When it comes to paying for a wedding, the costs can really go out of control quickly. Usually, the cause is that people don't treat costs seriously. The wedding is a perfect application for good project management techniques. In keeping with the Project Management Institute definition of a project, a wedding is a temporary effort that produces a new, desireable outcome that is unique. No two weddings are the same and everyone wants a great marriage to be the end result. This allows us to apply good project management techniques to the wedding project in order to save costs.

A project needs a clear purpose. The wedding project will produce a wedding on a particular date. If the date is not known, then part of the project will be to establish the wedding date. With no date in mind, the wedding planner can save money by picking an optimum time. Statistically, weddings held at 3AM on a Tuesday are the cheapest. 3AM Wednesday saves nearly as much money. Of course, when chosing the time of the wedding, the planner has to be reasonable. 3AM weddings are rare. Cheap though. A frugal bride or groom might float the idea of getting married under a night sky exactly at the time that the moon enters the Scorpio constellation. If you can pull this off, you likely will be featured on the local morning news show. Good luck!

A wedding project can be successfully accomplished with project planning. Leaving the 3AM start aside, the wedding planner can organize the wedding using project management tips. This will keep everything running smoothly, (hopefully), and keep costs in control. The steps are simple, in theory.

Wedding planning first steps
A project needs to have a budget, schedule and a purpose. So should a wedding. The date implies the schedule. Usually the date is known in advance. This is a project constraint. If the date is not known, it has to be determined quickly to help control costs. Perhaps the availability of a particular venue will figure in the possible wedding date. An early step will be to determine the requirements of venue, officials, etc, that may not be available until particular dates. It is a certainty that waiting until the last minute to set a wedding date will cost the project money. Likely big money.

Wedding budget
Actually, the budget for the wedding is a very hard item to specify. Often there will be a multitude of items needed for the wedding. Adding to the complexity, a lot of the items will be paid for by different people. A major issue for the wedding planner is to identify the costs quickly and determine exactly who will pay for which items. The competent planner will strive to avoid duplicate payments. Having two expensive table pieces, paid for by different people, is a major error. The cost of the duplicate would be much better if applied to another required item. The other problem with budgets is over spending. If the budget is $100 and you spend 10% more, the wedding costs an extra $10. That's likely OK. If the hall rental goes over by 10%, the budget may go up by $200 or more. That could cause a shortage somewhere else. The budget process for the wedding must identify all items required for the wedding. Each has to have a cost estimate. The costs should be as firm as possible. If any item is more expensive than estimated, the planner has to make note. $10 overages may not seem like much, but 100 of them will cost $1000 extra. Don't forget that tax may have to be added to some costs. Get the costs itemized and firmed up as much, and as soon, as possible.

Wedding Budget prioritization
These days, most weddings can't include absolutely everything that everyone wants to see. Maybe weddings never have been able to afford everything. There is a limitless amount of things that could be in the wedding. The money is never limitless. Once all of the desired items are identified, with costs, it is time for the wedding planner to prioritize them. There are two ways to do it. You can analyze the items starting with the most expensive ones. You can also analyze starting with the most important items. They likely won't be in the same order. Analyzing costs works because if you can save 15% on the top 5 items, you may be able to include many more less expensive items. Analyzing important items is harder. If an expensive item is absolutely required, that becomes a constraint; the wedding can't be held without it. There is no way to save money, though, without the items properly itemized, costed and analyzed.

Save on the wedding dress
The Internet has brought about something of a revolution for the budget concious wedding. Many wedding dress sites now exist that allow the bride to view complete dress details and save a lot of money on the dress. There are even sites that allow people to buy used wedding dresses. These are typically dresses that have been worn once. The styles are shown. Better sites give you the ability to enter in search criteria. You enter in the dress size desired, the style, color and sometimes even the designer name. It is amazing to see the number of dresses available through these sites. Costs will be substantially lower than the new cost. Many sites also have new dresses listed at significant savings. Wedding dresses don't have a particular use after the wedding. Most people don't keep them for many reasons. New dresses become available on discount terms if they are slightly out of style, or other innocent reasons. Keep these wedding dress sites in mind as a way to save budget money on the wedding.

Save on the wedding venue
Before committing to a major outlay of money for a venue such as a reception hall, check out the family for cost savings. Perhaps a close family member belongs to a club that rents such a place. There could be a family discount rate. Maybe there is a family member with a large house that could be used for some of the festivities. Check them out quickly as a way to save money. Don't forget to make it easy for the family member, though.

By organizing a wedding with some basic project management tips, the wedding planner can really help the event to be successful and they can save money too. Maybe a lot of money. Congratulations!