Saturday 26 September 2009

Phipps Conservatory

In April 2002, Susan and I were married at Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh.

I see they've relaxed their entrance standards somewhat since then, with this bunch of ne'er-do-wells now in attendance.

Or see the Channel Four report.

Fun wedding invitation calibration exercise: rather than run A and B list invitations (common practice in the US when you've a venue of fixed size and you don't want to go over capacity), we assigned a probability to each invited guest's attendance and sent out invitations to 125 expected guests (a total of a bit over 200 actual invitations). One late cancellation had us in at 124 attendees. We were a bit nervous at the start as RSVPs came in -- the folks who say yes are quicker to send in the RSVP card than the folks who say no, so our 0.7 and 0.8 folks quickly turned into 1s while our 0.3s took longer to turn into zeros; the spreadsheet started reporting ominously high numbers for expected attendees. But it all worked out, for our initial probability assessments were unbiased. We like to live on the edge.

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