“The Knot”, a globally utilized wedding planning mobile application and website has projected a wedding boom in the year 2022. According to their report, there were 2.2 million weddings in 2019. However, following the pandemic, there will be as many as 2.6 million weddings taking place in America alone in 2022. Lauren Kay, Executive Editor of The Knot, in a statement said, “This year will not only be the year with the most weddings in recent history, but also starts to welcome the next generation of couples — Gen Zers — getting married”. This prediction says a lot about the world of work today, seeing as even the Gen Zs make up 30% of today’s world of work.  

In Africa, the million-dollar wedding industry is quickly growing, with an estimated 5million weddings happening every year at an average cost of $5,000 to $60,000 each. With an increasing youthful population, the statistics and costs will only get higher. Experts in the industry can attest to the fact that wedding planning, being a vigorous and all-inclusive process can affective the wellbeing of the couple and all others involved positively or negatively. According to Zola.com, a one-stop-site for wedding planning, 70% of couples used the terms: “very stressed” and “extremely stressed” to describe the wedding planning process.  

In a survey by ForbesWoman, The Knot and WeddingChannel.com 74% of surveyed women who were engaged and planning their wedding were working women. The survey revealed that 89% of brides admitted to planning their weddings on company time, but only one in three felt their workplace performance suffered as a result. Inasmuch as they did not feel the impact of their use of office hours to plan their wedding, statistics show that 98% of the workforce are interrupted at least 3 or 4 times per day.  

Speaking with a representative from a professional wedding planning firm based in Ghana, Kofi Boamah shared the essence of their work, in helping couples focus on their day-to-day lives outside of wedding planning. He went on to say, “One can only achieve productivity at work when you are of sound mind and have inner peace. The entire wedding planning process can be a daunting task regardless of the amount of time you have to plan. There are too many variables involved, and that is why you will need all the help you can get.” 

One thing worthy of note that is hardly a major concern in wedding planning is the downward spiral of productivity at work associated with wedding planning. HR practitioners want their staff members to progress in life, get married, starting a family, etc – and for that reason, there is the need to support workers when they are celebrating such milestones. The challenge only comes, when an organisation needs to provide excessive time off work for the parties involved.  

In speaking with an HR Specialist at Olam Ghana Mr. Hope Yibor, He shared his experience in such a circumstance: “More often than not, you will find some employees giving notifications to their employers a few weeks to the wedding which creates some kind of undue stress on the employer who will now have to find out who is going to perform the job of the employee. In an instance where the wedding is taking place out of the region of the workplace, it means that the employee is totally out of your geographical location and sometimes, the network may not be stable enough to reach them on a daily basis, to follow up on duties that were assigned but not completed before they took their leave.”. Mr. Yibor elaborated, “We have had instances where employees have requested salary advance or loans to finance their wedding. Unfortunately, the employment setting does not provide any form of relief for an employee who is getting married except for work colleagues who would want to make some contributions for their colleague who is getting married.” He further explained that over the past two years, his organisation has attended about five to ten weddings of their employees, both male and female. He said, “the numbers may be small but the impact is great. For instance, when one of your employees gets married, their colleagues will want to attend the ceremony and show support. When travelling together, the cost involved will be borne by the company or those attending the ceremony. Beyond financial implications, if something should happen on the journey to the event, that is an implication of losing talent, severance packages, etc. It is a great deal for any HR Person to deal with, in spite of the fact that we are happy to see our employees celebrate such milestones.” 

To minimize the adverse effect of weddings on productivity in the world of work, employers need to have properly laid out successive plans for their employees, complete with reliever options to ensure work goes on smoothly, in spite of whoever will be getting married. Employees taking leave off work for a wedding should also endeavor to hand over properly; especially if they have any incomplete tasks. Lastly, to help workers stay productive at work while planning a wedding, employees can hire a wedding planner who will take care of all the daunting aspects of wedding planning. In the words of Mira Naa Wellington of Ini Events Ghana, “In order to reduce and ease the stress that comes with wedding planning, I would reiterate that couples engage the services of a Wedding Planner and Coordinator. A wedding planner and coordinator will carry out and execute all that has been planned by the couple for the wedding”. 

The 2022 wedding boom will hit every workforce in one way or another, based on the age bracket of workers you can find there. If you are a bride, a groom, a bridesmaid, a planner, or even a guest, the earlier you think about it and prepare for all that is involved in the celebration of nuptials, the better it will be for your office, workplace, and business! 

CREDIT: Africa.com, www.forbes.com, edition.cnn.com, www.nytimes.com, Mr. Hope Yibor – HR Specialist, Olam Ghana, Ms. Mira Naa Wellington, Ini Events Ghana, Mr. Kofi Boamah, White Chalk Events