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Sheva Brachos on my own- ok to ask for help?
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pesek zman









  


Post  Wed, Oct 10 2018, 6:25 am
Iymnok wrote:
It’s not her job to invite people. For sheva brachos the host invites and the chosson and kallah give them a list of names to be included.

Everyone is right about being straight up about it. You still have a few weeks. Oftentimes nothing is finalized until the week of.

She seems ignorant of normal protocol.

I’d be clear that you are limited on space, energy and budget.
You will have to get some of those invited to help with set up, clean up and serving.


In my circles,the host invites who she wants (the chosson and Kallah do not provide a list. They are guests of honor and guests and do not participate in planning, unless specifically asked by the host) Which is why this Kallah seems so off to me. How do you invite 50 people to someone else's home?
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Raisin









  


Post  Wed, Oct 10 2018, 6:26 am
Option a: I'm so sorry Raizy! I can't really afford to host a sheva brochos in a hall for 50 people. When I made my offer I meant a small sb in my house for up to x people.

Option B: Call some of the people she has invited and ask them to chip in with cost of hall or to bring food. (drinks/desserts/fruit/bread or challa rolls/paper goods) Make a simple menu - maybe start a thread asking for ideas.

Does the kallah have money? The type of sb she is planning is often hosted by the family itself, or by a group of friends. Not by one person, who is not going to the wedding because she can't afford it. If she can afford it, maybe suggest she pay for the hall rental and you will arrange the food. (hopefully with help..even a simple meal for 50 people will cost a few hundred dollars)
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salt









  


Post  Wed, Oct 10 2018, 6:34 am
amother wrote:
I thought the same thing- how would she have 50 people to invite? But it's not like they're close friends. It's half important people in the community and the other half people like neighbors, old teachers, that kind of thing.


What do you mean by important people in the community? I assume you mean community leaders, rabbis, etc - these sorts of people should take responsibility to help - either to raise money for this event, or bring food - or find a reasonable location - maybe they have connections and can get a small school hall as a donation or something.
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amother




Burlywood


Post  Wed, Oct 10 2018, 6:47 am
I think its rude of the kalla to ask u to host the ppl in a hall when u said u cant fit 50 ppl in ur house. Clearly, she is giving u a hard time saying NO!. But, u must say no no no...and many ppl here posted nice ways to say no.

Be firm repeat repeat...but ull letvher know u can host 15 ppl max or....
She can always tell the 50 ppl that the sheva brachos was canceled due to lack of space which may be difficult for her but thats the consequence she gets wen assuming she can invite who she wants, usually the host invites ppl and the kallahs /chosons parents are invited too.

The sooner u tell her this, the better it will be for everyone, dont delay.
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ruchelbuckle









  


Post  Wed, Oct 10 2018, 6:55 am
amother wrote:
it may have sounded like she was offering to take on one of the sheva brachos. in my experience the kallah is not involved in hooking ppl up to host the sheva brachos together. ppl figure that out on their own and then offer, or offer and then find co-hosts.



I kind of agree with this. It's likely that the kallah misunderstood you. In addition if she is a baalas tshuva or grew up in a different circle, she likely doesn't have a good grasp on how a lot of these things work, especially if, as an older single, she hasn't been involved in these areas so much.


I had a similar situation last year. I offered to "help" with sheva brachos (not directly to the kallah, but to someone else) and I ended up making most of it myself. The chosson and kallah were kind of a nebach situation, and I felt like it was important to make them feel like any other "normal" couple.


This is what I did: I basically got as many people involved as I could, even if they weren't invited to the sheva brachos. I vaguely explained the situation, basically emphasizing the real aspect of hachnesses kallah here. People who had no connection to the couple were happy to help: either make a dish or contribute financially. I was even able to call someone from our local day school--- I got a few 8th grade girls to come over and help me set up.

I also think it's important to not underestimate klal yisrael here! I really think that people will be happy to help--- even if they don't have a connection.

In terms of a location, I don't know anything about your city, but where I live-- a Rav of a local shul was happy to let me use their simcha hall for free, based on the circumstances. I just needed to hire a cleaning crew for afterwards. I'll bet that speaking to either the Rav of your shul or the Rav of this woman would likely lead to some leads.

