The DIY planning process is more painful. It's a heck of a lot more work. But in the end, I think you feel more connected to the product and more proud of the process. [Editor's Note: I'm not suggesting that women who select to use an epidural don't feel connected to their babies or proud of themselves for giving birth. That would be ridiculous. I'm merely echoing the arguments I've heard from the natural birth community about the benefits of natural birth for the purpose of this analogy.]
From my experience, the most painful part has been thinking through every single thing. We've had to figure out the most minute details, so we're able to delegate. Once everyone knows exactly what they need to do and when to do it and how to do, then we hope to be able to sit back and relax.
Matt and I created a step-by-step agenda for the weekend. By forcing ourselves to think through absolutely everything, we were able to generate a lot of questions that were then clarified by Cathy and Cory. We also generated more decisions that we had to make and problems that we had to solve. It was an arduous process, but it's left us feeling much more prepared and confident.
Here's the much-less detailed version of our agenda (which, by the way, starts tomorrow!):
Tuesday: Shop for food
Wednesday: Drive to Sunshine Mountain Lodge and unload all our wedding junk; meet up with my family and hike around the Continental Divide; eat lunch together
Wednesday night: Stay with Matt's mom at her fancy hotel; eat dinner and breakfast with her
Thursday: Do some small preparation stuff at Sunshine Mountain Lodge; hang out with early arrivers; eat dinner in Estes Park with our friends
Friday morning: Eat a delicious, relaxed breakfast at Sunshine Mountain Lodge; hike with the early arrivers
Friday afternoon: Prepare for the welcome dinner
Friday night: Welcome Picnic (horseshoes, volleyball, s'mores, board games, hot-tub, etc.)
Saturday morning: Delicious, relaxed breakfast at Sunshine Mountain Lodge; rehearsal; lunch with family; final reception preparations; ceremony; reception (more horseshoes, board games, hot-tubbing, dancing, eatin', chillin')
Sunday morning: Yet another delicious, relaxed breakfast at Sunshine Mountain Lodge
Sunday: Spend time with Matt's family
Monday: Head home (and pick up the moving fan on the way home); throw a Pizza & Beer packing party and hope our friends show up to help us