A Guide to Wedding Dates to Avoid

He’s asked the question, presented you with the ring, and you’ve said yes—now what? One crucial element is determining when you’ll have your wedding, as this will impact your entire planning process. Maybe you want your date to fall in the early spring, since that’s your favorite time of year; or perhaps you’ve dreamed of having your wedding at that historic boutique hotel downtown, and have to pick a date based on the venue’s availability.

While it’s completely understandable to want to pick your date as soon as possible so you can move onto the next phase of your wedding planning, it may be to your benefit to flip through the calendar and comb it for several potentially troublesome dates throughout the year.

Some of the wedding dates you may want to avoid include:

Memorial Day

Labor Day

Super Bowl Sunday

Fourth of July



Valentine’s Day


These are some of the most important days to avoid, but you also may want to check into the dates for federal holidays like Columbus Day and Presidents Day, as well as Mother’s and Father’s Day. While we’re at it, you might want to “X” out the weekend before federal taxes are due, since you don’t want your guests  stressing about whether they’re going to get their forms in on time when they should be relaxing and having fun on the dance floor!

With your calendar at the ready, you may also want to do a bit of research into local gatherings, events, conferences, or conventions. Events such as San Francisco’s MacWorld, the Baltimore Comic-Con, the State Fair of Texas, Mardi Gras, Taste of Chicago, or a host of other large local gatherings could make hosting your wedding a tad bit trickier.

If your wedding coincides with any of these dates, it doesn’t spell instant disaster for the occasion, but it can present concerns with budget, attendance, and accommodations for out-of-town guests.

If you absolutely have your heart set on a Fourth of July wedding, complete with a fireworks display, it can be done, but it will take some extra planning on your part, especially if you’re on a budget. For any of the above dates, it’s important to be realistic about attendance, as many families may already have plans to travel during those long weekends and breaks.

Your Wedding Date and Budget

If you’re traveling to your wedding location, be prepared to pay more for the cost of airfare and travel.  The same goes for guests. For instance, say you’re traveling from Dallas to Los Angeles at the beginning of November, your ticket may run approximately $150 each way. Try booking the same flight three weeks later, right before Thanksgiving, and that ticket can at least double in cost to about $300.

It’s quite common for venues to tack on surcharges for their space, too, for usage on a peak day. If you’re hiring outside vendors for food, beverages, or decorations, you may also find that they charge higher rates for their services, as they’ll be in high demand during that time with other holiday parties and festivities. If you’re a bride on a budget, selecting such a date could mean going beyond your resources, which means coming up with some creative, cost-saving ideas to keep your finances on track.

Your Wedding Date and Attendance

Do you ever notice how as your guy and his pals creep further and further to the edge of the couch during the fourth quarter of the football game, their voices get louder and louder? Or perhaps you’re a sports diva, constantly checking your cell phone for World Series updates during your girls’ night out on the town.

In either case, selecting a wedding date that coincides with a major sporting event may mean you’ll have to be creative in your planning, lest you find half of your guests mysteriously disappear, only to be found later congregated at the hotel bar’s TV or huddled in a corner, glued to their cell phones.

You may also find getting guests to attend at all may be a challenge during big holidays. With today’s hectic schedules, many families book trips months in advance. If you book your wedding during Memorial Day weekend, for instance, you may expect some people simply cannot attend because of prior travel plans.

Your Wedding Date and Accommodation

This holds just as true for out-of-town guests as it does for your venue choice itself. If you plan a wedding at a hotel during Valentine’s Day weekend, chances are quite high that the location will be booked to capacity with couples looking for a romantic getaway.

This can impact the comfort of your guests, if they opt to lodge there, as well as your comfort going to and from the reception space, depending on how many travelers are milling about in common areas.

Some troublesome wedding dates, like NBA playoffs, World Series games, or Stanley Cup bouts can be difficult to predict, but if you are cognizant of other big sporting events or holidays with fixed dates, you may be able to avoid some nuptial snafus. On the other hand, if you are still focused on a particular date, being prepared for some of the challenges you’ll face will help keep you from being overwhelmed during the planning process.