You asked and we are answering. This is our 22nd YAWA to date!
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Hi, Christy and Michelle. My name is Adele, and I have a quick question for one of your next YAWAs. So mine considers planning as a whole and how let me restart that. How can you organize time to plan? I want to be able to do so with my fiance. However, we have very conflicting schedules. As an example, I work 9 to 5 Monday through Friday when he works about a 3 to midnight most every day. We don't have a day off at the same time ever and it's kind of hard to push wedding planning till midnight or later. If you guys have any tips or tricks, please let me know. Thank you so much. Love you. Love you show bye.
I definitely recommend a wedding planner so there is someone to handle all the in-betweens. If you do not have a wedding planner, it is possible, but maybe not super sexy. Try to divide and conquer and come back together with email updates or using the email back and forth as a touchstone. - Christy
Think of this as project management! Open yourself a gmail account and get yourself on google docs and spreadsheets. Share them between the two of you. Create a wedding timeline, add tasks as you go with check boxes, and assign tasks to one another. You can also insert comments into these areas, that google will alert the other of, in case you have questions/thoughts. You will have see each other sometimes, set meetings, put it on your calendar. It is a big project with a due date. Use technology to your advantage. - Michelle
Hey Christy, hey Michelle. Long time listener, first time caller. My name is Natalie. I am your listener from Israel. And I have a couple of questions about the logistics of building a wedding from the ground up. So my fiance and I, we saw a couple of venues, we didn't like the food and food has a major thing for us. So we decided we were going to build the wedding from the ground up and we have our caterer and our caterer recommended a couple places we could visit in the desert cuz that's what we want to build our wedding. So one one place, we really like and the price for this place includes renting out all the rooms. Now it's very expensive and we talked to our parents and both of our parents said, you know, it's fine. If we offer a free option a building like a Bedouin tent and having everyone sleep in this large tent if they want for free or them paying to upgrade for these rooms. And I'm just wondering how would it work that people would pay to upgrade to the to these rooms if we already, you know, like paid for them in advance. That just seems like a bit tacky to me to pay for in advance and like oh and if you want to upgrade your room just pay me and my fiance like 400 shekels and you can stay in a hut or like a room. So I'm just wondering how we can go about that without being tacky like maybe an online submission form. So it doesn't seem like we're directly taking the money even though it's still seem like that cuz it's not booking through the place or is this should we just like bite the bullet and cover the cost? Cuz it will be like at least an extra $5,000 for us, which is a lot and a bit out of our budget so we don't really know what to do. We want to do it but it seems a bit tacky to ask for money. Is there a non-tacky way to do this? Love you. Love your show. Bye!
It is a little messy, but it’s not tacky! They have to stay somewhere. Your guests are going to pay to stay somewhere for this wedding weekend. So the easiest way to do it is to circle your inner VIP first (friends, siblings, parents), go to them first and be transparent. Tell them what you’ve paid for, and say if you want to stay on property with us in rooms or in the tent here are the prices and you can Venmo it to us. This way you are presenting them with a choice. They’re still booking a room, but through you. It is extra work. Remember to say the exact cost, and give them a due date for correspondence and for payment. After the VIP list, open it up to first come first serve basis for other wedding guests. - C&M
EMAIL - Dad and Stepdad are both very important to me! How to honor?
I am so happy to have you both to help me navigate wedding planning! I've been bingeing the podcast for months and you guys have absolutely made my wedding planning experience shine!! My fiance and I have always known we wanted a non-traditional wedding day, and you both have made me feel so empowered to do what feels right to us, follow our hearts, and buck tradition! Thank you for being the push in the right direction that we needed to celebrate our day our way!! You've answered all of my questions but one through the podcast so far, and I think I only have one struggle left: divorced parents. Maybe it was a fever dream, but I thought you mentioned in an earlier YAWA that you were hoping to have a "dealing with divorced parents" episode, and I am sure there are lots of ladies and gents out there who have questions just like me and would really appreciate it!!
So let's get right to it: my parents are divorced. I had a complex upbringing, but my relationships with my parents are now mended and healthier than ever. I love ALL of my parents so much, biological and step, and want to honor them all on our special day. It's easier said than done. Though mended, things are still a bit sensitive. The only one I've figured out how to honor so far is my dad.
All through my childhood, my dad helped establish in me the importance of self worth, vulnerability, and love, combined with the magic of self-expression. When I heard you guys talk about toasts during a wedding ceremony, it seemed so obvious to me that my dad should give one at ours. Even my expressly anti-toast fiance agrees! I've already asked my dad to give our one and only toast on the wedding day and he is SO EXCITED, and it suits our relationship perfectly. My fiance and I are thrilled to get to share that moment with him.
Now comes the difficult part: I want to do something equally special to honor my stepdad during the wedding ceremony, and I'm fresh out of ideas. If anyone were the right person to walk me down the aisle, it would absolutely be him. The only problem is, I'm 98% sure I want to walk in alone. I am not a fan of the concept of being "given away" to my fiance from a feminist perspective.
So ladies, I implore you: what on earth should I do? As his daughter who loves him, I want to give my stepdad the opportunity to walk me down the aisle. On the other hand, I'm a strong independent woman who don't need no man! Being walked down the aisle just sounds awful, and not very true to myself. Do you know of any other traditions (new or old, from any culture) that we can include in our non-traditional ceremony to honor his support and love in my life while keeping my status as a card-carrying feminist? Or should I just buck up and have my second dad walk me down the aisle because I love him? And while we are talking wedding feminism, do you know any cool ways to honor moms and make them feel special and recognized on the wedding day? Wedding traditions I know of are a bit patriarchal, which is both unsurprising and disappointing.
