If you are one of the estimated 3,600* couples to have gotten engaged in the Hudson Valley over the holidays, congrats!
By now, you and your fiancé are probably deciding on when to get married, if you haven’t done so already. Chances are, you might be finding that choosing a 2018 date with vendors who are still available is slim. There’s a good reason for that.
The average length of engagements is around 18 months*, so that means that couples who got engaged in 2016 or early 2017 are getting married in 2018 and have reserved most of the available dates. So…realistically, if you got engaged over the holidays, you’re going to have to look at dates in 2019, or even 2020!
The first thing you should think of when choosing your date is what else is going on during the time you’re thinking, and the second thing you should think of is when you want your anniversary to be. It’s easy to be caught up in the moment for your wedding, but that date will last a lifetime. That being said, there are three main categories of dates that you should avoid, if possible, and two specific to the Hudson Valley, that you shouldn’t necessarily avoid, but requires a bit more advanced planning. Read on to learn more and scroll all the way down for a complete list of date that you may want to avoid.
Avoid birthdays or special family dates
When my husband and I got married, it was a no-brainer for us to get married in October. Not only are both our birthday’s in October, but more than half of the month is full of friends and family birthdays and anniversaries. So, of course, we wanted to add to the list.
We quickly found out that “adding ourselves to the list” was a lot trickier and challenging than we thought. While we’re happy we did it, it was incredibly stressful to plan because we only had 4 Saturdays to choose from and needed to make sure none of them fell on anyone else’s special day, including ours.
While we did have one special guest who was turning 6 on our wedding day and made sure we made it special for him with a little cake and singing “Happy Birthday”, you still need to put yourself in your guest’s shoes. Do YOU really want to be going to a wedding on your birthday or anniversary?
While you may say it wouldn’t bother you, when the day comes, it will. Trust me, I know! Several years ago, I was invited to a wedding that took place on my birthday. I already had previous birthday plans prior to receiving a Save the Date, but it was a friend of mine at the time, so I didn’t want to not go to the wedding. With some rearranging, we made it work, but it was still tough.
Avoid holidays (big or small)
Many couples think getting married on or near a holiday like Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day or even a long holiday weekend like for Memorial Day is easy because their guests are already in “celebration” mode and they may have extra days off from work. However, the truth is, for guests (and some venues), it’s really inconvenient. Here’s why…
Christmas, in any given year, is a crazy time for so many people and adding a wedding into the mix can really make it insane for you and your guests.
For many, New Year’s Eve is one of those holidays you either love or hate. You either want to be out celebrating, living it up or have nothing to do with it at all and want to be in bed by 11:00 pm. Many people don’t like to be out on the road that night either because they know many people will be out celebrating and you never know who might be on the road drunk.
For many venues, they host their own New Year’s Eve parties and may not have the night available for your wedding, or they may be available, but be more expensive.
Valentine’s Day (if it falls on a weekend) is a bit cliché. In fact, there have been articles written that say people who get married on Valentine’s Day are more likely to get divorced. Who knows if that’s true, but thinking long term, do you really want your anniversary to always be on Valentine’s Day, or do you want to celebrate Valentine’s Day separately? Also, think about floral costs. It may cost you more to get flowers for your wedding due to the high demand.
When you think of Memorial Day, it’s a patriotic day set aside to remember those who fought and continue to fight, for our freedom. In addition, it’s the first long weekend of the year and the unofficial first weekend of summer. People plan getaways and vacations around that time, sometimes a year in advance, meaning your wedding might interfere with their plans or their plans may interfere with your wedding and they may not be able to come. Even if people aren’t going away, it’s still a long weekend and some people may not want to do anything. Costs for hotel rooms are also going to be more expensive, so you want to make sure you take that into consideration as well.
Avoid repetitive, “superstitious”, leap dates, or somber memorial dates
In the past, dates such as 11/11/11 or 12/12/12 were hot days for weddings. In fact, couples who wanted these types of dates booked way out to make sure they got them. While not so prominent now, looking in the years ahead, 8/18/18, 9/19/19 or 2/20/20 may be popular dates as well.
If you are superstitious, you may want to avoid dates like Friday the 13th or March 15 which is the “Ides of March”, the day Julius Caesar was assassinated, and is traditionally considered a superstitious date. Leap dates you want to avoid for obvious reasons and September 11, and any other somber memorial dates are others you might want to avoid.
Hudson Valley times to be aware of
There are two times of the year in the Hudson Valley that require a little extra advanced planning. Having a wedding during these times is totally doable, you just need to plan accordingly.
May and June
May and June are some of the most popular months for weddings. But, guess what else happens in the Hudson Valley in those months? College and High school graduations. There are dozens and dozens of colleges and high schools in the Hudson Valley, and while students are not typically booking venues for graduation parties, their families, who come from all over the tri-state and beyond, are booking hotel rooms. You want to make sure that you book hotel room blocks far in advance so your guests don’t have to compete for rooms.
More popular than May and June are September and October. You have tourists coming in to look at the fall foliage, colleges have both homecoming and parent weekends, not to mention countless festivals. The same issue you have with hotels in May and June happens here again.
In 2017, JUST in September and October alone, an estimated 2,900* weddings took place in the Hudson Valley. Let’s break that down… say each wedding had 120 guests, estimating half those guests need hotel rooms, that’s 174,000 people (or 87,000 couples) needing rooms in 8 weekends. If that’s not competition, I don’t know what is.
So, we want to know how you chose your wedding date if you have one already? Did you find any challenges with your date?
Source: The Wedding Report
Featured Photo Credit: The Photography of Jeremiah Shaffer