Our monthly installment of You Ask, We Answer. Where we answer all sorts of questions from our listeners.
TOPIC #1 - NOAHS VENUE CLOSING
Company in deep debt, couples left with no returned deposit and no wedding venue.
- What to do if this happens with your venue?
- Don’t despair. Keep moving forward. You can do it. It’s hard and it sucks, but we
- have heard the industry is coming together to help as much as they can!
- You have to read the contracts VERY carefully. Especially brick and mortar.
- Hire professionals that have contracts that would pass the basic contract test. Ask
- lots of questions, pass it by your planner, get clear about what it means!
- Wedding day insurance would help! But bankruptcy is bankruptcy.
- Upfront costs (one couple put $17000 down for Noahs which included a bar tab and upgraded linens. They will not get that money back)
- This isn’t normal. Most venues do not require such a large deposit. Read the fine print! Ask lots of questions.
*Question #1: Booze or No Booze? *
I have been LOVING binging the podcast! I'm about 100 episodes in and still going (I'm a college student so time for listening is limited). I'm a young bride and my family hasn't had any recent weddings so mine is the first one in a while! Our wedding isn't until May 2021, and we are on a tight budget.
My fiancé and I have been struggling with a decision regarding alcohol. My family is extremely conservative and don't like alcohol, and his family couldn't care less (they might drink some). We both think it would be nice to have a signature cocktail or something simple, but have reservations due to my family's judgement. I don't want to feel scrutinized on my wedding day for having a drink. My parents are contributing a lot to the wedding and wouldn't be too happy to have alcohol there. However, our friends/ bridal party would definitely be let down with a dry wedding. We're also a little concerned our friends may go a little crazy since we're the first wedding of the group. We don't want anyone getting really drunk at the reception, and wold like to save that type of energy for the after-party.
So, how can we please all of our guests and ourselves as the couple? Our friends who like to "have fun", and my family who hates the thought of alcohol? Any guidance would be helpful, we're just torn! Thank you for all the help you've provided me thus far on the podcast!
Totally understand your conundrum. What are the hours of your reception? If you are having an after party and are concerned about guests getting 'too crazy' at the reception, I think you can definitely keep it short -- like only an hour of open dancing, rather than 2+. During this time, I think you can compromise with the alcohol. I think the best way to do this is to have only 1-2 options and both to be light cocktails.
For example, a mimosa has less alcohol content than a vodka tonic. Having bartenders that have been instructed to only serve the cocktails mixed (no one can order a mimosa- hold-the-juice) and to not pour super-strong, and to not pour for guests that appear tipsy or rowdy.
Or - if you want to have a long reception, just cut the bar after an hour or drinking post- dinner. It’s there, it’s free, its limited choice, and then it's just closed. Keep in mind that beer/wine receptions usually have less drunk people than a reception that serves hard alcohol.
I agree with you - if I was in college or my twenties and I went to a friends wedding, it would be a bummer if it was dry. I've been to plenty of dry weddings - but they were all of friends that I knew were very religious. OR - a brunch wedding. Brunch weddings are far more chill and you can do an espresso bar or smoothie bar in place of a bar-bar. And you can plan a bomb after party at a beer garden or pub or something afterwards - and you and all your friends can celebrate more there, without you feeling like you are disrespecting your parents.
Question #2 (in 4 parts): A few Loose Ends as Planning winds down
Question 1: What do you do when there isn't much left to do?? I feel like I'm on high- alert everyday on what I could maybe be forgetting! I feel like I hear a lot about beginning stages and big decisions of wedding planning, but not the end stages of it.
*Answer 1: *
It might make you feel better to just reach out to every key vendor and check in - review details and get them to confirm. It always makes me feel more confident to get those emails back that say - "Yep! We are all good. You don't owe a balance, we'll be there at 9am!" You can also list out the items that you will be bringing - and pack them up, label the boxes, keep a key list so that no matter who transports and sets up - they'll know exactly what to do. Also - put together a little personal emergency kit for yourself.
Question 2: I don't know where we should start cutting the cake; from the top tier?... from the middle? Who is supposed to cut and serve it? Can I ask a bartender to do this or would I be an asshole for asking?
Answer 2: You need to ask your cake baker exactly where to cut the cake (GREAT question!) - if you have a planner - she will walk you through that part during the reception. If not, make sure cake cutting is in the timeline and the caterer, DJ and photographer are all aware of it. Then when you go to cut the cake - you just cut a small sliver-triangle - usually off the bottom or second from the bottom piece - you only cut into the one tier - you don't cut deep enough that it goes into two tiers. Then you put that piece on a plate - each take a bite - get the photos and the caterer should swoop in and take the cake 'to the back' to slice and plate it. In some cases, this is done on a big table in front of guests, but it is executed quickly and carefully by a professional. IF you don't have a caterer there to do it - you will need to have assigned someone this task ahead of time. Maybe have them watch a youtube video or something! Always feel free to ask your cake baker these questions too!
Question 3: Tips on focusing brain away from the wedding? I want to avoid being a bride that cries because it is all over and currently I can barely focus on work because so close to day-of.
It’s a big thing that has been taking up a lot of space in your mind for months now and when it's over - it will feel like a relief and a fever dream and you will probably feel a little sad about it! You may not know what to do with all that time and energy. It's ok - it's normal. Focus on things like photo-album making and printing, nesting with the new gifts you have, writing thank you notes, and planning the future with your partner now that the wedding is over. Remember - a wedding is just a party. For real. The marriage is the important part and the exciting part! It takes work and attention and openness. Be present to experience all of that.
Question 4: Day-of nerves and jitters: How to avoid? What to do? (P.S. It isn’t the marriage, it’s the wedding)
*Answer 4: *
As far as day-of nerves...try to design a day (like all the hours before the ceremony actually starts) that you know is enjoyable and relaxing for you. There are factors that will go into that - crating that day. Envision those hours now and put plans in place that will help you make that a reality. What do you like to do on your BEST days? The days you are most excited about. The days you forget about your diet, your computer, your obligations...and just enjoy them. It could be as simple as starting out
the day with your favorite donut and a latte from your favorite 'special' place.
Making sure you have the music you like in the getting-ready room. Telling your best friends and mom to not let you XYZ, or to make sure that you sit and eat, or to ensure that your cousin Jill doesn't come in and be all negative like she always does. You know the elements of what makes a day great for you...try to put things in place ahead of time and then on the day of - remember to just roll with it, take deep breaths, laugh, smile and move through it all. It goes by fast and it should be FUN!
Links we referenced
https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/wedding-chain-noahs-event-venue- closes-abruptly-stranding-up-to-7500-brides-and-grooms/ar-BBZVdSr?li=BBnbfcN zola.com/bigwedding use promo code: SAVE50
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