weddings that conflict with major work events, should travel time be included in a lunch hour, and more

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…

1. Scheduling a wedding that conflicts with a major work event

I am getting married next spring. My fiance and I work in different industries with different busy cycles that never sync up, so it’s impossible to find the perfect “slow time” at work to get married. We both love the spring and would like to get married in May. Our number one venue has one date available in the month, a date we think is absolutely perfect, except I have a conference the day before, and would prefer to take the day before my wedding off — the conference day. I play a large role in planning for the conference, but the day of the conference pretty much runs itself, and I do not really need to be there. I am leaning towards booking the date for the venue, and asking my boss for the day before the conference off, with apologies, of course. (I would still work the rest of the week). I think my colleagues would understand, we have other staff who can run the conference just fine.

What would be the polite way to say I am choosing my personal life and preferences over my job? Or rather, what should I say when I ask for that day off? Or am I making a big mistake, and should I prioritize work and alter my wedding plans?

(I am trying to make this event impact my job very minimally, postponing the honeymoon to a quieter time of the year, so I would only miss 2 or 3 days of work total for the wedding – one being the day before the wedding.)

If you were the main person running the conference on the day of the event, I’d say that you shouldn’t even ask; when you take on a major commitment like that, you pretty much have to be there on the day of the event. But it sounds like that might not be the case here, as long as it’s really true that it runs itself and that your boss would more or less agree that it wouldn’t be a massive issue not to have you there. If that’s really the case (and it’s not just wishful thinking, which sometimes people fall into in these situations), I’d say to go ahead and ask about it. When you ask, make sure that you frame it as “Do you think there’s a way for us to make this work?” and not “I’m going to do this.” I’d also come prepared with an initial plan for how you’d ensure things go smoothly at the conference (training back-ups beforehand, etc.).

But ask first; don’t just book it and then ask. If your boss says no and you decide you’re going to do it anyway, it’ll still look better if you talk first and then come back and say “I’m sorry, but we ended up with no other options.” (And obviously, there may be a professional price to pay if you do that, but I think there will be less of one than if you didn’t even ask about it first.)

2. I can’t get straight answers about this job offer

I’m in a bit of an awkward spot at the moment with a job offer for a temporary part-time position at a treasurer’s office. The thing is, during the interview I couldn’t seem to get a lock on what the schedule would be — and it seemed the more I tried to get an answer it just didn’t work (they said they’d be flexible, etc., kind of skirting the question). Also, for a few weeks (probably 3) I’d be working full-time, which I don’t want to do because I have many recurring medical appointments during the week that make full time work unfeasible. I’ve made this clear to them during the interviews, but the manager just keeps reiterating that they’re flexible with hours – which isn’t really what I’m after.

They’ve taken my agreement that the job fits my skills during the second interview as accepting the position, but I clearly stated that I was NOT accepting the position. I said I would call and confirm if the job fit my needs next week. However, the manager called me and said they want to train me next week (even thought the position starts months from now). I don’t know what to do because I feel like I’m not getting clear answers to my questions, and they are acting as though I’ve completely accepted the offer (which I really haven’t, I just wanted a few days to think it over!).

Are you sure that you aren’t already getting the real answer, which is that the schedule is truly flexible? If it is, that’s why they’re not telling you specific hours. Why don’t you propose the schedule that would work for you, and see what they say to that? I’d also be clear about whether you can or can’t work full-time during the period they’d like you to. For instance: “Before I can accept the offer, I have a few questions about the schedule. First, would it work on your end if I worked (insert your preferred days/hours here)? Second, you’d mentioned you’d like me to work full-time for three weeks, which isn’t possible on my end. I could work (insert your preferred schedule for those weeks) during that period. Would that work for you?”

3. Should travel time be included in a lunch hour?

My office’s workspace used to be located near the employee cafeteria. I am non-exempt and would typically leave lunch with a minute or two to spare to get back to the office within my lunch hour. However, our office has just moved to a building that’s about a 10-minute walk from the employee cafeteria. We are strongly encouraged to eat in the cafeteria and are given a small weekly meal plan to support this. Would you think it’s expected that I build the 20 minutes of travel time into my lunch hour?

Yes — a lunch hour typically refers to the amount of time you’re away from work, not the amount of time that you spend actually eating.

4. Responding to someone who referred a candidate

An acquaintance recently sent me an email recommending a former intern for a position. This candidate also interned for me (at a different company so it wouldn’t necessarily be evident that I knew him, but I would think that the candidate would have told her that he knew me when he said he applied). Based on my previous observations of the intern’s work, I know this candidate would be a bad fit for the position I have open. I don’t have any problem telling the candidate that I am not moving his application forward, but I don’t know how to respond to the person who sent the resume to me or if she even expects a response. Should I just respond with “thanks” and leave it at that or is there a better way to handle this type of email?

I’d just say, “Thanks so much. Xavier actually interned for me when I was at X. I’ll connect with him about his application.”

You don’t need to get into the fact that he’s not the right one for the role or the reasons why — although you can do that if you think it will be useful (like if you think she’ll be shocked that you don’t hire him, or that she’s likely to refer other candidates to you in the future and so it would be helpful for her to get a better understanding of what you’re looking for).

5. Why does this client want such extensive background paperwork from me?

I have been self-employed for 19 years with a great track record of big-name clients. I have stellar references and a nice online portfolio of work (from past gigs as well as current projects).

I am doing the paperwork to contract with another large client. However, I am wondering why the background verification company needs seven years of employment history or I need to provide tax returns to prove I’ve been self employed (in some years I’ve had 40+ 1099s). It seems rather intrusive, although there may be a good reason behind it and I’m happy to comply. Just wondering what that reasoning may be.

It might be part of their process of proving that you are indeed an independent contractor; I have one client who requires similar paperwork as part of their ongoing verification that they’re not really treating contractors like employees. It’s a way to protect themselves if anyone ever alleges differently. (I don’t provide individual 1099s, just a 1040 and Schedule C — and I black out all the numbers because the details of my finances are not their business. I don’t really know how tax forms with all the numbers blacked out help them, but they accept them.)

The seven years of employment history is a bit weird for a contractor unless they’re doing something related to a security clearance.

I’d just ask them directly before providing anything: “Can you explain to me what this documentation will be used for?”

{ 358 comments… read them below }

  1. Chrissi*

    7 years is the magic number for typical background checks for federal jobs. They might be mimicking that or if they work w/ the federal govt it might be necessary on their part.

    1. PEBCAK*

      I think they want to be sure that the OP is going to work the duration of the project, not that the OP is doing some contracting until they find something permanent. Obviously the OP’s work history shows this already, but when I hear “background verification company,” I hear “standard process that applies to all contractors.”

    2. OP*

      Yes, they do contract with the government on some projects (I have to sign a disclosure regarding any work I’ve done for the government), so this makes sense. Thank you all for clarifying.

  2. MsM*

    #2: If you’re telling them one thing and they’re disregarding it in favor of what they want to hear, do you really need to think it over, or should you just be taking this as a sign of how the job will go and passing?

    1. Not So NewReader*

      Communicating with these people does seem a bit difficult, at best. If Alison’s advice works, OP, then plan on using this communication style often if you accept the job- where you have to nail them down with specifics and they may or may not hear you. If Alison’s advice does not work, you might want to take a pass on this job offer.

      Maybe it’s me. But I am reading some desperation on their part here in this situation.

      1. OhNo*

        I’m picking up on a little bit of a desperation vibe, too. They might be trying to avoid giving the OP a reason to say no (although if that’s their goal, they seem to be failing).

        If Alison’s advice works and they approve your schedule, OP, then I would suggest keeping a copy of that agreement on hand, just in case they raise the “3 weeks full time” issue later. It would be useful to have that agreement in hand if you need to push back on it at any point.

        1. OP #2*

          Yes, maybe it’s desperation. The whole interaction just left me with the question of whether I wasn’t being assertive enough or there really was just a bad communication issue. In any case, my gut feeling is picking up on something here that suggests it might not be the best fit, and maybe that should be enough (my gut feelings usually tend to be correct). But I’m going to call the manager a little later this afternoon and follow Allison’s suggestions. We’ll see what happens!

    2. catsAreCool*

      “If you’re telling them one thing and they’re disregarding it in favor of what they want to hear,…” I was thinking this, too.

  3. FiveByFive*

    No1 – To me, there are certain major life events – and a wedding is certainly one of them – that should be untouchable in the work-life balancing act. Even if it seems like just a matter of convenience in picking a particular date, it should be out of bounds for work to intrude. For regular vacations and such, of course there has to be flexibility. But if a company is incapable of handling business without interfering in employees’ biggest days of their lives, then something isn’t right.

    I hope you get to pick your day OP1, and without any hassles!

    1. MK*

      I don’t disagree with what you say, but I think there needs to be consireration on the part of the employee too. It would be one thing for the OP to announce beforehand that their wedding is close to the conference, so their manager can “handle business” as you say, which could mean assigning this project to someone else. It’s another to announce a couple of months before “Oh actually, I won’t be there”.

      1. FiveByFive*

        I would think a couple months notice is certainly a reasonable timeframe to make contingency plans.

        Maybe I’m just sentimental. But I feel like I’d have to have some kind of inflated ego to tell someone that their wedding was an inconvenience for me.

        1. Matt*

          +1 Couldn’t agree more. Especially since in many jobs there’s just *never* the right time to take vacation or miss work for whatever reason, even if only one person is involved. If two persons and their jobs have to be matched, it’s even double as difficult, so while waiting for the right timeframe, it would probably never happen.

          (BTW, I’m thinking of some less happy family events like a funeral, where there would be very little notice, and I’d still expect any reasonable employer to allow someone to attend, at least if the circumstances are not like “employee is NASA’s commander for the first manned Mars mission with set launch date” ;-)

          1. the gold digger*

            The boss formerly known as Sergio bragged to me that our finance person had both missed her father in law’s funeral and her daughter’s baby shower to come to meetings in the US. He was trying to show how devoted she was (and how devoted I was not in comparison), but I was horrified that he thought it was OK to insist that someone come to a meeting if it meant missing an important funeral.

          2. SJP*

            Yea im with you and FiveByFive… yes work is important but so many people put off and reschedule things around work when actually it’s a really big thing like getting married.
            Before I’d ask OP I’d already set out a contingency plan of who could look after what bit, or the whole conference, and already say “I’ve set the date (as they’re unlikely to not allow it then) and then say i’ve already worked out Jane could look after the conference. It would be a good career challenge for her (if it were a new responsibility for someone) or something like that and see if you can train her up and couch her on how to do what bits etc.

          3. Chinook*

            I agree that there is no such thing as a right time to be away from work, but there is often a wrong time. If the conference is something that happens once a year and is a main focus of the OP’s job, it could be seen as the wrong time to take the day off for something she controls.

            I also don’t like comparing weddings to funerals for this type of thing. The date of your own wedding is controllable, a funeral by its very nature is not only uncontrollable but also last minute. Sure, the OP may not get their ideal venue, but the venue is not the reason for the ceremony/celebration – the wedding is. And all you need for that is an officiant, the pair getting married and a couple of witnesses. This is spoken as someone who had to elope with 12 hours notice so that her DH to be wouldn’t be transferred at the end of the week and would be able to be around for the church ceremony and party we had invited the family to (with 3 months notice) the following month. Was it ideal to have the official ceremony attended by 3 guys in military fatigues, an officiant I called the night before to come to my house and my dog (and then have new DH sneak off base so we could actually eat dinner together that night)? Of course not but we were still married (and have two anniversaries – today’s and next month’s which doubles the odds of us being able to celebrate it together).

            1. SoVeryAnonymous*


              As a professional in this field of work, even funerals are delayed until Saturday or Sunday afternoon, and sometimes until a three-day weekend, to allow as many people as possible to attend. I very rarely do funerals on weekdays any more. Many employers have ummmm degrees of separation for time off for funerals. A co-worker was not able to go to her husband’s grandmother’s funeral, because time off was available for immediate relatives only.

              As someone who would much rather do a boatload of funerals than A Wedding, I encourage you to do some serious research on alternate venues. Practically, do you want to be “on call” the day before your wedding? To what extent are you willing to be on call? And it would engender a great deal of appreciation from your boss and coworkers if you acknowledge the once a year significance of this conference and are there in mind and body to make sure it runs smoothly.

              The venue?? Phhhpht. No one is going to remember the venue. (You most likely can arrange for a photo session before or after the big day at the venue if elements of it are picturesque.) They are going to remember you and your new spouse, and the looks on your faces as you make your vows to each other.

              That’s just my two cents worth.

              1. SoVeryAnonymous*

                Oh, one more thing. This would be like my organist telling me they were taking Easter Sunday off for vacation. There are no backup musicians of any kind available on that day. I would have even taken a bassoonist. Not cool.

        2. NoPantsFridays*

          And I think I’d have to have “some kind of inflated ego” to tell my coworkers that my wedding is more important than doing our jobs well. Funny how that word “ego” works. But then I’m of the opinion that it’s the marriage that counts, not the wedding day, and I don’t see weddings as a big deal — which I realize is a highly subjective issue.

          That said, the OP is talking about like 3 days off or something, which should be no big deal (NASA launch type professions excepted ;) ) Things should not be so busy, so understaffed, etc and with so little coverage that 3 days off is a big deal.

          1. Amber*

            3 days off is not a big deal. 3 days off which includes a major event which the OP is responsible for co-ordinating? Much bigger deal. Not necessarily a nonstarter, but the context matters.

        3. Michele*

          I agree. Plus, I think there should always be a contingency plan. What if someone gets in an accident or gets so sick that they can’t function? When everything rides on one person with no back up, that is too risky.

        4. Karowen*

          A couple of months is enough notice – but if you’ve known for 12 months and it’s a huge event you’re missing, it seems sort of crappy to not give more of a heads up. I guess I just don’t see who it would benefit to wait to share the wedding date and days-off expectation.

    2. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.*

      The day you schedule your wedding is a highly controllable event, and here being planned a year in advance. It’s appropriate to factor a major work conflict into that, which it sounds like the OP is doing . It wouldn’t be unfair of the boss to think or say “Seriously? 365 other days a year and you seriously have to schedule your wedding on the day of the annual conference which you have major responsibilities for?” Alison’s advice to have a conversation about it before done deal is a good.

      1. Not So NewReader*

        This. While I agree the company should let her have the day- I mean it’s one day that she has asking for- the cynic in me says to gear up for a no answer. I have seen companies show people the door if they push too hard. OP, Alison’s advice is probably the best advice you will ever see on this one. If your company is halfway normal, this should work. But like there is a part of me that says have some thoughts collected so you know what you will say if they say no. I hope it goes well for you.

        1. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.*

          Actually, it’s day before the conference and day of the conference that she needs off and it’s not a small ask in event planning, given that the bride isn’t going to be available by phone on conference day. She probably has a fabulous coworker who can step right in, and all will be well, but it’s not a small ask.

          My initial reaction as a boss would probably be to grab my temple like the people in the Excedrin Headache #whatever commercials and say “you planned your wedding for what day again?” and then to calm down and sign off on the plan the OP presented to me on Why It Really Isn’t A Problem, if the plan made 3/4 sense and wasn’t wishful thinking based on “what could go wrong?”.

          1. Not So NewReader*

            Yep. Have to have that well-prepared, counter-argument ready. This is nothing to leave to an off the cuff answer.

          2. just another techie*

            She’s giving the boss sixteen months of notice though. If you can’t find coverage with more than a year to plan there is something seriously wrong with your staffing plan. You really should have been training second and third string understudies all along if this conference is so dang important. I mean, what if your key employee’s father dies the day before the conference? Or she gets hit by a bus?

            1. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.*

              Here’s the problem with that thought pattern (which is a fair point, but here’s the problem): setting your boss up to plan how to do without you, on something that is one of your major work responsibilities, is not a good career growth plan.

              Say the OP said “16 months notice, here you go, find a replacement”. The next letter to AAM could be about how her job duties was reassigned to someone else because the boss did indeed find a replacement who could follow that conference all the way through to execution day.

              Best policy is to always plan a few move ahead and not just look at the pieces on the board as they lie right this sec.

              1. BRR*

                This is such a great point. There are certain events that are crucial. I used to work at a performing arts organization and the most important thing for the event planning manager was the annual gala. I know we try and stress here that work should be able to go on without you but I’m leaning towards you want them to need you in this situation.

                I also don’t know if the LW means this May or next May. Not that I’m exactly sure how this affects my answer though.

