In an ideal world, your boss would insist you take several days off—no, make it a week!—prior to your wedding to relax and get all the last-minute chores done. But in the real world, unless you're self-employed, you have a finite number of vacation days or PTO. Don't take off more time than you really need but also don't shortchange yourself—you want to be well-rested and glowing on the big day. How much time you take off from work before the wedding depends on a couple of things, and we'll break it all down here.
How many vacation days do you have left?
This is the practical starting point. To determine how much time you could potentially take off, you'll first need to figure out the exact number of vacation days you have left for the year. Then, subtract the number of work days you'll need for the honeymoon to get a real figure of what's possible. If you know you'll want to take additional time off for a holiday or vacation down the line, you should factor those in, too.
Will you be handling many last-minute chores in the two weeks preceding the wedding?
The final weeks before the wedding are often the busiest time for most brides and grooms. If you're the efficient type who will have everything done way before the big day—you already sorted out the tips and put them in assigned envelopes!—you might need only a day off before the big day to relax. On the other hand, if you think you'll still have a ton of things to take care of, you should allot several days off in order to get everything done.
Do you have to travel for your wedding?
If you need to fly to your destination, plan to take a few extra days off ahead of the wedding. You should account for any potential mishaps like travel delays or lost baggage, as well as a few days to adjust to a different time zone.
Will you have a lot of out-of-town guests?
If people are traveling from faraway to watch you get married, you'll want to take a few days off to spend time with them, assuming they're arriving ahead of the wedding. Plus, it'll be easier to visit with these dear family members and friends in the days preceding the celebration than during or after them.
Will you be paid for your days off?
If taking a week off from your job means no income is coming in, take a look at your budget and decide if a whole week off, plus honeymoon time, is worth it. If taking extra time off before you get married is important to you, see if you could you make up some of that money by working overtime.