The Ultimate Project: A Wedding!

Today is my 3rd wedding anniversary, and as I sit here thinking on the last three years with my wonderful husband, I remember the planning, work, budgeting, risk analysis and all of the small details that go into preparing for a wedding.

Like many projects, I was excited in the beginning to have all of these great ideas and visions for how I saw it coming together in an effective and fabulous finished product.  But, as we all know, not everything will go as planned.  The first thing that is done is shopping for the DRESS!  It goes against all defined planning processes: The budget should be first in this instance (other than the dress as this is/can be emotionally driven in which budget then is thrown out of the window.)

The budget will vary from person to person. There are specific deliverables, tasks and identified resources.  This project, however, has absolutely NO float when it comes to the due date – it is an all or nothing prospect.  Everything is contingent upon deciding on what you are willing to spend on the wedding.  Then comes the date, venue, food, ceremony site (inside or out), guest list, seating chart, bridesmaids, favors, decorations, the honeymoon, and of course, the dress and all of the accessories that go along with that. Did I mention how important the dress is?

Our wedding had a budget determined and also allowed a small slush fund for extras. My mother bought my dress (Thanks, Mom!) and I got the shoes, the bag and headpiece.  I had decided upon my centerpieces.   Those proved to be a trial as I was designing and assembling them myself.  Flowers were not an option because of cost, and, with all of my excellent planning, I still wound up ordering, returning and re-ordering materials and we were doing the final design for them at about 10pm the night before the big day!

I found that even with my project management experience, I still overlooked certain details, did not analyze all of the risks, and was running around at the 10th hour trying to finish tasks.  Planning is everything. Remember, every deliverable, no matter how small, is just as important as…the dress! OK, not the dress, but the person you are marrying!  Happy Anniversary to my husband, Al!

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