The Royal Wedding – What a Project!

Project Management for Weddings and a Tribute to my Wife the Project Manager



By David L. Pells

Addison, Texas, USA



On Friday 29 April 2011, Prince William of the British Royal Family, son of Prince Charles and the late Lady Diana, grandson of Queen Elizabeth II, married Catherine Middleton in Westminster Abbey Cathedral in London.  It was a spectacular wedding, with all the pomp and circumstance of his father’s famous wedding to Lady Di over thirty years ago.  The wedding was attended by 1,900 invited guests, including royalty, political leaders from around the world, celebrities, personal friends and family members.  While several hundred thousand people lined the streets of London in celebration, and in Hyde Park and Trafalgar Square to watch the proceedings on big screens, an estimated 2 billion worldwide watched via satellite and television coverage. [1]

Since the official engagement was announced in November 2010, following their vacation together in Kenya the month before, [2] many in the project management community recognized the forthcoming royal wedding as a project of tremendous personal, royal and national significance.  In the months leading up to the wedding, as various aspects of the occasion emerged and as anticipation and excitement grew, it became clear that this was a large and complicated project, one that required much planning and control.  And according to Royal staff and those who have been previously involved in royal events, who were interviewed by various media, nothing was to be left to chance.

And the wedding was picture perfect!  It was spectacular!  It was a great success!

Wedding planning has become a well-established business in many countries.  But do wedding planners use modern project management techniques and principles?  Since weddings tend to be such large and important events in most lives, I thought it might be interesting to address these questions in an editorial.  That was especially true after watching the royal wedding with my wife and discussing our own wedding eleven years ago (and our wedding anniversary next week.).  In addition, my daughter Camille may be getting married soon, so I thought I should study up!

The Royal Wedding – Some PM Considerations

First, I want to commend the British Royal Family for such a successful project.  While I am sure most of the arrangements for the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton will remain secret, there was clearly some effective project management employed.


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Editor’s note: In lieu of the Prince Harry’s upcoming wedding in the UK, we thought it might be interesting for some readers to see this article about Prince William’s wedding in 2011 which was published in the PM World Today eJournal. Project management issues once again apply to this new royal wedding (project).

How to cite this article:
Pells, D. (2011), The Royal Wedding – What a Project, PM World Today, May 2011. https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/pmwj70-May2018-Pells-Royal-Wedding-Editorial-May2011-Second-Edition.pdf

About the Author

David L. Pells

Managing Editor, PMWJ
Managing Director, PMWL



David L. Pells
is Managing Editor of the PM World Journal (www.pmworldjournal.net) and Managing Director of the PM World Library (www.pmworldlibrary.net). David is an internationally recognized leader in the field of professional project management with more than 35 years of experience on a variety of programs and projects, including engineering, construction, energy, defense, transit, technology and nuclear security, and project sizes ranging from thousands to billions of dollars. He occasionally acts as project management advisor for U.S. national laboratories and international programs, and currently serves as an independent advisor for a major U.S. national nuclear security program.

David Pells has been an active professional leader in the United States since the 1980s, serving on the board of directors of the Project Management Institute (PMI®) twice.  He was founder and chair of the Global Project Management Forum (1995-2000), an annual meeting of leaders of PM associations from around the world. David was awarded PMI’s Person of the Year award in 1998 and Fellow Award, PMI’s highest honor, in 1999. He is also an Honorary Fellow of the Association for Project Management (APM) in the UK; Project Management Associates (PMA – India); and Russian Project Management Association.  Since 2010 he is an honorary member of the Project Management Association of Nepal.

Former managing editor of PM World Today, he is the creator, editor and publisher of the PM World Journal (since 2012).  David has a BA in Business Administration from the University of Washington and an MBA from Idaho State University in the USA.  He has published widely and spoken at conferences and events worldwide.  David lives near Dallas, Texas and can be contacted at [email protected].

To see other works by David Pells, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/david-l-pells/