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Do I REALLY Need a Wedding Planner? Pt 4: The Timeline

Hi Friends!

We're in the final countdown for this series, which is a great time to talk about...time.

Let me get real with you for a minute. I've been studying like a maniac for my CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) exam and I'm scheduled to sit for it the day after tomorrow. So my brain is full of all sorts of technical project management terms, like project scope, and critical path, and milestones, and forecasting, and contract management, and quality management, and communication matrix, and so on forever and ever. But remember a couple days ago when I said that wedding planners are project managers? It's because it's SO TRUE! And that list of phrases that I just spewed off definitely applies to your wedding plans (in a much sexier way, of course). Since we're chatting about the Timeline today, I want to drop some knowledge on you about milestones, critical path, and forecasting.

According to the Events Industry Council Manual, 9th Edition:

Milestones: Key events that occur during the project (wedding) and ultimately drive the project (wedding) schedule.

Critical Path: The chain of activities that must begin on time and stay on track in order to achieve the project (wedding) milestones and ultimately execute the project (wedding) on time.

Forecasting: Anticipating the amount of time needed to complete each of the tasks...will ultimately produce a project (wedding) schedule or timeline...

All right, I'm done nerding out on you with definitions. But think about it. Every wedding will have components that need to happen at different times, both in the months leading up to the wedding and on the actual wedding day. Can you start designing decor before you book your venue? How far out should you book your venue? 6 months? A year? When should you send out your invitations? 8 weeks in advance? That's cool, but when should they be designed? And proofed? And printed? You can select your menu a couple weeks before the wedding, right? You scheduled linens and china to be delivered BEFORE your tables and chairs? Whoopsie, that's going to throw a wrench in your critical path for setup! What if life happens and you end up having a 4 month long engagement? How will that affect your timeline?

Not only are there countless details to manage, you also have to keep everything organized in the proper order. Your wedding planner is a great resource to help develop the milestones, identify the critical path and forecast how long each task will take so that you and your parter stay calm and stress free throughout the whole planning process! All of this planning is leading up to the BIG DAY, which is the moment that your wedding planner will pull the entire wedding team together and make some magic! So stop back tomorrow as we finish out the "Do I REALLY Need a Wedding Planner?" series with the Day Of.

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