Lookback Lesson #20
Image via Hey I Like This
Why Nobody Wanted to Come to My Wedding
Because I didn't realize my wedding date was a poor choice…
Take it from me. There are certain days you should avoid when setting the date for your Mountain wedding–especially if your planning a destination wedding in the mountains. Consider this:
I thought I was so clever. I would set the date of our NC wedding for Memorial Day Weekend. That way out-of-town guests would have an extra day off to enjoy the area, or travel, or unwind back home.
First, I totally screwed up by not sending our Save The Date cards well in advance. Then I botched up even more by putting invitations in the mail a mere 8 weeks before the wedding, which is a fine time if everyone you're inviting lives in your area.
The result: Only 65 of the 120 people we invited showed up. I understood, but was totally disappointed.
Why? Because many of them already HAD plans for memorial day weekend. Airline tickets had been bought well in advance, hotels were booked. As much as they loved us, many of our guests just couldn't cancel previously-made plans.
To make matters worse: Those who did show up faced the premium rates of a holiday weekend. FAIL!
The lesson: When setting your wedding date, consider avoiding certain times and dates.
Wedding Dates to Avoid
- Holiday Weekends: Right? Lesson learned from above? Remember that holiday weekends are typically peak travel times and hotel rates tend to be at their highest. If you're having a destination mountain wedding, your guests may use your wedding as their annual vacation or simply take paid time off. Keep their wallets in mind by avoiding peak rates.
- Dates with Major Events in the Town: Every summer the Mammoth Lakes Jazz Jubilee, a week-long event, swells tourist traffic to giant proportions and jacks up hotel rates. Similarly, the Banff Film Festival is a major event attracting outdoor filmakers and connoisseurs from across North America. Similarly, Bele Chere in Asheville turns the entire downtown into a street festival every July. Your wedding guests will have a totally different experience if they have to fight throngs of tourists to enjoy even the simplest of mountain pleasures. Hotel rates also increase during these times.
- Tax Time: Not only are people generally stressed out trying to get their tax returns in on time, many of your guests may be responsible for paying thousands of dollars in taxes during that time. Given the costs associated with attending your destination mountain wedding (hotels fees, airfare or gas, some meals and entertainment, a new dress, your wedding gift, etc) give your guests a break by avoiding the weeks leading up to and the weeks following April 15th.
- If you're planning a destination mountain wedding send Save the Date cards out 9-12 months in advance.
- Reserve a “block of rooms” at a hotel so your guests can get a group rate. Generally the hotel will