I've been out of ideas recently. Not for my clients, and not for myself, but for blogs? Oh goodness, yes. So here's the thing I'm going to do about it. I'm going to let the internet decide for me.

I'm going to let the Portent content generator come up with a topic for me, based on the word “wedding”. This generator tends to be a little cheeky, but that's life. Whatever nightmare topic it might spit out, I'll write a post on the subject. Ready? A little scared? Let's go!

Beepboopboopbeepboopbeepbeepboopbeep... boop... beep...


Okay, now, that's not so bad. This could actually BE something.

1. They're Not Inviting Your Friends

Hey, parents. It's finally happening! You're so excited! Your kid's getting married, and you can't wait to use the occasion as an excuse to floss a little in front of your fancy friends! Well slow down there, mom and dad. Ain't happening. No ma'am, no way, no how.

As much as you want to shove it in Smug-Irene-from-book-club's face that your kid is marrying a doctor, you're about to open a can of worms by trying to wangle an invitation for her. Prepare to hear yourself saying something embarrassingly blowhard-y like, “Well, I'm paying for everything, so that's that!” Regardless of who's footing the bill, putting that foot down in a way that forces your child to disinvite their own friends in favor of yours isn't going to make either of you happy. Your kid doesn't know Smug Irene, your kid doesn't care about Smug Irene, and your kid really doesn't have an interest in sticking it to her. Let it go.

2. Every Song Is Filthy

There are certain songs that any DJ worth his salt knows to hold until Grandma has gone home. But there are plenty of other songs, sung by adorable little pop stars with big ol' Bambi eyes, that are probably illegal to play publicly in certain states. Taking a quick look at the Billboard Hot 100, it takes me a while to find one whose lyrics I'd feel comfortable explaining to my dad. Like, a WHILE, y'all. Even Disney sweetie pie Selena Gomez is tarting it up these days! (Please Google “selena gomez good for you lyrics” if you'd like to feel old and filled with despair.) Your kids are hoping that you won't notice. They just want you to enjoy your dinner, nibble a little cake, then go chat with your cousins on the patio while they and their friends break it down to some highly danceable and potentially blush-inducing tunes.

3. They're Going to Go Over Budget

They've got the best of intentions. Seriously! Most of my clients have zero interest in draining their parents' bank accounts just for the sake of their wedding, but it's really tough to budget for a wedding if you've never planned one before. And even when you have a budget that looks pretty good, it's easy to trick yourselves into believing that you're doing fine.

Oh, you budgeted $1000 for guest transportation? $1200 is pretty close!
Your photography budget was $2400? Well, photos are memories, and $3100 isn't too high a price to pay for memories!
I know we only earmarked $800 for a wedding gown, but Dad cried when he saw me in this $1200 stunner. And besides, it's on sale from $1550!

Little overages turn into big overages faster than you'd believe. And there are plenty of spending areas that couples don't consider when making their budgets in the first place (stamps for the invitations, gifts for the wedding party, the cost of a manicure). You 'bout to spend that money, honey.

4. You Might See Them VERY Drunk

If your kid drinks, you probably know it. And you probably have watched them enjoy a glass of wine with dinner. What you may not have experienced is watching your precious flower out there on the dance floor, beer bottle in hand thrust defiantly toward the stars, screaming the words to “Don't Stop Believing” a cozy four inches from their best friend's face. And where, you'll wonder quietly to yourself, is that sweet baby boy who cried when Bambi's mother died? Where is the cherubic little girl who nursed a fallen baby robin back to health in a shoe box on a diet of old Triscuits and tap water? Fear not, gentle parents, for they are not so far away. They'll return to you in the morning, greeting their old friends over brunch, scrubbed clean as a whistle and suffused with the glow of newlywed happiness.

Right now, though? They're wandering around barefoot around the hotel lobby, yelling, “YOU GUYS DON'T EVEN KNOW, BEING MARRIED IS, LIKE, SOOOOOO GREAT!” That's where they are.

5. They're Already Married

This one might actually surprise a lot of people. And upset them. Which is why most of my already-married-before-the-wedding couples don't tell the people around them. And believe me, it happens way more than you would think. For example, in the last 12 months, RedBird planned or coordinated 27 weddings. At 5 of those weddings, the couple was legally married before they ever walked down the aisle. Couples do this for a lot of reasons - tax breaks, immigration requirements, health insurance, getting married in a different state from the one where they reside – but they rarely want their guests to know about it. Often, they're worried their friends and family will see their wedding as “fake”. As the planner, I always reassure them that's not really the case. I believe that, regardless of when the paperwork is finalized, a marriage isn't real until it's been made public. Standing in front of your loved ones and promising to be each other's family is what separates the legal arglebargle from the actual commitment of marriage. So even if your kids DO tell you that the state considers them married, don't worry. The wedding they're planning together is the real one.

Engaged couples, what else about your wedding do you not want your parents to know?