Wednesday, June 13, 2012

How Real are Bridal TV Shows?

Wouldn't it be nice to click your heels and have your wedding planned?

At some time in her life, almost every woman has watched a bridal-focused television show. Regardless of whether that show focused on buying a wedding or bridesmaid dress, followed planners as they worked, or was a reality, do-it-yourself program, it was likely a highly sensationalized account of the wedding planning process.

We here at HJ are rarely asked about the reality of bridal television shows, but we wish that were different. The fact of the matter is that bridal TV shows do not portray the truth of the wedding planning process.

Planning a wedding is hard work – trust us. There are innumerable phone calls made to vendors, dozens of visits to venues and shops, and approximately 50 emails every week about some aspect of the event. There are budgets, checklists and timelines, hundreds of people to coordinate, and details galore that need to be nailed down at least a week before a couple ties the knot.

Wedding television shows do not portray much, if any, of that. They don’t portray the need to create an Excel document for your guest list that contains every single invitee’s response and meal choice. They don’t portray the ways to handle unreasonable requests from family members or the all-imperative need to stay on budget. They most certainly don’t portray the difficulty in juggling working full-time, enjoying an engagement, and remaining connected to family, friends and a fiancĂ© all while planning a wedding. (They also usually don’t portray the numbers of bottles of wine that are imbibed during the planning process.)

Bridal TV shows portray the dramatic and fun parts of wedding planning. True, those parts exist in planning a wedding, but so do the other, more stressful parts.

I realize that I’ve probably scared you at this moment, which is only slightly what I meant to do. Truthfully, my goal is to tell you that what you see on TV is rarely the case for most weddings. Understanding this fact can help you prepare for what you will encounter when you start planning your wedding.

It’s important to understand that planning a wedding is hard work. It requires dedication and hours of work each week. Most importantly, it requires energy and effort. At some point in the planning process almost every couple we work with tells us just how tired they are. It’s no wonder – all the phone calls, details to consider and decisions to make are exhausting!

If you want to learn just what you will face when planning your wedding, consider sitting down with a wedding planner or, at the very least, a recent bride. An open, honest conversation about the tasks necessary to pull off the event of your dreams may be eye-opening.

Go ahead and watch those shows – and have fun doing it. Just remember that what you see is rarely what happens off-screen. When you start planning, you’ll find that you have a seemingly endless to-do list…which is when you should seriously start considering hiring a planner.