The Curse of Alana’s Fabrics

It was a dark gloomy, March day in Colorado, with a crisp chill in the air that said, “winter isn’t over yet.”1 My Mom and I walked into Alana’s Fabrics2 looking for a specific shade of 1.5 inch medium grey velvet ribbon for the tiers of my wedding cake. The shop keeper pulled out a book of velvet swatches and informed us she could order anything. She seemed a little suspicious, should she be believed?3 I decided to order the ribbon – it would arrive in the beginning of April with plenty of time to spare before the wedding on May 27th. On an afternoon on early April I dialed the number of Alana’s Fabrics. “Hello,” a voice said hoarsely from the other end.4 “Hello, this is Laurel. Has my ribbon been delivered?” I replied. “Oh yes,” she...

The Verdict Is In

The Verdict Is In

Using project management to plan my wedding was definitely a bit of an experiment. I knew that it would help me be organized, remain on budget, and finish all my wedding tasks. But I didn’t know how much of a difference it would make in the end. And now I wonder would I have gotten to the same place without using project management? With the help of Olympian, McKayla Maroney I’m going to break it down.   PRO: Best schedule ever All the work that goes into the initiating and planning phases of planning a wedding with project management (and that is lots and lots of work) outputs the best schedule you could ever imagine. It’s detailed, accurate with timing, and comprehensive. Yes, maybe there will be things you missed that didn’t make it onto the...

The New Era of Honeymoon Registries

Spoiler Alert: this post is a mostly shameless plug for my husband, Justin. So if you don’t care stop reading now. When Justin and I started looking at options for registering for our honeymoon we found that honeymoon registry websites charge an arm and a leg (8% to 15%) for using their service. Those charges can really add up and all these honeymoon registry websites are doing is collecting money and sending you a check. Typical of the wedding industry, overpriced. I thought maybe since Justin is a computer programmer and I am a designer we could put our own registry together. We pulled it off and it worked perfectly! Justin was inspired to help other engaged couples so he decided to create a gift registry plugin for WordPress. It’s perfect for...

Meet Mrs. Bretting

I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack! I know you have all been waiting with bated breath for my return and the conclusion of A Very PMP Wedding. Of course I had every intention to write a blog post the week Justin and I returned from our honeymoon but eight weeks later I finally have the time. Apparently I fooled myself into thinking that after the wedding was over, I wouldn’t be busy anymore. Not the case. Alright, stick with me, this is going to be a long one.   Our Brains are a Funny Thing First things first. I have great news for all you brides-to-be! No matter how much stress you are feeling, no matter how much you just want to throw in the towel, no matter how much looking at lace makes you feel like puking, you will forget it all once the week of your wedding...

Final Days as a Cagan

I can’t go into my wedding on Sunday without writing one last blog post. I don’t have much to say besides the fact that everything is planned and done. Thank you project management. Expect pictures and a full recap mid-June when I get back from my honeymoon.

The Wrath of the Bridezilla

The Wrath of the Bridezilla

My name is Laurel Cagan and I am a Bridezilla. I lost it in a meeting with our DJ handler. I had just sat in traffic for over an hour, missed three quarters of the meeting, and I was steaming when I walked in. Then poor Justin interrupted me while I was talking and I yelled at him. The DJ handler laughed uncomfortably, and my saintly fiancé apologized for interrupting me. Not one of my best moments. Yes, even brides-to-be who plan their wedding with project management can’t avoid the dreaded bridezilla alter-ego. I naively assumed that because I went through all the steps of initiating and planning, I could avoid what I defined as one of my wedding day bliss factors (success criteria). So, I’ve come up with a theory. Every bride-to-be becomes a bridezilla in...

Wedding Time and the Livin’s Easy

Wedding Time and the Livin’s Easy

Do you remember that feeling? That wonderful feeling you got in school the last day of the year when all your homework was turned in and all your tests were taken. And all there was in front of you was the fun-filled days of summer? I am sure you do because that is one of the best feelings in the world. You might have thought that you would never have that feeling again. Well, I am here to tell you, you will. When you finish your last big task before your wedding you will want to scream and jump for joy (I certainly did last night when I finished up designing the seating chart, programs, and table numbers). You will forget about all the stress you have experienced and your over-loaded brain and you will just look forward to the biggest day of your life. I...