                1. AVP*

                  I have to agree with you here…I think this really, really depends on the OP’s exact role. In some cases with events, yes, there’s a big enough staff with assistants and coordinators under the Manager who are great and could easily step in and fix any day-of issues (there are always day-of issues, lets be honest). But those people definitely do not always exist as a rule – sometimes because the employer is shortsighted, but sometimes because the event budgets don’t allow for it, or because your company is structured so that the event is One Person’s Job, and you’re obviously not gonna hire two people to do One Person’s Job, and that Person knows this and plans their life according to this One Thing They Have To Do Once a Year.

                2. Ask a Manager* Post author

                  that Person knows this and plans their life according to this One Thing They Have To Do Once a Year

                  This is the key point to me. If the situation is one of these, then as Wakeen’s Teapots said, well, wedding dates are highly controllable events, and there are some situations where it would really come across badly to pick the one date a year they actually must have you at work. Not every job is like that, but some are, and I can’t agree at all that it would be crappy across the board for an employer to push back if that’s the case here.

                3. AVP*

                  I have a strong reaction to this because my job is like that, too, and I would be laughed out of the damn office on the way to unemployment if I tried to finagle myself out of it. But it’s an unusual situation that many people don’t have to deal with, so hopefully OP is one of them!

                4. Doreen*

                  And sometimes it’s not just one person’s job – sometimes it’s everyones job. My husband is in sales and his company has two weekend events per year with the dates set well in advance. They have allowed salespeople to miss a day for other weddings (children’s or siblings) but there would be consequences if a salesperson knowingly scheduled his or her wedding for one of those weekends. Maybe not firing, but something.

              2. NoPantsFridays*

                Yeah, I agree with BRR, this is a good point. I was thinking it’s only 3 days, and she’s giving 2 months notice (I read it as May 2015- oops), but it’s an awfully critical 3 days to miss from this perspective.

            2. MsM*

              It’s one thing to train the understudies in case of emergency. But speaking as someone who’s been the understudy for multiple conferences and seen how much crap can go down the day before, I’d be kinda pissed if my boss voluntarily left me to deal with that so she could go do something fun that day instead. Like Allison says, are you *sure* the event runs itself by now, or is this venue *really* worth the potential hit to morale, OP #1?

            3. SJP*

              Just another Techie – Spot on. So many companies leave such major things to just 1 person who holds all the knowledge and information and if that person were to walk out, or worse get hurt then wtf are they gonna do? They should preopare for bigger eventualities than someone wanting to get married. As you say, it’s 16 months notice!! thats a LOT

              1. Ask a Manager* Post author

                That’s a lot, but there are jobs where the whole job is building up to that one day a year, and you really don’t miss it. We don’t know if this is one of them or not, but they certainly exist and it would be reasonable for the boss to wonder WTF the person is thinking scheduling her wedding for that one day out of 365 available to her. It depends on what the job is.

                1. Judy*

                  It looks like the OP below states that the day of the conference, she’d be setting up rooms and greeting people. It doesn’t seem like the day of, she would have very critical duties that couldn’t be handed off. She also said she only wanted the Friday and maybe Monday off.

                2. Ask a Manager* Post author

                  Yep, so it might be fine in this case. But I also want to address the broader idea here, since lots of people in this thread seem surprised that it could be an issue!

              2. A Cita*

                In the world of conference planning, 16 months is actually not a lot–unless you do the exact say conference in the exact same venue with exact same pool of presenters and attendees. In fact, 16 months is pretty minimum. Just want to put that in perspective. It isn’t like planning the office holiday party.

          3. Pontoon Pirate*

            I actually read it as she just needs the day of the conference off–and her wedding is the day after the conference day. It’s still not a small ask, but if she’s truly not as essential the day of the conference, then it makes it easier for the company to swallow.

            1. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.*

              You’re absolutely right. I misread that (twice!), although now what I think i read is that

              1) Wedding Day (not a day she needs to ask off for)
              2) Conference Day (day she wants off for)
              3) Day Before Conference Day (day she would also like off)

              I have to hop back to my normal work and stay there for awhile (we’re in a computer crisis and when the systems come back up hopefully momentarily, that’s it for the day) but….. see if that’s not what you read, too. I’m still reading two days, conference and day before.

              , except I have a conference the day before, and would prefer to take the day before my wedding off — the conference day. I play a large role in planning for the conference, but the day of the conference pretty much runs itself, and I do not really need to be there. I am leaning towards booking the date for the venue, and asking my boss for the day before the conference off

              1. Cat*

                I was wondering if that was just a mistake and she meant to write “day before the wedding off” in the last sentence.

                1. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.*

                  Unfortunately all of our systems are still down so I can come back and say, “that’s probably it”.

                  Now pass me the Xanax, or Zantac or both.

                2. Getting Married2016*

                  I am the Q#1 LW. Indeed, I meant to write I would like to “the day before the wedding off”- just one day, the conference day, plus maybe the following Monday, for 2 days off, total. (Honeymoon has already been postponed to a quieter time of the year for my workplace.) Technically, I would be reachable the day of the conference, the day before my wedding. It’s next Spring, 2016.

                  My duties the day of the event are to set up tables and chairs, hang signs, greet people, get water for guests, etc. Pretty basic stuff. We have a large number of event staff scheduled for this event, and train each of them prior to the event, for these basic duties. There are many seasoned staff members who will be there, as well. I am part of the planning team for the conference, but not the key leader/manager of the event.

                3. OhNo*

                  OP: that seems perfectly reasonable, but if your boss is wavering, would you consider being available by phone or for emergencies? Offering that as an olive branch might help your manager decide that yes, they can do without you for that one day.

                  Also, I am amazed at your ability to plan a major work event and a wedding at the same time. Kudos for that!

          4. The Cosmic Avenger*

            This was why I was thinking that the OP would need to at least say “We looked really hard at other dates, and they just required too much compromise for what (we hope) will be a once-in-a-lifetime event. I really wish I could find another solution that worked for us, but right now this was the only date that gave us (most|all) of what we wanted. Now, I’ll have everything done beforehand and Apollo knows what to do at the conference without me, so it shouldn’t impact our conference at all.” etc.

            That way it’s clear that they didn’t make this choice lightly, and they are going to minimize the impact on their coworkers and clients as best they can.

      2. Allison*

        I agree with you to a point. If someone wants to get married at a particular time of year, and/or has a specific venue or type of venue in mind, then no, they can’t just get married any ol’ day of the year. Not to mention people usually get married on weekends, which limits people even further.

        OP wants to get married in the spring, which is understandable, but I do think they’ll need to explain why that particular date was picked, which may come down to why that specific venue was so important and they couldn’t just find another venue that was available after the conference.

        Honestly, if it were me, I’d try my hardest to have the wedding after the conference, but I also realize that may be easier said than done.

        1. Meg Murry*

          Yes, if I were the boss, my first thought would be “you couldn’t find any venues available for the other 3 weekends in May??” I know a wedding is a one time event, but it also sounds like this conference is a once a year event. If OP’s job is putting on conferences and they do 1 a month or more, I could understand having to schedule to miss one, but if this is once a year, I think OP should probably be able to find a better date.

          OP, I don’t think this is a fire-able offense by any means, but it certainly would put you on my list of “people who owe me a really really big favor” if I were the person stuck being your backup. And like others have said, if your boss decides to assign someone else the responsibility of being the point person for the conference and you get stuck with a less desirable assignment, you have no place to complain.

          1. Not Here or There*

            The one thing I’ve found in doing wedding/ event planning is that you, as the planner, really do not get a whole lot of choice on the dates if you want to book a specific venue. Spring is a popular time for all kinds of events and venues fill up fast. I think I reasonably empathetic boss would understand the situation.
            I am currently planning a big conference, and we had specific needs for the venue and therefore only had a small selection of possible venues in the chosen city. We ended up needing to book our event around the facility availability, not on what date works best for us. I find conference planning to actually be easier in that respect than wedding planning because most weddings are only on Saturdays and most people tend to start planning their weddings a year in advance (whereas a lot of conferences are during the week and aren’t necessarily planned a year in advance which means you tend to have more options for availability the earlier you book).

            1. Colette*

              That’s true, but … what’s more important – the venue or her job? Maybe she’s right and her manager will be fine with her taking the day off, but if the response is anything other than “don’t worry about it, we’ll be fine without you”, she might want to look at other venues after the conference.

              I’d also question whether simultaneously trying to handle the last minute details for a conference and a wedding at the same time will result in anything good.

      3. Victoria Nonprofit (USA)*

        Yes, I agree. I know I’m coming at this with the dirty lenses of my own experience, but having had a job where planning a major event was a big part of my responsibilities, I can think of very few outside events that I could reasonably have ditched for. Planning a wedding for that weekend would definitely have meant leaving my job.

        And I actually think we give weddings too much weight. I’m admittedly not sentimental, and as a married person I am unfortunately familiar with the pain of balancing all the various schedules and needs that go into planning a wedding. But frankly I don’t think “I want to get married at this specific place” is a good reason to miss a major work event. That’s not the only spring day when the wedding could happen (it’s not, say, the one weekend the groom’s sister is on leave from her deployment or something).

        1. The Cosmic Avenger*

          I feel exactly the same way, but I also feel like I have to acknowledge that other people may not feel the same. Now, their feeling strongly about a specific venue may seem silly to me, but as long as they take seriously the impact it would have on their co-workers and their work product, and do their best to make it right, I don’t feel it’s my place to say what their priorities should be regarding their personal life. Yes, they’re causing it to impact work, but then again these are their priorities, not mine. I have my own priorities, for which I would put my personal life over work, but with the same caveats.

          1. NoPantsFridays*

            Yes, this. I don’t see the venue or the specific date as important *to me*, but clearly they are important to the OP. So I think the issue is less “what should OP’s priorities be?” and instead about how to accomodate her personal life priorities within her work responsibilities.

        2. nk*

          Depending on your location and other constraints, getting the stars to align with a date and venue can be a nightmare of a task. It was easily the most difficult and frustrating part of the whole planning process for my upcoming wedding. Their number one venue might not even be their first choice because they just like it, but because it can hold the number of people they need at a price they can afford.

          All that said…it’s evident based on the comments that not every boss is understanding of all of this. I think whether or not this is going to fly will in part depend on the OP’s track record with the boss, how much she’s known for her loyalty/reliability, and how important this particular conference is to her job (is it the single most important part of her job, or one of many conferences/other important things she does?) I also think the willingness to take off only one day and postpone the honeymoon will go a long way in showing the boss how accommodating she’s willing to be.

          1. VintageLydia USA*

            “Depending on your location and other constraints, getting the stars to align with a date and venue can be a nightmare of a task. It was easily the most difficult and frustrating part of the whole planning process for my upcoming wedding. Their number one venue might not even be their first choice because they just like it, but because it can hold the number of people they need at a price they can afford. ”

            It took me over a month to find a decent venue in my price range that could hold the number of people I needed that wasn’t ugly (a LOT of reception halls were last decorated in the 70’s and, well, I think I’m allowed to have an opinion on the aesthetics even on a tight budget.) I didn’t even have a date in mind. Just a season (early Spring, so right before the busy/expensive wedding season but I still had a 50/50 chance of nice weather.)

          2. AdAgencyChick*

            And it might not even be the venue. It might be wanting very much to have Cousin Ruthie in the wedding party, but she’s away at school from August through May, and having the wedding in July in Texas will make everybody miserable, etc., etc., etc.

            From the responses to this post, it’s clear that there’s a good chance the boss may not care, and I’m not saying s/he has to. But if OP worked for me, AND she’s a solid employee, AND it’s clear that she also took the effect on her coworkers into consideration*, I’d empathize and try to move things around to make it happen for her, knowing that this is a one-time thing.

            *I admit I’d react quite differently to OP making the request in the spirit of, “I know it’s not ideal to have me out during a busy time, so I’ll do everything I can to make it easier for you — but this is the only date I can book Wedding Palace until 2017” than I would if it were a cavalier, “I’ll need three days off at conference time for my wedding, hope that’s cool!”

    3. AdAgencyChick*

      I certainly would not begrudge OP missing a major work event for her wedding.

      That being said, OP, are you planning on being at this company (or will you need to continue *attending* this conference) long-term? If so, are you going to care that your wedding anniversary always falls right around the date of the conference? It sounds like no, because OP is considering delaying her honeymoon, but if yes, it’s something to think about. You’ll likely get a pass for your wedding, but not for anniversaries and birthdays. I’ve worked with a few people in the past who complain about not getting to have fun on their birthdays because they’re attending a conference (one even faked illness in a very obvious way to get out of attending). It does not go over well with coworkers.

      1. kristinyc*

        Yes, this!

        Our wedding was in Mid-October. At the time, it meant that our friend who works at a major comic book publisher couldn’t come to the wedding because it was the same weekend as NYCC (my husband and other friends were okay with missing it the one time for the wedding). Now, it means EVERY year, my husband and I have to have a long discussion about if it’s okay if he goes to the convention on the weekend closest to our anniversary, and usually it just means he goes to part of it, and we celebrate on the Sunday or Monday after. Not horrible, but could have been avoided. :)

        1. Victoria Nonprofit (USA)*

          Haha! We picked out wedding date (late October) because it was a long weekend for my mother (a teacher), who had to travel for the wedding. This meant that our anniversary falls during the World Series. my husband made me agree that if the Orioles were ever in the World Series we would spend our anniversary at the game.

          As it turns out, neither of us cares about the specific date. We’re celebrating my birthday a day early next week to accommodate a fantasy baseball draft (see the trend? I’m aldo posting from my vacation house in Sarasota, FL – home of Orioles spring training).

          1. LPBB*

            Completely off-topic, but I can’t wait for the O’s season to start! It’s been so exciting to have them relevant in baseball again!

            1. Victoria Nonprofit (USA)*

              Ugh, let’s hope. They’re missing a few key pieces! I wish they could grab Cole Hamels. The Phillies would love to unload him and the Os need a real ace!

        2. Revanche*

          Hah when a good friend asked for input on wedding dates, I ruled out the weekend of SDCC. I love the friend dearly but it was also my one vacation a year and tickets were getting bearish to buy even five years ago.

      2. JoAnna*

        We were married the Saturday of Labor Day weekend, which means we always have a three-day weekend on or around our anniversary. It’s pretty nice. :)

        1. Cautionary tail*

          Apparently the holiday was so named because that’s when my mom went into labor with me. :)

          1. Kelly L.*

            There was a Labor Temple in my hometown when I was growing up, and it was actually pretty near the hospital where all us kids were born. I remember being a bit confused about its purpose as a kid. I’m pretty sure I thought it was an OB facility of some kind.

          2. JoAnna*

            I have two first cousins, a niece, and a goddaughter that were all born on or near Labor Day! :)

        2. MsChanandlerBong*

          We got married the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, so it also worked out nicely for us!

    4. Marzipan*

      I don’t completely agree, because in some industries and workplaces there are predictable periods of time when things will be extremely busy. At my work, for example, there’s an annual period of 3-4 weeks when, due to the nature of what we’re doing, we will be exceptionally, non-stop busy. (Imagine something equivalent to, say, planning and running election campaigns; or finishing couture garments for fashion shows; and someone in that context announcing that they’ve decided to get married three days before the general election/London Fashion Week and will be taking two weeks off – it’s not that the company is incapable of handling normal business; it’s just that for that key, critical period of time there’s no possible way for them not to be hammered with work because it’s inherent to the work they’re doing.) There is, therefore, a general understanding that we can’t have annual leave at that time.

      They aren’t totally unreasonable about this – I can think of examples where, for example, someone has been able to take a day or two to be a bridesmaid at a close friend’s wedding (because clearly our busy period is not other people’s problem) and I think it’s possible that if I were getting married and there were an overriding reason why I could only do so at that time of year (like, I don’t know, if I were marrying someone in the military and needing to schedule around their deployments) then it might, exceptionally, be allowed. But I also believe that someone who booked their wedding and honeymoon during this period without negotiating it first was once fired for doing so, because they basically disregarded the principle that You Do Not Take Time Off Then.

      And actually, in workplaces where that’s the case, I don’t see it as out of bounds or unreasonable to set and maintain that expectation (with some latitude to be reasonable where necessary). Incidentally, my workplace would regard unexpected events (like funerals or serious illness) very differently because they recognise you can’t plan for them.

      None of this is aimed at #1, as it sounds like their situation is very different – I just don’t entirely agree that no employer can ever reasonably object to when their employees plan their weddings for.

