About Me

I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Entries in Help! (2)

Thursday
Aug182011

Wedding Assumptions: You vs. Them

I’ve been lurking around a couple bridal bloggers sites recently; women who are gnashing their teeth over the details. I get this, I really do. As a self-proclaimed control freak, sometimes it is about absolutely nothing but the details, big picture be damned.

Is this you? If so, you need to fucking relax. Or at least pretend to relax. Or try to pretend to relax. Your fiancé will appreciate the effort.

Why? Because here are the cold, hard facts: some people suck and regardless of all the details you put into something, not everyone will notice. Or care. Or care to notice.

Don’t believe me? Here:

My rehearsal gathering was exactly that – a gathering at a bar. We could not afford to feed our 40+ out of town guests twice. It was a cash bar. There wasn’t any food. This information was supplied to our guests repeatedly with helpful links and locations as to wear to eat, directions and personal favorites. Who listened? A few. Not many. And those who did listen chose to eat someplace far away, encouraging others to go with them and generally making a mess of my whole plan. Those who did not listen were oddly shocked at the lack of food and left early in search of sustenance. My mistake in all this: assuming that people read and remember what you tell them about your wedding.

You vs. Them.

These assumptions cross all borders and boundaries and can make your life a living hell if you let it. For those of you who have been through the RSVP phase, you know how incredibly ignorant, selfish, stupid, petty and generally lame people can be. The people who request a +1 when one CLEARLY wasn’t invited. Those parents who want to bring their kids though you’ve indicated on your website, Save the Date and through family members that your wedding is NOT kid-friendly. The brother-in-law-to-be who wants to bring his new stripper girlfriend. I had a family member RSVP that they were coming only to revoke that RSVP a few days prior to the wedding. Granted, they had a good reason, but it was annoying all the same. I also had to come up with extra invites two weeks before the wedding to placate family members I hadn’t seen or heard from in over a decade.

You vs. Them.

Attention grubbing in-laws or bridesmaids might try to steal your wedding day thunder. Aunt Mildred might talk smack behind your back because of your lack of a formal receiving line or pie buffet in lieu of a fondant tower.

You vs. Them.

What you need to realize is that your guests, particularly ones who don’t frequent the likes of wedding blogs, magazines or who are 253 years old, have no clue about weddings these days. Lots of people show up expecting to see a pair of silver bells as a motif and lots of white draped tulle. They plan to eat dry chicken picante with a house Chardonnay followed by the Electric Slide and the Chicken Dance. We know (yes, you do) that these things are probably not going to happen at your wedding. Your guests do not. For the most part, you should expect them to expect picante and ancient dance rituals. Wedding Assumptions on your part are a HUGE mistake. You will only be disappointed if you do and you do not want to be disappointed with your wedding. But guess what? It is WAY OKAY if a guest is. It ain’t their wedding. It’s yours and your fiancé's.

You vs. Them.

Now, I don’t want to seem like I’m encouraging you to give your wedding guests the big, fat finger. You do want your guests to have fun and not go hungry, but in reality, there is only so much you can do for people. Those who complain totally deserve the big, fat finger. There are many ways to give someone the big, fat finger without actually flipping off your great aunt or the slut your now brother-in-law brought as a date even though you strictly forbid him to do so.  A well-timed comment said with a sincere smile works wonders. Don’t be a bitch, but be direct. Don’t sugar coat, just tell it like it is. I did this on more than one occasion and it was generally met with understanding (pre-wedding) and absolute compliance (during The Big Show).

I did gnash my teeth over it, of course. I have some regret over the time I spent with my teeth, but it was only because I had to figure out the way to be a bitch without sounding like a bitch. That’s definitely a tough one for me. Go figure.

While you’re excited about the RSVP’s coming into your mailbox every day, expect the lame. Know that your wedding day assumptions are most likely totally different than most of your guests. It’s YOUR party. And it’s not just a party. It’s the day that you are committing your life and love to another person, forsaking all others. That, my friends, is a huge fucking deal. The way you and your groom decide to do that has nothing to do with formality, convention, traditions or the almighty dollar sign. In no way will it always be easy, but then again neither is marriage. Get used to working at it. Trust me though, it’s totally worth it.

