How planning your wedding could help your career

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Yes, that's a banana. Photo by Ben Haley
As you enter another budget line on your wedding Excel spreadsheet and pop open another tab in your web browser to update your Pinterest with another bit of inspiration, have you ever stopped for a second and thought — whoa, this is hard work. And then realized, “…I should be getting paid to do this work!”

Now, I don't necessarily mean you should become a wedding planner, although some of us offbeat types DO find ourselves working in the wedding industry. (I NEVER EVER thought I'd write a book about weddings, and then end up working in the wedding media biz. How the hell did that happen!?)

So while “I planned my wedding, now I'll plan yours!” does happen, what I'm talking about here is the ways that planning a wedding help you develop skills that can be applied to non-wedding jobs. You're building skills that could help you move up a career ladder in whatever industry you work in … or WISH you worked in.

Here's a quick list of employable skills you might be developing while you work on your wedding:

  • Project management: guiding the development and milestones of a project with a very hard deadline at the end
  • Interpersonal communication: telling your family “I love you, now fuck off” without hurting feeling
  • Bookkeeping: tracking your expenses to insure you stay within your budget
  • Writing skills: crafting the perfect language for your wedding website, invitations, and programs
  • Hands-on manufacturing: assembling those DIY centerpieces, bouquets, etc.
  • People management: getting the best results from everyone who's helping you (wedding party, vendors, etc) and doing so in a way that makes everyone feel good

I'm sure y'all can think of a million other examples — what skills are YOU developing as you plan your wedding? And how are you going to apply them?

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Comments on How planning your wedding could help your career

  1. Do “communication skills with my future spouse” count? We’ll call that “interpersonal communication”. Sounds good.

    Also – I’m very bad with a budget. I’m learning. Slowly.

  2. Learning how to ask for help AND how to delegate when things can't be accomplished on one's own.

    Learning how to research and weigh options of different scenarios.

  3. One reason many people are turned down for jobs is simply because they don't know how to "sell" the skills they have! You have to talk up your strengths and show how it's relevant. While bringing up your wedding will almost certainly drag a snicker out of a hiring manager who isn't expecting that sort of thing, making the connection between those skills and the job you're applying for says so much about how you grow, expand and seize unexpected opportunities.

  4. Because I'm a Project Manager there was no way I could bring myself to hand it over to a wedding planner. I mean, if I can manage an International Airport Project a wedding is a piece of cake! And it was!

  5. I'm planning my own wedding all by myself. and I have learned so much about time management and budgeting skills. It's only natural that these skills should translate to my career.

  6. I'm learning that I need to ask for help and trust people with tasks otherwise my brain will explode.
    I've started a blog about my talented friends and the awesome stuff they're helping me with. I'm discovering how much work it is to maintain and populate a blog with interesting and relevant material. There is so much more strategy, thought, skill and time involved in blogging than I ever thought (No wonder you went pro)! I feel like I've learned a lot more about internet-ing than ever before.

  7. Also, Rachel and fleda, I've never planned anything as large-scale as that, but I gotta agree that the wedding planning has been SO much easier/more fun than projects I've done for work/volunteering! I wouldn't think of hiring a coordinator, either, as I enjoy this sort of thing. I *am* tempted to hire someone to do my invitations, however – crafty, I am not. 😉

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