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Wedding planner burnout, or WPBO, is very real. Planning a successful wedding is definitely not an easy task, especially if you are doing it every single weekend of the year.
Many wedding planners, and even brides, easily become overwhelmed when facing this daunting challenge and the path to recovering from it, especially if you didn’t have much help, is not smooth.
We have created this post to help you to avoid (and survive!) wedding planner burnout.
P.S. If you’re a bride who are busy planning your own wedding, you might want to read this post on surviving bridal burnout…
How to survive Wedding Planner Burnout
We are not medical fairies who can point out that you are busy over working yourself, but there are a few obvious symptoms when it comes to burnout…
- Tiredness – fatigue throughout the day, even if you did get your hours sleep in, can be a sign that you need to take it easy.
- Loss of appetite – especially if you’re so busy that you don’t even think about food. Stop! Take a break and get some lunch!
- Insomnia – Even if you feel tired and ready for bed, that little hamster wheel keeps turning as you go over wedding details, supplier appointments and cake tastings. Mmm… Cake…
- Disorganization – if you find yourself in a constant struggle to find things you need to use right now, it’s time to take a break and organize your life. You will focus better if you declutter all the things that are blocking you from doing what you have to do.
- Being overly stressed – Stress has it’s own set of problems and symptoms, and it’s different to each person. But you will feel stressed and overwhelmed if you realize how big of a task wedding planning really is.
- Anxious – again, it’s different for everyone. But if you feel in a constant mode of panic, then you need to take a step back and assess what is making you anxious.
7 tips to avoid wedding planner burnout
1 | Don’t take on too much
There are so many different tasks to planning a wedding. Therefore, you need to make sure that you’re not taking on too many of these task, especially in a shorter period of time.
Get someone to help you, or pace yourself with wedding planning timelines and checklists. Knowing that you still have time to do X, Y and Z will make you feel more at ease.
2 | Have a system in place
When planning a wedding for someone, especially if it’s not your first one, you should definitely have a system in place for that by now.
Make sure you have all of the necessary timelines, schedules, checklists, planners and so on in place so that you can manage your wedding planning easier.
3 | Hire a team
If you are busy juggling multiple weddings and other things, and you simply cannot handle it all on your own without having a mental breakdown, it’s time to bring in the big guns.
Make an effort to hire a strong team of individuals who will help you to get things done! An effective team will also make your business thrive.
4 | Delegate tasks
It’s one thing to have a team in place or an additional hand or two to help out. But delegating tasks still rests on you.
Those who are helping you want to know exactly what is expected of them. They want to know what they should do, where they should be and so on.
Get this sorted out as quickly as possible, because having to pay someone for sitting around and letting you do all of the heavy lifting will also make you burn out at an alarming rate.
5 | Keep yourself organized
The fastest way to become disorganized is by taking on too much, too quickly. Suddenly you don’t know what to handle next and everything just keeps piling on as you run out of time before your next wedding.
When starting out, first handle one wedding. Put your focus on all the tasks for that wedding and get used to all the logistics and happenings of that wedding. When you are ready, you can handle the planning and managing of two weddings at a time.
Keep your focus on those two weddings, and get the hang of juggling tasks, before taking on more clients and weddings.
6 | Keep your health in check
If your wedding planning process includes a roller coaster of skipping meals, exercises, water and sleep, you need to put on the brakes and get that sorted out ASAP!
You probably know by now that you will be on your feet for 15 hours on the day of the wedding, if not more, right?
You also run around like crazy when planning a wedding before the big day, and making sure everything is finalized and falling into place.
Thus, it is so easy to fall into an unhealthy lifestyle. Make sure you keep yourself in check but getting into the routine of having a healthier lifestyle and good habits.
7 | Take a break when you need it
It’s difficult to pin point exactly when you’re going to get burnout or feel close to a break down. Get to know your limits and your body.
Be sure to book yourself off when you need it, and look out for the warning signs we have mentioned earlier.
Also read: 6 Easy ways to deal with difficult clients
What to do if you are already burnt out
We have just mentioned a few things about avoiding burnout, but what if you are already there? What if you are overwhelmed to the point where you are getting all the warning signs, but you depend on your wedding planning career for your income and well being? We get it!