Oh The Things You Can Buy

Oh The Things You Can Buy

I just can’t help myself. A wedding catalog that shall remain unnamed (but I may have mentioned in an earlier post) provides me with lots of entertainment. The ridiculousness of some of the items in there make me giggle, even on stressful days when I have had way too much wedding planning. Disclaimer: I am very very sorry if I hurt anyone’s feelings. This is just my personal taste. Please feel free to make fun of me if I offend you.    Bride & Groom Wine Bottle Cover Set Because every bride and groom need to dress up their beer to match them.   Rusty Barbed Wire Cord Just in case your wedding guests try to escape.   Star Balloon Arch Frame So you can remember the best night of your life up until tonight…your high school...

Wedding Goldmine

Wedding Goldmine

I was going to have an awesome post for y’all today but it’s going to take more work than I initially thought, so look for it next week. Instead I am giving you three small gifts to start off your weekend. On Wednesday morning I was reading through my marketing related RSS feeds (no not the wedding related ones) and found three new and FREE wedding related tools/websites that I think are fabulous. I felt like I hit a wedding goldmine. Lover.ly Lover.ly collects wedding photos from select wedding blogs and aggregates them into a Pinterest style layout. Then you can create bundles (boards) or “love” a photo. What I am excited about is the fact that I won’t have to stalk all my favorite wedding blogs anymore and the website has a great...

Wedding Truffles

Wedding Truffles

Just a few short, sweet stories to entertain you.   The Cruise Chop I find this so amusing. I was getting my hair trimmed last night by my new, wonderful  hairdresser, Chachi.  He used to work in hair salons on cruise ships so I was asking him if he enjoyed it.  Chachi told me that one of his favorite things about working on cruise ships was all the post wedding brides on their honeymoons who would come into the salon and ask him to chop all their hair off. Now I know this phenomenon may sounds strange to my small population of male readers but I am sure it makes complete sense to my female readers. You spend at least a year growing your hair out so you can have a beautiful updo  at your wedding and you just get sick of it. It gets dried out and too long...

A Little Known Wedding Planning Fact

Ah, getting engaged, it’s a magical time in a woman’s life when she can’t stop dreaming about her wedding. Blah, being in the last two months before your wedding, it’s a terrible time when all a woman wants to do is stop thinking about her wedding. Yes, the bloom is most certainly off the rose, people. Why is it that nobody tells you that the last couple months before your wedding are no fun? Is it some secret that all married women keep from brides-to-be so they don’t elope? Well, I am warning all of you RIGHT NOW to brace yourselves. There comes a time during the wedding planning process when you will be sick of agonizing over every detail, emailing vendors, and eating cottage cheese every day for lunch. You will long for weekends that aren’t packed...

Dazed and Confounded

I think I finally know how men feel. They supposedly think about relations about 19 times per day (no, not every seven seconds – that’s an urban legend. Here’s my source). Well, I’ve got men beat. I decided that yesterday I would count how many times I thought about the wedding. And my number? 31 times during the 16 hours I was awake. And women think men have one-track minds… Plus, those 31 times I thought about the wedding didn’t count the time that I was actually working on it. As Justin said, “How are you going to keep track? –Actually, it will be easy. Your number will be one because you think about the wedding all day long.” It’s true, I’m completely consumed with everything about the wedding. My head is filled with so many different...

The Fine Art of Wedding Invitation Wording

Imagine walking through your local outdoor shopping center and all of a sudden hearing someone yell out all the details for a neighbors wedding. Sound strange? Back in the Middle Ages that was how it was done. Town criers announced weddings to everyone in the village and all who heard the invitation was welcome to come.  It actually sounds quite nice to me. No worrying about offending family and friends by not inviting them, no horrid nightmares about sending out the wrong date on the invites, and definitely no late nights staying up and stuffing invites into envelopes. Not only is it not as simple now to get the wording on wedding invitations just right as it was in the Middle Ages, it’s not even as simple as it was two decades ago. Let me explain. I have four...