Do you want to PM me with your location? I'll bet with networking we could really find people to help.
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amother




Navy


Post  Wed, Oct 10 2018, 6:57 am
This poor kallah obviously has no idea what she is doing. Who is helping her plan the wedding? That person may be able to explain to her how these things work and figure out a solution that is practical.

If she is doing it herself, then you may have the unfortunate responsibility of explaining to her how Sheva Brachos hosting works.

She has the choice of:

A) Accepting you as a Sheva Brachos host, which means that you host her, her chosson, perhaps some close family members, and enough guests of your choice to make a minyan. Some of those guests are expected to pitch in, either monetarily or through bringing or cooking items.

B) Hosting a community Sheva Brachos as an alternative simcha for those who could not attend the wedding. This means she rents a hall, invites guests, and you volunteer to bring or cook one part of the meal.

Or, as others have mentioned, if there is a Rabbi or Rebbetzin available, perhaps they can take on much of the responsibility of B as a Chesed and let the kallah enjoy her wedding and Sheva Brachos without having to feel terrible about this major faux pas.
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amother




Red


Post  Wed, Oct 10 2018, 7:01 am
Squishy wrote:
She is not stuck with it unless she allows herself to be. No one deserves to have this done to them. Did you read the part where OP wants to spend max $50 which is generous already.

She is stuck! She's in an extremely difficult situation that she cannot back out of.
There is alot of misunderstanding here, and personally I think this kallah is being very unreasonable by inviting guests etc.
Thats why I think if she anyway has to do, lets try and advise her as best as possible.
A come and go buffet style would be the most economical.
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ruchelbuckle









  


Post  Wed, Oct 10 2018, 7:10 am
I also want to say this--- it seems that there is a lot of bashing the kallah on this thread. Please don't. She sounds like she is likely clueless, which is understandable. See this quote:


Quote:
This poor kallah obviously has no idea what she is doing. Who is helping her plan the wedding? That person may be able to explain to her how these things work and figure out a solution that is practical.



Not to derail the thread, but a young mother (no kids in school yet) at the park recently asked me about tuition. She had this idea that tuition isn't really set at our local day school---- everyone just pays what they can afford and the school lets them in! Although she understood that the school has a set price, she was under the impression that it is "extremely flexible" and more of a "suggested donation." I'm just giving this as an example of how people can be clueless about various topics, so please lets stop bashing the kallah for being "rude" or "unreasonable" and focus on helping the OP accomplish this mitzvah to the best of her abilities, without making anyone feel bad.


Last edited by ruchelbuckle on Wed, Oct 10 2018, 7:12 am; edited 1 time in total
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sirel









  


Post  Wed, Oct 10 2018, 7:11 am
amother wrote:
She is stuck! She's in an extremely difficult situation that she cannot back out of.
There is alot of misunderstanding here, and personally I think this kallah is being very unreasonable by inviting guests etc.
Thats why I think if she anyway has to do, lets try and advise her as best as possible.
A come and go buffet style would be the most economical.


She's not stuck. She CAN back out.

She can also make a decision to say yes. In certain circumstances I can see that being a very big chessed, or it might be enabling an unhealthy dynamic. Really depends on what's going on.
And then she can decide , does she want to do it as economically as possible? does she want to ask others for help? etc. All these are her decisions, and she is not and should not be forced into them.

But she doesn't HAVE to do it.
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CatLady









  


Post  Wed, Oct 10 2018, 7:19 am
From the looks of it, OP is being asked to put together a second wedding reception for the people who couldn't make it to the actual wedding. That was clearly not her intent, so I wiould call the people on the list and tell them that we're having a Pittsburgh-style cookie table SB for Jack and Diane. You explain the tradition behind it (how people couldn't afford a multi-tiered wedding cake back in the day so everyone baked their best cookies and it was a showing of love from the community). Then, you ask what cookies they're bringing, and to please bring the recipe as well. You can do a fancy coffee bar (different flavour syrups, whipped cream, sprinkles), an assortment of teas, and sodas. Fifty dollars ought to cover the drinks and the disposables, as well as a few batches of cookies.
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Aylat









  


Post  Wed, Oct 10 2018, 7:26 am
A buffet dessert sheva brachot sounds more do-able than a full meal. Ask a shaila whether you can do sheva brachot with al hamichya instead of bentching (we ended up doing that for one of our sheva brachot).