Here are some things you can do:
1 | Get someone to help out
The most common advice we have for when you’ve already reached your limit, is to get someone who can help out and take some of the tasks off your already full plate.
Make sure this person is already clued up, or can at least take care of general tasks such as admin and answering of calls and e-mails. To get someone you first have to train is going to drive you up the walls!
2 | Consider a vacation
When you first start out with planning weddings for clients, you need to make sure you have a bit of money left to save up for when you need it. Going on vacation is a great way to unwind and restore your energy levels, so we’d say that that is money put to good use!
Set you vacation dates as soon as possible, so that you know which clients to handle off. Don’t take any new bookings before then, unless it is for a wedding that is at least 16 months away from your vacation time.
3 | Take a day off
If you really can’t afford to take a vacation, at least consider taking a day off just to clear your mind.
Book yourself into a spa, go out for coffee with a friend you haven’t seen in a while, or just spoil yourself with something simple. You deserve a day off now and then, and you will be amazed how quickly you can feel recharged after a day of manicures, shopping or just binge watching on Netflix.
4 | Switch off
This is something you can do regularly to keep all those wedding tasks at bay. Avoid burning out because of overwhelm, and just switch off.
Get into the habit of switching your mind off from all the wedding related stuff. Switch off technology such as phones and laptops, and opt for a book in stead.
Make a point of setting a time each evening during the week to detach from everything work related. Make it part of your routine to unplug and just do things that you enjoy. You will also find it easier to fall asleep and get a good night’s sleep.
5 | Don’t take on more tasks or clients
Yes, we all want to make the most out of our careers through hard work and perseverance, but at some point we have to say no.
Even if you feel you can use the extra money from a brand new client, ask yourself how you will personally handle taking on another set of wedding planning tasks.
If your schedule is already full, and you’re at that point where you need to be in two places at the same time, it’s time to say no to new tasks and clients!
6 | Yes, you can actually fire your clients!
Maybe your burnout is not a result of overwhelm and taking on too much. Maybe it comes from a single person – a client – who makes it their mission to be difficult, because “she is paying your salary”.
You get difficult clients out there, and we are happy to let you know that you can actually fire these clients, if they are causing you to get closer to your breaking down point. Just make sure your contract is set up properly when signing new clients, and that you don’t land yourself in hot water because of a breach of contract.
5 Important things you need to know about wedding planner burnout
Here are some reasons why you should avoid WPBO at all costs. If you feel like you’re not coping so well, refer to our helpful tips and advice above.
1 | You will become less efficient
When you feel tired, worn out and burnt out, you will not be able to plan a wedding as well as you would if you’re 100% a-okay!
This is quite obvious, but think about how you still have to do heavy lifting, run errands, meet suppliers, deal with difficult brides and the likes, if you feel like crap.
You simply don’t have the energy to deal with it all, so you will rush to complete tasks, or not do it properly. Would you hire someone like this to plan your wedding?
2 | Your punctuality will suffer
Being punctual is super important in the wedding industry. This means that you are always on time – for everything! Appointments, tasks, logistics, errands, and of course, everything on the day of the wedding should happen on time!
If you are feeling that WPBO coming on, you might get some of those symptoms we mentioned in the beginning of this posts. And it will definitely show. Not just to your clients, but to those that work closely to you as well, including the grand wedding venue which you worked so hard to get an appointment for…
3 | You can become ill
If you neglect yourself due to WPBO, you will most likely become ill. Think about how your body needs rest, water and food. And how you should de-stress on the regular because stress can also harm your body.
And if you are ill, what will happen to your business? Who is going to run it, and handle all of your clients? It’s best to just look after yourself and avoid becoming sick altogether.
4 | You might develop anxiety
It’s not a guarantee, but it is really possible. Some people start to develop it, because they simply cannot handle another item on their overflowing checklist.
The stress and pressure of wedding planning can become too much, and anxiety is soon to follow.
5 | You can get burnout from other jobs too
It’s not just wedding planning as a career, that can cause burnout. You can get it from any job or vocation, no matter what position you’re at or what type of tasks you have.
Also, it is especially true if you have to juggle work, family, friends, social needs and all that, too.
Remember to check in with yourself often to see if you need that vacation! Our best piece of advice is to consider hiring a team or use a few helping hands to make your work load easier.