Planning a wedding is fun, but it can also feel a lot more like a second job than an exercise in love and creativity. And when you’ve got another full-time job on your schedule (we see you, working women), finding time to get those wedding tasks done can be a challenge. We asked our experts to share a few tips that will help you balance everything you’ve got going on, from the boardroom to your ballroom (and everything in between).
This one may be a no-brainer, but organization is key when you’re planning a wedding with limited available time. Trade binders for online planners; you’ll have access to whatever wedding tasks you’re working on while you’re on the go. Google Drive is a great option because you can use your computer, as well as apps on your phone, and can seamlessly loop in your partner and your vendors to keep everyone updated in real time. Don't be afraid to utilize tags and folders in your email in order to keep everything in one place. Remember to use your personal email rather than your work email when going back and forth with vendors.
Add It to Your Schedule
Know you need to finish the seating chart by the end of the week? Just like those phone calls and meetings you’re taking at work, add wedding tasks to your calendar too. That way, you’ll know you’ve set aside the necessary time, and your phone’s handy reminder function won’t let you forget it. Add in phone numbers, notes, and any relevant info into the event.
Got a big project coming up at work? Your wedding is important, but your career takes priority. Now’s the time to turn to your partner, mom, or maid of honor to step in and help out. Pass on projects you know they’ll be great at—and take a five-minute break to review their work when you have a bit of down time at the office. Things like Google Hangouts and other email-based messenger systems can help you and your other office-bound bridesmaids communicate seamlessly without moving between Chrome tabs.
Turn to the Pros
Successfully planning a wedding is all about having a great team by your side. Invest in a wedding planner or month-of coordinator who can help you manage contracts, make sure you’ve checked tasks off your list, and take the reins when you’ve got other things on your plate. And while DIY projects sound great, if you don’t have the hours to commit to creating wedding items by hand, find space in your budget to hire a professional to do it for you—or eliminate it entirely. Your guests won’t miss hand-stamped bags of lavender to toss during the recessional—and remember, better to just scrap something altogether than give it a half-assed effort. So you're not crafty or you’d rather be crushing it at work than hand-lettering—who cares?!
When you’re hiring vendors, let them know about your availability and see if they can be flexible. Find a team that’s willing to take phone calls at 8 p.m. instead of 2 p.m. or can meet on the weekends (when they’re not working a wedding) instead of midweek. Be clear before you sign a contract so no one is surprised when they find out that regular business hours just won’t work for you. Let them know if you can take lunch or breakfast meetings, but make sure they know that you can’t spend two hours during those "working" meetings going over the minutia of paper stock for invites. Clear-cut topics only, thank you!
Make a plan that works for your schedule and stick to it. Give all relevant parties ample notice that you won't be on hand to make "life-or-death" (hmm...) wedding decisions while you're at work and go be the boss you were meant to be!