listing “maid of honor” on your resume, and other questions about weddings and work

With wedding season in full swing, you’re going to be hearing about weddings at work – whether it’s the coworker who won’t stop talking about napkin colors, or etiquette dilemmas about whether you have to give gifts to all the betrothed in your office.

At New York Magazine today, I tackle a whole round-up of questions about weddings and work, including:

  • Single-gender wedding showers
  • Coworkers who think your wedding is a competition
  • Asking for time off for a wedding before starting a new job
  • Listing Maid of Honor on your resume
  • … and more

You can read it here.

{ 212 comments… read them below }

  1. Snark*

    “Listing Maid of Honor on your resume”


    Alison had more to say about that, but I think I’ve got the essence of that.

    1. Snark*

      I will say that having served as maid of honor so many times could be a decent interview anecdote to support actual professional experience as an event planner or EA. “I have a real mind for coordination and event planning – I’ve been maid of honor for seven of my friends, and I’m not sure if they all like me that much or just want my planning skills! Hahaha!” But on the resume, lolnope.

        1. AnotherAlison*

          I think another part of the problem is that you don’t know what you don’t know. Until you’ve been a professional event planner, I don’t think you will understand the key even planning functions you didn’t perform as MOH and you may look naive.

          1. SpaceySteph*

            This may be particular to my field but it’s not totally frowned upon to bring personal/non-work experience into the interview as an example of, say, your problem solving ability. This is especially true of entry-level people who have little work-related experience to use for the scenario based questions.
            But being a MOH would still only be appropriate to use in that context if it was something really above and beyond, like the wedding venue flooded due to a broken pipe the morning of the wedding and you saved the day.

            1. Lily Rowan*

              Right — MAYBE something happened that’s your best answer to “tell me about a time,” but it just seems so unlikely.

            2. winifred tigerlily*

              I have a side business doing canine massage. That’s a real thing where I can provide reference, demonstrate running a business and building a private practice, etc.

            3. AnotherAlison*

              The only other way I could see bringing it up is if, in an interview, you were asked why you were looking for event planning positions and you have no event planning experience. You could say, I believe I have many transferable skills, such as organization and vendor management, from my work as a __________, but I decided to look into event planning as a career after being MOH in multiple weddings. I really loved coordinating all the details, from hiring the caterer to making sure the day went smoothly and everyone had a great time. . .I realize that experience is not on par with a job as an event planner, but it is what sparked my interest in the field.

            4. MsMaryMary*

              I’m pretty forgiving of non-professional examples for entry level hires and interns. I’ll even prompt them to give a school or personal example if I can tell they’re stuck. But that’s about the only time I’d want to hear about someone’s MOH skills in an interview, and even then I’d rather hear about a class project or organizing the spring formal.

            5. MCMonkeyBean*

              Yeah, I feel like in a more conversational interview it might be okay to say something like “I’m so organized and detail oriented that I’ve been asked to be MOH seven times!” Don’t go into detail, but that kind of off-hand comment seems reasonable and in line with annoying interview questions like “what 5 words would your friends use to describe you.”

              1. Rusty Shackelford*

                Do people select their MOH based on organizational skills? I thought it was just supposed to be someone close to you.

                1. SpaceySteph*

                  They generally don’t, and I have seen this backfire tremendously.

                  Nothing like a bride who expects her MOH to plan a bridal shower, and that MOH abdicating all planning to two controlling bridesmaid-zillas with divergent visions, inability to work together, and nobody around to pull rank and make a decision.

                2. Optimistic Prime*

                  Not usually. In my experience (I’ve been one and I’ve had one) most MOHs don’t actually do all that much event coordination stuff – they may handle a few vendors on the day-of, but I haven’t really known many MOHs to be in charge of scheduling dress fittings or hiring vendors and stuff. I’m kind of surprised that the OP’s friend has had this experience more than once!

            6. DJ*

              Yeah. I agree. Someone applied for a children’s librarian position who was not a librarian and all their experience was based on “I’m a mom…” “I planned birthday parties for my kids…” “I have kids so…” and none of them were relevant to the questions (i.e. “Tell me of a time when you planned a children’s event, and discuss from planning stages through to after the event”). Ugh.

        2. Snark*

          Yeah, I was thinking more as a humorous aside, but I think NOOOOOPE is a good general policy, particularly for those who would have considered this in the first place.

        3. Amber T*

          This reminds me of a video I was made to watch at some point in college… it was when I was a high level (still a student) Res Life member and we had to interview prospective RAs for the following year, so the professional staff brought in our Career Services people to show us how to interview and what to look for. It was a (fictional) video of two HR people who met on a plane and started discussing interviewing tactics, because HR Dude just kept hiring duds, but HR Dudette kept hiring rock stars, so she explained how she went beyond the standard questions and asked interviewees about how they managed things in their personal lives as well as their professional lives. It flashbacked to her interviewing a woman who kept a notebook on her that was full of her grocery lists and her mother’s medications, so HR Dudette knew she’d be organized and efficient. I’m sure there was more to the video, but that’s all I remember.

          1. InkyPinky*

            I’m barfing so much on this example. I cannot believe that would actually be recommended for interviewing. Being on top of your personal life doesn’t make you a good hire, and unless I’m hiring you as Chief Listmaker, nope, nope and nope. Also, how sexist… I hope this wasn’t a recent college experience.

          2. Anna*

            List making really goes two ways as well. Most of the list makers I know make lists because they are scatty and unreliable without them. And even with them, it’s still hit and miss whether they’ll actually complete the list (or remember to bring it/look at it!). And yes, I’m in that category.

            The most organised person I know doesn’t need lists at all, she’s like a supercomputer who just remembers everything and does it. HR Dudette wouldn’t hire her, but I would in a heartbeat!

    2. DecorativeCacti*

      The only exception I can think of is a friend of mine who wanted to go into event planning and helped MANY people plan their weddings on the side. This wasn’t her “real” job but I think she was paid for some of them. She is now officially working for an event planning company and I have to imagine she would have included that at least on her cover letter. Planning a dozen weddings when you’re trying to become an event planner is incredibly relevant, no?

      1. DecorativeCacti*

        I should clarify that she was maid of honor at some of these weddings, but I suppose she would just leave the personal connection out of the equation if using it as work experience.

      2. KellyK*

        Very relevant! She had a side gig planning weddings. It gets a little awkward if she wasn’t actually paid for any of them, because offering a free service to friends, family, and friends of friends still doesn’t have the structure of a formal volunteer position. If she got paid for any of them, then it definitely seems appropriate to talk about the skills she developed from her side business.

        If she didn’t get paid for any of them, and it was all done for people she was really close with, it seems like more of a stretch to mention it. Though it probably depends on the level of the event-planning position. For something entry level, it might be great, while it would look horribly naïve to even bring it up with jobs that want you to have years of experience specifically in event planning.

      3. Koko*

        I think the huge difference is that the Maid of Honor is not a wedding planner. They may pitch in to some varying degree to help with things, and I’m sure some MOHs are at the high end of that scale, but others probably just planned one of the two parties (bridal/bachelorette) and helped with the other. (Usually when MOH is family, she helps friend with bachelorette and does bridal herself; when MOH is a friend she helps family with bridal and does bachelorette herself.)

        If she was both, just skip mentioning MOH and say you planned the dang wedding if that’s the only relevant experience you have. “I was MOH” just means “my friend got married.”

        1. bookish*

          Yup. My sister was my MOH and she didn’t lift a finger to help me (but she certainly created a lot of drama). She was my MOH because she was my sister, not because she was organized and good at planning. I think A LOT of the time the MOH is selected solely because of her relationship to the bride. Which is the opposite of how hiring for a job is supposed to work, in general.

