About this Episode

Today’s episode is a You Ask, We Answer, as is our end-of-month tradition.

Housekeeping
Hashtag #planthatwedding so we can see your pics! Share your engagement pics with us (with photographer credit) so we can share. And BIG thank you to those of you who already have.
Next month will have 2 YAWAS and one will be all QA from our awesome facebook group!

Voicemail

ASK

My wedding is next may, in 2020. I wanna know where I should put the Horrah on the timeline, since I’m a Jewish bride. The wedding is in a historic mansion, it has a tented terrace, that’s attached. The dinner will be in the tent, next to the band and the dance floor, and there’s connecting doors that will be open in between. We have a seated dinner and cocktail hour before dancing. So, I was thinking maybe we could come down this curved staircase to the dance floor for the introduction, and immediately go into the Horrah. But is it weird to do that before the dinner service? Also, is there anything else we should do in advance, like choose which people hold up the chairs? Our chairs don’t have arms, so should we set aside special chairs with arms? - Ashley via Voicemail

ANSWER

We love the Horrah! But we haven’t done a ton of them. So we brought in our good friend, Katherine, to help answer.

Traditionally, it happens right when the guests are seated for dinner. But sometimes, when the dancing is not near where the dinner is, that can’t happen. Because you don’t want to drag guests around from room to room. For your set-up, Katherine thinks you should definitely do the Horrah right after introductions. The guests are ready for it, so bring the energy in right away! It is necessary to have the right chairs for this, so find a light weight chair with arms. You need something the bride can hold onto. They can be kept tucked away, they don’t even have to match the wedding decor. You have to have the arms!

As far as designating people, it is a wise idea. You need about four pretty strong people per chair to be sure that it’s all ready to go. This is a great way to give people a job or task during the wedding.

EMAIL - We’ll start light - with a lighting dilemma

ASK

Hi Christy and Michelle,

I love your show! I have been listening for almost a year now, and I think you are both great! I look forward to your episodes every Wednesday, but I haven't had a good question to ask. Now though, I have a silly question, but it has got me stumped (I am sure it is easy for you). My question is about lighting.

I am getting married next month, and after listening to your bonus episode about lighting, I decided to book uplights for our reception through our dj. He originally told me I could have two colors, one for dinner and one for dancing...but now that it is time to pick the color, he says we can only have one color. I don't know what to choose. I was going to do the amber color you suggested for dinner and then bright pink for dancing, but now I don't know which one to pick. I'm afraid having just one color won't set the right tone for the whole event.

So, long story short, should I have it be the "dinner color" all the way through the night or the "dancing color"? Also, keep in mind that since its July the sun won't be setting until around 9pm and our reception is from 7-11 (cocktail hour is earlier in a different room). So maybe it won't show much during dinner anyway?

Thanks for your help!

A

P.S. On a more serious note, this isn't related to my question but I just wanted to tell you how much your episode "The Happiest Sad Day" meant to my fiancé and I. My fiancé's mom was recently diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer and we have been dealing with the possibility that she won't be able to come to our wedding which has been really devastating for him. Listening to that episode helped us feel like we weren't the only ones going through sad stuff while we were trying to be happy. And it gave us hope that even if she can't come, it will still be a happy day worth celebrating. So thank you for featuring episodes about some of the more serious aspects of planning a wedding.

ANSWER

Thanks for writing - good question! First of all - why is this DJ only giving you one option now? In my experience, these lights are really easy to color-change, its all digital. Or at the very most, he has to go to each one and click a button, but that wouldn't take long, even with a whole room of them. Usually my DJs just set the colors on their main board and operate it from there. Maybe he has a different type of light or something. I suggest asking him again why you can't have two when that is what he said initially.

Anyway - IF you can only have one - go with the pink! It won't be as dramatic during dinner with the lights up and the windows for sure, and it photographs really well. When the dancing starts, you'll take down the main lights and maybe have some dance lighting too and the pink will show more on the walls and pillars (if you have any). We suggest amber in our episode because that is the 'basic' glow color that people like and all DJs offer it - its ambient and subtle, but if you have decor or a venue that can take a little more fun, do it! My vote is for pink.

Hope this helps!

Your PS about your fiancé's mom brought tears to my eyes. That episode has received so much love from listeners - you are not alone. I am so sorry to hear about your fiancé's mom, I can't even imagine how hard it is to face cancer with such a close loved one. I have no advice, I can only thank you for the reminder to call my own mom. We have to tell the people we love that we love them.

Remember - the wedding is about celebrating the choice you two are making to do life together. His mom is a part of your life now and she loves you. I'm sure she is happy that you two are getting married. My love to all of you.

_EMAIL 3 Money Money Money _

ASK
Hi fabulous ladies!

Let me start by saying how much I adore your podcast. Not only have I learned so much, I've had a blast listening! Your warmth and honesty makes me feel like I'm amongst friends.

I was inspired to write in with this question after listening to your episode on credit card "hacking" your wedding. I have $2000 in cash saved (literally in an envelope in the back of my closet) for my wedding, and I want to start a wedding savings account. I've watched all my cousins get married (I am the youngest in my big fat Greek family), as well as several friends, and I've also watched all of them go into tremendous debt because of their weddings. While me and my long-term boyfriend have agreed that we will not get married for another 3-5 years, I want to start saving now so I'm not as financially screwed as my loved ones were.

What type of account would you recommend? A savings account, or a CD, or another option? Also- which banks should I look into/steer clear of? I have started doing some comparison shopping myself, but I would really appreciate your expert opinions. Additionally, I will be splitting everything with my intended, so asking my parents for a handout is not an option. Any advice on saving for a wedding is very appreciated.

