Peak wedding season has never been easy for wedding planners. An endless list of clients meets harsh deadlines and hot weather—it’s a tough time for everyone involved. It can also be an incredibly exciting time and defining for your wedding planner career. But how do you avoid wedding burnout? When everything gets to be too much and you can’t be motivated to keep up, what do you do?
There’s no one size fits all approach, but understanding how to make it through the busy season is incredibly important. Not only for your business, but for your mental health.
If you’re wondering how to make it through the busiest time of the year for wedding coordinators, we have a few suggestions and things to keep an eye out for.
Wedding Burnout Symptoms
The best way to avoid feeling burnt out and overwhelmed by wedding planning is to understand the symptoms of being just that. While you may only feel one or two of these things, know that experiencing any of these symptoms severely enough can point to burnout.
Here are some common burnout symptoms.
- Stress – This may feel like a no brainer, but being a wedding planner is a stressful job! However, prime wedding season stress is something else entirely. If you feel yourself having a short temper, feeling restless and overwhelmed, take a break.
- Anxiety – While everyone experiences anxiety differently, there are a few commonalities. The feeling of panic, of being incredibly unsure, and that everything you are doing is wrong are but a few of the signs. Managing anxiety is a difficult process, but the earlier you can catch yourself, the less likely you’ll be to suffer an anxiety or panic attack.
- Fatigue – Beyond the long hours and stress, being tired is a major symptom of burnout. You’ll feel it in your bones, your head will be fuzzy, and no matter how much sleep you get, you’ll still feel tired.
- Insomnia – On the opposite end of the spectrum, you may have trouble sleeping at all. If you find yourself unable to turn your brain off at night and lie awake thinking about everything you need to do, chances are it’s insomnia.
- Hangry or Loss of Appetite – Food powers our bodies, but during peak wedding season you may forget to eat. You may get “hangry” because you haven’t eaten. You may also just not have an appetite because of stress.
- Disorganization – Most wedding planners are exceptionally organized. When all of that starts falling apart and you are struggling, just know that you may have too much on your plate to keep straight in the first place.
One thing to note is that we aren’t medical professionals. So, if you feel you are in need of medical help, be it physical or mental, make sure to touch base with your doctor. Make note of your symptoms and how you are feeling.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
The trick is, in the end, to work smarter, not harder. Sometimes this means off-loading part of your work to an assistant, intern, or co-worker. Understanding that you can’t do everything by yourself all the time will save you a lot of guilt and grief.
Hiring an assistant may be just what you need. The amazing thing about living in the time we do is that a great assistant doesn’t have to be physically next to you. Virtual assistants are a very viable and often cost effective way to get some extra help.
A virtual assistant is someone who will be available via the internet to do whatever it is you need, provided it can be done in a virtual way. They won’t be able to color catalogue your floral samples in the office. They can, however, keep track of all the invoices and client paperwork, help with calls and scheduling, as well as be your receptionist if needed.
Physical assistants may cost you more, but having someone by your side, literally, may be what you need. They will be able to go to venues to check things out, to help around the office, and so many other things. Besides, it will be easier to vet and interview them, to really get a sense of who they are. Virtual only communication may be trickier.
Letting people do work for you is wonderful, but that requires paying them (yes, even interns!). There are a host of apps that can help you and your overwhelmed bride from losing your collective cool.
RSVPify will help with tracking RSVPs, making planning the reception all the more manageable, as will Allseated, which helps you design the reception space and seating chart. Utilize the tools available to you; they are there to make your life easier.
One of the best things you can do for yourself to avoid wedding burnout is to plan ahead. Whether it’s creating an emergency kit to deal with any and every problem imaginable or just making sure you’ve printed out your checklist, do yourself as many favors as possible.
Speaking of checklists, make sure yours is well organized and covers all of your bases. The more work you do setting yourself up for success in the down season, the more you will thrive when it gets busy.
Having safety measures in place is what they are there for. Do the work ahead of time to make sure you have the net to catch you when you fall, because then you can get back up again. Plan out your calendar in a smart fashion and don’t overbook yourself.
Be Kind to Yourself
From budget-breaking grooms to overwhelmed brides, it’s easy to let the emotional toll of everything affect you. While it is always imperative to understand the emotions your clients will be going through during the wedding planning process, don’t forget to pay attention to your own feelings.
It’s important to understand when you’ve taken on too much. Get real with yourself and admit when things are just too stressful. Find healthy ways of rewarding yourself each day. This can be everything from enjoying a favorite slice of cake to hiring an assistant or delegating a task to someone else.
Know your limits and stick to your boundaries. You’ll be happier for it and will make it through the season a lot easier than most. There will be days when you feel like you could take on the world and win, and there will be days where you feel you’ve failed. Failure is okay. It’s normal. Besides, you can fix things.
Stay Motivated Through Self-Care
Self-care isn’t just face masks and bath nights. It’s holding yourself accountable for your actions, including evaluating yourself when you go too far. It’s being proud of yourself for the weddings you’ve planned and will plan in the future.
And sure, a few face masks in the bath never hurt anyone. A great way to stay motivated through wedding burnout is to enjoy your work. If you’re excited about your weddings, it will really help.
That said, don’t push yourself to the brink. Because then you’ll just be digging yourself into a hole. Instead, take breaks, decompress after each day, or tend to yourself first thing instead of checking emails in bed.
We know you do that.