why? Well of course it is because I did not birth them myself. As a matter of fact, I came into their lives about 6 years ago, but it was not until 5 years ago that I got involved in a relationship with their father. Because he had sole custody, he depended on my help and partnership in raising his quickly growing boys. Even though the eldest was about to graduate from high school, and his youngest was in 7th grade, as any parent knows, sometimes those can be the toughest stages, especially after divorce and various changes that come with that process.

I urged the judgmental colleague to refrain from speaking on things she knows nothing about, but she would not let it go. Her opinion is that stepparents should be seen and not heard. I explained that everyone’s situation is different and that she should not just place a blanket rule or statement over anyone parenting non-biological children. Needless to say, she would not let up and the conversation ended in what my friends now call my “Bethenny Frankel moment.” This was not the first time that I was judged and confronted by another female who felt it was her business to tell me that I have no rights as a mother because I did not birth these boys.

So here’s the question: Why are these biological moms so insecure that they cannot share that “mom” title or parenting roles with people “like me,” the nonbiologicals?Why is it that when a woman with children gets divorced, all anyone talks about is finding a man that is good to her children? But when a man gets divorced, that man is supposed to find a woman that could care less about his children? Or is it that silly game that you want us to play? Love the child, but not too much so no one feels insecure, show up for them, but not for everything thereby making the absent parent look bad, and so on and so forth. How is any of this helpful to the child? My guess is that when you make comments like this, you are not thinking about the child at all. You are just thinking about your own insecurities as a mother.

My (soon to be) husband has had full custody of his sons since his divorce. I have never even had a day with him in 5 years without his children. There is no weekend off, or every other week, etc. He is a full time father, so I became a full time mother. That is just the way it is whether the biological mothers out there like it or not. I am not here to take anyone’s place. I am here because this is where God put me and these children were and are still children. As a mature, responsible adult, I choose to take on that responsibility and I do not see any other way to handle it, honestly. I fell in love with and chose to marry a man with sons. It is a package deal and with that comes a responsibility to help them grow and become the best that they can be.

With the amount of hate in the world right now, it is mind-boggling to me that anyone would be upset that there’s one more person in the world trying to make a difference in a child’s life, giving, guiding and just plain loving him/ her.

If I were a man that chose to take on a women’s children and I taught the boys to fish and I showed up at their baseball games or took her daughter to dance class and eventually was chosen to walk her down the aisle as the father that raised her and loved her from the day we met, I’d be a sob story and a husband that every divorced woman dreams of finding!!! But because I am a woman, I am stepping on toes because someone else carried these boys in her belly.

Carrying children is just a matter of biology, but being a mother is much more than that. We see that consistently by the number of children that are waiting to be adopted. You do not earn a guarantee just because you gave birth. You still have to show up and be a parent. You have to be hated sometimes. You have to struggle to pay the tuition and you have to find time in the day to run them back and forth to school and practice and the gym. You have to stay up all night wondering where they are when they miss curfew and won’t answer their phone. You have to cry when they get their heart broken for the first time, even though you are secretly happy because you knew she was no good for him. You have to do 10 loads of laundry a day because they are a mess and you have to go to the grocery store 3 times a week because they are growing boys who eat everything. You have to stand in line at parent/ teacher conference hoping that your kid is the good kid in class (and he always is.) You have to overthink whether or not they are ready for their license and whether or not you are ready to let them go. You have to fight with their father because figuring out the right thing is hard. You have to cry when you miss a baseball game and he’s called in to pitch for the first time that season. You have to wake up when you’ve already gone to bed just to check their paper because they waiting until midnight to tell you that it is due the next day and you have to feel that relief when they come home and want to talk to you about their problems. You have to consistently lecture them about the real world and what life will be life after graduation to the point that they roll their eyes every time you open your mouth and you have to deal with their grumpy attitude in the morning (and the afternoon and the evening!) These are examples of what it is to be a parent; a mom or a dad. Biology has nothing to do with that and the right anatomy and working “lady parts” cannot turn you into something that you are not.

Women, stop being so judgmental and insecure. If you are doing your best and you are present and there for your child, then you’re doing great. Stop thinking that every person that bore a child is just like you and stop thinking that every woman that loves your child is trying to take your place. Every situation is different and sometimes it is okay for children to love multiple women and have a few strong female role models. Everyone has two biological parents, but not everyone has a mom, or a dad for that matter. No matter what the situation is, you should be thankful that there is someone there to love your child when you aren’t able to, when you don’t know how to, or even when you are right next to them. Mothers are something that every child needs and they come in many different shapes, sizes and roles. I am grateful everyday that I got thrown into this role and even though there’s so much judgment, I know there are a lot more people out there just like me; taking care of children that they did not plan to have but fell in love with and everyday we choose to take care of them and to me, that is a mother!

Jazz Fest 101

You an also check out this article published in Where Y’At magazine or online at http://www.whereyat.com

Although I am a New Orleans native, I did not grow up going to Jazz Fest each year like other locals. It actually wasn’t until just 5 years ago that a great friend of mine convinced me to step outside of my comfort zone, and I’m glad she did. Before then, I was too anxious about the crowds, not much of a live music lover, and I hated the thought of hanging out in the heat while sitting in grass. Thank God Jazz Fest came along to save my sheltered, judgmental little soul!