Why I Wish I Was More Like Rachel Green Than Monica Gellar

Yes, we are talking the phenomenal sitcom Friends here. Let me set the scene for those of you who are unfamiliar: Rachel and Monica are best friends. Monica is super organized – some might even call her anal and Rachel is a bit light-headed but easygoing, you could say what one lacks, the other has. Every few months I get a catalog from the wedding branch of Oriental Trading. When I open my mailbox and see that catalog sitting there I always cringe. I just find the items so cheesy. But instead of throwing it right in the recycling bin, what do I do? I look through every page. That’s strange, right? Most of the items in the catalog are the same every time and whatever seasonal items they have that are new aren’t better than the old ones. So I wonder what...

Four Modern-Age Inventions I Couldn’t Live Happily Ever After Without

Four Modern-Age Inventions I Couldn’t Live Happily Ever After Without

Thank God Martha Stewart! I am so lucky to be a bride during this very moment and time. It’s like somehow I landed in a perfect storm for DIY wedding planning.  I don’t know what I would do without these four amazing websites and applications:   Etsy If you don’t know Etsy, you should. It’s an e-commerce website where you can buy handmade and vintage items. Etsy is addicting enough when you aren’t getting married but even more so when you are. I have purchased a majority of the items for my wedding on Etsy: cake topper, flowers for bridesmaids sashes, flowers for my sash, bridesmaids gifts, flower girl/junior bridesmaids gifts, accessories for my shoes, a beautiful hanger for my wedding gown, and even gumpaste flowers for the wedding cake. I’ts...

The Devil’s in the Details

I don’t think I fully grasped that saying until three nights ago. Cue the cool effects and dreamyharp music… Oops, I thought I was in an episode of Saved by the Bell for a minute. Before  November I thought planning a wedding was the most fun thing that ever happened to me. That’s when things were simple. That’s when I was making the easy decisions like picking out my dress, venue, caterer, florist, and photographer. For some reason the bigger decisions were easier ones. But, nothing is simple anymore. Now it’s time to choose if we are going to have gumpaste or real flowers on the cake,  gifts for my bridesmaids, my jewelry, what color shirt and tie Justin is going to wear, what color shirt and tie the groomsmen are going to wear…I could go on and on...

A Breakthrough

Who knew people could have wedding planning breakthroughs? I sure didn’t. But it happened to me the other night. It happened through a dream… My dreams can sometimes be very vivid. If I were an artist, I would probably wake up and draw or paint my dreams like Salvador Dali did. But alas, I am just a measly bride-to-be planning my wedding. Since Justin and I got engaged I have consistently had bad dreams or even nightmares about the wedding going wrong. There was the dream where I walked down the aisle in an oversized white night shirt. There have been multiple, reoccurring dreams about the wedding sneaking up on me and I’m not done planning it, or I haven’t lost weight yet, or my hair hasn’t grown long enough, or my hair turned blonde.  And what about...

Wedding Vows, Cleavage, and Tracking Status

Last night while planning our wedding ceremony, Justin and I came across this statement on the internet: “We discourage brides and grooms from attempting to memorize their vows.   We even discourage seasoned actors from memorizing their vows. Here’s why. Your Head takes a Vacation” (http://www.wedd101.com/bx-about-wedding-vows.html). Point taken. Justin and I both agreed quickly that we wouldn’t be memorizing our vows. What followed was quite an interesting conversation:  Me: Where are we going to put the vows if we don’t memorize them? Maybe Kevin (the best man) can hold them. Justin: Kevin can’t hold your vows, that’s not right… why can’t you hold them? Me: Where am I going to put them? Justin: Have Ariel (the maid of...