    3. persimmon*

      I think it might be okay in an “Interests” section, if your field does those. Imagine: “Interests: Craft beer aficionado, five-time wedding maid of honor, recreational rugby player.” This doesn’t seem so crazy to me. And in that context I could see it coming up in the interview in a positive way.

      1. SarahTheEntwife*

        I guess so? To me, never having been in a wedding party, this says “I have at least five very close friends, and I was involved to an unspecified degree in their weddings.” Which, yay for you, but that’s neither unique nor particularly interesting.

      2. requiredname*

        I wouldn’t even put it in there. Playing rugby is not something that requires 1) someone to get married, and 2) that person pick me as their maid of honor. It’s like being a grandmother. It requires someone else to be doing something, not just you directly ;)

      3. AnotherAlison*

        I think it’s weird because you don’t really control whether your maid of honor or not, and being one doesn’t really provide insight into your level of involvement in wedding planning, organizational skills, etc.

        I have been a matron of honor twice, and weddings are so much not my thing that I didn’t even keep my own wedding dress for sentimental value. I don’t enjoy weddings, planning weddings, showers, or generally organizing a bunch of women I don’t know to do something together. My sister’s friends were basically the flakiest people I’ve ever met and if any job was going to be like dealing with those women, no thanks!

        1. Callalily*

          I’m sure there is a Lifetime movie kicking around of a woman who manipulated the lives of her engaged friends by murdering the competition for the coveted MOH position.

          1. Yzma, Put Your Hands In The Air!*

            I did a spit-take. Thank you for this comment, Callalily! Hilarious.

      4. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

        Because so many people see the MOH as a “close friend/relative” position, it would look pretty weird, imo, to include it in an “interests” section. I would raise my eyebrows if someone said they had an “interest” in being an MOH or bragged about having done it X times.

        What would someone be trying to convey with that information? “Look, my friends like me therefore I am interesting”? That’s not really unique or interesting, and it also makes me wonder why someone derives so much pride in their identity from this designation that is external to them (i.e., something they have no real control over).

    4. SKA*

      This serves as another reminder to me that wedding culture in my family is SO different than wedding culture at large. When I was a bridesmaid for my cousin, there was no talk of “duties,” because the duties were obvious: 1) show up at the wedding shower (which was planned by immediate family – moms and sisters), 2) buy the dress that has been assigned, and 3) show up at the wedding wearing said dress. We’re a pretty low-key, low-budget bunch. So there wasn’t much else that needed done. (Aside from making cookies for the cookie table, naturally — yes, this is Western PA.)

      The next year, I totally “botched” my bridesmaid (not-MOH at least) gig for a college roommate. I probably got cut SOME slack for not attending various the pre-wedding events since I lived 3 hours away, and the bride never said anything to me directly. (And hey, I did show up for invitation assembly day!) But when the day of the wedding came, it was pretty clear that I had not done Enough. I was 24 and nowhere near marriage myself, so it hadn’t occurred to me to research the duties of the bridesmaids, since I thought I already knew them (go to shower, buy dress, wear dress) and nothing extra was specifically asked of me.

      1. Snargulfuss*

        Oh my gosh, yes. The fact that someone could even consider using MOH as professional experience just shows how over the top wedding culture has become.

        One of my good friends is getting married soon and after opting out of some of the many, MANY pre-wedding activities, I’m like, how am I the bad guy for not wanting to devote my entire summer to your wedding?

      2. Turquoise Cow*

        I had a matron of honor and no bridesmaids. She was in the process of selling her house and moving out of state, and agreed to the job with the understanding that she wouldn’t be physically around much. I told her to pick whatever dress she wanted to wear and we’d match the best man’s tie. (She very nicely picked a color that matched the table linens and such, but I’d have been fine if she hadn’t.) My mom planned my shower, and my MIL took care of th rehearsal dinner. We didn’t have a bachelorette (or bachelor) party, so there wasn’t much to do there.

        In exchange for the help, my husband and I paid for her room at the venue (they had a small number of rooms including a bridal suite, where we stayed afterward, so we paid for the bridal party and their spouses to stay afterwards). Not much to put on a resume!

        1. SKA*

          Turquoise, that is almost EXACTLY how I did my own wedding years later, with the cousin in my original post as my Matron of Honor. She was just about 8 months pregnant at the time. I told her to pick any dress she’d be comfortable in (with the only guideline of it being one of our three wedding colors). I didn’t want a shower or bachelorette. So she didn’t have to do anything but pick out a dress and show up (and given how pregnant she was, I wouldn’t have been overly upset if she had to last minute cancel on that!).

      3. Blue*

        to be fair, neither the bride nor maid of honor (nor other bridesmaids, for that matter) talked to you about additional tasks or asked you to do more, so I don’t see how they could reasonably hold it against you!

      4. Samata*

        OMG my brother got married last year and DIDN’T HAVE A COOKIE TABLE. There was almost a mutiny.

        1. LadyKelvin*

          I didn’t have one either. THE OUTRAGE. I had veggies/fruit platters instead. So much tastier and I didn’t have to drag my family members into baking cookies right before an already busy weekend. But I totally dissed their right to be a part of my wedding when I did that. Western PA certainly is a culture to itself.

      5. Optimistic Prime*

        You shouldn’t have to “research” the duties of being a bridesmaid…if the bride wants you do something, she should ASK.

      1. Optimistic Prime*

        See, to me that’s a wedding coordinator who is simply also called on to be in the wedding party.


        “I had a wedding planner, but I wanted someone who could handle the stuff that normally falls on the bridesmaids,” says Griffin….“I wanted [my] friends to enjoy being in the wedding party. It was a ‘thank you’ for taking time off, and it’s expensive to be in a wedding party,” she adds, saying that having Glantz meant her bridesmaids weren’t “auto-enrolled into being a servant for the day.”

        It seems kind of redundant to hire a wedding coordinator AND hire someone to be your bridesmaid? I mean, perhaps consider that if you need both roles and are that concerned that your friends are going to be too stressed to handle basic things that bridesmaids do that maybe you’re doing too much and need to ease up?

        I also find it interesting that at the end, the professional bridesmaid says she doesn’t want any bridesmaids of her own at her own wedding.

    5. zora*

      It’s so funny, I was going through old Open Threads this morning looking for something, and I came across the first mention of the MOH story! So glad it got posted, been wanting to hear more since May! ;o)

  2. fposte*

    Maid of honor…on the resume? Oh, you’re a good friend to try to forestall this, but somebody who plans to do this may be beyond all reason.

    1. Snark*

      Yeah, this may be one of those moments where you stand aside and let the teachable moment unfold. There is, as they say, a dignity in consequences.

      1. Regina Phalange*

        LOL @Snark “…stand aside and let the teachable moment unfold. There is, as they say, a dignity in consequences.”

        This is my favorite. :)

    2. Susanne*

      I don’t even get why being a maid of honor would require any real work, other than showing up to (or perhaps throwing) bridal showers. I recognize there’s a trend these days for brides to corral their unsuspecting friends into being the errand-runners and dessert-makers and invitation-addressers and this and that, but it’s a horrible trend. You want your closest friends to *enjoy* your wedding, not serve as your unpaid hired help.

      1. Emi.*

        You’d be surprised how many people consider MOH to be a Job on the same level as a wedding planner, except that wedding planners get to ask the bride directly what she wants, whereas MOHs just have to pick up passive-aggressive hints. At least, that’s how it works for the people who write in to Carolyn Hax’s Wedding Hoot.

