Your partner finally got down on one knee and placed that shiny rock on your finger—congrats! The next step—once you've celebrated to your heart's content with plenty of Champagne and kisses, of course—is setting the date. Depending on when you got engaged and when you hope to tie the knot, you may consider the fall months, particularly November, for your big day. If so, there's one holiday that is likely to coincide with your plans: Thanksgiving.
"Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for everything in your life, and what better way to celebrate than with love and the start of a new chapter in a couple's life?" says event planner Michael Russo of Michael Russo Events. "Family and friends can gather together, celebrate the new couple, and be thankful that they're in your life while rejoicing in your happiness." There are plenty of reasons why you should choose a Thanksgiving wedding, as well as some reasons why a holiday wedding might be more complicated. We asked wedding planners to share the most important pros and cons to help you decide what's best for you and your fiancé.
Pro: Your guests will be more open to traveling.
Since high wedding season is typically May through September, your guests will likely have more availability on their calendars (and vacation days left unused) for your wedding date. More companies are also likely to be lenient when giving time off to accommodate the traveling needs of their employees. "This is always a nice bonus that guests are not having to take off additional vacation time to attend a wedding," says Suzanne Reinhard, wedding planner and owner of Suzanne Reinhard Events.
Con: Everyone celebrates Thanksgiving.
This might seem like a pro at first (and some may still consider it one!), but the fact that Thanksgiving is a truly American holiday means that the entire country will be celebrating. Many families have deep traditions and how they celebrate Thanksgiving is often one of them. "When the bride and groom choose to host their wedding over the day holiday weekend it is often a very big sacrifice for their guest to rearrange their traditions to attend a wedding, especially if it's out of state," warns Reinhard. "By hosting a wedding over Thanksgiving weekend, you're asking your guest to change their usual traditions."
Pro: Hotels will likely be more affordable.
Whether or not you choose to host your wedding at a hotel, out-of-town guests will likely need a place to stay. The fall and winter often means lower rates and has more availability, which usually means all of your wedding guests are able to stay in the same place. "I had a Thanksgiving weekend wedding a few years ago and it was a lot of fun for my guests because most of the people staying in a hotel we're friends and family at the wedding," says Reinhard. "The wedding experience truly felt 'destination' and everybody attending had a great experience being in an environment that was solely focused on their event."
Con: Many of your smaller vendors may be closed early.
Alterations, dry cleaning, and shops often close on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and some remain so throughout the weekend. "My advice for any major holiday celebration would be to have everything wrapped up and completed at least two weeks prior to the wedding, such as alterations, pressing, creating escort cards, and any other small details that can usually wait to a few days prior," says Reinhard. She suggests finding an emergency dry cleaner in case you run into trouble with your go-to spot.
Pro: Thanksgiving makes for an easy theme.
The fall season naturally provides for a romantic setting for your wedding. From the changing leaves and bare branches on the trees to the chilly air and food favorites, you'll find no shortage of seasonal inspiration for your wedding décor and menu. "You can pull together a beautiful ceremony and reception using natural elements like tree branches and leaves," suggests Russo. "You'll also be able to create a homey, but romantic feel with long and low candle lighting." Depending on where you live, you may even be able to swing outdoor "I dos."