Delegating Tasks at a Wedding

How to delegate effectively

Delegate authority, and don't interfere as long as your policy is being carried out. (Ronald Reagan)

Adult attendants (maid-of-honour, best-man, etc.) are usually very beneficial during a wedding ceremony.

But don't forget they can also be invaluable in helping to prepare for your wedding. They have agreed to help, so make sure you get the best out their offer.

Having control over your own life sometimes requires delegating to people who are more capable than yourself, or who simply have more time than you do.

Many hands make light work

You chose them because you know they are dependable

The maid-of-honour / best-man are not simply actors at the wedding or speech-givers at the party. They should be actively involved in helping you plan your wedding. They are your best friends and/or your closest relatives. If you choose these people correctly, the work contribution they make can be invaluable.

Seven tips to help delegate tasks

  1. Make sure you know why you're delegating. If it's because the maid-of-honour or best-man could do it better or because it will save your time, that's great. But remember that effective delegation will take up your time too, so if you're just being lazy or the task is small, get on with it yourself and save a lot of hassle.
  2. Choose your delegatee carefully. Where possible, select someone who has the core skills and the motivation to complete the challenge to a high standard. Going for the person who will put up least resistance is tempting, but a mistake.
  3. Discuss what needs to be done. Ask the delegatee lots of questions to make sure both you and they fully understand what's involved. For example:
    • What are the problems likely to be?
    • How will you start?
    • Who else will you involve?

    Choose carefully how you speak with them. Shouting or domineering is doomed to failure. As you know, people will believe anything if you whisper, since whispering often sounds like you are letting them in on a secret. Whatever approach works best for you and the delegatee, check they have understood what you want, if necessary by asking them to say it in their own words. Do not accept "Yes, I get it" as a guarantee that they do.
  4. Be clear what they are free to do themselves (for example: choosing the music) and what they should check with you about first (for example: choosing the band).
  5. Recognise that the person who is taking on this task is not you, and so will not do it in the same way. Give them enough space to think and act for themselves.
  6. Give constructive feedback at regular intervals. Tell them what they are doing well and be specific about what would make things better.
  7. Ask them to be honest with you, and tell you how things are going from their perspective. Putting people in this position might be embarrassing, and the potential embarrassment of failing to deliver may be just what you need to get going.

Do this well and you will be loved and admired by how you, your fiance, your maid-of-honour, and your best-man, have made a wonderful wedding.

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