About this Episode

YAWA! It’s a good one this month. We’re talking about everything from lesbian wedding processionals to boring transportation timelines, to ex-girlfriends...and everything in between. We’re starting this episode off with a voice message and ending with a bang! We love these episodes and we love you. Keep sending emails!

Big Takeaways
Some of these questions need way more than a quick email response and a spot on YAWA! SOme of them need a deeper dive. For those questions and more, we are here for you one-on-one! If you want our attention for a full two hours of consulting, hit us up and we can schedule a video chat meeting. 2 hours, $200. Easy peasy! So valuable and fun.

Announcement!
Wed 2019 - We are the emcees for this day-long educational wedding event in Boston. Join us! (links below). We are SO excited about this event and trip. PLEASE LET US KNOW IF YOU WANT TO MEET US FOR DRINKS ON SATURDAY, MARCH 30 IN BOSTON! WE’RE PLANNING A MEET UP.

Voicemail Questions! - Lots of questions about getting around for our destination wedding and also - wth is a cocktail-style reception?
Ask: To summarize the question about transportation from this bride...almost all of the guests are traveling in for the wedding. The ceremony is about 30 minutes away from the reception venue. The hotels are near the reception venue.
Second part of the call was about ‘cocktail-style’ receptions - which are very cool in New Orleans, where this wedding will be. But our caller is concerned about how to make one work for her family that will be expecting a traditional sit-down reception!

Answer: Ok. The answer about transportation is a long, detailed, logistic-heavy answer. But that’s part of the deal when you want shuttles and you have a 30 minute or longer commute between venues for your guests! So - here goes:
Get 2 shuttle busses so that you can stagger the shuttle pre-ceremony. That way if some of the guests are not ready early, they can catch the 2nd one.

Pre-Ceremony:
(Note - a shuttle will have an agreed upon ‘spot’ time - this is when they will arrive on location and be ready for guests. Typically, this is 15 minutes before the guests will be walking on to the shuttle.)
First: Get on Waze or Google Maps on a Saturday at your ceremony time of day and look at the drive time between ceremony & reception. If it says 37 minutes with traffic, then round up to 40 minutes and that is your drive time. Remember that a shuttle van or bus is going to drive a lot slower than a regular car.

Here is what I would do for a 4pm ceremony with a 30 minute drive time between the hotel and the church
Shuttle #1: 3pm departure - 3:30pm drop-off (you will tell your guests that shuttle #1 departs at 2:50pm)
Shuttle #2: 3:15pm departure - 3:45pm drop-off (you will tell your guests that shuttle #2 departs at 3:05pm)
Have a friend or family member that knows most of your guests be the point person at the hotel. Give them the name & phone number of the transportation company. Give the transportation company their name and cell number as the on-site contact.

Post-Ceremony:
The busses should be ready to go as soon as you are pronounced married. They will be standing by during the ceremony anyway. (You want guests to leave right after the ceremony so that you can get on with the post-ceremony photos in relative peace!) The drivers will wait for each bus to be filled with guests before heading to the reception. Have your point person call your on-site contact at the reception venue to let him/her know the guests are in route and give an ETA.

End of the night:
If the reception is not at the hotel where guests are staying, then you will need to shuttle them at the end of the night as well. I would keep both shuttle busses through to the end of the night. Then you have these shuttles at your disposal for anyone that wants to leave early, and they will circle back to you for the guests who are leaving at the very end of the event. They can make multiple trips - you have hired them for a certain amount of time, not a certain amount of gas.

Part 2 of this question:
Cocktail-style receptions are awesome! When in New Orleans - do it the New Orleans way. Here’s the thing: as long as you have food, booze and music...the only thing you are adding to a reception this way is time...things are just more spread out and less rushed. It’s the NOLA way of doing things. I suggest you set up a mix of high boy cocktail tables and small seating areas - tables that can fit 8-10 clustered here and there. The food needs to be an even mix of hot and cold, tray passed and buffet/action station. Have 2 small bars on opposite sides of the space, rather than 1 big bar. Have seating areas or lounges around for guests to get comfortable and to come and go. After 2 hours, the food takes a break and then you have desserts out. Sure, it’s not a traditional sit-down dinner reception...but it’s still a wedding! There will be lots going on - go with it, trust your local vendors and have a wonderful time. Your guests will if you do. And listen to episode 99 all about destination weddings specifically in NOLA and specifically with a cocktail-style reception! Don’t worry, the bride we talked to wasn’t too sold on the idea at first either. And her wedding was phenomenal! Link below:

Email #1 Same Sex representation and lesbian wedding questions
Ask: Another multi-part-er! (Would be perfect for a consultation!)

