Life is Life!

#043: Weddings + COVID-19: Tips from The Budget Savvy Bride

May 08, 2020 Felipe Arevalo, Chase Peckham, Katie Utterback, Jessica Bishop Season 2 Episode 17
#043: Weddings + COVID-19: Tips from The Budget Savvy Bride
Life is Life!
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Life is Life!
#043: Weddings + COVID-19: Tips from The Budget Savvy Bride
May 08, 2020 Season 2 Episode 17
Felipe Arevalo, Chase Peckham, Katie Utterback, Jessica Bishop

Were you planning a wedding this spring or summer that was affected by the mandatory coronavirus stay-at-home orders?

Maybe you were planning on attending a wedding this year but are now unsure of the Bride and Groom's plans?

Or maybe you're not sure what the happy couple plans to do yet, but want to continue with your plans to shower your loved one with a party in their honor but don't exactly know how to go about doing just that?

The Budget Savvy Bride's Jessica Bishop joins us to talk about how the coronavirus has impacted the wedding industry and shares budget-friendly tips if you want to move forward with your big day.

About The Budget Savvy Bride's Jessica Bishop
Jessica Bishop is the creator of The Budget Savvy Bride, the #1 online resource to help couples plan a beautiful wedding on a budget they can actually afford. By sharing practical tips, personal advice, doable DIY projects, and approachable inspiration, The Budget Savvy Bride educates, equips, and empowers couples to plan a wedding they are proud of and that truly represents their values. Jessica has been nationally recognized as a Budget Wedding Expert and has shared her money-saving tips and tricks with outlets such as BRIDES,, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Huffington Post, and more. Jessica's first book, The Budget-Savvy Wedding Planner & Organizer is available on Amazon.

About The Show

To learn more about DebtWave Credit Counseling, visit our website or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

To learn more about the San Diego Financial Literacy Center, visit our website or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Support the Show.

Show Notes Transcript

Were you planning a wedding this spring or summer that was affected by the mandatory coronavirus stay-at-home orders?

Maybe you were planning on attending a wedding this year but are now unsure of the Bride and Groom's plans?

Or maybe you're not sure what the happy couple plans to do yet, but want to continue with your plans to shower your loved one with a party in their honor but don't exactly know how to go about doing just that?

The Budget Savvy Bride's Jessica Bishop joins us to talk about how the coronavirus has impacted the wedding industry and shares budget-friendly tips if you want to move forward with your big day.

About The Budget Savvy Bride's Jessica Bishop
Jessica Bishop is the creator of The Budget Savvy Bride, the #1 online resource to help couples plan a beautiful wedding on a budget they can actually afford. By sharing practical tips, personal advice, doable DIY projects, and approachable inspiration, The Budget Savvy Bride educates, equips, and empowers couples to plan a wedding they are proud of and that truly represents their values. Jessica has been nationally recognized as a Budget Wedding Expert and has shared her money-saving tips and tricks with outlets such as BRIDES,, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Huffington Post, and more. Jessica's first book, The Budget-Savvy Wedding Planner & Organizer is available on Amazon.

About The Show

To learn more about DebtWave Credit Counseling, visit our website or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

To learn more about the San Diego Financial Literacy Center, visit our website or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Support the Show.

Intro:   0:09
Welcome to Talk Wealth to Me, a safe space podcast where we talk about anything and everything related to personal finance.  

Felipe Arevalo:   0:19
The information contained in this podcast is for educational and entertainment purposes only. It does not constitute as accounting, legal, tax or other professional advice.  

Chase Peckham:   0:32
Hello and welcome to another edition of Talk Wealth To Me, so many events, large scale events, small events, sporting events, personal events that we take for granted that we're going to get to experience along our journey have been affected due to this COVID 19 pandemic stay at home quarantine that we find ourselves in, including those that were possibly the biggest days of their lives. Getting married. Today's guest, Jessica Bishop, is the founder of budget savvy bride dot com, and she discusses what that world looks like right now and the things that people are doing in spite of the pandemic.  Hello, Jessica, How are you?

Jessica Bishop:   1:32
Hey, I'm good. How are you guys?