How Planning a Wedding is Like Baking Holiday Cookies

I’m not going to lie. I somehow wasn’t blessed with the family talent for baking and cooking. My Grandma was a wonderful cook. She could make simple pasta with butter and parmesan taste like the best thing in the world.  My Mom cooks all types of different ethnic meals and has a wonderful recipe collection. My sister, well my sister went to baking and pastry school. Enough said. Every year at Systemation we do a cookie exchange. I always participate and I always agonize about what cookie I am going to make and how it will turn out. This year I went for ginger snaps and luckily my sister, Ariel happened to be over at my house while I was making them. Whenever we cook together she always catches me doing something that makes her laugh. This year I couldn’t...

My Most Boring Post Yet (It’s About Change)

Wow, if that title up there didn’t want to make you read this blog post, I don’t know what will. Anyway, here we go…change can be endless when you are planning a wedding. Justin and I think of new people we would like to invite almost every day. Sometimes we think of something we forgot to add to our registry. I can’t make my mind up about shoes and have purchased three pairs now. Other times the change is bigger like when we realized I made a rather large mistake with the budget (more on that later). Justin bought a suit but thinks he might want something different. I almost changed my mind about my wedding dress, I even tried a different dress on few weeks ago. Justin and I aren’t even indecisive people, these kinds of things just...

Goldilocks and the Three Pairs of Shoes

Goldilocks and the Three Pairs of Shoes

Shoes. Who would think they would be the hardest thing to pick out? I found my dress the second day I went out looking but I have been searching for the perfect pair of shoes for six months now. I ‘m like Goldilocks and the Three Pairs of Shoes. The first pair was too high but pretty, the second pair was comfortable but not so pretty,  hopefully the third pair will be just right (when I find it). My initial instinct was to wear flats or a very very small heel. I was being practical at that point. Then I started seeing photos of brides in really beautiful high heels and let the fashion side of my brain take over (which of course is also the more expensive side of my brain). So, I ordered the most beautiful pair of heels, see… They were gorgeous but...

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate Version Two

Apparently I didn’t follow my own advice in my Communicate, Communicate, Communicate blog post. I asked Justin to take care of researching ordaining since we want my Uncle Michael to lead the ceremony.  I have been getting a daily email now for the past two weeks reminding me that this task is overdue and it’s starting to get annoying. Anyway, he looked into it this past weekend while My Mom and I were working on my veil at her house. When I got home I asked him what he found out. I got a very simple one sentence answer, “friends and family can’t marry us without being ordained but we can marry ourselves.” Not exactly the scope of information I was looking for. I could easily blame the lack of research on Justin but in the end it was my fault. I...

Quality Talk

So there’s that scene in Father of the Bride where George (Steve Martin) comes down the stairs the morning of the wedding and loses a button on his tuxado. Franck (Martin Short) goes to sew it back on and notices the tuxado is dark blue not black. Turns out George got so upset about how much his daughter’s wedding was going to cost, he bought his “designer Armani” tuxado from a door-to-door salesman for cheap and not only got a blue tuxado but a polyester one as well. It’s time to talk quality. When you put the words “quality” and “wedding” together it becomes a tricky thing. Usually you get what you pay for. That isn’t always the case with weddings. There are lots and lots of people who will rip a doe-eyed bride off in a heartbeat, probably as...

Mushy Mushy Gushy Gush

This week I am supposed to be writing about what project management calls human resource planning. It involves choosing your project team (or as I call it, the wedding planning crew), figuring out how to acquire them, assigning chunks of the project to them, and making sure they aren’t overloaded with work. I actually don’t need to do any of that. My wedding planning crew was decided months ago when I chose my bridesmaids. Some members of the crew are there by default: groom, mother, father, sister. Luckily I didn’t have to figure out how to acquire them because I wasn’t competing with another friend for my wedding date (unlike the movie “Bride Wars”). I also will not be assigning them chunks of the project or overwhelming them with too much work...

SEVEN MONTHS TO GO !?%*&$#@*!!!!!

