Ivana’s Post #5: Hijacked by Mark

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The time has come for me to introduce myself (hi!) and add a few words to this blogging series. 
First of all, this is me:

As you all may have guessed by now from reading this blog, my lovely fiancé Ivana has always been the incredibly creative, imaginative and artistically talented half of our duo. I tend to be more of the analyst and logistics guy.  It is possible that a large part of my duties have fallen upon me due to my male gender….And slight obsession with spreadsheets.
I like to sit down with my two good friends “Google” and “Excel” and have at it for hours.  And I’m not kidding, If there’s a deal to be had out there, I’m going to find it. The task may be daunting to some, but I enjoy the thrill of the search. I love the feeling of the first keystroke on a freshly opened spreadsheet, and the adrenaline that pumps through my veins when all my hard work results in a dollar saved.
I realize headaches could be evaded and disagreements avoided by taking the easy road, but if I’m being honest, all the work is really worth it in the end.  Sure decisions could be made quicker, easier, and met with less resistance, but when planning something like an overseas wedding in Europe, you can never research too much or be over prepared. 
I am happy to say that all the work has finally paid off. All the preparation and the countless hours of diligent deal-finding are finally over, and as we stand today, we are in ‘all systems go’ mode. Transportation – check, accommodations – check, wedding & reception location, itineraries, and details – check, check, check.
In hindsight, there are many things I could have done differently, and many successes that I am happy to share with others. Therefore, in an effort to offer a helping hand to some of the groom-to-be’s out there who may have also landed the title of ‘logistics coordinator’ in the wedding planning madness that is destination-bound, I am here to offer my experience/help and a few encouraging words.
While planning an overseas adventure is exciting, let’s not kid ourselves, it takes a lot of time and effort. Unless money is no object and you plan to outsource all the tasks. 
Prime example: Booking our transportation. From plane tickets to vehicle rentals, booking for two people is challenging enough. Let alone a large group, and the mountain of luggage in tow.  Planning and booking all of the transportation has not been without its challenges, but I’ve enjoyed almost every minute of it. 
Plane Tickets  
Arguably the most important work I've done to date has been in regard to booking our airline tickets.  Shopping for air travel can be both frustrating and confusing with prices following seemingly no logical pattern – a lot like prices on the stock market.  Endless scenarios ran through my brain while trying to source out a deal – from when to book, trying to forecast supply and demand in an effort to estimate price fluctuations, which routes to take, how many layovers to plan for and in which cities, are just a few things I had to think about.  
I've researched everything from the cheapest days to fly, the best time to buy airline tickets, avoiding days when airlines charge peak travel surcharges, to tracking price trends………..the list goes on. Had I known then what I know now, I would have realized that my diligent research would prove to be useless. The truth is, I could still be racking my brain trying to decide when the most opportune time would be to book airline tickets in an effort to save that extra dime.  I can’t remember the exact point when I realized that this madness had to stop. But I am pretty sure it happened right around the time that I concluded the only real information that I could count on was the fact that it’s cheaper to fly on a Wednesday than any other day. Seeing as this wouldn't really get us anywhere, I decided that my time was much too valuable to labor over a computer screen for hours, searching for great deals to magically appear. 
Albeit, it is in my nature to leave no stone unturned, so while I could have been a tad bit more efficient, I am happy to say that I know there is nothing else I could have done.
If you’re reading this post, I hope it helps to save you some time, and a tad bit of sanity.
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