Chase Peckham:   1:35
We are good. I'm fantastic. We were just having a We were getting all our sound levels and everything together, and we're all discussing our wedding's. And going what would we do now if you know, knowing what would I would with my 34 year old self have done if if this was going on today,

Jessica Bishop:   1:52
It's such a crazy, crazy time. I feel terrible for anybody who's going through this right now to be honest

Katie Utterback:   1:59
I do too. I'm so happy I'm married and I had my honeymoon. I can't imagine if I had to restart my countdown over.

Jessica Bishop:   2:08
Oh, my gosh. And like, I don't know if you guys saw, like, there is what? Like, um, the thing about the phases of rolling things out over time. I was just reading over it just now, so I don't even have all the full details. But I feel like it's not looking good for events for like the next year.

Felipe Arevalo:   2:27
No, that's like in phase four, right?

Jessica Bishop:   2:30
Yeah. Yeah, I like I said, I only was reading over it this morning, so I don't even know  

Jessica Bishop:   2:34
Was that the California one of the federal?

Jessica Bishop:   2:37
I think it's the federal one.

Chase Peckham:   2:39
Any different guidelines I've been following right now. It's so hard.

Jessica Bishop:   2:42
I know it's so dependent upon, like, what area? The country we're in right now. It's just a

Chase Peckham:   2:47
give us an idea What is the wedding industry doing in this crazy scenario that we all find ourselves in right now? We were talking. I mentioned before that Katie just recently got married in the last one was a two years, Katie. Last year and 1/2.

Katie Utterback:   3:02
Yeah, I got married in November 2018. Yes, I'm on year two almost. She stayed made with hard part, right? They

Jessica Bishop:   3:12
say you're one is the hardest or whatever, but, um,

Katie Utterback:   3:16
yeah, everyone was easy, like everybody just seems to blow through it. I thought year two is where you're like OK, that's that's you. And I just need to figure out what would be okay with that tic or habit or whatever

Jessica Bishop:   3:29
My sister actually just got married in January. So just before all this happened and she and her husband went to Italy on their honeymoon, so they were like, they're, like, right before everything kind of blew up there. Luckily, they made it back to the States before that all happened. But, um, there, like in, you know, they're newlyweds and their quarantined at home together, and I just keep getting the text updates of like, Oh, this is too much togetherness. Uh, this is really stressful.

Chase Peckham:   3:57
I can't imagine being newly married, and you're, you know, semi newly living together and then being together that much. That's just not natural. It's tough now, after 15 years of marriage with I mean, it's tough.

Jessica Bishop:   4:13
Yeah, I'm guessing you guys are all normally work together in an office, but are, you know, yes. Working from home at this point. Yeah.  

Katie Utterback:   4:22
Uh, yeah. Which is actually why we wanted to have you on the show. Because for several months we've been talking about we need to have an episode talking about the cost of weddings because before all of this happened, it seemed like article after article was talking about how the cost of weddings was just bubbling higher and higher and higher. I think I read that the average cost of a wedding in 2019 was like $34,000. And in New York City, which has been especially hit hard by all this COVID stuff, the average cost of a wedding was like $83,000. Yeah, it's a lot of money. It of So so then COVID-19 hit, and it just seemed to flip the wedding industry on its head. And so I think we should talk about that pink elephant in the room first, which is e. You are the expert kind of on weddings. And I've been to your site personally and then also researching for this, uh, this episode and it seems like your advice is when you get engaged, you need to sit down and figure out what's important to you. Is that what you would recommend right now for anybody who's planning a wedding? Is it just important to first just wrap your head around what just happened?

Jessica Bishop:   5:46
Yeah. I mean, I think, Ah, that advice completely still applies in this new normal, this new phase of life that we're all kind of collectively living in together. I think it's more important than ever before to really think like what is actually important to us as individuals and as humans for our lives together. And who are the people who matter most to us? What are the aspects of getting married that that truly matter in terms of like, you know, who do you want to be there what are like the absolute non negotiables and things like that and getting really clear on those priorities because basically, right now you're being forced to pare Pare down those things anyway. Ah, when it comes to your celebrations. So it's still a really good exercise and kind of setting the tone for everything from the start.

Katie Utterback:   6:36
Well, let's talk about that, too, like what's important to you. And some couples have decided to move ahead with their wedding and have it on zoom or live stream on Facebook. And they they've said in some articles to like, I realized the most important part of this day was me marrying my best friend or me finally marrying this person. If that happens to you, if you decide you know what, I don't want to deal with all of this chaos. What is the best way to communicate that to your guests?