Holy cow! I am having a very neurotic moment right now. I just got an email from theknot.com reminding me that there are only “7 Months to Go!” I have been saying that there are only seven months until my wedding for a couple weeks now but for some reason this email hit me like a ton of bricks. Here is the conversation I just had with Justin over instant messenger about it: Me:  yikes. 7 months Justin: eeeeeeee J Me: I think panic is starting to settle in. Like honestly, my heart is beating faster Justin: Haha, 7 months is plenty of time Laurel: I was just about to write my blog. Now I have something to write about. 7 months is almost 6 months. And then it will be 5 months. And then  4. And then 3. And then 2. And then only 1!!!! Um yeah, I haven’t even...

What Goes to Vegas Stays in Vegas

Picture a poor, lonely network wedding diagram sitting on a bedside table in Vegas… I naively thought that I would have time to work on applying the schedule to my network diagram while I was in Vegas this past weekend. So I spent a bunch of time printing it out, cutting it down, and taping it together last week so I would have a portable version I could write on. Justin and I both decided that the plane to Vegas was no place to be thinking about our wedding. Once we got to our hotel room I took it out of my purse, put it on the bedside table, and promptly forgot about it. Big surprise! Now that I am back in the real world I have had an opportunity to print out my network diagram again and apply the schedule. It didn’t take me long to realize that this is...

A Scottish Break

I am taking a break from wedding planning for the next 11 days so I can take a trip with my family to Scotland. Unfortunately Justin isn’t coming with me. And I will miss him. In the past few weeks I have been frantically trying to line up all my vendors. And I am happy to say that all the main ones besides the DJ are taken care of! Venue, check. Photographer, check. Caterer, check. Florist, check. What an accomplishment. Of course, while I’m away the wedding planning can’t stop so I have given Justin his first three activities to take care of: hire the DJ, find a hotel for our guests to stay at in downtown Denver, and start researching honeymoons. Although I have already started checking off activities I haven’t created my official schedule yet. That is...

I Bet Barbie® Never Made a Network Diagram

I Bet Barbie® Never Made a Network Diagram

Here’s a little tidbit of information for you: Barbie® and Ken® were never married. This is according to a website called manbehindthedoll.com. I swear they had kids together. Perhaps out of wedlock? What a scandal! But my early childhood memory could be playing tricks on me. Apparently Barbie’s friend, Midge® and her Husband, Allan® are the only married characters in the Barbie® doll line. I did a little quick research and found on Wikipedia that in 2004 Barbie® and Ken® decided to call it quits and then in 2005 rekindled their flame after Ken® got a makeover. That’s what you would call a modern day relationship. Anyhoooo, I digress. Needless to say since Barbie® never got married, she never had to do what I just did. It took me quite a number of...

Turkey Trotting and Estimating

Apparently I am going to run the Turkey Trot this year on Thanksgiving Day. It’s a 5k run, nothing to write home about but I’m scared. Why? Because I am not a runner. I can hardly run around the block without wanting to die. So, to prepare for this torturous event I am going to start training tonight. Yep, that’s over two months in advance. Apparently I also have to estimate each activity I identified in my wedding work breakdown structure a few weeks ago in order to know how much effort I am going to need to put into planning my wedding. That’s 116 activities. That’s a lot of estimating. Estimating how long it is going to take me to train for the Turkey Trot is a lot like estimating the effort of planning my wedding. I have no idea how long it’s going...

BYOL

BYOL…any guesses? BRING YOUR OWN LINENS. Why? Because apparently to rent napkins and table cloths that have been used hundreds of times before you have to shell out a pretty penny. Yeah, we don’t have to worry about washing, drying, and transporting them but I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that we will be paying over $700 for renting old rags. This is the first (and probably not the last) time that I have been flabbergasted by how much a line item for a wedding costs. It may be an over-exaggeration to say the linens will look like old rags but that price tag is for polyester, not even for a natural fiber. Since when did polyester become a designer fabric? I thought it was an ugly material worn to Discos in the 1970s. Maybe we should just have a...

Drum Roll Please

And the moment you have all been waiting for….     My completed wedding work breakdown structure! You will have to zoom in a bit to read it. ENJOY.      

