Don’t hate us for bringing up the holidays in September but in our continual effort to be one step ahead, we had no choice. #sorrynotsorry
Wedding planning through the holidays has its own set of challenges. Between navigating vacation schedules, working with limited hours, and balancing family time with work, it can be easy to feel more like Scrooge than Santa. And since the season of pumpkin spice lattes and fir scented candles is just around the corner, we wanted to take some time to chat about ways to successfully work with clients and couples through the holiday season.
Planning When People Go On Vacation
Just like over the summer months, coordinating calendars becomes more of a challenge. Whether you are trying to schedule a mock up or just sync up with someone for a quick meeting, sometimes it feels like every email is replied to with an “out of office.” So, what’s the best way to handle it when your couples and vendors (or even you) want to get out of town? By over communicating.
In addition to communicating when you will and will not be available through the holiday season, proactively reach out to your couples (and the vendors you are working with on those wedding and events) to find out when they might be hitting the road. Then, once you know of any major vacation overlaps, you can make adjustments to your planning timeline to accommodate it all.
Pro-tip: Once you have a good idea about when people will be on vacation, hop into your Checklists and set assignments and reminders to make sure people get reminders about upcoming deliverables so there are no surprises!
Balancing Family Time With Work
Family time is a big part of the culture here at APHQ and we think it would be a bummer to have to choose between family and work through the holidays. And, though we know that life is a continual balancing act, we think it is important to be present with your own family through the holidays.
Our advice then? To be very intentional with your time and hold your boundaries when work might be calling on a day you set aside for a family dinner. You can make this “easier” by deciding (in advance) when you will and won’t be working and updating the “office hours” in your email signature or sending out an email to all of your clients and vendor partners letting them know that you won’t be working on Friday in the month of December (you do have a lot of fun parties to attend!).
Pro-tip: Ask your vendor friends if they are doing the same so that you can respect their updated schedules and plan ahead!
When it comes to your clients though, this is really something you should have communicated from the start. You know, when you told them all about your boundaries in general? Send them a nice note to remind them that their event is very important to you and other vendors and that in case of a real emergency you will still be available. But, don’t be afraid to lean on those boundaries and not respond to that phone call during Thanksgiving dinner.
It seems like year after year, we manage to unplug a bit for the holidays only to have January give us a good slap back to reality. So, heed our warning and take some time to at least look at your January calendar.
“I’m big into annual planning and taking the time to look at your business as a whole (but in a relaxing environment) where you can see your goals and where you want to go with your business. If you wait until January, it becomes too stressful to work on your business since you jump right back into working in your business.”
Take at least some time during the holidays to dream about your business and what you want to accomplish next year. That way, you can hit the ground running in January and start checking goals off your list.
Don’t Forget To Say Thank You
Lastly, we think you should say thank you all year round but the holidays always seem to be a great time to do it! Send vendors hand written notes via snail mail and maybe a little something extra to vendors who might be putting in extra effort to make that NYE wedding happen.
Thinking of gifting to your clients? Read our tips about what to consider!
Have experience with planning weddings during the holidays? We’d love to hear your tips in the comments below!