Jessica Bishop:   7:09
Well, I think Excuse me. Under the certain the current circumstances, I think a lot of people are going to be super understanding there is going to be physical limitations of travel limitations, obviously involved with everyone being able to attend your events as you had originally planned them if you were planning a more traditional celebration, Um, and really just, you know, communicating with them being clearer. You know, obviously, like if you plan to postpone the bigger celebration up to a later date, um, you can do that through, you know, sending text messages or email blasts or updating your wedding website. Whatever you need to do to kind of communicate that your guests about the change in your plans, Um and yeah, if you want to invite them into the celebration virtually like I love that idea. I've been seeing so many couples taking advantage of technology and like, thank goodness, we live in this day and age where people can still virtually be there and watch you and listen to you exchange those vows even if they can't be there in person. Um, you know, I just think, you know, at least at least we have that right now. You know,

Chase Peckham:   8:14
what are the? I guess what I'm asking is, how is it become legal, so to speak, if you don't have, you know, the person there that marries you to sign the documents and do all that. I mean, if, from a legal standpoint, you still need to get your marriage license and do all that stuff, the courthouse would have you. But as far as the actual ceremony itself in having somebody marry you, do they physically have to be there?  

Jessica Bishop:   8:40
I think it really depends. State by state varies on like what the local laws are. But I don't know if you saw a New York City recently, like passed a bill allowing for virtual ceremonies to happen where the officiant actually doesn't have to be there in person. It can be done via zoom or other video conferencing software. Obviously, you're still gonna need to have like the appropriate, like signing of the marriage license and having that taken care of and mail it in. But, um, from what I understand, in New York City, you can do that.

Chase Peckham:   9:12
You do like Docusign or something like that.

Jessica Bishop:   9:14
Yeah, maybe. I don't know. I'm not entirely sure about like the specifics of it, But, um, I know that there was just recently announcement, uh, I think last week about it.

Katie Utterback:   9:25
Wow, that to like And you have some ideas to on your web site, right? For how to decorate your space and make it feel like. You're kind of at your wedding ceremony.

Jessica Bishop:   9:35
Yeah. I mean, another benefit of living in the times that we do You can get a pretty much anything you need. Ah, online and have it shipped straight to your house. Um, I personally, on our website I love to share those sorts of, like, alternative resource is for couples, um, places where you can, like, rent floral arrangements, um, or, you know, backdrops. You could literally set up like a backdrop stand and have, you know, a beautiful backdrop to stand in front of when you exchange your vows, presume or like you guys were doing on our call right now, a virtual background on zoom also is a great option. So,

Katie Utterback:   10:12
yeah, I saw that people were inputting, like, famous cathedrals where they always had, maybe wanted to get married, but never could afford it. Or just locations and the other adding that to theirs in background.  

Jessica Bishop:   10:24
Yeah. I mean, you could technically reach out to your wedding venue and ask for some photos of their property and pretend like you were actually where you were supposed to be on the day of.

Katie Utterback:   10:35
Well, that's a great idea.

Felipe Arevalo:   10:36
Katie. You're still on the beach

Katie Utterback:   10:38
E M Yeah, it's a different beach, but I'm I'm always there. Um so let's go back to the zoom events too because I wasn't even thinking about this. But weddings are It's more than one day. I know people always say you get the one day, but there's bachelorette parties. There's bachelor parties. There's bridal showers. There's just so many different events that go into this. And I saw people were actually even having those pre wedding activities virtually as well. Too  

Jessica Bishop:   11:13
Yeah I actually I personally just received an invitation to a virtual bridal shower. Um, in the next few weeks. So I'm excited about that. But yeah, I think you know, at this time, what what choice do we really have? And, uh, when you're considering, you know, just not celebrating at all versus finding a solution and making it work for you and still fighting away to to make it special and fun and and have those connections with the people who matter most to you. I think like, do it, you know.

Katie Utterback:   11:45
Oh, yeah.  

