Is It Okay To Have A Wedding On A Major Holiday?

Illustrated by Jenny Kraemer.
Dear Alimay,
I recently got engaged and am thinking about having my wedding a year from now during the holidays, either around Thanksgiving, Christmas, or maybe even New Year’s. I love how festive this time of year is and it seems like so many people have work off anyway, which means attending it would be a no-brainer — I think. Is having a wedding on a holiday a crazy idea?
- Holi-daze Bride
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Dear Holi-daze Bride,
A lot of people do choose to have weddings during the holidays, so it’s not a totally crazy idea. In fact, some holidays, like the Fourth of July or Labor Day, make for the kind of long weekends that are perfect for getting hitched. But, there is still a lot to consider, especially when it comes to Thanksgiving and Christmas.
For starters, you should know that having your wedding on a major holiday is bound to make it a lot more expensive — not only for you as the host but for your guests as well. Renting an event space on Christmas Day or New Year’s Eve, regardless of the day of the week it falls on, will cost the same, if not more, than renting it on most any other Saturday (and definitely more than on a standard Friday or Sunday). One major reason is the high cost of staffing people on holidays.
Premium prices are something your guests can expect, too, especially if they will be flying in — airline tickets typically skyrocket during the holidays, and need we mention the inflated cost of hotel accommodations?
But, tying the knot on a holiday requires more of your guests than just extra-pricy travel arrangements. Because Thanksgiving and Christmas are times of year typically spent with family, if you arrange for a wedding at that time, you have to realize you're asking people to spend that time with you instead. If you're not comfortable with that notion, then hosting a wedding on a big holiday may not be for you.
Here at Alimay Events, we typically try to steer people away from holiday weddings. To that end, we tell people not to to feel guilty about declining an invitation for a Christmas wedding that's on the other side of the country. While it’s typical to expect about 10% of invited guests not to make it, that number jumps to at least 20% for a holiday wedding. (Of course, if you’re a bride looking for a way to pare down your guest list, maybe that’s a bonus!)
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That being said, having a New Year’s Eve wedding — or one on any other non-family-focused holiday (imagine the post-Fourth-of-July-ceremony fireworks!) — could be super fun and memorable. People are always looking for something new and exciting to do on December 31, a festive day in and of itself. Ringing in the new year with a celebration of your life together as a married couple may just be a double whammy of awesomeness. Of course, if you are going to hold a wedding during the holidays, you should give people ample notice — at least six months — and if you want guests to come to your New Year’s Eve nuptials, you better throw a party worth coming to. Go big and give your friends and family a night to remember!