Dusting off the old blog (again) and taking it in a little bit different direction, at least for me. This could be viewed as what my momma calls “making a mountain out of a mole hill” but I got all fired up so figured I’d write about. Plus, sharing is caring.

My morning routine typically consists of a few moments of the Today Show and this morning was no different. I had to hit the road though to make it to a site visit for an upcoming event, so I wasn’t able to hit pause and rewind 10 times to make sure I was hearing the words correctly…which is exactly what I wanted to do when I heard the advice of Jeff Rossen following an episode of his “Rossen Reports” that focused on the wedding industry.

Not only was the story short sighted and not thorough, I felt the advice they provided was irresponsible and in poor taste. And frankly, I thought the story wasn’t anything worth telling. (#sorrynotsorry) This notion that the wedding industry is taking advantage of couples isn’t new. I’m sure there are some businesses in the industry that unfortunately take advantage of people. But sadly, couldn’t that be said for any business in any industry?!

As I drove to my site visit – it was a 50-minute drive so had time to think about this – I decided that I could either sit here and get fired up about it or use it as an opportunity to flip the script and perhaps shed some light. So, to Jeff Rossen and his producer, Lindsey Bomnin, here’s a little perspective from a wedding and event planner’s point of view…

First and foremost, weddings are a completely different ballgame than birthday parties, which is what was used in the report to compare costs for services. I’ve planned both for clients, so feel like I have a leg to stand on.

I’m all for turning a birthday party – or any celebration for that matter – into an elaborate event if that’s what you desire (and have the budget for). But for the sake of the case they made in the report, on average planning a wedding will take far more time to plan compared to a birthday party. Plus, the day of the event is far more involved. And not just for the wedding planner and their team, but for most if not ALL vendors involved. There are so many moving parts and pieces, logistics, and details to consider for a wedding day. I think a birthday party on the scale that they were proposing in the report would pale in comparison.

By no means am I speaking on behalf of florists, but I have sadly heard people be quick to throw them under the “wedding markup” bus. This kind of goes back to the above comments regarding investment of time and level of involvement. Not only do they invest time in meeting with clients and/or the clients’ planner, but the various floral pieces that come with a wedding are usually more involved than centerpieces for a birthday party. And then there’s the bouquets, boutonnières, corsages…the list can go on and on. Oh and let’s not forget other décor items. A lot of florists also handle all that candlelight that you dreamed of, the suspended floral chandelier over the head table, or are the ones building that gorgeous arbor for your ceremony site. And did I mention the cost of getting flowers, period? Flowers aren’t cheap, my friends.

And you want to compare photography? My heart goes out to photographers. While I don’t want to speak on behalf of photographers either, here’s my two cents. Wedding photography isn’t something you should mess with. SO MUCH MORE goes into capturing a wedding day versus a birthday party. Can you imagine if the photographer missed the couple’s first kiss?! There can be so many “can’t miss” moments in a given wedding day. Plus, throw in the fact that it’s a high emotion time for the couple, and family members. Hey, just like a birthday party. Right?

I’d tell anyone that I think it’s worth finding an experienced photographer that fits in your budget. These photos become new family heirlooms and some of your favorite things from your wedding day…which flies by in a flash no matter how much you try to savor and take in the day.

In the end, I’m not trying to pick on NBC, Jeff Rossen or his producer. I’m just bummed that some in the media keep choosing to highlight what they think are suspicious business practices when they could be educating their audience instead.

I know I work hard to pull together the right team of vendors for each couple and client that I have the privilege of working with, no matter what kind of celebration I am helping them plan. Thankfully, the Charlotte area is rich with wonderful, trusted business owners, creatives, and other vendors to work and collaborate with. And I think I can speak for a lot of my friends in the industry when I say that…