The "Worst Days for Weddings" might be the Best Day for Yours

 
by Jennifer Cram - Brisbane Marriage Celebrant © (13/06/2021)
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                      Scrabble tiles that spell out Worst Days To Wed?For years the conventional wisdom is that if your focus is on your budget, there is a longish list of "worst" days for weddings, days that wedding planners and others in the industry suggets you should avoid because prices will be at a premium, other events will be competing for venues, and/or high demand from marrying couples will mean that your preferred vendors are likely not to be available.

But, as we all know, the past year and a bit has changed everything. So let's revisit the usual suspects on the "worst days" list, unpack why they appear on those lists, and whether ignoring the warnings and going for one of those days might actually be the smart choice for your wedding.

It all depends on the type of ceremony


If you are planning to have the big, formal, traditional wedding then it makes sense to (mostly) avoid the most popular time (3 pm or so on a Saturday afternoon) as well as high-wedding season at an in-demand wedding venue, unless you are prepared to book very far ahead. But if you're willing to trim your guest list, think outside the box when it comes to season, day of the week, and time of the day, find a suitable space, and bring in caterers and other services, you will have greater flexibility in terms of dates.

On the other hand, if you are planning to have a more intimate wedding in your own backyard or other private property, the only constraints will be availability of your chosen vendors.usual worst days

So what is on the usual list of worst days, and why might one of those days be a good choice in 2021/2022? Let's have a closer look, in no particular order.

School holidays in general




During school holidays accommodation and travel costs (air-fares or filling your petrol tank) tend to be hiked up, particularly for in-demand holiday destinations. And this can be complicated by the fact that schools might be back where you are getting married, but the kids are on holidays in another state. In Queensland, for example, You can expected increased prices and more competition for accommodation during the Victorian and New South Wales school holidays in addition the Queensland ones. Sometimes they partially overlap, sometimes they don't.

How can booking your wedding during school holidays work in your favour?
  • People who live some distance away may be more likely to combine a holiday with your wedding as they won't have to take the kids out of school

How you might need to adapt your plans

  • Go local for everything
  • Postpone your honeymoon trip for later
  • Ditch any idea of a child-free wedding if friends and loved one are travelling for your ceremony

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day




Many people see Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as a single family celebration. Others are comfortable with either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day being reserved for family. It's a cultural thing. Either way, holding a wedding at this time does mean anyone outside your family will have to choose between their family and your wedding. And typically, any services provided on either of these days attract a premium charge.

How can booking your wedding on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day work in your favour?
  • They are a perfect excuse to have a very small family only wedding
  • Family are more likely to be there, and past history will give you your guest list
  • While many wedding vendors reserve one or other, or both, of these for their own family celebrations, there is less demand overall for wedding services and there will be celebrants and photographers who will be prepared to pop out for your wedding

How you might need to adapt your plans

  • Have a very low-key wedding ceremony followed by the "normal" family meal
  • Have a surprise wedding. If everyone who is important is going to be there anyway, and you are all a bit dressed up anyway, it works perfectly.
  • Have a very short period for group photographs
  • Be organised as you may have to pick up your outfits, rings, etc, well before Christmas

New Year's Eve and New Year's Day




New Year's Eve weddings are becoming a bit of a thing, even though this night always makes the top of the worst days lists. It is probably the most expensive day of all to hold a wedding as you will be competing with large public and charity events such as balls and parties, restaurants are booked out, and premium pricing applies. It can also be the most inconvenient one for your guests because of road closures, crowds gathering to watch fireworks. And, not to put too fine a point on it, on New Year's Day guests could be feeling the worse for wear after partying while seeing the New Year in. New Year's day is another day that is traditionally a family celebration day, so parks will be crowded.