      2. Oryx*

        Not only that, but the title — Maid of Honor — is the bride honoring the friend, not the other way around. You don’t honor friends by turning them into your unpaid employees for the day (or the weeks/months/years it takes to plan a wedding. You have DIY projects that need done? Enlist the person you’re marrying, not your friends.)

      3. Marillenbaum*

        I’ve only been a MOH once, for my older sister–my responsibilities included planning her shower, helping source possible attendants’ dresses (she know I wouldn’t wear anything I thought was ugly), and coming up with last-minute centerpieces when she realized the day before the wedding she hadn’t planned any.

      4. Nan*

        Me, either. I spent 10 minutes planning my wedding. I sure as heck am not giving up months of my life for someone else’s. ick.

      5. Bookworm*

        I think it varies widely. I’ve been a MOH twice, and both times my duties were: plan a bachelorette, give a toast, help the bride get ready day-of, and carry the bride’s lipstick so she can touch-up before photos.

        Certainly, nothing that would qualify being on a resume. I have spoken to people who did way more work, but I actually think my experience is closer to normal.

        1. BeautifulVoid*

          That’s pretty much exactly what my MOH did. Oh, and bring me champagne in between posing for five million pictures. :D

      6. kb*

        I think the trend of having maids of honor heavily involved in wedding planning started very sensibly then kept expanding alongside the wedding industrial complex. Having a MOH plan/host the bachelorette party and/or bridal shower makes sense. Having MOH be point person on the actual wedding day makes sense– that way the bride and groom aren’t bombarded with their guests’ questions about parking, cake ingredient content, bathroom location, etc.
        I think the trend of MOH in lieu of wedding planner may start to die down, though, because I’ve been encountering more people who are declining requests to be MOH.

      7. CMart*

        I was a maid of honor to my best friend and it was a considerable amount of work (and $, but that’s a grump best left in the past). Mostly it involved the things leading up to the wedding rather than the wedding itself. I “had to” plan three different events, which involved a good deal of time and research and coordination on my end.

        None of which was resume-worthy, however. Not even anecdote worthy, really, though it did fine tune my personal event planning skills by the time my own wedding came around.

      8. Gandalf the Nude*

        Bridesmaid-ing for my cousin’s backyard DIY wedding involved a surprising amount of physical labor, which largely fell to me because I was the only lady not wearing fake nails, and the guys were offsite getting plastered, the lucky ducks. Only the 400 mile distance saved me from the four months of Pinterest BS that preceded that.

      9. Optimistic Prime*

        There’s such a weird culture around weddings these days – on the one hand, they are supposed to be Instagram-worthy events, unique and polished to the high heavens. On the other hand, brides are supposed to worship at the altar of DIY. That’s why I think I see so many wedding parties with like 9 people on each side…I’ve helped do some weird DIY stuff for friends getting married (when I wasn’t even in the party) who were trying to be cutesy but ended up having to glue 200 popsicle sticks to their fan programs or whatever.

        One of the reasons I didn’t even want to HAVE a formal wedding. And if my hubs and I renew our vows like we want do, I’m doing it on a tropical island with like 20 people.

      10. Coffee*

        Wait, the MAID of Honor is traditionally there to help the bride. It just gets fuzzy between “I just need someone to stand beside me for friendliness” to “I need someone to hold my dress’s train off the grass and maybe bring an emergency safety pin or two” to “please fix any emergency that happens on the day and drive my drunk aunt and uncle home” to “I need a personal assistant to order the cake, the linen, the venue, fifteen yodellers, and three wedding showers in Paris (so romantic).” Or just “I wanted to affirm our friendship, all you need to do is turn up on time”.

        It’s called a wedding party but traditionally you are being asked to help, not to just enjoy yourself. It just varies a lot in actual terms of what you will actually be expected to do.

    3. Jessica*

      It’s like the non-parental equivalent of listing “CEO of Smith Household” on your resume when you’re a SAHP trying to re-enter the workforce.

      1. MsMaryMary*

        I agree, very similar. I’ve been a MOH/bridesmaid several times. I’ve planned showers and bachelorettes, wrangled drunk groomsmen, kept dueling family members apart, drove cross town for a forgotten veil, and calmed nauseous and teary brides. But that’s just part of being a good friend. Not a professional skill.

      2. BananaPants*

        Yes – if anything, it’s even more out of touch than “Household CEO”. Being a SAHM* is at least of longer duration and a more significant commitment than planning a friend’s bridal shower and showing up at a wedding.

        * – I’ve only seen stay at home moms claiming that their time at home genuinely developed a professional skill set. My husband was a SAHD and knew not to even attempt listing it on his resume.

      3. AndersonDarling*

        Yeah, if it’s something regular people do in their everyday life, then it doesn’t go on a resume. It would be like putting “Drives car 30 miles a day” or “Owner of 4 rescue dogs.” If someone reading the resume can say, “I did that and it wasn’t a big deal,” then it doesn’t rise to level of an accomplishment.

  3. paul*

    For the last letter: I don’t have to buy gifts, but I get cake? I mean, that sounds like the opposite of bad. Doubleplusgood!

    The letter about putting a friend wanting to put maid of honor on her resume though….is that just naivete? A real lack of personal/professional boundaries? Are they just desperate for *something* to put on there? I’m kind of confuzzled about even wanting to.

    1. fposte*

      I armchair diagnose sublimated aggression. Somebody is Way Over This and has decided that she’s at least going to get a resume line out of all the handmaidening.

      1. Kathleen Adams*

        Maybe. Or – and this is how it seemed to me (on very little evidence, admittedly) – it could just be that this friend has bought into the whole Most Important Day of the Bride’s Life!!!!! nonsense, and of course if you do coordination stuff that helps out a person on the Most Important Day of the Her Life!!!!!, clearly this deserves a line on your resume, right?

        Wrong. Twice. It isn’t the most important day of her life, and it doesn’t belong on your resume.

        1. Gandalf the Nude*

          A little of column A, a little of column B. Friend is a sorority alum, which is why she’s been involved in so many weddings. It’s not that she’s over it, I don’t think, because she really does seem to love it and love making her sisters’ days so special. She has put so much of her heart and soul into it that she wants something to show for it after the couple has left for the honeymoon.

          1. Kathleen Adams*

            A hearty “thanks” and the warm glow of satisfaction one gets from a job well done just isn’t enough? Well, huh. I think she needs to find another hobby then.

            1. Gandalf the Nude*

              Aw, it’s not quite like that. I’m having trouble explaining, and it could just be one of those you-have-to-know-her things. She’s a sweetheart and really is over the moon happy for her friends. And it really also could have just been that we were both pretty drunk and she saw the light in the morning… well, light.

          2. fposte*

            Wait, are you the OP? I’m embarrassed to say it didn’t occur to me that people from here would be featured in the New York columns.

            But yeah; I don’t think you can stop this train. Pardon the pun.

            1. Gandalf the Nude*

              Yup, that’s me. :)

              And don’t worry, I gave up when the DJ started playing “Shake It Off.”

    2. Falling Diphthong*

      I think the resume thing is a version of the idea that your volunteer work and the skills you’ve demonstrated there can go on a resume. Which if you organize adorable penguin weddings as a fundraiser for the zoo could totally be a thing.

    3. Emi.*

      I’m not confused. It sounds like she did a lot of relevant work, and like the same amount and type of work would be valid resume fodder if she’d done it for a pregnancy resource center or a summer camp or a science lab or a member of Congress, so the line between “volunteer work for your friends” and “volunteer work for your not-friends” seems a little arbitrary. What if it’s my friend who runs the pregnancy center? (I’m not saying she should put it on her resume–just that I understand why she’d want to.)