      1. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.*

        We have a very similar busy period with an actually stated “no time off” blackout that is four weeks long. We’ve accommodated people in wedding parties with travel multiple times and one actual employee wedding, all of which kept their days off request to no more than 3 days. (Our employee wedding, the honeymoon was scheduled at another time due to both the bride and groom’s work commitments, not just us being frowny faced ogre types. I’m sure I would have caved if it was just us. :) )

        When everyone is working at 100% max during this period, the work of anybody who is out falls on already bleeding co-workers. It’s thoughtless, and possibly team or career injuring, to not take that into account when all is known well in advance.

      2. AnonAnalyst*

        Yeah, I think this is really dependent by workplace and job. I used to work in event planning, primarily planning conferences, and there was a 5 day annual conference that made up most of our event revenue, and a significant part of organizational revenue, for the year. A large portion of my job for the entire year was preparing for this conference, and the fact that it was pretty important to the job was made clear to me during the interview process so it’s not like there was ever any ambiguity about the fact that I was just expected to be there.

        I don’t think anyone on my team would have even considered asking for time off in the couple of weeks leading up to the conference, let alone during the conference itself; there was too much to do, and barring some extreme unexpected circumstance (like a death or serious illness), it was expected that you would be there, so it would look at best naive (and possibly unprofessional) to request time off.

        As excited as everyone in that workplace was when I got engaged, I don’t think that excitement would have been enough to make my managers get on board with my missing the event for my wedding. Actually, I think there’s a decent chance I may have gotten fired if I refused to work the conference, even if it was to attend my own wedding.

        Having said all that, we also ran many smaller conferences during the year, none of which had impacts on the team and organization that were nearly as large as the main conference. These would also require more planning and set-up work in the week or so leading up to them, but I think if I had requested time off during one of those events it wouldn’t have been a problem since my responsibilities for those conferences could have been more easily passed to one of my coworkers. It sounds like this scenario may be more like the one OP #1 is in, so I don’t think it would be awful to ask, but I do think she should be prepared to maybe hear “no.”

    5. LBK*

      I don’t agree necessarily, because it sounds like this conference is a major part of the OP’s job – possibility the largest responsibility she takes on all year and one that the majority of her work contributes towards. If that’s the case, you can’t say it’s about work/life balance – work/life balance doesn’t mean whatever’s happening in your life always takes precedence, it means the needs of the two have to balance (hence…work/life balance).

      If this is a major need for the business and one that the OP was more or less hired to perform, I can’t see how that balance doesn’t swing heavily in work’s favor.

    6. Eric*

      Yep. Yep. Yep.

      Wedding trumps work in any and every conceivable way. Day off before your wedding? No problem. Whole week? No problem. Even though its the biggest conference of the year? Yep!

      Wedding dates are highly controllable? Ridiculousness.

      Number one line from your boss should be: “Congratulations!”, not: “Can you reschedule that?”

      1. the_scientist*

        Honestly, I wonder if people are underestimating venue availability and requirements, here. OP is entitled to the size and formality of wedding that her and her fiance want, and their venue needs to reflect that (as well as priorities with respect to food, dancing and how DIY or hands-off the couple wants to be). In big cities, there are usually a select few highly desirable wedding venues- I know in Toronto, there are many venues of varying sizes, but there are maybe 5 or so that are highly, highly desirable. These really popular venues book up easily 2 years in advance- it’s very likely that the date OP’s wedding venue is available is the only date available for that spring, because spring is an extremely popular time to get married. Further, It doesn’t sound like the OP is the main event manager on the ground on the day of the conference, so presumably most of her responsibilities will be wrapped up before the actual event, meaning her presence may not be an absolute requirement.

        It’s also funny to me how quickly other people are willing to start “wedding-shaming” others. It’s like there’s a competition to show who had the most laid-back, low-key anti-wedding wedding in the history of all weddings; and how that way is obviously the ONE TRUE WAY to get married. Everyone has their own priorities; we don’t know why the OP and her fiance are set on this venue but that’s a choice they get to make, even if others would put their job ahead of their (hopefully) one and only wedding day.

        1. VintageLydia USA*

          “It’s also funny to me how quickly other people are willing to start “wedding-shaming” others. It’s like there’s a competition to show who had the most laid-back, low-key anti-wedding wedding in the history of all weddings; and how that way is obviously the ONE TRUE WAY to get married.”

          Thank you for saying this.

          1. Allison*

            Seconded! If you hate the idea of spending a lot on a wedding, and would rather have a small ceremony followed by a barefoot BBQ, with bridesmaids in dresses from H&M and a wedding dress you got for $25 at TJ Maxx, go for it, but understand that just like the big, fancy wedding wasn’t for you, your low-key wedding isn’t for everyone either. NO type of wedding is for everyone, and no one should be admonished for wanting something nice or traditional. Weddings are a very personal thing, and people need to respect that.

        2. C Average*

          I have to respectfully disagree.

          What we’re talking about here is a party. Yeah, it’s a really important party for the participants, but as far as the participants’ colleagues and management are concerned, it’s a party. It’s an optional, for-fun event the host is planning herself, and she’s not “entitled” to anything other than an honest answer from her boss to her PTO request. If it’s a pleasant workplace, they’ll try to accommodate her and everyone will wish her well, but that’s not an entitlement.

          I get that wedding planning is complicated, but that’s a burden that falls on the participants. Their workplace has no responsibility to privilege a wedding-related request above and beyond all other requests just because the scheduling is challenging for the participant and the event is, for her, a major life event.

          1. NoPantsFridays*

            Yeah, there’s nothing wrong with having a big wedding if that’s what the OP wants. It only becomes a problem if the workplace and coworkers have to bear the burden of a wedding that has absolutely nothing to do with them.

            1. Chinook*

              “Yeah, there’s nothing wrong with having a big wedding if that’s what the OP wants. It only becomes a problem if the workplace and coworkers have to bear the burden of a wedding that has absolutely nothing to do with them.”

              I agree – work-life balance is important but a balance doesn’t mean life wins out of work everytime. Taking time off during a big work event will absolutely impact your coworkers and somebody will have to pick up the slack. I understand venues can be important and hard to book, but sometimes being at work on a specific day is also a requirement for the job.

          2. the_scientist*

            Upon re-reading my response, I think my phrasing was poorly chosen. The OP is entitled to *want* the type of wedding that she wants, but is she entitled to *have* it? No, of course not! Similarly, her employer is entitled to say “sorry, it’s all hands on deck that day” when the OP asks.

            I guess I’m just reacting very strongly to the idea that it’s such a horrible imposition on the employer for the OP to even ask about it. I’m making the assumption that OP knows her boss and her workplace well enough to know if this is a complete non-option, and she wouldn’t have bothered writing to AAM if that was the case. I absolutely don’t think, given the circumstances, that it’s UNreasonable for the OP to ask- the fact that she’s willing to postpone her honeymoon indicates that she’s likely a dedicated employee who has made a thoughtful decision about how to minimize the impact of this event on her coworkers. OP replies further down that she is not the primary on site manager of the event on the actual day, so her presence may not be an absolute requirement. Presuming that the OP has attended this event in previous years of employment, and will be there in future years, I really don’t think she’s being unreasonable or overly entitled.

            What I feel like people are missing is that depending on where the OP lives, this may be literally the only venue (or one of only 2-3 venues) that meets their needs and budget and is available during the time they want to get married. It’s understandable to not want to wait, say an additional 1.5 years to get married (which might be when the venue next has an opening) and I think it’s understandable that they have a preference for season (if they wait till the fall, maybe OP’s fiance’s work schedule will conflict). OP will have to make a strong case to her boss for why it has to be this day and this day alone, but I feel like that case could actually be pretty easy to make. I have a lot of friends who are wedding planning right now and finding a venue seems to be a logistical nightmare…..and trust me, none of my friends are the entitled princess type.

        3. LPBB*

          I had a low-key, DIY, budget wedding and researched various venues that would be affordable and suit our wedding, just in case our first choice wasn’t available. I found two lovely ones that would have matched all of our needs and wants. Funny thing – these budget, DIY friendly venues are always booked up solid; you pretty much have to be ready to book a date as soon as they begin accepting reservations for that year. Just having a budget, DIY wedding doesn’t mean that you won’t also have scheduling problems or be limited to one or two less than desirable dates.

        4. Colette*

          She can have the size, formality, and date that she wants, but it might cost her the job that she wants. Alternatively, she might be able to have the size & formality that she wants along with the job, but she might have to get married in March or November.

          Life’s about choices, and choices have consequences.

        5. JC*

          Sure, the OP can make the choice to have a wedding at that venue on that day. But as you can see from these comments, making that choice can have repercussions in the workplace. Which is why it is important to discuss with your employer what (if anything) those repercussions might be, as Alison suggested.

        6. Amber*

          People can have whatever sort of wedding they like, but if doing so is going to impact on others it’s reasonable to expect that they will take that into consideration.

        7. INTP*

          People are entitled to the weddings of their choice. However, people are not entitled to do whatever they want whenever they want yet be exempt from other people taking note of their priorities and responding accordingly. If an employee prioritizes getting their dream wedding venue and date over attending an extremely important event to their job (even if they aren’t essential day-of, I have a hard time believing that if your job involves 14 months of planing for a specific event, attending it would not be considered a very important educational experience at minimum)…well, a boss can’t stop them, but they wouldn’t be out of line to question this person’s priorities and whether another employee who prioritizes their job more might be a better fit. It would be one thing if there were conferences every other weekend for a season, but assuming this is the most important event OP is involved in…it’s one day in the year, and I’m sure there are other venues in the OP’s choice of formality available during one of the other 12 weeks of spring.

        8. H*

          Yes, and you just list factors the couple wants- it can get so much more complicated. When we were wedding planning we needed a place in our budget, located a reasonable distance between several elderly relatives who can’t travel far, wheelchair accessible with reasonable terrain for some others with physical limitations. Factoring all that in, not even the aesthetic we wanted, or the time of year we wanted, left us with a very limited number of venues to consider, and of course those venues had limited dates. It would really suck for OP to miss out on a venue that’s grandma family, or the only local place in their budget, or what-have-you.

        9. Traveler*

          This push back you’re feeling about weddings is because people have started turning their wedding into the end all/be all of their life, and taking a scorched earth policy to everything else in its wake (jobs, friends, family, etc.). It’s one day, an important day – personally and culturally speaking, but I don’t see it as trumping everything else. I happen to like my job. I’d like to keep it, and my career is going to last a lot longer than the one day of my wedding (and given my education, time, etc. I’ve poured a lot more resources into it).

      2. Ask a Manager* Post author

        Wow, I totally and profoundly disagree. It really depends 100% on the job. There are some jobs where running the event IS the job, and that’s what you were hired to do, and it would look incredibly clueless and out of touch to schedule a wedding then. There are other jobs where it’s not the case. But I don’t see how you can make blanket statements that it should always be okay, given the range of jobs out there where “this one day of work is never going to be optional” is the case.

        1. Getting Married2016*

          I am touched by all the responses and the wide spectrum of advice that readers have offered, and I truly appreciate it!

          Just to offer a bit more info: My job title is NOT event planner, that is not what I was hired to do. Someone else is the lead coordinator of this conference, I just play a supporting role, albeit a significant supporting role in the planning of the event, which only takes about 2 months to plan. It’s not the only conference we do every year, either. Between my fiancé’s work schedule and mine, there is literally no “slow time” that overlaps for both of us, so if I selected a non-busy season for my job, it would be extremely busy for his job. The wedding we are planning is simple and informal, and the venue meets all of our needs and is inexpensive, and therefore sought after, and we did truly try to find another date at this venue to no avail, as well as another venue that would fit our budget, but the next cheapest one was more than twice the cost of this one. It’s also a full-service venue that handles everything- so very little for me to do.

          And one last detail- my boss is wonderful, and does appreciate work/life balance. If this were not the case, I don’t think we would have event considered planning the wedding for the date we want, we just would just suck it up and select a date that likely would inconvenience my finance’s work schedule instead. Either way, someone gets inconvenienced. A small part of me also fears I would eventually grow to resent my employer and then my job if I had to pick a date I didn’t really want. Which is why I appreciate all of the different prospects the AAM readers have supplied!

          I know I will not be at this current job for the rest of my life, but I do plan to be with my wonderful husband-to-be for the rest of my life.

    7. Elysian*

      I disagree, both with the idea that work shouldn’t be a consideration and with the idea that a wedding is the “biggest day” of someone’s life.

      I got married when I was teaching public school, and every teacher I worked with planned their wedding for the summer. It was sensible – we didn’t get vacation time, and we had the summer off. I would have loved to get married in October, but I didn’t, because that month is busy for teachers. I got married in June. I don’t think its unreasonable to plan your wedding around the rest of your lives.

      I also just dislike this idea that weddings should take precedence over all other things. It’s a big day, yes. But honestly, I hope its not the “biggest day” of someone’s life. Is life really all downhill from the wedding? It can be the beginning of something wonderful, but it really is just one day. I think the OP is wise to think about moving heaven and earth for a wedding might effect him/her professionally, because after the wedding he/she has their whole life to live.

      1. Not Here or There*

        While I completely get your opinion on weddings, I think there is another way of looking at it. A wedding may not be the defining moment in someone’s life and life most certainly isn’t all downhill from the wedding day, but it will probably be the biggest event a person plans in their life. Plus, you’re having to work with a lot of schedules. Sure, work should be a small consideration, but unless you’re talking a major, career-defining event, I really don’t think work trumps wedding. A wedding may not be THE defining moment, it is absolutely A defining moment.

        1. Allison*

          Agreed, I think most mature adults realize that the marriage is more important than the celebration that marks the beginning of it, but for a lot of people a wedding and reception are really important, symbolic rituals that they want to do right.

          Personally, I didn’t have a sweet 16, my high school grad party was a backyard BBQ, and I didn’t have any party to celebrate my graduation from college. I also don’t have big birthday bashes, even for big years like my 21st or 25th birthday. To make up for this, you’d better believe I’m going to give a crap or two about my wedding, and while I may try to be strategic about when and where it takes place, I’m not going to bend over backwards just to make sure it doesn’t inconvenience anyone.

      2. Cath in Canada*

        Yeah, given a free choice I’d have rather got married in the spring, but my parents were still teaching then and so it absolutely had to be during the summer (it’s a 10 hour flight for them, so not really feasible to do during a shorter vacation). It made everything harder to plan and more expensive, but that’s just how it is sometimes.

      3. DontAskBrad*

        Oh, I heartily agree with you! I really despise the whole notion of the wedding day being the biggest day of your life. It implies all sorts of things that I don’t agree with, especially since that statement is usually referring to women. That a woman’s biggest dream in life is to get married, that her whole existence has built up to that point and nothing will ever top it, that all other life events pale in comparison, that it’s acceptable to spend $10,000+ on 6 hours of your life rather than planning to have a solid foundation for the 30+ (hopefully) years you will have with a partner / family going forward. Drives me batty.

        I just think the actual day I *decided* to marry my husband was more important. The day I gave birth to my daughter was infinitely more spectacular and significant. The day my grandmother passed away was far more profound. All those events were life changing in a way my wedding day absolutely wasn’t. Very little actually changes for most people on that day.

        BUT, I usually try to keep that to myself because I know it’s not a popular opinion and MY opinion doesn’t have to be everyone else’s opinion too. All that said, I think it’s fine to ask for what you want for your wedding but I don’t think employers are under any obligation to agree to it just because its a wedding. It really depends on the situation, what your job function is, and what is happening in the business at that point.

    8. Artemesia*

      I think there is a difference between having a wedding planned and then having work intrude and actually scheduling a wedding when you are in charge of a major work event. e.g. Suddenly after you have long scheduled your wedding, there is a major client deliverable due or a grand proposal or something versus you are a CPA and you go ahead and decide to schedule your wedding April 13. I do think you need to find a time where you are not responsible for something important.

    9. INTP*

      To me, giving 14 months of notice that an employee will need to be at an event is sufficient in being flexible around the employee’s personal life. If there were some extreme reason that this was the only day the OP could plan a wedding (not “My dream venue is only available this day” but “My parents and siblings are in the military and this is the only day my entire immediate family could attend), then it’s worth voicing concerns about. Otherwise, the employer is only “interfering” if the employee chooses this one weekend instead of the other 51 weekends in the year to get married. It’s not like they’ve decided 6 months ahead of time that OP must attend a conference and expect them to cancel the wedding.

      1. Anon Accountant*


        If it were a situation such as you described of only time immediate family could attend or if there were a gravely ill family member and a wedding was quickly scheduled so that family member could be in attendance as a coworker I’d understand if it were on very short notice.

        But over 1 year’s notice sounds like sufficient time to train someone else for conference duties.