Now that I know better and have an open mind and heart, I’d like to share my successes with everyone. Enjoying Jazz Fest is very simple. It comes down to what you wear, what you drink, what you bring, and who you go with.

What to wear to Jazz Fest:

Wearing the correct clothing is by far one of the most important details for a successful Jazz Fest experience. Most of the time, fingers crossed, you’ll have a beautiful, sunny day. Making sure you are not adding to the heat by wearing something too heavy or uncomfortable will make things that much more enjoyable. And preparing for the weather in case it isn’t perfect is another absolute must. Here’s a list of what’s most important:

  1. SUNBLOCK – Even if the sky is a little cloudy, trust me, the sun is still shining on you. You will need sunblock!
  2. Proper clothing – Again, dress comfortably. Wear something lightweight and casual. Shorts are usually the best, but as a hater of shorts, a sundress works just fine! Definitely wear a comfortable, cool top (i.e. a tank top, or a strapless shirt if you are worried about tan lines.) Guys, t-shirts and shorts are perfect. Do not try to get fancy. It’s hot out there.
  3. Shoes – Flip-flops are great and tennis shoes will work as well. Some people will tell you that wearing comfy socks and tennis shoes are best because they are better to walk in. That seems so hot to me. I’d rather risk the walk and wear flip-flops. No matter what, please do not be the girl wearing stilettos to Jazz Fest. If I’m not wearing heels, it’s not a heel-worthy event! The majority of the walking paths are dirt and grass, and heels are not necessary—nor are they cute out there. No one will be impressed! And do not go barefoot. You are at the racetrack—where horses race. Consider what you are walking in – yuck!
  4. Essentials – Sunglasses, hats—anything to help block the sun.
  5. Rain plan – In the event that it is raining OR has rained causing the “Jazz Fest mud pit” rain boots are 100% necessary. If you choose to wear something like flip-flops, they will more than likely be lost in the mud and you will spend the rest of the day bare foot.

What to drink at Jazz Fest:

This is very simple. Stay hydrated! Beer booths are all over the fairgrounds. So if you are a beer drinker, you’re in luck. You may bring in your own sealed bottle of water, but no other outside drinks are allowed. Aside from beer, booths are scattered throughout the fair grounds selling daiquiris, margaritas, wine, water, lemonade, tea, and soft drinks.

What to bring to Jazz Fest:

There are many restricted items on the list for Jazz Fest. Here’s what you can bring in:

  1. A small bag or backpack – The size is 17x12x10. If you bring in a bag, consider bringing the following:
    1. A koozie
    2. Antibacterial hand soap
    3. A roll of toilet paper
    4. SUNBLOCK
  2. A small ice chest – This must be a soft ice chest, and it cannot be bigger than a 12 pack size cooler. Inside you can only have sealed water and ice. No other drinks are allowed from the outside.
  3. A chair – You can only bring in a single, standard collapsible chair.
  4. Blankets or ground tarps – If you are securing a spot for yourself or a group, you will want to bring in a blanket or ground tarp. The size cannot be larger than 6×8. I would also recommend picking a color or pattern that stands out. Finding your spot once you leave it is sometimes difficult!

Who to take to Jazz Fest:

Aside from wearing the proper clothing, choosing the right people to spend the day with is the most important thing. Most people would not think this is a big deal, but I feel like this can either make your day or break your day. Having a large group is always the most fun. But you have to make sure that you do not accidently allow a “Debbie Downer” into the krewe.

You do not want to be with the friend that hates crowds, hates the heat, constantly complains, doesn’t want to sit in grass, can’t use a port-o-let, or generally can not sit still and just enjoy the music, the day, and the food. Based on these things, I would have never invited myself to Jazz Fest! You also do not want to be with a category five clinger.

You do want to be with people that can be on their own while you are grabbing a beer or food. Bring people who are fun, relaxed, down for whatever, and have a similar plan for the day that you do—or people who do not have a plan at all. That’s even better.

No matter who you go with, what you wear, what you bring or drink, have fun! That is most important. And just pay attention to these last tips, and you’ll be just fine:

  1. The only opportunity to potty is a port o let, so please be aware of that.
  2. Feel free to stake out a spot and leave your blankets and chairs to go check out some other stages. For the most part, people are respectful of other peoples’ set ups.
  3. Take a nap, get up and dance, eat a little of everything – feel free to feel free for the day. Don’t worry about the time or anything else!
  4. Cell phones do not typically work very well once you get out to the fair grounds. So make a plan with your friends before you get out there, just in case you have to meet up, and your phone isn’t working.
  5. Come out with a good attitude. No fighting and no complaining. Make friends with the groups around you. Everyone is there to have fun and enjoy the music. So enjoy it!

 

Mardi Gras – The Etiquette – The Alcohol – The Survival Kit

It’s that time of year again!  Parties, parades, friends, family, crawfish, crowds, cocktails, cocktails, oh good Lord all of the cocktails.  It’s Mardi Gras and I know we are all ready for it!

Each year, locals pull out the ladders, the ice chests, the NOLA t-shirts, the koozies and bagged chairs and we head on out to Metairie or Uptown (whichever your preference might be) with the hope of catching some unique throws and making more Mardi Gras memories.  We spend the first weekend getting back into the swing of it all and spend the work week in between doing mediocre work while chatting with our co-workers (or anyone who will listen) about where we are standing for Nyx and Muses and where we’ll be dropped off for Endymion and Bacchus.  We head out on Endymion Saturday and barely make it to Lundi Gras before realizing that we have two more days of parties so perhaps a sober day wouldn’t be a bad idea.