Chase Peckham:   11:45
What have you seen as far as maybe clients or friends or people that you work with that oh kind of percentage-wise, which were people going, I would imagine that there's going to be some that decide. You know what? I really I've had this dream of being this wedding my whole life And how many other like, thinking about just getting officially married now, for if they want to start a family or they want to do things like that and then pushing it off a year from now, maybe,

Jessica Bishop:   12:13
right? Yeah. I think I saw a report from I believe the Knot that came out like within the last couple weeks. And they said, basically that 90 95% of people are postponing their their celebrations for a later date. Um, the bigger, grander celebrations that they had originally planned for, But they didn't really go into the specifics of, like, what? Um, percentage of people are still choosing Teoh, Maybe elope or have a small, intimate ceremony at home during this time. But I I personally like I have a Facebook group. Ah, that's very, very active. There's close to I think, 12,000 brides and grooms and their And so we've had obviously a lot of chatter going on in there right now about everyone's plans and what they're doing. And I'm seeing a lot of intimate at home celebrations, especially for those like over the last month or so, had already gotten their marriage license. And they're like, Well, we already paid for the license. Might as well just go ahead and, you know, get this taken care of. And I think there's a lot of, like, logistical and like, practical reasons that people are moving forward with those plans right now to because of, you know, health insurance policies, like needing to join their partner's health insurance or something like that. Um, so you know, I think you do what do what works for you. Um, it's unfortunate. I think that, you know, the couples who are planning a little bit further out like into the fall and winter are having a little bit of a harder time with, ah, rescheduling and and keeping like deposits and stuff in place. If they do plan toe, shift their plans. So it's It's roughly a tricky time for couples right now and for the wedding businesses who they're working with as well. 

Katie Utterback:   13:48
Do you have advice for couples who do have that fall wedding? I know for us. We have a friend that's getting married in September. And while the wedding is going to be in the U. S, it's set to take place in Maryland and we're in California. So flying across the country may not be a possibility for us. And just even thinking about our friends. If there was to be a round two of a stay at home order, not all of us would be able to quarantine for two weeks or be able to, you know, miss work for that amount of time. Some of us haven't had work. And so we don't really know what we can afford to do in the fall. What should, Um I guess wedding guests or brides and grooms who are maybe expecting a lot of out of town get Should they be communicating now with their guests? As do you like, I guess. Should you? Even if you don't know what you're gonna do with your wedding, should you just even start talking to your guests? Like, if you're scared, it's OK. You don't have to come like should you start removing that pressure or do you have any advice? Yeah,

Jessica Bishop:   14:53
I think in these circumstances, like communication is so key. And, you know, obviously you know, no matter what you want. Excuse me. I'm so sorry. I'm like, a little froggy today. You want the you know, the health and safety of your I guess that your loved ones, your family and friends to be first priority. Obviously, you don't want to put anybody in any sort of risk or danger or, you know, for me, like, are focused on the budget savvy bride is a lot about, you know, ways to save money and being responsible with your finances and things like that. And so you have to take your guest budgets into account as well as their health and safety. And so I think the important thing in this in this situation is really to just be, like, understanding and compassion it under the circumstances, obviously, in an ideal world, like everyone would be there, and they would, you know, be able to celebrate with you. But, um, the unfortunate reality of the situation, you know, is it might just not be possible. So, um, just being gracious and understanding under the circumstances, I know it can be so hard. I feel. So I feel like I literally feel it in my heart, like for all these couples who are having to make these really tough decisions right now.

Chase Peckham:   16:04
And I would imagine the stress levels for the people that are in the wedding parties would be even even tougher in the fact that you don't want to let your friend down. But yet you might be in the same situation as most. You know, your typical guest would find themselves in.

Jessica Bishop:   16:17
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think nowadays a lot of people you know move out of state for college or for jobs and things like that, and they tend to have loved ones scattered all around the country and sometimes even overseas. So you just never know. And, um, again, I think being being understanding and compassionate and gracious under the circumstances, like nobody, nobody wants this to be our reality. And, um, you know, just trying to to be kind to one another and understanding when those things happen.

Chase Peckham:   16:50
So, speaking of financially savvy weddings, this I mean, I guess if you were gonna look at a positive point, which we've been looking at the negatives, I guess This is a way that they can save quite a bit of money on Ah, their wedding, at least to this date.

Jessica Bishop:   17:05
Yeah, absolutely. I think, Um, obviously the size restrictions are gonna come into play whether it's, you know, just the people who are downsizing to this immediate family like groups of 10 or less. Um, under these current restrictions or even those who are planning a bit farther out, I don't think we're going to be able to see events over 50 open up for quite some time. So, um, looking at smaller guest list, more intimate events, Um, and and usually that that yield yes, less cost. Overall. Although, you know, if you look at it from the other side, if you have a smaller guest list, you can kind of treat those people who do attend to a better experience with the money that you have so

Katie Utterback:   17:48
well, in speaking of the cost of things to I know, you mentioned that you have some, uh, silk flower vendors that you work with. And they're gorgeous, too. If if you haven't seen the videos, you need to watch them. Um, but I've read to like the flower availability for weddings has changed and that there are entire types of flowers that just are not available right now. And the cost of what is available has skyrocketed.