An Anal Retentive Bride-to-Be

An Anal Retentive Bride-to-Be

Within the first month of starting my job at Systemation, five years ago, we went on a company retreat. My sister, Ariel came along as my plus one as I was a single lady back then. Ariel and I had just moved in to an apartment together and were experiencing some growing pains since I am the neat and tidy sibling and she isn’t. Anyway, to make a long story short, Ariel called me anal* in front of my entire office. Needless to say I was quite embarrassed.  I doubt though that any of my co-workers even remember the comment. Even though I probably don’t officially meet Freud’s requirements of an anal retentive individual Ariel was not incorrect in the fact that I obsessively pay attention to detail. It’s a personality trait that reared its ugly head last...

Sticky Notes and Textured Walls Don’t Mix

Sticky Notes and Textured Walls Don’t Mix

I thought I was being really cool and brilliant at the same time. I decided I would create a work breakdown structure (WBS) just like we do in our project management workshops at Systemation, with large sticky notes and a blank wall. So that is how I spent my night last Thursday.   Here’s how it went: It started out well. I found a large wall in my condo, took down the artwork, and set up a step ladder.   Then I began adding sticky notes. So far so good.   Just as I started really getting into it – whipping out the sticky notes and adding them to my masterpiece – my WBS started to fall apart…   So much for a great idea. I decided to go back to watching Mad Men.   I forgot that in our workshops we put the sticky notes on a big...

The Fabulous and Fun Wedding Breakdown Structure

Well, I have been made fun of by a friend (who shall remain unnamed, you know who you are) about this comment I made a couple weeks ago: “We are getting closer and closer to the fabulous and fun wedding breakdown structure.” He called it the “Nerdiest wedding sentence ever.” I can take the teasing; it means people are reading my blog – friends and family at least. Honestly, for some reason I actually have been excited to create my wedding work breakdown structure (WBS). I guess that makes me a nerd. I just can’t wait to see everything I need to do for my wedding laid out in front of me. Maybe then I will actually feel like I am planning my wedding. Or, maybe I will have a panic attack because I will realize how much I actually have to do. I am hoping...

Water, Water Everywhere and Lots of Drops to Drink

It was probably much easier to plan a wedding in 1911 than it is in 2011. There was maybe only one vendor to choose from for each thing you needed to get done. However, easiness aside, your wedding was just like your neighbor’s (and by neighbor I mean person who lives 5 miles down the country dirt road). Last year when my friends were planning their wedding the bride kept telling me there is no shortage of choices. She was right. There are endless amounts of florists, caterers, photographers, wedding gowns, bridesmaids dresses, rings, personalized favors. I could go on and on and on. Of course there are two sides of this coin; on one hand it is great to be able to customize a wedding to exactly your taste. On the other hand the amount of choice could drive you...

My Wedding Planning Addiction

I am beginning to think about my impending wedding all the time. It is definitely in the forefront of my mind and I am starting to do uncharacteristic things like not calling my Dad back after he left me two messages, not coloring or cutting my hair, and working out every day. I think it is good though that I am acknowledging my addiction to wedding planning before it gets out of control. I wonder if there is a wedding planners anonymous group out there somewhere… So putting together my wedding approach should be relatively easy since I have been thinking about my wedding day and night. The wedding approach is basically a strategy for how you will accomplish your wedding day bliss factors and deliverables. However, it is not a complicated document, just...

Seriously? PWD?

The other night I was happily reading through this month’s issue of “Brides” magazine when I came across a horrible article. Something that should never have been in a happy, non-depressing, and joyous publication. Kid you not, apparently there is such a thing as post-wedding depression (PWD). At first glance I thought, it was kind of funny, it couldn’t be real. But as I read on I learned that PWD is actually a term used by therapists. Seriously? I guess the good news is that PWD isn’t caused by a change in hormones (like postpartum depression). The bad news? It happens just because your wedding is over. I mean, I know the feeling of a let-down after a wonderful vacation or something I have been looking forward to for a long time. But the possibility of...

