Another end of the month, another YAWA! Yes, the name is growing on Christy. This month, we are answering more listener questions and as always - some of them have to do with family. Specifically, the sometimes sensitive topic of honoring step-parents, after the loss of a parent, or in the event that parent is estranged. We’ve got so much love for all of you that deal with tough family situations while wedding planning. You are not alone!
When your talented friends offer to help at the wedding, how do you compensate them? How to plan your wedding in a stress-free way after your first wedding was WAY too stressful? Is a card an appropriate way to say thank you to your mom? I mean, it’s a lifetime of thank yous, right? You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. And opinions. And advice. Also, some sympathy.
Modern Love Event in Nashville is this weekend! Keep us with us on Instagram stories- we will be sharing our adventures and introducing all of our guests there. We have awesome interviews set up and then we’ll be live recording with the event attendees. Stay tuned!
1 Email - “Friendors” (we agree that we need to do an entire episode on this topic)
Ask: “We have a lot of industry family and friends in Denver from floral to bartenders to dj's to chefs, artists from everything with graphic design to film set production, seamstress, photographers, etc , etc, etc... We very much appreciate all that has been offered to us, but we know that our friends aren't free.
In this sort of a situation, how do you compensate friends with still getting a deal but not insulting them?
Answer: Talented friends are good to have - especially around your wedding! I would count on compensating them 100% for their COSTS, and then asking them how much they think is fair for the labor. Be upfront and tell them how much you appreciate everything, but that you don't want to take advantage - even inadvertently - of their goodwill. And that you know they would be making money on this if you weren't their friend. I expect many of them will say something vague like 'oh, don't worry about it...whatever you think is great' and in this case, I think a few hundred dollars as a 'thank you gift' is probably fair. Depending on what exactly they are doing and how time-consuming it is. Again, insist that you pay for the full cost of the supplies.
2 Email - “Honoring Step-Dad”
Ask: I currently have no relationship with my father for his side of the family. In fact, I haven’t had a relationship with him in many years. Long story short, he left my mother for another woman when I was very young, and his new wife did not want him to have a relationship with my sister and I. Not really sure why, but he limited contact with my sister and I. Last time I saw him in person was about 8 years ago.
After I became an adult, I decided to accept the situation for what it was. I won’t say that it never bothered me to not have a father in my life, but it’s more like I had made my peace with it. At least that’s what I thought.
During this wedding planning process, I found myself suddenly re-mourning the fact that I do not have my father in my life again. It really caught be by surprise as I thought I had worked through it. I am very lucky to have one very loving and supportive supportive stepfather, and along with him comes a very loving and supporting family. However, I can’t but feel sad every time things come up like picking the song I will dance for the first time with my “father” (I’ve decided to have a dance with my stepdad), Thinking about who will walk me down the aisle, and other things that a bride would traditionally do and include her father in. All this make me feel very sad, and in turn makes me feel guilty for not appreciating the wonderful gift that I have been given in form of my wonderful stepfather.
My question is, what are ways that I can help my mother and stepfather feel special that will help me get over the lack of my father‘s presence? I’m already having them walk me down the aisle together, and as I said, will be having a father daughter dance with my stepdad. Is there anything else that I can do?Thank you so much for reading this, and keep being amazing!
Answer: I suggest writing a card to your mom and stepdad - one for each one of them, to open the morning of your wedding day. Thanking them for supporting you and loving you, and for the unique way they have both had a part in guiding you to this pivotal point in your life. I think if you get all the feelings down on paper, you won't question anymore, or feel guilty, if your stepdad knows how much he means to you, and if your mom knows how grateful you are for her love, and also for the fact that she picked such a good man to raise you after your dad left.
Email #3 “Need to know basis”
Ask: Right now I am eight months into wedding planning with about nine to go until our wedding in September 2019. Several of the big items are complete (guest list, budget, venue, photographer, officiant, florist, hotel block, save the dates, ceremony and reception music, etc.). At the beginning, I had so much excitement for wedding planning. Now I’m starting to feel like I’m running on fumes. Wrangling calendars, getting buy in during decision making, and reaching out to new vendors is not easy to keep up with! Don’t get me wrong, I am so looking forward to the day we have planned for our wedding and I think it’s going well. But after accomplishing so much, it seems like there is an awful lot left to do. My fear is that my attention to detail will wane and on the day of our wedding I will regret not putting more of myself into planning. Do you have any words of wisdom on how to re-capture the energy around planning? I don’t know how you ladies do it month after month! Haha :)
There is one other item I wanted to get some perspective on. Several things remaining on the to do list involve making decisions that will make impact other people. Examples include picking out bridesmaid dresses, deciding if we are all going to get our hair done (and who is paying for it), and who will be escorted to their seats as part of the ceremony vs who will be seated before the ceremony begins. I am DREADING it. Whenever friends and family ask about these items, I cannot change the subject fast enough. I have answers and thoughts on what I want for all of these items, but I just get so uncomfortable when discussing it. I think there are two reasons behind it. The first is that I hate telling other people what to do, especially when it involves how they will spend time or money (which are quite personal decisions). The second is that, ever since I can remember, people do not usually share my tastes. From things like music to decorations (not wedding related, just in general) I have pretty consistently gotten the message of “That’s fine for you, but I wouldn’t pick that”. It’s not mean, it’s just people being people. So far I’ve had a few conversations with my crew on what we should do for the items I mentioned above. Those conversations went well, my close friends and family are really generous, supportive people. But I still have a lot of hesitation on making and communicating the game plan. Do you have any advice on how bride’s and grooms can approach communicating decisions once they have been made?
Answer: I strongly suggest taking a planning break for 2-3 weeks. Literally - like an 'out of office' break. You have plenty of time and taking a FULL break from wedding planning - even try not to talk about the wedding at all during this time, it will give you a renewed sense of purpose when you jump back in. You've probably been dedicated a lot of mental and emotional energy to wedding planning - I bet you don't even know how much. And you won't know until you give yourself permission to totally NOT think about it for a while. Challenge yourself. You'll be happy you did, I promise! Remember life before wedding planning? It was nice too!
As far as your other questions - 1. Don't communicate anything about the actual day-of until about 6 weeks out. I mean, other than the time the ceremony starts and helping to reassure people that there are hotels and how they can get to the venue - things like that that may inform someone’s actual travel plans which do need to be made far in advance. All of the ceremony details, the hair and makeup schedule, the order of events at the reception...these are in the 'need to know' category and no one needs to know them right now.
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