Working in the wedding industry is no joke during wedding season!
If you love someone in the wedding industry, you know that summer camping trips and weekend BBQs are a no go for them, but why is that? Well, we don’t refer to summer as summer. We in the wedding business have four seasons to our year just like from normal people… except our seasons aren’t dictated by the sun, but rather, by the work.
Off-Season – mid-October through March and sometimes April
This is legitimately the worst part of my year. I tell myself that after work dies down a little I can work on the admin side of my business and make some changes. NOPE, Off-Season is breeding grounds for inactivity and “recovery” from Wedding Season. I get the most use out of my Netflix subscription in these months; I promise my husband that I’ll get some cleaning done, as I lie on the couch and watch The Office for the 50th time. In this time I do a lot of cooking (a favorite pastime of mine) and basically the only work I do is responding to emails as they come in and attending client meetings (along with preparing for those meetings, of course). Because it’s down-time, I’m not as proactive in my work.
While I could spend this time updating my blog, pre-writing and scheduling posts for the summer so I have less work on my plate, creating helpful PDFs for my clients, and a zillion other constructive things, I seem to always save those for when I’m bogged down with weddings.
What does this mean as a friend of a wedding pro? While we still have the occasional booking, we’re more readily available to hang out (or catch up after a long Wedding Season apart!) and we have more mental, physical, and emotional energy to dedicate to you and make up for what kind of friend (*cough* lousy *cough cough*) we can sometimes be during Wedding Season.
Engagement Season – December 24 through February 15
So this is weird because this season falls inside of another one, Off-Season, but wedding pro seasons aren’t entirely sequential, and even if they don’t completely overlap, they always tend to bleed into one another.
Engagement Season is high booking season for us, and the reason is simple; engagement rings make great gifts! Why wouldn’t you skip the typical holiday gifts and instead put the thought instead to finding the perfect ring? Christmas and Valentine’s Day are chalk full of engagement ring gifts. And New Year’s too! I find when you start thinking about the new year and what it’s going to bring to you, you realize what and who is important to you and where you want to base your goals and resolutions around. Christmas and New Year’s Eve almost feel like a season of renewal and how could you not want to spend the rest of your life with your SO?
So a high rate of engagements tends to directly translate into an increased number of inquiries, which in turn results in bookings. During this time of year, we can be found at coffee shops with couples after their work hours (often 5pm-8:30pm) getting hyped up on caffeine far too late in the day to have a normal sleep schedule. You can often hear our own SOs complaining about how infrequently we’re in bed at a normal hour at this time of year.
What does this mean as a friend of a wedding pro? Well, if you need a 1 AM call with someone full of energy, we’re your people! We can go out on weekends but dinner is had either early or late, and in typical Monday-Friday work hours we’re sleeping in until 10 and writing contracts and quotes when we’re not scrolling through our instagram feeds.
Spring Weddings (or “Ramp Up”) – March through mid-May
Some of us are fortunate enough to get some weddings through the colder months to feed our wedding obsession, but those are more sporadic and we can’t always count on them. We can start counting on weddings happening in March, maybe one or two a month for the smaller operations. This is when we start getting back into the swing of things, reviving our wedding talents and applying them instead of just yelling at the wedding pros in movies who are either a) doing it all wrong or b) setting unrealistic expectations for our industry.
We’re also getting excited about what the wedding season will have to offer us this year, the upcoming festivities and themes are heavy on our brain in the best way possible – but at the same time, some of our trouble clients are starting to come out of the woodwork as their weddings quickly approach, so that might be something to listen for as a friend!
Now that we’re getting back into the main event (aka Wedding Season) we’re doing more client meetings and dusting off our organizational systems, and maybe spending too much time with the office computer (and maybe watching The Office again while at our office computer).
What does this mean as a friend of a wedding pro? Try to make your plans with us two weeks in advance just to be sure that we’re available, and always text before calling! This is when we’re most likely to get off to a wedding tangent when we chat with you because often, during wedding season, we’re done talking weddings, but when we’re just getting excited for another season? Get ready for some primo wedding conversations!
Wedding Season – Late May through early October
This is when we can be seen pulling out our hair, laughing for no reason, and walking in and out of a room six times before remembering why we were headed there in the first place (okay, confession, I do that last one year-round). Wedding Season is when all our planning starts to come to fruition and some of our new favourite people stop talking to us… because they got married and are away on their honeymoon and there’s now a hole in our lives where they used to be; you know, when they were emailing us daily and sending us texts constantly, and the occasional meme that they tagged us in on facebook which clearly meant we were best friends.
We spend so much time talking to and with our clients they become more like our friends in Wedding Season (friends who pay our bills!) because our social life outside of them is non-existent; we just don’t have time.
If you do have an opportunity to spend some time with us, do yourself a favor and don’t ask us what our schedule looks like – we spend every other waking hour thinking about that and this time with you should be as much NOT wedding related as possible. And for the love of all things sacred, do not, I repeat, not open our planners/Google calendars during wedding season because no matter how organized we are, they’re likely going to explode as you peek in, and really should only be opened by a trained professional.
In Wedding Season, our weekends are made up by 18-hour work days while weekdays are only 12-hour work days and coffee has become our lifeblood. We like to think that we take a day off, but because we likely work for ourselves, our next day off will likely be October 7th (given that it’s a Monday or Tuesday, otherwise, we’re busy!)
What does this mean as a friend of a wedding pro? Family and social obligations start to go out the window, and by start, I mean, well, they’re not happening unless you book us seven months out, and even then you may not get us. When we do get the pleasure of spending time with you (and trust me, it’s a pleasure and a dream) please talk about your life and random gossip to help us keep our minds off work. And if you’re an awesome friend, when you invite us out for 9 PM drinks, you’ll understand it when we say “I can’t, I’ll be in bed.” If you’re looking for an awesome gift for us during Wedding Season… either a coffee gift card or an amazing pillow will do the trick.
Depending on where you live, these seasons vary (except Engagement Season, see above), like in Texas you might find that your July and August better define “off season” as no one wants to leave their homes in that heat, or in Newfoundland, spring weddings may not start until May because it’s so damn cold. While the sun doesn’t dictate our seasons, the weather certainly does!
*Disclaimer! This won’t necessarily hold true for EVERY wedding pro you meet, but it’s safe to believe that it does apply to a number of us!