_Both_ our weddings have an even dozen attendants in them. WTF. That is the crazy.
I will grant that my focus in our wedding was the food. I wanted to throw a really nice party for friends and to me, that means good food, good beverage, good company. The friends supply the company; the rest is up to me and whoever I hire. I talked to several caterers at a Thing done at the place we had the wedding. I had talked to a couple in more detail on the phone and in e-mail. There was a tasting, there was selection of linens and place settings and all that stuff. No big deal; that's not a crucial element of "throw a really nice party" for me. There's a minimum standard and it isn't very high; I have no ideals. Because I have Food Issues and because I have friends who have Food Issues, I am very aware of Food Issues and a crucial element of Throw a Really Nice Party is that _everyone_ gets to eat something -- including the people who normally _don't_ get to eat at a party, because they have an allergy, a religious constraint, whatever. So I did discuss this in detail with the caterers, and getting the cake was very tricky. And finally, while I did do the reply card thing and emphasized getting the numbers straight as early as possible, I also made sure I understood what would happen if those numbers changed late in the game. Part of our arrangement was to pay a little extra to make sure if someone showed up that we hadn't been expecting, it would Not be A Problem. The caterers, it turns out, typically allow for at least a little of this, which was nice to know; we arranged for them to pad that number a bit more than usual and all was good.
I watched tomorrow's bride get a phone call from someone saying their husband would be able to attend after all; was that okay? Huge panic; will there be a plate? Groom's mother sensibly pointed out that surely someone will fail to show up (it always happens) and I noted that caterers usually build in at least a couple of meals extra given the size of the group. Both were news to the bride, who wondered if she should call the caterer. I commented that warning them is always a good idea.
Which leaves me once again in the anomalous position of going, why is it that I never seem to know the things everyone else knows, yet I do know things like this? Presumably it's all a matter of attention.
R. and I have also been noticing that M. and M. definitely seem to have been overtaken by wedding plans to a much greater degree than we were. We are sure that my not working was part of that, but we suspect more is involved. K., who used to coordinate weddings at a church, commented that first weddings and weddings involving mothers tend to be a lot more complex and showy. I also suspect, tho, that we said no to a whole lot of things -- far more than participants of this summer's weddings. Doing less is easier. And some of the decisions were handled "in house": my friend A. did the pictures (no shopping for a photographer) and R.'s aunt did the service (no shopping for clergy, and we had the service in the reception hall, saving us the whole church selection process, plus getting from one location to the next).
I did not have an wedding planner, either; R.'s sister handled rehearsal and day-of problems (thank you, once again, A.!). This may have forced me to keep things simple (altho I would have anyway). I'm interested to see how it all turns out. I really liked J. and J.'s wedding, and it was even simpler than mine: small number of participants, celebrant was a friend, food and service all in one location. Good stuff. Will these Big Productions be wonderful? Is the payoff worth it? Of course only the participants can tell us for sure. Will I be able to recognize where the effort went? I could not give a shit about flatware at this kind of event (assuming it does not break when used, which can happen with cheap disposables). I may be too oblivious to tell the difference. I've sure been able to tell the difference in food quality at weddings in the past.
Oh, yeah. Tomorrow's wedding was supposed to be outside. It can be moved inside and SHOULD BE! given the forecast (high of 58 degrees, showers throughout the day). But the bride is still hoping to have it outside (cried when she realized how unlikely this would be), since there is some kind of overhang to protect us from the worst of it. I'm seriously considering wearing my wool tights. Pity the maids. The rehearsal dinner was a barbeque. There was a tent and heaters, but it was awful cold. *shrug*