It’s a cycle of 2 weeks (give or take a day here and there) where we wake up thinking about when we are going out to the route and we go to bed wondering if you can actually drink another day, deal with the children another day or fight the traffic another day.  We can – always!  So we get back up and head out to the route again.  We love it and why shouldn’t we?

While drinking is a big part of Mardi Gras, every local and tourist alike should know that it is not all about the cocktails.  What it IS all about is having fun with family and friends, and complete strangers that inevitably end up becoming our best friends for life!  So watch yourself and be respectful.  There are children in the area!  As a matter of fact, there are families all over St. Charles Avenue, and Veterans too.  So many sites to see and so many fun people dancing and celebrating waiting for parades to start.

It is suggested that Mardi Gras consists of nothing more than beads and booze, but the only thing you see more than that is FOOD!  Fried chicken, crawfish, sandwiches, BBQ, any snack you could ever want, king cake, donuts…. you name it, someone has it and they will probably share.  And if they don’t, then you know they aren’t from New Orleans!  There are so many ways to spot a tourist.  Do you want to know a few ways to recognize a non-New Orleanian?  Here’s a list of misconceptions so you don’t look so out of place and desperate while visiting our wonderful city!

  1. We DO NOT flash, especially for beads – this is definitely something that someone from out of town started and everyone who ever visited followed suit – locals do not do this.
  2. We Do not show up five minutes before a parade and stand in front of the crowds of people who slept on the route the night before in order to reserve their spot – you will get your ass kicked and if you don’t, you should. Save your own spot or stand in the back.  And if you are a local and you’re doing this – leave the city immediately!!!
  3. We Do not throw beads at the floats as they pass. The idea is for the riders to throw to us and because of that they are not expecting to have something throw at them. You will not look cool or funny, but you will look like an idiot who does not get out much and who’s parents obviously failed!
  4. We Do not follow the float down the street, unless we know someone riding on that float. There will be another float right behind the one that just passed. Wait patiently and get out of the street.
  5. We Do not fight a child for a pair of beads; actually, do not fight anyone. Beads cost nickels and dimes – essentially worth nothing. Although fun to have, catching beads is not a life-or-death situation; there’s plenty for everyone.
  6. If the person standing next to you at a parade is calling out the name of someone on a float, help them to get the person’s attention. And if they are struggling to catch everything that person is throwing to them, help them out and give them the “goods.” In most cases, the person will reward you with something from their throws, but either way, at least you were a good person and helped them out!
  7. Locals are well-versed at drinking.  We had whiskey in our bottles as infants (another rumor that is untrue.)  But still, Do not try to keep up with us.  Pace yourself. The weekend leading up to Mardi Gras day/day of, most are out on the route for hours before the parade even starts. In order to make it through the whole day (and the whole season) WE pace ourselves. Do drink water and eat when you can!
  8. We Do not wear flip flops if you are planning to go to Bourbon Street (this is just a rule no matter when you are here).

Looking for more local tips?  Here is your survival kit – pack a backpack and include the following:

  1. A roll of toilet paper – bathrooms on the parade routes are hard to find, so be prepared;
  2. Antibacterial hand sanitizer or wet wipes
  3. Crackers, a sandwich or some kind of snack if you are not packing a full lunch;
  4. A koozie in case you switch to beer;
  5. A few plastic cups in case you or a friend need to make a drink on the route;
  6. A bottle or two of water – stay hydrated;
  7. A sweatshirt – you never know what the weather will be like, but 9 times out of 10, Mardi Gras weather is warm during the day and cooler as the sun goes down; be prepared;
  8. Extra of whatever alcohol or beer you are drinking. Tip: if you do not want to drag a cooler around all day, wrap your beer cans in foil and then put it in a ziploc bag with some ice. This will keep your beer cold and allow you to put them right into your backpack, rather than having to hassle with an ice chest. Shout out to my father who did this every year for Bacchus Bash! Also, to conserve space, put your alcohol in empty water bottles.

No matter what, when you come to New Orleans, you will have a blast. And, if you stick with some of the local traditions and etiquette, it will be even better! The Saturday prior to Mardi Gras, go to Orleans Avenue and spend the day people watching and cooking out before Endymion. On the Sunday prior, watch Thoth on Magazine Street and then walk up to St. Charles Avenue to catch Bacchus. If live music is your thing, go hear some of the best cover bands New Orleans has to offer at Generations Hall in the Warehouse District before watching Bacchus, which rolls right down the street. Head to Spanish Plaza on Lundi Gras for an outdoor concert and to see Rex arrive, and enjoy a huge crowd of locals and the beautiful city setting. Even in Metairie (right outside of the city), parades are rolling every night; so, if a family atmosphere and smaller crowds are more your speed, then that’s the place for you.

Take advantage of everything New Orleans and Mardi Gras has to offer, not the limited resources that we are rumored to offer.  It’s a marathon, not a sprint so calm down with the drinking.  And it’s truly a season and celebration of family, so remember that when you and your college buddies think about being punks in the middle of a crowd 20 people deep!  Don’t be THAT GUY – New Orleanians hate THAT GUY!!