How can booking your wedding on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day in your favour?
  • Your guests will be in celebratory mode
  • While many wedding vendors take a break, there is less demand overall for some wedding services, such as celebrants and photographers
How you might need to adapt your plans
  • Be ultra flexible about your venue, including avoiding any venue in or close to the CBD
  • Consider using a non-traditional venue, such as a rural property. Using a private property not normally available for weddings may be your only (or best) option
  • Go minimal on ceremony and reception styling
  • Be organised as you may have to pick up your outfits, rings, etc, well before Christmas
  • If you want fireworks, organise your own. The large displays are the province of designated companies who specialise in such events. Smaller companies are likely to be available
  • Research alternative catering

The week between Christmas Day and New Year's Day




Government Departments, including Registry Offices, are closed between Christmas and New Year, and many business also take a break at this time. What this means is that, with no Registry Office weddings available, there is extra demand for celebrant-led weddings at a time when many celebrants take a break, many small businesses close for annual holidays over the period, and the Australia-wide public holiday in that week (Boxing Day) means that there are additional closures on that day.

How can booking your wedding between Christmas and New Year work in your favour?
  • Many of your guests will be on holiday, so they won't need to take a day off for a weekday wedding
  • While many wedding vendors take a break, there is less demand overall for wedding services

How you might need to adapt your plans

  • Be ultra flexible about your venue
  • On Christmas Day or New Year's Day schedule your ceremony around other traditional activities like opening of gifts or Christmas lunch. On the other hand, a breakfast wedding on Christmas morning, or an evening wedding on New Year's Day will give guests the option of attending both your wedding and their own family celebrations
  • Reduce the period between ceremony and post-ceremony celebration to keep the whole wedding within available time slots. This may require you to do the formal photos before the ceremony starts
  • Be organised as you may have to pick up your outfits, rings, etc, well before Christmas.
  • Go for simpler ceremony space decoration

Australia Day




The political and emotional issues attached to Australia Day aside (they are real and you may wish to consider all those implications), it is currently a prime day for citizenship ceremonies and for events and private group gatherings/picnics in parks and on beaches

How can booking your wedding on Australia Day work in your favour?
  • It's a public holiday, so guests are likely to be available
  • It's a great excuse for a very casual wedding

How you might need to adapt your plans

  • Be ultra flexible about your venue.
  • Consider a backyard ceremony and reception

ANZAC Day




Traditionally, people do not get married on significant military remembrance days out of respect. In Australia, the morning of Anzac Day is reserved for services and marches and roads are closed as are shops. Things change in the afternoon.

How can booking your wedding on ANZAC Day work in your favour?
  • You will have little competition for the services of wedding vendors such as celebrants, stylists, and photographers
  • Less demand for wedding venues, so you have increased probability of being able to book your first choice, even at quite short notice

How you might need to adapt your plans

  • Schedule your ceremony for later in the afternoon when the roads have cleared and the road dispersed

Valentine's Day




Always touted as the most romantic day of the year, Valentine's Day tends to be pushed as the ideal proposal day rather than the ideal wedding day. For good reason. Restaurants are packed with couples and wedding venues often put on set menu events aimed at dating couples. Added to that, flower prices, particularly roses, go through the roof, and demand often outstrips supply, delivering a large proportion of the annual income of flower growers and florists.

How can booking your wedding on Valentine's Day work in your favour?
  • It is the perfect day to pick for a secret elopement in your own home or neighbourhood pocket park
  • You should have a reasonable choice of celebrants
How you might need to adapt your plans
  • Schedule your ceremony for earlier in the day

Easter Long weekend




Easter Saturday was always the traditional big day for weddings following the 40 days of Lent when church weddings were not allowed. Good Friday and Easter Sunday are still days on which stores and other business, including restaurants, close or operate with very limited business hours. While we are seeing a few weddings on Good Friday, it is still a day that most people avoid. And, being a four-day weekend, often attached to school holidays, many families make plans for a mini-break, camping holiday, or time away.

How can booking your wedding on the Easter weekend work in your favour?
  • Guests who need to travel have time to do so, either before or after the wedding
  • There may be less competition for the services of wedding vendors on Good Friday or Easter Monday.