  4. AmyHG*

    #3: Perhaps you can bring a bike to ride to the cafeteria to decrease the amount of travel time each day? I worked at a temporary position with a company that has a great cafe. I always tried to get there during “off” times to maximize the lunch hour.

  5. Elizabeth the Ginger*

    OP #1 – While you know yourself better than any random internet stranger, I want to say that my own wedding turned out to be more intensive planning than I thought it would be! We kept it pretty low-key, all in all, but it was still a lot of work and stress. For your own sanity, you might want to consider if you really want to schedule two big planning things so close together (the conference and the wedding). Are you normally extra-busy and stressed leading up to the conference? If so, my personal advice is not to try to put your wedding on top of that, unless your wedding plan is something like “just our parents and my sister, in the park by my house, wearing jeans and going out for ice cream after”.

    Also, Alison, OP made a (common) typo in the second sentence of this letter – “my finance” instead of “my fiancé.”

    1. CAinUK*

      I second this.

      If the OP suspects her attention for Big Conference may be less-than-average due to planning a wedding for the exact same time, then discussing the one day isn’t going to solve the larger concern: is planning the two events concurrently going to impact either/both events?

      If the answer is yes, that’s the real discussion. If the answer is no, then it probably means 1.) OP is well supported for this conference so taking the day won’t be a huge issue or 2.) OP is underestimating her involvement (which Alison warns against). That still leaves a 2/3 risk…

      So as Alison suggests: this is more a conversation with your management (“Hey, I’m getting married but the dates we are looking at are right around Big Conference! What should we do?”) than a proposal for a day off.

    2. Not So NewReader*

      Yeah, I wondered about this, too. OP, maybe you are so used to setting up this conference you could do it in your sleep. There are times where I have done two big things back-to-back because at least one of the things was second nature to me. This could describe your setting. And I am sure you are aware of how planning a wedding can max some people right out. (It did me, because of all the unforeseens that popped up.) Please be sure this is what you want to do and check to make sure you have backups/supporters that will help with each event.

    3. BRR*

      Ooh that’s a great point I didn’t think of. My wedding was low key and I can’t imagine planning something huge. We were busy at work and that was stressful but it wasn’t anywhere near huge conference important.

    4. MJH*

      Exactly what I was thinking. I don’t know, OP, if you are planning a small, low-key wedding (although sometimes low-key just requires a lot of planning up front so you can have a low-key day on the back end), but I took 2 days off before my wedding and I could’ve used another. My last day of work was a Wednesday and it was such a stressful day; all I could think of was how much I had to do and it was the closest I came to having a meltdown throughout the entire process. Once Thursday came and I could focus solely on wedding stuff, I mellowed out a lot. (I had SO MANY LISTS and it was so good to finally be able to take them on.)

      I would definitely schedule the wedding for after the conference, just because it will be that much more relaxing for you if you can get married and go on your honeymoon knowing that your responsibilities have been fully taken care of. Do you think you’ll be able to go the entire Friday before the wedding without getting a frantic phone call from someone at the conference asking where X is or what to do about Y?

    5. Helen*

      I sort of disagree… I’m two months out from my wedding and I have barely anything left to do. There was a rush in the beginning (finding the venue, dress, and photographer), then a lull, and coming up I’ll have some little things (dress fitting, seating charts). I was stressed in the beginning, but I’m having a short engagement and basically had a month to book all the major vendors and get my dress. I think with a year+ engagement she’d be totally fine.

      Fwiw, I’m not having a backyard in jeans wedding–it’s a traditional wedding.

      1. Meg Murry*

        I think it also depends how much the wedding is full service vs DIY, and how much other help or support you have. If you book a venue that provides everything and all you have to do is show up in your dress and look pretty, maybe drop off a seating chart the day before, that’s one thing. It’s a completely different picture if then venue is the kind of place that is just one big hall and you have to coordinate bringing in chairs, tables, linens, caterers, centerpieces, a dance floor, etc etc – and doubly so if you have to actually pick the items up yourself, set them up and/or decorate. Same thing if the venue has someone who’s job is to coordinate weddings or if you hire a wedding planner or day-of coordinator vs the big hall DIY option.

      2. Helen*

        I think a lot of it depends on if the wedding will be at a (somewhat) all inclusive venue or if it’s at a place where you need to rent everything from the tables to the plates to the lights. Obviously, the latter has more moving pieces and is more work. Same for DIY–I originally was going to have it at a venue where I’d really need to add a lot of personality myself via decorations and tiny details, but I knew that that would stress me out and instead chose a space that spoke for itself. I’m also not going crazy with details in general (like programs, menus, favors, etc.).

      3. Elizabeth the Ginger*

        Admittedly I had a Big Unexpected Thing happen with my wedding – six weeks out, after people had already booked plane tickets and everything, our venue cancelled on us because of a natural disaster. (It was a county park, and the disaster meant there would be no water in the park for months.) We had to scramble around to find a new venue and re-plan the wedding to take place in a very different setting. It all worked out completely beautifully in the end, but it made the last while before the wedding busier than it would have been.

        Also, I made my own flower arrangements with my mother, sister, MIL and SIL, which took up most of the day before the wedding. The whole week before the wedding was also wrapped up in seeing family and other people who were in from out of town. I was glad to be off work. I’m not saying it’s not completely do-able to do otherwise, though – I’m a person who likes being able to focus on one thing at a time if possible, but my husband had a bunch of work stuff going on and I think it helped him not stress about the wedding because he just didn’t have time! (He did help with the wedding – he just didn’t do as much unproductive vague worrying about it as I did!)

    6. TOC*

      This is a good point. I had a small, low-key wedding. While the planning overall was not terribly stressful, the last few weeks before the wedding were time-consuming: gathering and counting RSVPs, seating arrangements, making final arrangements with all of the vendors, etc. It took more time than I anticipated.

      The hardest part to balance with my work responsibilities was all of the final walk-through-type meetings with vendors. Some of those meetings had to be during the day. My job was flexible enough that it wasn’t a big deal, but if this is typically a busy time for OP she might now have the flexibility to work different hours or be gone during the day.

      OP, I think it’s entirely possible to plan a big work event and your wedding simultaneously. But don’t underestimate the time your wedding could demand of you, even if it’s on the simpler side.

      1. Allison*

        It’s stuff like this that’s making me consider paying a wedding planner when (er . . . if) I get married. I’m very prone to fun stuff like anxiety, panic attacks, and stress crying, and if I can afford to have someone take some of the stuff off my shoulders, it’ll probably be worth it.

    7. Andrea*

      I suspect wedding planning is different for people who plan other events on a regular basis.

      1. Victoria Nonprofit (USA)*

        Not from my experience! The hard thing about wedding planning is the emotional management. At work events you don’t have to worry about whether your crotchety grandma will think her hotel room is tacky, or how to keep your divorced parents from fighting, or whether your brother in law is going to drink too much and embarrass your mother in law. I mean, you may have conference attendees with the same issues, but you probably – I hope! – don’t have your own emotions tied up in those relationships In the same way.

        1. MsM*

          I think those of us (and there seem to be more than a few) who are approaching this from the perspective of “no event really runs itself”

          1. MsM*

            Whoops, don’t know why or how that posted. What I *meant* to say was that there’s also the element of finally getting to run something your way and be the boss, only to have the aforementioned family issues and other obstacles get in the way, which can be even more frustrating.

    8. Cautionary tail*

      What I haven’t seen so far for our wedding-op is the consideration of all the people who screw things up on you (correction: help you) for your wedding.

      A wedding is just like a conference where you have people whose job it is to address all the screw-ups so the event so nobody notices anything, the same thing happened at our wedding so we had to spend a lot of unplanned extra time addressing those issues.
      (1) We had long-planned a horse and buggy from the wedding to the reception and someone gave us a last-minute wedding gift of a down-payment on a limo we didn’t want; we had to the pay the rest of the limo (gee thanks) and had to keep peace with the uncle whose horse and buggy we wanted to use.
      (2) We had a relative who was a nun who complained vociferously that since we didn’t get married in a catholic church that we weren’t married.
      (3) We blocked an entire motel and one guest wanted a room we had selected for another guest (a specially equipped room for the disabled guest); the non-disabled guest wanted the room because it was a little bigger and didn’t care about the needs of the disabled person.
      (4) Someone sprayed gel-shaving cream all over our parked car and even sprayed it through the slightly open window. We had to wash the car inside and out and the shaving cream permanently stained the paint.

      And so much more.

      These types of issues took so much time and emotional turmoil to address and we never thought we needed to plan to address them. It sounds from your note that you either have someone(s) to take care of these matters or you need to think of them.

      Good luck and best wishes.

      1. Artemesia*

        It’s families like this that make eloping so popular. We had the Catholic church issue (My MIL had been a noviate), as well as a few others of these, so that is what we did. It is a good point that stuff happens in big emotion laden events and it does suck up a lot of time and energy. Since the OP obviously wants a big formal wedding, she needs to anticipate all that and since she plans conferences probably has to some extend. I would have told the limo gifter that the plans were already made for the trip and we wouldn’t be able to use the gift. It must have been someone incredibly important to disappoint Uncle and trash the horse and buggy.

        1. Cautionary tail*

          Managing relatives became a full-time planning exercise even in the months leading up to the event and this was one of the few areas we couldn’t preemptively address and could only do damage control. One area we did control was that since we had some known hard-drinkers in attendance we had a champagne toast and free non-alcoholic drinks. This kept the drinking down so we didn’t have to deal with any out of control drunks issues.

    9. Jules*

      OMG wedding planning is stressful and I really enjoyed our wedding day but gosh the planning took a lot out of me. If you had to plan both and event and a wedding… yikes… I don’t know if I want to be in your shoes. Given that I am type A and on certain occasion want things MY way. My best friend said it best, if there are no tears involved in wedding planning, it’d be a miracle.

  6. littlemoose*

    I initially read the question headline for #3 as “Should time travel be included in a lunch hour” and was very confused. Need coffee. But yeah, unfortunately the move sounds like it has effectively shortened your lunch hour a bit, if you want to eat at the cafeteria. Maybe bring your lunch sometimes if you want to maximize that time for yourself?

    1. SaraV*

      I also read it as “time travel” at first.

      Too much of a Doctor Who fan, I suppose.

    2. Helen*

      She already has an hour for lunch though, so even with the “commute” to the cafeteria, she has forty minutes for a leisurely lunch. If they added travel time, she’d have an 80 minute lunch break, which would be.. a bit excessive imo.

      1. Meg Murry*

        Yes, I agree – distance to the employee cafeteria doesn’t determine lunch break times. Other ways OP could minimize the impact:
        -If its a position that also has a 15 minute break, ask you can tack that onto the lunch hour
        -Ask if you can switch from 12:00-1:00 to 11:45-12:45 so you don’t hit long lines in the cafeteria, shortening your break further
        -Come up with an errand that needs to be run across campus near the cafeteria before or after lunch on some days (only if they are legit needs though).
        -As others mentioned, get a bike or scooter to travel across campus on (but don’t run anyone over!)

        1. De Minimis*

          If the lunch hour is an actual hour, I wouldn’t sweat it.

          What does indeed suck is if you get something like a half hour for lunch, then things like getting to the lunch room do become a big deal. I have worked in places like that and it’s no fun.

          1. Helen*

            I had a job with a (very strictly enforced via punching in and out) 30 minute lunch break and it was actually the most stressful part of my day. I would basically sprint to wherever I wanted to get food, hoover it down, and then have a stomachache. (Even if I brought food and ate it in the lunch room, I’d still eat it quickly so that I could go outside and take a quick walk.) It sucked. But an hour would be fine.

          2. hermit crab*

            Ugh, that brings me back to high school: 30-minute lunch period (beginning at like 10:45 in the morning), with about 20 of those minutes spent waiting in the cafeteria line.

            1. nona*

              Me too. It was easier to bring lunch or get a snack from a vending machine and eat lunch after school.


          3. Apple22over7*

            Yes. I worked in a large warehouse, where to enter/exit the main warehouse space you had to press a button, and 1-in-3 people would be randomly selected for a pat-down search, to ensure there were no thefts. This led to long lines of people waiting to press the button, and lines waiting for the 1 security guard to pat down those selected. This took off around 5 minutes either end of your lunch break. I also worked at the opposite end of the warehouse to the doors to the breakroom, which added another 2-3 minutes each end of my lunch break, and suddenly my 30 minute lunch had been whittled down to 15-20 minutes in which to wolf down my sandwiches. It was not fun at all.

            However, for the OP – 1 hour is plenty of time for lunch, and whilst you may be encouraged to use the on-site cafeteria I’m assuming there’s no policy saying you *must* use it, so the 10 minute walk to/from the cafeteria is entirely voluntary.

      2. Mostly Sarcasm*

        Some people get 30 minute lunch breaks (the legal minimum where I live). OP, you have an hour long lunch break and you can eat for free? As long as the food is healthy and edible, that’s still a good deal.

        1. OP3*

          Oh, I know, I have a great deal. I am not complaining. I just have a tendency to be way too worried about breaking rules and I needed a reality check to confirm that people would indeed expect me to build in walking time to my lunch hour, which it sounds like is correct.

    3. INTP*

      Assuming the OP has an hour for lunch, I agree, it’s totally reasonable that travel time (but maybe not time travel) to the cafeteria be included in that hour, assuming the lines aren’t 20 minutes long or anything ridiculous. It still allows for 20 minutes to order and eat food and a walk during lunch can be refreshing. I think OP will likely come to enjoy the walk and think of it as part of their lunch decompression time.

      If the OP were using “lunch hour” as a figure of speech and it was really 30 minutes, I do think it would be appropriate to ask about extending the lunch time to travel to the cafeteria, since this company seems to really want employees to eat in the cafeteria. But that would need to be with the willingness to just consider it a longer lunch break and make up the time at the beginning or end of the workday.

      1. Ama*

        Yeah, I’m lucky enough to live close enough to work that I walk 10 minutes home, eat lunch, and come back almost every day, and I’ve had plenty of time even taking a few minutes to prep my lunch once I get home. And it is nice to get that walk — during this horrible winter, just getting some direct sunlight on my face for a few minutes has helped a lot, even when the temperature is below freezing.

    4. DMented Kitty*

      In that case, you can take the Delorean to the cafeteria. :D Which would be cool by all means.

  7. AnotherAlison*

    Just going to toss this out there for OP#1. . .May kind of sucks as a time for celebrating anniversaries, if you plan on having kids. As you can see, it’s already conflicting with your conference. If you’re always going to be in a conference-related industry, it’s prime time for conferences. It’s also a busy time for families, with Mother’s Day, graduations (pre-school, 6th grade promotion, 8th grade promotion, actual graduations), ballet recitals, school sports tournaments, little league games, etc.

    My anniversary is around Father’s Day, and that was also poor planning.

    1. Laufey*

      My folks got married February 13 (not for cuteness – happened on a military timeline), and they can never get reservations for their anniversary.

      1. Sigrid*

        My best friend’s birthday is February 14, and she has never forgiven her parents for this.

        1. Natalie*

          I have a friend with a Valentine’s birthday, too, and the only time she’s gone out to eat on her birthday was at White Castle. Apparently on Valentine’s Day they have table service and put fake flowers on the tables.

      2. BananaPants*

        My parents were married on February 14th, also not for cuteness – they had to move the date up due to my mother’s dad being terminally ill and it was the first available Saturday that they could book the church. They didn’t even realize it was Valentine’s Day until someone pointed it out to them. For 39 years now they have never gone out to eat on their anniversary, they go a week before or a week after.

    2. the gold digger*

      pre-school, 6th grade promotion, 8th grade promotion, actual graduations

      I have vowed never again to attend a regular graduation (high school, college). I would have to be offered a million dollars tax free or have a gun to my head to attend a non-graduation (pre school, 6th grade, 8th grade).

      (I did not even go to my own grad school graduation.)

      1. Artemesia*

        All of the above. Graduations are absolutely the worst celebratory event even for the graduate. I skipped two of my own.

        1. Natalie*

          I went to my high school graduation practically under duress. I don’t remember what my parents offered me to attend (clearly it wasn’t enough since I don’t remember) and as I expected, it was the biggest waste of 5 hours in my life.

          1. Cath in Canada*

            A friend of mine negotiated with her parents that if she went to her graduation ceremony for her PhD, she didn’t have to have a big wedding.

            I escaped my own PhD graduation by moving to Canada. We don’t do high school graduations in the UK, so I went to my undergrad graduation and then my sister’s undergrad graduation, and that was plenty thankyouverymuch.

            1. Nashira*

              Ugh, you just made me realize my folks and my in-laws are going to really pressure me to go to my undergrad graduation in a few years, since spouse and I got married at the courthouse. Dangit.