Jessica Bishop:   18:17
I read a bit of that myself. Yeah, and I know that some of the supply chains where flowers are concerned, especially like shipping them from other countries and stuff has really put a kink in things. And so if you are looking for, you know, beautiful wedding flowers and you maybe can't get the fresh ones that you're wanting a really great resource that I love and I work with all the time something borrowed blooms. And they are a silk flower rental company in Louisiana and the ship all across the country via FedEx. And their arrangements are beautiful, and they have a bunch of different styles. To check out. Um, so I really, really love that as an option. And it's become increasingly, um, flexible as well to work with them because you can kind of do it on a shorter time cream. So if you are making that decision to, like, stay home and, um, you wanna have an at-home wedding, but you still want to make it feel nice and special and and all those things like it's a great option to check out.

Felipe Arevalo:   19:16
You say I would imagine the because more people are postponing and everything. The whole thing has slowed at. The whole industry has slowed down. You could probably score some good deals on some of these things because you might be the only wedding that they're working on this week. Would that be accurate?

Jessica Bishop:   19:32
Yeah, definitely. I've seen, um as well. Like in our Facebook group. There's a large number of vendors who've joined and have been sharing, you know, even the venues. I feel like venues are are Obviously they're one of the ones with, like, hard costs. They have mortgages to pay and, you know, step event stuff and things like that. Um and so I've seen some places offering, like, pop up weddings, like very intimate, like, you know, just the two of you, even just an elopement. But you could come and you can have a small event there. Ah, at their location for a very, very budget savvy price, which I think is great. Um, so yeah, I think in these times I've also seen some really creative stuff, too, with, like, photography, be one of the couples in our Facebook group shared. They did a virtual engagement photo session with their photographer this week, which was the first time I've seen anything like this. And they did it basically via facetime on their phone. The photographer told them where to put the phone and how to like stand and take the photos and they shared them. And we're gonna do a blog post about this, like in the coming weeks, so you'll have to check it out. But they look really cool and like, grainy and like, Very, very cool, like almost vintage style photos. But they were gorgeous. I couldn't believe it. I was like they did this on face time. Like what? Um wow. So yeah, I think I think. And they're doing these virtual sessions, obviously for very affordable prices as well. So there's lots of things you can take advantage over right now, and I think people businesses especially, are really trying to get creative and figure out how they can still serve those couples. Even though we have these restrictions on in person event,

Chase Peckham:   21:11
what about venues that have been obviously postponed and they're sitting back. And they had all that all their dates booked. How are venues handling this? For the most part that you've seen, I know you obviously can't speak for all of them. But for the majority, how do you think they're going about handling like just moving dates? I mean, how do you do that?

Jessica Bishop:   21:34
It seems to be very, very case by case. From what I understand, I've seen, like, one end of the spectrum where couples are like, Oh, my, you know, with the ones that have been in this kind of introductory period that we're in with the March April May weddings which have been officially impacted by the current restrictions. Obviously, those venues don't really have a lot of choice, like it's beyond their control, depending on what their contracts say. Um, you know, it's an event beyond their control, and they, they are being were accommodating with, with the couple's in terms of rescheduling and and planning for later dates. But the couples who have like summer weddings and fall weddings, who are already feeling nervous and thinking maybe we would just be better off postponing this until 2021 when we're a bit more in the clear. Um, in those cases, I from what I've understood, ah, lot of venues and vendors are being a little bit more. Um, ah, uh, maybe not more but less accommodating when it comes to those changes, because, obviously, like their spring revenue has been impacted immensely and then by, um, allowing changes to happen in the fall, they're basically taking away their fall revenue and then take, you know, couples are wanting to re-book for those prime dates in 2021. It's just like from a business perspective and from a staying afloat perspective, it just doesn't really work financially. And so it's such a hard situation. I feel for both sides because obviously nobody wants to be in this situation. The vendors really want to be able to have these events than, like show the couple's the day that they were always planning for. But it's just it's just such a difficult situation under the circumstances, especially since there's so little that we know for certain about what things they're gonna be like in the fall and beyond.

