Feb 18

The Mathematics Behind Planning a Wedding

Ever noticed how many numbers are involved in wedding planning?  The realization hit home again this morning after weeks of catching up on the accounting and the nasty side of running a business…and taxes. Ugh.

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From an entrepreneurial standpoint, this seems obvious and expected when you own and operate a small business.  But I started thinking about this from a bride’s perspective too.  There are centerpiece calculations, seating chart dilemmas, invitation orders, meals, bridal attendants, amount of alcohol consumed, seats and modes of transportation and then the really obvious number quandary –  the dreaded budget.

This is really just the tip of the iceberg and perhaps one of the reasons that planning a wedding is so difficult.  So much of it is left to chance, predictions and mathematical calculations.

‘If Grandma Betty contributes $5,000 and Papa Joe gives us $2,000 plus we can add $8,000 from our savings and Mom and Dad said they’d contribute as much as they did for my brother’s wedding (whatever that amount was!?)  And then if we invite 150 guests, maybe 125 will show up so we can expect to pay for only 125 meals but then we have to feed our vendors so that’s an extra 10 meals but only alcohol for 125, yet there could be as many as 15 minors there so maybe we will have more to spend on wine because there should only be 110 people drinking.  And then do those tables seat 8 or 10 guests?  Maybe we can have less centerpieces which will allow us to put more towards a ceremony arbor. But Aunt Susie can’t be sitting next to Uncle Bert which will mean we can only have 7 people at that table… Should we order enough cake for all our guests?  Does everyone even like cake?  Do we rent the same amount of chairs for the ceremony and the reception – I heard lots of guests only come for the reception and my wedding party will be standing up anyway.  Or can the catering staff just move the chairs from one place to another for us? And what vendors do we tip and are there expected percentages?  Who’s going to take my 65 miscellaneously collected vintage containers home at the end of the night? And how many wedding presents can I really fit in my car…’

If that has you just a tiny bit mind boggled, know that I barely scratched the surface of all the numbers and logistics that needs to be walked through before your wedding celebration can flow seamlessly, or at least with very few hiccups involved.

As I wrote this, I started having flashbacks to this Father of the Bride moment (which is without doubt, the best wedding planning movie ever) and it’s no wonder that George Banks has a mental breakdown.

My advice?  Get rid of the superfluous buns. Hire a planner.  Relieve stress.  And I need to hire an accountant.

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