Katiemax asked a great question after my “Remembering to Delegate” post. I started to write a reply and then realized it was getting way too long for a comment!
As a fellow control freak I find delegating to others very difficult. My life could be summed up by the When Harry met Sally quote ” I just want it the way I want it”. That being said, the sad, mathematical truth is that those who delegate well get a million more things done. Delegating for your wedding is a bit different than delegating for work though. Let’s be honest, a project for work that you were supposed to delegate for turns out 85% correct vs your bridesmaid dresses turn out to be magenta instead of pale pink? Which matters more to you?
You do relinquish a bit of control when you delegate, but as long as you’re upfront about what you expect and the person accepting understands their responsibilities you should be on the right track.
Our skype discussion that lead to Mr. D being in charge of catering?
Mr. D: You seem stressed, are you okay?
Me: Of course I’m stressed, this is stressful.
Mr. D: Planning a wedding is fun not stressful! What’s stressing you out the most? I’ll take care of it
Me: Catering. You’ll take care of catering?
Mr. D: ummmm, okay?
Me: Great, here is a link to several caterers at the venue. K, thx, bye!
If I could start planning all over again I would have dealt with delegating a few tasks very differently. I clearly needed help planning and Mr. D was a natural volunteer since he (obviously) has a vested interest in the event. I wish we had discussed which aspect of the wedding he was most interested in helping with and gone from there. After the whole catering nag-fest I found out he was ultra excited to design the invitations and I wish we had started there. But lets say for the sake of the example that Mr. D actually WAS interested in the catering.
We would have discussed what finding a caterer would have entailed and outlined a vision for it. What do we want to serve? Buffet or Plated? What colour for the linens? We would have had equal input on the details and written out a plan of action. Mr. D would have created his own methodology, instead of me shouting one night ” How hard is it?!? you email X amount of caterers and set up appointments for M – Th after 7:30 pm!?!?”. Mr. D also likes deadlines, so he would have created a more specific one than my sniping “sometime before we leave for England” at him.
I think quality delegating can be distilled to this:
Make sure the standards and expected outcome are clear. What exactly needs to be done, when is the deadline and to what degree of detail?
Other tips? Delegate to the right person, perhaps my mother would have been better for the caterer task? It’s best to delegate the objective, not the methodology. Just because someone might take a different route to the same destination doesn’t mean its wrong. The most difficult part is letting go and trusting someone else to get it done. With guidance from you (inspiration photos can’t hurt!) your trusty team will be well on their way to solving your planning woes.
After all, when you hire a vendor you’re trusting them to handling part of your wedding. You wouldn’t just hire a florist without giving her guidance right? So choose wisely, explain well and relax! Besides, according to Mr. D “planning a wedding is fun, not stressful”.
What are your best time management tips for wedding planning?