As the holiday season approaches, I figured there's no better time than now to discuss some things that you need to know about having your wedding on a holiday weekend.
We'll start with some of the pros and cons and then talk about some specific holiday details you'll need to consider.
Let's get started with the pros for holiday weekend weddings.
Number One: you get an extended weekend or time to celebrate on weekends like Memorial Day and Labor Day. It's really common to have weddings on Sundays, as most everyone will have Monday off.
This gives you more time to celebrate with your guests, and it's perfect for those who wanna have a multi-day celebration. Holidays that fall in the middle of the week can make this a bit trickier, but they can sometimes be easier for guests to get time off of work and extend their time with you to celebrate.
Number Two: you have a built-in theme or décor.
And this can actually be on the pro or the con list. Let's talk about the pros for this. I find that most couples that decide to have a wedding on a holiday are happy to embrace the built-in décor, but I'll speak to more of the cons in just a minute. Generally speaking though, if you love a good holiday wreath and Christmas lights, having a December wedding is almost a no-brainer.
Or if you're gonna play heavy on pastels and spring flowers, maybe a Memorial Day weekend wedding would be perfect for you. Not only does the season help with your theme, but you'll likely find some discounts on décor items that you're looking for, especially if you can hit the sales the year before your big day.
And finally, Number Three: you can catch some great deals from vendors for holiday weddings. Possibly this is similar to your décor in that it can be a pro and a con depending on the vendor, but you can usually find some deals if you're picking a date that they may likely not book.
Otherwise, you're more likely to find these deals from larger companies or your venues, especially if you're looking to book on a weekday as opposed to a Saturday or Sunday.
Let's discuss some of the cons to holiday weddings.
Number One: while built-in décor can be a big pro for having a holiday wedding, it can also be a huge con, especially if you're not planning on embracing the holiday in your theme or décor. For example, if you're thinking of having a wedding around Christmas because your family will already be in town, but you hate the holiday décor that your venue puts up, it's probably not gonna be the best route for you to go.
Or maybe you found the perfect venue, but they only have October 31st open within your window. It's likely that most of your guests will assume that you're having a Halloween themed wedding, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. But if you're not a fan of Halloween, it may not be worth it to fight the theme.
Number Two: some of your vendors may be more expensive on holiday weekends. You'll find this more commonly in smaller businesses and those that involve travel. As a small business owner myself with hardly any wedding free weekends in the summer to spend with my family, I do have increased prices for weekends like Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day.
In addition to some of your vendors having holiday fees, you'll also need to remember that travel costs like gas, flights, and hotels may be much more expensive during the holidays. This will depend, of course, on where your wedding will be and if it's considered a prime destination for travel over that holiday.
Number Three: depending on where your wedding will be, you may need to be much more proactive with the final details than you would during a normal time.
New Year's weddings are a perfect example of this, as many people like to take that week between Christmas and New Year's off. You'll want to make sure that you're following up with your vendors on final details well before this time to make sure you don't get stuck with a bunch of out of office notices when you really need immediate responses.
And the final con to consider if you're thinking of having a holiday wedding: you'll likely have some guests that are not able to attend because of other holiday commitments. Just like a destination wedding, you'll need to be okay with guests not being able to make it, even if you give them plenty of time to make arrangements or the cost isn't going to be much more expensive than any other weekend.
People have long-standing holiday plans or routines that they just simply won't make any changes to. Now that we've discussed some pros and cons, I'd love to share some of my favorite holidays to take advantage of and some extra words of caution about others.
Hands down, my favorite holiday weddings are always New Year's Eve weddings. I find that the guests really love getting into the celebration with you, and it's a great excuse to get dressed up for a New Year's Eve party that they probably wouldn't have gone to anyway. You can also have classic décor with golds and silvers that still feels more like wedding vibes than a different holiday, and you get to ring in the new year with all of your loved ones.
Keep in mind that New Year's Eve weddings do typically start later in the day as you're gonna want to make sure the party goes until at least 12:30 AM for everybody to be together at midnight. Thanksgiving weekend is a great time to snag some vendor deals, but it can make it more expensive for your guests to attend. The reason I recommend considering Thanksgiving is because the holiday itself is on a Thursday, which leaves the weekend open for other events.
Many of your out of town guests may already actually be in town at that time, so it can save them from an additional trip home or ensure that they can make it when they may not be able to travel just for the wedding.
The two other weekends that I find translate well into great weddings would be Memorial Day and Labor Day. While most people will have the Mondays off, there's usually not too much travel associated with these holidays. You can take advantage of lower vendor prices or food and beverage minimums by having a wedding on a Sunday, but not have to worry about the guests leaving early because they have to work on Monday.
Now, let's talk a bit about the other holidays. I recommend you avoid the first two I haven't even mentioned yet, and that is Valentine's Day and Mother's Day. The reason I don't recommend these holidays is that the price for flowers will absolutely skyrocket for these weekends. If you're on a tight budget, you really want to avoid the week before either of these holidays as the florist will have no choice but to charge more for their products that weekend.
I say the week before because even if your wedding is on, let's say, the Friday of Mother's Day weekend, your florist will still have to pay the added price for the holiday weekend. So keep this in mind, even if you're not looking to have the wedding on the holiday itself.
The two other holidays that I see couples having a harder time with are 4th of July and the days right around Christmas. I think these are the holidays that people most often have built in plans around, which is why it can really conflict with wedding plans. They're also the holidays that I see most upcharges from other vendors and companies as they typically have to pay holiday pay rates to their staff for these dates.
Are you planning on having your wedding around the holidays? Head over to the Wedding Planning Collective Facebook group and let us know if you found this helpful.