      1. fposte*

        In a passing thought, sure, same as people have the passing thought of “I should put being a parent on my resume!” If it moves beyond the passing thought, you should realize you *don’t* want to.

      2. BPT*

        The difference is that there’s no real manager to give you feedback for being a maid of honor (the bride doesn’t count), it’s a social thing. It’s like people who put “CEO of Smith Household” on their resume and list that they’ve been “a doctor, event planner, chauffeur, coach, mentor, and teacher” when they’ve been a stay at home parent. Planning a trip for your family is not the same thing as being an event planner. Driving your kids around is not the same thing as being a chauffeur.

        There’s a difference in true “volunteer tasks” where you have a manager you have to report to, you’re evaluated, there are procedures you have to follow, and “social tasks.” If the task is something most people do as part of their everyday life (take care of your own kids, plan a trip for friends, drive your kids around, babysit for your friends), then it doesn’t rise to the level of being resume-worthy.

      3. Liane*

        But relevant volunteer work is acceptable on a resume and/or to answer interview questions in a way that doing something for you friends or relatives isn’t.
        I have an example from my volunteer lead mod job that I trot out for the “Conflict at work” type questions and it works well. Especially now, when thanks to Alison, I can end with the moral, “So I know why it is a bad idea to have a friend reporting to you.”

      4. Humble Schoolmarm*

        In my volunteer experience, it was a lot like working except I wasn’t getting paid. I had a person (usually paid) to report to, I had to do the assigned task and interact with clients in a polite way. Being a bridesmaid was way more loose-goosey in my experience.

    4. MCMonkeyBean*

      I would bet that even if she said she just wanted something casual some people would pitch in for stuff. I wasn’t expecting anything so I didn’t share any registries, so people in my office just chipped in for a Target gift card which was a very nice surprise and super appreciated!

  4. TiffIf*

    Re: Listing Maid of Honor on resume

    There is one very niche job where this might be appropriate–the bridesmaid for hire industry–I don’t know how widespread this is, but I have seen a few news stories about it.
    OP’s friend might want to look into this type of thing if she really is good at it.
    Some info here:

    1. fposte*

      Holy cow. I think I join many people here in being unaware this was a thing. Yes, for those jobs, that would likely be quite relevant.

    2. KR*

      Good idea! Or maybe working at a dress shop if she really does well with pre wedding excitement and activities.

    3. TiffIf*

      That being said–even for these jobs, it has got to be more than just “I’ve been a Maid of Honor a bunch of times” and instead include the accomplishments/skills used as a maid of honor.

      1. Artemesia*

        Yeah. In the interview ‘I have helped several friends with wedding planning and been the trouble shooter at a couple of weddings, so I realize . . . .’ IF the job is for wedding planner, a bridal shop, or an event planner.

        1. AnotherAlison*

          I think I’d need to hear from someone in one of these industries that it would be looked upon favorably before I would discuss it in an interview. I wonder if people who work in the industries would roll their eyes and think here we go again, another wannabe who thinks she can do my job.

          1. Anon Event Planner*

            I’m a corporate event and meeting planner and I would absolutely react that way if I heard that in an interview. Uncharitable of me? Maybe, but there are a lot of people who think that party planning and corporate event management are the same thing, when they definitely are not.

            1. Artemesia*

              I understand the knee jerk ‘so they think they can do my job.’ But why would someone be interested in the job? Usually it is someone who has done some of it as an amateur and finds it interesting and thus is trying to make a career of it. What would you expect from the question about interest?

              1. Ask a Manager* Post author

                It’s when people think they genuinely have a grasp on what it entails, based on doing only a small sliver of it. Like “I love to cook so I’d be great at running a restaurant” (without understanding that there’s much more that goes into it, like marketing, business, management, etc.).

                1. TotesMaGoats*

                  But Alison, I’ve watched all the episodes of Bar Rescue and Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares. Surely I know how to run a restaurant. :)


    4. cornflower blue*

      The plot of a Kevin Hart movie is never a good choice when deciding a profession.

    5. Toph*

      That’s exactly what I was thinking of. If this person were an actual professional bridesmaid, it should be on her resume because it’s her actual job. But if she were just in a bunch of weddings because friends were getting married and asked her to, boatload of nope.

    6. Gandalf the Nude*

      All of my what.

      As if I didn’t already have a low enough opinion of the wedding industrial complex.

    7. bmich*

      Bridesmaid For Hire was actually started by one of my sorority sisters and I could definitely see adding this to a resume since it is an actual paid position (this particular woman has a variety of services from a little bit of help planning to full day of coordination). Though, she is probably only one of a handful of people who should put t on a resume and never if it was an unpaid you’re friends with/related to the bride deal.

  5. Interviewer*

    I’ve received countless resumes over the years, and I’ve collected quite a few with noteworthy, cringe-inducing, or hilarious entries. Anyone who puts “Maid of Honor” on her resume would definitely land in that collection. And no, to be ultra clear, MOH is not going to be enough volunteer work experience get an interview for an entry-level position, no matter how much of a Bridezilla she was.

    1. anon24*

      Has Alison ever done a “most cringeworthy things you’ve seen on a resume” thread? That would be fun.

  6. Amber Rose*

    I’ve now been both maid of honor and bride, and neither thing was complicated enough to warrant listing as an achievement! Besides, there’s no way to know how you did. It’s like how running your MMO guild is not resume-worthy. There’s no accountability there. You just do your thing and if you suck at it, oh well.

    (Though I do think an exception could be made for that dude in Eve Online who started a bank, complete with interest rates and lending rules and everything, despite there being no built in method to do so. Talk about a complicated project. But the fact that he ended it by robbing everyone blind makes that a little iffy.)

    1. OhNo*

      That Eve Online thing… I guess it would depend on what kind of job you were applying for? I imagine the mob would be delighted to see that kind of experience on a resume, for example.

    2. Katty Tonic*

      I get why people think that but I’d argue that there is more accountability. When you have a boss you have one boss, when you own a business or run a guild everyone is your boss. Managing volunteers is way more impressive than managing people you pay. If you are a bad manager in a company you can survive for a long time, if you are in charge of your guild’s dungeon runs and you are a bad manager your guild will die or at least stop running dungeons. And there are some people who have turned it essentially into a side job. I was just an assistant guild leader (mainly in charge of investments and group cohesion) and it was taxing but I also learned a lot about the essence of commodities trading, which is now related to what I do at my “real” job.

      I do think as a culture that we have an issue with any work done that doesn’t pay cash, as if the value or difficulty of a thing is only able to be valued in dollars. There are a lot of people volunteering and doing hobbies that put a lot more work into their work than people with “real” jobs.

      P.S. As long as the game doesn’t have a broken economy, if you know how to earn money you are earning money whether its in dollars, credits, gold, or bitcoin.

      1. Optimistic Prime*

        Managing volunteers is way more impressive than managing people you pay. If you are a bad manager in a company you can survive for a long time, if you are in charge of your guild’s dungeon runs and you are a bad manager your guild will die or at least stop running dungeons.

        I would say that depends entirely on the volunteers, the organization itself, and in what ways the manager is bad – but most people (including most hiring managers) probably don’t share that sentiment. It’s also true that most managers in most industries are not going to be familiar with the requirements of running a guild, and to be fair they can vary wildly as well. Some guild leaders are far more hands-on and organized than others.

  7. Snark*

    ” But the fact that he ended it by robbing everyone blind makes that a little iffy”

    I dunno, I think that’d probably get you a corner office at some of your more assholish hedge funds. If nothing else, he showed gumption.