  1. With a heterosexual wedding, the man usually waits for the woman to walk down the aisle. Both my partner and I will be wearing a beautiful dress and plan to walk down the aisle together. I have an idea in mind but I'd love to hear examples of other LGBTQ weddings and how they made the walk down the aisle special.

  2. How much time should a lesbian wedding plan in advance? Since we have extra women as part of the bridal party that means extra makeup, hair, bouquets, etc!

  3. The budget has been a bit tricker for me since rather than thinking of one dress, there are two dresses, two diamond rings, two hair dos, etc. Are there any lesbian budget templates you have come across or any tips you can give to make this process a little easier?

Answer: Yowza! Christy LOVES gay weddings. You all know that by now, right? Here is a taste of the answer: Walk down the aisle any way you want. The gay couples I have worked with have all done it differently for the most part. I love a T-shape - when you two walk in towards each other, meet and then walk down the actual aisle together.

Email #2 Written with a heavy heart
Ask: How to honor a recently deceased loved one - in this case a groomsman..and what is the best way to set up a registry donation link in his name?
Answer: I love the idea of contributing to a suicide prevention fund, but I feel like the better way to do this is through your registry. You can take a look at this website:
https://www.myregistry.com/charity-registry.aspx. (there are other sites like this as well to look into)
I think this way - you can say a little more about your friend by writing something about him on your wedding website, or in a post/email to guests to share your registry information before the wedding. I think it will be more successful financially if you do it this way, and I also think bringing him into the first dance may weight the event down, and make people feel sad. Feeling sad on your wedding day is not something this friend would have wanted.

Email #3 “Ex-girlfriend on the guestlist? I don’t want to include her!”
Ask: (This one is juicy, yall.) My fiancé and I are trying to decide whether or not it’s ok to exclude his ex-girlfriend from our guest list. The ex-girlfriend left my fiancé for his best friend, Tom. Tom and the ex-girlfriend are now married. My fiancé is still friends with Tom and wants to invite him to the wedding. Is it okay to invite Tom but not his wife (the ex girlfriend)? We live in a small town and see the couple out and about often. There are no bad feelings between any of us but I feel somewhat uncomfortable having the ex-girlfriend at our wedding. I also don’t want to be rude. Should we just invite both of them and hope she doesn’t come?

Answer: You can’t NOT include her! Lol. We understand why you want to, but you just can’t. She’s married to your fiance’s best friend. If he’s over it, you have to get over it. Invite her and have a wonderful time at your wedding.

Links we referenced
https://www.instagram.com/thewedexperience/?hl=en
https://www.experiencewed.com
https://www.zola.com/bigwedding
www.patreon.com/thebigweddingplanningpodcast
https://www.thebigweddingplanningpodcast.com/destination-wedding-retrospective-trisha-and-sutton
https://dressanomalie.com

Quotes
“You know what? I think you’re right, Michelle. I think reading these reviews did make me feel better. Thank you so much to all of you that took the time to write in. And thank you especially for telling us specifically what you like about the show because it does help to inform us about what we are doing right...and it puts a little pep in our step!” - Christy, to Michelle re: iTunes reviews

“What an honor it is that we are able to receive these emails from you all and serve as a sounding board for these big issues you are going through.” - Christy

“I love this email! That’s why I answered it so quickly, it was fun.” - Michelle, on answering the ex-girlfriend email

“Let that negativity go and PLAN THAT WEDDING. (You’ve got to invite her.)” - Michelle

Get In Touch
EMAIL: thebigweddingplanningpodcast@gmail.com
FACEBOOK: @TBWPpodcast
INSTAGRAM: @thebigweddingplanningpodcast
BE SURE TO USE THE HASHTAG: #planthatwedding
TWITTER: @TBWPpodcast
PHONE: (415) 723-1625 Leave us a message and you might hear your voice on the show!
PATREON: www.patreon.com/thebigweddingplanningpodcast