Your Guide to Wedding-Related Time Off

We break down the approximate time you'll need off work for each wedding event!

Your Guide to Wedding-Related Time Off

Photo: Asia Pimentel Photography

When you planned your dream wedding as a child – if that was something your younger self indulged in – we’re willing to bet that you did not account for the ways in which your big day could interfere with your job or career. Admittedly, this is one of the pitfalls to coordinating your nuptials: you have to actually use up a good amount of your valuable time to do so. Upon getting engaged, you may wonder how many hours or days you’ll need to take off from work in order to properly arrange your event.

While these numbers will vary from wedding to wedding – particularly if you or your partner work weekends – we put together a list to present the average amount of time you’ll have to take off work for each event leading up to your big day. Remember: a bride or groom can never be too organized!

-   Related Appointments. Fortunately for you, many wedding industry professionals are aware that their most active days of the week are Saturdays and Sundays, so ideally, you won’t have to take much – if any – time off of work for big appointments. It’s pertinent to schedule your dress shopping/fittings, tastings, venue tours, and other vendor meetings later in the evening or on the weekends – especially if you plan on inviting others along. Planning your wedding at the office needs to be discrete and should not interfere with your day-to-day tasks, so taking time off of work to attend wedding appointments is justifiably frowned upon, even more so when it is in regards to someone else’s nuptials. If there is absolutely no getting around a workweek wedding errand, limit yourself to your lunch hour as much as possible. Additionally, most of this stress can be avoided by hiring a top-notch wedding planner.

-   Engagement Parties & Wedding Showers. As you know, you don’t have much control over your pre-wedding fêtes – if your parents, closest friends, or other family members graciously elect to throw you and your betrothed an engagement celebration, you really only have a say in the guest list. Of course, giving the host/hostess a timeline is important, and seeing as these affairs typically last only a few hours, it shouldn’t be difficult to select a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. In other words, don’t take any time off of work for these get-togethers!

-   Bachelor & Bachelorette Parties. This is where timing can get a little dicey. Weekend-long destination bachelor and bachelorette parties are growing in popularity, and while in theory it seems like a dream, it can prove to be a logistical nightmare. Unless all of your friends have a good amount of flexibility in their jobs, finding a batch of days that works for everyone is tricky. If you’re planning on a traditional one-night or a more low-key soirée, a Friday or Saturday is optimal, but if you decide to host a weekend-long party, be sure to consider all of your guests, their budgets, and their typical schedules. In the event that most everyone can swing this kind of celebration, we recommend only taking one day (either Friday or Monday) off from work as a buffer.

-   The Wedding. This is entirely dependent on the type of wedding you’re hosting. If it’s a destination event, the number of days you’ll require off from work will be much greater – this is something you’ll need to discuss with your partner, your VIP guests, and your planner. However, if your nuptials are local or within a few hours’ drive from your job, you’ll have an easier time negotiating your schedule. For nearby Saturday or early Sunday weddings, it isn’t necessary to take any time off. If you’re having a Friday or Sunday evening event, it may be smart to have at least a half-day buffer – if not a full day – before or after your celebration, respectively. If, by chance, you’re having a wedding any day from Monday through Thursday, plan to take the day off and likely the day after as well. Remember: your guest list will dwindle significantly if you host a weekday wedding.

-   The Honeymoon. Ah, the big one. Traditionally, couples will take at least a week off for their post-nuptial vacation, but with the rise of the “mini-moon,” or a miniature honeymoon, some newlyweds are taking just a few days to relax somewhere local to their wedding destination. If you want to plan a nice long getaway, it’s important to keep that in mind as you take days off for any pre-wedding appointments, parties, and the wedding itself. The more days you need to take off for other wedding aspects, the less you should be taking for your honeymoon – though, of course, this works vice versa as well. It’s all about balance!

Opening photo by Dalal Photography