Much love to you in this wedding season, I'm sure it's a super hectic time. Rock on!! ⚡⚡
Take care,

G

ANSWER
HI G! Thank you so much for listening and reaching out! We aren't really qualified

to give financial advice but I can already tell that you are on the right track! Many couples blow through money they don't have because they simply don't care or think about the debt after the wedding...they are all about the wedding day and they want what they want, so they end up making financially irresponsible choices...to the tune of several thousand dollars. Like, "Oh, we'll deal with that afterwards. But for now, I want a ceiling of hanging roses and a champagne fountain and a 12 piece band." (I have a friend who made these kinds of decisions. And now it's 11 years later and she has 3 kids and a mortgage and they are still paying off credit card debt from their wedding. It's ridiculous! And you know, the thing is, it was a great wedding. But it wasn't THAT great...! I don't remember having a better time at her wedding than at any of the other weddings I've been to. When the people are great, the wedding is great. When the couple getting married is having fun, the guests are having fun. Just a little perspective there...)

On to the actual advice: I definitely recommend saving and then spending accordingly, rather than spending money you don't have and then dealing with it later. Credit card hacking is great, and that episode makes a lot of good points for saving money on a honeymoon after the wedding with money you spent during the wedding - but you still have to have to money to pay those credit cards off - within the statement period! When I waited tables, I had an envelope of cash too - most of my colleagues did. I remember spending it all during a trip to Ireland! Which is exactly what I had been saving it for. It's so satisfying to save with purpose and then actually get to spend it on what you have been saving for! So good for you, you're on the right track.

You have a couple years to do this, so I suggest you up your game a little, in addition to the petty cash envelope you have going. You and your partner can both start putting into a savings account - a joint one, separate from your other bank accounts. You probably have your paychecks directly deposited into your main account - so each of you can do an automatic transfer 1-2 times a month with a portion of your paycheck or salary going straight into the savings account. A couple hundred bucks a month will add up quickly! Then it's out of sight, out of mind. I don't know which banks are better than others - I use Wells Fargo and it seems fine. And I've heard great things about Ally - it's all online or the app, so you won't have a brick and mortar bank to walk into.

Also - if you want to start collecting points on a credit card, listen to that ep again and pick a card that works for you. A couple years ago, my husband and I got a Chase Marriott card (now it's called Bonvoy) since we were using a credit card occasionally anyway - we got this to start collecting hotel points so that 'one day' we could take a vacation to Hawaii and have the hotel paid for. We're almost there! We've used it specifically for hotel stays because we get double points for those (we seek out Marriott properties wherever we go) and for big one-off expenses (like a new mattress) - and we try to pay it off in time and in full. That doesn't always work, sometimes life happens - so we've paid interest here and there and if we were paying more interest than we were collecting incentives/points, it wouldn't be worth it. If you started with a credit card now - purposefully - you could start collecting points before you spend big on your wedding, and you can also build good credit up.

So! A combination of savings and a card is my best advice, but again, don't get the card if you're only going to rack up charges and not pay them off! When the wedding planning starts to roll around and you need to book a venue or put a deposit down on a vendor, buy your dress, etc, you can use the card and pay it off with the money you've saved.

And keep in mind, weddings don't have to cost a ton of money. There are ways to budget and have a very nice, fun, unique wedding without breaking the bank. You just have to communicate with each other about priorities and what kind of wedding you really want to have...and you can't get caught up in the comparison game. People spend too much money on weddings. That's a fact. And I think a lot of that is because they're looking online and at what other people are doing and everyone is trying to meet some extreme expectation and they lose the meaning along the way.

We can get more into ways to save money and things like that if you want to do some consulting with one of us - just let me know!

In the meantime -
Here are some eps that address this: https://www.thebigweddingplanningpodcast.com/financial-planning-and-your-wedding #82
https://www.thebigweddingplanningpodcast.com/big-ideas-little-budget

53

Hope this helps! Christy

Email 4 - From an Israeli bride!
ASK
(She asked another question about action stations for her big fat Hebrew wedding -- “ We kind of want our wedding to be like festival themed and balagan, which is Hebrew for chaos/mess, but in this context in a good way. We basically want everyone stuffing their faces and dancing the whole time.” I love! - but I pointed her to YAWA 15 - released feb 2019 bc that episode breaks down the tips and tricks for a successful cocktail reception style wedding )

How can we make sure that our ceremony is unplugged? Israelis hate being told what to do. I was thinking of planting some friends and family and telling them to watch out for people using phones. Or would it be too intrusive to have a check-in system?

ANSWER
As far as the unplugged ceremony - you can only do so much and guests (particularly rude or stubborn guests...) are going to do what they want anyway. That being said - I think some signage will help - positioned at the entrance to the ceremony. Plenty of ideas on Pinterest for that. And also if your officiant can make an announcement about it at the beginning of the ceremony, that will help too. And spread the word a bit pre-wedding weekend as well. Put the 'we kindly request' announcement on your wedding website if you are having one, and ask your parents to help spread the word to the older relatives - like their siblings maybe...in hopes that it trickles down a bit. Or at least, no one is surprised when they are told to keep their phones off on the wedding day. (you can also put it in your program if you are having one and you think your guests will be reading it pre-ceremony as they sit/wait...)
(Usually I don't like a ton of signage everywhere at weddings, but this is a good one because it's directive. And sometimes it takes a few times to get people to actually follow the directions - so reading it and then also hearing it from the officiant is your best bet.)

*Links we mentioned: *
http://www.dreamalittledreamevents.com
https://www.acorns.com/
https://creditcards.chase.com/marriott/cardmember/rewards_benefits
https://www.ally.com/
Zola.com/bigwedding for $50 off your registry!

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