• Wed, Apr 4 2012

‘Planning My Wedding Almost Cost Me My Job’

“I used to think a wedding was a simple affair. Boy and girl meet, they fall in love, he buys a ring, she buys a dress, they say I do. I was wrong. That’s getting married. A wedding is an entirely different proposition.” -Father of The Bride

As we know from movies, television, magazines, the entire section at the book store devoted to it and probably some of our closest friends and family (and maybe ourselves), a wedding can be a huge ordeal. It seems every year the wedding industry gets bigger (as of 2010 the total wedding market was expected to be worth $42.73 billion) and people want more and more elaborate weddings. Planning them seems to take on a life of their own and for some it can start to interfere and possibly cost them their real job.

Believe it or not, 90% of women do wedding planning on their company’s time, according to a recent survey by TheKnot.com, WeddingChannel.com and ForbesWoman.com . With many wedding vendors open only during regular business hours, some transactions and conversations must be made between 8 AM and 5 PM. Women spend about 10 hours a week planning their wedding, and nearly 30% of it is done at work. The survey also found that 20% of women admitted that more than half of their wedding arrangements were done at work and 41% said they did it whenever they could. But only 15% said that someone at work had commented about it. The Grindstone received some comments about this subject.

One woman, who works as a financial journalist and chose to remain anonymous, told The Grindstone:

“A girl who worked at the desk over was clearly planning her wedding or doing wedding-related things for at least two hours a day for about five months. If she wasn’t calling the caterer or looking at stuff online then she was talking to her mother on the phone about it. I believe one manager noticed and said something and she did get a big warning. But then she just kept getting up with her cell phone more. Everytime she went to the bathroom it was a 20-minute affair. I couldn’t believe she was getting away with this considering the company was very strict about what we did on our computers. She really didn’t seem to care. Her wedding had taken over her life.”

“I had no choice but to make wedding decisions during the workday,” Kelly Costello, a June 2010 bride and office manager from Philadelphia, told Forbes. Her wedding caterer kept 9-to-5 office hours, as did the agency that handled transportation to and from her Villanova ceremony. “If I was going to speak with them, it had to be during the time I was at the office,” explains Costello. She says she always tried her best to be “respectful of my coworkers and not take too much time away from group projects.”

But planning a wedding can not only be detrimental to your job but it can hurt your relationships with coworkers as well. “It’s enough when your friends shove a lot of wedding stuff down your throat but to have it constantly around you all day at work is too much. There needs to be a separation,” said one junior associate at a law firm in New York.

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  • Meghan Keane

    Before I got married, I used to think that women who quit their jobs to plan a wedding were silly, superficial people. But once I realized how much work was involved, I understood much more. It’s basically like having two jobs. But most women don’t have the luxury to quit one and just do the other.

    • Sam


    • Avodah

      Guess what, Meghan? I have moved, applied to graduate school and planned a long, international trip all while working. I don’t think I am special or exempt from work because of my life choices. I made it work, you can too.

  • Julie

    I would never dream of spending that much time at work to plan my wedding. Other than my lunch hour it’s strictly nights-and-weekends activity.

  • Avodah

    The sense of entitlement in this article is amazing. “It is my special day!!! Of COURSE, I have to do this during work. My special, special day!”

    • Minnie


  • Cici

    Sadly, weddings aren’t what they used to be. As a previous poster stated, planning a wedding IS like a having a second job. There is so much involved, and I don’t think many people realize it until they are planning one themselves. Why do you think wedding planners are so popular in this day and age? No career woman has the time to work a 40 hour plus work week and plan a wedding on just weeknights and a weekend. Don’t believe me? Plan a wedding….

  • Melissa

    I think if it’s kept to a minimum and doesn’t impact the person’s productivity, a little wedding planning at work is pretty harmless. Let’s face it, there ARE a ton of vendors that are only open Mon-Fri 8-5! It’s a pain. It’s like trying to get to the DMV or the Social Security office, when you KNOW it’s going to take longer than your lunch break. What do you do? Just the best you can.

  • Avodah

    Guess what else is a full-time job? Decorating one’s home, training for a marathon, applying to PhD programs, losing weight, and many more things.

    Planning a wedding is not an excuse any more than anymore of these things.

  • Anne

    There are a number of issues here that I’d like to address, as a law student who is getting married in the fall.

    I have a very strict rule for myself that I do not plan my wedding when there are more urgent things to address such as school or work. I am very straightforward with vendors that I would like to discuss things over email or during the hours I am not working so that I do not have to do these things while I am in class, studying, or at my internship. I am paying them, so if they are not willling to work with me, I am not going to hire them.

    Additionally, we are on a very small budget, so there just cannot be a sense of entitlement in that this is my special princess day! This is a day for our families to come together and celebrate, and not a time for me to have so many specific requirements on what I want. A lot of concessions had to be made on my part, but ultimately that allowed me to delegate a lot of the work to others (close friends and family members, of which I trust all brides have at least one or two) and trust those in charge. It also has allowed us to stay well within our budget. I have had a lot less control and very different experiences than other brides who have been able to be more hands-on, but ultimately I will have a beautiful wedding, not go into debt, and not have my wedding spill over into my career/academic life or impact others who are not directly involved as bridesmaids or family.

    • Avodah

      Sounds perfect! Everyone has busy times in their life, but it shouldn’t affect work that much.

      You can deal with issues over email (more discreet than phone) and delegated to friends and relatives.

  • crescentevents

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