The Importance of Retreating (Part 1)

By December 16, 2016Business Advice

A couple weekends ago the Grand Occasions ladies went on our second annual “Grand Retreat” and let us just say, it was exactly what these two wedding planners needed. Today we’re sharing a little bit of what we did and what we recommend for your own time of focus and reflection.    

On Friday, December 2nd-5th the GO gals resided near the water in Spring Lake, Michigan and ventured into the perfect little Stars-Hollow-Like town of Grand Haven. (Seriously, for you Gilmore Girls fans, we swear we were served by April’s twin at one of the local coffee shops!). Monica had devised a very intentional itinerary for us full of opportunities for work, pampering, and really good food.


What We Did

Here is a list of everything we accomplished over the weekend:  

– Our individual 2016 mileage
– A list of vendors we want to get to know in 2017
– Reflection on our 2016 goals
– Brainstorm and formation of our 2017 goals
– Projection and creation of our 2017 budget
– Strategic marketing plan from January through June 2017
– Blogging Schedule for the first half of 2017
– Beginnings of our future style shoot proposal
– Intern program tweaking

In between these hours of work, we ate, got our nails done, took naps, went in the hot tub, and browsed through wedding magazines (or what we call “research”). We made sure that we relaxed and celebrated our past wedding season as we prepared and labored over the next.


What We Recommend

Re-treat (n): a quiet or secluded place in which one can rest and relax.

No matter what season of life we find ourselves in, there is a persistent need for a regular time of respite and reflection, and we all know we don’t prioritize that need nearly enough. As business owners, we determined to dedicate one weekend a year for that very need. For those of you thinking of doing the same, here are some things we highly recommend:

Save the date six months to a year in advance. Honestly, time will fly, things will come up, and if you don’t protect that weekend months ahead of time, it may never happen.

Make an itinerary. It doesn’t have to be extremely detailed, but even a list of bullet points to keep you on task and productive throughout the weekend will prove to be fruitful. Monica was conscious of how she paired every topic/task, and we made sure to take breaks, especially if a topic at hand began to seem overwhelming.

Schedule time to get pampered. Get a massage, a haircut, take a shopping break: whatever you need to feel refreshed. Personally, we work best after freshly manicured nails.

Pick a place that is just far enough away that you won’t run into anyone or get distracted by familiar surroundings. All of our friends knew that we were out of town during our retreat, and we specifically went to a place where we didn’t know all the coffee baristas in town. This allows you to focus better mentally, and explore a new place a bit as well!

Make sure to create a space where your mind can flow. For me, I needed a giant pad of paper and colored markers on the hotel bed. For Monica, she needed her own table to make graphs and crunch numbers. We also both feel inspired near water – we’re Michigan girls after all! Do whatever you need to set yourself up for success!

Whatever season you’re in, whatever business you own, whatever place you pick, we wish you the grandest of retreats. May you find yourself lost in reflection, resolved to make the best things happen in the year to come.


And before I go, I just have to say…

We found out on Saturday morning that our hotel did not, in fact, have a continental breakfast, and stumbled upon Morning Star Cafe. It was so good, we went there on Sunday for breakfast too. If you ever find yourself in Grand Haven, and consider yourself a breakfast enthusiast like us, you have GOT to check that place out!


Cheers to retreating and breakfast eating,  














Photo Cred: Faithful Photography

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