Felipe Arevalo:   23:24
It's interesting that you mentioned contracts there so many contracts have clauses and things, but I don't know that there's, you know, there may not be one for something. I got married about three years ago, and I don't Honestly, I can honestly say I didn't read any of the contract in great detail. I have no clue what cancellation policies were. I was just like, it's gonna happen this day and just

Jessica Bishop:   23:47
I'm not gonna say a typical groom, but

Felipe Arevalo:   23:51
I don't think my wife read them either, at least not that far into it. You know, we've got the highlights. Ah, you know, they made their, I guess, Um, would this fall under any certain categories where they may, if they're not able to have it taken personally, I'm thinking like airlines. Where if the airline has to cancel your flight, you automatically get a recent there, there, things like that, Or is that just like you mentioned more case by case,

Jessica Bishop:   24:23
right. So I think the clause that you're thinking of in particular, especially with venues, um, is like called the Force majeure clause, and it has to do with, like, acts of God and things that are beyond your control. And those are the things that you want to look for in your contracts. If you have some in place and you're kind of worried about maybe need to shift your plans. So in this case, like from how I understand it, which I'm not a lawyer. So consult your attorney if you if you need specific advice on your situation. But, um, you know that the events that have been impacted by the current restrictions, like, you know, the government has said, like no events over 50 people, no, no gatherings of over 10 people. Whatever the case might be in your area, those would fall under force majeure because it is out of either parties control. Um, but I have a feeling that, you know, going forward, we're going to see some changes in contracts. And from what I understand, a lot of vendors of venues are in the process of revising their contracts, um, to better protect their businesses at this time. So you're gonna want to review those contracts very thoroughly. If you're planning an event and you have it, um, yet signed with vendors. So

Katie Utterback:   25:38
would this be a good opportunity to for brides and grooms to look into wedding insurance.  

Jessica Bishop:   25:45
Yeah, I think it's still. It's still something that I always recommend looking into. The policies are relatively affordable, depending on the size of your event, obviously. But in light of everything that's going on, it's another thing that these these companies are are revising their their policies. Ah, in light of everything that's going on with our current crisis. So it I don't know that that you will be able to find a policy that's gonna cover you. Um, when it comes to Coronavirus related, um, cancellations at this time, unfortunately. But if you had a policy pre-existing to this becoming a global situation, you were probably covered. But moving forward, I don't know that that you would be.

Chase Peckham:   26:30
Yeah, I would imagine that those aren't They're not. They're not taking those right? Yeah, it would be kind of like

Jessica Bishop:   26:36
It wouldn't be a wise business decision

Chase Peckham:   26:38
trying to get tornado insurance right after a tornado hit That or the wildfires out here in California Very difficult to do. Once the act of God has happened, going back to force majeure, you're exactly right. We had just are my daughter's elementary school foundation. We had an event planned in in April, and we and we saw the writing on the wall. And unfortunately, I was the person that put it together. And I had to use the force majeure clause as our exit strategy even before they, um, literally closed down the state and they were very accommodating. They understood, um, and then we just decided that we would give them half of our our down payment to try to, you know, at least show good faith in that they would do it again. But I think that would be the case with most of these types of venues.

Jessica Bishop:   27:26
Yeah, it's It's just such an unfortunate situation at the moment.

Katie Utterback:   27:32
You know, I remember reading all my wedding contracts and I remember that verbage and just searching my brain for like, Well, what would an example of this be so happy I made it through without getting affected

Jessica Bishop:   27:50
here in Florida, it becomes a big issue with hurricane season. And so generally people aren't getting married, you know as much Ah, during that time of year. But, um, I think you know, that's something that that comes into play and in certain areas, the country.

Chase Peckham:   28:05
So at the same time, though, if we were in normal circumstances, that would still, I would imagine that those types of venues during hurricane season would have it would be a little bit cheaper, like an offseason. Almost

Jessica Bishop:   28:16
probably. I think there's definitely a seasonal, um, price difference just depending on your area, whether it's hurricane season or whether it's, you know, winter and really, really cold places of the country. So, um, it's it's definitely worth looking at you off season rates to save money,

Chase Peckham:   28:34
knowing what you know. And obviously this is a very personal thing. But what would your recommendations be? For people that are in this situation if they really wanted to, have that wedding experience.

