The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year for many. It’s hard not to love all the pretty decorations and lights. Many of us have parties and events to go to as well as extra time spent with family and friends. I also have to admit to being a bit of a Hallmark Christmas movie junkie. It’s always been one of my favorite times of the year.
This time of year can also be stressful. Holiday stress can weigh on us all from finding the perfect gift for our loved one, keeping up with all the invitations to work events, parties, and family gatherings, sending out those cards and the ten million other things that need to be done. When you are also trying to plan a wedding during this time, emotions can be heightened and nerves thin.
With Thanksgiving next week, I thought now would be a good time to offer some tips on m writing this from my heart to to remind you of a few things so that you can enjoy the holidays and not get to a point where you hate planning your wedding. Life doesn’t pause while you plan for your wedding and your wedding shouldn’t take priority over the holidays!
Organize and Plan Ahead
The Holiday season isn’t here just yet so if you know you have a lot of non-wedding things going on between Thanksgiving and the New Year, work a little harder now to get things done so you aren’t overwhelmed later. Figure out what your priorities are and don’t worry about things that don’t have to be done just yet. Having a clear picture of what needs to be done can help you get a handle on how to prioritize. Phone apps and/or sites like theknot.com and weddingwire.com offer great wedding planning resources to help you get and stay organized.
Take time off
Taking a little break from planning your wedding so that you can enjoy the holidays is perfectly ok and may just be what you and your fiance need. Whether your wedding is 5 months or 5 days into the new year, chances are you could both use a break from everything wedding and what better time of the year to take a little break? Taking some time off may actually help you clear your head and recharge or give you fresh ideas to make your wedding day truly one of a kind!
On the flip side, many wedding vendors take time off over the holidays. This time of year is typically the “off” season for wedding vendors and many, myself included, take some time off over the holidays to take advantage of the down time.
Use the time to your Advantage
If taking some time off isn’t an option (I know it’s hard) then make those family gatherings work to your advantage and make things a little easier. Chances are this extra time with family will allow you to get all the important people in the same room to make decisions. Save a few bridesmaids dresses to your phone and show your sister, best friend, sister-in-law, etc. the options and get an idea of what they think. These in-person conversations will not only save you a ton of time but will also allow you to see true emotion that you otherwise wouldn’t get through email or a phone call.
Still working on the guest list? This is the perfect time to get with your mom and future mother-in-law and collect all those addresses and figure out names of spouses you don’t know. The more you can do at once, the better off you’ll be when it really matters.
Black Friday, Small Business Saturday & Cyber Monday
If wedding planning over the holidays is a must then you have full permission to get a little selfish on these great shopping days. Take a time out from gift shopping and check out the stores and websites selling wedding items you may need. Chances are you’ll find some great deals for your wedding that will save a ton of money.
Black Friday specials on decorations, jewelry and stationery are a few biggies. The key is to plan ahead, know what you need and then pounce on Black Friday! (PSST: Raspberry Creative will be running a huge sale November 22nd through December 1st! Email Subscribers get free shipping too!) In addition to sales and specials, many companies will be offering free shipping on large quantities so don’t be afraid to think about items like candles or ribbon. Oh and what better time of year to stock up on string lights!
Don’t Forget the Registry
Even if you have already set up your wedding registry, it’s not a one and done thing. Regardless of the time of year, you need to keep an eye on it and update it accordingly. As items on your list are purchased, you will need to make sure you have enough gifts in certain price points. You also need to know if certain items are sold out or discontinued and no longer available. It stinks but it does happen.
I suggest keeping your registry in the back of your mind. While some family members may be looking for Christmas ideas for you, you may also notice something while out gift shopping that you fall in love with and want to add to your registry. Your registry may be ever changing and that’s ok!
Watch your Spending
Wedding budgets are the thing people hate talking about. Weddings are expensive and when you also have to pile on expenses for the holidays, you may be left feeling depleted which can lead to a lot of added stress. One way to save is to get creative with your gift giving.
Use those amazing engagement photos as gifts for close family. I promise they will love receiving a framed photo of you both and take advantage of those Black Friday Specials for getting the prints made and frames purchased!
Enjoy this Time
Above all, enjoy the season because it truly is a very special time for both you and your families. Not only will that new bling on your finger sparkle under all the Christmas lights, you’ll also be spending extra snuggle time with your fiance. You will be creating new traditions and making memories that your new little family will share for many years to come. It’s ok if you put the wedding planning on the back burner for a while but even if you don’t, remember to enjoy an extra cup of hot chocolate or egg nog, relax and enjoy this truly wonderful time of year!