The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, but that doesn't mean they aren't crazy-busy — and if you're wedding planning to boot, you may find it tough to fit in floral-arrangement talk in between wrapping presents and attending holiday parties. But with these six tips, we promise you can.
1. Get things on the books before the holidays hit.
Like you, your wedding vendors have holiday plans. "Often they are super busy or on vacation," says Viva Max Kaley, owner of New York-based Viva Max Weddings. "So if you want to set up calls or meetings the month of December, it's best to lock in a time [beforehand] and not assume people are working standard hours." Plus, by putting your calls and appointments on the books, you'll hold yourself accountable for getting things done even during the holiday season, she says.
2. Double up on shopping duty.
The holidays offer up some of the best sales of the year. So while you're out shopping for stocking stuffers, why not load up on what you need for your wedding, too? "From your DIY supplies to bridesmaids' dresses, the holidays are a perfect time to shop and save money," says Jaclyn Fisher, owner of Two Little Birds Planning in Philadelphia. You might even be able to score a honeymoon deal during a travel site's sale.
3. Take advantage of holiday get-togethers.
Everyone from your grandparents to your distant cousin comes together for the holidays. So take advantage of your time together, and ask everyone for wedding input, Fisher suggests. "If you're recently engaged, the conversations will be about the big picture items — think: budgets, venues, and guest lists," she says. "And if your wedding is a few months away, you'll be talking about the details like family photos and songs they'd like added to the must-play list."
4. Have a list and check it twice.
No, we're not talking about a naughty and nice list — we're talking about a wedding to-do list. "Because family will be asking you questions about what you have done and what needs to happen, have your list written out in detail as to what tasks have been completed and what things are still in the works and how much each thing should cost," suggests Kaley. Then, use this time to delegate. "Maybe you can assign someone to help finalize hotel room blocks, or give someone the chore of buying wedding favors or doing some shuttle bus or local florist research," she says.
5. Wrap up wrapping early.
If you can get your shopping and wrapped done early, you'll be ahead of more than the holiday game — you'll free yourself up for wedding planning time, too. "With these things off of your mind, you'll feel much less stressed and have some free time for wedding planning during the holidays," says Fisher. "Sipping hot chocolate while pinning bouquets beats fighting mall traffic looking for a parking spot."
6. Plan for R&R.
"With the seasonal stress and your busy schedule, it's easy to get run down and sick during the holidays," warns Fisher. So, "it's important to set aside time in your schedule for wedding planning, as well as rest and relaxation." The holidays are a time to be busy, sure — but they're also a time to slow down and spend time with loved ones, Kaley reminds us. "If you can afford to be more mellow about wedding planning this time of year, try and take advantage of the naturally slower pace of December rather than turning the holidays into a wedding mess," she says. "Balance is key."