Holiday Wedding Planning Tips

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In a little over a year from now, we will be taking care of a couple as they get married Memorial Day weekend!  I’m sure this wedding will be a blast — this couple keeps me in stitches!

Holiday weddings are joyful, but they can bring their own set of challenges.  Here are ten steps to help you cover your bases.

1. Save the Dates.  Families tend to plan their vacations around holiday weekends.  So, I recommend sending your “save-the-dates” twelve months in advance.  If you can’t sent them 12 months in advance, send them as soon as you are engaged.  And, send your wedding invitations at least three months prior to your wedding day.

2. Wedding Party.  Bridesmaids and groomsmen have lives too — And, there is nothing more awkward than asking a close friend or family member to choose between your wedding and their vacation plans.  Ask early – I am sure she or he will say yes!

3. Travel Expenses.  As you get closer to a holiday, travel expenses increase.  Book your hotel room block as early as possible, and share the reservation information with your guests.  If you are able, include the hotel reservation information on your “Save the Dates.”  And, you should definitely add it to your wedding web site.

4. Flights.  A wedding over a Thanksgiving weekend sounds like an excellent idea when booking a venue, but I don’t always recommend it if most of your guests are flying to your wedding location.  Air travel is brutal during that time, and many of your guests may avoid your wedding altogether because of the travel challengs.

5. Local Traffic.  While driving to a wedding over the 2011 Independence Day weekend, our 90-minute trip took us 130 minutes.  It was a drag.  But, we knew the traffic would be heavy, so we left early.  You can let your wedding guests know if they should leave early on your wedding web site, by word of mouth and on the driving directions card included with your wedding invitation.

6. Postage.  If you are mailing your wedding invitations near the Christmas holiday or the US Tax Day (typically April 15), you will experience some post office competition.  You want to ensure your guests receive their invitation at least 4 weeks prior to the RSVP deadline, so plan accordingly.

7. Tuxes.  If your wedding day is in May or June, your groom and groomsmen might be competing for tuxedo rentals with proms, spring formals and other weddings.  Encourage your groomsmen to rent their tuxedos at least 12 – 16 weeks prior to the wedding to ensure they are covered.

8. Flowers.  If you love red roses, I can see why a Valentine’s Day wedding would appeal to you.  There is one little challenge, you are competing with the Valentine’s Day arrangements that are delivered during your wedding week.  Holiday competition affects the availability of flowers and the pricing of the flowers.  Meet with your florist and talk about the holiday competition, the available flowers and the steps you can take to minimize these additional expenses.

9. Is It Really a Holiday?  I know that some couples don’t understand why their planning expenses should increase on New Year’s Eve — It isn’t really a holiday, right?  Unfortunately, that isn’t true.  The New Year’s Eve parties force staff availability to decrease.  As a result, some of your vendors may have to pay their staff holiday pay.

10. Competition.  Holiday weekends, such as Memorial Day, Columbus Day and Veteran’s Day, are very popular for engaged couples.  If you have your eye on a particular photographer or planner, book them at least a year in advance.  More than likely, those vendors will book early.

Next week, I will provide you with a list of the holidays and the challenges you might fact.

Best of luck!

Love and Soul Always, Kawania



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