Monday, October 7, 2013

Wedding Planning. Episode One.


Saturday afternoon Pam and I sat down with my daughter and her fiancée for our first official wedding planning meeting. So far, our wedding planning has consisted of picking out the venue and forking over a couple of deposits. Kaitlin has been overwhelmed with her first month of teaching, so Pam has spent all day and all night doing research on the internet. Saturday it was time to discover what she had learned. Thanks to the government shutdown, Jon has been furloughed, so he was available.  There we all were sitting in our den, captivated by the Apple TV presentation on the big screen, blown away by the otherworldly organization skills of my wife.

There before us, in all of its 52 inch HD brilliance, was an Excel spreadsheet with each line item of our wedding budget. I use that word very carefully since in reality the dollar signs on the screen represent our fervent hopes and dreams and as actual hard and fast numbers, serve as mere suggestions. The term, “in the ball park” frequently comes up in our conversation along with, “more or less” and “roughly”.

After the first hour we have chosen a DJ for the blessed event and in so doing saved several hundred dollars from what was budgeted. This decision was not made without much angst and trepidation, since hiring the wrong DJ could be disastrous. (Picture  200 mostly white, mostly middle class, mostly religious people trying to wrap their heads around the lyrics to Niggas in Paris!). Luckily for us, Pam’s brilliant research was flashed up on the screen complete with pro’s and con’s, copies of text conversations with Patrick with his observations, as well as user reviews of our guy with Dynamite DJ’s. She even threw in audio clips of some suggested aisle walking music. I’m told that when Wagner’s bridal march was played, both Jon and Kaitlin got teary-eyed. I didn’t notice because I couldn’t stop staring at the minimized spreadsheet with our budget up in the corner of the screen. Were we seriously going to have to pay for chair rental for every fanny over 150 at the reception? Are you kidding me? Not only do I have to feed these people, I have to provide chairs for them to sit in? Whatever happened to mingling?

At the two and a half hour mark, we had managed to check several items off of our to-do list, and schedule a tasting party at our venue for next Wednesday. This is where we get to sample the different types of dishes that can possibly be served at the reception, everything from vichyssoise to corn dogs, I’m told. I am assuming that this “tasting” is complimentary, but as of yet, no word on whether chairs will be provided.

There will be many more of these wedding planning meetings to come over the next several months, I’m sure. There will be surprises, little unplanned detours down the road of our master plan, like this morning when we discovered that the amount we had budgeted for a photographer might only cover two rolls of film, one tripod and four pictures of the wedding cake. Apparently, capturing images of this event for posterity will cost me more than I paid for my first automobile.

I will keep all of you posted on the thrilling details to come as we take this matrimonial journey together.