Monday, July 20, 2009

yes, I am a teacher for a reason

It's because I like to organize things, and I like to boss people around. It's funny how much those traits came out in the wedding process. In the weeks before the wedding, I went a little crazy with the list-making. I posted some of my to-do lists here on the blog, but those were not the only lists I made.

I had a spreadsheet with all of the guests, whether they were kids or adults, and which of the wedding events they were attending. Since there were 5 separate events that weekend, keeping track of this was no mean feat! (The funny thing is that I had guests call me on Thursday and Friday and say, "Which things am I coming to?" and I would go to my spreadsheet and tell them what they had RSVPed for.)

I also had a "Wedding Plan" spreadsheet where I kept track of everything that had to be done between the time guests arrived on Wednesday night and the time we left for our honeymoon on Monday morning. This included the boring stuff like dropping the dog off at the kennel and loading the used dishes and wine glasses into the rental cases, as well as fun stuff like getting family photos taken. It had columns for the day, the time, what needed to be done, who needed to do it, and a "needed" column, for what needed to be taken. For example, this column reminded me that we needed water bottles, sunscreen, phones, and camera for the scavenger hunt.

I used the minute detail of the Wedding Plan spreadsheet to make lists for everyone who had a part to play in the weekend. Guests who were just guests didn't get one, but friends who were helping in any capacity and family members each got their own personalized list. It's true that this took a ton of time and people laughed at me for doing it (my dad even mentioned his list when he was making his toast at the reception) but I can tell you that this was probably the most important thing I did to make sure that the weekend was a success. I can say unequivocally that the few things that didn't go smoothly got screwed up when people deviated from their lists.

This personalized list thing wasn't invented by me. When my friend Erin found out that I was getting married, she emailed me a bunch of her wedding plans and the text of her ceremony. I found this immensely helpful, and the most helpful part was seeing the lists that she gave to the members of her wedding party (yeah, she's a teacher, too!) They were similar to my lists, except totally different, since her wedding was totally different from ours.

I've read a ton of wedding blogs, but I've never seen anyone write about making lists for people with a part to play, and so I'm including samples here. Just passing along Erin's fabulous idea...prolly boring if you're not planning a wedding, but invaluable if you are.

Here are a couple of representative examples...

This was my dad's list:
3:30 – Rehearsal at Unity Church
5:30 – Barbeque at Spring Creek Park – have fun, eat yummy food (or not, it’s up to you!)
He is notorious for refusing to eat anything prepared by people who aren't my mom

Play kickball if you want


9:15 – Meet at Library Park for scavenger hunt

11:30ish – Lunch at Coops

3:00 – Meet at oval for family photos

6:30 or 7ish – Meet at Unity

7:30 – Play flute and try not to cry at the ceremony

Right after the ceremony Get people started folding and stashing rental chairs (church chairs can stay out for the reception).

Make a toast after Seppie does

After that – Par-tay!!!!

Around 9:30-10ish, help Sierra and Gina get our kids back to our house


11:00 – (optional) Brunch at Seppie and Will’s

And my sister's list:


5:30 or whenever you make it (‘sokay if you don’t get there, I know you’ve gotta work) Barbeque at Spring Creek Park – have fun, eat yummy food, play kickball


9:15 – Meet at Library Park for scavenger hunt

11:30ish – Lunch at Coop’s

1:30/2:00ish – Go to Seppie’s house to get ready and help Seppie and Sarah get ready (I’m going to need you and J to help me with my hair)

3:00 – Meet at oval for family photos

6:30 – Meet back at Unity, make sure everything is set up and ready to go, help Will’s brothers greet people as they arrive, generally make people feel welcome

7:30 – Be our flower girl

Right after the ceremony, our kids will go down the aisle with us as the recessional song plays. Hang out with them on the playground while Will and I walk the labyrinth and everybody else folds chairs and/or heads into the reception hall.

After that – Par-tay!


11:00 – Brunch (bring something yummy if you want)

2:00 (optional) – Poker game

My friend Danita's list included:

5:30 – Be the point girl for final set-up/decoration at Unity – we will not be there, but Liz, Will F., and Justin will be there, as well as Laura (the caterer). We’ll come up with a more detailed list when we decorate on Friday, but these are my preliminary thoughts about what needs to be done:

Set up chairs, set out jars, turn on twinkle lights, re-set up outdoor speakers (Justin will mostly do this), hang backdrop, check everything inside, light candles, set up food and drinks

Anyway, you get the idea.

Lists = good.

No comments: