Is It a Bad Idea to Choose a Wedding Date During a Traditionally Busy Weekend?
National holidays, city-wide festivals, and sporting events that fall on or around your wedding date can result in a logistical nightmare for you.
While there's nothing wrong with choosing a wedding date that coincides with a traditionally busy weekend, it's important that you be informed and plan ahead. National holidays, festivals, citywide celebrations, sporting events, long weekends, popular travel seasons, and conferences can quickly turn a small town or small city into a busy, crowded place with overbooked hotels and a frustrating state of gridlock. Of course, there are many cities that handle busy weekends seamlessly, but before you settle on your wedding date, you'll want to take a look at what else is on the calendar and make sure you and your guests will still have access to everything you need. Here's what you can expect when planning a wedding during an unusually busy weekend.
Your guests might already have plans.
If you're planning to tie the knot over a holiday weekend, know that your guests may already have plans that they're not willing to rearrange. Heart still set on the date? Plan to send your save-the-dates even earlier than usual to give everyone notice and time to make arrangements accordingly.
There will be higher than average travel costs.
You can expect flights to the area to be inflated during a busy weekend. As such, you'll want to make sure guests have all the info they need to book their flights far in advance and lock in more affordable pricing before rates surge.
Hotel blocks may be more difficult to reserve.
During busy weekends, hotel blocks are likely to have inflated rates and sometimes will have stricter booking terms. As well, depending on your destination, these rooms will be in high demand and can book out as far as a year in advance depending on what event is going on. The sooner you can get your group bookings sorted, the more hassle you'll save you and your guests in the long run.
Your transportation options might be limited.
Transportation to and from the airport and your wedding venue may be difficult to book during a hectic weekend. Not only will shuttle availability be limited, but catching a taxi can prove near impossible when they're in very high demand. If you know your wedding weekend is a busy time of year, go ahead and reserve those shuttles and transfers as early as possible for your guests so you don't have to deal with extremely limited options or run the risk of no availability later.
Expect congestion and traffic.
More traffic than usual can be a problem not only with getting guests to the venue on your wedding day on time, but also in every other activity that's planned throughout the weekend. You'll need to plan ahead and provide guests with alternate route suggestions when possible and be somewhat flexible with your timing and expectations. For example, if your day-after brunch is scheduled on Sunday morning, you may be better off hosting it at a hotel where many of the guests are staying to avoid too many people driving on congested roads. As well, you'll want to inform guests to allow a buffer in their allotted travel time to each venue.
Be informed before you officially choose your wedding date.
Before you book your wedding venue, be sure to check in with your primary hotel about the selected weekend's local happenings. The hotels are most likely to know if anything major is going on in the area that weekend, and it's in their best interested to inform you of such events. If you're still unsure of whether it'll be busy, you might consider giving the local tourism board a call to find out what's on. It's also important to keep in mind that every destination has a busy time, which may or may not affect things like traffic and availability. Nine times of out of ten, a little busyness isn't enough to upset your wedding weekend, but it's always best to know in advance so you can be organized and prepared accordingly.