October 27th, 2009

“Saying ‘I do’ is hard work”

Lindsay/Abderhalden Wedding

This article examines how project management approaches and methods can usefully be applied to wedding planning. Entitled “Project Management in the Wedding Planning Business”, this research blog is by Mairin Platt who is a student at Capilano University in the School of Business BBA Program. The assignment was done for BADM 318 Fall 2009, Introduction to Project Management. This is a link to the assignment instructions.


October 27th, 2009

• Wedding Planning Requires Project Management Skills

• Steps in Wedding Planning Management

• The Project Management Triangle

• Scope

• Time/Schedule

• Budget

• Risks

• References
Wedding Cake

Wedding Cake, Before

Wedding Planning Requires Project Management Skills

October 26th, 2009

According to the Wedding Planners Institute of Canada, Statistics Canada has found that the Canadian wedding industry involves $4 billion per year. Wedding planning professionals are part of this industry.

The theories, methods, and concepts developed by project management and project managers can usefully be applied to the wedding planning business. In fact, skills identical to those used in project management are essential to successful wedding planning. Without first-rate management skills, there is a grave risk that “the wedding plans will become disorganized and ineffectively run.”(1) In combination with the widespread boom in the wedding business in general, this need for expertise in wedding planning has given rise to the advent of professional wedding planners.(2)

Steps in Wedding Planning Management

October 25th, 2009

Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements.(PMBOK 6) Wedding planners, just like all project managers, typically perform the following steps in order to manage a project:

• Identify requirements

• Address the various needs, concerns, and expectations of the stakeholders as the project is planned and carried out

• Balance the competing project constraints including:
o Scope
o Quality
o Schedule
o Budget
o Resources
o Risk

3 Dresses


Variations in individual projects will influence the specific constraints that the project manager needs to focus upon. Each wedding differs in the degree of emphasis it places on the various constraints. Some will place more emphasis on the budget, for example, than others will. However, the constraints are all very closely linked, and the relationship between them means that if one of the factors changes, it will likely affect one or more of the others.

The Project Management Triangle

October 24th, 2009

One particularly helpful tool for project managers is the Project Management Triangle, which is a model of the constraints of project management.



Each element of this triangle is examined below with specific reference to the planning and organizing involved in wedding planning.


October 23rd, 2009

Scope – Project Scope Management includes the processes required to ensure that the project includes all the work required to complete the project successfully. (PMBOK 103) In the first place, the wedding planner must determine and evaluate the specific needs and requirements of the stakeholders, which include the bride and groom, plus those of interested parties, such as parents who may be determining the budget.

The wedding planner must ensure that each individual is in agreement and once the requirements are established the scope can be defined. A scope statement must be developed in order for the project to stay on track and so that the project objectives will be met.


Pekes Manor Wedding Venue - 23

A wide variety of service providers must be considered for the scope statement. For instance, Richard Hall observes that “caterers, musicians, event location staff, transportation, and florists are just a few of the service providers involved in the big event.”

Many deliverables need to be decided upon and put into the scope statement. These include:

• Venue selection: wedding and reception
• Bridal shower
• Photographer
• Cake design
• Wedding party composition
• Wedding attire
• Guest list
• Travel plans for guests
• Accommodation for guests
• Invitation design
• Flowers
• Wedding Favours
• Gift registry
• Rehearsal dinner
• Tables and chairs
• Hair and makeup
• Marriage commissioner
• Marriage license
• Wedding speeches
• Reception dinner/lunch
• Seating chart
• Honeymoon


October 22nd, 2009

To manage the project time efficiently, the wedding planner must define the activities, develop a schedule and control this schedule. (PMBOK 129) The wedding planner must be able to identify the resources, and estimate the duration, or “number of work periods needed to complete individual activities with the estimated resources” (PMBOK 129).

A wedding planner is under very strict time constraints to organize the wedding. Every wedding has a set date, and there is not much leeway for the planner. Therefore, it is important to look at the scope of the project, and develop a schedule that is reasonable and efficient to follow. This schedule acts much like a day planner and encourages the planner to stay on top of all reservations and appointments that the bride, groom, and wedding party have with dress/tuxedo makers, florists, and cake designers to name a few.

Another useful tool allocated by wedding planners is the wedding planning checklist. This can be used much like a WBS.

Girton College wedding reception, near Cambridge


October 21st, 2009

2 cents

Two Cents

As a guideline, according to the wedding website The Knot, the average cost of a 150 person wedding is approximately $27,000. Regardless of the size of the budget, however, wedding planners generally must adhere strictly to the pre-determined budget when planning the important day. They must be able to create extravagant events out of sometimes not very extravagant funds.

Wedding planners must obtain accurate estimates from the service providers such as caterers and florists. Wedding planners must be creative problem solvers and in the event that the costs are exceeding the dream, be able to guide stakeholders to be selective in bringing the price down in various areas of the wedding.


October 20th, 2009

According to Richard Hall, wedding planners have to be logistical wizards. They must mesh the services of multiple vendors and attend to intricate details with each one, all the while adhering to the stakeholders’ vision and budget for their perfect day. Caterers, musicians, event location staff, transportation service, and florists are just a few of the service providers involved in the big event. Each vendor must deliver impeccable, error-free service, on time and in the right place.
Stormed Out

Wedding Day Rain Out

However, all of these deliverables are part of the risks for the wedding planner. For example, what if the caterers run out of the food requested for the wedding? Or, what if the limo for transporting the couple gets a flat tire, just as it is supposed to drive the happy couple away? Wedding planners must prepare for unfortunate and/or sudden changes in conditions. For example, if an outdoor wedding is planned, a contingency plan for inclement weather must be developed.

The wedding planner must be prepared and have planned for anything to go wrong. Risk management is an important part of managing projects. Hall emphasizes that the wedding planner must attempt to eliminate or minimize risks through careful planning.

Careful and explicit planning enhances the probability of success for the stages of risk management. (PMBOK 276) Furthermore, structuring wedding planning with project management concepts and procedures will help to ensure a successful wedding event.


October 19th, 2009



Project Management Institute. A Guide To The Project Management Body Of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) Fourth Edition. Newtown Square, Pennsylvania: Project Management Institute, Inc., 2008. Print






Lindsay/Abderhalden Wedding

Wedding Cake, Before







Pekes Manor Wedding Venue - 23


Girton College wedding reception, near Cambridge


Two Cents

Wedding Day Rain Out

Just Married

Just Married!

Just Married