16 Apr Long Weekend Weddings: Should you do it?
Australians’ love a long weekend. The gift of an extra day off from work; spending more time with family and friends, or a little bit of extra time for just chilling out and relaxing. We love it!
But what about having a wedding on a long weekend?
In the past, holiday weekends have been pretty quiet on the wedding front, but now, as the destination wedding becomes more popular – long weekends are becoming a great way to kill two or three birds with one stone. A wedding, a weekend away, and extended time with family and friends!
But is it all good news?
Before you make a decision about whether you set the date for a long weekend wedding, check out our list of pros and cons.
1. OUT OF TOWNERS
Guests from out of town get more bang for their buck if they’re driving or flying in for a whole weekend instead of one afternoon. They can make a fabulous mini escape out of it.
2. EXTRA TIME
How many people have been to a wedding and just caught up with the bride and groom for a couple of minutes as they do the rounds at the reception? Many of you, we bet. A wedding on a long weekend, especially if it’s a destination wedding means you get to spend a whole lot more QUALITY time with the bride and groom.
3. HAPPY BUDGET
Having a wedding on a long weekend means you can look at getting married on a Friday or Sunday which is generally cheaper for your overall wedding budget. Just keep an eye on penalty rates or any public holiday surcharges from suppliers that may creep in.
4. DESTINATION WEDDING
If a destination wedding has long been on your dream to do list, a long weekend is perfect for it! Many venues with accommodation have fantastic destination wedding packages available and don’t blink an eye if it’s over a public holiday weekend.
5. NO WITHDRAWALS FROM THE ANNUAL LEAVE BANK
If people get invited to a Friday wedding or a destination wedding not held on a holiday weekend, they normally have to take some time off work and dig into their annual leave account. Some guests baulk at this. But hold the wedding on a day people are already having off work and they can come along without upsetting the boss or using up their precious annual leave.
6. GUEST CONNECTION
If a wedding runs over a couple of days or at a destination, guests often connect with each other a whole lot more than if they just turned up for a Saturday evening reception and sat at their one table all night. They may have travelled together, had a whinge about the long weekend traffic together and mingled more. Yay!
1. FINANCIALLY RESTRICTIVE FOR GUESTS
We all know that the airlines and hotels love school holidays and long weekends for jacking up the price of flights and accommodation. Your guests may get hit with these extra costs and you may lose a few guests who may not be able to afford it if they have to travel to the wedding. On the flipside, work with a travel agency on getting a good deal for your guests.
2. BOOKED OUT
Guests may already have plans. The only thing Australians love more than a long weekend is going AWAY for a long weekend! If you’re planning to hold your wedding on a holiday weekend, get those Save the Date notifications out. Stat!
We all love to moan about the traffic, especially here in Sydney. Long weekend traffic is famous for jams, queues, accidents, break-downs and whole lot of road rage. Consider that a wedding held over a traditionally busy traffic period may get some guests hot under the collar. One way around it is to mention it in the invite and allow plenty of time between the ceremony and reception if guests have to travel from one venue to another. Or put on a bus so it’s only the bus driver getting road rage and not your guests!
4. PENALTY RATES
Keep an eye out for additional penalty rates or public holiday surcharges wedding suppliers may charge on long weekends. Don’t be scared to talk to your supplier about it. Negotiate a better deal with them, bearing in mind they do have to pay their staff a little bit more on public holidays. But work with them to still stay within your budget.
5. MAY LOSE GUESTS TO BELIEFS
Some public holidays have particular cultural, traditional or religious meaning for people. Consider this and the guests you would be inviting before scheduling your wedding on a long weekend. Don’t be offended if people don’t attend for cultural reasons. Respect it and move on. Or stay away from particularly religious or traditional public holidays such as Easter, Christmas and Anzac Day.
Whatever the decision, consider what you want to do. As I always say – this is your wedding. If having an incredible wedding over the Australia Day weekend on the south coast or a beautiful destination wedding in wine country during the October long weekend is what you want to do, then go for it.
It doesn’t matter when, where and how a wedding is being held, there is no pleasing everyone. Stay true to your dreams, and what makes you happy, and the people who truly love you will be there or be super-happy for you even if they can’t make it.