              1. De Minimis*

                When I graduated undergrad I didn’t want to attend commencement, but my family insisted. It was so terrible that they all admitted they’d wished they’d listened to me!

                I skipped my grad school commencement. It was more of a commuter school so I elected to just celebrate at home with family.

        2. Collarbone High*

          My sister’s high school graduation was held in an amphitheater with metal bleachers. It was 95 degrees at 9 a.m. (highly unusual for the area). Not helping matters: I’d celebrated my birthday the night before and I was massively hungover, wearing the same clothes I’d worn to a party and slept in, and nearly blacked out several times from dehydration. Never again.

      2. AnotherAlison*

        It’s an excellent policy. My own son’s HS graduation is next year, and I think my younger one might have a 5th grade promotion this year, so I can’t enact it quite yet. But, I went to my sister’s nursing school pinning ceremony last year and was sorry I had to do that. Because, you know, this was her 3rd degree post-high school and she was 28. How much celebrating must we do?

      3. QAT Contractor*

        “pre-school, 6th grade promotion, 8th grade promotion, actual graduations”
        This is just stupid. My K-12 experience had exactly one graduation, it was in 12th grade. Then I had one for college, and that was plenty. At least my high school grad was from a small class so it didn’t take forever, but the college one took hours. Wished I had skipped but my mom guilt tripped me into going.

        This is basically the same thing that is happening with sports and competitions now. Everyone gets a trophy or award just for showing up. *sarcasm on *Why not just have a graduation for every single year of school then? … *sarcasm off*
        And FIRST YEAR gets a graduation, and SECOND YEAR gets a graduation, they ALL get graduations! ~ Oprah

        1. DMented Kitty*

          Wow. I didn’t realize they have a lot of variations on graduations in the US.

          I grew up in an Asian country — my school had graduation after Kindergarten (we had Nursery, K1 and K2 levels) and graduation after 6th grade (we only go up to 6th grade), then graduation from high school. And of course graduation after completing my college degree.

          Just the major level jumps. No “sort of” graduation ceremonies in between, it would’ve driven me nuts. My pre-college school is a private one, so we’re very much forced to march onstage but it wasn’t too bad as we went through the ceremony pretty quick; in college my parents insisted because it’s a significant milestone for me (for them), but I really hated sitting for hours just to go onstage for a piece of paper I can wave around — especially since they went through the entire College of Engineering batch — if they just had a graduation ceremony for the College of Chem Eng it’ll be just 12 of us and we can even do it in a nearby McDonalds.

        2. De Minimis*

          Think it may be regional, I’m in my 40s and I had three graduations from K-12, kindergarten, junior high, and high school. The only one we didn’t have was some kind of ceremony for the end of elementary school.

          My sister had some kind of “white coat” ceremony for pharmacy school.

      4. blackcat*

        Your policy is 100% the right one.

        I am still mad my parents made me reschedule a final exam and then fly on a redeye (cross country) to go to my brothers 8:30am (!!) college graduation.

        I doubt I’d be as mad if they hadn’t also, four years later, insisted I do a weekend cross country out and back trip (I had a real job by then) for his masters graduation. At least that one was at 3pm.

        I have since learned that I can ignore such requests. 22 year old me hadn’t figured that one out. (Also, I have zero intention of going to my *own* master’s graduation this May. I’ll take my diploma in the mail and save the $$ on gown rental).

        1. NoPantsFridays*

          I didn’t go to my bachelor’s graduation (I don’t have a master’s) because of the gown rental fee, haha. My alma mater wanted to charge me like $50 (IIRC) for a ticket to my own graduation, plus $100 for the gown rental. No thanks. I’m still glad I didn’t go.

          1. Traveler*

            Yes. I feel like graduation is just a way for your college(s) to get a few more bucks out of you before you go.

      5. L Veen*

        I didn’t go to my undergrad OR grad school graduation ceremonies and I don’t think my mother has forgiven me yet. (“What will you tell your children when they ask you if you graduated from university and you don’t have any photos from the ceremony to show them?” Well, for one thing, I don’t HAVE children… and if I did and it turned out to be such an issue for them, I can just show them my diplomas. If they absolutely insist I can order copies of my transcripts too.)

        1. Not So NewReader*

          “I will tell them that I don’t have any pics. And they will say ‘oh, okay”.”

          It’s just not that big a deal.

      6. Leah*

        Ok, but not everyone feels that way. I was thrilled to attend my 8th grade graduation.
        I can see it getting lame when you have one every two years, but graduations are a big deal for plenty of people.

        1. Anonsie*

          Bigger deal for people from families who did not complete a grade school education in particular.

          1. AnonForThisOne*

            Depends. I come from a family where there were quite a few who did not make grade school or high school (poverty,war,etc.), and I was the absolute first to make college. We were all still like “meh”. People who want to do the huge thing are welcome to it and I’m happy to buy gifts and support them in their celebrations, but I don’t like it assumed that just because no one did it before me in my family that I have to be celebrated.

            1. Anonsie*

              My family was still meh, yeah, but it was a big deal to me because I didn’t know if I was going to be able to do it and I really struggled to achieve it.

          2. V.V.*

            Or have sacrificed all to help put you through University and had been planning the trip for months. My parents all (I have more than one set) graduated from high school, but two were the first in their immediate families to go to college. My wedding was not nearly as important as my graduation. I guess they thought I was either going to get married or not, and my family had no control over that (and they certainly weren’t going to pay for it.)

            Damned though, if they weren’t going to watch me walk across the stage in my blue gown and morterboard and get my beribboned rolled up notice that my diploma would shortly be in the mail. Barring any holds of course.

    3. Allison*

      That’s a good point. My birthday is in May and growing up it was always a crazy month, I had a dance recital on my birthday at least once. Don’t forget proms! And for college students and high school seniors, you’ve got final exams in there too.

      Don’t get me wrong, I like May, and not just because it’s my birthday month, but because the weather is usually lovely, and flowers are blooming, and summer is just around the corner. When you forget about everything that goes on that month, it does seem like a nice time to get married. Man, I have no idea when I’d get married. Picking a date seems so stressful, and that’s why I sympathize with the OP here. I’m sure we can all question that decision, but I also trust that the OP has already made a mature, intelligent, well thought out decision like an adult. The question wasn’t “can I get married on that date” but whether “I’m getting married on that date, how do I approach my boss about it?”

    4. Jules*

      We were married on December 25. Yeah… I really didn’t think that through at all.. We were overseas where live goes on as normal in December 25th. I really didn’t realize that in the US, the whole country shuts down for Christmas. Hahahaha… So we plan a before or after Christmas anniversary. On the plus side, neither of us forgot our anniversary dates.

      1. DMented Kitty*

        That’s amazing. Did you have a lot of guests at your wedding? I imagine a lot of people have their own family commitments during that time, at least that’s what I know of…

        I got married on January 17. Nothing really interesting or big other than we didn’t have issues with booking venues and all that since it’s the middle of the freaking winter here in Minnesota. :D It was a nice surprise though that the past couple MLK day fell alongside our anniversary, and it just so happens to be a work holiday in my company.

  8. Elkay*

    OP#1 – Do you really need to take the day before your wedding off? Honestly, I didn’t do anything the day before my wedding. Admittely I got married very locally so flowers could be picked up in the morning (not by me). If your husband to be can take the day off he can probably do any run-around stuff. The only thing I can think of is if you want get your nails done the day before (maybe I was a terrible bride).

    OP#3 – Imagine your office didn’t have a cafeteria and you’d just moved 10 minutes out of town, would you expect your company to compensate that? Dis-entangle the fact that it’s your company canteen for a more objective view. Failing that make sure you book meetings near the cafeteria around lunch :)

    1. Cat*

      Since her fiance’s busy season doesn’t sync up with hers, it does seem totally reasonable to have him take the day off and task him with all the day before prep and relative entertaining. (Actually, I know a lot of couples where one had to work right up until the wedding and the division of labor seemed pretty doable.)

    2. Judy*

      As was noted above, it depends on your situation. I took Thursday afternoon and Friday off before our wedding. We were living several hours away from our hometown, where the wedding was. We drove to the city where the wedding was on Thursday afternoon. We set up and decorated the church and reception halls on Friday along with a bridesmaid and our moms. The rehearsal was at 5 or 5:30 pm. Then the rehearsal dinner was at 7.

    3. BRR*

      I didn’t really have that many tasks to do but it was one of few opportunities to see out of town family.

    4. Jubilance*

      Let’s not shame the OP for wanting to take the day before her wedding off. I’m taking the 2 days before my wedding (which is this weekend) off even though I don’t have much in terms of wedding tasks to do. I would like some time to myself before I have to start entertaining our out of town guests, I’ll be shuttling folks from the airport, doing last minute prep appointments, etc. Plus the day before the wedding is often when the venue gets decorated, you have your rehearsal & dinner, etc. It’s completely reasonable to need at least one day off before your wedding.

          1. Cat*

            I think the actual harsh comments were largely added after I made the comment you replied to and I disagree with those. But I think the comments in this particular thread are more in the nature of “here’s some things to consider if you can’t work out taking that day off,” which doesn’t seem unreasonable to me. It’s nice to have all the options laid out sometimes

            That said, I don’t know that I think “wedding shaming” needs to be a concept – we’re not talking about an oppressed group here (quite the opposite – weddings are basically the most socially privileged activity there is) and it’s kind of weird to treat it like such.

            1. Nashira*

              Thank you. It makes me feel really weird, as somebody who’s dealing with multiple forms of oppression, to see the language of social justice coopted for as normative an activity as a wedding. OP does not deserve nasty comments, because nobody does; however I don’t think it’s risen to the level of shaming a la slut shaming.

      1. Elkay*

        Just realised this is a huge cultural thing for me, we won’t have rehearsals or rehearsal dinners, you literally do just turn up and get married.

        1. Elkay*

          Urgh, typing fail. I’ll try that one again

          Just realised this is a huge cultural difference thing from me, we don’t have rehearsals or rehearsal dinners, you literally do just turn up and get married.

        2. NoPantsFridays*

          Oh yeah, I’m getting the cultural differences thing in this thread, too. Most of the traditions people have described seem so foreign to me, just because I’ve known very few people whose weddings incorporated them. It’s interesting!

      2. V.V.*

        Congratulations! Enjoy your free time, and I will keep my fingers crossed the wedding goes off without a hitch!

    5. just another techie*

      Depends on what kind of wedding she’s having. I had a full on Big Fat Indian Wedding and had to spend six hours the Thursday before getting my hands and feet painted with henna, for example.

      1. DMented Kitty*

        I find those big Indian celebrations so whimsical in an elaborate way… It’s like living some sort of a dream… all the colors and merrymaking… :)

        Although given my introverted personality I’d be all drained by the end of the first day and would just like to curl up in my bed and recharge for the rest of the week. :P

        1. Just Another Techie*

          It was more like a bad acid trip than a dream :) We flew to Hawaii for our honeymoon the same day as the walima — straight from the banquet hall to a plane. It was the fifth day of wedding celebrations (the ritual bath thing whose name I forget where all my aunts scrubbed me with milk & turmeric, the mehndi, the western-style rehearsal dinner, the actual nikkah and shaadi, then the walima) and I was just done with people. When we finally got to our hotel, I told my husband to just go away and not talk to me for the rest of the day. I think he ended up logging into work and working remotely while I slept off the hangover.

        2. Cath in Canada*

          I was just at the wedding of a very good friend of mine, who’s one of the most introverted people I know. She’s Sikh, and even her allegedly “small” wedding was massive – I went to three separate events, was invited to another that I coulnd’t make, and that was barely half of the overall experience. My friend was just sooooo done with the whole thing, at least three full days before the actual wedding! She was literally hiding from people in the corner of the room at one point. I felt so bad for her – I found the single day of being the centre of attention that I had at my wedding to be quite enough!

    6. Oryx*

      Just because *you* didn’t need to do anything doesn’t mean the OP doesn’t have a need for an extra day off before the wedding. Heck, I had an old co-worker who took the entire week before her wedding off.

      This sort of thing depends entirely on the situation.

      1. Elkay*

        As I pointed out, my wedding was local which is why it was *my* experience. I was trying to help the OP by sharing my experience.

    7. Apple22over7*

      If it was a standard work day the OP wanted to take off I could understand your point (although I still wouldn’t agree with it). However, the day before OP’s wedding is a large conference event, which will likely be a longer than normal day, the OP will likely be on her feet all day with extra responsibilities & stress. I know I certainly wouldn’t want the biggest most stressful day of my professional year to be held the day before one of the biggest, most stressful days of my personal life.

    8. L Veen*

      We didn’t take the day before our wedding off, and even though it all worked out just fine, I kinda wish we had. While I was getting my hair and makeup done, my husband had to run around town on last-minute errands (picking up the flowers, etc.) that we hadn’t had the time or the possibility to do beforehand. He arrived at the ceremony red-faced, bathed in sweat and in a panic because he thought he’d be late.

    9. Jules*

      Oh God, yes, everything that my mother was going to do? She didn’t and I spent a few days before the wedding running around getting things done.

    10. OP3*

      What gave me pause is the fact that we are encouraged and incentivized to use the employee cafeteria, so I didn’t know if that made a difference. Clearly it doesn’t.

  9. read slower next time*

    I apologize for being slightly disappointed after immediately jumping to and reading the answer to #3, but I first read the headline as “should time travel be included in a lunch hour.”

  10. Hiring Mgr*

    I can’t imagine any circumstance where a company can’t figure out how to manage coverage for an event fourteen months away. Seriously, in any sane world OP#1 should have no problem making this work.

    1. Victoria Nonprofit (USA)*

      This response always baffles me. Where does everyone work where there’s coverage like this??

      The OP has clarified that she’s not a key staffer at the event, but if she were? Do companies really have, like, two conference planners just in case the person hired to plan the conference gets sick?

      I’ve always worked for relatively small organizations (and in some cases very very small), so the idea of this kind of backup is way outside of my experience. Back when I planned a major event (with over 100000 participants and a staff of 4), the only excuses for not being there would have been stomach flu, hospitalization, or death/life threatening illness of a close family member. The was no coverage. My colleagues would have just had to make it work.

      1. Hiring Mgr*

        Did they also ask you to make bricks without straw? I have no idea what goes in to conference planning, but it seems impossible for four people to handle an event with 100,000 attendees… but if that’s the case, and you couldn’t get additional coverage then yes, I suppose each staff member would need to be there for sure

        1. Victoria Nonprofit (USA)*

          Ha! Not all 100,000 people were in one place. About 5000 at the main site (where 3 of 4 staff were) and the rest at sites managed by volunteers (with 1 staff member and volunteers and interns staffing a phone bank to troubleshoot problems).

          Many, many experienced volunteers is the short answer. Around 200 at the main site, and around 1000 volunteer leaders at the other sites.

      2. Cat*

        Yeah, I think the issue (which might not be in play here but would be in some places) isn’t that someone else couldn’t take over; it’s that at a certain point, the event is important enough and you’re key enough that someone else is taking over your entire job.

        1. MsM*

          And they’re probably doing it in addition to whatever they need to be doing to get ready for the conference. At my last job, one of our annual event organizers had to take maternity leave during that time, and we bent over backward to make sure she didn’t have to worry about anything work-related while she was out, but it was still a huge lift. Having months to prepare and her doing everything she could to get as much as possible squared away and leave really detailed notes and plans for whatever she couldn’t didn’t really change that. It doesn’t sound like OP’s event is that complicated or she’s that central (and obviously maternity leave involves more time off than a couple of days for a wedding), but the advance notice is really not the problem.

      3. INTP*

        Yeah, lack of sufficient coverage is more common than it ideally would be. Plus, a wedding is an optional event (in that it can be planned for a different day, easily – 14 months out, it would take an extreme circumstance for this to be the only day suitable for the OP’s wedding). Even if you start with enough staff for some people to take the day off, if you allow people to skip out for avoidable reasons, you’re left with zero redundancy to handle the unavoidable day-of situations like illness and emergencies.

      4. LQ*

        I worked at a small (2!!) org and I was able to get coverage for my HUGE GIANT event so I could go to my mother’s wedding. I did a ton of work ahead of time to make sure everything would run smoothly, got extra volunteers and really make sure it was as fool proof as I could make it. But it wasn’t like I was singing at the event, so yeah it was ok to take off, even though it was a small org.

        Where I work now we had a large multiday conference and the person who is the lead on that took the entire week of it and the week after to go on a international vacation.

        All this you can’t take a day off or you are making a choice to not have a job thing is just extremely weird to me.

