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Monday, January 13, 2014

The Wedding Spreadsheet(s)

My oldest daughter became engaged about four weeks ago. She picked out a date, and knows who she wants in the wedding party, but that's as far as her planning went. She was busy day dreaming about the wedding and pinning things on Pinterest with the date she had chosen in mind without having a venue for the ceremony or reception. I kept poking her to try to get her to find a place, and she kept procrastinating. I finally used my mom voice and ordered her to call around, that if she didn't, she likely wouldn't be able to get married on the date she had chosen ... or even this year!

She made the calls and called me back freaking out about not being able to find a place. This was the second time in a matter of days she had called freaking out about the wedding. I foresee many more of those calls in these long months leading up to the wedding. (My middle daughter and I now have a bet to see who correctly guesses the number of times she calls us freaking out over the wedding. I think we're both going to find out we've guessed far too low!). I'm used to my daughter calling me freaking out. She is the quintessential worrywart. On a regular week I typically get at least one call where she's freaking out over something, so I know the wedding will put her in freak-out overdrive!

So ... when she called me freaking out over the venue I told her to calm down and got to work. I found a place for the ceremony and reception. I've been to a wedding there before, so I already know the layout and had a good idea of the seating capacity. The date she had chosen was already taken, but it was available on her second choice. After getting her stamp of approval, I booked the location and placed the deposit.

My kids childhoods were filled with parties ... slumber parties, birthday parties, Halloween parties, Christmas parties, New Years Eve parties, Graduation and other celebratory parties, impromptu parties, and parties because they wanted to have a party parties. All they had to do was ask if they could have a party and invite people ... or give me the guest list. On the day of the event, the house/venue would magically be decorated and filled with food, music, games, etc. They have no idea how much planning, money, and creativity went into these parties, so I really shouldn't have been surprised when my oldest daughter didn't start planning her wedding immediately.

When it comes to organizing, I'm a master. Think Sheldon, from Big Bang Theory! Some might say my pathological need for organizing, labeling, sorting, and cross-referencing borders on obsessive. Some might also remind me that there is an entire pharmaceutical branch devoted to researching and developing drugs to cure this type of behavior ... but I don't need cured!! All I need is a computer with Excel and access to the Internet ... and lots of paper! I could also use some minions to do some of the grunt work, but I'll deal with that problem later.

I no time at all, I had developed numerous easy-to-navigate spreadsheets for the guest list, to-do lists, things to purchase/rent/borrow, broken down by category and sub-category, etc., which link to the other spreadsheets and automatically populates data into a master list.

Does anyone know a better way to organize than with spreadsheets?!! Me either!! I spent several evenings searching the web for ideas and the best prices, then copied links into spreadsheets and categorized folders and sub-folders, then sent my daughter an invitation to share this resource. I sent her a text for her to check her email for the invitation (because her generation thinks email is antiquated and rarely checks it). I knew what her reaction to the shared spreadsheets would be, so when I texted, I told her to quit rolling her eyes ... she knew spreadsheets would be involved!

For those of you who don't know about my love affair with spreadsheets, I can give you a glimpse here ..., and here ...

The plan was for both of us to update the spreadsheets ... you know ... tweak the guest list, enter the costs of items purchased and deposits, make notes, add/delete/check-off "to-do" items, etc. Do you know what she did? She sent her guest list to me so that I could edit the Guest List Master Spreadsheet! I can see I will have to remind her many times that I am not her secretary ... nor am I a wedding consultant being paid to do her bidding!

I have been singing the praises of spreadsheets and gushing like a school girl with a crush to my children for years. Sometimes they roll their eyes or shake their heads ... or both. Sometimes they put their fingers in their ears and sing Mary Had a Little Lamb, and sometimes they just burst into tears and run screaming from the house.

They think they can outlast me ... that I will grow so discouraged over their complete and utter lack of interest in spreadsheets that I'll quit trying to drag them, kicking and screaming, over to the other side.

They seem to have forgotten who they are dealing with!!

I was a single mom with three little kids under the age of four! I was out-numbered, and despite their tiny size, those miniature humans were crafty. Whether I felt it or not, I had to display unwavering authority. Like wild animals, they could smell fear, and any trepidation on my part would result in total anarchy!

Do they not remember that they never once prevailed at getting out of nap time? Have they completely forgotten about the time I put them down for a nap after Blues Clues was over at noon ... and they kept getting up ... over and over and over and over and over ... and I kept putting them back in their beds ... until I won ... six hours later?!!!! I paid for it the next day, when they were extra rested ... but they didn't get out of their beds after I put them down for naps!

And the answer to your question is yes ... I do realize I will be the only one using the Wedding Spreadsheets!

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