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The Bride's Guide Blog

A Holiday-Weekend Wedding—Rude, or Considerate?

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By Talley Sue Hohlfeld, Etiquette Expert

This coming Monday, according to the calendar that hangs above my desk, is Memorial Day Observed.

It's considered to be a holiday weekend, and most offices are closed, giving you an extra day to get away. But somebody somewhere is getting married this weekend, which means you may be wedding-bound instead of beach- or barbecue-bound.

So, is it rude to plan a wedding for the same weekend that your friends and family normally have vacation plans? One that might trigger higher airfare or hotel costs?

Or is it considerate? After all, you've chosen a weekend that lets them travel without burning a vacation day. 

Etiquette has no ruling except the blanket ruling, which says that the host of an event may choose any date and time, and that guests may decline. So if you choose a holiday weekend, you aren't rude. But you're risking a low turnout.

Did you consider a holiday weekend for your wedding? What were the deciding factors? And even if you didn't, how well do you think one would go over with your respective families?

Comments (25)

  • We are getting married this Saturday! We chose it mainly for the convenience it provided us (I am a teacher, so I only have to take 4 days off for our week-long honeymoon), but were concerned about our guests. We sent out save-the-dates 9 months in advance hoping people would book early to save money. Some did, but many did not and are driving home (some up to 3 hours) after the wedding. Admitedly, we were hoping to have a low turn-out, but we have 80% of our invited guests coming to our semi-destination, memorial day weekend wedding. I guess that just means we are loved!

  • I suggested Labor Day weekend for our wedding, but my intended shot it down for these exact reasons. I think it's a great time to have a Sunday wedding and save some money since most people have the Monday holiday off. However, on the flip side, if I were a guest, and it wasn't a close friend or relative getting married, I would be annoyed at giving up a long weekend.

  • We originally planned to get married Memorial Day Wknd. The logic being children are out of school, people have an extra day off to come to travel to come to the weekend affair, etc. We honestly did it to BE considerate... but then upon further consideration, I realized the area in which our guests would be staying has drastically increased rates for hotels on holiday weekends. I mean like, $70 on a normal weekday, $470 the weekend of the 4th of July for your basic room. So that became a very important factor in deciding the date. I figure if we give people plenty of time, and if we're not competing with children's school... and if they really want to be there, then any old non-holiday weekend can be made to work and actually be an affordable little trip for them.

  • I am having a "holiday weekend" wedding -- I put it in quotes because my wedding date is January 2, 2010. Which is the Saturday after the 1st -- which for most companies is also a day off from work. I'm with both the previous posters, we chose the date because that was when we wanted to be married -- we chose the date a year and a half in advance, so people have known for a long time. We got very good hotel deals and will be sad, but not devastated by a low turn out. I think it's your wedding day, and it only happens once ... some people have plans "every year" ... which will be there next year.

  • In the end, you should have your wedding when you want to have it. People will decide whether or not they can make it on a holiday weekend. Some people will love it, others will hate it. But that's going to happen no matter when or where you plan to hold your event. It's the law of large numbers- somebody's bound to be upset one way or another.

  • We were originally planning on having a Thanksgiving weekend wedding. Guests could either spend the entire week with our families, or fly in only for the weekend itself. After many obnoxious comments from friends and family, we changed it. Instead we're doing what we want and going to Vegas for a middle of the week wedding. The Thanksgiving weekend was perfect since it's destination for us and the majority of our guests to get down to Miami where my family lives. Minimal time taken off work around what was already given as part of the holiday.

  • We were originally planning on having a Labor Day Weekend wedding. However, my fiance's cousin is getting married this Memorial Day weekend, and since most of our guest list is his family and are also attending said cousin's wedding, we felt it would be too imposing to ask our guests to give up their Labor Day weekend as well. We are still planning a Sunday wedding...just not a holiday one. We'll see how it works out!

  • yep, labor day weekend - sunday wedding. and my parents got married the day after easter - prices plummetted and they got an awesome deal on the venue.

  • Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends are very popular for Jewish weddings because you can have a Sunday evening wedding (Saturday nights in the summer are off-limits because sundown is so late).

  • We actually went with Labor Day weekend to accommodate wedding party members with children and some who are teachers. If it had been the weekend after that a bunch of guests wouldn't be able to attend.

  • It's always going to be a bad weekend for somebody, no matter when you get married. The trick is to ask your key people first-- immediate family, groomsmen, bridesmaids, minister, etc. And really, whoever does anything really important over Memorial Day weekend besides get married? It's not usual a big family holiday, at least not compared to "the holidays" and all that.
    I've found using the power of small helps-- working on the finer details of the wedding and caring less about big questions like "is anyone going to come?" makes for a better ceremony all around.

  • We are getting married on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. For our immediate families this worked out great. We are lucky in that we're both from the same hometown and most guests also live in the area. We decided that the people who really want to be there will be there no matter when it is. For everyone else it will just depend. Some people might not be able to attend because of the holiday, but it might make it easier for others to be here, so in the end it's a wash!

