An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth…and Wedding Planning

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth


Like millions of people around the world I was glued to Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield’s social media updates from his mission on the International Space Station last year. Col. Hadfield single-handedly injected fresh global interest in a space programme that too many of us, sadly, had long since taken for granted.

As a self-described Hadfield groupie you can imagine my delight when I received his best seller “An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth” for Christmas. In this book – part autobiography; part inspirational manifesto – he shares lessons learned from his career as an astronaut and their application to real life. Reading this book has reminded me that inspiration can come from so many sources, if we keep our eyes open. Who would think that one could pick up wedding planning tips from an astronaut? Well I did. Here are a few:

Sweat the Small Stuff:

Picking out pretty colours, flowers, and all those sweet DIY details are a ton of fun, but for planners and coordinators a huge part of what we do – perhaps the most important part – is think through all of the “what ifs” that could ruin a wedding day. It’s that focus on the tiny details and determining the Plan Bs that help us avoid wedding day disasters.

How Can I Help us Get to Where we Need to Go:

Every planner is part of the team. I am not the boss. I am not the one telling every other vendor how to do their job. Egos (mine included) should be checked at the door. My role is to work collaboratively with ALL of the vendors so that we can, as a team, give you the best wedding day possible.

Too Much Preparation is Just About Right:

I’ve been in the events field for about 10 years. I am a certified wedding coordinator. I have a lot of experience in various aspects of the industry: catering, florals, planning, communication. But do I know everything? No I don’t. And I never will. What I do, however, is continue to learn. I attend seminars, conferences, and workshops. I meet with colleagues and learn from their experiences. I may never use all that I learn, but it’s best to be prepared, just in case.

Chris Hadfield arguably accomplished what no astronaut had done since Neil Armstrong walked on the moon in 1969:  he made the entire world excited about space travel again, and he did so by reaching out with intelligence, humanity and humour. An excellent lesson for all of us.


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