How you might need to adapt your plans

  • Easter Saturday may not be a viable choice, so you might need to choose one of the other days during the weekend
  • You may need to consider marrying at a less popular time, for example, have a breakfast wedding
  • Be organised as you may have to pick up your outfits, rings, etc, well before the long weekend

Other long weekends




One thing Australia is not short of is long weekends. And one thing you can guarantee is that prices for accommodation, fares, and petrol are hiked up, so while people might have more free time to travel to your wedding, it will cost them more, and traffic jams will cost them extra time too. Budget wise, your wedding could also cost you if venues and vendors apply a premium charge for the public holiday.

How can booking your wedding on a long weekend work in your favour?
  • Guests are likely to be free as long as you give them plenty of notice so as to avoid them having already booked a mini-break elsewhere

How you might need to adapt your plans

  • Be flexible about venues
  • Schedule your ceremony for less popular times of the day, or in the evening
  • Reduce the period between ceremony and post-ceremony celebration to keep the whole wedding within available time slots. This may require you to do the formal photos before the ceremony starts

Mother's Day/Father's Day




Advice on the Worst Days lists is always to avoid both of these days so your guests won't have to choose between their parents and your wedding. Added to that restaurants and venues promote special deals and are heavily booked, particularly for breakfast and lunch. And, if the weather is fine, you can guarantee that p-aarks and botanical gardens will be choc-a-bloc with picnicking families.

How can booking your wedding on Mother's Day or Father's Day work in your favour?
  • While there will be intense competition from family groups for restaurant bookings, there will be greatly reduced competion from other marrying couples, so there will be less competition for specialist wedding vendors like celebrants, photographers, stylists and hair and makeup artists
  • Small, neighbourhood pocket parks without toilet facilities are likely to be empty so available for your ceremony.

How you might need to adapt your plans

  • Florists and flowers will be in high demand for Mother's Day. So you might have to think outside the box and substitute other things. Silk flowers instead of fresh ones. Fans instead of bouquets. Non-floral centrepieces, and so on
  • Schedule your ceremony for less popular times of the day, or in the evening
  • Reduce the period between ceremony and post-ceremony celebration to keep the whole wedding within available time slots. This may require you to do the formal photos before the ceremony start
  • Pay extended tribute to your mothers/fathers in your ceremony, and extend that to the mothers/fathers of your bridal party

EKKA Holiday




The EKKA holiday (Brisbane) and other local show days never make the list of worst days because they are local and most venues are operating as normal, though for hospitality venues a public holiday surcharge could apply.

How can booking your wedding on a show day holiday work in your favour?
  • Show day holidays present a unique opportunity to have a weekday wedding when friends and loved ones have the day off.
  • While local venues might be affected by the holiday, a very short trip will take you to a neighbouring area where it is a normal business day and normal weekday discounts may apply.
  • Weekday availability of wedding vendors

Grand Final, Melbourne Cup, and other big sports day




Some big sports days, like Melbourne Cup, are almost universally observed. Others are observed by people who follow certain codes and/or live in certain states. Whether these days should be on a Worst Days list or not depends largely on who your friends are, where you live, and where you are planning to hold your wedding.

How you might need to adapt your plans
  • Avoid sports clubs and pubs for your venue
  • Schedule your ceremony and the formal rituals of your reception to avoid clashing with the action on the field
  • Provide access to a television so people can watch the action.
  • Have an unplugged ceremony (ask guests to put their devices away for the duration of the ceremony)

Religious and Cultural Holidays




In a multicultural society like Australia, a wide range of religious and cultural holidays are observed by various groups while not being national days of observance. While blanket advice about worst days tends to suggest avoiding those, which days could impact your wedding will depend on who your friends and loved ones are. When planning your wedding take notice, have the conversations, and, depending on the outcome of those discussions, avoid or adapt your plans.

Thanks for reading!

Jenny xxx Let's talk soon about how you can
                    have the best ceremony ever
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