        1. Victoria Nonprofit (USA)*

          I actually think your mother’s wedding is pretty different from your own. Presumably you’re not in control of the the scheduling of your mother’s wedding, but you are in control of your own.

          That being said, there’s no way my mother would have scheduled her wedding on the weekend of my event, because she knew that it would have meant missing either the wedding or leaving my job. My job was the run the event. If I couldn’t run the event o couldn’t have the job, end of story. It’s not about losing the job over one day off – it’s about doing the job I was hired to do or not doing the job.

      5. Anonsie*

        Same here. Everywhere I’ve ever worked you *can* get cross coverage so this would be possible, but it was be an insane burden on the person covering for you because it would be a huge amount of work added onto their pile in something that would normally be outside their scope. That means a bunch of planning time in advance for keeping everyone in the loop, training the covering person, making sure that person also has their own work covered over the same timeframe. So yeah, sure, maybe you can find coverage, and maybe doing so is a major enough undertaking that you should be very selective about when you choose to do that.

        Now, from the OP’s descriptions elsewhere this isn’t so much an issue for her particular event, but in general “can cover” is different than “should.”

      1. Not So NewReader*

        This. While I agree that it seems reasonable for OP to ask, especially given the lead time, I know what can happen. I have seen companies deny people time to go to a funeral. Not saying that is right, I am just saying that can happen.

    2. INTP*

      To be honest, I also see the flip side. The OP’s employer is giving them 14 months notice that they need to be available for this event, so it’s reasonable to expect that pre-planned events like vacations, weddings, etc accommodate it, barring extreme circumstances. It would be one thing if OP had an emergency on the day of, or had to have surgery that week, or something, but if I were OP’s manager I have to admit I would be thinking, “Seriously? 14 months of notice and it’s the only day that works for your wedding?” (That’s assuming that this conference is one of the larger events in the employee’s work-year, which for a junior level employee, might be true even if OP is not the key staffer. It would be different if it were one of 5 conferences during the same season.)

  11. Cat H (UK)*

    Not totally related but a sideline to OP#3, I once worked for a place that thought it could use travel time as part of my lunch hour.

    Say I was at one office (my main office) at 8am, then they said that I needed to be in another office an hour away for 1pm, they would then say that I had taken my lunch! I reasoned that as my lunch is unpaid, I should be entitled to it (or I should be able to leave an hour early).

    They actually very quickly understood and it helped out others too as they were also doing it to them.

    However, I know that a lot of companies try this – I just don’t get it!

    1. Leah*

      I think that (some) companies will just pull crap like this because some employees won’t push back and then, hey, free extra hour of work for them!

    2. JoJo*

      I had the same problem at a former job. I just don’t understand how mandatory travel time between offices constitutes a break.

  12. insert wity name here*

    I realize this will make me unpopular, but I just don’t get the requirements over wedding these days. personally, i find it a bit precious that you need the day off BEFORE your wedding. The day of, sure, i understand. But the day before? I don’t get it. Maybe its this DIY trend, which is admirable, but if your lifestyle is such that you must work, then don’t DIY. Can’t afford it without DIY? Then cut back and live within your means. But don’t expect your coworkers to pick up your slack so you can live some sort of fairy tale.

    1. VintageLydia USA*

      You’re also entertaining out of town guests, setting up the venue(s), rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, checking up on venders, picking up supplies, dealing with last minute issues… I mean, it’s not impossible to work while doing some of this or coordinating other family members/fiance(e) to do it, but taking the day off would be much much easier.

      1. Kelly L.*

        This. I don’t think it’s for DIY. Ideally, you’d have all your DIY stuff done before that point. It’s more for what you describe here.

        1. Kelly L.*

          And to clarify, I mean DIY as in crafts. Someone upthread mentioned setting up the chairs at the venue, etc., and called that DIY, and that makes total sense as something you couldn’t do until right before (because others were using the venue for other things).

    2. Elysian*

      I think you’ve extrapolated a little far from the question. We don’t know why the OP wants the day off before – it might be DIY, it might be that a lot of family is coming in from out of town and OP wants to spend time with them, OP might just want to be available in case something happens… We don’t know, and honestly, we don’t need to to.

    3. BananaPants*

      It’s not unreasonable for OP to want the day before her wedding off, even if it’s a low key wedding. It’s not twee or precious. There are usually errands to run and last minute tasks to finalize. I took a half day on Thursday and took Friday off entirely, was married on Saturday, and was back at work on Monday (we delayed our honeymoon by 2 months to take a specific cruise itinerary). I didn’t DIY a thing but on Thursday I got my manicure and pedicure, and Friday was the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner as well as picking up out of town guests at the airport and shuttling them to their hotels. It was a busy couple of days and it was a relief to have the time off beforehand.

      I personally would find a different venue and pick a different wedding date, but I also won’t shame the OP for wanting to take the day before her wedding off and trying to figure out if this scheduling is workable or if it’s really going to be a problem for her employer. I just don’t get a “pampered princess” vibe from the question and think it’s a reasonable thing to at least ask about.

    4. Laurel Gray*

      I wouldn’t call your comment unpopular, but rather curmudgeon-y. It’s a wedding, not a driving test. I think it is perfectly reasonable for a person to NOT work the day or even 2 days before their wedding. I don’t think it has anything to do with DIY, finances, etc. I think for a day that will be captured on video and photo and is one of the most important/memorable days of a couple’s life. Why not have the day before to relax and possibly get things done that you won’t have to worry about on your wedding day?

    5. Samantha*

      That’s a little harsh. Whether DIYing or not, there is often times plenty do the day before a wedding, just the like the day before any major event. And that has nothing to do with “living within your your means.” Usually the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner are the evening before the wedding. My rehearsal was at 4 p.m., and prior to that I was busy preparing for tons of out of town relatives (some of whom were staying at our house), wrapping up last-minute details, running errands and packing for our honeymoon. I don’t think it’s at all unreasonable to want the day before your wedding off, and I’m not sure why you’re coming off as so bitter about it.

    6. Helen*

      Getting married is a HUGE life event. I will want to take the day before to relax and to meditate on this huge life change, and also to spend some quality time with my fiance before the madness starts. I don’t think that’s ridiculous at all, and for me it has nothing to do with DIY.

      Assuming that she wants to “live some sort of fairy tale” is a BIG leap and not charitable at all.

      1. Laurel Gray*

        This. If I am getting married in 48 hours maybe I want to sleep in before I wake up to last minute prep madness vs getting up at the ass crack of dawn to get dressed for work, commute and come in to work on stuff that could very well wait til after my wedding or can be done by a colleague in my short PTO/vacation absence.

        1. kristinyc*

          I wouldn’t have been able to function at work the day before my wedding (it was out of state, and I ended up flying in 3 days before the wedding – we had to get the marriage license, get my dress steamed, finalize a ton of things, visit with family we never see, MENTALLY PREPARE FOR A LIFETIME COMMITMENT….). Even the day before – we had a rehearsal dinner, out of town family members to greet at the hotel. There’s stuff to do!!

      2. DontAskBrad*

        Plus, I don’t really understand what the problem is with wanting to live some sort of fairy tale in the first place. People have all sorts of dreams and usually it’s a goal to fulfill them. I don’t get why that’s “precious”.

    7. Beezus*

      Your response is rude and condescending. Needing a day off before a wedding is not at all out of the ordinary, and the OP didn’t come here for advice on her financial priorities (???!?).

      1. insert witty name here*

        Eh, I assumed she wanted the day off so she can either be pampered or run around and set up her reception. Pampering is the precious comment, setting up the reception is the DIY part. I guess I’m a 30 something curmudgeon because when I got married I trusted my out of town guests to arrange their own transportation and scheduled the rehearsal after work hours. It just wasn’t that big of a deal to me. As someone else said, its the beginning of the marriage and I certainly hope its not the biggest day of my life – as if its all downhill from there. I don’t see it as wedding shaming but I also don’t believe its as earth shattering as some people here seem to think it is. A wedding is a commitment/religious ceremony and a party that certain members of society have the legal right to partake in. That’s all it means to me. I’d rather focus on the rest of my life – like my job and rrelationship with my coworkers.

        1. VintageLydia USA*

          Wait in what way is setting up the tables and stuff DIY? DIY is hand-making all the favors and doing all the flowers and getting crafty. Setting the tables and putting the decor on them isn’t DIY. It’s a normal part of the wedding unless you have a wedding planner or a venue who does that for you (and many do not.)

        2. Judy*

          Although I didn’t need to transport out of town guests, I certainly would have regretted missing the “family reunion” at my parents house the afternoon before the wedding. That afternoon was truly wonderful, with my aunts and uncles and some cousins who had traveled from far away. There is a picture from the afternoon before my sister’s wedding that is so precious to me, we lined everyone up. By now, 15 years later, all 3 of the great aunts in the photos have died along with 4 of the aunts and uncles. The fact that we knew those people came from coast to coast to wish us well and bless our marriage was the only reason we didn’t just pull the pastor into the chapel one day after service to marry us.

        3. Allison*

          I don’t understand this idea that people who want big, fancy weddings don’t also understand the importance of the actual marriage that the wedding symbolizes. They’re not mutually exclusive, and people who prioritize their weddings aren’t a bunch of glitter-obsessed, 20-something bimbos who don’t understand what marriage is.

        4. Elizabeth West*

          Well, here’s the problem with assuming. Your experience is different from everyone else’s because you’re not the OP, or VintageLydia, or anyone else. That was YOUR wedding; this is HER wedding. What might not have been a big deal to you might be to her, and vice versa. We don’t know what preparations the OP has made–some of them might have had to wait until the last minute anyway.

          Just because you did it /see it differently doesn’t make your way better.

        5. DontAskBrad*

          Do you really not take off any time from work to spend time with family? Because that’s essentially what this is.

    8. Artemesia*

      I don’t get people not getting needing the day before off. You don’t just show up for your own wedding. You are managing the venues, picking up wedding guests at the airport, making sure out of town guests are taken care of, perhaps decorating venues, and most people have a major event like a rehearsal dinner the day before — some rehearsals take place in the afternoon because that is when the church is available. It is totally common for the rehearsal to be in the afternoon with a rehearsal dinner and perhaps other events in the evening following. Most large weddings with out of town guests are three day events with events the day before and often brunch or other events the day after.

      1. insert witty name here*

        Other posters have since summed up my thoughts better than I could: it’s privilege.

          1. insert witty name here*

            If you were born a certain way – yes. To others who weren’t born that way, it seems precious.

            1. VintageLydia USA*

              Just because someone thinks something is important to them that you don’t doesn’t make them “precious.” You’re being really really condescending over something that does not in any way involve you. The OP of the letter does not come across as a special bridezilla snowflake and neither has anyone else in these comments so it’s coming out of left field, at least to me. Just because your wedding didn’t need your presence the day before to coordinate anything doesn’t make the weddings of those that do wrong.

              1. insert witty name here*

                So you have no problem with this? ” I am leaning towards booking the date for the venue, and asking my boss for the day before the conference off, with apologies, of course.”

                1. VintageLydia USA*

                  She’s asking for advice. AAM and everyone else is telling her that’s not a good idea and gave very good reasons for that. The OP seems pretty reasonable in a followup comment so I’m comfortable giving her the benefit of the doubt that she’ll follow the advice she asked for. If we were all perfect, Alison would be out a job.

          2. L Veen*

            You could easily start dismissing virtually every question discussed here on AAM as “privilege.”

            Want to take a few days off for your wedding? You’re privileged because some people can’t legally get married or can’t afford a wedding.

            Frustrated because a potential employer isn’t answering your questions about the job offer in a satisfactory way? You’re privileged because some people have been unemployed for ages and would kick a puppy to get ANY job offer.

            Wondering if your travel time should be deducted from your lunch hour? You’re privileged because not everyone gets an hour for lunch, or has access to a cafeteria, or has the ability to bring lunch from home, and some people have medical conditions which make eating very uncomfortable.

            Et cetera, et cetera…

            1. I'm a Little Teapot*


              Just because other people have problems worse than yours doesn’t mean that you should never ever talk about your own.

              (A little voice in my head is saying “You get lunch *at all*? Think of the starving children in $place! And clean your plate! And don’t talk with your mouth full!”)

        1. Simonthegrey*

          Not always. My best friend from the UK flew in for my wedding; she’s handicapped. She couldn’t arrange her own transportation and she didn’t know anyone else here. You bet I took the two days off before my wedding to see her, since we hadn’t seen each other in person for three years before then. The fact is, we don’t know why the OP wants the day off and it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that she address it with her boss. She doesn’t have to justify herself to any of us.

          1. insert witty name here*

            I’m not an ogre. Obviously if no one else could assist with disabled guests or travel 3+ hours out of town that you have to factor those things into your planning. But in my opinion, that means picking a date that is best for everyone, which includes your co-workers, and not just what you want. If you really must have that day off because no one else can do certain tasks, then pick a day when you won’t be leaving your co-workers in the lurch. Because at the end of the day, this is a party by you and for you and it shouldn’t have to inconvenience others simply because it’s YOUR DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            1. Elizabeth West*

              Guess what?

              Life is messy and complicated and things don’t always line up with perfect precision. Also, the OP said the conference could run fine without her.

            2. Case of the Mondays*

              I’m kind of okay with the idea that once in our lifetime’s we each get a day that is all about us, our wants and our preferences. To be selfish for just one day. Seems kind of nice to me. I was far from a bridezilla but I don’t have a problem with the one special day concept.

            3. Kat M*

              Sometimes, we plan the best and things happen anyway. You could plan your wedding, thinking you’ll be at one long term job, only to have to start another and need to negotiate the time off. You might need to bump up your date because one of your parents is gravely ill or your relatives are old enough that it could very well be the last time you see them.

              Also, the idea that it’s just her day is a bit of a misguided one. It’s a big day for the parents and family as well……..particularly if you belong to certain cultures. Honestly, I feel like vacations are what we do purely for ourselves, more so than weddings. Yet a lot of people get more judgy about weddings than vacations.

        2. Anon for This*

          I’m a bit confused about how it’s privilege. My wedding cost $500 and we had 15 people over my parents house and got married in the back yard by an ordained woman that charged us $50. I was between jobs and my husband worked for a grocery store at the time making minimum wage. We scrimped and saved and did something just big enough to enjoy a celebration with my family. My husband took off the before from work and the day after. I didn’t even wear a traditional wedding dress and we never went on a honeymoon.

          I never felt like it was something only privileged people could do. We were poor and struggling and we found a way to do it because that is what we wanted. You don’t have to be rolling in it to want or get this sort of thing. You just have to ask for it and save, just like anyone else, but at a different level.

    9. --*

      Hey, I just deleted a particularly nasty thread. Please be more civil to each other, on all sides of this discussion. Thank you. – Alison

      1. nona*

        Not sure what happened in that thread since the last time I looked, but I’ll be staying out of this now. :)

    10. Xarcady*

      One banner year I had 5 direct reports (out of 12) getting married. When scheduling vacations, one of the men who was getting married picked only the week after his wedding, for the honeymoon. When I questioned him if he didn’t also want the day before the wedding off, he said no. I tossed out the suggestion that he might want to check with his fiancee about that, and let me know in a week or two. He came back the next day and said that his bride thought it might be a good idea, so he got the day before his wedding off.

      They had a small wedding, including the happy couple there were 17 people. When the groom got back to work, he actually sought me out and told me that he had thought taking the day before the wedding off was nonsense, but he ended up running around all day–buying something last minute that everyone forgot, picking up elderly relatives at the airport, transporting things to the wedding site, etc. He had no idea, not really having been involved with a wedding very closely before, about the amount of work even a small wedding can involve. He thanked me for suggesting the day off, which was very nice of him.

    11. QAT Contractor*

      I worked as much as possible before my wedding but I still needed a day off. I had to travel several states away to where my wife is originally from to get married. A 3 hour plane ride plus another 3 hours of travel to and from the airports basically killed the whole day from a work standpoint. The day I did get there we had planned for the grooms dinner and practice reception with the pastor and extended family. I had 1 hour between travel and the practice that I was able to relax a little and get ready.

      One day off in a year for this big event isn’t the end of the world. It’s not “privilaged” or “precious” for everyone. Sometimes it’s just a logistical need.

    12. L Veen*

      In what life situations do you feel that a person can reasonably expect their coworkers to fill in for them? Because you could be just as harsh and dismissive about so many other scenarios.

      You have the flu and don’t feel you can come in to the office? Too bad, don’t expect your coworkers to pick up your slack so you can stay in bed all day and do nothing.

      You want to take the afternoon off because your child’s school is sending everyone home because of an unexpected power outage ? Too bad, don’t expect your coworkers to pick up your slack because you chose to have children.

