When it comes time to planning their weddings, couples likely take into consideration whether their guests will be traveling to join them in their celebrations. If their guests are traveling, couples may decide that hosting their wedding festivities over a holiday weekend—such as Memorial Day, Fourth of July or Labor Day—is a good idea, what with the additional time off for everyone to travel and enjoy themselves.  


While the extra time is nice, there can be some challenges when planning holiday weekend weddings. For their professional insights, Destination Weddings by ALHI turned to Event Planner Arney Walker and Rachel E. Rice, Owner and Principal Planner of The One Moment Events


Take Advantage of the Three-Day Weekend 


Holiday Weekend Wedding


When it comes to tips for couples who are keen on planning their weddings over holiday weekends, Rice tells ALHI that couples should capitalize on the three-day weekend. 


Rachel Rice



“Most people are afraid to plan their weddings on a weekday or a Sunday for fear that guests won't be able to make it or will leave early,” she said. “The benefit of a holiday weekend is that guests can take off early, stay later and enjoy the party for longer.” 






Rice also said that most of her events are destination weddings by default since 80% to 90% of the guests on the guest list are from out of town. 


“[Couples can] take this opportunity to host other events (like welcome parties and farewell brunches) and make it a full weekend celebration instead of just a few hours on one day,” she said. 


The one piece of advice Rice always shares with couples planning their weddings over holiday weekends is to plan well in advance. 


“And don’t be surprised when things book up quickly,” she added. “Things that crossover outside of the wedding world, like transportation and hotels, are also likely to have a variance in rates and availability.”  


Walker agreed. 

“I typically suggest booking the venue and vendors as early as possible, as much as two years in advance,” she advised. “Holiday weekends tend to book quickly at venues, so locking in a date early can give you and your guests plenty of time to plan.” 

Walker also suggested that there is more to consider when planning a wedding over a holiday weekend: hotel rooms are generally more expensive and may require a two- or three-night minimum, and airfare tends to be more expensive, too. 


Arnev Walker


“If a client would like a wedding that is entirely destination, this can work well, at least when it comes to hotel night minimums,” she said, adding that some guests may not want to travel over a holiday weekend or have previous engagements. 











“Keep that in mind when planning and make things easy as possible for [the guests],” Walker advises her clients. “A clear and concise website with all of the travel and event information that they'd need is incredibly helpful.”  


“Oftentimes there are holiday events that will coincide with your wedding date, so plan travel accordingly,” suggested Rice. “Most importantly, make sure your guests are aware that it might take some extra time to traverse the city enroute to your ceremony.” 


The Benefits of Extra Time 


Both Rice and Walker suggest taking advantage of the extra time a holiday weekend affords by planning or suggesting activities your guests may enjoy during their extra time in the wedding destination. 


“We see many clients planning group excursions for those bonus days you get with a holiday weekend so you and your guests can explore the city, take a winery day, or even experience nature locally,” she said. 


“If you want a true wedding weekend event, a holiday weekend is nice to be able to work in more activities for your guests,” said Walker. “Be sure that if you are choosing a holiday weekend, it's in a spot where guests have lots of options for activities, either as part of the wedding festivities or in the surrounding area.”  


She added that it’s a good idea to include the activities on couples’ wedding websites, and even with the invitations. 


At the end of the day, planning a wedding is about couples surrounding themselves with loved ones.  


“The benefits of planning a wedding over a holiday weekend is that your guests have more availability to celebrate with you,” said Rice. 


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