This is Part IX of my series on Marriage in the Religious Zionist community in Israel.
Part I: Dating Readiness, Part II: Meeting the One, Part III: Genetic Testing, Part IV: Dating Venues, Part V: Shidduch Crisis?, VI: Internet Dating, VII: Paying the Shadchan, or Not, VIII: Wedding Costs.
Mazal Tov to reader and commenter Keren on the engagement of her daughter. Keren asked for wedding planning help on another email list. I received permission to publish this response:
We married in the north (Ulamei HaNesicha) a wonderful wedding. I don’t know about places in the center but there are a few principles we tried to remember:
- The options are endless. If you add more stuff (flying doves, etc.) to your wedding that costs a lot and impress certain people, it doesn’t change what they are: stuff that clutters your moment.
- The food should be very good. Never compromise on that one. Don’t forget food for vegetarians, and cheaper portion for children.
- A very cautious estimation: about 20% of your basic list (especially when it comes to people from work, and people you invite out of politeness) won’t come. Out of the people you’re sure will come and tell you they will, up to 10% won’t come and not know till the last moment (sick child, someone giving birth etc.).
- Save all the lists of people’s phone numbers and addresses you make for later use (a happy Brit ASAP…)
- Send invitations for people from abroad in advance.
- The groom should have two white shirts if one gets dirty/sweaty.
- If the bride wears stockings I recommend yarchonim (thigh-highs). I never wore those before my wedding and it seemed weird at first, but otherwise using the toilet becomes a nearly impossible task.
Number 4 really helps – we married 3.2 years ago. we have a 2.2 years old DS and I’m on the 38th week for the second. The family is betting on the second son being born on the night of the seder—so it helped us.
I especially agree with giving the caterer a lower number than you have confirmed. And anyone who says they are not sure, count them as a definite no. Assign someone to handle last minute seating problems. (Decent) caterers are always set up for extras.
Please share more tips in the comments. I’d love guest posts on choosing caterers and sorting through options, finding a wedding dress, and other aspects of wedding planning.