The Countdown: Battle of the Planners

In part three of an exclusive online series, bride-to-be Ashley Primis was far from high maintenance — till one of her planners called her nuts

THE COUNTDOWN CLOCK says 8 days.

With about one week to go, I





THE COUNTDOWN CLOCK says 8 days.

With about one week to go, I realize that I actually don't have that much to do — I just feel like I do. Besides stuffing welcome bags, my last essential tasks are giving final head counts and doing final vendor check-ins. Anyone involved in the planning process should be able to do this, but the truth is, despite two — yes, two — planners, I'm the only one who knows all the details. Because, really, I planned this whole wedding myself.

OK, so I'm the definition of Type A — that could be the reason. But it's also because, truthfully, no one was going to put as much care and thought into my wedding as I was — including my mother, who, just last week, realized what a Big Deal this whole thing is. (Seriously, she called to tell me just that.) And although I am not the best delegator, I am even-tempered, and I honestly feel that I was planning without being crazy. I wasn't demanding. I was patient and open to suggestions, even intimidated to disagree with chuppah designs, band songs and ceremony details. But I learned something the hard way: Regardless of what type of bride-planner you are — hands-off, hands-on, calm or nuts — at some point in the experience you will be called psycho. Or obsessive. Or the worst bride term of all (on so many levels), bridezilla. Why? Because the whole wedding industry has gotten out of control, and if you're a bride, everyone just assumes that you have lost your freaking mind.

Which brings me back to the planners. The first one I'll call Cassie. She came with the hotel where my ceremony and reception are. The other I'll call Linda, whom I hired on my own. About four months into the process, Cassie forwarded me an e-mail from a potential vendor, not realizing that at the bottom she had written "Please let me know the new price quote this week, because we are dealing with a very high-maintenance bride here."

I wanted to puke. I'd been very sensitive about that, about not being that bride everyone expected me to be, to the point that I would actually downplay and suppress any wedding excitement that came my way from co-workers and friends. But there it was, smack in my face.

It's even funnier that it came from Cassie, because when I told her that I'd hired Linda, she was the one who went nuts. She detailed terrible experiences she'd had with private planners in the past and how she wasn't happy about my new hire. I'd decided to shell out the extra cash for Linda because I felt that with more than 120 weddings a year at the hotel, I wasn't going to get what I needed, and at that point I had gotten a vibe from her that I didn't like. The e-mail pretty much proved my point.

After a week of deliberating how to handle it, I decided on a confrontational, but levelheaded, phone conversation (meaning I held back the inner Jersey), during which she profusely apologized. After that conversation, I made a decision: I was going to chuck all inhibitions out the window. Someone had already called me a brat — if I was going to be labeled something regardless of what I did or didn't do, why not do what I wanted? I stopped apologizing and started demanding. I stopped signing contracts and started haggling over prices, and began actually bossing Cassie around (after the e-mail I totally had hand). And that is when my wedding planning really, finally, came together. Things were getting done left and right.

Regardless of whether wedding planning causes normal women to go nuts or normal women have to go nuts to plan a wedding, it's expected. You might as well go with it and start getting what you want.

E-mail Ashley to share your stories, and look for a wrap-up when she gets back from her honeymoon.

Read part one of The Countdown.
Read part two of The Countdown.

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.