Video games have played a part in my life as long as I can remember. From the Atari that sat at my grandparents’ house where we played Pitfall to the first Nintendo system with powerpad we got as a family, there has always been a system or two in the house.
From there we owned each Nintendo system as a family till we grew old enough to move out and buy our own systems. My first personal game system was a Sega Game Gear while my sister lovingly stayed true to Nintendo with a Game Boy.
Over time we evolved from Mario and Zelda to tougher games, many of which told long stories and had, in some cases, more than one disc to play through like Skies of Arcadia, a personal favorite on my Dreamcast system.
While I’m not a diehard player and my skills are pretty atrocious, I still love to bust out a controller and mow down a few bad guys or kick my son’s butt in a fun round of Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale.
What I didn’t realize is how much my gaming background would come into play while planning my big ass wedding. For the first time I realized the skills I acquired in playing games would end up actually helping me in real life.
First you get engaged. The celebrations and happiness that ensues lasts for a while, a glow that lingers among the happy couple. Then the big question is asked: Do we want a big wedding?
Personally, my answer to this is no. It’s one day and a wedding is costly. I say go for small and private because it’s about the marriage and not the party. But I digress…
When you decided to throw yourself a grand wedding, as a gamer approach it like you would any game. My game of choice these days is Bioshock, the original. I’m working through it with The Guy in a build up to the Bioshock: Infinite release. So my game references here will be based on how I play Bioshock.
You have your “levels”. Every month is a new level and every level has objectives to accomplish. Nice thing about wedding planning, you don’t finish all the objectives you have set for each month, you can still finish out the level. You just won’t get a gold star for completing all the tasks. And they just roll over into the next month and become top priority.
In each level, seek out your ammo and health, or referrals and tips from friends and family that have gone through the whole wedding hoopla. Keep up your strength and try to clear each level before moving on. Believe me, if you set out in the first month to pick you theme, colors, location and date, DO IT! Don’t slack and say “I’ll do it next month”. NO! Do it when you plan to do it or you’ll just find yourself pushing your date around and getting anxious about it all coming together.
I’d rather clear a level and get that damn gold star or the 100% All Clear sign than leave things undone and have to backtrack. Nothing is worse that making good momentum and finding you didn’t get everything you needed and having to go back just to find whatever it is you forgot to do the first time around.
Use a wedding site like your home page, a place you can check in to read your objective for the moment that will lead to your ultimate goal, see what you’ve already checked off your to-do list and, in some cases, get a hint or two. I like Weddingwire.com. They have a budget application, a wedding site creator, and emails you can sign up for that send daily tips and a count down till the big day. Plus I can collect all my vendors and their information into a little do-hicky so I have their numbers all in one place for a quick reference.
It’s like a map screen or your inventory pack. A place you can go to and see where you are headed, where you have been, and what you have with you to tackle the next big objective.
Be aware of your surroundings and check EVERYTHING twice! Reread all your invites/RSVP cards for typos multiple times. Don’t get caught with your pants down because you didn’t take the time to look over everything more than once.
Scurrying through just to finish can cause many issues down the line when you reach the next level and realize your invites are missing the event time.
Research, look around and pick the best route for you! Don’t just go to that cake shop because Aunt Matilda loves it and says you should. It seems like a good idea because it’s coming from someone you know. But sometimes the most obvious things are actually the worst options. You think that Gene Bank looks good right over there but you failed to realize that a security camera is facing it and you get caught. Now you have bots flying in and you’re hastily retreating up the stairs BACKWARDS because you can’t control the camera toggle and the freakin’ weapon joystick at the same time. Or you get a cake that looks and tastes like crap. Research, read reviews, and check out more than one of the same type of vendor so you can compare.
Remember to save your work, too! In numerous places. Dropbox can be a big help. Or a memory stick. That list of over 100 addresses you have for your invites? Yeah, save it a few times on a few different servers/devices in the event something shuts down and don’t boot back up. Nothing is worse than losing progress because you didn’t save right before you took on a Big Daddy and died.
Big Daddy is comin’ to getcha!
And just like any game, if you continue through carefully, checking things off your list, collecting all you can and clearing each level before moving on, you’ll find yourself at the very end of the storyline with a HUGE boss to fight. But you’ll be ready to take them on because you’ve come prepared!
And you’ll end up with a happy ending (hopefully) that involves lots of confetti and smiles and dancing. You know, like the end of Star Wars, except without the bonfire and the ghosts of jedis past. And no Ewoks unless you are related to a bunch of short, furry, spears welding little mini-bears.
Is my geek showing yet?
Looking at planning my 150+ people wedding like it’s a video game to be conquered has really helped me keep my head. And while I may at times end up shooting up the floor or strafing right into a Splicer, in the end I’m making good head way and I plan to survive this process.
My wedding will be big and beautiful. And in the end I’ll be able to say “I did it!”