Monday
May162011

It’s Like Calculus

I’ve been having an internal struggle recently regarding TruLu Couture. Of course, I want to encourage everyone to shop there. I want to get the word out, market myself like crazy (because it’s all about the marketing) and start cranking out the sales. Earlier this month, I hit up the local antique fair to look for TruLu Couture goodies and ended up talking with a woman who I discovered back in a corner in one of the smaller, but permanent stalls. She had a lot of weird, fantasy type stuff (she used to have a gift store that sold tons of fairy/dragon paraphernalia), but I stopped because I saw a vintage hat and thought I could poke around some. She was barely unpacked, yet when I told her what I was looking for, helped me dig through some boxes to find some yummy vintage Russian tulle and hat flowers. SCORE! But that’s not the interesting part, we started chatting and it turns out, this chick is a social media marketer and environmental activist. And that’s why I love striking up conversations with total strangers. You just never know what kind of cool people you’re going to meet. My point though (sorry, I’m rambling here) is that we talked about how if you did everything you are supposed to do in media marketing, you’d never get any work done because that’s ALL you’d be doing. And it’s true. It’s frustrating. And hard. But it’s fun too!

So having said all that, I will get back to my internal struggle. This blog and TruLu Couture did not follow the path that most designers and bloggers take. My blog came first, not my business. Usually, it’s the other way around. I have a certain level of guilt associated with promoting TruLu on my own blog. I mean, how stupid is that? My blog, my rules, my company – it should be simple math, right? But it’s not. It feels like that college Calculus class I took when I realized that my brain was not made to function beyond advanced algebra or high school trigonometry. I get all deer-in-headlights-dazed and paralyzed by equations and those goddamn graphs.

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But then again, I’m no fool. I design bridal accessories. I have a bridal audience. No brainer, right? But I also don’t want to bore y’all with shameless self-promotion, turning myself into a tacky Old Navy-esque marketing strategy of “Hit ‘em hard! Hit ‘em often!” Does this make any sense?

I was sharing this woe-is-me-what-do-I-do scenario with Tabitha and she reminded me what makes my blog successful – writing what I know. Writing from the heart. Writing with the heart. At this point in my life, I’m writing what I know and a good chunk of that is TruLu Couture. I get excited about new photography shoots and sojourns to antique shops and working with brides on custom pieces. I was talking with another friend this weekend who is helping her friend plan a wedding and how uninvolved the bride is and how little she knows about everything wedding-related. I reminded her of my status when I first was planning. We laughed over that because it seems that once I entered the wedding world, I um….never came out. Who knew?

So all that being said, know that I am a little self-conscious when it comes to promoting TruLu Couture. I’m putting my work out for display and I’m hyper-sensitive to criticism. I know, I need to buck-up, suck-up and get used to it because the world is filled with critics, mean people and SMP.  When I did this sort of thing in the home décor world, I had a bit of insulation from the direct critics, but then again, even that was outweighed by features in trade magazines and such. This TruLu stuff is different. It takes some getting used to, including the shameless self-promotion.

Soon there will be some contests around the Blogosphere where you can win TruLu stuff. More promotion. More effort to get my name out there. The best part is that there are folks who want to help. There are people who like my goodies and hair toys. Hooray! For this, I am so incredibly grateful! I spent this last weekend with my parents and my mom was all, “I need some more of your business cards.” And I’m all, “What?” Apparently, the woman has been handing them out like candy to whoever will listen to her brag on her daughter. She’s given them to bridal shop staff and SRL (Southern Retired Ladies) alike. Go Mom! Apparently, she doesn’t have the same sort of promotions issues as I do. Smile

So with all that being said, I’m ramping up for some giveaways. I’m struggling with what, exactly, to give away. What does the average wedding blog reader want to win? I think about what I would have wanted to win, but was I the average wedding blog reader? Am I average (pleasenopleasenopleasenopleaseno)? So I’m putting it to the masses for a little help. What do you want/need to win? A veil, birdcage or otherwise? A fascinator? A shrug? I’m reaching out for some assistance here. Last week I uploaded a bunch of new items to the TruLu Couture store. I’d love for you to go there, look around a bit and then come back here and tell me what you like. Tell me what you’d like to win. You never know, you just might get lucky and have the chance to win the very thing you love!  Here, I’ll go first. I think my favorite item that I’ve made so far is The Mavis Fascinator.

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Photography by Lindsay Hess

It’s something I stripped down to almost nothing and then rebuilt with a slew of vintage flowers, velvet leaves and vintage celluloid beads. While the piece itself is “new” it has so many historic stories behind it. That is what I love about the direction I’m going in…it’s a bit of fashion history coupled with making your own history. I just love that. 

So, your favorite? Do tell.