Getting married + running your business

Lidia VarescoThis post was inspired by “Tying Loose Ends Before Tying the Knot” Deidre Rienzo’s post on the Marketing Mix blog last year.

Preparing for a wedding can be a full-time job. If you’re like most creatives, you’ll be spending a fair amount of time planning, designing and creating the myriad wedding details. So how do you manage to run your small business at the same time?

As I approach my first wedding anniversary, I thought I would share how I managed my small business during the busy pre-wedding time.

1.         Give yourself a deadline: treat creative wedding projects as you would any other project: assign deadlines and tasks, set a budget and stick to it.

2.       Use your connections: this is a great time to tap into the vendors and partners you already have: event planners, photographers, writers, creative suppliers and printers can be invaluable in helping manifest your creative vision.

3.       Shop local: working with local boutiques and vendors is not only convenient, but also helps support a fellow local business. You may even make valuable business connections in the process.

4.        Ask for help: work with vendors whenever possible to cut down on your workload (see #2 above). Ask friends and family to help out with assembly of DIY wedding projects. (Personally, I’ve assembled hundreds of invitations and favors over the years!)

5.       Don’t forget the details: if you are changing your name, address or other details that may affect your business (insurance plans, tax filing status, etc.) start the process as soon as possible.

6.       Organize your workspace: file away paperwork, get caught up on bookkeeping and tidy up your desk. It will be a relief to return to a clean workspace when you “come back to reality.”

7.        Take off a few extra days off: until you’re in the midst of it, you don’t realize just how hectic the week of the Big Day will be. Do yourself a favor and take an extra day or two off. Don’t do what I did: I was emailing clients before heading to my rehearsal dinner!

8.       Arrange for work coverage: if you have ongoing projects, ask a trusted colleague to cover for you while you are getting wed/honeymooning. This will save yourself the stress of leaving your business for an extended period of time—plus your clients will appreciate it.

9.       Allow yourself to check out completely: take this opportunity to resist the urge to check email, internet or voicemail while you’re away (except for emergencies). I had no cell phone service on my honeymoon, so I enjoyed a glorious two-week tech break.

10.      Give yourself time to soak it all in: it can be difficult to get back to reality after the celebrations and focus on work. But don’t allow yourself to feel guilty for basking in the post-wedding glow. Allow yourself some time to readjust to daily life, catch up with colleagues and friends (and of course, share wedding photos!) and then get back to work.

Any other newly-married or engaged solopreneurs have hints they can share?

6 thoughts on “Getting married + running your business

  1. Deidre Rienzo

    Hi Lidia,
    Happy Anniversary!
    Excellent tips. I can’t agree more with #9: allow yourself to check out completely.
    A marriage is the kind of thing you really want to “be there” for, and even though checking email or “doing one quick thing,” only takes “2 minutes,” I think it can take you away from the matter at hand. Since getting married isn’t the kind of thing you do every day, it’s worth making the extra preparations to give it your undivided attention. Knowing my work was taken care of gave me piece of mind.

  2. Neil Renicker

    hmmm, good advice, Lidia. I’m excited about my wedding coming up in September, and it’s good to get the lowdown from a fellow creative! Funny: I can see myself “emailing clients before heading to my rehearsal dinner”. Thanks for the words of caution – wise words!

  3. Alisa Bonsignore

    Has it really been almost 13 years since my wedding? Yikes?

    Looking back, my wedding was a great example of Knowing When to Let Go, a skill that’s valuable in my projects today. One of my then-coworkers got married the year before I did, and this thing was the biggest production this side of the British royal family. There were puff pastry swans for dessert, huge topiaries in the center of the tables… she spent weeks shopping for the perfect shoes and spent $500 on them. Of course, you never actually saw them because of the floor-length gown and train.

    Watching her prep and wedding taught me that you can spend all of your time obsessing over tiny details that no one else will ever notice, or you can let go, stress less and still create something wonderful.

    Best wishes to you, Deidre, and happy anniversary, Lidia!