Jessica Bishop:   28:51
So if you still have that vision in your mind of having the big celebration that you've always dreamed of, like you can still do that I would just recommend holding off for a while. Um, you know, if you don't want to put off actually getting married Ah, go ahead and do something intimate and small at home and have the bigger celebration later. I really do think that once this is all over people are going to be clamoring for something to celebrate, a reason to get out and be around the people they love. Like they're still gonna want to celebrate with you and this fall over, um so maybe just like put a pin in it, Especially if you haven't begun booking anything yet. Ah, it might just be a good idea to kind of hold off and wait things out a little bit longer.

Chase Peckham:   29:35
We were having this conversation before you came on, but it's so interesting the different polls that you might have like there's a lot of families in the world where weddings air rite of passage in and in laws and parents have say so in the weddings and who gets invited. And it's a so you know, it's a social standing thing. Ah, lot of cases the people that are getting married don't have all the choices in the world is that would be a very interesting dynamic how that's all going on right now. And if you see any of that on your and your Facebook pages and those kinds of things,

Jessica Bishop:   30:06
yeah, for sure, Um, I always say, you know, when you accept outside donations from, like your family members and your loved ones to put towards your wedding budget. You're also inviting their opinions and their control over certain aspects of the event. And so, um, you know, my advice for couples is always to like, way, way those things when you're deciding whether or not to accept those funds. But, um but yeah, t o be honest, like I have had a large number recently of, like, mothers of the bride and groom joining the Facebook group. Ah, because they think that one thing should be done and the, you know, the couple feels differently whether that's, um, you know, postponing completely or, um, you know, going ahead and getting married now and then having the bigger celebration later. So, um, yeah, I do think that Ah, it's a conversation that's definitely happening more. And, um, I think so. So Maney, depending on where you live and depending on you know where your families might be, everybody's kind of experiencing what's happening right now in different ways, especially in different areas of the country. And so, um, there could be some discrepancies and, like how seriously he's certain people are taking it versus others. And so I think that's also creating some friction as well.

Chase Peckham:   31:31
And obviously, weddings and and and a lot of circles are very religious based. Um and you know, the idea of being married before God Church is a lot of them are closed. I mean, I would imagine that that is throwing kind of a wrinkle in things as well, because it's beyond just the legal aspect of it with a lot of people,

Jessica Bishop:   31:53
right? Yeah, for sure. With church buildings being closed and, you know, official church services being restricted and stuff in certain areas. I definitely think that's probably playing a big part. And, you know, my might cause couples Teoh, you know, just consider postponing, but especially for Couples, you, maybe our religious and aren't living together yet. And there, you know, you know, life is short, like who knows what's gonna happen with this pandemic like let's get married and spend time together instead of spending time apart. You know those sorts of things, so it really just depends on you know, your personal situation and what you want to do. But it's a tricky situation. I think, where the church stuff is concerned for sure.

Katie Utterback:   32:38
Do you have advice for couples who do decide to push back their wedding date? Maybe they wanted that in person. Church wedding. What should they do the day of when their their wedding was supposed to happen? It's not happening

Jessica Bishop:   32:52
I think there are still, like, nice ways to kind of celebrate. Um, the day, Even if you decided to just postpone it entirely, whether it's, you know, getting together and sharing a meal together. I mean, if you're if you're quarantined with your partner, um, that's different. Obviously, you're gonna be together all already, but if you were living separately, it could be a little bit tricky. Ah, with the current, like, social distancing stuff in mind, Um, so you could dio, you know, like a face time date or resume bait. Or, um, you could do a drive by in your cars like, um, go to a drive in movie like, who knows? Like I think you just at this time you got to get creative and, like, do whatever you can, um and ah, maybe, like, get your you know, wedding cake, baker to send over some cupcakes, each of you and you can have, like a little ceremonial cake, cupcake. Cutting up, cutting, tripping over my words. Yeah, right. Um but yeah, I think we've shared a few different ideas on the blawg of, um, things that couples have done so far. And just make it personal and make it about you. Like I really encourage couples who were going through these times together to just really lean on each other Right now, I think if you can survive, you know, your relationship can survive a global pandemic and all the chaos that it is throwing at your life right now, like you can weather any storm together. Truly.

