Does wedding planning seem like a full-time job? Jonathan Kirkby reveals how he learnt to multitask like a pro for his civil partnership last September:


"Wedmin is work, and even if you've hired a planner, you're still going to have to do some research yourself. My partner Ian and I both run our own businesses so we had to learn to tick off those tasks between 9-5pm. From squeezing in suit fittings between meetings and managing clients while tasting cakes - I tried it all. Not your own boss? No problem - I can give you the inside track on how to weave all those tasks seamlessly into a working day so no one notices a thing. Here's how:"


My 9-5pm survival tips - During your working day…

- Open a blank email at 9am and when a wedding thought pops into your head, put it in there. When you have a spare five minutes, you can then fire off a dozen emails in a fraction of the time.

- Create a wedding folder on your work email with subfolders. That way you won't lose anything or waste time searching through an overstuffed inbox.

- Use your lunch break. You'll get more done if you focus for a moment than intersperse tasks through the day.

- Planning a pre-wedding fitness regime? Join a gym close to your office and slot in workouts before or after work. Power Plates are a great way to tone up quickly - the classes last 25 minutes, which gives you time to eat and work out in your lunch break.

- Make the most of journeys - whether it's 20 minutes on the train or four hours on a plane, work trips can be a great opportunity to write a list or send some ideas to yourself. Ian and I wrote our guest list on a flight - we physically couldn't get away from each other and there were no new emails to distract us.

- Create a shared document that you can both access at work - Google Docs is great for this. Keep your guest list with contact details here (it will change daily, so you'll both need access).


Use your time wisely

Forget buying the frock (for now), it's time you need to buy!

You don't need to choose between your wedding and your job. When I'm in the office it's work time, so I had to pick my 'wedding moments' and use them well. Just 30 minutes early each morning for wedmin (in a blissfully quiet office) can help you get ahead of the game. We sent out our save-the-dates a year beforehand and, in the months leading up to the wedding, I was in the office until 10pm every night so ticking off our to-do list early was a huge help down the line.

The invite dilemma (this will happen to you)

If you're already questioning whether you should invite that colleague, the answer is probably no…

Your wedding is about you as a couple and just because you've mentioned it in the office, doesn't mean you have to invite everyone. That said, handing out those invites could be awkward. There's no end to guest lists, and Ian and I discussed it a number of times, as we didn't want to exclude anyone. But you have to stop somewhere and we based ours on people that we've both met and (hope) will be friends for life. I invited two colleagues who've been with me since the beginning - after all you don't want to look back on your photos and have an 'Oh yeah, I think that's Anne from accounts' moment.


Beep, beep, bore-radar!

IE. How not to lose (work) friends and alienate people

There's a fine line between sharing ideas with colleagues and boring them to tears. People tend to be interested in the highlights but not every mishap or struggle along the way. We had all sorts of trouble tracking down the perfect cheesecakes for the reception because we wanted them to replicate the American version from The Cheesecake Factory. One afternoon I was banging on about the finer details - which included the fact that the exact soft cheese used in the recipe had been banned in the UK - when I realised people's eyes were glazing over. This was the reality check I needed to rein in the wedding chat at work!

Who needs a planner when you have co-workers?

Recruit your colleagues to help!

My workmate juliet got married just a few months before me and was an amazing sounding board. Even if co-workers aren't in the same boat, their advice can be indispensable. One afternoon I had to recruit the whole office when I realised my invites weren't going to fit in their envelopes (well, I am the boss!). We formed a production line: cutting, stuffing and addressing - just in time for the last post. Phew!