After getting engaged, the bride and groom must decide on one of the most important factors in the wedding planning process: the month and day of their nuptials. The ideal date will fit with the couple's personal preferences and guests' busy schedules. Make your wedding convenient for everyone, and avoid having a long list of no-shows, by steering clear of these wedding dates.
1. Fourth of July Weekend
July seems like an ideal month for a wedding, thanks to warm temperatures and general summertime happiness. But don't book your wedding venue for the first weekend of the month. Most people have long-standing Independence Day traditions. You certainly don't want your cousins to miss their annual Fourth of July BBQ, or have everyone skip out on their neighborhood fireworks display.
2. Thanksgiving Weekend
Every Thanksgiving, millions of Americans pack up their suitcases to visit family and friends. Unfortunately, you can't expect your wedding guests to change their holiday travel plans for your big day, so your Thanksgiving wedding may have a low guest count. If you're determined to wed in a festive fall celebration, try setting the date for the weekend before or after the holiday.
3. Christmas Day
Christmas weddings have countless advantages, such as cozy seasonal décor, low rental costs, and vacation days from work. But while we love a festive holiday wedding, engaged couples shouldn't get married Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Most guests would rather spend the holiday surrounded by loved ones. Brides and grooms should respect these religious and familial traditions, even if they don't celebrate Christmas themselves.
4. Religious and Cultural Holidays
In addition to Christmas, brides and grooms shouldn't plan a wedding on several other religious and cultural holidays out of respect for their guests. The full list of holidays will depend on your attendants, but some safe bets are Easter, Palm Sunday, Ramadan, Lent, Passover, and Hanukkah. A Valentine's Day ceremony is completely acceptable, but beware that floral and rental costs will skyrocket around February 14.
Halloween weddings can be a potentially great idea, as long as you're willing to embrace the holiday. Don't be surprised if some guests show up in costume. In fact, if you're a true Halloween fan, consider encouraging a costume dress code—even if just for the rehearsal dinner! The downside to a Halloween wedding, however, is that parents and children might forgo your ceremony for trick-or-treating. If you're planning to invite many families, realize that you sometimes can't take a kid away from his candy.
6. New Year's Day
Everyone is in party mode on New Year's Eve, creating the perfect playful atmosphere for a wedding. Guests will love ringing in the New Year surrounded by friends, music, midnight celebrations, and an open bar. But while New Year's Eve weddings can be loads of fun, brides and grooms should think carefully before planning a wedding for New Year's Day. It's safe to say many guests will still be recovering from the night before, and they would rather spend the first day of the year watching football and lounging with their family. Plus, many Americans have to work on January 2, depending on how the calendar falls each year.
7. Mother's and Father's Day
Mother's Day and Father's Day may not be large-scale holidays, but brides and grooms should think twice before booking the dates for their wedding. You certainly don't want to put guests in the tough situation of choosing between their parents and their friends. Honor the relationship between mothers, fathers, and their kids by choosing a different weekend for your wedding.
8. Any Extended Weekend
Deciding whether to get married on an extended weekend, like Memorial Day, Labor Day, or Columbus Day, means weighing the pros and cons of the extra day off work. As one advantage, long weekends usually fare better for out-of-town guests who must travel to attend your ceremony. You can also get away with booking a Sunday wedding, which typically means cheaper venue and rental costs. And let's not forget about the extra day for celebrating!
But, before booking anything over a long weekend, understand that airplane and hotel costs rise rapidly during these times. Some attendees may have to shell out a pretty penny for accommodations. Also, some families may have vacation plans that conflict with your wedding.
9. Big Sports Days
Perhaps nothing brings America together more than an influential sporting event like the Super Bowl. Chances are, people won't be too happy about missing the game to attend your wedding ceremony. Keep your sports fan friends satisfied by researching big game days (like the NBA Finals, the World Series, and the Stanley Cup) beforehand, and working around those dates. As another advantage, you won't have to worry about your guests constantly updating the score on their phones during your ceremony and reception.
10. Remembrance Days
You may not want your wedding to fall on a historically significant remembrance day, so you don't offend anyone invited to the celebration. This is especially important if you're hosting many guests from the military. Some noteworthy dates of remembrance are Patriot Day (September 11), Veteran's Day, and National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.