Borrowed and Blue Q & A – Perspective of a planner!

Photo By Creative Images

Photo By Creative Images

Being a wedding planner means that I am always thinking for someone else, thinking of someone else and thinking like someone else!  Getting into the minds’ of my clients is what it means to be a wedding planner and thinking about what’s best for them is what it means to be a good wedding planner.  I love that aspect of my job, but it is not very often that I get to speak from my point of view (other than the blog) or tell my story, how I got here and why I choose New Orleans.  These are some of the main questions I ask my clients, so I was excited to be able to share my journey and voice when the amazing Borrowed and Blue asked me to participate in this fun Q & A!  Thank you so much for letting me share!!!

Describe your event aesthetic in five words or fewer.

Upscale, not uptight!

cake pic - cheeseman

Photo By Matt Foster

What is your favorite part of being a wedding planner?

I have so many things that I love about being a wedding planner. Getting to know the couple and the families on such a personal level is definitely something that makes this “job” so much more than a job. Becoming a part of the family and having clients come back to me as their other children get engaged, or for their corporate events and social gatherings is just amazing. I get to stay with some of my clients for years doing other events with them and that is something that is so special to me overall.

But in terms of the wedding itself, I am a sucker for the firsts. The first time the groom gets to see his beautiful bride, the bride and groom’s first dance, the bride’s dance with her father, etc. I love the emotions of the day and the sweetness of something that will be remembered forever. With all of that being said, it is always my favorite part of the night to get to step back once all of the ceremonious events are done and I get to see the bride, groom and their families on the dance floor having a blast. No stress, just enjoying the hard work that we’ve all put into the planning! Often times people forget that this is a celebration!! It should be a party! My goal is to always work with clients that want to have a great time and allow themselves to enjoy the day. If I can get them to that point and have them relaxed all day and end the night on the dance floor, then I know I’ve done my job!

Photo By: Julia Bailey

Photo By: Julia Bailey

 

I’d love some more deets on why you wanted to become a wedding planner.

I was a corporate recruiter for 5 years prior to starting this business and, while most people do not know what that job entails, it does call for a lot of the same skill set and personality as a good wedding planner. I was luck enough to have a tough boss that taught me about attention to detail, reading people’s personalities and figuring out quickly their desires, assets and bottom lines. The job took me through rigorous sales training, top notch administrative responsibilities and most importantly, the reality of high profile clients, stressful timelines and time management. They say that once you’ve succeeded as a recruiter, you can do anything – I believe that is a true statement!

While holding the recruiter position, I got engaged and planned a wedding. Eventually, prior to the wedding date, I actually called it off. I had previously attempted to get into the wedding industry, but it was not until I experienced the stress of planning my own wedding that I knew I had what it took to do this job.  Pairing my professional experience with the emotional knowledge of feeling what brides go through and how that can effect your engagement process and the planning of what is suppose to be the best day of your life, I realized I could make a difference for other girls who actually should make it down the aisle!!

After hurricane Katrina, I moved to New York and worked for a private hotel/ venue. I worked under the Director of Sales and learned anything and everything I could about events, hotels, vendors, brides, etc. If there was an event, I was working it – bartending, taking cash for the cash bar, helping vendors set the space, running errands and helping the kitchen staff. I wanted my hands in everything!

I moved home and eventually, via one of my best friends, I got my first interview with a local news anchor. She took a huge chance on me and I completed my first full service wedding in August of 2008. It was a sit down dinner for 408 guests at the St. Louis Cathedral and the Ritz Carlton.

The experience was exactly what I thought it would be. Being able to use all the skills that came from the corporate world, but still being able to have a relationship with the client on a personal level; it was the best of both worlds. And I was 100% all in after that. By the grace of God, word got out, and I’ve been able to help couples create their dreams in a stress-free, fun environment every since. This “job” is not for someone looking for the glamour and fun that you experience at a party. This is for those that understand what it takes to run a business and handle finances, create designs, manage many different pieces, parts and personalities, yet you can’t take the emotion out of it. Anyone that says, it’s not personal, doesn’t understand wedding planning. It’s the fact that it is personal that keeps my business going. Every client is personal to me and that’s something I would have never gotten in the corporate world!

Photo By: Julia Bailey

Photo By: Julia Bailey

Let’s talk 2016 trends. What are you seeing? What trends do you think will stick around?

Honestly, I’m not a “trend” kind of planner. I’m more of the “let’s break the trends” kind of gal. I am always happy to go along with what my bride’s want, but if we can break the mold, I am 100% on board for that. I pride myself on having a great mix of clients that span across the board from the soft, all white, vintage look to the bright, jewel-toned, glamour style as well. I am most happy when I have a mix of clients all wanting something different from each other so hopefully that trend won’t fade out for me!

Photo by: Creative Images

Photo by: Creative Images

If you weren’t a wedding planner, what would you want to do for a living?

I would be a writer. I have a journalist degree and I actually write an etiquette blog called the Proper Planner.

I was realizing that magazines, in particular, were putting out articles with wedding planning advice and these articles were written by a staff writer; someone who had never experienced these things before. So basically, brides were taking advice from someone who may have never set foot in a wedding before. I also realized that a lot of the advice was canned advice that came from previous articles online. So I started the proper planner.

