Bridal Guide

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How to handle a wedding around a holiday

While summer and fall are the most popular times of year to get married, couples can tie the knot whenever they choose, including on holidays.

Holiday weddings tend to stray from the norm, and that can make for a memorable night for couples and their guests. For example, couples who choose to get married on Halloween may encourage their guests to arrive and celebrate in costume, making for a unique experience for all in attendance. But planning weddings that take place on a holiday or holiday weekend may require a little extra effort.

• Research venues before finalizing the date. Couples who have their eyes set on certain venues to host their ceremonies and receptions should research the availability of those venues on holidays or holiday weekends before finalizing their wedding date. Some venues may have preexisting agreements with local community organizations that may prohibit them from hosting weddings or limit their available time slots. Confirm the availability of your ideal venues before making your date official.

• Allow for a longer engagement. Regardless of which holiday you choose, keep in mind that many people make plans well in advance of a holiday. Holidays tend to be accompanied by long weekends, and your guests may already have plans for that time off from the office. In addition, families often travel to visit relatives during the holiday season at the end of the calendar year. If you plan to wed on a holiday or holiday weekend, allow for a longer engagement so your guests won't have to cancel existing plans or miss the wedding because they already have travel plans that weekend. Let guests know your holiday-wedding intentions as soon as you finalize the date.

• Start looking for vendors as soon as possible. Vendors, including caterers and photographers, tend to be busy on holiday weekends, so start looking as early as possible. It's important to comparison shop, but couples who wait too long to sign contracts with vendors might find themselves paying more and/or choosing whoever is available as opposed to their top choices.

• Plan to pay a little more. As noted, vendors tend to be busy on holidays and during holiday weekends, and their prices may reflect the high demand for their services. Budget-conscious couples should anticipate paying more on holidays than they might pay on other weekends.

• Expect some declined invitations. While an extended holiday weekend may seem like the perfect time to tie the knot, guests may not share that perspective. Many would-be guests likely cherish their existing holiday traditions and may be unwilling to abandon those traditions to attend a wedding. Every couple has at least a few friends or family members decline their wedding invitations, but those numbers may be more substantial for couples hosting holiday weddings.

Holiday weddings can make for some great memories, but couples must be especially diligent when planning weddings on holidays or holiday weekends.