Whoso list to hunt, I know where is an hind,
But as for me, hélas, I may no more.
The vain travail hath wearied me so sore …
–Sir Thomas Wyatt, “Whoso List To Hunt,” c. 1557
Inspiration: The poet’s ill-advised affair with Henry VIII’s wife Anne Boleyn. Or was it his protracted search for the perfect Southern California wedding venue?
Hey! Want to know where we are on wedding planning?
But that’s OK. We’ve been taking our time, creating multiple spreadsheets. I should have known when we started that I was doomed: Deepak’s profession is very Excel-intensive, and it is all too natural for him to say, “Hey — run a model on the largest potential guest list, assuming:
1) family invites on my side over the age of 40 abstain from booze altogether and we pay on a per-consumption basis, bargained down to the mid-tier liquor price for top-shelf liquor [side note: this family subset is strict Hindus],
2) 75% of invitees currently living in India RSVP regrets and
3) 10% of all attendees give a cash gift of $100.”
Follow-up question: How much money, time and personal sanity do we all lose from the exercise?
In my deep and vast research, I’ve seen Yelp reviews and Weddingbee posts where people say things like “We loved the online photos so much that we booked this venue sight unseen!” or “I had this company’s pigs-in-a-blanket at a corporate BBQ once, and when FI and heard how excited I was, he directed me to put down a deposit with the caterer right that second!”
[FI = “fiancé” or “Future Intended”; an abbreviation that people use on forums because they’re so busy booking vendors sight unseen to type “ancé.”]
Let’s get real: Are these people criminally imprudent or just shills? Because nuptial vendor lackadaisy has not been my experience at all. At first, I was frustrated at Deepak’s overcautious insistence that we think of EVERY possible social and financial ramification of each minor detail related to Project Wedding. Then I was bemused by the absolutely completist models of random unexpected things that could happen to impact the wedding.
Remember that Dana Carvey SNL skit where Carvey, as Tom Brokaw, pre-records a slew of varied and ridiculous death announcements for Gerald Ford, “just in case”? That is us, planning this wedding.
Now I’m just kind of numb from it, but on the plus side my Excel formula skills have improved greatly.