It is a twist on the new etiquette, or lack there of in some cases. So many people want to keep up with rules that were around before divorce and combined families and couples who pay for their own weddings. We are not living in the same world were everything is picture perfect and tied up in a pretty bow, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a wedding that works with your “new normal” and create something perfect just for that particular bride!

The blog also features dresses each week, fun wedding shoes, some local New Orleans events, items that are sold within the wedding industry, etc. We are experiencing some growth right now, so I’m excited to see where it will go!

cropped-KS-BlogBanner4.jpg

What is your favorite venue in the area?

This is always such a hard question. I am not trying to be as diplomatic as this will sound, but I have a love for so many of the venues for individual reasons. Depending on the size of the party, I love smaller/ outdoor spaces that could make for an amazing, quaint ceremony. For larger, sit down dinner options, I’m obsessed with designing a unique option for some of the larger hotel ballrooms. New Orleans has so many different venues to offer no matter the size, or look you’re going for. We have theaters and concert halls that are being used as venues. We have hotel ballrooms that are stunning and independent venues that offer the French quarter feel, or courtyard option if that’s more your style. For me, I tend to fall in love with a venue that is the perfect fit for my client, which changes daily and that is what I love – to work with all venues in the area and get to experience/ design something new every weekend!

Photo By: Matt Foster

Photo By: Matt Foster

Describe something that sets New Orleans apart from other places you’ve lived.

New Orleans is not only unlike any other city that I’ve ever lived in it’s unlike any other city that exists. The character and the charm of the city is always what people talk about, but the reality is that this city is all about the people! We are our own breed and we do things our own way. We are a loyal kind and we see the faults in our city, but the beauty is too overwhelming to ignore. We have people that are staples in this city – not famous to the outside world, but famous to us at home. That’s one of the reasons I think we are so popular for destination weddings. The character of the locals only adds to the full experience for the couples and their families! And working with local vendors is always the way to go. We are the most enthusiastic because we are in love with the place that you’ve chosen to share your love! A photographer capturing an amazing couple in a city that they love, results in amazing photos that someone untouched by this city could never duplicate!

Our enthusiasm is contagious. We grab tourists by the hand and excitedly tell them the best spots to go that they won’t find online! We don’t just talk to you at the next table over, we grab a seat and come sit with you. We don’t stand on the sidelines of the secondline, we join you in the parade! We want to talk about our city like no one else in this country and we want you to fall in love with it as much as we have. We want you to breathe it in, in all of it’s Bourbon Street stink, and let it fill your heart! That’s what makes us different – it’s not good enough that you came here, you have to want to stay here!

Photo By: Chris Williams

Photo By: Chris Williams

Thank you to Borrowed and Blue for such a fun Q & A and thank you for your kind words and support!!!

“When you’re planning a wedding in New Orleans—or anywhere, for that matter!—it’s such a help to have an experienced, thoughtful team of wedding professionals on your side to help execute that event. That’s where Kelly Sherlock and her team come in. While Borrowed & Blue is the online guide to planning New Orleans weddings, Kelly is a real life human who knows the ins and outs of local weddings. Between her insights about planning, her local knowledge, and her love of the people she works with, I couldn’t ask for a more interesting person than Kelly to interview!” – Helen, Borrowed & Blue’s New Orleans Market Specialist

—- If you’re planning a wedding, head on over to Borrowed & Blue to find your New Orleans wedding photographer and more!

 

A “How to” when reacting to someone planning their second wedding

elizabethdanny-Tim Pham photo

Photo by Ardent Studios

I work with brides that are on their second, sometimes third, marriages and always feel sad when they seem to downplay the excitement of the wedding. I constantly hear that they have does this before so they don’t want people to think it’s weird if they “make a big deal.” Or that this is the second time around so we can just “keep it small and simple.” Even though the bride ultimately tells me she wants a big blowout party, once her family gets involved, I see her pull back and down play the whole thing. It is something that has always bothered me, but I never understood the reality of how it feels to share the news of your second engagement until one of my clients got engaged “for the second time around” and surprised her family with the announcement.  After being there, in person, to see the reaction of her close friends and family from the start, I couldn’t help but feel even more compelled to write a “how to” guide for those of you who do not know how to react when someone is planning their second wedding!

When people are pregnant for their second child, do we say to them “well we were already excited for you when you had your first kid so good luck with that?” When we buy a new house do we say “I liked your old house just fine so don’t invite me over to see the new one. I’m good?” No! Even when you’re pregnant for your 4th child, we react accordingly with hugs and excitement and probably shock if you’re on your 4th child. Regardless – it’s happy news. Even when people buy new cars, they want to show it off and take you for a spin. Falling in love should warrant the same, grand reaction – or at least be higher on the list than a new car!

No matter how old you are or how many times it happens, falling in love and finding that one person that makes your world better is a happy event. Yes, if you’ve been married before, you thought you were in love and had met your person previously (or maybe you knew it was wrong.) But for whatever the reason is, it didn’t last forever. So when you feel that love and believe and know that this time it’s real, you want to celebrate with your friends and family. And it’s heartbreaking when their reaction revolves only around the past.

