by isabel smith

Project-managing your wedding

Project Types

Project-managing your wedding
Project-managing your wedding

The Holmes and Rahe stress scale, used to measure the relationship between life events and their effect on one’s health, includes a variety of occasions that, other than in the most extreme of circumstances, we choose to undertake – moving house, changing jobs, having children and of course, getting married. So surely if we are choosing to undergo these vast changes we owe it to ourselves to minimise any negative effects the stress involved in them may have? Effective implementation of the project management skills you are already expert at to your wedding planning can come to the rescue.

Set your goals
When you look back on your wedding in years to come, what is it that you want to remember? Do you relish the thought of an emotional and heartfelt moment with not a dry eye in the house as you say your vows? Do you want your guests to comment on how beautiful the reception looks, how great the food was or is the atmosphere and entertainment your main priority?Iit is important that the legacy your wedding day leaves behind (i.e. the lasting impression left with your guests) is one that truly reflects you as a couple, as well as your individual characters. Most importantly, you want your wedding remembered for the right reasons and this means planning your aims for the day ahead of time.

Do your research
As with any project, you need to manage your expectations and understand what is involved. Use bridal magazines and online resources like blogs and forums as you would any trade press to get a general idea of what is involved in planning a wedding – both in terms of time, skills and financial commitment.

Set your parameters
All projects require funding and a timescale – and not all life events (like having a baby) come with convenient pre-set deadline to work towards! Here begins the usual catch-22: How do you know what to budget without some knowledge of what you need and the fair market costs? And how can you set a deadline (for ‘set a deadline’ read ‘choose your wedding date’) without knowing the budget (since you might need more time to save each month before W-day) and how much of your time is needed in the planning? Your research should set you on the right path – and it is a learning curve after all – but now is the time to start setting some boundaries. Start by brainstorming your guest numbers, a few ideas of the style of wedding (the look of the day as well as the quality and quantity of the catering), and what
different entertainment and other services you might need.

Know your limitations

Project management is all about knowing what skills and resources you have that get you to your goal, and what you need to outsource. As a project manager, you know how to oversee the process (budgets, deadlines etc), and might even have access to some great technology and software which can help, but there are always going to be gaps; gaps in knowledge (like the legal side of getting married, wedding etiquette and wedding day logistics), or simply gaps in the time you have available to actually plan the wedding (researching and meeting with suppliers, chasing RSVPs, deciding on catering and decor). Don’t panic, you don’t need to be an expert to plan your own wedding, you just need to recognize when it is time to call in the pros!

Manage your team
Once you have our great team of experts in place to help you achieve the goal, you need to manage them. Your paid suppliers are a breeze – you are after all the customer – but remember that ‘your team’ includes and friends and family helping out and they will require a different management style.A wedding is a hugely emotional event for all involved, and anyone contributing their time, skills or money might want some input in the day. Managing their expectations whilst also achieving your own goals for the event requires tact and diplomacy as well as honesty and open communication.

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Issue 29


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