Wednesday, October 30, 2013

IN THE WEDDING WORKSHOP - DON’T GAMBLE ON FAVORS



Wedding favors were another small thing that had to be dealt with, but there really weren’t any guidelines. Anything that can be purchased, assembled, or pulled from the ground for less than five dollars per head was a viable favor. This meant that there was really no limit to the suggestions we received regarding favors. Given that they really play a minor role, in the grand scheme of things, the ratio of value per e-mailed or spoken suggestion was about the lowest possible, in this phase of planning. The amount of time we spent on this particular item was far greater than what should have been allocated.

I am sure we started with a list of the one hundred hottest wedding favors from a bridal magazine. Our never-ending pursuit of celebrity coolness led us to consider donuts, caramel apples, scratch-off lottery tickets, and a couple others. I got price quotes on large-scale donut production. I reviewed the Indiana Lottery instant-win game webpage. PL, MG acted quickly on our suggestions, referencing her Master Gardener title (in case we didn’t know).

Hi Drew and Christa,
Jan suggested a favor which might not be as quirky as you like, but is somewhat unique,
inexpensive, seasonally appropriate and grows, so it has life and longevity like marriages.
It is…a group of flower bulbs suitable for fall planting. They went to a September wedding a
few years ago where every person's place had a white net square tied up with ribbon containing
3 or 4 crocus bulbs. They are not messy, easy to take home unless you are leaving the country,
grow in any temperature zone and live for a long time. I personally love this idea, but I am a
Master Gardener, always helping others' grow, so who could say what others might think.
Off hand I can only think Danza would love it as much. I am deciding the donut idea might not
be the best, as I think the donuts would be stale by evening, having been made early in the day.

Just another !IDEA! from your Mom. XO
 
Let me summarize the highlights of her idea and its presentation:
  1. It might not be what we are looking for, but it does have a gardening theme.
  2. She is certain two guests (including herself) out of one hundred-plus would love this; that’s slightly under 2 percent, for those keeping track at home.
  3. Donuts, our idea, is not a good one, dismissed in one sentence.

Considering this e-mail, Christa and I came to an agreement that lottery tickets would be fun. They provided instant gratification, or at least momentary excitement, and around one in five wins, so we would have a fair number of winners at the reception. We were able to find a Magic Eight Ball scratch-off game for $2 a ticket. Christa likes to keep a Magic Eight Ball in her office to address all the great quandaries her coworkers have. Being formally educated in psychology enables her to safely and accurately wield such prognostic power.

I went online to find some Magic Eight Balls to answer all the questions that reception guests might have. Not only did I find them, I found Magic Love Eight Balls. Yes, for all the love and romance our event would be inspiring. I ordered one for each table.

We told our parents about our decision to have lottery tickets as favors. The MG was all over this one.

Hi Drew and Christa,

I am still thinking about favors!! I think that lottery tickets somehow don't fit in at all with the
upscale elements of your formal wedding. In researching the bulb idea, I think I could buy 3 to
5 bulbs per person for $100 to $150. Besides crocus bulbs you can buy scillia, which are a
beautiful bright blue. Look online to see the choices, but they will have to be ordered soon.
Danza said Will and Carly gave bags of jelly bellies in their wedding colors. The bags had a
tag with their song printed on it. What about using the votives as favors? We probably have
no other use for 120 votives. Or could you use a small frame or place card holder as a favor?
I think I prefer the donut idea to lottery tickets. I know you want something unique, but…

Talk to you soon. XO Mom

P. S. Dad thinks a lottery ticket will make it seem like the marriage is a long shot, or it's in the
dice as to whether it will last. I don't think you want to give that impression!!!



And here are the highlights:
  1. Our new favor, lottery tickets, was dismissed in one sentence.
  2. She provided additional follow-up on her preferred gardening favors.
  3. She offered other ideas as a diversion, to lighten the blow that…
  4. The previously reported bad donuts are superior to the lottery tickets because they imply our marriage is a long shot; that is, go with the bulbs or get a divorce.

I e-mailed back, saying: “We are not considering any form of plant life. So please shift away from that area of ideas. And surely, a sole lottery ticket at each place setting won’t instantaneously change everyone’s perception of our fine event from wedding to tractor pull.”

The Magic Love Eight Balls arrived, and we took one for a test drive. The answers weren’t consistent with a particular line of questioning, such as yes or no. So we had to rephrase our questions and ask again, where we inevitably got a yes-or-no answer to our no longer yes-or-no question. The MG said they sounded tacky. I’m paraphrasing at this point; my sessions are costly.

Eventually Christa said we couldn’t go through with the lottery tickets idea, because we had taken so much grief for it. You can see the grief from my family in the sample e‑mails, and The MOB wrote Christa often to make sure she wasn’t doing anything to upset The MG, such as reject her favor ideas. This decision was made after we had done 80 percent of the work to make this our favor idea.

Ultimately, all but two of the Magic Love Balls were returned. We decided that we could keep a couple on the bar to entertain guests waiting for cocktails. I decided to consult a Magic Love Ball for help.

“Is Christa annoyed with the difficulty of pleasing everyone else with the favors?” I asked the great oracle.

“As you wish! ♥” It replied.

“Not exactly an answer there, Mr. Ball. Christa is annoyed and should do what she wants with the favors.”

“Headache, ask later.”

Five minutes passed.

“Christa is annoyed and should do what she wants with the favors.”

“Maybe yes, maybe no.”

“Should we do what everyone else wants, so at least they will be happy?”

“Don’t plan on it.”

“Are you the most worthless piece of fortune-telling equipment ever produced?”

“Sorry, wasn’t listening.”

“Obviously not, you piece of crap. Would you survive a fall from a second story window onto blacktop?”

“Sorry, honey!”

“Don’t sass me you little bastard. Do you sense my anger?”

“♥ If you say so!”

“I have had enough of your lip. Prepare to meet your maker.”

“Whatever you want! ♥”

“Oh yeah. I want this. Any last words?”

“My sources say no!”

“Pleasant travels, smart ass.”

I learned violence towards inanimate and “innocent” objects, in times of anger, is kind of fun. And that being an unemotional, aloof smart ass isn’t as pleasant to others as I had hoped. I am only too sorry that it is too late to thank the Love Ball for that bit of life-changing insight.
- Drew Lloyd
From "Will You?" to "I Do.": A Groom's Tale of Survival

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