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How much time do I need off work before the wedding?

This is a common question that every pragmatic couple will come up against when it comes to wedding planning. Things become even more complicated if you’re planning on a longer honeymoon and you have a lot of events in the lead up to your wedding. So, let’s get organized. Here’s your guide on how much time off work is ideal to make your dream wedding a reality.

Where do I start?

A great place to start is to figure out how much holiday leave you have available for the year. If you’re planning a Christmas trip to Belgium or you have a girl’s week away in summer planned, then you’ll need to consider how much time you can take off work to dedicate to your wedding. Once you’ve done this, we can start planning and considering.

The factors:

Your honeymoon

Obviously, your honeymoon is a big part of your wedding. For some couples, a staycation or mini-break is the perfect honeymoon length. If you are one of these couples, then you’ll likely find plenty of time in your work holidays for a honeymoon like this one.

If you want two weeks in Greece, then you’ll need to see if it’s viable with your remaining work leave. The length of your honeymoon will greatly impact how much time off you need for your wedding, so consider it carefully.

DIY projects

For many couples, especially those who are creative or are on a budget, a collection of DIY projects will likely feature at their weddings. If you’re going down the DIY route yourself, then you’ll definitely need to take more time off work than someone who’s buying or hiring everything in. Unless you’re planning on staying up until the early hours of the morning, you’ll likely need about a week off work to complete your projects. If it’s not worth the time off work, then reconsider the number of creative undertakings. Consider dropping a few projects from the list to reduce the amount of time off work needed.


If you’re having a destination wedding, you’ll have to consider how early you arrive prior to your wedding. You don’t want to feel sluggish for your big day, so arriving at least two days prior is necessary.

For those who are marrying an hour or two from where they live, a travel buffer is also important here. Travelling multiple hours on your wedding day will make you feel very tired on the day so stay the night before your wedding at the destination. This way you won’t be tired and you’ll be able to enjoy a little time away from home.

Beauty Regimens

For many ladies, the week leading up to the big wedding day is full of beauty treatments. Eyebrow waxing, hair dyeing/ cutting, facials, manicures and more, are all treatments that many brides undertake before walking down the aisle.

Consider which beauty treatments you need for your wedding and allocate the time to have them done. Many salons work late into the evenings so you may avoid taking any time off if you book afternoon and evening appointments.

Out of town guests

If you’ve got guests coming in from out of town, you may want to set aside some time to spend with them prior to your wedding. On your wedding day, you’ll be so busy catching up with everyone that you may miss certain people. If these out of town guests are some of your nearest and dearest, then take the time to spend a bit of time with them beforehand and show them you appreciate them.

Handling work

If you’re a workaholic and the idea of taking too much time off scares you, consider this when you plan your wedding. You might be the kind of person who can switch these feelings off, or you may not be. Consider what will put you at ease with being away from work. Is it going to be having a temporary replacement that is extremely competent? Or is it going to be taking a shorter honeymoon so you needn’t fret about work? Consider and plan accordingly to suit you and your partner.


If you’ve already got kids in your life and they’re not in school, you may want to consider this before booking your time off. If you book a week off prior to your wedding in the hope of getting everything finished but your kids will be around stealing your attention from your wedding plans, you may want to book someone to mind them. However, this is only if you’ve got a lot of wedding planning and DIY projects to do.

For those with not a lot of planning to finish in that week beforehand, you might want to take a few days just to spend with your kids so they know you love them. This is a beautiful way to reconnect with them before you say ‘I do’.

Our recommendations:

Without considering the honeymoon, all couples should take at least a few days off prior to their wedding to get any last minute preparations done. You may have finished everything early, meaning that you should spend your time relaxing and spending time with out of town guests. If you’re having a Saturday wedding, take Thursday and Friday off if you’ve got limited holiday time. You’ll have the Sunday after your wedding to decompress, but you may also want to take Monday and Tuesday to enjoy a few days of marital bliss.

For those with limited holiday leave, use weekends and public holidays to your advantage and organise your time off wisely.

If you’re going on your honeymoon as soon as you’re wed, then make sure you organise all of your travel stuff before you get married. Have your bags organised and ready to go, along with your plane tickets and passports. Factor this in if you’ve only got a few days before your wedding as last minute travel preparations are so time-consuming.

When planning this stuff, most importantly, take the time off that you can and prioritise. A long honeymoon may take preference over 150 hand-lettered seat place cards for those desperate for a holiday. For others getting back to work quickly will take priority. Consider your needs and wants as a couple and go from there.

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