The Effect of Holidays on Wedding Planning. And, What You Should Do.

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Last week, we listed some Holiday Wedding Planning Tips.  As promised, I have listed below some of the potential challenges you might face when hosting a wedding near a holiday or special event.  And, what you should do to be proactive.

Potential Increase of Floral Expenses

  • Valentine’s Day
  • Mother’s Day
  • Christmas

Weather, holidays, and the world’s economy can affect the overall cost of your flowers, so book your florist early.  After you book them, listen carefully to their advice and recommendations.  Your florist can tell you what is in season and what’s been affect by the previous season’s weather.  If your preferred flower isn’t available, your florist may be able to recommend flowers that look and feel like your first choice.

Potential Decrease of Available Hotel Rooms

  • Spring in Washington DC — Cherry Blossom Time
  • Early May – College Graduation Time
  • Memorial Day
  • Fourth of July
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving

Hotels assign a certain amount of rooms for groups.  The rest is assigned to transient business.  So, scout out the hotel options that work best for you and reserve a block of rooms early.

Once your hotel reservation deadline passes, the hotel has the right to sell your leftover rooms to someone else.  So, I recommend printing a “cushion deadline” on the accommodations card in your invitation.  For example — If your hotel reservation deadline is June 14th, tell your guests that the deadline is June 7th.  This gives your “last minute” guests a week to book a hotel room at the discounted rate.

In Washington, DC, the number of available hotel rooms decrease during Cherry Blossom season.  The demand for hotel rooms increase, so that increases the price of hotel rooms.  Your guests may not be aware of these local “holidays,” so use your web site and word of mouth to give them the heads up.  This could be the difference between a hotel reservation near the wedding venue and a hotel reservation 20 miles from the wedding venue.

Potential Traffic Issues

  • March — St. Patrick’s Day Parades
  • April, May, June, September, October and November – Marathons and Races
  • May – Memorial Day Parades
  • July – Fourth of July Parades, Concerts and Park Events
  • September – Labor Day Parades and Park Events
  • October – Harvest Festivals, Homecoming Games and Homecoming Parades
  • November – Thanksgiving Parades, and Festivals

There are three things I recommend you do —

1. Use your driving directions card to let your wedding guests know that the traffic volume will be high on your wedding day! Tell them how long it typically takes to get to your ceremony location from a major street, and advise them to plan extra time as they travel to your wedding ceremony.

2. Put the driving directions, the traffic information and the typical speed trap locations on your wedding web site.  Now, don’t get me wrong — We aren’t trying to help your guests avoid the police when they break the law!  We just want them to be aware so they don’t miss your “I dos” because they are on the side of the road getting a ticket.

3. Check your local convention and visitor’s bureau web site for parades, rallies, marches, road closures or races. Make your wedding guests, wedding vendors and your wedding party aware of these events so that they can plan accordingly.  If your wedding is in Washington DC, but most of your guests are not from the DC area, let your guests know that DC’s traffic is already pretty heavy.  Something as simple as Cherry Blossoms can slow the traffic down to a halt.

Potential Travel Issues for Your Wedding Guests

  • May – Memorial Day Weekend
  • July – Fourth of July Weekend
  • September – Labor Day Weekend
  • November – Thanksgiving Week (the entire week)
  • December — Christmas Eve or the Day after Christmas

If you select a wedding day over a holiday weekend or week, notify your wedding guests as soon as possible.  Send out your  “Save the Dates” at least 7 to 12 months in advance.  If you booked your block of hotel rooms, include that information on your “Save the Dates.”  Select your wedding party, and let them know about your wedding location and date as soon as possible.  This allows them time to plan, secure an inexpensive flight, and/or book a hotel room at the discounted rate.

Provide your guests with a link to a Holiday Travel article on your wedding web site.  This information gives your guests (even your most seasoned traveler) with travel tips and ideas for a smoother trip.

Potential Competition for Tuxedo Rentals

  • May – Proms and Spring Formals
  • June – Proms and Spring Formals
  • October – Homecoming Dances
  • December – Christmas and New Years Eve Galas

Determine your wedding tuxedo choice early on.  Provide the tuxedo information to your groomsmen, ushers and dads as soon as you make your selection, and give them the heads up about the potential competition from prom and gala rentals.

Could Possibly Affect Your Guest Count or Your Reception Meal Selections

  • Lent
  • Passover
  • Ramadan

As a Catholic, I give up sweets every year during Lent.  As a result, I couldn’t eat the wedding cake at a 2004 wedding.  It was no big deal to me — I was a wedding guest.  But, I encourage brides who host weddings during holiday seasons such as Lent to decrease the cake servings ordered.  Numerous pieces won’t get eaten.  By the way, a few religions won’t allow you to decorate the church during lent.  If wedding design matters to you, I recommend checking with your church before you determine your wedding date.

Enjoy the remainder of your holiday weekend!

Take care!

Love and Soul Always, Kawania



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