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One of the first and most important steps of wedding planning is picking the perfect date to say "I do." You may have ruled out Thanksgiving weekend, the holiday season, Labor Day and Memorial Day, but your obsessive calendar scanning shouldn't end there. In a bustling city like Miami, it's important to consider upcoming local events to make the best choice for you, your guests, and your wallet.
Here are five of the biggest events in Miami to consider before setting your wedding date.
1. Art Basel: December 1-4, 2016
Arguably the biggest art event in Miami, Art Basel draws crowds every year from all across the world. Flights and hotels fill up quickly, and hiked prices may cast an extra burden on out-of-town guests. Plus, with many people traveling across the country for Thanksgiving just a week before, guests' travel budgets in early December may be tight in general.
2. Miami Marathon and Half Marathon: January 29, 2017
Next year's marathon falls on a Sunday, but early road closures may leave guests maneuvering through unfamiliar detours or stuck in standstill traffic. And if any of your wedding attendees are marathon participants, they've likely been training for months and will appreciate a good night's sleep. (Plus, signing up for the marathon yourselves guarantees you and your fiancé will be in shape for the wedding!)
3. South Beach Wine and Food Festival: Historically February/March
SOBEWFF is a start-studded affair featuring premier culinary talent from near and far. A number of events are hosted at hotels across Miami Beach, which may take potential wedding venues out of the running. Dates for 2017 have not yet been announced, but this year's event was February 24-28.
4. Ultra Music Festival: March 24-26, 2017
Situated in scenic Bayfront Park, Ultra is an electronic music festival that coincides with Miami's Winter Music Conference. The blaring outdoor concert may disrupt an otherwise serene beach or rooftop wedding, and traffic is guaranteed to cause delays. Opt for another area of Miami away from the crowds.
5. Miami Open: March 20-April 2, 2017
A two-week affair, the Miami Open is a tennis event that brings television networks, athletes, celebrities, and fans together in relaxing Key Biscayne. But that also means pricier hotels, venues, and travel costs. Keep an eye on the website schedule to see when big-name players will be up against each other. You can count on bigger crowds on those days.