First off, this post is totally gender-divided, with the first bit primarily for the ladies and the next for the gents. My apologies to the feminist movement, any guys out there who are planning their weddings and ...everyone else. I think it's also a testament to the (potential) power of blogging, linking, commenting and sometimes, just screwing around with the Google.
That being said: As a wedding planner, I struggle with the "Wedding Industry" as a whole.
"What a crock!" some of you are exclaiming, "she perpetuates the Wedding Industry! She's hawking those eight-pound magazines like a New York hot dog guy! She obsesses over invitation ink colors and envelope textures!" This may be true, but wait, wait just a minute here - allow me to explain myself. Yes, for some people, hiring a planner is more of a luxury than a necessity.
My clients, to a person, have all thanked me for a) Keeping them, their relatives and guests happy and oblivious of any issues b) Not allowing them to waste their money on any of that Godawful Wedding Crap c) Occasionally, gently reminding them that, in the end, it is (or should be) about the Marriage, not just the Wedding.
I often cruise around online, looking for "alternative" wedding website. It was my delicious, buttercream-y surprise to discover Ariel Meadow Stallings' blog, Offbeat Bride and to get a copy of her book, Offbeat Bride (Taffeta-free alternatives for independent brides)
The Veteran The Challenger