So, you are thinking about having your wedding on a holiday weekend? The long weekend, more people might be able to come with the break, maybe it works with your schedule, the time of year is so festive already. It makes sense to want to get married on or around a major holiday. But, holiday weekend weddings come with lots of unique challenges.
You know that I love giving lots of wedding advice that you won't find anywhere else. I'm talking about those little tips that everyone who works in the wedding community knows, but no one outside of the industry knows. Today, we are talking all things holiday weekend weddings.
Holiday weddings can be amazing and wonderful, but they do come with certain things that aren't present on regular weekends throughout the year. Before you get too far into planning a wedding on a holiday weekend, make sure that you know exactly what you are getting into. You'll save yourself some major wedding planning headaches down the road. More importantly, your wedding guests will appreciate your understanding as well.
Before we get started, it is important to make clear what I'm talking about. When I say "holiday" and "holiday weekend," I'm talking about the weekends and days that surround the major holidays in America, such as: fourth of July, Labor Day, Veterans Day, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving weekend, Christmas time, New Year's Eve, Valentine's Day, President's Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day
Here are my tips for getting married on a holiday weekend...
When is comes to things like your venue (especially), your florist and catering, be prepared to pay a little bit extra for having a wedding on a holiday weekend. This is prime time for these vendors and they are extra busy and can get top dollar for their services. Hotel rooms and flight will be more expensive around a holiday.
For example, if you are getting married in a hotel, you'll have to pay more for prime season and holidays, and so will your guests for their rooms. Or, if you are having a wedding during Christmas or New Years Eve, keep in mind that this is the busiest time of year for your catering company and they will be booked solid with lots of other parties, not just your wedding.
Another example is, if you are getting married during Valentine's Day and you really want red roses, you might have to pay extra because the red rose are so expensive this time of year.
If you are getting married on a holiday weekend, you'll need to plan and book a lot farther in advance than a regular weekend. Remember what I said above about having to pay more? This is because lots of services are booked solid during holidays, so if you want it for your wedding, you'll need to get in before everything is booked or sold out for the holidays.
Keep in mind, booking isn't just for your actual wedding, you'll need to think about the other events like the rehearsal dinner and perhaps a brunch after the wedding. If you want these things, you'll need to book farther in advance.
The same is true for your guests. They will need as much lead time as possible so they can make plans too. Yes, they might already have the time off of work because of the holiday, but they will need to plan too and get flights. A "save the date" invitation will do wonders here.
Speaking of guests, remember that this is a holiday for them too. Do they want to take the little time off of work and spend it at your wedding?? They probably do, if they are good friends, but just be mindful that this is their time too.
Your guests might have traditions that they do during certain holidays and they are taking a break from that to be at your wedding. A simple understanding like sending a "save the date" invitation in advance is one of the most thoughtful things you could do for your guests.
Just be thoughtful of your guests as every step and they will appreciate it. If you were in their shoes, what would you want and how would you feel? Treat them how you would want to be treated and you'll be just fine.
Speaking of guests, be prepared that many of your guests might say "no" to your wedding on a holiday weekend. They might have their own traditions or they can't get the time away form work during the holiday, so be prepared that you might have a higher than usual "no" RSVP rate for a holiday weekend wedding.
Holidays always present a certain amount of logistics that aren't there on regular weekends. Think about parades and fireworks and celebrations. (And, if you live in Washing DC where I do, protestors!)
What will these special events mean for your wedding logistics? What about parking for your guests and travel time between the ceremony and reception?
You have to consider that this isn't a normal weekend and there might be parades and special events during your wedding weekend.
Your guests took their holiday weekend to be with you, and they probably paid a premium for flights and hotel rooms, so you need to take care of them. This can be anything from welcome gifts at the hotel when they arrive, or transportation between ceremony and reception or just a great meal.
There are free ways to take care of your guests like acknowledging and appreciating they they took their holiday to be with you.
Know that in the future years to come, your wedding anniversary will always be during a holiday. This makes travel that much harder. And, the holiday will always trump your wedding anniversary.
Maybe that's a wonderful thing for you, but maybe that's an issue for you. Either way, it is something to at least consider before having your wedding during holiday.
So what do you think? Have I talked you out of having your wedding on holiday weekend?? I have hopefully made it clear that there are huge advantages and huge disadvantages of having your wedding on a holiday.
You just need to be aware of all of it before you book those vendors and sign the contracts. You will never please all of your wedding guests, so at the end of the day you just need to do what works for you. That's the best time to get married!
Happy wedding planning!
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