I’ve heard friends of my brides tell them “Your first wedding was a dream wedding. You don’t want to do something big again.” The truth is, I’ve planned many beautiful, expensive, “dream” weddings, but they weren’t the dream of the bride and groom. Often times, the first time around, our parents are paying because we’re younger and we end up getting their dream wedding. We worry about all the silly rules and including every person we’ve ever known. We struggle with choosing bridesmaids and multiple guest lists and pleasing the masses. A second chance at love means a second chance at a wedding too!

Perhaps some brides do want something big and lavish again, but this time around they want to do it their way. That’s totally acceptable! I can understand not doing a million showers again after all I disagree with the ridiculousness of a Sprinkle for a second or third child. But I never disagree with celebrating great milestones in people’s lives. Most brides do not even want the parties and showers that go along with an engagement, but all brides just want everyone to be happy with them!

It is my personal belief that trusting someone and allowing yourself to love again and get to the point of even believing you will marry again is an accomplishment after the disappointment and backlash of divorce. So truly finding that person and being ready to jump in again and not run scared should be the hardest part of getting married again. It should not be facing the peanut gallery and agonizing over what you can and can’t do on the wedding day (since you have already done this once.) If you’re anything like me, the peanut gallery was harder to get through than the divorce itself, so if I had to guess, those that reacted poorly to your big second wedding are probably the ones that took the divorce personally. News flash, peanut gallery, it’s not about you! Try celebrating your friends and family the way you would want them to celebrate you! Support – it’s a beautiful thing!

At the end of the day, for the brides and grooms that do get over their past and find themselves in love and in a position where they want to shout it from the rooftops, then shout it from the rooftops. Those that don’t want to hear it can put in their earplugs. Embrace your second chance and do what you want to do. Include whomever you want to include. More than likely, it’s your money this time around so there’s no excuse. Include people that are going to be positive and supportive to you and your love for the rest of your life. Don’t allow negativity in on an obligatory invite – Leave behind the past and the haters!

The animal printed Onesie!

I had a wedding a few weeks ago and everything was perfect, if I do say so myself. The bride was dressed in a $10,000.00 Maggie Sottero while the bridesmaids pranced around in their purple, Vera Wang floor length formals with the groomsmen sporting simple, formal, black tuxedos and the 1 year old baby who was not on the guest list showed off her best animal printed onesie!! Did I mention is was 11:30pm when the mother of the child decided to bring this animal printed baby on the dance floor with the bride and groom who specifically stated on their invitation “Adult Reception”?

In case there are parents out there that do not know what I am getting at, here’s the point. First, it’s 11:30pm; why is there a 1 year old hanging out at a party at this time of night? Secondly, why do people feel that the rules do not apply to them just because they have children? If I wanted to bring 5 guests instead of my “plus 1” wouldn’t I be considered rude for that? Third, an animal print onesie – I have no comment for that!

Whether or not children should be invited to wedding receptions is a totally different topic all together. Children involved in weddings as a general subject seems to get a bit sticky for almost every couple that I’ve worked with or known when planning their weddings. I think it’s each person’s right to decide whether or not they invite or involve children in their special day but, trust me, I will have a future entry expressing my thought on that matter. Currently, my issue is with the guests/parents who ignore the couple’s wishes to not include little ones.

As a guest who does not have children, but does have a lot of friends and a puppy, is it appropriate for me to bring the wolf pack all because I think everyone should support my lifestyle? I understand that sometimes a babysitter is hard to find, but it doesn’t mean that you disregard the hosts of a party and bring the person they asked you not to bring. As a parent, there are some things that you miss out on and perhaps this wedding was one thing the parent of this printed princess should have missed.

My biggest issue with this specific situation is that the child was the bride’s niece (she was the bride’s brother’s baby). While some of you might think that makes the situation worse on the part of the bride, I think it makes it worse on the part of the parents. The bride was confronted by her brother and sister-in-law before the wedding and they expressed their desire to have their child in attendance and at that point, the bride explained why she decided not to include her niece. As far as we were concerned, the issue was over and done with, but I guess people will do what they wanna! The fact is, this isn’t the only time this has happened and in some other cases, the children have been older – running around, screaming, jumping in pictures, sliding on the dance floor and all the while not realizing that their parents have turned them into “wedding crashers.”

Parents out there, please, try to think about your wedding day. Think about the things that were important to you. Maybe it was most important to you to have purple flowers and fried oysters. What if the florist decided that she was in a pink mood so that’s what she brought and the chef decided that if he slipped in fried shrimp instead, no one would notice? To some people, their guest list takes precedence and, while I’m sure your child is just lovely, it’s not personal so stop making it about your children and start thinking of other people. I’m sure that when you got married, your friends were at your wedding drinking, dancing and concentrating on you. Give them the same courtesy. After all, people are inviting you to their event because you are a person that they are friends with, not because you are the mother of “Anna animal print!”

Jazz Fest 101

frame 2 - 4x6 - across 2Although I am a New Orleans native, I did not grow up going to Jazz Fest each year like other locals. It actually wasn’t until just 5 years ago that a great friend of mine convinced me to step outside of my comfort zone, and I’m glad she did. Before then, I was too anxious about the crowds, not much of a live music lover, and I hated the thought of hanging out in the heat while sitting in grass. Thank God Jazz Fest came along to save my sheltered, judgmental little soul!

Now that I know better and have an open mind and heart, I’d like to share my successes with everyone. Enjoying Jazz Fest is very simple. It comes down to what you wear, what you drink, what you bring, and who you go with.

