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The MBA Bride | November 20, 2017

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Interview with a Business-Savvy Bride: How Alison Gray Used Business Skills in Wedding Planning

And now, for a change. Instead of examining theories of great bridal planning, let’s take a look at a Mrs. who put these ideas to work…Alison Werner Gray.

Alison is living proof of the successful business-savvy bride. Mrs. Gray blended real-world experience in Human Resources and school expertise from Boston University’s MBA program with bridal planning. Alison married Gavin Gray on 10-10-10 in Boston, MA. A little over one year into happily ever after, Alison looks back on how business-school learnings played a role in bridal planning by answering the questions below.

1. Tell us a little about your wedding.
As two transplants to Boston, we wanted a real Boston-themed wedding. This is a city we’ve both come to absolutely love and couldn’t imagine a better background for our special day.  Our wedding was held at the Omni Parker House, right downtown. We wanted classic, elegant and accessible (for our guests). The Boston theme was seen in our skyline invites, the CITGO sign (Boston landmark) cake topper, and the Boston cream pies we served. We wanted special touches that made our day not cookie-cutter, so we surprised our guests with a choreographed dance to Thriller by Michael Jackson and served milkshakes with french fries during a break from dancing. Probably my favorite detail from the wedding was the use of our race numbers from road races we’ve run. Each table had our bib numbers accompanied by an explanation of the race. One of my favorite memories of the wedding was seeing my mom’s face when I told her I ran a half-marathon the morning of the wedding. Gav and I each wore shirts that said “I’m marrying him/her” with an arrow pointing to each other during the race.
2. What was your most distinctive wedding planning memory?

We bought a house and moved into said house the week before the wedding. NOT ADVISED. Our living room looked like an episode of Hoarders and I distinctly remember having a nervous breakdown trying to figure out where my placecards were amongst the chaos. 

3. Tell us about your MBA coursework so far.

It’s been a challenging couple of years, but really interesting. I’m finally done with my core classes, so I can focus on the aspects of business that I enjoy most: human capital management and leadership development.


4. Which business school class was most applicable for wedding planning? Why?

I think Operations actually helped most because I was able to look at what needed to happen for the wedding more systematically


5. What skill learned in business school was most helpful in planning your wedding?

I think the fine art of balance I’ve learned while working full-time, going to school part-time and training for marathons has been the most beneficial. I’m not one to sit still for long, so being in school and balancing all sorts of responsibilities really helped me to juggle all aspects of wedding planning.

6. What would you suggest to other business-savvy brides planning their wedding?

The fabulous principle of K.I.S.S: Keep it simple, stupid. Determine what is most important to you for the day. Once that’s been established, keep the other details simple. It’s so easy to get carried away in the wedding. By getting things too complicated you’ll end up spending way too much time and money on things that don’t really matter.

To learn more about Alison, you can visit her LinkedIn page. Be sure to check out Alison’s Blog Lean Wallet, Lean Body: An Everyday Girl’s Guide to Everyday Fitness and Bargains and follow her on twitter @runlaughpugs.


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