  8. Oryx*

    I nearly spit out my lunch at the headline with MOH on resume.

    I also had to check regarding the single gender shower: we have a shower at work for a coworker coming up and yay, our male team members were also invited.

    1. Mona Lisa*

      I was pleasantly surprised at my last workplace when we had a shower for a male co-worker in addition to all of the female ones. (He was one of two men that worked for the organization.) Everyone went all out, bought a cake, and got him a wheelie cooler off the registry and filled it with all sorts of grilling implements. It was good to see that team (wedding) celebrations had no gender!

      1. BeautifulVoid*

        My husband is a teacher, and two out of the three buildings he works in are elementary schools, which still skew heavily female for the faculty and staff. When we had our twins, those ladies threw him an epic baby shower. Somewhere there’s a picture of him wearing a hat and sash and pushing a shopping cart full of gifts down the hallway of the school.

        (I was invited, but since they were doing it before school started, I thought sleep sounded much better than getting up to battle rush hour traffic.)

      2. Countess Boochie Flagrante*

        When we had a baby shower for my manager at OldJob, it was the guys who were way into it, elaborately arranged and wrapped their gifts, and got super excited over the games. Definitely not what I expected!

    2. Turquoise Cow*

      My current workplace just had a baby shower for a male employee. I thought that was a nice thing to do.

      1. SC*

        My good friend and former co-worker just planned a baby shower for her male office mate. (The company paid for it.) She had cake and sparkling wine, and I think the co-workers pooled money for a gift. IIRC, she invited the mom-to-be AND offered to pay for her transportation to the office (from another office building nearby, but who wants to walk at that stage of pregnancy). I thought it was all very nice and progressive for our southern city.

    3. MCMonkeyBean*

      Wedding and baby showers at my office always include everyone, and are thrown for both male and female employees. There’s no need to divide by gender because it’s not like you’re going to participate in any activities at the office that might merit such a division elsewhere. All we do is eat cake and give presents. Sometimes we go out to lunch.

      1. Grapey*

        The two non-work baby showers I’ve been to involved women talking about the physical annoyances of pushing forth a new unit. They also tend to not want to have these conversations with men around? (Or men just don’t want to go?) After two showers, I am firmly in the “no thanks to overhearing conversations about things that tear during childbirth just because I’m a woman and expected to endure this” camp, so I avoid baby showers altogether.

        I would hope showers at workplaces have fewer “I can’t sneeze without peeing!” conversations just by virtue of maintaining a professional veneer and I’m glad your comment confirms that, lol. The few invites I’ve seen at my job seemed to have been for women only and I don’t know why. I declined to go and I felt like it would have been weird if I had asked why no men.

  9. Sunshine Brite*

    The competitive coworker OP needs to consider some of today’s work mom advice and share on more neutral topics. They may still try to 1 up on seemingly meaningless stuff but I’d try practicing now so that if one of you experience fertility problems or gets pregnant more ideally in some way there’s not already seething resentment there. It’d just make the situations much more stressful.

  10. Karyn*

    Having been a bride and a bridesmaid, while it’s a lot of work, it’s definitely not resume-worthy. However, maybe she should apply to work with event planning companies! That may be relevant experience, in that case!

    1. Legalchef*

      I could see it being a relevant anecdote in an interview, especially if someone is making a career change – “what made you want to move into event planning?” “Well, I was a MOH 5 times and was very involved in the planning of [things], and realized that I really enjoyed and excelled at x y z aspects of it.”

      So not to show that she’s qualified for the job because of being a MOH but more that being a MOH opened her eyes to that field, if that makes sense.

  11. Elle*

    Theoretical question – if you’re a manager of, say, 50 people and that includes 5 Assistant Managers who are your direct reports, can you just invite the five assistant managers and not their reports?

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Yes. Although I’d only do it if you’re legitimately close to them. Otherwise you’re creating a situation where they’re going to wonder if they’re obligated to attend even if they’d prefer not to.

    2. nnn*

      Social etiquette is to invite people by categories (e.g. invite all the cousins but not the second cousins, as opposed to just picking your favourites from both groups), so inviting the assistant managers but not their reports is perfectly consistent with that approach.

      1. TooManyCooks*

        LOL. I had 80 people at my wedding. If I’d invited all my first cousins, they would have taken up 50 of the seats. I invited six of them, I think.

        1. BPT*

          I think that still makes sense when it’s a small enough number that *most* people aren’t invited. Like if you had invited 40 out of 50 (barring a reason like violence or something), then I’d be a little put off. But 6 out of 50 is clearly not personal.

            1. fposte*

              The invitations are personal; the exclusion isn’t. A subtle but important difference. (Hence the “if you invite over half the class you have to invite everybody” rule.)

            2. BPT*

              Right, I meant most people won’t “take it personally” if they’re one of 44/50 people left out, rather than if they were one of 3 or 4 people out of a large group left out. If you only leave a few people out, they will likely take it personally, rather than if you leave a large group out, it’s obviously because of numbers.

  12. Aphrodite*

    Alison, would you be willing to tell us if your wedding took place while you were working in an office and if so what problems, issues, or interesting things happened that you were surprised by. (Why, yes, I am being nosy.)

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      I was not working in an office when I got married — which in some ways made it harder. (When you’re self-employed, it can be tough to take real time off; in my case, there’s no one to cover for me. I can arrange time off from clients, but not from this site. For my honeymoon, I ended up running two weeks worth of reprints of old posts.)

  13. Coming Up Milhouse*

    I wish I had bitten the bullet and negotiated time off my wedding before I started. I took a job 4 weeks before my wedding and I was only able to get half the time I had wanted off. I got 4 days off when I really needed 5 or 6 with all of the last minute wedding prep. It also would have helped when I needed time off a few months after the wedding to take our honeymoon. Had I negotiated this prior to my start date, I wouldnt harbor some resentment towards my boss.

  14. Falling Diphthong*

    “Should we skip the gift-giving but all eat cupcakes?”

    This letter writer has looked into her coworkers souls and seen what’s there.

    1. motherofdragons*

      Reading this just prompted me to pull in my coworker who is planning my shower and tell her, “Please don’t advertise my registry, stress that gifts are optional, make it open-ended so people can came and go, and lots of cupcakes.”

  15. Recruit-o-Rama*

    I’m going to be all cumundeony and just chime in to say that I despise everything about weddings and do everything in my power to avoid talking about anyone’s upcoming wedding. “That sounds nice, how’s that TPS report?” is my standard response to wedding talk and “I regretfully have plans that weekend, congratulations on your marriage! Today’s IT training was informative, don’t you think?” is my standard response to wedding invites.

    Also, adding, not opposed to marriage and consenting adults making commitments, just can’t stand the whole over the top wedding industrial complex.

    1. Kimberly R*

      Agreed. I’m the Scrooge of wedding planning. I just don’t really care. My wedding was thrown together in less than a month (and mostly not by me.) I don’t want to talk about whether that shade is more teal or aqua, or weigh the pros and cons between buying cloth napkins or getting the ones from the event company. I also don’t care to see all the pictures from the photographer after the fact. I’m fine with looking at one or two pictures of the couple and commenting on how beautiful the dress is (whether it is or not, you have to say that.) But thats about my limit.

      1. Recruit-o-Rama*

        I got married by Elvis in vegas in a sundress I had packed for the weekend. We didn’t intend to get married that weekend, it just worked out. We had been together for 10 years and had talked about getting married before so it wasn’t a whim, but it was freaking perfect, took 10 minutes to plan, cot $300 and was so much fun. I have zero regrets about doing it that way. I don’t begrudge other people their weddings or opinions about weddings I just won’t participate in any part of it. I am thrilled for people when they get married, I just don’t care about the party.

