Pros & Cons of Holiday Weddings

Thinking about having your wedding during the holidays and not sure what to do?

Wedding planning presents many challenges for the bride and groom, and deciding on the wedding date is one of the top three most important decisions.

Below are some pros and cons of hosting your wedding during major holidays, like Independence Day, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas/Hanukkah, and New Year’s Day.

Tips for Holiday Wedding Plans

First, here are a few things you should consider when planning a holiday wedding:

  • Lead time: Give your guests as much notice as possible if you’re planning to host your wedding on a holiday. Send save-the-dates ASAP, so guests can book travel and accommodations ahead of the busy holiday season and so they don’t plan a vacation around that time instead.
  • Plus ones: With the holiday season, you should expect that your guests may want to spend time with their family, kids and partners and may request a larger head count than you originally intended. If you don’t have the space or budget to accommodate their request, be ready to respond cordially.
  • Something special: Since your friends and family are spending the holiday with you and your partner, thank them by providing something festive and special to celebrate the holiday and your wedding. Whether that be a tree ornament for a Christmas wedding or sparklers for a New Year’s wedding, giving them a little something extra shows you appreciate their presence. 
  • New Year’s Eve weddings: If you’re planning on hosting your wedding on New Year’s Eve, get the celebration started later than usual so everyone can party together when the ball drops.

The Pros

Here are some of the reasons you may want to plan a holiday wedding:

  • Everyone together: If you and your partner’s friends and families live all around the country or the world, you can plan ahead to celebrate the holidays and your nuptials together. Instead of having everyone fly in for your wedding and then at another time of year to celebrate the holidays, they can take one round-trip flight and kill two birds with one stone. 
  • School schedules: If you’re planning on having school-age children and college students attend your wedding, having your celebration over the holidays ensures they won’t be in school, have other plans for sports, or other extracurricular activities.
  • Holiday decor: Special holiday-themed decorations are abundant around the season (and often far less costly than traditional wedding decor), so take advantage of American flags for an Independence Day wedding or holiday garlands for a Thanksgiving wedding. If you and your partner love a specific holiday, your wedding can reflect and embrace that special occasion on your wedding day without feeling out of place.

The Cons

Here are some of the downsides of planning a holiday wedding: 

  • Vendor and venue costs: Expect to spend a bit more of your budget for vendors (photographer, caterer, florist, etc.) and your venue on holidays, as you’ll be paying for staff to work on a day when they may normally be closed. You could opt to host your wedding over the holiday weekend but during the morning, on Friday or Sunday to avoid a huge increase to your budget, if that works for everyone.
  • Guest count: If your friends and family have regularly scheduled holiday vacations, company events, or familial obligations, they may decline your invitation. Do your best to send save-the-dates and invitations far in advance, but accept that not everyone will be able to attend. On the flip side, you may end up having to host or help find accommodations for out-of-towners, who may be able to take their vacation around your wedding.
  • Holiday spending: In addition to a higher wedding budget for you, December in particular is an expensive time of year for many people. In addition to paying for gifts for their family and friends, they’ll also be paying to attend your wedding and purchase a wedding gift, and this could be a financial strain for some guests.

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