If you’re engaged, we’re betting that you’ve thought this at least once: “Wedding planning feels like a full-time job.” But what if you’re already employed? While wedding planning should never interfere with your actual job, there are a handful of times when taking wedding leave and the occasional day off from work will be necessary in order to cross another task off your wedding to-do list. From meetings with vendors, to dress fittings and makeup trials (and your honeymoon, of course), you can expect to cash in your vacation days for more than one wedding-related occasion.
Here are eight times you’ll need to take wedding leave.
Time off: one day
Most professional wedding photographers aren’t free on the weekends — they’re too busy shooting weddings. A weekday may be the only time your photographer can schedule your engagement photo shoot, especially if you want the pictures taken during a popular wedding month (like October). Try to be understanding of your photographer’s other obligations and look for the silver lining: taking your engagement photos on a weekday means you can use your favorite local hangouts as backdrops, without the weekend crowds.
Venue Walkthrough and Menu Tasting
Time off: half-day to one day
Even after you’ve hired them for your wedding, it’s not uncommon for venues and caterers to be available by appointment only. Saturday or weekend appointments may be hard to come by, particularly during peak times (spring and fall) when these vendors are extra-busy with their current weddings.
In this case, you might need to miss an afternoon of work during the week as your wedding nears and it’s time to finalize the details, such as your venue walkthrough and reception menu tasting. If your venue and wedding caterer aren’t affiliated (or can’t meet at the same time), try to schedule both of the appointments for the same day in order to minimize your amount of time away from work. Having a destination wedding? If it’s in your budget, arrange a quick trip to your wedding location a few months before the wedding to hammer out as many details as you can in person.
Shopping for Wedding Attire and Going to Fittings
Time off: one day
Bridal shops and menswear stores tend to be very crowded on the weekends, making individual appointments and personal space a hot commodity. If your work schedule allows it, plan to shop for your wedding attire on a weekday instead. This gives you the opportunity to for a more relaxed experience — you might even be able to extend the length of your appointment or have the shop to yourself!
Once you’ve purchased your wedding dress, suit or tuxedo, you’ll have at least one fitting after your order arrives at the shop. The fitting(s) will be a shorter appointment, so you won’t need to take an entire day of wedding leave unless you purchased your attire from an out-of-town location that requires travel.
Hair and Makeup Trial
Time off: half-day
Don’t be surprised if you have to book a weekday appointment for your wedding hair and makeup trial. If a wedding beauty pro is too busy working their magic on brides every Saturday, that’s a good sign! Schedule your trial appointment for a weekday afternoon when you can duck out of work a few hours early.