There are a lot of benefits that come with throwing a holiday weekend wedding. You have more time to celebrate, and it is more likely that your out-of-town guests aren’t going to have to take time off work to travel to your wedding destination. However, holiday weekends do come with a few challenges. These tips will help you make the most of your holiday weekend wedding, and give you an idea of what to expect during the planning process.
Prepare for Higher Rates
Holiday weekends are busy for event professionals, so they are able to charge premium prices for the high demand. This is especially true of Labor Day, Memorial Day, and the Fourth of July. Keep this in mind when creating your wedding budget. The average wedding vendor rates you come across for your area likely won’t accurately reflect the prices you’ll see when meeting with vendors.
Book Venues and Vendors ASAP
Since holiday weekends are busy for event vendors of all talents, it is vital that you start meeting with vendors and signing contracts as soon as possible to secure your top choices. Start with your wedding venue, as well as any vendors that you have your heart set on – maybe you love one photographer’s style, or know that you want to serve a certain caterer’s delicious food at your reception. Once you’ve secured your top vendors, work to get all other essential vendor contracts in place. Don’t forget vendors needed for your rehearsal dinner, as well as any other professional services you need for any post-wedding celebrations.
Be Thoughtful of Guests’ Travel Plans
Throwing a holiday weekend wedding is great because guests will less likely have to take a day off work. However, it does also complicate matters. Travel is generally more expensive, it can be trickier to find a room at a reasonable price (this is where room blocks come in handy), and guests may be planning on their own plans during the holiday. In order to give guests ample time to plan for your wedding, send out your save-the-dates as soon as you can – essentially as soon as your date and venue are secured.
Consider Giving Out More Plus-Ones
If you were planning on limiting the plus-ones you give out, you may want to reconsider. Invited guests may feel conflicted on whether they should attend your wedding or not if they aren’t able to share the holiday weekend time off with a significant other. Of course, this is dependent on your budget and how many people you’re able to accommodate, but it may make some guests more likely to RSVP “yes” if they are able to bring along a date to share the experience with.
Create Your Wedding Day Timeline with Traffic in Mind
Of course, on a holiday weekend, there’s going to be a fair amount of traffic no matter when your wedding starts – especially if you are getting married in a popular tourist destination. However, try your best to start the celebration at a time when traffic isn’t at its peak so that you aren’t dealing with a bunch of tardy guests. Take a look at local events and normal traffic trends, and see if you can create your wedding schedule around peak hours. For example, you probably won’t want your ceremony to start at the same time as a parade that is happening down the street, or right at 5:30pm on a Friday as everyone is getting off work.
Prepare Guests for Traffic
Even if you create an optimal wedding day schedule that allows guests to avoid the peak of traffic, chances are they will still run into some congestion on their way to the venue. On your wedding website, be sure to remind guests that they should prepare for unusually heavy traffic and head to the venue earlier than expected. You should also look up any public events in the area that might close off or heavily congest certain areas. Let guests know they should avoid these areas on the way to your venue.
Extend the Celebration
One of the major benefits of hosting your wedding on a holiday weekend is that you have extra time to celebrate with friends and family. As a way of saying “thank you” to guests for spending the holiday weekend with you to celebrate (and in order to maximize this time together), plan on an additional post-wedding celebration. This may mean throwing a BBQ or brunch, doing a cocktail party at a family member’s home, or even enjoying the local town with an activity, like a beach day or brewery visit.
Understand That You May Receive More “No” RSVPs
While there are benefits to throwing a holiday weekend wedding, it can be more difficult for guests to make the commitment. Premium travel prices may make the difference on whether a guest can financially make the trip. Some guests may also have traditions that they aren’t willing to skip out on. Keep this in mind, and be understanding if you receive a few more “no” RSVPs than anticipated.
If you are in the process of planning your wedding, come to the next Georgia Bridal Show near you. You will have the chance to meet with professional wedding vendors of all talents who can help bring your vision to life!