I am so glad I have you both to turn to with these questions, and I could not be more excited to hear your response. You are my wedding gurus and I patiently await your wisdom!
Love ya love your show!
It was so nice to hear how we have helped you and empowered you! I'm stoked you got that overall gist, because that is what we aim for!
We get SO many questions about parents and step parents and dead parents and divorce and siblings...all of it. 100% we need to pool all of the questions we have answered on the DIVORCE topic and have a special YAWA all about it. I will put that on our list! TBD!
I love love love your description of your relationship with your father and I am glad you and your fiancé and your dad agree that him giving a toast at the wedding is appropriate and wonderful. Good job, one less thing to think about. As far as honoring your step dad - how would you feel about him walking you IN, but not DOWN the aisle? Or walking in alone and then meeting him half way and he walks you the rest of the way to escort you to your partner (rather than 'give you away'). Both of these options are examples of the 'half-walk', I like to call it. It gives the bride the chance to shine alone, to take it all in, to feel like she is making this statement on her own volition...and it also honors tradition and the importance of the father figure in your life. Also - you can add your mom to this plan and have them walk you in together...but only half of the walk. The photographer captures it all, btw - so you can give your stepdad a framed photo of him walking you in, but prominently display the one of you facing your partner all on your own in your wedding album...you can have both. There are different ways to do the half-walk.. A 'T' shape could work depending on your venue layout. Or you either meet or ditch your stepdad at the midway point down the aisle. Consider the entrance and altar positions at your venue. Think outside the box!
If you decide to walk in alone, maybe you can meet and give or get flowers to your step dad somewhere along the way - or stop and kiss and hug both or all of your parents when you are almost all the way to your partner at the altar. Give or take a flower perhaps (you can take it from them and put it in your bouquet).
The more traditional avenues are to have your stepdad do a reading during the ceremony. You can do a father/daughter dance with one or both of your dads. You can give a toast yourself at the wedding or the rehearsal dinner and tell everyone how much you love your parents, and how grateful you are. You know I'm a huge fan of handwritten letters and cards. You can display photos of your stepdad and mom, or of you with all of your parents (different ways to do this at the reception). If there is a favorite song that you and your stepdad have, you can play it during dinner and have a little moment with him then...it doesn't have to be something other guests are even aware of. All of this can go for your mom too!
All being said - I think the half-walk is a great option for you. You can create it and do it anyway you want. And it can be your mom and stepdad. It's not so much them giving you away as it is you walking with them from one part of your life to another. They have been there for you on your journey into adulthood and you want them to be able to be there for you on your wedding day too.
I hope this helps! It's a bit rambling, but it's because I am trying to type fast and answer thoroughly. I can tell you are a thoughtful person and I so appreciate the time and thought you are putting into honoring your parents. All of them. It takes a village. A wedding is a time to celebrate that.
EMAIL - conversation about low budge cocktail hour food
First, I really enjoy the podcast.
I listen in my car - I'm usually driving for most of the day. It gives me such a great way to focus on one topic at a time, which means my mind isn't racing between a million different topics all at once! Listening has taken away a lot of stress during the planning process.
I'm about 10 months out from our wedding (6/19/20) and we're already pretty far along in the planning. We have the venues, officiant, photographer, and I've even found my dress!
Right now, the biggest thing on my mind is catering. My fiance and I have really prioritized other items (photography, venue, bar). Therefore, it's pretty hard to swallow a huge catering cost.
We're anticipating having a buffet dinner (my fiance likes being able to pick only things he likes :)). But I'm really stuck on cocktail hour.
It's been suggested to me that we consider passed appetizers. But I worry this is really expensive when you factor in the staffing required.
Do you have any suggestions about appetizer stands or other ideas for cocktail hour food that could save us some money?
Thank you so much for listening! Christy & I are honored to be chatting in your ear while you are driving around throughout the day! :)
I'm happy to hear that you are been prioritizing and taking action based on those priorities. And yes, the food and beverage is a huge chunk of your budget. You are on the right track in terms of cost-saving by having a buffet. I would suggest the same for your cocktail hour. Have a few stations of food for guests to self serve from. Meats, cheeses, spreads, bread, fruits, veggies, nuts. All simple and low cost and people love to pick and choose. I know I do! It will reduce on staffing and it is simple food that doesn't break the bank,
I hope that helps! -M
Part 2 of email
That definitely helps. Have you seen anyone do any appetizers that were really easy? Like big german pretzels? Or something similar?
I'm thinking it would probably be best to do something easy to set up and clean up. Do you think the caterers for dinner might have any issue?
I'd run any 'extra' food for cocktail hour by the caterer before you plan on it...I'm thinking of stuff that you would BYO - in addition to the buffet that they are setting up for dinner. Usually, if the caterer is a vendor coming in to the venue, and not an IN-HOUSE caterer, then they won't care if you serve casual food before their food is served. But if the caterer is the venue's in-house contract, then they likely won't want any food served on property that isn't from their kitchen.
I have done weddings with chips and guac/salsa during the cocktail hour. I've done weddings where popcorn was popped and snacked on during cocktail hour. A cotton candy machine, peanuts guests could crack and throw on the floor, simple deli plates from grocery stores set out...I've seen it all. People like to munch while they drink. Thats the universal takeaway! I would love a nice carnival-style pretzel during cocktail hour if I were a guest! -C
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