Laurel Sharpie Hands

I feel like Edward Scissor Hands. I have the power right now to chop things out of the wedding and this is my opportunity to document them. I have fingers made of big, red, Sharpie® Pens. I am Laurel Sharpie Hands!!! There are a lot of things that Justin and I want in our wedding and lots of things we don’t. Instead of relying on my wedding planning crew to read my mind or thinking they will derive a list themselves from my deliverables I am going to make it clear from the get go. No surprises. No disappointments. Justin and I have already had a conversation about what we don’t want (exclusions). Some of the things are budget related, others are because we don’t like the tradition, and others are just not important to us. So, what is included in my list of...

New Facebook Page

New Facebook Page

Hi Loyal Readers, Yesterday I created a Facebook page for A Very PMP Wedding. I am hoping it will be a great additional resource for those of you who are planning your weddings. You will be able to see when a new article is posted and I will also be sharing additional links and tips. Click on the link in the sidebar to like A Very PMP Wedding Facebook page. Cheers and see you on Facebook. Laurel

THE TWILIGHT ZONE: Your Wedding Planning Future

You read this blog post at your own risk because it gives you a glimpse into your future. A spooky and sometimes scary glimpse of the months leading up to your wedding. Welcome to the twilight zone. Dum, dum, dum….. I hope that gave you a good laugh because it will be the last one you have until your honeymoon. Just kidding. In all seriousness it can be a little scary to write down all the tasks you have to complete before your wedding day. It makes me nervous and uptight and I still have (let me check my wedding countdown clock) 11 months and six days. But not making this list is like pretending that Joan Rivers has had plastic surgery.  It just can’t be ignored. The wedding planning deliverables especially can’t be ignored if you are using project...

Big, Poufy, Tulle Dresses

Big, Poufy, Tulle Dresses

Imagine the poufiest wedding dress you have ever seen…I saw one so poufy the other day on TLC’s My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding that the bride had to hold her arms about three feet from her body and walk like a duck. Not my personal choice in wedding attire but to each their own, right? I feel as though using project management to plan a wedding is like a huge, poufy wedding dress with lots and lots of tulle layers. Forget that wedding cake mumbo jumbo I mentioned earlier. It’s not that simple. It’s actually more like a 100 layer tulle dress. You start out small and simple with the very underneath piece of tulle (the wedding planning blueprint) and keep adding layer upon layer upon layer with more and more details until you get to the work breakdown structure,...

Need Something Blue?

The timeless saying goes, “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” Well, if you need your something blue you’re in luck.  I have just the thing for you, a wedding planning blueprint! The last thing I needed to do before completing the initiation phase of planning my wedding was fill out what I like to call a wedding planning blueprint. In project management this document is called the project charter and is a vital document in the planning process because it formally recognizes the existence of a project (wedding). I made some modifications to the traditional project charter so it would fit the specifics of a wedding and voila, I ended up with a nice little template that brings together a lot of the theoretical stuff I have been...

The Wedding Planning Crew

Since I have been engaged I occasionally hear from friends and acquaintances that their mother or mother-in-law to be ran away with the wedding planning. Sometimes the bride was more hands-off and ok with it and other times it created problems. Probably the most vivid picture I have in my head of this happening is from another great movie, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”. Poor Toula ends up with hideous bridesmaid dresses and invitations, is forced to wear a meringue looking dress, too much makeup,  and bad hair thanks to her Greek Mom, Aunts, and Cousins. There are many people involved in planning a wedding with varying personalities. No doubt it is really hard to please all of them. So far I have found this the most difficult part of planning my wedding. I have...

3, 2, 1 – Initiation

I think it might be time to get one of those tacky digital wedding countdown clocks. I bet Justin will love to have a daily reminder of the days, hours, minutes, and seconds we have left before our big day. Even though I have done a little planning already, now that the wedding is just 12 months away, I feel like I can officially start now. And what better way is there to mark this joyous occasion than to constantly know how much time I have left? Before I could begin to start even thinking about planning my wedding (above and beyond daydreaming what it would be like) Justin and I had to get engaged. That could probably go without saying but since I am using project management to plan my wedding I have to follow the phases. And the first one is Initiation or as I...

