The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, but with holiday parties and family gatherings filling up your calendar, they’re also crazy busy. If you’re planning a wedding as the season approaches, you might have a hard time fitting in those meetings with the florist between shopping for gifts and airport pick-up duty. If you’re not going to put planning on hold for a few weeks, we’ve got six tips that will help you fit wedding planning easily into your holiday schedule.
1. Get appointments on the books before the holidays hit.
Just like you, your wedding vendors will have holiday plans—meaning their schedules will be as tight as yours. They might be working on winter weddings or holiday parties, or may be taking advantage of the slow season to go on vacation with their families. Says Viva Max Kaley, owner of New York-based Viva Max Weddings, “[I]f you want to set up calls or meetings during the month of December, it's best to lock in a time [beforehand]. Don’t assume people are going to be working standard hours once the holidays arrive!" Plus, she says, by putting your calls and appointments on the books, you'll hold yourself accountable for getting things done even during the holiday season.
2. Double up on shopping duty.
The holidays just might be synonymous with sales, so while you’re hunting down Black Friday deals and loading up on stocking stuffers, why not check wedding items off your list, too? "From 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. Browse jewelry sales in search of the perfect wedding day accessories or bridesmaids’ gifts, check out the home section in search of frames to gift your in-laws, and don’t forget to take a peek at swimwear for your honeymoon! You might even be able to score a deal on flights or hotel rooms during a travel site's sale.
3. Take advantage of holiday get-togethers.
From your grandparents to that distant cousin you only see once a year, everyone is back together during the holidays. So why not use this captive audience to your advantage and ask for wedding input and advice? "If you're recently engaged, the conversations will be about the big picture items — think: budgets, venues, and guest lists," Fisher 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." Make a list of things you want to run by your loved ones to ensure you don’t miss any key details, as well as to set some boundaries. Once everything is checked off, you can change the subject and steer the conversation away from the specifics you’d rather handle yourself.
4. Have a list and check it twice.
No, we're not talking about a naughty and nice list — we're talking about your wedding to-do list. As you go into this crazy time of year, it will be hugely beneficial to make sure you’re on top of everything that needs to be done! Keeping good records now means you won’t have any surprises once things get back to normal after New Year’s. “Keep that list of tasks on-hand and delegate if you need to,” suggests Kaley. “You could ask someone to help you finalize the hotel room block, or ask for assistance researching local transportation options.”
5. Wrap up wrapping early.
If you can get your shopping and wrapping done early, you’ll have more time to get those wedding tasks taken care of. Not only is holiday shopping crazy, the crowds and long lines make it take way longer than it would other times of year, eating into any free time you might have. So if you can get those presents tucked into your closet by Thanksgiving, you’ll have plenty of time left for your wedding. "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 pictures of 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. “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." So get things done ahead of time, then put on your Out of Office reply and focus on your partner, your families, and enjoying the season. Love is why you’re getting married, after all!