Holiday Weddings – Yay or Nay?

After being out-of-town for the week visiting my family for Christmas (did I mention I have THE cutest niece in the world?), I’m back in Dallas, well-rested and ready to wrap up 2011. While I’m doing really fun things this week like organizing my tax receipts and updating my business mileage for my accountant, I know there are a handful of wedding pros that are squeezing in their final wedding of the year. And with New Year’s Eve falling on a Saturday this year (for the first time since 2005) ringing in 2012 by saying “I do” is more likely than ever.

Having your wedding on a holiday weekend has some definite pluses but also some huge minuses, in my opinion. If you’re considering planning your wedding for a holiday weekend (whether it’s New Year’s, Christmas, 4th of July or even Labor Day), here are a few things you should consider before you commit to that holiday date:

  1. Time Off Work: If you have a Sunday wedding of a long weekend (like Memorial Day weekend or Labor Day weekend, for example), guests can travel in for your wedding and return home without having to take time off from work. For guests with limited vacation time, that’s great news! And for couples who are tight on vacation days, having your wedding close to a holiday could mean you can extend your honeymoon one more day!
  2. Cost to Guests: While guests may save a vacation day, they could end up paying more to travel around a holiday. Since airfares and hotels generally adjust rates based on supply and demand, prices may go up for popular holiday weekends, particularly if you are getting married in a city that can be considered a vacation destination. There’s no doubt that flying over Thanksgiving or Christmas is often more expensive than traveling on some random Friday in February, so consider the potential increase in cost for travel expenses that a holiday wedding might cause.
  3. Wedding Costs: While you may be able to save some money on a reception venue by having a non-Saturday wedding, many brides falsely assume that they will save money on all expenses by having their wedding on a holiday weekend (“Surely I can get a deal from the venue/photographer/florist. It’s not like they are going to be booked for the weekend before Christmas!”). It’s not uncommon for venues to charge a premium during the month of December, since demand is higher with holiday parties (both corporate and personal). Additionally, some vendors may charge more to work on a holiday weekend. The majority of wedding vendors (photographers, florists, DJs, wedding planners, bakers, etc.) are small business owners, which gives them the flexibility to choose when to work. Some vendors might charge a premium to spend their holiday weekend with your family instead of their own.
  4. Traditions: Couples will want to take the holiday traditions of their family and friends into consideration when choosing a holiday wedding. If your family goes skiing every Christmas or to the lake every 4th of July, consider how asking everyone to shift their plans this year for a wedding will go over. While some family might welcome the change, others won’t be as quick to buck the tradition.
  5. Your Anniversary: Choosing your wedding date isn’t just a one-time thing. You’re also choosing your anniversary date! If you’ve always imagined taking a honeymoon-like vacation or holing up in a bed and breakfast on your anniversary, that might prove difficult with an anniversary that falls on a major holiday. Consider what that weekend normally looks like for you and what it might look like in the future and decide if you’re o.k. with that for your anniversary. While it might be fun to ring in the New Year on your anniversary, do you really want to be answering the door for trick or treaters on that day?

Obviously there is no right or wrong answer here. Couples should consider all their options, choose a date and not look back! Sending out Save the Date notices will be particularly helpful to allow guests to block out their schedules for your wedding early.

So what do you think? Is a holiday weekend wedding a yay or a nay?

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