“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.