For many, the process of dating is eerily similar to the process of landing a job you really, really, really want. Both of these experiences are ripe with ebbs and flows, rather terrible ‘interviews’ and of course, disappointments or heartbreaks. But much like settling into the corner office or building the career you always lusted after, finally falling in love is a sweet reward, too. Being engaged is a special time in anyone’s life — as they prepare to take the next step in their relationship — but it doesn’t get you off the hook at work.
While you’d like to take off all of those months — paid — to plan your wedding, we’re not sure any employer would be up for this arrangement. Many, however, will consider an extended honeymoon. This can be an important way to not only celebrate your new marriage and de-stress from the planning period, but it could refresh your attitude, inspire your creativity and better prepare you to head back to the office once your rush of martial emotions has died down.
To sail around the South Pacific? Or get lost (and wine tipsy) on a 10-day galavant through Italy? You need to convince your employer to give you more time off. Here, experts give their best advice on negotiating this once-a-lifetime trip:
While planning a wedding can interfere with your focus — especially with the many appointments, deposits and family drama — the more commitment you show during this period, the better your chances are at earning more vacay time. The goal, according to workplace expert Amy Cooper Hakim, Ph.D., is to reassure your manager of your dedication to your role, even if you’re adding on ‘husband’ or ‘wife’ to your list of titles.
By meeting deadlines, leaving your wedding-related hassles at home and staying present in meetings, your boss will feel more comfortable giving you a bit of a pass on time off. Considering your record will be glowing by the time you make the ask, you can emphasize what you’ll do to prepare, and they’ll trust your promise.
“Ensure your boss that all work will be up-to-date before you leave and that you will even work extra hours beforehand in order to make the time that you are away as seamless as possible. You want to show that you are a team player and that you are appreciative of your boss’ generosity and consideration,” she explains.
Create a plan
If you’re high in the ranks at your company, your two-week absence will definitely be felt. This might worry your manager and make them wary of allowing you the out-of-office time—and for good reason. If no plan is put in place, numbers could be missed and projects could crumble. Career expert Joy Altimare stresses the importance of bringing a detailed plan to your chat with your boss — and doing it early.
“Just like any vacation or time off, you should give your supervisor enough time to properly prepare for the time you’ll not be in the office,” she shares. “It’s important that you share your strategy to ensure that deadlines are met and your contribution.”
This should include everything from who will respond to urgent emails and who will step in for you at meetings, and beyond. The more you prove the company will be covered, the higher your chances.
Be strategic about timing
While classic traditions dictate the honeymoon comes right after you officially say ‘I do’ — modern couples are reimagining every rule of weddings. This includes the timing of your first trip as a married duo. Even if you have a spring wedding, you could have a fall honeymoon, especially if that makes it possible to take more time off.
As Altimare explains, “It’s especially helpful if your honeymoon is planned around a time that does not conflict with the major deadlines, events or presentations — your supervisor will be so happy to say ‘yes.’ ”
Consider switching jobs
It might seem counterproductive to add on yet another major transition when you’re already feeling maxed out with pre-big day festivities, but Hakim says the easiest time to negotiate a long honeymoon is when you start a new job. Though it might be a tad overwhelming, it might make more sense than you realize. How so? Even if you’ve been with your partner for a year, getting married brings up new questions about the state of your relationship and your future plans, prompting you to think about other aspects of your life, too.
You might start to realize how unhappy you are with your current company, especially if you don’t feel comfortable asking for the much-needed newlywed time away. If you’re feeling the urge to apply, Hakim says to go for it. And when you get hired — be upfront about your travel itinerary.
“If the timing works out that you are already engaged when you accept a new position, let your boss know about your honeymoon plans right away. ‘I’m excited to share that I’m getting married in eight months. We purchased tickets for our honeymoon from [this date] to [this date]. I wanted to let you know in advance to make sure that it is on the books,” she suggests.