What to wear to Jazz Fest:

Wearing the correct clothing is by far one of the most important details for a successful Jazz Fest experience. Most of the time, fingers crossed, you’ll have a beautiful, sunny day. Making sure you are not adding to the heat by wearing something too heavy or uncomfortable will make things that much more enjoyable. And preparing for the weather in case it isn’t perfect is another absolute must. Here’s a list of what’s most important:

  1. SUNBLOCK – Even if the sky is a little cloudy, trust me, the sun is still shining on you. You will need sunblock!
  2. Proper clothing – Again, dress comfortably. Wear something lightweight and casual. Shorts are usually the best, but as a hater of shorts, a sundress works just fine! Definitely wear a comfortable, cool top (i.e. a tank top, or a strapless shirt if you are worried about tan lines.) Guys, t-shirts and shorts are perfect. Do not try to get fancy. It’s hot out there.
  3. Shoes – Flip-flops are great and tennis shoes will work as well. Some people will tell you that wearing comfy socks and tennis shoes are best because they are better to walk in. That seems so hot to me. I’d rather risk the walk and wear flip-flops. No matter what, please do not be the girl wearing stilettos to Jazz Fest. If I’m not wearing heels, it’s not a heel-worthy event! The majority of the walking paths are dirt and grass, and heels are not necessary—nor are they cute out there. No one will be impressed! And do not go barefoot. You are at the racetrack—where horses race. Consider what you are walking in – yuck!
  4. Essentials – Sunglasses, hats—anything to help block the sun.
  5. Rain plan – In the event that it is raining OR has rained causing the “Jazz Fest mud pit” rain boots are 100% necessary. If you choose to wear something like flip-flops, they will more than likely be lost in the mud and you will spend the rest of the day bare foot.

What to drink at Jazz Fest:

This is very simple. Stay hydrated! Beer booths are all over the fairgrounds. So if you are a beer drinker, you’re in luck. You may bring in your own sealed bottle of water, but no other outside drinks are allowed. Aside from beer, booths are scattered throughout the fair grounds selling daiquiris, margaritas, wine, water, lemonade, tea, and soft drinks.

What to bring to Jazz Fest:

There are many restricted items on the list for Jazz Fest. Here’s what you can bring in:

  1. A small bag or backpack – The size is 17x12x10. If you bring in a bag, consider bringing the following:
    1. A koozie
    2. Antibacterial hand soap
    3. A roll of toilet paper
    4. SUNBLOCK
  2. A small ice chest – This must be a soft ice chest, and it cannot be bigger than a 12 pack size cooler. Inside you can only have sealed water and ice. No other drinks are allowed from the outside.
  3. A chair – You can only bring in a single, standard collapsible chair.
  4. Blankets or ground tarps – If you are securing a spot for yourself or a group, you will want to bring in a blanket or ground tarp. The size cannot be larger than 6×8. I would also recommend picking a color or pattern that stands out. Finding your spot once you leave it is sometimes difficult!

Who to take to Jazz Fest:

Aside from wearing the proper clothing, choosing the right people to spend the day with is the most important thing. Most people would not think this is a big deal, but I feel like this can either make your day or break your day. Having a large group is always the most fun. But you have to make sure that you do not accidently allow a “Debbie Downer” into the krewe.

You do not want to be with the friend that hates crowds, hates the heat, constantly complains, doesn’t want to sit in grass, can’t use a port-o-let, or generally can not sit still and just enjoy the music, the day, and the food. Based on these things, I would have never invited myself to Jazz Fest! You also do not want to be with a category five clinger.

You do want to be with people that can be on their own while you are grabbing a beer or food. Bring people who are fun, relaxed, down for whatever, and have a similar plan for the day that you do—or people who do not have a plan at all. That’s even better.

No matter who you go with, what you wear, what you bring or drink, have fun! That is most important. And just pay attention to these last tips, and you’ll be just fine:

  1. The only opportunity to potty is a port o let, so please be aware of that.
  2. Feel free to stake out a spot and leave your blankets and chairs to go check out some other stages. For the most part, people are respectful of other peoples’ set ups.
  3. Take a nap, get up and dance, eat a little of everything – feel free to feel free for the day. Don’t worry about the time or anything else!
  4. Cell phones do not typically work very well once you get out to the fair grounds. So make a plan with your friends before you get out there, just in case you have to meet up, and your phone isn’t working.
  5. Come out with a good attitude. No fighting and no complaining. Make friends with the groups around you. Everyone is there to have fun and enjoy the music. So enjoy it!

Vogue’s vague ideas of what brides can do without – Bye-Bye, Photographers

Last week, Vogue came out with a “top 10 wedding rules to break” list, and the list left a lot to be desired, to say the least. I think the desire I was longing for was the desire to read about things that my brides can really do without on their wedding day. Let me preface by saying that everyone is free to their own opinions, so I appreciate the perspective of this particular Vogue writer, but I thought it might be helpful to offer my professional experience on this topic based on what I see everyday.

As a wedding planner for the last 8 years, I have seen my fair share of traditions stemming from different cultural, regional, religious, generational, and family traditions. I’ve also seen trends come in and out, and I’ve heard countless numbers of etiquette inspired “rules” that are definitely not valid today, some that I’m not even sure have ever been real etiquette “rules.” With so many different opinions, personalities, and people involved in planning a wedding, I try to treat my brides as individuals and try not to generalize what NEEDS to be included in any event.