      2. Optimistic Prime*

        +1 – I planned my wedding in two weeks – or more appropriately, my MIL planned my wedding in two weeks. I just wanted to get hitched in the park and have dinner with our families.

    2. Elfie*

      I had the best wedding day EVER! I got married in Mauritius, the resort organised everything, and the wedding itself cost £300. We had no guests, the resort did one wedding a day (so it was ‘our’ day), and there was NO STRESS WHATSOEVER. It was perfect for me and hubs, and I will treasure that day forever, because it was beautiful weather, the sunset matched my dress, and we had an all-inclusive package with lots of rum.

  16. nnn*

    For the LW with the competitive co-worker who’s worried that she will also make pregnancy a competition, a useful script for shutting down baby talk (depending on the personalities involved) might be “I’m superstitious.”

    You’re worried you’ll jinx your chances of conception if you talk about it too optimistically. You’re worried you’ll jinx the pregnancy if you talk about it too early, or if you decorate the nursery before the baby’s born.

    The advantage is you just can’t argue with that reasoning! Even if it’s objectively illogical, it’s still disproportionately assholic to push a line of discussion that an expectant mother thinks is bad luck for her baby.

    1. Emi.*

      “Even if it’s objectively illogical, it’s still disproportionately assholic to push a line of discussion that an expectant mother thinks is bad luck for her baby.”

      I … am not convinced this disincentive will be as effective as you think, since it opens up a chance to for the coworker to explain how what really matters to your children is how much attention you pay to them and talk about them.

      1. Cobol*

        Nnn is referring to being pregnant I believe, not post kids. Many people are superstitious about pregnancy complications, so it would be extremely assholish to continue asking about their pregnancy.

        1. Emi.*

          I know, I just don’t think the fear of being an asshole can be counted on as a strong motivator here, especially in a realm like pregnancy (motherhood generally, but pregnancy particularly) with such a strong culture of unsolicited advice.

          1. Observer*

            It’s not intended to be a motivator. It’s intended to give the OP a way to shut things down without sounding like the “impolite” one.

    2. nonegiven*

      Also, when the inevitable “my kid rolled over first,” “my kid sat up first,” starts, just go with, “maybe he’s a little slower but we love our baby, anyway.”

      1. motherofdragons*

        I’d personally go with a weird, “Why are you even making this a thing” look and a “Huh, well good for him!” No need to even acknowledge that there’s a comparison being made.

        1. Rana*

          Yeah, I think the best way to handle any of this is to let her be weird on her own. If you are confident in your choices and how things are going, it shouldn’t matter that Coworker is obsessed about her own and trying to one-up you. Let her be the one that other people shake their heads over and who exhausts herself worrying about how she stands in relation to others. It’s only a competition if you let it be.

          This might also be an occasion to kill with faux kindness and broken-record-ing while giving her nothing to work with. “My son sat up today! Is yours sitting up yet?” “Wow! That’s amazing! You must be so proud!” “My kid is walking! Is yours walking yet?” “Wow, that’s amazing! You must be so proud!”

  17. Lisa from Michigan*

    re: single gender shower
    A woman in my department had twins after wanting to have children for a verrrrry long time. Of course, everyone was invited to the work baby shower. I distinctly remember the few men who did attend had a great time- they’d never been to a baby shower before! But they thought the games were lame. LOL

    1. TooManyCooks*

      I never had kid, but if I had, I definitely would have wanted a co-ed baby shower with maybe one game (and it would have been like “match the baby to the TV family” or something along those lines, not “guess what smashed up chocolate bar we mashed into this diaper”) and pizza and alcohol.

      1. SpaceySteph*

        I love that 60 seconds apart we both mentioned the chocolate bar game. It’s like the gold standard of awful shower games.

        1. TooManyCooks*

          I have flat-out refused to participate in that game, along with the “Taste the baby food from the jars with the labels removed and guess what it is”.

          1. BPT*

            I want to throw up just hearing that. I know it’s just regular food mashed up but it still makes me queasy.

            1. TooManyCooks*

              Yeah, I’m not interested in tasting strained beef that is the consistency of applesauce.

      2. Turquoise Cow*

        Ugh games. I had zero games at my bridal shower. If I ever have a baby shower I might allow one?

    2. SpaceySteph*

      Oh god, games at a work shower. I cringe. My work shower had exactly one “game:” a parenting advice mad lib. It took about 5 mins and who doesn’t love mad libs?!

      No way I’m sniffing melted chocolate bars in diapers with my coworkers!

      1. Julianne*

        I’ve only been to one work baby shower (thank goodness), and it was mostly “Let’s eat lunch and cake and give our coworker several packages of diapers.” We are elementary school teachers, so one of my coworkers had the kids (3rd graders) write parenting advice…it was pretty hilarious.

        1. Recruit-o-Rama*

          I would love the read that, I love the sweet innocence and creativity of that age. My 15 year old daughter was just looking through some old crafts she made and one of them was a “how to make a turkey” project they did right before thanksgiving one year when she was about 6 and in her mind, cooking a turkey involved turning the oven up to 900 degrees. We’re we’re rolling on the floor by the time we were done reading it.

    3. Science!*

      My work gave me a baby shower and everyone came, not just the women. In fact my (male) boss helped organize it. It was a surprise shower, he tricked me by inviting me to a video skype call with some offsite collaborators (even had them accept the meeting but called them to make sure they knew it wasn’t actually happening) and then we went to the conference room and i discovered a baby shower (which I thought was for someone else and for the first minute felt bad that we were kicking them out for our call)*. Turns out the shower was for me. All the guys came to eat cake and snacks and get away from the lab for a bit. No games, just food and presents.

      I didn’t expect it because it was my second child, but I wasn’t in the department for my first so I guess they wanted to do something for me. We are a celebratory kind of group (most birthdays, certain promotions, weddings and babies, sometimes grants and paper acceptances).

      1. Falling Diphthong*

        I had two showers (one at my work, one organized by my husband’s fellow grad students): both were co-ed and involved eating while watching us open tiny tiny clothes. This is absolutely possible.

        Even if you hate most shopping, babies are easy and can be pretty fun. They need tiny clothes, tiny blankets, and board books.

      2. Knitchic*

        We just had a shower for a coworker. I was the lucky duck who got to take all the gift donation money to Target and pick things out. Our coworkers came through in spades and I had so much fun picking out the softest blankets and cutest clothes I could find. Her haul was truly epic.

      3. Chinook*

        When a (male) coworker’s wife gave birth to number 4, we did the typical card around the office and a collection for a gift card so the kid could have something that wasn’t a hand-me-down. :) I know the rule is usually only a shower for first borns but we like to celebrate in small ways and no one was forced to contribute

      4. SpaceySteph*

        My husband and I work in the same company in different departments. We were both quite fooled by his coworkers in throwing us a shower. He was asked to give a status on some project and then his coworker called to invite me to the meeting saying he was getting a surprise award for same said project. We were both completely shocked.
        It was a joint shower for another dude in his department, too, whose wife doesn’t work here and wasn’t in attendance. Showers can be for dudes too!

        1. Science!*

          That’s cool that it was a joint shower for both of you! I think it’s weird to make shower only about the mom. While some presents may be more useful for the mom than the dad, most of them are about the baby, and dads get excited about their new children as well!

          I insisted that my husband be at the shower for our first, and I loved watching him open presents with tiny baby clothing and hold it up. For my second shower he went there because it was at work and we don’t work at the same place.

