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Monday April 10, 2006 // By Sandy

In Soviet Russia, wedding plans you

It’s fascinating to watch the scope of this wedding project grow. My first idea of what our wedding would look like, arguably defined even before Sarah and I were engaged, centered around the lowest of low-tech. It’d be a party, first and foremost, but time and money wouldn’t be spend worrying about the accoutrements. No need for a professional photographer when so many of our friends are brilliant amateurs. No need for a DJ when I’ve got my own vast music collection and an iPod. No need for a florist—we’ll handle all the decorations ourselves.

Only one of those ideals still hold: the DIY decorations. Meanwhile, we’ve given in to custom and acquired the services of a photographer and a DJ, both really, really good at what they do, and both recommended to us by trusted friends and acquaintances. While it won’t be as cheap as relying on friends and iPods to do the work for us, it’ll be a remarkably calmer operation, since our friends won’t be worrying about being in the right spot to frame every shot, and I won’t have keep one ear on the iPod in case the shuffle decides to go cerebral and play some OTM.

In the beginning I said that I wanted the wedding to be casual. I’d been to plenty of monstrous affairs where the couple appeared to merely be going through the motions, smiling when they’re told to smile and dancing when they’re told to dance. It was very important to me that our wedding not be so rigid. I believe the word I used was organic. I still feel that way, though I’d be foolish to say we haven’t let the formality slip in a little bit. But it’s okay, I’ve come to embrace it.

Luke wondered recently what the ratio of planning-to-event must come out to be, given all these meetings after meetings we have to do. 100-hours-to-1 was his guess. That seems awfully high to me, as the party’ll be at least 5 hours long, not counting the dinner the night before or the after-party Sunday night, and we’re certainly nowhere close to 600 hours of planning. Nevertheless, we are spending more time on this event than anything we’ve ever planned before, by far. The thing I’ve come to realize is that we’re able to enjoy the planning almost as much as the event itself. It took me a while to come around to that, but in retrospect it’s an obvious necessity.

Or is it just a psychological trick I’m playing on myself? Does it matter? Everytime we sit down to make a decision about the wedding, I’m now able to envision the effect it’ll have on all of our guests—not to mention the memories we’ll carry away from it. What’s great is that those memories will not be of just a 48-hour wedding weekend, but of an extended eight-month creative process. It’s not for everyone, but I’m digging it.

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