Weekender #141

The Assist Newsletter
June 28, 2024
Inspirational quote by Lena Waithe on a pink background with illustrations of hands holding flowers, reading: 'The thing that makes you unique, if you're being honest and authentic, will be what makes you a champion.'

🤔 Brainteaser of the day: What can be stretched but never torn, binds without chains, and grows stronger with every conflict it endures?

Click here to see the answer.

Check out our June Weekender 2024 Brainteasers here.

Today’s checklist: 

    • Joanna dishes wedding planning tips
    • Best. bath. ever.
    • Add this to your TV show rotation
    • Thania shares a personal story on her late uncle
    • Meet our pets of the week: Taco & Val


🏠 Home: 16 steps to finally declutter your home once and for all.

💰 Finance: The best apps to save money.

🍎 Health: Best foods to try to eat if you’re nauseous.

🌐 Society: Child influencers pushing for laws to protect kids from their parents’ oversharing.

🫶 Infertility: How friends & family can support people going through infertility.


A cheerful illustration of a wedding cake topped with a bride and groom, surrounded by colorful gift boxes and confetti.

I Planned My Own Wedding—Here are a Few Things to Consider for Your Own


I got engaged in Feb 2020, got legally married in Oct 2020, and had our wedding in Oct 2021.

Since then, I’ve been a MOH for my best friend’s wedding, so I know a thing or two about weddings! (Not to mention, I managed multiple weddings at Severance Hall in Cleveland for work 😉).

Like many other brides, I felt like my wedding day was one of the BEST DAYS EVER.

Here are a few things to consider when you’re planning your big day:

  • Budget: Setting a realistic budget with your partner is key. Keep in mind the avg wedding cost in the US is ~$29K.
    • Ways to save:
      • If the venue allows it (and you can manage), select your own vendors. Going with the in-house catering is usually more expensive than an external one—you’re paying for the convenience here. Plus, being able to buy your own alcohol for the event is huge (Costco ftw!).
      • If you have crafty friends and family, recruit them to help with your table centerpieces, and floral & venue decor. Floral is a sneaky expense and being able to DIY some if it can help cut your costs. You can also consider renting synthetic ones.
      • Select a venue that provides all the tables, chairs, A/V equipment so that you don’t need to hire a rental furniture vendor. If they don’t provide A/V, you can usually find a DJ who can handle that for you.
  • Lock in your venue and dress ASAP: focus on locking in your venue first. That determines everything your wedding date, the decor vibe, and it can even influence your dress choice. Set up your bridal dress appointments as soon as you know your wedding date. Depending on how fancy you get with your dress, it can take months to arrive.
    • When you try on dresses, have a friend take videos rather than photos of you in it. This is so helpful when you are considering your options.
  • Photography: create a shot list for your wedding photos. This can save you so much time the day of when you’re shooting photos, and this really helped for mine since I have a huge family.
    • Consider doing your photos before the wedding starts. I love cocktail hours, so I didn’t want to miss mine to take photos. I also extended my cocktail hour to 90 minutes to allow for more mingling.
  • Personalize your wedding: The best weddings I’ve attended have been ones where the bride and groom really let their personalities shine. For example, my husband LOVES magic, so I hired a magician to do up close magic during cocktail hour—people raved about this.
  • Things to consider during your venue walk through:
    • What’s the venue capacity with different standing and seated arrangement layouts?
    • What’s the weather contingency plan?
    • What’s the accessibility like—are there ramps, elevators, and suitable restrooms?
    • What’s parking like? Are there shuttle services or nearby parking options?
    • Where do vendors load in? Is there a kitchen on site for outside catering?
    • What’s the full cost, payment schedule, and required deposit amount?
    • What’s the cancellation policy? (Try to negotiate a longer period.)
    • What are the venue insurance requirements? (You can get this through most insurance companies you probably already work with.)
    • Do they have a preferred vendor list? Do they provide tables and chairs—how many?
    • Who is responsible for set up and clean up?
    • Are there decor restrictions? Do they allow open flames (for candles)?
    • What’s the A/V like? Do you need to rent your own? Is there backup power available in case of outages?
    • What’s the noise ordinance like?
    • Do they provide a day of event coordinator?
    • When can you access the venue? Do they include a rehearsal day for free? How early can you be there day of?
    • Is there a bridal or groom suite on site?
    • Is there wi-fi throughout the entire venue?
  • Other helpful notes:
    • Standard table sizes and capacities:
      • 60” round table seats 8 comfortably; go for 72” to seat 10
      • 8’ table seats 8 comfortably; 6’ for 6 people
    • If purchasing alcohol yourself, ask your catering vendor how much they reco you buying; a 1.75 liter of alcohol = ~39 drinks. Running low on something during the event? Consider instacarting or getting more delivered! (I did this, and no one knew.)
    • Estimate your attendee count by doing this:
      • Split your guests into these categories: local, out of town, and VIPs (people who wouldn’t miss it)
      • Estimate 85% of locals will show
      • Estimate 55% of out of town guests will show
      • Estimate 100% of your VIPs to show

Hope this helps you bride-to-be’s out there (and congrats!).

headshot of Joanna (Co-founder of TA)

Joanna (Co-founder of TA)


monday.com to do list

Avoid A Sucky Work Week


Take a few minutes to organize your upcoming work week with monday.com to avoid the Sunday Scaries.

