This may sound strange at first, but weddings and the elements of public relations go hand-in-hand. Just think about the factors of a communications plan, there are several steps. Situation analysis, goals, objectives, key messages, target audiences, strategies and tactics, budget, and evaluation.
Now, the idea of marriage has never really allured me. Most girls dream of their wedding day from a young age. The gown, the tiara, the cake, the gifts and the list goes on. I guess I’m the exception. I don’t really see a need for all the fuss. If I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you, isn’t that enough? You have my word, my affection and my heart. What other form of validation do you need? A diamond ring? A marriage certificate? Why? Why? Why? I guess I’ll never understand.
But enough of my ranting and let’s return to the topic at hand. Whether you have dreamed of your fairytale wedding since childhood or rather ditch the walk down the aisle all together, you must admit a wedding does have its similarities to public relations.
Again, I call upon the beloved communications plan. Your wedding is one of the biggest events of your life. You start the planning process the minute after Mr. Right proposes. Your goal is to have a memorable ceremony surrounded by your closest family and friends to celebrate the love between you and your significant other. Your goal is to have your family and friends boosting about you two. They’ll make claims on how perfect you two are for one another and how happy they are for you both.
Your objective is make sure your cousin Alice, who spent $50,000 on her big day to be crying at the end of the evening because her wedding was a failed attempt compared to your lavish ceremony. Afterall, you had doves flying in the air as you walked out of the church. What did she get? Rice thrown at her and that poor excuse for a husband she’s attached too. But again, I digress.
The real objective is to have your guest convinced at the end of the evening. You want them to believe that you two are meant to be and that you didn’t just marry him because he has loads of money. Your love is everlasting. Another objective is to have the most amazing wedding the world has seen and you’ve have a year to pull it off. This sounds like a lot and of course your objective should be measurable. But you’ll make it happen.
Now for your key messages:
- “Our love is everlasting”
- “”You’ll always be my baby”
- “You complete me”
- “All I want to do is grow old with you”
- “Honey, Is dinner ready yet ?” (let’s leave this one out for now).
Moving forward, your target audience consists of your groom, your family, friends and any other person or thing that needs to be involved with your special day. You must make your audience believe in your love. You must persuade them. No wait, some might be there out of obligation.
By this point, you should be wondering, how do I make my wedding one-of-a-kind? How do I stand out? Here’s where I’d like to introduce my strategy and tactics. For a successful wedding you’ll need, a five tier cake, a four course meal, a beautiful centre piece (crystals, flowers, candles, the works), a white dress valued at $6,000 or more, cinderella slippers, an up-do held together by nothing but bobby pins and two cans of hairspray, an suv limo, a grand entrance, a popular, yet everlasting first song, something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, an arrangement of exotic flowers, hire a world-renowned photographer, hire Madonna’s make-up artist, two fondue fountains, a choir, violin player, a pianist, a priest with a heart of gold, Vera Wang bridesmaid dress, Armani suites, pearls, a tiara made of gold, a horse drawn cariage, Samantha Robson to DJ at your reception, a speech with will make your guests laugh, cry and jump for joy, and I’m sure there’s more which I’m forgetting. (That’s such a run-on sentence). If you have all of the following, a life of happiness is surely guaranteed.
The budget is your hands. What can you afford? What can’t you afford?
By the end, you want to make sure that your wedding was memorable. On the day of your wedding, your selling your love for one another to your family and friends. Your love becomes branded. Gone are the days where people just see you. You are now a couple. You are one person. You are a team. Much like public relations where you are selling a brand, an idea. Within your marriage, you are selling the ideals of loyalty, honesty and compatibility to all those you encounter.
You share yourself with someone else, your are a brand, you are Mr. and Mrs. Smith or whatever your last name is.
I know you probably never thought about it, but think about public relations and a communications plan. You are persuading an audience, you are celebrating change in your life and you are selling your idea of love and happiness. All in a cute little package.
Hope that makes you view weddings in a different way.
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