Also, sheva brachot is not just about the food, it's the atmosphere, which is something you can outsource. You can ask one or two of the guests to prepare a dvar Torah, grammen and/or a speech about the couple. You can have a designated person responsible for starting songs during the meal.
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Aylat









  


Post  Wed, Oct 10 2018, 7:27 am
CatLady wrote:
From the looks of it, OP is being asked to put together a second wedding reception for the people who couldn't make it to the actual wedding. That was clearly not her intent, so I wiould call the people on the list and tell them that we're having a Pittsburgh-style cookie table SB for Jack and Diane. You explain the tradition behind it (how people couldn't afford a multi-tiered wedding cake back in the day so everyone baked their best cookies and it was a showing of love from the community). Then, you ask what cookies they're bringing, and to please bring the recipe as well. You can do a fancy coffee bar (different flavour syrups, whipped cream, sprinkles), an assortment of teas, and sodas. Fifty dollars ought to cover the drinks and the disposables, as well as a few batches of cookies.


Never heard of this - I love it!
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watergirl









  


Post  Wed, Oct 10 2018, 7:37 am
OP, the hall that the kallah suggested - who would pay for that? You? Was that what she was getting at? Sounds like a lot of chutzpah.
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devash1









  


Post  Wed, Oct 10 2018, 8:25 am
From what I understand Sheva brachot is a nice custom but it is not obligatory every night. I really like the cookie suggestion.you asked to help, in my mind that does not mean hosting at all it means bringing a dish or two. I am impressed that you haven't canceled altogether yet.
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animeme









  


Post  Wed, Oct 10 2018, 8:35 am
Please be mindful that in many shuls/school/ community halls, you can't have homemade food- it would need to be bought or catered with a hechsher, or made onsite with a mashgiach present. Ask before planning a potluck there.
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Squishy









  


Post  Wed, Oct 10 2018, 8:43 am
amother wrote:
She is stuck! She's in an extremely difficult situation that she cannot back out of.
There is alot of misunderstanding here, and personally I think this kallah is being very unreasonable by inviting guests etc.
Thats why I think if she anyway has to do, lets try and advise her as best as possible.
A come and go buffet style would be the most economical.


She isn't backing out. She is just not saying yes to pressure. Helping is not hosting. I have a friend who tells me things like she was counting on me when I never committed. She called me yesterday to tell me I owe her a present. I used to give in to this nonsense.

What happens now if the kallah comes back and says she wants the SB catered? OP never committed to 50 people in a hall. It is the same difference. There is absolutely no reason for OP to break her budget and take on this stress.

I am also concerned with OP burdening others on the community. If OP asks who would like to contribute, that's OK. What is not OK pressuring people to help sponsor a 50 person reception.

I am not say the bride is a kalzilla. This could be simple ignorance. We all want to make kallahs happy but there has to be a limit.
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Sebastian









  


Post  Wed, Oct 10 2018, 8:58 am
Op, I would call her back and tell her what you can do.

She's seems clueless of what a sheva brachos entails.

When my siblings made a sheva brachos for 50ish, it was 4 ppl working together.
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amother




Beige


Post  Wed, Oct 10 2018, 9:48 am
Thanks everyone for the advice and support. It really is a difficult dynamic because while she is a bit clueless she's definitely leveraging that to get what she wants here.

She'd be mortified if she knew I got people on board as a chessed. I'm not sure what's worse, having her uninvite people or having her know that.

I'm going to have to call her today to lay out the options and hopefully get her to a place of understanding, both of societal norms and my limitations.

I'm procrastinating making the phone call but it needs to happen soon. Wish me luck everyone!
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ra_mom









  


Post  Wed, Oct 10 2018, 9:50 am
Best of luck! You can do this phone call! And I think you're wonderful for everything that you've done until now and the warm demeanor you exhude in your posts.

Last edited by ra_mom on Wed, Oct 10 2018, 10:08 am; edited 1 time in total
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amother




Natural


Post  Wed, Oct 10 2018, 10:07 am
Thank you OP for being so kindhearted. I was clueless when I was a kallah (recent BT, new to the city I was living in) and so many people banded together to make my chasuna and make sheva brachos. I cringe looking back at how naive and unaware I was. I had no understanding of how much money, time, and effort is involved in all these things. I also had no idea how hard it is to put together someone else's chasuna or sheva brachos while juggling family, work, and life responsibilities. I was appreciative at the time, but a million times more appreciative now, 20 years down the road. May you be gebentched!
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