1/21 Your Work Vs. Your Wedding

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It’s 11am. You’ve been busy since you walked in the door with your Awake tea latte two hours ago. Started out with a meeting with your team, then a couple of phone calls to the other side of the country before lunchtime/as their day starts, round it off with 30 minutes tightening up tomorrow’s presentation. And it’s the presentation that gets you. You’ve been so good all day, but then you have to google research point #5, and the shiny, shiny new ring on top of your mouse hits your peripheral vision one too many times. Wipeout!

It starts with The Broke-Ass Bride, since there’s always something new here everyday, then you go to your wedding checklist on the knot or wedding wire, which moves you into their forums. Which, sigh, takes you to a reasonably-priced photographer…and her blog…and your twitter feed..which leads to a quick email to your venue about whether you can have candles…and the next thing you know it’s 2pm, and you haven’t even gotten up for lunch. Again.

Don’t think I can’t see you from here.

They say that it takes 40 forty-hour weeks to plan a wedding. That’s like having a second job, which a lot of you are already doing at your first job.  So, how do you stop it from showing? With all you have to do to plan the big day – 160 hours and counting, y’all! – how do you stay focused on what’s actually paying for it?

Wedding planners make it a little easier. My brides email or call me if they want to check out x, y, and z, I usually get back to them with an answer in  24-48 hours. In the meantime they can continue their quest for world domination. Seriously, that’s like 85% of my work every day. And hey, even I get distracted by Huffingtonpost and Gawker. It happens to us all. And it’s like dieting: If you go cold turkey, you’re never going to make it. Truthfully, it can be hard to get a hold of wedding vendors during the weekends, because, well, we’re all busy, so you’re not completely out of line trying to get some of this stuff done Mon-Fri. But if you’re flying solo, here’s how to successfully integrate your new “job” into your current one:

1. Have a little patience. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your wedding won’t be, either. You do not have to find the perfect veil today, it or its equivalent will still be there tomorrow. Or next week for that matter. That being said…

2. Make two checklists before you go into the office each day. One for what you have to do for work, another for what you want to do wedding-wise. Do the work list first, because, you know, hello!  Keep the wedding list down to four things – two which have to be done during business hours (like phone calls to vendors) and two which don’t (like emails or research). Ask yourself, “do I really need to do this at work right now?” Well, do you?

3. Do not add more things to the wedding list if you finish the four you have for the day. Write a new wedding list for tomorrow, and go back to work. I mean it, you guys.

The paycheck motivator.

4. Make rules. Just like when we were kids, when you finish your homework, you get to play. When you finish your dinner, you get dessert. So, after you lock down that presentation, you can call your caterer and schedule a tasting. Take 10  minutes (TEN, Dude!)  to surf for pre-owned dresses after you’ve double-checked on the widget inventory. Use the timer on your phone if you have to.

Wow, I sound like my mother. I guess that was inevitable, huh?

5. Think about what cool wedding thing your next paycheck is going to buy. The deposit on your cake? Ten Chiavari chairs? Sadly, your wedding isn’t going to pay for itself, you have to pay for it. Appreciate your job, it’s literally handing you that ribbon-tied black-lily bouquet you’ve been lusting after. Discipline the Pretty – it’s the only way to bridge both worlds.

So, how are you managing to stay focused at work? Or when did you realize that your wedding was taking over your 9-5 brain? Share, please!

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith is the owner of Silver Charm Events, a wedding planning service in Los Angeles. She's also a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and the author of "DIY Your DOC: Do-it Yourself Wedding Day Coordination." Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
  • Let's be honest – you can't spend all this time on the clock at work on your wedding!

  • Cathy K

    Oh man, this is for me. However, I must say that these days I'm not surfing out of stress about the wedding, just for doses of happy thinking and visual pleasure. My work and my work environment have been very difficult this year, driving me to tears on many a day, while any time spent with my fiance – let alone planning our happy event – feels like a combination of Christmas, birthday, and a sunny vacation of happiness and serenity and faith in humanity. It's nice to have wedding planning be a stress *reliever!*

    That said, again, I am guilty of extra-long surf sessions and I am in danger of making a fool of myself. I do remind myself that work has (among other things) the purpose of paying the bills – and giving me something to do after the wedding's behind us! Thanks for the reality check.

  • Like I said, if to finish your homework, you get to play. 🙂

  • BiB

    OMG this is so me – but more from the perspective of looking at wedding porn and then thinking of my 'to do' list and it all tends to snowball from there. But realistically, I don't want to spend 11 plus hours in the office purely because I wasted the 9-5 on non-work related internetting. The list idea sounds really good to me, and will (hopefully) make me use my lunchtimes a lot more productively as well!

  • annie-blake

    omg exactly what Cathy K said…i google wedding things for "happy thinking and visual pleasure". i don't seem to be able to stop thinking 'wedding'. it will not pop out of my head. i need to set a time for when i can google wedding related things so it doesn't overtake everything else in my life.

    but on the other hand…i love looking at pictures and reading about other peoples wedding…they are such joyful and beautiful events…how could you not?!

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  • Niki

    It is actually really funny that you posted this because I have been having this exact conversation with a few of my friends who are brides or were recently planning weddings and they had the same problem. I just started my dream job in September (wedding is in less than 3 weeks) and I'll admit that I have not given my new job all that I should. Luckily, they are happy with me so far considering they don't expect to be "wow'd" in my first few months. My main question to these distracted brides is "if you were distracted from work before your wedding, did you rock it out at work after the wedding?" I'm hoping it will be easy to jump back into work and "wow" everyone like I know I can with my head clear!!

    Also, does anyone else have wedding nightmares? Like, literally nightmares? Every night, I wake up from some insane dream about no one showing up, or the wrong guy being at the alter, or my bridesmaids being angry with me, etc… it's ridiculous!!!

  • Blablabli

    Hey everyone,

    I like this website very much, both for the content and for the tone. I am just a bit uneasy with the tendency of wedding blogs to assume that brides shoulder most of the preparation. Of course, because we are socialized to care about our weddings from an early age, it's not surprising that brides tend to care more about all the details that grooms do. But in terms of the work it requires, I'd like to ask the brides on this site, what percentage of the work do you think you take care of compared to your fiance? 50%? 60%? 70%? 80, more? I'm very interested because that's something I strugle with in my wedding process!

    • Margaret

      The sad truth is that I do most of the wedding preparation. It is not me, but my fiance who wants the big wedding (I'd rather elope) but it's something he realy wants and because he makes so many compromises for me, this wedding is something I really want to give him. So why am I doing all the planning if he's the one who wants a big wedding? My guy (like most guys I guess) hates to make phone calls, especially to people he doesn't know so I do most of the coordinating with vendors and sourcing stuff out. I also have an office job where I can take a few minutes to make phone calls whereas he works in televison and can't be talking on the phone in the background. To his credit however, after I expressed my frustration over the fact that brides are expected to do all of the wedding planning my guy has really stepped it up and it's thanks to his surfing and e-mailing (go iphone) that we found our perfect ceremony venue. He has also attended every vendor meeting and even driven me to meet my girls at bridal shops on many occassions so while it may not be exactly 50/50 I definitly feel that my guy is doing his share.