Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Choice Paralysis

Choice Paralysis is a marketing term that refers to a consumer who has so many options they find themselves unable to commit to one. The abundance of products and features make it hard to narrow down which would be the perfect fit for their needs, and so they take longer to make a decision, or end up purchasing nothing at all. Maybe nothing feels exactly perfect (and maybe nothing ever will), but with so many options, you’d think that something should.

Can you guess where I’m going with this?

Michael and I do have some limitations on our wedding that eliminate some choices. There’s the budget, first of all. Then geography. And while I’m open to a range of themes and styles, there are a lot I definitively do not like. Still, we’ve found several places that could work for us, all very different, with varying levels of work and costs involved- but all good fits. (Yet nothing perfect.)

So the time has come to just pick one already. We attended a wedding last weekend and that’s the first question everyone asked- Did you pick a date? Well, we have narrowed it down to a couple different dates, but we won’t know for sure until we pick the venue. We’ve also narrowed the location of the venue down to one town- a town which contains 5 different places to consider. So, we can give a ballpark date, and a rough approximation of the location. Pretty pathetic progress for having been engaged 8 MONTHS now!

Maybe we should just use this AutoWed Machine

Well, how about a theme? Concept? Colors? Nope, no, and nah. Vibe? Uh-uh. Too much depends on the location. Blame my Gemini muliple personalities, eclectic taste, or anxious indecisiveness- either way, I can’t do what the bridal sites recommend and plan an event that ‘feels just right’ for us as a couple. Lots of things ‘feel right’. We like going to trendy new bars as much as we love local dives. I can imagine being barefoot on the beach as easily as I can imagine a converted Brooklyn loft. We know we want fun, not stuffy; light-hearted and free-spirited as opposed to staid tradition, but with reverence to the event. And everything in between is up for grabs. Nothing has been exactly perfect yet and so I’ve hemmed and hawed about making the decision.

I saw the term Choice Paralysis mentioned on a website recently and thought ‘Oh! I have that!’ and felt pleased with my self-diagnosis until I realized what a spoiled, entitled, thoroughly yuppie and embarrassing disease this is. Boo hoo, I don’t know which multi-thousand dollar celebration of myself to choose! Why is life so hard?!?

So in the last couple of weeks I have done the mental equivalent of grabbing myself by the shoulders, giving a good hard shake and yelling, “You are not getting a Golden Goose! Now choose another delicious piece of candy!”

On that note, folks, we’ll be deciding within the month, examining each of our many choices and choosing the one that makes the most sense overall. Because regardless of the location, our wedding is going to kick so much ass.


  1. I realized what a spoiled, entitled, thoroughly yuppie and embarrassing disease this is. Boo hoo, I don’t know which multi-thousand dollar celebration of myself to choose! Why is life so hard?!?

    Oh, how this made me laugh! I was actually reading along thinking, "This all sounds very reasonable!" till you put it in that light. Once that was out there, I thought of another blog I read this morning. Its author was asking her readers to note that people saying "FML" are usually saying, "Ugh, I have to go to work. FML" or "I can't go on a cruise with my bestie. FML." She noted that she's never once seen an occurrence of "FML" following something like: "I just went through my third round of chemo and the cancer's looking pretty unrelenting. FML." Her proposition was that we reorient our perspectives, e.g., "Damn, this sucks, but ALIHML!" (At Least I Have My Legs.) It looks like you and she are inadvertently in synch. :p

  2. Ha! That sounds like a good post! I think I'm going to have to incorporate ALIHML as my wedding planning motto :)