Rabbi Lev Herrnson
Holiday-Weekend Wedding: Do or Don't?
Updated: Sep 14, 2019
Choosing a date for your wedding can be a puzzling question, riddled with complex considerations:
Do we choose a Saturday night?
What about Sunday? Sunday day versus Sunday night?
Is our location available when we want it?
What are the cost differentials when comparing specific dates?
What about guests traveling from far?
How much time will they need to travel?
What will time-away cost them in terms of work and travel?
Solution? Scheduling your wedding over a “long” weekend—especially one that involves a national holiday when everyone is off from work—is often a great solution! Memorial Day weekend, Labor Day weekend, and Thanksgiving all offer extended periods for the happy couple and their guests to luxuriate in the fun offered by wedding a celebration. Still, before you sign on the dotted line with your caterer, band or rabbi, consider the following questions:
With respect to your budget, which wedding expenses are likely to cost more as a result of a holiday-weekend wedding, for example, the hall, the caterer, or the band?
With respect to your guests’ expenses, how many of them will need to burden the expense of airline travel? (Flights are also more expensive over long holiday weekends!)
What are the hotels rates for the same period, as compared to another time? Keep in mind that a long holiday weekend necessitates that everyone stay over one or more additional nights at a hotel, or the home of a friend or family member.
How many guests will be driving on heavily trafficked days leading up to, and after, your holiday-weekend wedding?
Like a destination wedding, it would be especially nice if you do something meaningful for your out-of-town guests. A welcome basket, or even a charitable contribution in their honor, is a wonderful way to recognize your out-of-town guests’ trouble and expense.
What’s right for you? There’s no right answer. You've got to consider your budget. You also need to take stock of your guests, where they are coming from, and also consider how they’ll receive an invitation to attend a holiday-weekend wedding. Be prepared to be flexible, attitudinally-speaking and otherwise! Some might see it as an imposition, whereas other will be willing to forego a weekend on the couch watching football. Do you or don’t you? The choice is yours. Be prepared for some pushback, and do everything you can to be as hospitable as possible!