          As for games, the only games we played at my first was a bib decorating game (not really a game, everyone got a plain white bib and some fabric markers and drew something funny or sweet or cute. So I had a bunch of really special bibs that I used for my older child and now for my new little one. At my second shower we didn’t have games, just cake and presents and a break from work :)

    4. Dr. Doll*

      When I was doing my PhD we had FOUR women in the department all having babies at the same time. One of the lab techs and I got together and threw a big joint shower for the whole dept. Everyone from the chair on down was grateful to us for doing the emotional lifting. (….and then I got put on the seminar committee, which as a grad student meant that I had to arrange the %$^#&* snacks each week, not, you know, choose the speakers.)

    5. MsChanandlerBong*

      I’m a woman, and I think the games are lame, too. If I ever get invited to baby shower where people sniff melted chocolate made to look like poop, I am leaving immediately.

      1. Rana*

        At one of my jobs there was a shower held that started out for the whole office, but just after the cake, and before the games, the men all left. I would have left too – I didn’t know the mother-to-be and I had a ton of work to do – but I was trapped in a corner and couldn’t politely escape. This is when the shower games started. Followed by unwrapping a million gifts and cooing over each one. ARGH.

    6. Optimistic Prime*

      They are correct. I do not understand the weird insistence on baby shower games.

  18. AdAgencyChick*

    If I were the resigning OP, I would have tried to negotiate with the new company to be able to resign immediately upon returning from my honeymoon. Otherwise, the old company is likely to want to cut OP off the day before the wedding, especially if they have a policy of not paying out unused vacation days.

    1. Toph*

      Several states have laws requiring payout of unused PTO, so cutting the OP off the day before the wedding may or may not be a concern, because it’s possible legally she’d still be getting paid for those days (and potential more if the existing wedding break weren’t using up all she had at current job).

  19. Boop*

    I was really surprised to see that people routinely take 2 weeks off for their weddings. I had to fight my manager for 2 days off (Friday before and Monday after) and I was getting married on the opposite coast! She told me that she took no days off for her wedding and that two days was generous, and I didn’t push it because I was happy to have an in-person planning day and a travel day that wasn’t the day after.

    1. TooManyCooks*

      I took a week + two days. The two days were for planning beforehand and the week was for the honeymoon. We didn’t have a rule at the time on how much time off you could take in a row, as long as you weren’t taking it November or December (I was working retail at the time), so it was basically just a slightly extended vacation period for me (most people took a week off in one go for vacation).

    2. Kim Possible*

      What?! That’s ridiculous. Surely she had to know that her taking no days off for her wedding was not the norm.

      Did you even get to take off for a honeymoon at a later time?

      I took off three days for my wedding (Thursday & Friday before, and Monday after), and another full week off about a month after my wedding for our honeymoon.

      1. Boop*

        We never had an official honeymoon. My wedding was the last PTO that job granted me. But my husband and I have had many fun vacations since we married thanks to new jobs with more sensible policies.

    3. Coming Up Milhouse*

      +1. I had this same reaction. My wedding was in New York City and I need time before and after the wedding. My boss’s reaction was less than enthusiastic; we had story time about “people having too big of weddings” and “I got married very simply.” Well that’s all well and good but we’re both New Yorkers with family in the tri-state area.

      She begrudgingly gave me the 4 days off.

    4. MCMonkeyBean*

      “I did X so everyone else should too” is the crappiest reason any boss could give for anything ever.

    5. Observer*

      Alison, maybe you could run a column on the most ridiculous “I did x so you should, too” comments people have gotten at work. This is just ridiculous.

      1. bookish*

        Yup, reminds me of the woman who told her nursing employee that people are just going to walk in on her and she suffered through it so the employee should too.

    6. Natalie*

      My now-husband had 14 hours of PTO remaining , so he took two days off for our wedding with two of those hours being unpaid. He got written up for taking unpaid time off.

      Yeah, that place suuuuuuuuuuucked.

      1. Yzma, Put Your Hands In The Air!*

        That’s a level of petty that I absolutely would never want to encounter. Sounds like an awful place to work, but hopefully things are better for you both now!

    7. LadyKelvin*

      We took a week off (the week before) because we were both out of state and had to be in state no later than Tuesday before the wedding to apply for our marriage license and pick it up on Friday so that meant we had to drive up on the Monday before. Thankfully we got married over memorial day weekend so we could have a day to decompress after the wedding before going back home.

  20. Update from one of the letter writers*

    I am the original letter writer who got engaged between when I accepted the job offer and when I started. I wrote the letter last year, so it was a cool surprise to see it run! I’m married now, the wedding was great, etc.

    I did end up reaching out to my manager before I started the job. He said congratulations, that it’s no problem, and that they’re flexible with this kind of thing. It was definitely true – it’s turned out to be a great place to work for this and many other reasons! They are so flexible I probably didn’t need to ask ahead of time like that, but I’m glad I did it for peace of mind. And if there had been any issues, I could have cleared them up before making any deposits.

  21. Anon4This*

    I’m the outlier here, but I do have a very strange sort of event planning on my resume. What the resume says is:
    – Director of presentation art competition (year-year). Duties included: hiring judges/half-time entertainment/MC, finding volunteers and trophy designer, work with technical crew for lighting and sound. Competition was presented on time and under budget every year.

    On the rare times I was asked, I talked about how I went about wrangling a mass of people, how I worked with the tech crew to redesign check-in forms and streamline the check-in process, and the thought processes on spending. Basically, pointed out that this was on my resume to show the abilities to communicate, delegate, schedule, and budget without ever going into the specifics — because “ran a science fiction convention costume competition” doesn’t belong on a resume either!

    If Bridesmaidzilla can point to actual office-appropriate skills – scheduling, spending, coordinating – and can speak to processes she used or created to streamline the work, then I say it does belong on the resume. Just tucked under “Non-job related skills” and NOT using the words “Maid of Honor” or wedding anywhere!

    1. Bookworm*

      I’m still skeptical. What you’re describing – Directing an Art Competition – sounds like something unusual that most people won’t have done. Additionally, it’s the sort of thing we can presume is done through an organization of some kind that expects a certain level of quality from volunteers.

      Being in a wedding is just so common – many people have done it – and the expectations and experiences can vary so widely. It would be extremely rare for a MOH to put in the same level of work as a wedding planner. Even if there this is an exception, I think that the effort she would have to put in to try and explain that would just be a distraction from the more compelling parts of her resume.

      And not putting MOH or wedding there would seem really deceptive if it came up in an interview. I think that might make it worse.

    2. Nolan*

      I also have convention work on my resume, not under the jobs section, but a relevant experience section. I do list it as convention work, but my area of involvement is guest appearances, so it’s less geeky sounding and easier for most “civilians” to grasp. But volunteering at a convention is totally different from having a friend ask you to be in their wedding. You have to apply to work at a con, most will also interview you, and some require references. A MOH is selected because of personal connections to the bride.

      If you’re bad at your job at the con, you can be fired. If you really mess up, your reputation can follow you, preventing other events from accepting you as staff. Your actions as event staff reflect on the convention, and if things really go sideways, how you handle things could even cost the convention revenue or reputation.

      If you aren’t the MOH the bride was hoping for, she may be disappointed, you could even have a fight or falling out, but that doesn’t mean you’ll never be invited to another wedding, or even to be in another wedding party, in the future. People won’t not go to the wedding just because the MOH did or didn’t do some aspect of setup/planning/etc. But people might not go to the convention if you don’t get the contest set up on time or don’t respond to emails fast enough.

      Volunteer positions are like job-lite. There are defined duties, expectations, managers, you’re just doing the job for yourself, not for compensation. But the decisions you make are still bound by the business needs of the convention, so having them on a resume makes sense, where including MOH doesn’t.

