Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Zoo Field Trip

I teach on a team with three other folks, and we each take turns being in charge of planning and executing field trips. Last week, I was in charge of our big trip to the Houston Zoo. Boy, oh, boy!

Taking a group of 88 kids to the zoo is not something one can do alone. Obviously. It takes a village (just like planning and executing a DIY wedding!). I tried to recruit as many parent chaperones as I could for my class of 22 kids.

I ended up with 9 chaperones, which was awesome. However, I had to make sure that each person knew exactly what to do and when. If the people who are supposed to be helping don't know how to help and when to help, then they really can't be much help.

That's where extra planning comes in. The more time I put into the planning process, the less work I have to do during the execution phase.

First, I had to think through what people needed to do and when. I thought I had a clear picture of it in my mind, but once I started to write it down on paper, I realized I had a lot more details to work out. Writing everything out on an info sheet (see above) really helped me clarify what people should do and when.

Then I had to share the information with people ahead of time. The more time they had to process the information, the more they could ask clarifying questions or add suggestions.

Finally, on the actual day of the event, I had to pass out the information again, just in case people didn't remember to bring the information with them.

I applied these same strategies to our wedding planning. We outsourced more than 30 jobs to our friends and family. For the most important jobs, I typed up detailed descriptions of what to do and when and gave it to folks in advance. Once the actual weekend arrived, I could rest assured that people knew what to do and when. I could completely relax into the moment and just enjoy everyone coming together to celebrate our commitment and joy.

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Angie said...

Great tips! Love your step-by-steps! I will forever love your "From Conception to Reception." It's been my saving grace.

Princess Christy said...

It is definitely easier to do a LOT of planning ahead of time. Sometimes you can just step back and watch as other people execute!

Roxanne said...

I like that you keep us updated with your life, but still relate it to wedding planning. It shows that planning a wedding is an important event, but we are all still people with other interests. Thanks! :)

Heather said...

Wow, I love your Zoo trip schedule and info! I teach 2nd grade and we go to the zoo each year--it is EXHAUSTING just to get all the students and chaperones TO the zoo, not to mention home again! Love the format of your info sheet--can I use it for next year? ;)

Melissa said...

As most of your audience, I'm also planning a [low-cost/green] wedding. I also am OCPD and have issues with handing out jobs to other folks, since I'm so paranoid about them not doing it correctly >_<; What are the 30 jobs you handed off?

And just wanted to add, your is one of the 3 blogs I read that inspired me to start my own. Love it, keep writing and I'll keep reading!

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