Burn the Mags!

Speaking of odd jobs, how about wedding planner?

This architect’s hands have been busy wedding planning for the past month or so. Having never planned a wedding and only once been a bridesmaid, I was slightly oblivious to the amount of detail and decisions necessary for us to plan our 170 guest wedding.

No, I was never that teenage girl who fantasized about every detail of her wedding in the far off future. I didn’t see the point of imagining it until I was actually engaged and as a couple we could plan our own Special Day. So after the newly engaged glow wore off, I referred to the bridal magazines for needed information on how to plan a wedding. Within two weeks, I started loathing the pages full of excess and suggestions on what a bride needs to have at her wedding. Each book with the underlying tone that if she doesn’t have all these items, then it’s not a real wedding. It is irritating that these publications focus mostly on the final product(ion) than exactly how to get there.

Let’s side step for a moment…

The sports architecture firm that I used to work for has an event planning office where architects and project managers coordinate mega-events. We’re talking the Super Bowl, the MLB All-Star Game, and the Olympics are among their regular projects.  As you can imagined, coordinating events like these takes the minds of people who understand interrelationships of systems (of people) and how they need to come together (or apart) within a certain amount of time. Why not have architects at the helm?

I have always thought the architecture process IS about planning an event. Think about it. There’s a design, a timeline, consultants and contractors all being organized for a coordinated series of moments to occur, hopefully on budget and to the satisfaction of the client. There’s waste, formalities, emotions and multiple stakeholders to pay attention to as well.

One tool that is used within mega-event planning is what is called an overlay package. Picture it: You have a stadium, let’s say Mile-High, and you need to plan how the fans, media, broadcast, VIPs, VVIPs (Very Very Important Persons), hospitality, logistics, emergency care, and the teams, get in to the facility, have the event , and leave safely. The overlay package is a series of floor plans of the stadium at various scales with color coordinated lines, arrows and hatched areas all symbolizing movement and location of the these many constituents. The event coordinators have the full package for reference before, during and after the game, while each constituent has a copy of their respective drawings to tell them where to go.

Sounds pretty similar to construction drawings right?

Back to my own event planning…

For the record, no, I will not be making an overlay package for my wedding. That would be Beyond Bridezilla. The bridal mags will become helpful this season though, as kindling for the yule log as I look at the wedding planning process as a fun design assignment. I know we can handle organizing the various parts of a wedding that need to come together. Now Will & Kate’s nuptials is another story. I am certain they had a serious team of project managers, planners, designers and an overlay package to pull off their big day.

2 thoughts on “Burn the Mags!

  1. Great blog post Fiancé! I wouldn’t call it Bridezilla to design an overlay package for our wedding. I’ve seen the way Architects party…

    We should probably stick them all in the party zone with my baseball buddies, so they can participate in the dance off!

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