Recently one of our wedding planner members Sara Jane managed 6 weddings over a 2 week period from Scotland to London. We thought you might be interested in the life of a wedding planner in the height of wedding season. So enjoy part 1 of this 2 part insight. Thank you Sara Jane for putting your thoughts down after such a busy 2 weeks, and to think her season hasn’t finished.
My family knows that in peak season, I don’t see them much. My friends know that in peak season, I don’t reply to text messages. My son knows that in peak season, he eats a lot of frozen food unless Granny shows up like meals-on-wheels to save the day. All that said, I don’t think even the people closest to me have a clue what it’s like to be a wedding planner in peak season.
There’s no way around it, peak season is really, really hard work. Wedding planners and suppliers have a massive proportion of their workload concentrated over a short period of time and there’s very little we can do about that. Of course, we get very good at doing things as far in advance as possible, at being uber organised and at spinning several plates in the air without getting flustered; but it’s always a hectic period for every planner.
During busy periods like this, what makes it even more challenging is that you also have to keep on top of everything else simultaneously. No matter how busy things are with current weddings, you still have to keep on answering emails and new enquiries, you still have to stay up to date on future weddings so client don’t feel neglected, you still have to keep on top of marketing, accounts, social media and office admin. And, somewhere in that mix, you’re probably also having to ensure that you’ve eaten that day and the laundry gets done.
I freely admit that after nearly 23 years of planning events, there’s a period of about six weeks every summer when my head is so overloaded with weddings that I can’t remember my own pin number and I frequently walk into rooms and immediately forget what I went in for. It’s an all-consuming job for that period of time, and I think to be successful at it, you have to be able to temporarily file away absolutely anything not relevant and focus only on exactly what you need to do at any given moment. It’s a skill you get good at over time.
I read somewhere that taxi driver’s brains grow proportionally larger in the area that deals with geography and spatial awareness. I’m sure if someone ever scanned a wedding planner’s brain, they’d find certain parts of it overgrown too. I have a terrible memory outside of my work (always forgetting sports day or important birthdays), but when it comes to my weddings, I remember the name of everyone’s mum, the style of every dress, the details of every place setting, and I can recall all of that information on tap. It’s permanently in the quick-access portion of my brain, which is where it needs to be.
This season, at my busiest, I had six weddings in just over two weeks at venues spanning the full length of the country; with collectively more than seventy suppliers, seven different venues and more than 600 guests. The schedule looked like this:
12th July – Grand Estate Wedding – Inverness
14th July – Sperry Tent Wedding on Family Estate – Stratford-Upon-Avon
21st July – Barn Wedding – Aberdeen
24th July – Castle Wedding – Edinburgh
26th July – Castle Wedding – Musselburgh
28th July – Art Gallery Wedding with a Funfair – London
Come back next Wednesday for a summary of what those 2 weeks looked like and how I handled some of the challenges. Sara Jane
Wedding Planner: Weddings by Sara Jane
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