Carnival, moar post-wedding thoughts

There was a Carnival! Lots of photos are at photos. A lot of people weren’t in town though — out of the Fairfax group, it was just Al-Tim and Ian that stuck around after the wedding. It seemed a lot of the usual CS and KGB crowds were also missing. I think the timing of our wedding, instead of allowing people to stick around for both, instead forced people to choose, and most of them chose the wedding. Oh well.

Went to photograph buggy both days. It was interesting this year, with a lot of accidents: One buggy took the chute turn too wide and crashed, and the other buggy spun out trying to avoid it (and lost a wheel); one buggy almost came to a stop in the chute, but the hill 3 pusher went and got it and completed the course; one pusher lunged for the pushbar at the finish line and basically got dragged across across the finish line by the buggy; and a few buggies got disqualified for missing the pushbar at the finish. In the end, less than a second was between the first and third places on the men’s side.

In general though, Carnival this year seemed really sub-par. Suresh didn’t speak at the opening ceremonies, which were rained out and therefore held in the tent. The booths were fewer in number than usual, and not up the their usual quality (and a few didn’t open until Saturday, and one didn’t open at all). Buggy seemed more sparsely attended, particularly on the first day. The SCS reunion, defector’s parties, and Tartan reunion all seemed to be less crowded than previous years. So while it was good to see the people that came (and stayed), it generally left me disappointed.

But there were lots of board games!

I also wanted to get out some wedding-related thoughts that have been bouncing around my head for the last few days. This is (hopefully) my last post about wedding things.

  • We overshot our original budget of $12k, then $15k, then $20k fairly significantly. Yet, with the exception of the alcohol costs (which we had no control over), I don’t feel like we overspent on anything. Food and drink alone accounted for almost $12.5k, and other necessities (the officiant, the photographers, the venue rental, the marriage license fee) combined with that were already over $20k. So I think we did well, in the end, at $23.3k. I certainly don’t regret our choices for the food, venue, photographer, or officiant.
  • One of the debates early on was whether we wanted a more or less comprehensive venue. We could have done much cheaper at something like the Union Project in Pittsburgh, where everything was DIY. We could have picked something like the Children’s Museum, where you have separate vendors for the venue, the food, and the other stuff (plates, silverware, tablecloths, etc). But in the end, it was really, really, really worthwhile to pick an all-inclusive place that took care of everything. I think it ended up being a little more expensive, but not having to worry about obtaining plates and tablecloths, or coordinating catering was worth it in the end. The benefit of everything being in one venue is also better coordination between things (food, moving people around, setup of rooms, etc). I think all-inclusive was definitely a good idea, and I would definitely do it again this way.
  • Adding additional guests costs very little compared to the overall cost. I was rather stingy with the guest list at first, both because “ahhh venue capacity” and also because “ahhh so much money”. But I was convinced upward (from my “ideal” wedding size of ~100 people to a theoretical ~150 people), and we ended up with almost 200 invites being sent out. In retrospect, I actually kind of regret not inviting more, given we only had 122 end up showing up, and therefore could have easily fit in a few more people. (We kept telling ourselves that a 60% attendance rate seemed really low, and we’d get higher. But you know what? We didn’t.)
  • Actually, I didn’t want a wedding at all. I would have preferred to just elope and then have a nice meal with friends or something. But, in retrospect, I’m really, really, really glad we threw a party instead and got to share the day with a bunch of awesome people. There’s something really nice about knowing that all of these people are here for you, and because of you, and came willingly to celebrate with you. So I’m really, really glad things turned out this way, and I’m really glad we did this, and went with a larger thing instead of just having some immediate family there.
  • Argh why didn’t I get photos of the food, or the cake, or more photos of the bar setup, or of completed place settings/tables? I guess I was just distracted by people and stuff, but it would be nice to have a record of those things (especially given how much of our overall cost the food was).

Oh, and that whole IRS possible-identity-theft thing? Turns out it was all okay. Their system rejects addresses with a # character by reporting an “account already exists” error message. Oops. Would have been nice if I’d known where to call in the first place to find that out.
(See here for some more infos on that.)

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