      You want to take a week of PTO so you can fulfil your lifetime dream of going to France? Too bad, don’t expect your coworkers to pick up your slack so you can live some sort of Parisian fairy tale.

    13. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Eh, I did almost no work leading up to my wedding and I still can’t imaging not having taken off the day before it, just to relax and mentally center myself. No way would I want to work the day before my wedding.

      1. De Minimis*

        I think I did, but we didn’t really have a wedding, we eloped so that doesn’t really count.

        A regular wedding wouldn’t have worked for us, but it was a really weird feeling to just pay a fee for a certificate and then meet with someone to marry us that afternoon.

        1. Judy*

          I worked with someone who went on their lunch break down to the courthouse, and didn’t even eat lunch together after. He did have a ring on that he was fidgeting with in the afternoon, and someone noticed.

          1. Evan Th.*

            Wow. All I can say is, I hope he realized how serious getting married is, and I hope his bride didn’t mind the lack of any celebration.

            1. So Very Anonymous*

              I know someone who did something similar — they then had a big party at the shore that lasted the following weekend and then stayed there for a week as their honeymoon. You never know!

            2. OFPS*

              Um, Evan Th., that’s how I got married.

              I, the bride, didn’t mind any lack of celebration because marriage, for me, isn’t about a party. And for reasons unknowable to my coworkers (but ones which most anyone involved with someone in the military might understand) we needed to get married within a *very* tight, “Holy crap, they just granted me leave before I ship out,” timeframe. So even though it wasn’t lunch hour for me [it was me leaving the office two hours early on a Tuesday], I still showed up at work the next day suddenly wearing a wedding band that hadn’t been there before.

              Don’t be a jerk and assume that everyone needs to have the kind of wedding and celebration you imagine is the “right” kind. Adults are perfectly capable of popping down to the JP’s office for a few minutes while still being aware of the seriousness of the commitment they are making in those few minutes. Some people don’t need a big party to proclaim their everlasting love for another.

              1. VintageLydia USA*

                You story reminds me of my husband’s aunt and uncle’s wedding. They were casually talking about getting married when he got orders. He wanted to make sure she was taken care of if something happened to him and her BIL, fortuitously enough, was a pastor. In less than 48 hours they were married in my husband’s grandparent’s parlor. Been nearly 30 years and they’re still going strong so it worked out! Knowing the aunt, she wouldn’t have cared about the big wedding anyway.

      2. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.*

        I had the lowest key wedding imaginable next to those who show up at city hall during lunch hour, and, I’m in the 98th percentile of workaholics, and *even I* took the day off before my wedding!

        It never occurred to me not to.

    14. Leah*

      I know, right? I can’t believe I spent the day before my wedding with the friends and family who had come in from hundreds (and for some, thousands) of miles away just to see me get married! Including our friend who flew in all the way from London, surprising my husband. I should have just only seen them at the wedding, since everyone knows the bride and groom have plenty of time to chat and hang with all their guests at their wedding.

    15. DontAskBrad*

      Isn’t that what PTO is for? I mean, if you have the time or if you’re willing to take it unpaid, and it’s approved by your employer, why is it a problem? Who are you to say what other peoples priorities should be and whether their request for a day off should be approved or not?

    16. Not So NewReader*

      I am not sure that OP wants help with figuring out why she wants the day off. She wants the day off, that stands well on its own. Maybe she wants to spend the day before her wedding with a sick relative, who cannot attend. There are thousands of reasons. Her question was how to handle the request and successfully get the day off. I think she has found fair warning here that this could go badly and to be prepared for worse case scenario. Unfortunately, OP has not given us an idea what her company is like, so this makes it hard to forecast.

  13. FiveByFive*

    I am SO disappointed by all the responses to #1. I think sometimes we need to stop and figure out what are the really important things in life. A person should not be asked to make compromises when it comes to their wedding. Some people here have said it’s a fireable offense to miss a major work event for your wedding – well, to me, if my boss can’t even restrain from imposing upon my wedding day, I might seriously consider it a “quit-able” offense.

    Weddings, births, and funerals are things you just don’t tell people to reschedule or compromise.


    1. Elysian*

      There’s no reason to be disappointed. Different people have different priorities. You’ve made your priorities clear; others have different ones. The OP has to decide where his/hers lie, and different viewpoints might help that.

    2. Laurel Gray*

      I learned that the definition of “work/life balance” very ambiguous and varies from both employees and employers.

      Working at my company, if my wedding was on a Saturday, I would have that Thursday and Friday off. Possibly the Wednesday too if I could do it – it would be granted and all be a matter of me being able to finish work and any pending projects before then. Whenever I think of a colleague getting married I assume they will be off for 2 weeks. That’s for the wedding and honeymoon combined, which I do not think is unreasonable at all.

      1. Elizabeth West*

        I learned that the definition of “work/life balance” very ambiguous and varies from both employees and employers.

        That’s the truth. Some bosses would be fine with it–they’d even step up and fill in for you themselves. Others? Well, we’ve heard about them!

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          I don’t think that’s fair though! There have been plenty of managers on this thread who have a track record of being kind, fair, and reasonable (Wakeen’s Teapots, for example, and hopefully you put me in that category) who are saying that there are some contexts where this would not be okay. Again, it comes down to the type of job and responsibility you have.

          1. Elizabeth West*

            Oh, I totally agree it’s situational. For example, if I were a cop, it would be crazy to assume I could just take off during a natural disaster. I guess what I meant was that we’ve heard about some bosses who are really unreasonable about stuff most people could easily compromise on. So perhaps I misunderstood the intent.

            And of course you and Wakeen’s Teapots are in that category! :)

    3. AnotherAlison*

      Oof, I very much disagree with this: “A person should not be asked to make compromises when it comes to their wedding. ”

      I’ve been married 17 years, and had a church wedding with the big white dress, and it’s just a day. Half of us will end up divorced anyway. Make some damn compromises; no one cares about your wedding favors, your flowers, your shoes, etc. Really.

      (With the details of this situation, it doesn’t really sound like the OP’s role at the conference is that big of a deal, and I don’t see a problem with her asking for the day off, but in general, there’s nothing wrong with making compromises. Stuff works out how stuff should work out, and that thing you dreamed of and thought you couldn’t live without, well, turns out you probably can. And that thing you never knew you wanted is even better than you could have imagined.)

      1. Laurel Gray*

        “I’ve been married 17 years, and had a church wedding with the big white dress, and it’s just a day. Half of us will end up divorced anyway. Make some damn compromises; no one cares about your wedding favors, your flowers, your shoes, etc. Really.”

        Kinda harsh. And “no one cares” is a little insensitive. It’s the OP’s big special day and obviously she cares and came to AAM with this because she is doing the right thing and trying to find a compromise between big personal life event and big work life event.

        1. AnotherAlison*

          No, I agree with the OP. The date seems fine, and not like an unmanageable compromise. I disagree that the expectation should be along the lines of it’s my wedding, and I should get everything I want. (no compromises.)

          That’s bs, and it’s bridezilla behavior. Not that the OP is bridezilla; that’s not what I’m saying.

          Case in point: My BFF, for whom I was the matron of honor, got into a knock-down drag out with her MIL-to-be over the ring bearer pillow. Honestly, nobody cares (except the bride and her equally stubborn, momzilla MIL). But, it cast a whole shadow of negativity on the bridal shower, the wedding, etc.

          This is just one example of many, but I think it’s a bad mindset to enter your wedding planning thinking you will get to do everything your way.

          1. Artemesia*

            I think the definition of big trouble ahead would be a MIL who cared deeply about the pillow. I know my daughter’s MIL didn’t care for her choice of ring bearer pillow materials but she made the pillow per my daughter’s choice and it was lovely. The nephew who was only 2 melted down and so we ended up with no ring bearer — which was fine — kids happen. A MIL who would try to ‘win’ this one is a MIL without boundaries who is likely to make the marriage hell if the groom is not a stand up guy (and so many raised by women like this are not.)

            1. AnotherAlison*

              Yep, the groom was a bit of a mama’s boy, getting married for the first time at 38, while my friend was 26. They never really got along, but MIL died 8 years into the marriage at 79, so it was a short-lived rivalry.

          2. Laurel Gray*

            I’m totally against the bridezilla mentality and I do believe weddings (like everything else) need to have a level of compromise for all parties involved. I think how the OP is approaching this is pretty open minded to the possibility that she will not get her way. There is more than enough time for her to find another date if her employer is not able to be flexible.

            FWIW, my ideal wedding will be a Friday JOP ceremony, dinner that evening with family and close friends and then boarding a plane the next day for 1-2 weeks away. I love going to weddings, but I am not a fan of having one for myself so I understand the hoopla (in moderation) that brides and their familes tend to make of it.

            1. AnotherAlison*

              Same. We were going to do that, but my parents wanted the church wedding, and my husband wanted a big reception, and I didn’t care one bit about any of it, so I went along with it.

              (FWIW, I had to get married on 6/20 instead of 6/27, which was the date we wanted since it was our 1st date anniversary, because said church was already booked on the 20th. We were bothered by this for about 2 minutes and then moved on.)

      2. Helen*

        Actually, (less than) half of *all marriages* end in divorce–and the stats are skewed due to 2nd, 3rd (and more..) marriages being more likely to end in divorce. Google tells me: “It is now clear that the divorce rate in first marriages probably peaked at about 40 percent for first marriages around 1980 and has been declining since to about 30 percent in the early 2000s.”

        1. NoPantsFridays*

          Yeah, I was reading some studies about this a few weeks back. There seem to be serial divorcers, i.e. those who divorce once are likely to remarry and subsequently divorce again. Which means, as you say, that the divorce rates for first (and only) marriages are actually fairly low and AFAIK have even been declining. And I believe there are some interesting states re: couples who marry later, etc.

          1. NoPantsFridays*

            OK, oops, that was supposed to be

            i.e. those who divorce once AND remarry again are more likely to divorce again. (Obviously, those who don’t remarry can’t re-divorce ;) )

            interesting STATS, not states!

            1. Evan Th.*

              Hey, I’ve seen some interesting states where the average age of marriage is higher…

        2. AnotherAlison*

          You got me on that one, but there are also statistics on the more money spent on a wedding, the higher the divorce rate. And, people who won’t compromise on any aspect of their dream wedding tend to spend more, one would think, unless the JOP is your dream wedding. : )

      3. Allison*

        Some compromises may be in order. After all, your in a relationship with someone, and it’s their day too, so in the spirit of having a real partnership there is gonna be some give and take in figuring out how that day is gonna go. You also have to spend within your means, of course. But from a woman’s perspective, we’re expected to bend over backwards for other people all the time, and keep our needs as small and unintrusive as possible so others are happy, so forgive us if we want a few days where our needs matter – where *we* matter – a little more than the needs of the people we cater to in our everyday lives.

      4. JoAnna*

        Actually, the 50% divorce rate is no longer applicable. Google “fifty percent divorce rate is a myth” and you’ll find several articles explaining why.

      5. Hiring Mgr*

        Sure, but nobody cares about the conference either, especially if the OP isn’t necessary at the event itself. What possible “disaster” could really occur if the OP took the day off and prepped others in advance? People will come, they’ll leave, and life will go on

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          It really, really depends on the nature of the event and the nature of the OP’s role. In some conferences, that would be pretty much true. In others, she’d need to be there the day of to deal with all sorts of potential crises and troubleshooting that would be far more easily handled by the person who’s been dealing with all the vendors than by a fill-in.

          1. Hiring Mgr*

            But presumably, with over a year in advance, the fill-in would have a good handle on things…. Just saying it’s possible–people are never as indispensable as we believe

            1. Ask a Manager* Post author

              Sometimes, though, the job IS to be that person. If she needs to be taken out of that role, that could mean being taken out of a good chunk of the work in the year leading up to it.

    4. JC*

      Yes, but one huge difference between your own wedding and a birth/funeral is that you schedule the day of your own wedding. You can’t schedule a birth or funeral.

      1. FiveByFive*

        That’s not necessarily true. Say OP’s sister now can’t make it, or the second venue botches the wedding.

        I would feel absolutely mortified if I was responsible for ruining someone’s wedding.

        1. Cat*

          The first venue could botch the wedding too; you’re not then responsible because you approved that time off.

          1. Lauren*

            Yeah, by that logic, if the venue burns down, the boss who okayed the day off it is now a murderer.

        2. baseballfan*

          How does it ruin someone’s wedding if they have to get married on a different day? That sounds like someone whose bar for disaster is set entirely too low.

          1. Burlington*

            Well, if they had a bunch of non-refundable deposits that they couldn’t transfer to the new day (or that cost additional money to do so), that could dramatically impact the cost of their wedding, which could mean that they spend the same amount of money but get much less for it.

            Changing the date will almost certainly mean a new set of people that cannot come. :(

      2. LizB*

        This is where I keep getting stuck — the wedding isn’t even actually scheduled yet! Yes, this is the date that OP’s #1 venue choice has available in her desired month next year, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the only date she can possibly get married. There are still variables she can consider changing (choice of venue, choice of month, choice of year). I get that many people have a very specific idea in their heads of what their wedding should look like, and it’s enormously important to them that the reality match that idea, but it’s not impossible to reconsider some details when you’re early enough in the planning that you haven’t even booked a venue yet.

        Now, does that mean the OP should definitely abide by her boss’s preferences? Not at all. She can still decide to go ahead with this date even if her boss isn’t happy about it. After all, 14 months of notice should be plenty of time to figure out the logistics of coverage. But if she likes and values this job, it would be worth it to ask instead of telling, just to make sure she maintains goodwill at her workplace.

      3. neverjaunty*

        I am 100% confident that someday, there will be a WTF Wednesday letter where somebody’s boss is trying to pressure her to schedule an induction or C-section so that the birth doesn’t inconvenience her employer.

        1. I'm a Little Teapot*

          An excellent prediction. I expect that boss will also expect her not to take maternity leave.

    5. Joey*

      That’s fine, but many people don’t have the luxury of allowing a one time (hopefully) plannable event impact their employment which is understandable, no?

      I thought the same thing once when my friends asked me to go on a road trip to south padre for spring break and my job wouldn’t give me the time off. I didn’t want to miss what I knew would be a great and memorable experience so I quit. And it was totally worth it probably in large part because the job was easily replaceable and I had few true financial responsibilities.

    6. Artemesia*

      There are 52 Saturdays in a year. Someone ought to be able to pick one that doesn’t conflict with a major work responsibility. Childbirth and heart attacks can’t be planned to the day; weddings can be.

    7. baseballfan*

      I disagree that a person should not be asked to make compromises when it comes to their wedding. A wedding is (hopefully) a once in a lifetime event and a wonderful one at that, and certainly most employers are willing to allow a commensurate amount of flexibility at that time. But this comment reeks of bridezilla to me.

      Yes, a wedding is more important than any old vacation, or any of a number of other possible reasons to take PTO. But no, a wedding should not mean that you can do whatever you want, whenever you want, full stop.

      In the OP’s situation, I do not think that it is unreasonable to request the time off and come prepared with logical reasons and a game plan for coverage at the event. It sounds like the role may be one that can be covered by others and with enough lead time, likely everything can go smoothly.

      But people who truly are indispensable at at particular event and who insist on being gone on the most critical day(s), when other options for the wedding might be available, are asking for trouble. I gave consideration to my busy time at work when planning my wedding. That doesn’t mean that I allowed my life to revolve around work, but simply making a choice that doesn’t impose undue hardship on others seems like the kind and courteous thing to do, whenever feasible.

      1. Jennifer*

        The wedding is one day. The job is going to HOPEFULLY last a lot longer than the wedding.

        Honestly, if it were me, I would schedule the wedding to be away from the conference no matter how badly I wanted a May wedding. If I were her job, I’d have objections to her being gone that day, period. And it’s a wedding, she has the option to schedule it otherwise and they know it. Insisting on having it then is being problematic at best even if she’s kindasorta technically not needed at it.

        1. Elizabeth West*

          I don’t know about that; I’d probably have made sure other employees could cover anyway, in case the OP got sick or hit by a bus. Anything can happen and in my experience, it’s not wise to put all your eggs in one basket, so to speak. So if she wanted time off that ONE time, I’d probably say yes.

      2. neverjaunty*

        Since OP described this as something both OP and the fiance wanted, why assume OP is being a “bridezilla”? What is this thing where we assume it’s always and only women who care about weddings, while also eye-rolling if they care about anything other than whether the groom shows up?

    8. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.*

      If you want a career, with important responsibilities in your job, then you have to take the responsibilities to your job and your coworkers as a consideration when you are scheduling things.

