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I Do


PaulI’m getting married. This means that right now I am swimming in the shark infested wedding planning waters.

While my fiancée is a planner extraordinaire, it immediately became apparent that we faced some challenges; the wedding industry can be quite a racket. It feels as if there is this magic formula where as soon as you say to a retailer or vendor the magic W word, the price doubles or triples.

Numbers from 2013 show that it costs nearly $27,000 on average for a wedding and reception. Other sources argue that this amount is “grossly misleading”. In reality, million dollar weddings aside, the numbers are probably more between $8,000 and $18,000. Couples tend to slide up and down that scale depending on where they are located geographically.

Now, I don’t know about you, but we cannot afford a $29,000 dollar wedding, much less a million dollar one. – that is, unless I win the lottery (that I don’t play). While we want to have a nice day planned out, we do have a very realistic budget and honestly, we do have other items we should be putting our money towards.

Seeing all of this early on was quite overwhelming. So much so that my bride-to-be had just a little bit of a freak-out several months back. We talked through it. We prayed about it. We identified our needs and the challenges we were facing. We had problems, we needed solutions. We set our minds to a never-say-NO attitude and to dig deeper and find solutions.

In the midst of all this planning, I was reminded at work one day of our company culture and philosophy. We have a mission to meet the customers’ request. Paul Sometimes that is very straightforward – we all love that. There are times though, due to busy season, unusual requests or other factors, that it’s not so easy. Who wants to tell a customer NO? Not me. Not any of us. When I go to work everyday, I’m on the other side of the coin from the wedding planning. I’m part of the business, instead of the customer. It’s good to be able to see both sides; to walk in both pairs of shoes.

Our company was built on customer service. Over the years we have sculpted and honed that, full well knowing how important it is to serve our customers beyond their expectations. The philosophy and practices we have established are fluid because there are always exceptions and because times and needs change. We want to be adaptable. The bottom line is that if we don’t serve our customers well and meet their needs, someone else will.

One of our strengths is having an experienced staff that will find solutions. We love a good challenge and an opportunity to serve you well. Doing so can grow and strengthen both our business and yours; a win-win. So, if you are stuck and don’t know what to do; ask us, we may surprise you.

Sometimes you may not know what or how to do something, but when you ask – people can help you get creative, bring fresh perspective or draw from their experience. This wedding planning is very chaotic or at least seemed so until we started asking some trusted friends and family. Those who we have involved have helped to bring fresh ideas and order to the process. I step back and think that is what we do at work all the time. We listen to folks, talk with them about solutions, and make stuff happen. Life lessons are illuminated through work and vice verse.

Our wedding planning is coming together nicely. If you are curious about how we are finding solutions to our challenges here are a few examples.

  • Instead of a pricey caterer, we have our super awesome Community Group from church baking boatloads of lasagna for us. We asked if they could do it in lieu of any wedding gifts and they came through big time! We have some great cooks in our group!
  • We rented a church’s fellowship hall for the reception. Not as glamorous as a banquet center, but it’s nice, it’s new, it’s well lit and it does the trick for a fraction of the cost. Kindly old church ladies serving food included. You gotta love the good hearts of these women.
  • The church did not have table linens. We sought out vendors and were quoted outrageous amounts to rent them. So, we went to Amazon and bought our own for ¼ of the cost…. and can sell or donate them when we are done.
  • Two words: Wholesale florist. We went to “florist row” and ordered bunches of flowers, enough for the entire wedding with some to spare. The quoted cost of having a retail florist do just the brides bouquet was higher than what we spent wholesale for everything.

Wedding planning has actually been made more fun by taking on these challenges and finding solutions. There have been a lot of high-fives and fist-bumps between us over the past couple of months.

If you want to read a neat story about the historic church we are to be married in, head on over to the Churchill Museum site. It’s actually a story that fits the theme of finding solutions to challenging requests; in this case of how to move an old church from London to the Midwest. For me though, it’s a personal story; my direct ancestors who migrated to America in the 1680s were married in the same church before they left London over 300 years ago. Yeah, crazy.

…and don’t forget the most common solutions to web issues you encounter — clear your browser’s cache and cookies!

About the Author
Paul Robnett is “The Web Dude” with Optima Graphics. He has been parked in front of a computer, more or less, since the early 90’s, working in newspaper advertising, sign shops, prepress, printing and now web.

  1. Trina
    March 27, 2015 at 10:59 am

    This was a great read Paul! Thank you for sharing this.

  2. Robert Drapeau
    March 27, 2015 at 11:22 am

    Paul We believe you and your bride made the very best decisions for your wedding. .Congratulations. Live long and prosper.

  3. Gary Camarato
    March 27, 2015 at 11:46 am

    The story on the evolution of that church is amazing!

  4. March 27, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    Congratulations on your pending nuptials Paul!!! Very cool that you’ll be married in the same church as your ancestors, although they were in London and you’ll be in America, this blows my mind! 🙂

  5. March 30, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    Thank you all for your kind words! Pretty excited about our relationship of course; the church story is a pretty sweet bonus!

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