How to plan your wedding: The Review

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Woot woot!!  Hot diggity dog, you’ve both achieved some much in making your wedding come true.  Just take a look at what you’ve done so far.  Really, take a look, because that is what step number four is all about.  Reviewing all you’ve completed.

In the previous article we touched the idea of reviewing each small win (task) after completion.  The reason is to determine if you’re satisfied with the result.  We don’t mean satisfied with the wedding result or how the result will look during the wedding.  Rather, we are taking a look at what you completed and determining if any tweaks are necessary.  Below we’ll get into this details a bit further, but first one key truth to mention.  Reviewing is about what you did and only what you did, it is not about what will be, or may happen, or opinion after the final result.  We’ll explain.

The Three Reviews

There are three general types of reviews used in the realm of project management.  Again, we don’t go into the actual terminology of the discipline since it’s a lot to cover and much of it isn’t going to help.  Instead, we tweak a bit of the concepts to match the flow for wedding planning DIY’ers.  The three types of reviews are based on stages by which you’ve reached.  

For example; if you’ve completed a tasks you’ll want to review what you’ve done.  Naturally, it will be similar to a check-list.  Ribbon, check.  Tablecloth, check.  Table lowers, check.  

Notice the example covers small tasks.  Rather than reviewing an entire topic or activity we prefer reviews right after each tasks.  Oh yes, the sooner you review, the sooner you can move on in confidence.  We’ll divulge a bit more but let’s wrap up the general types of reviews.

Reviewing small wins

As stated in the example, reviewing small wins is about quickly inspecting what you’ve just completed.  Doing this immediately enables you establish confidence in the effort exerted.  Of the three types of the review this is one you will do repeatedly.  The entire premise to ensure you can check-off one more item on the list in order to move on.

Honestly, early on in our wedding planning we forgot to include these miniature reviews.  So small a step it really didn’t make a considerable impact, until it did.  Fortunately we learned rather quickly we needed to include the step in our efforts.  What had happened was we ended up backpedaling on tasks we had already completed and (yes, and) we started adding on more tasks which weren’t even in our plan.  

“Well isn’t that okay?” Sure, to a point.  Except if continued we would have been behind on achieving our goals.  Imagine, a beautiful table arrangements and a half-baked totally thrown together alter.

Once each topic was completed we conducted a final inspection.  The last review of the topic on its own prior to moving on.

Final Inspection

Your final inspection is a review of a single topic as a whole.  Did you completed all that you intended to complete?  Are there still some open ends because of dependencies on another topic which you have not started?

A final inspection enables you to tell yourself “we finished it”.  It is done.  There shouldn’t be anymore work necessary.  This review is meant to give yourself the green light to put an entire topic aside.  Mark it down, forget about it for now, move on.

In some instances it would be appropriate to leave a single activity in each topic.  One which you leave for the final assessment the day before the wedding.  Call it the “wedding set up” if you want to keep that activity open across all topics (not a bad idea), or perhaps call it “the day before assessment”.

Day before assessment

The day before assessment is exactly as it reads.  You’ve either completed all topics and/or all event set up.  Honestly, the last thought in your mind should be “should we include the dancing pigs in tutus?”  This assessment is about peace of mind.  It is letting yourself come to terms with your accomplishments in order to focus on having the most memorable wedding day possible.

We’ll cover why this last review is so important in a later article of the same title.  For now, let’s keep it simple.  Let’s review the small wins.

Types of small win reviews

We’ve broken down the items to review.  This is actually something we had to put together over trial and error.  During those early reviews we simply looked at what we purchased, pondered if it was correct, and went back into the craft store to buy more.  Like we said, trial and error.  

Since that didn’t work we developed a checklist that gave us confidence.  We explored the reasons why we ended up going back into the craft store to purchase more decorations.  We came up with four reasons.  The checklist, the compliments, the confirmation, and the dependents.  Sounds a bit familiar, right.

The checklist

Our item to review is the actual checklist.  Did we complete the items we intended to complete?  We were firm with regards to completing the checklist means the tasks are done.  You’ve put a lot of planning effort into ‘tasking’ out your to-do’s.  So why would slow down your pace to add ‘a few more things’?  It won’t be a few more things in the end.  It’ll be many things.  It’s always many things.

Example:  The tasks you chose today were to visit the crafts store to purchase table decorations; flowers, jars, table cloth, runner, small candles, and ornamental crystals.  You visit the store, collect your materials, go to check out, and head home.  That’s it.  All done with the checklist.

Side Note:  We spent a considerable amount of time on the checklist items.  That time could have been spent going isle by isle randomly looking all the goodies.  The attention to detail on the checklist items resulted a better outcome at our wedding.  

The compliments toward the topic

After review the checklist we assessed how all the listed items complimented the topic.  Does each item clearly reference the topic.  Does it make sense?  Did we miss something which cannot be ignored (a must have)?  If all good, we moved on.  If a must have or change was needed we took care of it immediately.

Example:  As stated in the ‘side note’ you went to the craft store, collected all the materials on the list, and finally before checkout you review all items.  What you are looking for is consistencies, complementary, and order.  You give yourself the thumbs up and proceed to the cashier.

Side Note:  A word of warning.  You will get tempted to seek out one more item at this point.  Again, don’t get carried away.  Instead, get finished.  It will better to complete your planning and have extra time before the wedding to purchase a few extra things.

The confirmation to move on

Prior to closing out the task we did a second fast review.  Yes, we got it all done.  No, we missed something in which case we immediately completed the missing link.  Think of this as your permission to be done.  It’s important to note that you will mentally not be done.  For us, when we were at the craft store we had to restrain ourselves from the impulse of adding more.  It was a bit difficult.  Every isle you pass seems to pop out with something akin to gold waving you over.  

Be mindful.  That’s it. Be mindful of your goal, what you absolutely need, and what you need which you cannot complete yet (dependencies).  Everything else when complete is a small win.  Believe us when we say that less is more.  Our wedding looked exquisite, detailed, and perfect in our eyes.  Yet, we worked with much less and made more of an impression.

Side Note:  Always ask yourself, did we miss anything we truly needed.  If not, don’t sweat the little stuff.

Dependent tasks review

Speaking of those dependencies.  There times when reviewing your small wins you find you have an item in lingo.  Typically, this is because it requires you complete a different tasks first.  Our recommendation, move it to the other task.  “Do you have to let it linger?”  


Side Note:  By dependency we mean you will not feel comfortable completing the checklist item.  A broad example; you may not feel comfortable picking flowers when you don’t even know your wedding colors.  Don’t force something to be.  Stick to your planning.  Make appropriate tweaks to your plan.

All done and time for the final inspection

So you have completed all the tasks for each activity in a topic.  Fantastic!  Now it’s time to make your final inspection of the topic as a whole.  Remember, don’t get stumped into adding the little things.  Instead, follow the process we outline in the next article which covers your Final Inspection.


Onward Folks!


Priscilla and Michael Sweet


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