It’s crunch time: The wedding is rapidly approaching — 28 days!!! — and I am increasingly reminded of how crucial it is to stay organized.

The U.S. Center for Disease Control issued a snarky release on this subject this week: “Being in the throes of wedding season, many of us here at CDC realized that planning for a wedding isn’t that much different from planning for a disaster.”

The federal agency goes on to caution planning and preparation.

This is where my dad kicks in. My dad is King of the Spreadsheets. All of the expenses are itemized, all of our guest alphabetized and categorized.

This has proved really helpful now that we’re past the response-card date. Numbering the response cards was *such* a good idea. Not everyone is going respond — I’ve been guilty of this myself plenty — and a good system will rout out the offenders quickly and easily.

A family friend once numbered all of the response cards, sent out the invitations and then found, inevitably, there were stragglers. So she went back to the person who advised her to number the response cards — “What do I do know?” She asked.

“You look up each number and call that person,” the friend said.

“What do you mean?” She numbered the cards but forgot to make a key — oops!

Luckily, we remembered. And by “we” I mean my dad, keeper of the guest list. He emailed me, my mom, Joel and Joel’s parents our respective lists of people who hadn’t responded yet. Quick and efficient.

The funny thing? My friends seem to take after me in the unable-to-RSVP-on-time category. None of my bridesmaids responded, my best friend since birth didn’t respond and neither did his brother — even though they’re both practicing to play our processional music — my friend whose wedding I attended a few weeks ago swears he never got an invitation. Ridiculous. I had a good laugh.

And I’ve learned a thing, too. I have a killer thank-you note system. I have the cards, envelopes and a folder to put packaging slips in so I can write them down on the master list at my convenience. My smudge-proof pen and white-rose stamps are right there, too.

I’m even working on a color-coded spreadsheet for where all of our family and friends staying the weekend of the wedding — many of them with family friends. All told, there’s about 50 moving pieces. It’s complicated.

But as I’ve said before: Weddings are great practice for world domination.

* * *

I have a few more songs to add to last week’s list.

My sister suggested the song “Valerie” by Amy Winehouse and my friend Hillary suggested Montell Jordan: “Gotta reel me in with a hit that gets the hips moving!”

One of our Opinions editors said the weddings he’s been to, “The Electric Slide” has been that song; and a reader emailed me to let me know I forgot another oldie but goodie: YMCA.

Our executive editor said if I play “Not Fade Away” it should really be the Buddy Holly version. Now, I love the Rolling Stones and the Grateful Dead, but I happen to agree — Buddy did it best.

And Margate native Carol suggested “Endless Love,” by Diana Ross and Lionel Riche, because that was “a real favorite” between her and her late husband.

“It brings back such wonderful memories of many special occasions when we danced to that beautiful song! We always requested it when the opportunity arose,” she wrote in an email.

“I married Bud when I was just 19 and he was 22, almost 23, and marrying my best friend was a real plus. I met him when I was 12 and he was 15 — my father owned docks out on Jerome Avenue and he had a boat there. He was a friend of my younger brother.

“Buddy had the best sense of humor — always was teasing me, our family and friends. I think that is vital for a happy marriage. He was just a wonderful gentle soul and I had such happiness in the 46 + years we were married. Even to the end, he could give me a look and make me blush (at age 65, no less)! He passed away without warning in January 2008 in bed beside me. I treasure all our wonderful years together — I know how fortunate I was to have found my soulmate at such a young age.

“During one period of time in about 1992, he worked for 5 years in Salisbury, Maryland; I stayed up here & commuted over the ferry on weekends.

“One Wednesday night, we both drove over an hour on each side of the ferry, and met each other in Lewes, Delaware for dinner. We were just tickled pink when the waitress thought we were on our honeymoon — we had been married for 30 years!

“My very best to you and your groom — I wish you lots of love and laughter and every happiness!”

And the very best to you, Carol!

Contact Arielle Gomberg:


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