Mummy and Wedding Planner – Can You Do Both?

When colleagues or students meet me they seem flabbergasted that I have not one but 2 young boys. But how do you manage it they ask, realising I also run my own wedding consultancy company and a small hire business. I’m always a little embarrassed by their shock because to me its just my life, juggling the 2 is all I have known. I started my planning business when my oldest was 6 months and when in labour with my youngest I went via the post office on the way to hospital so I could post a proposal!

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not superwoman, I’m a Mum AND a businesswoman. To me the UKAWP and Dream Occasions are not hobbies, they are my career. I know so many fantastic wedding planners out there who manage to combine motherhood with wedding planning but I also know many who fail to compartmentalise the two. So how can you make it work? I’ve tried to think of my top tips on succeeding on combining the two.

  1. Forget about being eco mum or super mum, be yourself. Be the best you can be.
  2. Have a business plan, this helps you focus on how you want your business to look in 1 & 5 years time. Be realistic when setting your targets.
  3. Create a default diary (more to come in later posts) this means work out your week and split into family time & business time and try to stick to it.
  4. Think about sending your child to nursery at least once a week or asking a childminder/family to look after them for a day. This allows you to focus on the work in hand without being distracted by crying, tantrums and feeding time!
  5. Have a separate phone number for business calls, this ensures you never answer a potential client call with a screaming child in the background. Trust me they sense when you want them to be quiet and as such do the opposite!
  6. Plan meetings in advance and ensure you know key dates in the nursery/school diary. The reason for being self employed is that you can take time off to watch that school play or sports day.
  7. Explain to your children from a young age what you do and that mummy helps people with their weddings. As they get older you can go into further detail.
  8. Involve your children, mine help clear up after a wedding and each has their own duties. I then give them a little pocket money as payment.
  9. If you arrange meetings at a weekend make sure one of the days are free for family time, harder to do when you have weddings that weekend as it involves working both days normally.

Bernadette Chapman is the UKAWP’s training director and also owns Dream Occasions, operating throughout South East England.

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