      Your wedding does not trump all in everybody else’s life, professional or personal.

      OTOH, if you have a job where your functions are easily replaceable by many other people in the org, it’s probably not that big a deal to get whatever time you need when you need it. The difference in responses you are seeing here may be from people with jobs where many could fill in vs people who have key man responsibilities.

      1. Funfetti*

        I’m in the OPs shoes in a way – my fiance really wanted to get married this year (we got engaged in Jan) and we picked Labor Day weekend – the week before a large work function. However, my role in said function is not much. I’m in the general operations of it, but not responsible. I’ve told me direct supervisor in advance, saying we’re really leaning towards this date, and we talked it out (he had concerns in general, but we clarified what the role actually is – we’re both new to org still).

        Admittedly after reading this – and people violently opposed to the OP’s plans (and weddings too apparently) – I would be lying if to say it hasn’t shaken me. But I made the decision to move ahead on this date – two weeks off (days before wedding and honeymoon) because I’m making the conscious choice to choose me over work. I’ve decided after my old job, I’ve been too guilty/anxious over one meeting or one event (yes I recognize it’s industry specific) missed, and I know if I put 110% in before the wedding (and after) no one will be upset. But if they are – as risky as it is – I’m kind of over that lifestyle.

        Again – as many commenters noted – it is a personal call to make (and that includes type of wedding to have).

        1. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.*

          Well I hope anything I said hasn’t shaken you ’cause it sounds as if you have your situation well in hand.

          My only comments have been about blanket statements in the vein of “an employer should never have a problem with anybody requesting off for their wedding, no matter the circumstances, because, wedding”

          Taking two weeks at a busy time of year is career risky. In the right environment, that’s one data point, as you’ve acknowledged, and might not mean anything more ongoing.

          Hope you have a fabulous wedding! :)

        2. Just Another Techie*

          I’m sure you’ll be fine, as you’re not a key man for the day-of.

          Story time: I used to work in the aerospace industry, where it was understood by everyone that you Just Do Not Ever Take Vacation in the 3-6 weeks before launching a *rocketship* into *outer space.* Not even if you were just the intern fetching coffee, everyone was expected to be available 24-7 in case of last minute challenges. A colleague of mine was engaged and needed to marry before the end of the year, because her fiance’s visa was about to expire. She was also the lead systems engineer on one of our projects — so not the person with the absolute most responsibility on launch day but still a pretty key player. She planned her wedding for six weeks after the expected launch and thought she’d be safe. Well, launch day arrived and there was a freaking hurricane so we postponed launch. Then there was a problem with one of the thrusters and we had to postpone again to do rework, and then there were delays from the customer and regulatory agencies, and with one thing and another, we ended up launching on my colleague’s wedding day. She wasn’t there because none of our bosses wanted to make her reschedule (especially not with all the trouble her husband’s overseas relatives went to to get visas and fly thousands of miles to get here; and her brother had to get a special furlough from his military service) and you know what? It was fine. She didn’t lose her job or get demoted. She went on to head up a seriously high profile project after that, in fact.

      2. Hiring Mgr*

        I don’t may be a job by job thing. I run the entirety of North america for my co and report to the CEO yet I can’t envision a scenario where with a year’s notice someone couldn’t fill in for me at just about anything.

        However I’m not familiar with the world of event or conference organizing, so I admit there may be differences.. Interesting discussion as ususal

    9. Not So NewReader*

      Without saying it’s right or it’s wrong- it happens that people do get fired for insisting on a particular day off. It’s only fair to make sure OP is aware that this does happen.

      Do I agree with it? Heck, no. But I feel it would be wrong to tell the OP anything less than what really happens out there. I hope companies change in the future. I hope tomorrow’s leaders know how to plan, cross-train, etc.

  14. C Average*

    Tangentially related to this conversation: I wish the whole concept of “shaming” would disappear from the cultural lexicon. It may have once had some meaning and relevance, but at this point it’s been applied to so many ridiculous things that, when I even hear the word, I click the tab closed or mentally exit the conversation.

    And yes, I too have slogged through Brene Brown’s books, and frankly, I wish I had those hours of my life back.

    Can you tell the time change has made me grumpy? As long as we’re changing all the clocks, I really don’t see why we couldn’t have thrown in an extra day of weekend.

    1. LizB*

      I saw a suggestion somewhere that the “spring forward” part of Daylight Savings Time, instead of taking place on a Sunday at 2am, should take place on a Friday at 4pm so at least we get to go home from work early. (The time change is making me grumpy too.)

      1. Jennifer*

        I love the time change, but having it happen the night/day after I had a big party to go to was not super awesome this year. Especially when the person I was staying with had to leave for something early in the morning. I was so incoherent (“keys? what are keys?”) that she just had me lock up after she left.

        Sadly, wasn’t even hungover in this story–I just had an especially sleep-deprived week.

      2. QAT Contractor*

        It doesn’t matter what time of day is selected as it will affect everyone that follows it anyway. A large majority of people do work between roughly 7am and 6pm. Changing the time to 4pm on a Friday still affects those that work nights and weekends.

        Daylight savings is interesting and does have benefits to society as a whole (read more here: But the time of day that it occurs will always cause someone to be upset about it. Who knows, at some point maybe it will be written out of law again. For now, the only way to partially escape it is to live in Arizona (in the US) and not interact with other states. :)

        1. LCL*

          I live in the northern latitudes. To me, DST seems exactly backward. Why don’t we start our clock reference an hour earlier in the winter, when it is dark by 4:30? That’s when we need that extra hour of daylight in the evening. In the summer, on standard time, that would mean it would get dark by 8 instead of 9, which isn’t a big deal to me!

          1. V.V.*

            Was planning my Master’s thesis on that actually, if I was ever inclined to pursue one. Glad I am not the only one who thinks this way.

        2. ?*

          Or Hawaii! Funny because my phone jumped two hours yesterday, and I had to *manually* reset it to the correct time (the horror!).

          The restaurant we were at apparently closed at 7 not 9 like they thought, and my husband and I were dumbfounded trying to figure out how we had lost two hours! I had thought phone networks accounted for time zones and would know Hawaii doesn’t do DLS time, so imagine my surprise when we got home and our stove clock was telling me it was 8 o’clock, not 10. I waited for my phone to adjust itself, and it never did. Boy my husband would have been T.O.’d if he would have shown up for work accidently at 3:30 am.

    2. INTP*

      I actually had a conversation recently about the fact that the concept of “shaming” is basically a new way that feminist-minded women can be kept from talking about important issues. Specifically, we were talking about the impacts of stay-at-home wives and mothers on women in the workforce as a whole and how you basically can’t talk about this any deeper than “Everyone’s choice is perfect!” without being accused of shaming even if you make an effort to avoid the personal and just talk about it on a global level. Really, it could be applied to any sort of situation where personal decisions might impact society at large in a significant enough way to talk about. If progressive-minded young people can’t kept from questioning the status quo with traditional values, they can certainly be kept from it by their own values. In this case it’s that we can’t discuss what is appropriate professional behavior because anyone that concludes that it is not what the OP wants to do is “shaming” them. (Not quite a huge feminist issue, but it’s another situation of not being able to actually discuss something analytically because any conclusions drawn that don’t coincide with what everyone is already doing are “shaming.”)

      Anyways, that was a long-winded and soapboxy way to say that I agree with you. Not personally approving of everything everyone does all the time != shaming.

      1. baseballfan*

        I agree with this except I don’t think it’s specific to feminists. People on all sides are shushed from talking about their opinions/what’s important to them by the accusation of “[fill in the blank]-shaming.”

        1. INTP*

          I agree that it’s true in pretty much any context where people might discuss others’ choices in a detached sens. I didn’t mean to imply it’s only a feminist thing, just give an example of a context where it came up for me.

      2. C Average*

        Yep, exactly.

        “[negative opinion about someone else’s behavior]”

        “stop shaming me!”

        Now, if they’d said “stop judging me” or “stop pontificating about other people’s life choices” or “stop publicly disagreeing with me in such an unpleasant and nonconstructive way” or something accurate and reasonable, it’d make sense. “Shaming” is just such a weird and kludgy linguistic formation.

        1. NoPantsFridays*

          This is interesting because I haven’t heard the word “shaming” used outside of slut-shaming. But I react similarly to “don’t judge me” because some behaviors are worthy of judgment. Like if you punch me in the face, I’m going to judge you negatively for that, and I think that’s reasonable.

    3. AnotherAlison*

      This is even more tangential, but I saw this thing on the local news this morning about an overweight man who had been “dance shamed” on Twitter. Someone picked up his story, and now Pharrell and others are going to have a big dance party for him, and they raised $35,000 so far on Kickstarter.

      It pisses me off because a couple weeks earlier, I saw a story about an 18 y.o. girl in ND who was trying to raise money for legal fees to become the legal guardian of her brother and sister after both their parents had died. So far, she’s only raised $17K of the $30K requested in her GoFundMe campaign. WTF, people. Admittedly, I didn’t donate to either. I thought about donating to her, but I am not convinced it’s the way to go when they do have aunts, uncles, etc. BUT, come on, a fat guy gets a dance party because he was twitter shamed, and these orphans can’t raise a few bucks. . .or meet Pharrell.

      1. Cat*

        I think comparing how people spend their discretionary income is always a loser’s game, to be honest. What about all the people who donated to neither kickstarter but paid $20 for a movie ticket plus popcorn?

        1. AnotherAlison*

          It’s really more about what gets attention on crowd funding websites and what goes viral on social media than how discretionary income is spent in general, though.

          1. Cat*

            But I think the principle is the same – some things speak to people; some things speak less, and that is going to be deeply personal. (Which is one reason strong neutral social safety nets are important.)

      2. neverjaunty*

        So, you didn’t donate to either because you don’t think they need the help, but you’re angry at people for choosing one over the other?

  15. OP3*

    Thanks, all. That’s what I figured (and have been doing) but wanted to make sure I wasn’t shorting myself unnecessarily out of my tendency to fear breaking any rules. I have a group of friends I eat with every day, but I’m the only one who moved, so now I either get there after everyone and have to be squeezed in on the end, or I get there early enough but leave while everyone’s still eating (sometimes both). Guess that’s my new normal now.

    1. knitcrazybooknut*

      If I were in your shoes, I’d ask a couple of the friends to save me a seat every day. That way, at least you have somewhere to sit instead of being squeezed in. If you’re having to travel and they aren’t, they can at least make it easier for you to eat when you get the chance.

  16. Anonsie*


    How long ago did this person intern for you? If this acquaintance is someone whose judgement you trust, it may be worth asking them how they see this person and why they recommend them. It’s possible that whatever is causing your reservations changed dramatically between their past internship with you and now. Specfically because you say they were interning, and I’m guessing that means they’re at least new to your industry and possibly to the working world as a whole when you oversaw them, and because you mention fit as your main reservation which is a highly variable thing.

    That said, I wouldn’t but a whole lot of work into it. But if you’d normally put any weight in a recommendation from this acquaintance, you may as well ask them more about their own work with this intern.

    1. Meg Murry*

      True. If the intern was with you as one of his first internships/jobs and a few years have passed, it may be worth giving him a shot, or at least asking your acquaintance about the things that concerned you. I’d hate to be judged now on all the things I did wrong at my first internship because I just didn’t know any better that I have since learned from.

  17. Macedon*

    #1 – it kind of lives or hangs on just how large your ‘large’ role is, and whether there is anyone who can feasibly step in to co-assume your planning responsibilities. For me, I’d say the issue isn’t getting the day – unless your employer lacks tact to a comedic extreme, you’re likely to – but having to simultaneously manage leading the organisation of TWO major (and majorly stressful) events in your life + the possibility that you will still find your extra day off interrupted by calls from the person left to handle your conference duties last-minute. You might tell yourself the conference can ‘run itself’, but you just know someone’s going to have a speaker/venue/napkin crisis that only the lead planner can possibly advise on. At which point, well: what’s the point of having a day off, if you can’t enjoy it?

    (Congratulations on your wedding, by the by!)

    1. RVA Cat*


      One thing you should consider with this timing – not only do you need a top-notch team for the conference, but you may need to think about how loaded your plate is when you are picking your wedding party. Not only do you need to delegate the conference to the extent possible, but as the bride you really shouldn’t have to be micro-managing the wedding the day before. This could also factor in decision to hire a wedding planner, etc.

  18. Allison*

    For OP #1, I realize there’s a lot that goes into preparing for major events in the days leading up to the event, but I think for next year’s conference it’s totally possible to step away from the last minute prep AS LONG AS you work your butt off in the months and weeks leading up to it, make sure your part of the project is done extremely well and you have tons of communication with anyone who may have to deal with a last-minute crisis you’d usually take care of yourself. As long as you do everything you possibly can to ensure no one’s left in the lurch, this won’t necessarily ding you, in fact it may make you look like a star employee if you can pull it off.

    Basically, it’s a compromise. Like anything else in life, if you want something that may impact others, you need to work to make sure the impact is offset and minimized. Tell your boss you won’t be there on those days, but also tell them you’ll put in as much OT as needed so things get done ahead of schedule and solid contingency plans are in place.

  19. FiveByFive*

    Here’s a question then based on the wedding conundrum. If a company has an annual conference, is it reasonable to ask a key female employee to *ahem* abstain from intimate relations *ahem* for a month or so, nine months prior to each conference?

    I would assume that such a suggestion would be considered rather vile. But given my surprise at the trend in the discussion here, I’m now curious if such a policy could actually be considered reasonable.

    1. NoPantsFridays*

      Setting aside the blaise equating of sex and pregnancy…

      Due dates are much less plannable than weddings. Even if employees followed their temporary abstinence directive, they could end up giving birth earlier or later than is convenient for their work. Sometimes it’s just a crap shoot.

      And some things are not, such as weddings. I’ve never been married or had kids, but I’ve had elective surgery and I did plan around my work schedule. It had to be done, but I had some leeway in the timing, so it was plannable.

      1. NoPantsFridays*

        Wow, I just learned that the word is actually blasé. I don’t think I’d ever used it before now…
        And “casual” would probably have been a better word.

      1. NoPantsFridays*

        Maybe even 2-3 months out, because what if the key employee had a miscarriage and needed time off during the conference?! ;)

    2. Macedon*

      I admit that, as a modern-age employer, I would personally feel remiss not to request a detailed 20-year family plan along with all CVs and cover letters. Please know that all dates submitted on this document will be contractually binding. .pdfs only.

    3. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.*

      Planning for maternity is apples and oranges to any conversation here. You can’t plan conception (effectively or accurately), you can’t plan medical complications and you can’t plan delivery dates.

      Compare and contrast to selecting a venue date, putting a deposit down, and marking a firm date in the calendar.

      1. FiveByFive*

        It’s still the same in that the key employee must tell their employer (with less notice than the OP is providing) that she found out she had a due date and it falls on the same day as the annual conference.

        But anyway, I’ve been properly put in my place on this one :). It’s been educational, so it’s all good. It just came as a shock to me as I didn’t know I had such a dissenting opinion.

    4. Anonymous Educator*

      Except that there are laws that mandate maternity leave for employees. There are no laws for matrimony leave.

  20. Collarbone High*

    I misread the headline as “should time travel be included in a lunch hour” and was wholly in favor of it.

  21. Marcy Marketer*

    Follow up on LW1…. I am a year and a half into a new role, and in October I scheduled my wedding. When I went to my boss to ask it off, she got pretty upset because it was a weekend with a major event happening (an event that I do not plan or run). I work a normal 9-5 job with few weekends, so I had no idea I was expected to work this weekend.

    She let me have it off but made a lot of passive aggressive remarks leading up to the event and after. Following this, she made a list of 8 “blackout dates” we cannot leave the area on. All are on weekends, and none of the events are planned by me or my department. We are in marketing, so we usually attend to gather content, but we have a large department and there’s no need for all of us to be there, though we all are required to attend.

    Unfortunately ALL my friends are getting married this year and next, and I am in 4 of the weddings 8 weddings coming up. Somehow– I have no idea how, since literally only 8 days are blacked out– I will have to miss two showers for weddings I am in. For 2016, I already know my cousin-in-law is having a wedding in Mexico in our busy month, so now I’m panicked she’s going to pick another of my blackout days. I feel like my job should not be forcing me to choose between my personal relationships and getting a “note in my file” (what happens when we miss a blackout day). Also, I feel both annoyed (that work is putting me in the uncomfortable position of declining invitations that I am expected to attend), and guilty (because I don’t think 8 days is too much for my job to ask of me). Any tips on what (if anything) I can do to handle this?

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