Should You Plan a Destination Wedding Over Thanksgiving Weekend—Yay or Nay?

Marcus Krause Photography
Photo: Marcus Krause Photography

Anyone who has planned a wedding before knows it’s no walk in the park. The process of having to make so many major decisions at once can stress out even the calmest of brides or grooms-to-be. While seasoned planners, parents, and friends often try their best to offer guidance during the planning, sometimes all you really want is an unbiased second opinion. That’s why, going forward, Over The Moon wants to try and help solve your biggest wedding conundrums: Having trouble deciding whether to offer steak during dinner even though you’re vegetarian? Don’t know how to break it to your co-worker that she won’t be in the bridal party? You ask, we’ll answer.

Today, we’ll start by addressing a future bride’s query on whether it’s appropriate to throw a wedding over Thanksgiving weekend.

Picture this: You’re finally engaged and that impossible-to-get destination venue you’ve been dreaming about tying the knot at since you were a child is available within the next year. The only problem? It’s only free the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. So, is it a bad idea to set your destination wedding date over a holiday when most of your guests probably already have plans with their families? Or is it a nice opportunity for guests to plan a trip over a weekend when you know they have a few guaranteed vacation days off?

Deciding to host your wedding day over Thanksgiving weekend is definitely a bold move, but not at all in poor taste. Just take wedding planner Calder Clark’s word for it; she once organized a Thanksgiving weekend wedding and describes it as a “total blast” for both the couple and their guests. “It was a four day wedding weekend full of parties both intimate and full-blown, including a Thursday night Thanksgiving feast replete with all the trimmings—and stuffing!” she explains. But be prepared to have more than the usual amount of declines in your RSVP envelopes. “Some guests might not come because they feel super obligated to being in a location that’s very special to them, rather than being in a far-flung destination to celebrate you,” Clark explains. Meanwhile, planner Marcy Blum also warns a wedding’s budget may rise when hosting events over Thanksgiving. “Staffing can definitely get more expensive over the holidays,” she explains. “Not just wait staff, but freight elevator staffing, etc.”

Also, keep in mind that this is a weekend when people naturally want to be with their families, so it’s important to be extra inclusive during your events. “This is not the time to eschew children as guests or peripheral parties—the more feet under the table, the friendlier!” she says. And as for whether there is one holiday when you should never plan a wedding over the weekend, Clark says everything is game—Easter, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, New Year’s Eve, and even Halloween—but considers Christmas a no-go, which Blum also agrees should be left off the list. “I think Christmas and the Jewish High Holy Days are inappropriate for hosting a wedding, but it could be fun if Mother’s or Father’s Day falls on the Sunday of your wedding weekend,” says Blum. “I’ve had couple invite kids who where not invited to the wedding to the brunch the next day.” Fun for everyone!

Please send your most pressing wedding-related questions to [email protected], and we’ll do our best to help solve them!