Your wedding is one of the most important days in your life. But if you're not careful, planning that megaevent might cause you to fall down on your job responsibilities, thus compromising your long-term career prospects. And on the flip side, if you neglect wedding items for fear of getting behind at the office, you might botch a major detail that mars the big day. Here's how to manage the act of pulling off a wedding while keeping up at work -- and retaining your sanity at the same time.
1. Figure out how many days you can afford to take off, and time those days just right
If you're like most working Americans, you probably get a limited number of vacation days each year. Your best bet, therefore, is to figure out how many you can afford to use on your wedding, and decide when to schedule them in advance.
Now you might assume you should save your time off for the week leading up to your wedding, but that's not necessarily the right move. You may need a couple of days the month before your wedding to meet with your band to review your set list, or do a food tasting with the caterer. So find out when your various venders will require your presence, and plan your days accordingly. Also, put those days on the calendar ahead of time so your coworkers and boss get plenty of notice.
2. Schedule your days so you're not neglecting either responsibility
While you probably can't get away with spending two hours tackling wedding-planning items each day, you're most likely entitled to a little personal time during the day to take a few brief phone calls or write some emails. But if you don't monitor the time you're spending on wedding-related things, it might quickly add up, causing your productivity to decline. Therefore, it pays to map out a weekly schedule where you're not only figuring out which work tasks you need to handle, but which wedding tasks you'll be checking off your list as well.
For example, maybe you'll spend three hours working on a major presentation next Monday, but then take two separate 15-minute breaks to call your photographer and follow up on your invites. The key is to build everything you need to do into your schedule so you're not falling behind on your job or your wedding.
3. Enlist support from your boss and colleagues
As the big day nears, you're bound to run into last-minute emergencies that require your immediate attention, whether it's an extra dress fitting or a delayed shipment of your wedding favors. Rather than get overloaded with stress, be open with your manager about the fact that you might require a bit more flexibility than usual in the weeks leading up to your wedding. Explain that while you're obviously committed to your job, this is a one-time event with a lot of moving parts, and that you're willing to more than make up for the days when you leave early or come in late once things settle down.
Along these lines, you may want to talk to a coworker about serving as your backup during that final period of craziness. Of course, you'll need to be willing to return the favor, but if you have a colleague who's set to get married six months after your wedding, you can offer to do the same once it's their turn.
4. Consider postponing your honeymoon
If you're taking a lot of time off from work around your actual wedding, you may not have the vacation days left to then embark on a week-long honeymoon. Even if you do have the days, if things are busy at work, leaving at that point might cause you to fall far behind and miss key deadlines. So consider a brief getaway after your wedding, and an extended vacation with your new spouse a few months down the line. Doing so might actually make for a less stressful experience on a whole.
Juggling a wedding and a full-time job is no easy feat, but if you go about things strategically, you can pull off both with your sanity intact. This way, you'll be more inclined to enjoy your wedding rather than worry your way through it.