Chase Peckham:   34:23
And I think that goes without saying. Even for those couples that are married, try trying to make this as normal as possible on having that right frame of mind is great. And Jessica, you are amazing. Your knowledge is incredible. How did you get into this side of things? I mean, you can hear the passion coming through. The are zoom right now. Kind of give us a little bit of a background. How did you become the expert? You

Jessica Bishop:   34:49
Ah, it's kind of a long and rambling story, but uh, my, uh, My first job out of college. I went to school for graphic design and journalism, and my first job out of college was for a local wedding magazine. Um, so I became very immersed in the world of weddings. I was talking with vendors all the time and interviewing them for profiles and the magazine and things like that. And it was just so interesting how passionate and creative like wedding vendors are and how much they love what they do. And I feel the same way. And, um, after working there, actually, at that time I got engaged and began planning my own wedding. And then the 8 4009 recession happened. I lost my job and got laid off, and so I kind of had to get creative in terms of, like making money and paying for the sweating and at the same time, all right, I had started my blawg and I was kind of sharing the ideas that I was coming up with along the way. Um and it was just very much like a firsthand experience, an account of my experience and ideas I'd come up with to save money, and at the same time I was freelancing. I literally have probably had every single job in the wedding industry. You could imagine. I have worked at a wedding cake bakery I have worked for, um, like, catering company is doing that cater waiter ring. When I needed extra money, I also assisted a wedding photographer for a couple of years, second shooting with her at weddings. So I got to see every aspect of the day from that angle is Well, um, and I've also, you know, helped with day of coordination. And, you know, I went through the whole process is a bride myself. And basically, by the time I got married, I had kind of a master bit of a following with the web site and, um, just decided, like, instead of keeping it a personal journal because, like, I'm not that interesting, but, ah, I thought I could turn the ah platform into a place to share other couple stories and how you know, they prioritized different aspects of, you know, their wedding day to fit their values, um, for their lives and for their financial futures on plan weddings on a budget that are much, much less than what is publicized is the national average, which I mean you mentioned, you know earlier that you know, it's widely shared that the national averages are, you know, above $30,000. But on our both of sight, I have kind of made the decision like we only publish weddings that are, like $20,000 or less. And so not only did we make that decision, but we also interview the couples, and they actually share how much they spend on every different part of their wedding. And so it's really unique. When you go and look at other wedding blog's, you're like you might say, like, Oh, this was the D I Y wedding, but actually it was planned by a professional, and it probably costs, like 40 or $50,000. Then it looks like Pinterest dreams. But a professional made all those things and executed that event, and that's not at all the case with the stuff that we've drawn our side. It's a lot of couples who take a, you know, a D I y approach. They're doing lots of things themselves. They're getting help from family and friends. They kind of use what I like to call us like that. It takes a village approach to planning a wedding. And so, um, we've Ah, we've, you know, I've been doing this now, running the site for actually, it turns 12 on the next week, which is crazy. Um, and

Katie Utterback:   38:22
congratulations on that. That's impressive. 12 years.

Jessica Bishop:   38:25
Thank you so much. It really is a passion project for sure. Um and I, uh I just feel like it's so empowering to see what other people are able to make happen on whatever budget is that they have. You know how far they can stretch it, How the how they can make it work for them. And, um, I just think it's really cool to, like, elevate other people's stories and and share that with couples who are currently planning. So I said that was a long, rambling story,

Chase Peckham:   38:55
It actually was so exciting I almost want to get married again and way renew our vows. I'll do something. But where can people find you? Aziz? They're just, you know, they got a lot of time on their hands and they want a plan for the future. Ah, where can they find you? What's the best place to get even involved with your Facebook group.

Jessica Bishop:   39:16
Yeah, absolutely. So, um, the website is the budget savvy bride dot com. Ah, We also have a really active group on Facebook. It's called budget savvy Wedding planning. Ah, and there's also my book, which is actually the number one best selling wedding planning book on Amazon. It's called the budget Savvy Wedding Planner Organizer. You see, they're all like names. Yeah. And then on Instagram I'm pretty active as well @BudgetSavvyBride.Bride.

Chase Peckham:   39:43
Well, Jessica, thank you so much for joining us. We really appreciate it would love to have you back under normal circumstances so we can really discuss and get down and dirty about how to save during normal times with their with our impending nuptials. So thank you for being here today with us.  

Jessica Bishop:   39:59
Yeah, absolutely. Super Super great to chat with you