Marry Me Microsoft Interview

Marry Me Microsoft Interview

Marry Me Microsoft Interview

At 6:00 am on Tuesday the 7th of December, 2010, Microsoft kick-started its Marry Me Microsoft social experiment, challenging one couple to plan their entire wedding in one week, from one location.

While his wife-to-be Jenny relaxes on the Gold Coast, Mike is living outside of Sydney's Customs House inside a bachelor bubble, equipped only with Microsoft's tech tools and $25,000 towards planning their wedding and honeymoon.

Jenny and Mike will not be able to contact each other during the five day challenge, but the public can follow his progress on the Facebook fan page, access his SkyDrive to help out and also visit the bubble at Customs House to interact with him in-person.

You can also choose to follow Mike's progress via the #MMMicrosoft hashtag on Twitter.

What is the opportunity?
Microsoft is conducting a social experiment to give away a $25,000 wedding and honeymoon package, but there is one very large catch. The groom will have just five days to organise the entire wedding - think budgets, flowers, venue, the dress, the bucks/hens night - using only an internet-connected PC loaded Windows 7, Office 2010 and Windows Live Essentials, while living in isolation from his fiancé in a 'bachelor bubble' outside of Customs House in Sydney CBD.

The bride is being whisked off to the Gold Coast for a luxury holiday with her mum and is completely cut off from the planning process, leaving it to her future husband to plan the wedding of their dreams. The couple is then expected to marry before 31 December, 2010.

Who is involved?
Mike and Jenny are the lucky couple who have been selected from a host of finalists in the Marry Me Microsoft competition. Mike and Jenny are from Liverpool, Sydney. Mike is a contractor for Optus and Jenny has just completed a law degree. They were together for seven years before Mike proposed.

When is it happening?
From Monday 6 December to Friday 10 December at Customs House. On Friday evening Mike will emerge from the bachelor bubble, having planned his entire wedding in just five days!

Interview with Mike (Michael Najm)

Question: How is Jenny going, relaxing on the Gold Coast sounds like a dream; is she okay that she can't have any input in the wedding?

Michael Najm: Okay - I think - and hope!! We haven't had any contact since Sunday.

Question: How far into planning are you?

Michael Najm: Day four - so only one more to go after today! Today is D-day (Dress Day) so trying to find something that will be perfect for Jenny! I know what the men are wearing - that was the easy part.

Question: What ideas do you have for the wedding?

Michael Najm: Well it all seemed to happen so fast with entering and winning the competition so we didn't get a chance to talk about anything before hand - but I think I am on a roll now. Day one was really daunting with arranging the planning and budget. Day two was even bigger with choosing a venue, flowers and cake. Day three was entertainment - and I was lucky enough to have Matt McHuge, lead singer from The Beautiful Girls stop by to play me a track of their latest album Spooks. That was pretty awesome! So all that is left really is all of the outfits, bucks, hens and honeymoon. Not much really...(not!)

Question: Have you had much help from the public?

Michael Najm: I have been inundated with help from all directions - suppliers of everything have been jumping on my SkyDrive, uploading proposals, which I've been downloading to OneNote which is acting like my digital bridal notebook. My family, friends, and passers-by have been fantastic. It has been such a brilliant experience, everyone is very generous - I love getting serenaded in the afternoon by the street crowd and the bridal shows from Henry Roth and Nicky Velani were amazing.

Question: What frustrations have you had, so far?

Michael Najm: Missing Jenny is my main frustration - but that is only because we have practically been inseparable for seven years. I thought planning a wedding in five days would be stressful and frustrating but it is actually far less stressful. If you think about it - I have been lucky to sit here and plan the whole thing in five days using Microsoft technologies

Question: What tips do you have for other couples, planning their wedding?

Michael Najm: Jen and I have so many have so many friends that we have seen go through the stressful process of planning their weddings. Sacrificing their weekends and nights for months up to years on end trying to make it all perfect - it's so hard because you want it to be just right but at the same time you need to enjoy it - and enjoy being engaged! My advice - plan and prepare. Why go out to 20 venues, 30 dress shops, 15 florists if you don't have to? I have literally done it (well nearly!) from my deckchair. Office 20120 has so many templates to help you and any suppliers to get the info that you need. And by saving it all up in this thing called your SkyDrive (which is like your online filing cabinet - which anyone has already if you have a Hotmail or Live email address) anyone you need can access it and add content and suggestions daily. The technology lets people and suppliers bring the information to you so you can collaborate and share without driving around the country! Much better!

Question: What made you want to be apart of Marry Me Microsoft?

Michael Najm: Well really Jen and I just want to get married - so when we saw the opportunity to take all of the stress out of the planning by me arranging everything in five days using a Windows7 PC loaded with Office 2010 and Windows Live with the end result of getting married in only a couple of weeks - we totally jumped at it! Oh yeah, and the fact that Microsoft are giving us $25 K towards the wedding ($20k for the wedding $5k towards the honeymoon) is the icing on the wedding cake!

Question: How are you going organising Jenny's wedding dress?

Michael Najm: Oh boy - this is today's challenge and also the most important one to get right. I had a few early templates uploaded last night into my SkyDrive - which is like my online filing cabinet where people and suppliers can- and the stuff was really impressive. So much so that after a late night video chat with designers Henry Roth, Nicky Velani and Peppers Suits the guys ended up all coming down this morning and putting on a full fashion parade. It was crazy but so much fun to watch. Mum and dad also came down so it was great to see mum's reaction - the dress choosing really needs a women's touch - or at least opinion. I will have to arrange a few Windows Live HD Video Chats today with Jenny's friends to see if they have any advice for me.

Question: What have you planned for your hens/bucks night?

Michael Najm: We'll that's for tomorrow challenge where I have to arrange the hens, bucks and the honeymoon! There has been so much going on this week that I haven't even had a chance to think about what we should do yet. Once I have the dresses and suits sorted today then I can start to explore some options.

Question: What date and where do you hope to get married?

Michael Najm: 26th December in Sydney - I am just so excited. That's been the best thing about this whole process - it means we get married quicker and without a year's worth of planning and stress!

Interview by Brooke Hunter