  • Yep - we're getting married January 16 - which is MLK weekend. Quite honestly, I never gave it a second thought - we don't have a bunch of family traveling, and those that are I imagine would appreciate having the extra day to recover (that is, if they even get Monday off!)
    Either way, the people that love me haven't mentioned a word about possibly "losing" their long weekend. I think of it more as gaining a super fun party during your weekend!

  • I'm getting married tomorrow. We chose Memorial Day weekend specifically so people would have the luxury of an extra day off if they chose to stay for the whole weekend. I don't think it really affected our guest count at all.

  • I am having my wedding on Memorial Day weekend of next year and I choose that date specifically to help accommodate my guests who would be flying and driving in from Michigan. My wedding is Sunday, May 30th and in theory, none of my guest would have to miss a day of work. Further, I have secured a room rate which is half that of a normal weekend. I live in Miami and my wedding will be in Coral Gables. The location is a destination on its own, so I look at it as a 2-for-1 for anyone traveling. They can have a vacation and can still enjoy the wedding festivities!

  • Personally, I feel that a wedding on a holiday weekend is rude and tacky (with the possible exception of a Jewish wedding on a Sunday evening). Unless the wedding was for an extremely close friend or family member, I would not center my holiday around a wedding. The two weddings I was invited to on holiday weekends I did not attend. In fact, rather than feeling that having the wedding on a holiday weekend was a considerate gesture on the part of the couple, I felt that it was very presumptuous and off-putting. I could look forward to a wedding on a random weekend (that sounds like fun!), but on one of my few vacation days? Forget it. Ick.

  • Wow, I am shocked at some of these comments...I would never even think that having a wedding over a holiday weekend would be considered "rude". You're giving your guests an extra day to hang out at the wedding destination or recover from the wedding before going back to work. I guess the only way it would be "presumptuous" or "off-putting" would be if you didn't really want to go to the wedding in the first place! For most working people, having to go anywhere out of town to a wedding on a normal weekend can be really tough. For example, my friend is getting married in Vermont in October and we will have to take a half-day off from work just to get up to the place in time for the rehearsal dinner.

  • I am hoping for a Halloween wedding only because it seems to be the only weekend this fall that isn't booked. I don't think anyone should get upset about missing Halloween night especially since we don't really have any kids in the family.
    Come to find out my mother is now the one with the concern. "I don't want people to make a joke out of your wedding" is what she said to me. I guess I didn't see it that way. Oh well, it's when I want it.

  • we did ours on may 24th this year. we got a discount for doing it on a sunday. and since we had monday off, it felt like a saturday wedding. no regrets! we knew that our friends and family would be willing to use their holiday off to spend time with us. the people we really wanted to be there...were definitely there! no one seemed upset..and they even took advantage of being in california by extending their stay.

  • Sarah D., I agree with you, I also think it's rude to schedule your wedding on a holiday weekend. Friends of mine decided to get married over the 4th of July weekend, which eliminates any chance of travel. I was slightly crestfallen when I realized when they had scheduled the wedding ... you only get so many holidays at work and if you're a planner ahead-er (like me!)

  • Well, as you all know on any national holiday , the beaches will be full of people, This is not the best time for a wedding..

  • Wonderful Me and my family adore traveling and are passionate about traveling abroad so much of this info was very useful. I have been traveling for 18 year and I can't get a sufficent amount of it. I will exercise this info for when we go on vacation on our next days off.

  • I do think it is rude to have a wedding on a holiday weekend. I know from personal experience when my nephew decided to have his wedding on a holiday. We would never consider not going, but what should have been a 5 hour trip turned into 10 hours. The hotel price was outrageous. Our whole family was miserable by the time we got there. The conversation at the wedding turned into the trials and tribulation of everyone trying to get to the event. The bride was also complaining when the wedding party was late due to trafic. It was very stressful for everyone. I would avoid it completely.

  • I find it totally tacky. Always have. I would much rather take a vacation day to attend a wedding than to not get to enjoy my holiday weekend and then be subjected to the increase cost of hotels and traveling. Of course the couple should do what they want and the guest always has the right to decline. But I assume the couple actually want the people they invite to attend. I haven't declined a holiday invitation yet because I feel guilty to miss a once in a lifetime event for my friend/relatives, but I would never subject my friends and relatives to have to spend their holiday and extra money for my event.

  • I am considering getting married over the Thanksgiving weekend next year. My intended and I are from the same hometown so most of our guests are already nearby and most of which (at least the more important guests) don't travel for Thanksgiving. We only have a few members of family travelling from out-of-state but since they're all family hotel fees drop to $0 if they choose to stay with their own family. One of the main reasons for picking this weekend is schooling. One of my bridesmaids is attending an out-of-state college and she doesn't have much leg room to travel cross-country for my wedding. Even if some can't join us for the celebration, Thanksgiving weekend seems perfect for us!

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