Saturday, August 23, 2008

Outta Controlllll

After visiting two potential printers/designers for invitations, I emailed the parents asking for final guest list numbers so that we could have an accurate quote.  I had been telling the designers that we were going to invite a bit more than 200 people because we were expecting around 150 guests.  It turns out we are now inviting almost 370 people to the wedding (so even if 50% of those invited decline, we are still higher than JewishGuy and I originally wanted).  Not to mention the venue - an old mansion - only holds 200-230 people in its largest room, so if more than 60% of our guests come we cannot legally have them all in the building!

This of course was Friday afternoon, so imagine the freaking out that happened by me this Shabbat!  Much.  I think we were just totally shocked by the difference between what we thought we had discussed back in March/April, and what it turns out the reality is today.

JewishGuy and I have talked about it and it seems like we have a major breakdown in communication - the bottom line is, email lists don't seem to be working out so well right now. I think we've come up with a viable solution: A google page!  We spent a lot of time this evening setting up our google page for the parents to use.

Here's a cropped screen grab:

Hopefully this will work and keep us all organized and communicating effectively (I realize this will only work if people check it relatively frequently).

Every section has a To-Do list that is organized by who is in charge of the item, what it is, how it was resolved, and whether it is complete.  Every section also has a "notes" section, so that JewishGuy and I can write in what we were envisioning for this particular part of the wedding.  This way we can delegate, have everything all in one place, and not have to send long emails back and forth!

For example: I am asking JewishMom to be in charge of the florist.  So that she doesn't have to keep checking her inbox, searching for the email I sent her about what I want, or searching around the house for the pictures I sent of examples of center pieces I like, she can just go to this website.  There it is: Decorations -> Decorations Notes.  Pictures will be in Share Files -> Decorations Pictures.

JewishGuy and I talked about this a lot this Shabbat.  We talked about how much control we really want to have over the wedding, how we're feeling about things in general, and especially about this guest list thing (which shocked both of us, I have to say).  I was feeling very overwhelmed by the planning process, I think mostly due to the way we were going about the planning, where I was being held responsible for final decisions on things but I felt like I wasn't actually in control of the planning - for example, I would get a list of things I needed to accomplish, like someone else is in control and I was reporting to that person, but then I was asked for advice about something I was told to do...  I don't even know if I'm making sense anymore!

It's not that we didn't appreciate the help - I don't know what we would do without the parental support!!

The point is, I think us taking more of an active role in organizing the planning will help us to not feel quite so overwhelmed.  We still plan on only being in charge of the few things we want to do, but now we have a system where we are also overseeing the progress of the other elements.

This doesn't quite resolve the guest list issue.  It may happen that we will have to pare the lists down, as it's now T-7 months and we may not be able to find another venue that will be large enough to comfortably hold about 80% of the people we are planning to invite.  If these lists are the absolute minimum, there really is no way that we can comfortably fit 300* people in that venue.  We will be back to square one in that respect, which I am not looking forward to, but we'll deal with that if it comes to it I suppose!

* The event planner in me doesn't feel comfortable with inviting so many people over the legal maximum occupancy of the largest room.  I would like to plan so the largest room can hold 80% of our potential guests - just in case!

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