Have you ever been to a wedding on Thanksgiving weekend? Opinions are mixed as to whether having your wedding on the second biggest holiday weekend of the year is a good idea.
Traditionally, Thanksgiving and Christmas are times reserved for family, and once you get married, your family grows. With that growth, your obligations expand. Many couples rotate whose family they spend the special holidays with each year. If they suddenly receive a wedding invitation a few months ahead of Thanksgiving, it can throw the balance of everything into a tailspin.
The Pros of a Thanksgiving Wedding
1. If you're having a destination wedding and your guests are mostly family, you'll be able to capitalize on the time spent together someplace awesome and get married at the same time. You can stretch your wedding weekend into a four-day adventure with your favorite people.
2. The size of an out-of-control guest list can be seriously reduced by inviting your friends to spend an important holiday away from their families. Some of your friends won't even consider it. If you can't afford a big wedding but don't want to leave people off the guest list, a Thanksgiving weekend wedding is a great way to get a lot more people to decline the invite.
3. Thanksgiving can be a fun theme to play with at your wedding! We had clients from Chicago who had a "Pie-Stravaganza" in lieu of a wedding cake at their Thanksgiving wedding. Yes, there was a fabulous pumpkin pie on the menu, but there were also seven other flavors to choose from. And who doesn't love pie?
The Cons of a Thanksgiving Wedding
1. Airfares are outrageous for Thanksgiving week. Easily as bad, if not worse, than Christmas and Spring Break. If many of your guests will have to travel to your wedding, you have to take that into consideration. Everyone knows that Thanksgiving is one of the most heavily-traveled days of the year.
2. Some guests you'd really like to have at your wedding will not be able to join you. They'll already be committed to family and unwilling to break their traditions. If it's someone coming from out of town, you're virtually handing them an excuse to skip the expense of your wedding. Some must-attend invitees may think you're being a bit selfish by taking away their Thanksgiving weekend. It's a football lover's nightmare.
3. Wedding vendors have families, too, so don't look for big discounts even if you're getting married someplace that is supposed to be in "off-season." I've had to resort to out-and-out bribery to staff large weddings on Thanksgiving. Professionals will hide their personal displeasure and provide the very best vendor services for your big day. However, you'll pay to have them servicing your wedding while their entire family is sitting at home enjoying turkey together.
Sandy Malone is the owner of Sandy Malone Weddings & Events and author of * How to Plan Your Own Destination Wedding: Do-It-Yourself Tips from an Experienced Professional. Sandy is the star of TLC's reality show Wedding Island, about her destination wedding planning company, Weddings in Vieques.