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

It’s a fact. Every couple will fight while planning their wedding. Justin and I have had our moments already and we have only been engaged for three months. In the May 2011 issue of “Brides” magazine there was an entire page dedicated to real-life arguments between to-be brides and grooms. The funniest one? They couldn’t agree on if they wanted their caramelized eggplant appetizer on a walnut or pecan encrusted radicchio chip. For project managers, communication and people-skills are absolute necessities. If you are planning your own wedding you have to be a pro at this. It involves knowing the communication style of your fiancé, bridesmaids, groomsmen, parents, in-laws, and vendors and adapting your communication style so things get done efficiently and...

Wedding Planning: It’s Not a Hollywood Movie

I think most people would agree that J.Lo movies aren’t the most high quality entertainment out there. However, there is one that may not make you gag, “The Wedding Planner”. Are you starting to see a pattern here? I think I may have an addiction to movies about weddings. Anyway, you can’t pass up the fact that it has two hunky men in it: Matthew McConaughey and Justin Chambers (pre “Grey’s Anatomy” days). The interesting thing about “The Wedding Planner” is it gives a nice Hollywood spin on what a wedding planner goes through; even if J.Lo (the wedding planner) and Matthew McConaughey (the fiancé) end up together in the end. Of course, the industry is probably glamorized to make it interesting for us to watch but you do get a glimpse of the ups...

Royal vs. Commoner Weddings

Royal vs. Commoner Weddings

Ahhhhhhh, the royal wedding. It was an exciting event for me last Friday. I watched all the specials on TLC and E! earlier in the week and by time Friday rolled around I had decided that I wasn’t going to look at any pictures of Kate Middleton’s dress until I got home that night and watched the entire 5-hours of coverage at the royal wedding screening I had. I did catch a little glimpse of Kate Middleton’s shoulders and head on my Yahoo homepage but besides that, there were no sightings until I told to my co-workers not to say anything about what the gown looked like. Then the teasing commenced. I have to admit I was being a little ridiculous, wanting to make Kate’s dress a surprise so I was laughing along with everyone. At one point, I walked away from my...

Wedding Day Bliss Factors: One Way to Avoid Becoming a Bridezilla

Wedding Day Bliss Factors: One Way to Avoid Becoming a Bridezilla

My Mom just reminded me how for my seventh birthday all I wanted was a Dress ‘N Dazzle wedding set to play in. The day we went to pick it out, Toys ‘R Us was having a power outage and I thought for a few miserable moments that I wouldn’t get to be a bride for my birthday. But we were able to go into the store with a sales person who had a flash light and the crisis was averted. That was probably one of the best birthday presents I got as a kid. It came with a dress, veil, bouquet, ring, and I even got the white sparkly high heels that were extra. Everything a girl could need for a wedding. I used to put that outfit on, make my sister be my bridesmaid, and have my Mom sing “Here Comes the Bride” as I walked down the “aisle” created by the couches in...

The Foundation of Cake and Wedding Planning

A  “CAKE Franck, is made of sugar and water!” That is Steve Martin’s character’s reaction to the cost of a wedding cake in the 1991 remake of “Father of the Bride”. And by the way, if you haven’t ever seen “Father of the Bride”, rent it right away. It has been one of my favorite movies since I was seven years old and it will give you a much needed laugh in relation to planning a wedding. Although a cake is simply made of sugar, water, and a few other main ingredients, those ingredients act as the foundation to a wedding cake. The more detailed and time-consuming work comes from decorating the cake (and that is also why they are so expensive). For the next few weeks, I will be writing about the basics of project...

Weddings are a Project

Weddings are a Project

Ok, let me just get this out of the way; I’m not a PMP® (Project Management Professional). I’m not even a project manager for that matter. I am a Marketing Communications Specialist at Systemation (a project management, business analysis, and agile development training company). I am also recently engaged and in the very early phases of planning a wedding. Systemation has always operated under the belief that everything’s a project, from toasting a piece of bread to planning a wedding. Systemation ran a campaign a few years back that showed simple pictures like a couple walking down the aisle, a burnt piece of toast, and a martini with those very words, “everything’s a project,” underneath. I still have the bride and groom pin hanging in my cubicle...

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