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How to Plan Your Wedding at Work (Without Getting Fired)

Wedding planning might be a full-time job, but chances are you’ve also got that other full-time job — you know, the one you had long before he put that ring on your finger. Even if you’ve hired a hands-on wedding planner, you probably still need to decide on some things yourself. How to deal? Plan for some serious, um — let’s call it multitasking. Here’s how to find the time do it all without winding up in hot water with your boss.

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It’s obvious, but first thing’s first. Stay on Task You want to fly under the radar — if it’s blatantly obvious that your work time has become wedding time, you risk the wrath of your coworkers or even worse, your boss. You can’t let wedding planning take up your entire day, but you can definitely let it replace time you would have spent instant messaging. The key: Stay on top of your normal tasks and goals, and don’t let planning affect your performance.

When to Do What

Finding Vendors: Daytime Researching vendors online — checking out sites or reading other to-be-weds’ recommendations — is an obvious one for that spare five minutes before you have to run into a meeting. One caveat: Make sure the volume on your computer is turned off, or at least way down! If a digitized version of “Wedding March” starts blasting, you are so busted.

Finding Inspiration: Daytime Here’s another instance where the Internet is your best friend — browse for gowns, bouquets, and more online. You’re more likely to have an aha moment the more you see, so spending time online is a good way to get through the doldrums of your work day (like mid-afternoon, when lunch is ancient history and it feels like the end of the day is never going to come).

Visiting Vendors: Free time Unless you’re just doing a drive-by to check out their digs, keep actual vendor visits to your days off or weekends. You’re going to want to visit most vendors as a tag team, so you’ll need your fiance with you. More importantly, if you really like the vendor, you can talk much longer without worrying about going over your lunch hour. Better to play it safe and plan visits for when you know you don’t have work commitments.

Making Lists: Anytime Playlists, guest lists, and even to-do lists — whether you manage them online or on paper, keep these at your fingertips so whenever you think of something, you can update them.

Max Out Your Free Time

Your Commute In the subway? Read wedding magazines or go over your lists. On the train or a bus? Use a laptop or ipad to email or surf the web wirelessly or, if it’s not too loud, make a few quick check-in phone calls with vendors before their day gets too busy. Driving? Use the voice notes feature on your cell phone to record any sudden bursts of inspiration. No matter how you commute, use your iPod to preview potential ceremony or first dance tunes — you’d feel lazy sitting around your house doing it, but if you’re stuck in traffic, why not crank up Pachelbel’s Canon in D?

Your Lunch Hour Plan to devote at least a few days a week to vendor phone calls. The key is to plan out your conversation beforehand and make a list so it can be swift and tactful. That way, you’ll still have time to enjoy that grilled chicken salad.

Your Workout Don’t just watch CNN scroll by while you’re pedaling away on a stationary bike. Instead, use some of the time for wedding-related reading (for example, print out a bunch of ceremony or vow ideas to read over). If you go to the gym at the end of the day, that’s a good time to read back over your to-do lists, check off what you’ve completed, and jot down notes for what you need to do next.

Making Dinner Whether you’re waiting for the oven to preheat or unwinding while your fiance does the work, use the time in between prep work and mealtime to hop online. A watched pot never boils anyway, right? Hit the message boards or Real Weddings and make that spare 5 or 10 minutes count.

Stay savvy, you multitasker, you.

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