Down on one knee, on the floor of his studio flat, my partner and best friend popped the question as I stood there bleary eyed and bewildered in my pyjamas at 8.28am on the seventh of November 2016.
Two were to become one (#SpiceLife). But, if you want to share your union with friends and family, you need to plan a wedding. This is no small feat, and ended up honing a lot of skills that are useful assets to my working life.
A lot of the big things in life give us skills we need every day at work. It’s an unusual tact, but here’s a list of some of the activities and skill sets that are vital for a freelancer, all developed through wedding planning! Perhaps, on reflection, you’ve got more skills than you realise too!
I’m going to go ahead and add ‘event planning extraordinaire’ to my CV. Planning a wedding requires focus and coordination. My husband and I did it all ourselves (and by ourselves, I mean recruited family and friends instead of paying professionals..!) Juggling venue capacities, guest lists, budgets, bouncy castle vendors, decorations and more, is a big task that involved plenty of notebooks and google drive spreadsheets, it was gratifying to flex the organisation muscles on something extra curricular!
Transferable Skills: Time Management, Budgeting, Event Planning, Organisation, Communication, Planning.
We are blessed to know professional cake makers and a killer hair-stylist, my dad’s in a band and our church community is one well versed in organising large scale catering. With the cake, food, hair and music handed off to trusted friends, we went about navigating the rest of the world of wedding wonders..!
Transferable Skills: Interpersonal Skills, Communication, Teamwork, Delegation.
I was so well researched, I had a good idea of the type of wedding dress I wanted before I was even proposed to… (thank you late night Pinterest sessions!). This meant that, on my first shop, I walked straight in, reached for the dress I wanted and left with it later that day, off the rack and in the sale!
I then spent a lot of time comparing prices of photographers, photo-booths and venues, negotiating packages and prices and getting the best deal, vendors beware, I was on a deal-hunting mission!
Transferable Skills: Research and Comparison, Keyword Searches, Refining Search Criteria, Time Management, Networking, Negotiation.
We wanted to keep the environmental impact of our Big Day down, we wanted to save money, and we wanted to create a day that was unique and personal to us – this meant quite a bit of DIY! From flowers made from recycled paper and making my bouquet out of off-cuts of my dress, to lining my own petticoat and sewing beads onto the dress until stupid o’clock in the morning (thanks mum for bailing me out when I had to sleep!), each element of the wedding was hand designed and hand-crafted all on a strict budget.
Transferable Skills: Initiative, Flexibility, Resourcefulness, Creativity, Working to Deadlines.
Organising the wedding went so smoothly down to two main things, the teamwork between me and my partner, and the fact that we had no strong opinions about most of the details (seat covers, place-cards, seating plans… why not just go without..?!)
Now that we’re happily married and settling in, married life continues to help focus my working world.
Before we lived together, I’d take any project, anywhere, for any length of time, even if it meant working intensely in Russia for a month in the blazing sun and mosquitos, missing my partner’s and my mum’s birthdays, and father’s day. (Though I’ve learnt a LOT from these projects and loved them!)
Now, however, I’m discovering that I want to work remotely from home as much as possible, and build a sustainable work life that I can continue around any future family we might have. I want to be around my husband, so I’m now weighing up the pros and cons of each project, what it will earn me financially and professionally? Will the time I spend away be worth it?
I’m now building my party business so that, down the line, I can train someone else to run the parties while I manage bookings from home.
I’m building an online portfolio for copy writing work. (You’re reading the evidence right now!)
Planning a wedding helped me hone my organisational and time management skills. Being married is helping me focus on how I want to use these skills.
Oh, and, added bonus, I also get to spend the rest of my life with the man of my dreams.