You have worked up to this moment. Wanting your summer order book to be bursting at the seams. But you are here, after all the effort you have put in and it’s hard. It’s tougher than you imagined it to be. You are working all the hours under the sun and more. You feel guilty for not being as “slick” with your brides as you would like to be. You feel guilty for not being with your family and friends. You feel guilty for not doing the washing, have a spotless house and for using dry shampoo for the fourth day in a row. You feel guilty for eating a snickers and a packet of crisps for lunch which you don’t manage to eat at lunchtime but at 4pm. You are in peak wedding season!
I don’t really have any magic solution for you with this other than to say…
…you are not alone in this
…it is totally worth it
…you are doing a fantastic job, even if you don’t have a boss telling you that (you gotta have a word with her!)
…your brides LOVE what you do and you are probably unnecessarily worrying over things
…it will get easier when you are out of this season of business
…recognise what you are doing and reward yourself!
You see, you will have peaks and troughs in your business. You will be busier some weeks/months than others, so you have to accept that that is a fact because of the industry you work in. For some wedding professionals, this is less of an issue but if you are an on the day supplier then you will have busy and quiet times and you need to accept and flex to that. These are your business seasons (read more about what I mean by that here).
I just wanted you to know that you ARE doing a great job and don’t let the guilt get you down. Focus on what you are doing, knowing it is what you love and see the shiny side to those late nights. Who needs sleep anyway!
I have a part two to this which will come next week to help you, but for now, know you are doing great.
If these kind words are leaving you feeling “Yes, Emma, that is all lovely but let’s get real…what can I do from a practical perspective?” then I have 4 things that may help. I know that you will feel like punching me in the face when you read these because they are super obvious and super annoying, BUT they work!
5 Practical Things you can do
1. Manage expectations (and remove the guilt) by putting an out of office on your emails to say something along the lines of
“Thank you for your email blah blah blah. I am in peak wedding season here at [xx] HQ and my heart and soul is going into every bride and groom order that is in my order book for the next few weeks. I love what I do and am currently stuck elbow deep in [something relevant for your business i.e cake mix/stationery pretties/sashes and bows…] which means there may be a slightly longer response time to your email.
If you are a booked bride know that you are a priority for me at the moment and I will be in touch with you about your order.
If you are enquiring then please bear with me, your email is super important to me and I will get back to you but it will be in a [x] days time. In the meantime, you may want to come and follow me over on [choose your social media platform of choice] to see what I am up to.”
This out of office will not only manage the expectations of your brides it will also help you to feel less stressy about not replying super quickly and it will grow your social media following.
2. Put a pipeline together of all your wedding orders and quotes
Do you have an overview picture of the wedding orders you need to deliver and the enquiries you need to chase? Having a pipeline of all of these will make it clearer for you to see exactly what you have got to work on and when. Having this clarity will help you see where you have gaps, where you are super busy and this will help you plot out your time. To do a pipeline, simply grab a piece of paper and list under each of these headings what you have:
- Orders in progress (Orders you are physically working on right now)
- Proofs Out/With client (Orders where you are waiting for the bride to come back to you)
- Orders coming in the next 3 months (The next batch of orders you have to work on)
- Orders coming down the track (All orders outside of the 3 month window)
- Enquiries out (All enquiries that you have replied to that need chasing)
- Completed orders – follow up (All orders that you need to follow up on with testimonials etc)
3. Choose a set day a week where you do your admin, ordering and generally sorting sh*t out.
If you know that Wednesday – Sunday you are busy sorting weddings for the weekend then chose a Monday or a Tuesday to do your wedmin. This is where you get all the tasks done that you need to do, but instead of trying to fit time in in between making/creating/delivering you are doing it all on one day. You can write all the emails that you need to send that week and save them into your drafts so that on the day you need to send them, you can just go into your drafts and press “send”. This makes you feel less stressed and more in control of your bride relationships. It is better for you to email them with an update than for your brides to email you.
4. Plan out your week.
I KNOW that this is possibly one of the most annoying things people can say to you when you busy BUT it works! Sitting down at the start or at the end of your week and getting crystal clear on what NEEDS to get done and what you would LIKE to get done means you can be very intentional with your actions. It means you can see how much time you have to work on your business and this will help you get focused If you just sit down to do “some work” one day, you will faff and waste time thinking about what you need to do instead of just doing.
5. Keep a track of where you are with each order.
I am sure you have an order process for each bridal order that you have but make sure it is up to date with tasks, deadlines and actions. Once you have each bridal order set out, you will feel so much more organised and in control of what you need to do. You will feel like a proper business woman rather than a hot mess of a one. Well less of a hot mess anyway. If you don’t have an order process set out – this needs to be something for you to prioritise. It doesn’t need to be fancy or over the top – just a simple “do this do that” workflow of how you manage your orders so you can feel in control.
The last point I want to make in this blog post is about the guilt I know you are feeling when it comes to your personal life. Whatever guilt it may be and whoever you feel you are letting down, just speak with them and let them know that you know it is tough during this peak period but it will get better. Don’t try and people please and burn yourself into the ground doing that, make your loved ones aware of what is going on so they can be forgiving because they will be, I promise. Then, make sure that the time you do spend with your loved ones is well spent. Instead of sitting down in front of the telly, go for a walk and actually talk. Make a mobile dinner and go and sit in the park and get some space and give yourself 100% to that moment and that time. Leave your phone at home. The world will not come crashing down, I promise. If you feel guilty for your partner, dedicate one night a week which is “date night” and do something together that you can both look forward to. These little pockets of time can make you feel so much better so be intentional and the guilt will feel less.
Remember what I said at the start – you re doing an amazing job and it is all worth it.
You got this.