While some things are a matter of fact, like saying your vows, there’s not much that I believe needs to be done by any book, such as what those vows contain. Although it is true that I believe Emily Post is outdated, and rules are certainly made to be broken, there are some things that are a part of a wedding for a reason and I would never discourage my brides from them, if they do in fact want to preserve those traditions.

In reading the Vogue list, I have to tell you, it read more as a list of options for those that are on a budget or those who are faced with obstacles needing a few more alternative options for the topics at hand. Not having an elaborate honeymoon, no problem, and if I were not able to have one due to work schedule or funds, that would make perfect sense. But after planning a wedding for a year, I don’t want to sit in a hotel room playing board games with my husband in Metairie, LA.

Not having something old, new, borrowed and blue – no problem. If you don’t want to do it, don’t do it. If you don’t want to throw the bouquet and garter because you’re the last in your group to get married, that’s cool. And if you don’t want your bridal party to have dresses that match, that’s amazing!!! Do it, don’t do it …it’s fine.

But having someone carry around a sign asking for money is like driving under the interstate in New Orleans. Begging at your reception can be somewhat tacky! In the south, we have the money dance, which is similar, but in a more traditional way so that it doesn’t seem so much like you are begging. But even down south, some of the couples, and their parents, are finding that they believe it’s asking for too much to ask your guests for cash on your wedding day. Up North, cash is the norm, but they do that automatically. Not registering and expecting guests to know that you will “hit them up” on the wedding day is just silly.

I was very sad that a bride having her father walk her down the aisle is something we should do without. What did my dad ever do to me that I would “X” him out of that luxury? Personally, my dad hit the jackpot with me. He has already walked me down the aisle, and God willing, he’ll get that chance again. But seriously, if my sister and I would have decided not to have him walk us down, he would have been devastated. It’s definitely each person’s decision, but I don’t think that we should throw the dads away just to be different.

Some of the best wedding ceremonies that I’ve witnessed have been those that were traditional, and some actually included moms walking the bride down, or grandparents, or siblings. As a matter of fact, my own sister-in-law walked herself to the aisle, and my brother met her and walked her the rest of the way. That was perfect, for them! There was a rhyme and a reason. It wasn’t just to be different.

My problem with breaking tradition is that some people are trying so hard to be different and trendy that they end up missing out on some really sweet moments. Being “different” is becoming the new trend, so essentially you are just becoming basic rather than unique. If you and your dad are good, then be good and don’t make an issue where there is no issue. I am a firm believer that the wedding is all about the couple and, in most cases, I will advise that they do what makes them happy and that they shouldn’t worry about everyone else. But when it comes to Daddies (or moms, etc), some of them dream of this moment just like we do, don’t be that girl that’s trying so hard to do your own thing that you end up making a mistake.

By far, the worst piece of advice was that you should not hire a professional photographer. This writer feels that people will take enough pictures on their phones so you should be good to go! And if you don’t want to worry about “Likes” on your Facebook, just go ahead and put disposable cameras around the room. Great suggestion – that’s not old school at all. I can imagine the butt shots and drunk escapades you’d gather from those cameras. Fun, for sure, but the everlasting, wall portrait photographs of my special day, no thank you!

I’d love to put together an album of pictures that guests take at a wedding. I had a client that was a producer, so his guests certainly had some great shots, but that is not the norm. Because I didn’t have access to one full wedding captured only via the “average” wedding guests, I decided to pull a few shots from recent clients via their social media so you can see how good your wedding day can look without a professional photographer. Again, these pictures are pulled only from guests that posted on Facebook – not by any vendors that may have access to special features, filters, angles, etc. 12294650_10101936693388018_2761806521985441832_n   12341335_10101936696252278_7180911298987263593_n12301463_10156305651000634_6057774334887102122_n

Looks professional enough to blow up and frame, right? How ridiculous is it is that while some brides are trying to go unplugged so their guests can enjoy the wedding, Vogue is suggesting that we just have our guests work that day and capture all the love on their Samsung? After all, being a photographer is just that easy, right?

Incidentally, my last unsupported “I don’t” was the rings! Seriously? I’m as independent and “new-aged” as the next person, but no jewelry? NO WAY!! The only reason to turn away jewelry is if you cannot afford it. And that is totally fine. Love is definitely the most important thing, and God knows I would accept a ring pop if I were lucky enough to marry the love of my life. But second to love is the ring! To decide not to have a ring just “because” makes no sense to me. And no, I am not getting a tattoo (another one of the Vogue suggestions.) I have always been in love with love, but I’m also a realist and tattoo is not in my realistic plan. Besides, I’ve never been one to turn down a diamond ring unfortunately!

At the end of the day, I feel there are many things we can do without at a wedding if you so choose, such as the bouquet and garter toss, the suggestion that the bride’s family should pay for everything, having a wedding cake, having your bridesmaids wear the same dress, and many more. But at the end of the day, it is each person’s decision what they do and don’t want. Trends come and go, but when you take the love of everyone other than yourself out of your wedding and you take out the opportunity to capture the memories, you should probably just elope alone and pray you have a really good memory for the rest of your life!

To read my suggestions on the list of trends that are going out of style, stay tuned. And to read the full Vogue article, Click Here!