      1. Countess Boochie Flagrante*

        Yeah, agreed. I’m still trying to figure out a good way to explain running a convention-based LARP, because that definitely requires a customer-oriented skill set as well as working under a ton of pressure, but… it’s still running a LARP at a convention. Nooot really a job.

        1. Nolan*

          Back when I was still LARPing, “improvisational theater” was the euphemism we’d use when randos would peek in wondering what was up with all the weirdos in costume :)

        2. SarahTheEntwife*

          I had that same problem! This was something I ran in college so conveniently it’s no longer quite recent enough to be really relevant, but I was so relieved at one interview when I was trying to explain it in mostly-generic terms and the interviewer went “oh, so it’s a LARP?” Oh good yes it’s a LARP and you don’t seem to think that’s weird.

  22. Drama Llama's Mama*

    My job threw me two baby showers (one for each kid). The second one was a surprise, as I was having my second boy in a three-year period, had no expectations of any showers, and had set up only a bare-bones registry for my relatives (I ended up with a ton of gift cards, which was just fine.) Both times, the entire department was invited, everything was low-key, so there was no obligation for my coworkers (basically, the agenda was, show up, eat cake, and stay or not as I opened cards and presents). I’m certain that there were women with no interest in being invited and men that would have been very hurt had they been excluded (like my boss!). I’m firmly of the opinion that everyone (on the team, in the department, in the office, whatever is reasonable) should be invited and leave them to make their own decisions about attending.

  23. Jeanne*

    I think you *should* put “good at helping friends move” on your resume. Then you can help everyone at work. It’s hard to find anyone. If I was the manager, I’d negotiate a raise for every so many people you help move.

  24. Lora*

    “You’ve given your co-workers an excuse to eat cupcakes and you’ve absolved them of the obligation to buy gifts. Your union will be a blessed one.”
    This is awesome. And true.

  25. Kimberly R*

    For the competitive coworker one-You have to shut it done. People who are obsessively competitive do NOT stop. You’ll both be trying to conceive, so she will ask personal questions about when you’re ovulating. Once you are both pregnant, she will want to compare “bumps” and make comments about how she only eats this healthy, organic blah-blah-blah stuff, or try to one-up any complications you may be having. As a parent of 2 (soon to be 3), these parents are the worst to talk to! Your little Benjamin is rolling over at 3 months? Her Edwina rolled over and sat up at 2.5 months. Baby Benjamin said his first word? Well, Edwina can identify all her flash cards already and is practically speaking in full sentences! You have to shut down this kind of talk. You can say, “I don’t want to talk about that at work,” or “I have a full workload today so can’t stay to chit chat” or whatever, but any crumbs of information you give her will only make it worse.

    1. Another person*

      Omg yes! Shut it down or it will never end.

      I had one of these coworkers once. I bought a car, she bought a bigger one and made a big deal of it. I bought a house, she bought one in a better neighborhood and made a big deal of it. I got engaged to my wonderful husband – by then I had learned just not to talk to her about those things, she couldn’t one up me there anyway.

    2. CompetitiveCoWorkerOP*

      Thankfully she doesn’t know I am thinking about having a baby- and she just moved jobs, so I don’t have to deal with her ever again!

      But I’ll keep this in mind for other parents in general. Thanks!

  26. Anon4now*

    I came across a situation early in my career where I’d joined a new company in a pretty entry level role. My counterpart on my team (who I was working closely with as she was doing most of my training) was planning her wedding at that time and talked about it non-stop.
    Literally everyone on this team and a few adjacent teams were invited to her wedding. These folks were all friends outside of work and it was an extremely awkward few months for me hearing about her wedding plans constantly knowing I was the ONLY person not invited (likely because I was new and not social with her outside of work events – I didn’t take it as a personal slight).
    In cases like that what would be the best solution; to invite the new person to the wedding or just leave it at the group already included on the guest list?
    (I realize it would have been best if she could have just stopped the constant wedding related talk, but that’s not the question at hand.)

    1. Yzma, Put Your Hands In The Air!*

      If it was me, and it was literally one person, I’d invite the person. Because, yeah, that’s awkward as hell, where they’re all literally talking about this one wedding and reception for *MONTHS*, and you’re just like, an observer? I personally find that incredibly rude. Granted, if they hadn’t been talking about it at work (incessantly, it seems), then I think it would have been fine either way. But I learned early on that you don’t talk about events that other people aren’t going/invited to in front of those who aren’t going/invited!

  27. Kim Possible*

    “I have to resign right before my wedding”

    This sort of thing happened to me, too. I actually accepted a job a few weeks AFTER my wedding, but my company at the time of the wedding had just done a money pool as a congratulations, and given me about $500 total. I felt a bit guilty, but I’d been unhappy with my job for a long time. It just happened to work out timing-wise the way it did with the new job offer; it was no slight to those who had graciously given my husband and I wedding money.

    1. AnotherAlison*

      If you think about it, socially, it’s not that weird for life to go a different direction after a wedding.

      “The Wedding” was the last time we saw some of our friends socially, even people we were actively friends with and went out with regularly before their/our wedding. There are no hard feelings with those people, so I’m not sure former coworkers should be any different. People come and go from your life all the time for different reasons.

      1. Chocolate Teapot*

        A popular colleague was getting married last year, so round went the card and envelope. They took a month off for the wedding and honeymoon. (Here, 4 extra paid days can be taken for a wedding, 2 for a parent of the bride/groom, on top of your holidays)

        As soon as they returned to work, they resigned. It turned out they had been jobhunting, and it just so happened the offer came in during their honeymoon. Unsurprisingly, they didn’t get a farewell present, but we did give them a card.

  28. Free Meerkats (formerly Gene)*

    If MOH belongs on the resume, then I would imagine Bride could use it as an equivalent of General Manager? </snark

    I was once Mantron of Honor at a friend's wedding and discovered this fact when I showed up and Mother of the Bride handed me a boutonnière and told me so. Luckily, my tie was close to the right color. How would I list that? "Effectively handled unexpected responsibilities thrust upon me with no notice"?

    1. Yzma, Put Your Hands In The Air!*

      Only if you get the MOB (not the bride herself!) to write you a glowing reference letter about your charming, gracious performance…

  29. Observer*

    Maid of Honor on Resume? OY!

    But three cheers for the one who turned down the shower. Perfect!

  30. CompetitiveCoWorkerOP*

    That was me! And the best news is that a week after I wrote in, coworker changed jobs and I never have to see her again! So no baby competition, although I appreciate the advice. The hard part about not talking about wedding stuff was that my boss LOVED wedding talk and would take time out of meetings to talk about it. It was not easy for me to say no to talking about it when the boss was pushing it. Ugh.

  31. AlwhoisthatAl*

    For the time off for your wedding, I would be inclined to say something along the lines of “I am undertaking possibly the most serious commitment I will ever do in my life, I am intending to spend the rest of my life with this person, it should not be treated like a dental appointment” and then take the time off anyway. Priority is key here and if they sack you over it they were not worth working for in the first place.

  32. Autumn Leaves*

    I got married last year. My office is fairly small – at the time only myself and 5 others – but I also had a relatively small wedding (about 75). Even though we are somewhat close, I decided not to invite coworkers, as them + their spouses would have been a whole extra table! It felt awkward not to invite them, but I (truthfully!) said we were keeping it small, and then just avoided talking about planning as much as possible.

    As a side note, I took a three week honeymoon, but I am a fed and taking a long trip, as long as you have the leave saved up and give plenty of notice, is not uncommon.

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