Post # 1
Hello all! I need some advice. My fiance and I had originally planned a wedding for Saturday, October 10, 2009 with a big old welcome picnic/softball game the night before (Friday). One of our biggest priorities is being able to spend as much time as possible with all of our family and friends who will be traveling to my small hometown.
We have booked the caterer and venue (same place/contract) who are personal friends of the family, but have yet to book all the other major things: photographer, Friday night picnic venue, hotels, tent for reception, etc.
In discussions with our families over Thanksgiving weekend, some concerns were expressed about travel. I hadn’t thought of the fact that most people will wait and travel on Saturday morning – the ceremony would be Saturday evening – and would thus miss the Friday night festivities. Therefore, we are thinking of completely changing the date of the wedding to Labor Day weekend 2009, with the welcome picnic on Saturday night and ceremony and reception on Sunday night.
What do you think? Am I crazy? Or would this kind of change of date make it easier for our families and friends, some of whom will by flying in, but most will be driving in between 2-7 hours?
Post # 3
If you have a lot of people driving a long distance, it seems like a long weekend would be good for them so they can drive there Saturday and back Monday. The downsides to long weekends are more expensive airfare, more expensive lodging (depending on where you are, with possible minimum # nights also), some people actually won’t like having to devote a long weeekend to your wedding and possibly more traffic for those drivers ( again, depends on your location). For you, some vendors might be more, some might be less (Sunday vs. Saturday). The people who are really important to you 9and are able to will come in the day before regardless….
Post # 4
I completely agree with what Janna19 said. A long (holiday) weekend means more expensive hotel rates and travel fares. But it does allow your guests the extra time to be present for your festivities, especially those who may not be able to skip out of work on Friday. I think you should do what’s best for your friends and family, but I honestly don’t think that changing the date will mean that more people will attend your pre-wedding plans. The people who matter the most will be there for you and your fiance. I’d say as long as it won’t break the bank for you and your guests – go for it! Best of luck in your planning!
Post # 5
Prices will be higher and traveling more difficult during that weekend but, if you get more people to come it may be worth it. I think if you send the STD’s out early enough with the picnic invitation in it more people would work their plans to come earlier so they can be apart of that. I just got married on October 18th and my family and my husbands family started coming on the Thursday before. We only had one person that arrived on Saturday and 2 that arrived on Friday. Everyone else was there early.
Post # 6
Thanks for your advice! It does seem as though we might be exchanging one problem for another by changing the date to a holiday weekend. Perhaps one more evening of deliberation will result in a final decision.
Post # 7
- Wedding: June 2008 - Winery in the Gold Country
I want to add as a guest of previous long weekend weddings, I have to say that while travel was indeed more expensive, we had much more fun with the long weekend festivites. It’s a hard trade off now because the economy is so rocky, but I did want to throw in my opinion that when I travel for a wedding, if it’s a three-day weekend, I always have more fun!
GL with your decision!
Post # 8
My sister was married this past August at our family home in VT, which is a 4-7 hour drive for most guests of the wedding. Despite the fact that the wedding was later in the day (4pm) on Saturday, most guests arrived by Friday evening. In fact, many of our cousins made a long weekend out of it and stayed for at least 4 nights, tacking on a day or two before or after the wedding. It’s also important to note that it’s a resort town and most hotels had 2-night minimums. A handful of guests arrived Saturday and departed Sunday (1-night rooms were available, but we couldn’t reserve a block of them for guests).
I am planning my own wedding in VT for next summer. With the way the economy is right now, I am nervous some guests won’t be able to attend at all. On the other hand, I know most of my family and friends will likely be in town for 3 days, which is great. In the end, my fiancee and I decided that only our guests can decide how much time, if any, they can spend with us, but we will do our best to accommodate whomever shows up. In my experience, if you host it, they will come!
Alternatively, you could have your welcome picnic on the day of your wedding. My cousin did that a few years ago and it worked out great. We all got to hang out together, go swimming, have a light lunch and then check in at our hotels and get ready for the ceremony. The bride and groom left the picnic a little earlier than the rest of us.
I’m sure it will be great, regardless. Good luck!
Post # 9
I don’t know if you can informally poll your friends and family. For us, most of the people actually travelling (even people driving 3 – 4 hours) came in at least a day early, which resulted in us not only having a much larger Rehearsal Dinner than we had originally anticipated, but also throwing a backyard BBQ the day evening before the Rehearsal Dinner. Our wedding was Saturday, the weekend after the 4th of July, and many people showed up on Thursday, with almost everybody there by noon on Friday. I think that since it was a nice, summer weekend, they figured that if they were going to have to travel they might as well take a couple of days and make a little vacation of it. Most of them called before they made their arrangements, to ask how many days we were taking off and how busy we would be, as they wouldn’t have come as early if we were too busy to spend time with them.
Theoretically it might have been easier for people to take time off the weekend before, since it was the holiday. However, we knew that where we live the hotels would be packed that weekend, and people would have to make reservations at least 6 months early to get a decent room. Also, we know that most of our friends have holiday traditions (family camping trips, big BBQs) and we didn’t want to interfere with their normal holiday activities. I actually think we would have had fewer guests had we gotten married on the holiday weekend. Most of our very close friends and of course our immediate family would have attended, but I’m sure that people who are more casual friends, and extended family (cousins, aunts and uncles) would have had to choose between our wedding and something else, and I’m also sure that not all of them would have chosen our wedding.
Post # 10
- Wedding: May 2018 - Hotel Vitale
Just to let you know. We are getting married around Memorial Day weekend, and almost every vendor has quoted us a higher price due to the three day weekend. I have to kindly let them know that we are not getting married over the holiday- and they have all kindly reduced the price.
Just another factor to consider. Good luck in deciding.
Post # 11
Wow! This is a lot to think about. I really appreciate everyone’s ideas here.