I had a grand time! I met new people, and forged a stronger relationship with a new member who I met the week before. One of her Time Bank services is to call the cable company and [actually, I better not completely incriminate myself and my new friend so publicly]. Anyway, I went over to her house for the aforementioned censored service last week, ate a delicious homecooked meal, and watched TV with her and her sister.
At the Time Bank potluck, we chatted, ate yummy food, and played Apples to Apples. As I cleaned up at the end of the night, I noticed that the ice bucket was completely empty. I laughed and thought to myself, "I'm a terrible hostess!"
And then I started wondering. What if being a terrible hostess is what helps me enjoy myself so much? What if not giving a darn about the ice bucket helped me stay fully present and focused on having fun? Am I on to something? Is this a potential piece of advice for people who are getting ready to host their own weddings?
I'm perpetually wondering about ways to help people completely immerse themselves in their own weddings and experience the moment deeply and authentically. I am saddened when I hear people say that their weddings just "flew by" and they were forced to live them through the photographs after the fact.
One thing came to mind: Don't try to be The World's Best Hostess. In my mind, The World's Best Hostess always puts other people's needs first. She is constantly monitoring the situation to make sure people are enjoying themselves and that the chip bowl is full. Even when things are going right, she tries to anticipate what could possibly go wrong so that she can help avert disaster. She's never fully in the moment because she's assessing and orchestrating the moment.
If you bring this mindset to your wedding (which is natural, since you've most likely been planning the party for months and months!), you're potentially less likely to fully experience the profoundness of the moment.
Matt and I tried to put systems in place to keep ourselves from having to be the hosts at our own wedding. We didn't have the money (or the desire) for a "day of" coordinator, so we decided to divvy up a bunch of different jobs to our friends and family. Because each job was so small and we spent time typing up specific directions, people didn't have to bother us with questions while they were trying to do their jobs.
We also put detailed information on our wedsite about what was happening and when. That way, everyone was the keeper of the agenda, not just us. We recreated the agenda on a giant piece of chart paper and posted it in a centralized location, so everyone could reference it as necessary.
Finally, we hired the innkeepers for six hours during the reception. They set everything up, heated up all the food, and cleaned up mostly everything. We also communicated a very detailed agenda to them, so they were very clear about what to do and when.
I think our strategies helped us more fully experience our wedding. Don't get me wrong: there were certainly times when I decided to refill the chip bowl and snuck down into the basement for refills, but it's really because I wanted a moment to sink into the silence and think to myself, "This is really happening!"
What are your thoughts about the paradox of hosting and ways to fully experience your wedding?