It’s perfect for anyone who is struggling to…

  • Prioritize tasks
  • Fight overwhelm due to the amount of projects flying around
  • Keep teammates on the same page
  • Manage time throughout the workday

You can customize your space, color code, set deadlines, collaborate with teammates, and more.

Like any tool, we suggest you try it out for yourself to see if it covers all the bases.

💡Get started here for free.


A collection of cozy and self-care items including a robe, bath tray, wine, bath bombs, body oil, and bath salts.

The Perfect ‘Me’ Time Activity: Luxe Bubble Baths


Transform your bath time into a spa-like experience with these luxurious essentials.

From aromatic bubble baths to ambient lighting, indulge in ultimate relaxation with these curated products:


Promotional image for the TV show 'Evil' featuring the main cast against a dark, eerie background.

Evil (Netflix Show) 


Evil is a thrilling supernatural drama that delves into the battle between science and religion.

The show follows a skeptical psychologist, a priest-in-training, and a contractor as they investigate the Church’s backlog of unexplained mysteries, including supposed miracles, demonic possessions, and hauntings.

Each episode is a fun ride, mixing psychological intrigue with supernatural elements, challenging the boundaries between reality and the unknown.

For fans of: The X-Files and Supernatural.

Watch it with: Your friends who grew up going to Catholic school and enjoy the supernatural.

Pair it with: A decadent peanut butter brownie sundae.


Bonusly gif

Want to Motivate Your Employees? You Better Recognize


At the last company I worked at, we used Bonusly—it was a simple platform but it got everyone pumped.

People felt a sense of pride whenever they got points and recognition, so they went above and beyond.

Using Bonusly in a nutshell:

You get a set amount of points each month (in my case it was 100 pts) that you can award to anyone in the company accompanied with a message.

What I personally loved about Bonusly:

  • Your points don’t roll over so it encourages you to use them before they expire; you celebrate your team’s wins, big and small.
  • The feed is public so everyone (including C-suite) can see how awesome you are.
  • Points can be redeemed for rewards (I always redeemed mine for cash and bought flights to Cabo once!).
  • Set up is a breeze & easily scalable; our company grew to 1,000+ employees, and the plans were easy to switch as we grew.

Plus—Bonusly just started offering free trial so you can try it out yourself with all the bells & whistles for 14 days.

headshot of Joanna (Co-founder of TA)

Joanna (Co-Founder of TA)


A collage of four images: A cheerful man holding two wine glasses at a winery, a man in a suit and red tie leaning his head against a young girl in a white dress at a formal event, three smiling people in professional attire posing together, and a vintage photo of a young boy standing proudly in front of a classic car.

Uncle Rick: Lessons in Love and Acceptance


Growing up, I didn’t really know what it meant that my Uncle Rick was gay. I just sensed a cloud of disappointment whenever my family mentioned his name.

To me, he seemed cool and successful; a globe-trotting flight attendant with his own condo in Chicago. But he wasn’t married, and to my young, Catholic-school-taught mind, that was odd.

Uncle Rick was the fun one, unlike the stiff and boring adults on my dad’s side of the family. However, one day, I overheard a heated argument between him and my dad.

The word “faggot” was hurled at Rick, and even without knowing what it meant, I could tell it was vicious. Aligning with my dad, whom I adored, I assumed Rick must have done something terrible.

It wasn’t until I grew older that I began to understand Uncle Rick’s story and the profound struggles he faced.

Coming out as gay at 16 in the 1960s to a strict, Spanish Catholic family was a bold move that led to alienation and a lifetime of challenges. He left home, carved out his path, and never looked back, except when necessary.

By the time I fully grasped his story in my late 20s, guilt washed over me. As a child influenced by shows like South Park, I didn’t realize the weight and malice of the slurs I casually repeated. My understanding of Uncle Rick had been shallow, clouded by family bias and my limited world view.

Rick’s bravery became increasingly evident as I learned more about his life. He was not only brave but also compassionate, dedicating his time to rescuing animals and supporting various social justice causes. He achieved a master’s degree in software engineering and left a legacy that helped me purchase my first home.

Later, as adults living near each other, our bond deepened. We connected over shared interests like home decor and landscaping. When Rick was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, my dad and aunt mended their bonds with him, healing old wounds before it was too late.

Reflecting on Uncle Rick’s life, my hope is stark and simple: that my generation and those that follow will learn from the past, embracing and celebrating humanity in all its forms. Understanding that being LGBTQ+ is not a choice but a facet of human diversity is crucial.

LGBTQ+ individuals and their experiences are invaluable. They deserve to be heard, respected, and cherished. Through sharing and embracing their stories, we can foster a world that truly values all people.

headshot of Thania (TA Content Mgr)

Thania (TA Content Mgr)


A smiling woman holding an iced coffee with the caption, 'Walking into work with the coffee that made you late.'


Two adorable dogs, Taco and Val, relaxing on a black couch, featured as the 'Pet of the Week.

Meet Taco & Val


These two are a brother and sister duo for the ages.

Taco is a big teddy bear and his theme song would be “Walking on Sunshine.”

His sister Valkyrie is a sassy loving girl whose theme song would be something with the vibe of gentle anarchy.

They both love to run and play, then settle down for cuddles at the end of the day.

💌 We’re huge pet lovers at The Assist—submit this form if you’d like us to feature your fur baby in a future issue!


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