May 2, 2023

74. Does it matter where you say "I Do"?

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Welcome back to Spend Donate Invest! This is a podcast that’s exploring the topic of whether there might be some ways we can line up what we’re doing with our money and our values when it comes to the kind of world we’d like to help shape. Because here’s the thing, if you’re listening to this, you probably vote, you might even protest, maybe you’ve called your senator about something you want them to do. What I’m trying to chat about on this podcast is if there might be a whole other category of things we can do- specifically our money.

Where do we bank, where do we shop, where do we donate?

These are the things I wonder about, and you might be wondering about it too. If you are, you can drop a line anytime and I’ll be happy to explore it on the show. The email address is spenddonateinvest at gmail dot com. Or you can use the voice recorder function on the show’s website which is at and I’ll transcribe your question and read it on the air.

We’ve covered so much in the past year. Questions have come in about trying to give up brands from companies who have values that are different than yours, trying to convince your partner to switch to a more socially responsible bank, and whether or not to give that person with a cardboard sign some cash.

And in case you aren’t already familiar, I’m your host! I go by GG, that’s short for Genet Gimja and I have absolutely loved hosting this podcast for the past year and some change. Fundamentally, I believe that inequality and oppression are baked into capitalism, or at least the version of capitalism that we’re doing right now. I think the entire system needs to be overhauled, and I also believe in taking the incremental steps we can as individuals for now. Like with climate change, my sense is that ultimately corporations need to be regulated and the government needs to be empowered to do that, but I’m still going to recycle my trash at home.

It’s wedding season, you may have caught the recent episode about sustainable weddings. I heard from some of you about that episode, some funny comments about how to reconcile our desire for sustainability and finding ways to align our cultures and traditions as well.

To continue the theme of wedding season, today we are going to talk about wedding venues. This is often the first or second line item in terms of where most of our money goes when planning weddings, so it is an opportunity to think about lining up our values and our money.

Because that’s what we talk about on this show. In addition to voting, in addition to protesting, how can we access some of our power when it comes to our money?

So let’s talk about wedding venues.

Depending on your values, there are a few different things you might take into consideration before you write that big check and secure your wedding venue.

If you are concerned about the climate crises, you can think about the sustainability of your wedding venue. Here are some questions to consider:

  • Where is the venue located? Is it an over-run place?
  • Is the venue making any efforts to be more sustainable?

If you are concerned about honoring the history of the land and the people of the land, you might consider a few of these questions:

  • Whose land is it? Who owns the deed to the land now? 
  • But also, whose land was it historically? What was the land used for?

Just by asking a few questions about the venue, you might find out some interesting things that might change your mind towards or away from a venue. You might find out the indigenous history of the land. Maybe there’s a way you can honor that in considering this venue. Maybe you’ll find out that this was an actual plantation, a place where people were enslaved, brutalized and murdered. Plantations were businesses that relied on a horrific crime. Who wants to throw a party on the same site as a tragedy? <Shudder> this is the kind of thing you can screen for, to respect the people who suffered on the land, and to protect your marriage from kicking off in that type of an environment. And you won’t be a family who has participated in continuing the fairy tale fantasy of plantation life as being genteel and civilized. There are so many advantages to finding out the history of the wedding venue you’re considering.

So those are only 2 examples! I talked through climate change and historical considerations. But maybe one of your values is to reduce and eliminate human trafficking. That can be something that you screen for when choosing venues.

Or maybe you will decide to screen for another concern, the point is just to spend a few minutes adding a few screener questions to your checklist when you’re reviewing venues.

If you’d be interested in other wedding related topics, let me know. It is wedding season and it is one of the biggest expenditures for a lot of couples, maybe we can look for opportunities to feel more aligned with our greater desires for the world as we plan this special day.

Thanks for tuning in this week. I am going to leave the links for you to continue your exploration in the show notes. I’m curious what else you’ve been thinking about, as it relates to our money and our values. We’ve talked about weddings for the past 2 episodes, but we have covered many more topics on this podcast. I’m working on a few episodes right now that require more research. One of them came from a more complex listener question that came in recently, and the other episode is on a personal project I’ve been working on, also related to this topic of aligning our money and our values. So I hope to bring those to you sooner rather than later.

Feel free to send in your topics anytime. The email address for the show is spend donate invest at gmail dot com.

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