You probably aren’t thinking about sports when planning your wedding date. But you should be, because the sports calendar will have (or, rather, should have) a big influence on the date you pick.
Yes, your fiancée will rationally talk to your A-List guests (family, best friends, the wedding party) to minimize the chance of conflict. At the risk of perpetuating gender stereotypes, however, we think she is less likely to think about the Final Four. Or the Super Bowl.
This is where you come in. Stand up, stand tall, and ensure that each month, she carefully observes the following:
Super Bowl Weekend. To clarify, yes, the entire weekend is out of bounds. If you can, try and avoid all of January, so you don’t miss the NFL playoffs either. Lie. Tell her that since you were a little boy you’ve dreamed of a sun-dappled summer wedding. (One last thing in January; don’t forget about MLK weekend—see “Judgment Calls,” below.)
All clear. Bonus? If you can land this little party on Valentine’s Day, then you kill two birds with one stone and can cut the future number of roses you purchase by 50%.
Make a deal. A compromise. If it’s important to your fiancée that she holds the wedding during March Madness, fine, no problem, but it’s important to you that a sports bar’s worth of TVs adorn the ceremony and reception hall.
Keep an eye out for Easter and Passover. Even if you’re not Christian or Jewish, many of your guests will be.
Also, April 15th (or the preceding weekend) isn’t a deal-breaker, but a wedding should be escapist and care-free. Or the exact opposite of “tax weekend.” Anyone stressed with a 1099 won’t be doing the foxtrot. And if there are accountants in either family? You’ve just lost them to their laptops for the entire weekend (if they’re able to make it at all).
Every four years, June is devoured by the World Cup. A hard criteria? Probably not. But carefully consider your guest list and keep an eye for rabid fans; the World Cup is the one sport where people literally murder the under-performing athletes. Don’t anger these people.
The Fourth of July. For the love of God, don’t be that couple. Don’t delude yourself with the notion that, “Oh! People already have a four-day weekend, so they can hit our wedding without missing work!” Maybe, maybe not. For every one guest who saves a vacation day, you’ll have two guests pissed off that they can’t barbecue their traditional brisket.
Mid July – August
A sweet-spot. No NBA, no NHL, no college football, no college basketball, the pennant races haven’t heated up, and the NFL is only in pre-season—an unfortunate but acceptable sacrifice. From a sporting perspective, this is as safe as it gets.
Of course, everyone else on the planet also wants to get married this time of the year, which drives up the costs significantly. Quick tip: don’t plan your wedding at the end of August. Even though the weekend itself doesn’t conflict with any games, your honeymoon will land on early September, or NFL opening weekend.
No opening weekend in the NFL. No September 11th (especially important in New York). The month usually has Rosh Hashanah in it. The end of the month sometimes has Yom Kippur—sometimes it’s in October; click here for the full list of Jewish holidays.
Just keep it simple: avoid the second half of October. Even if you cleverly pick a World Series off-day, most guests will need to travel during one game (or more), making every guy despise you. These are the things your fiancée isn’t thinking about when making this decision—keep your eye on the ball. (Check updated schedule here.) Oh, and you should probably avoid October 31st. Halloween is a magical time when normally respectable woman dress up as sexy cops, sexy nurses, or slutty cats. Don’t spoil it for everyone else.
Most of the month is clear. But if you think that Thanksgiving is a fantastic date for a wedding, you need more help than we can give you at The Plunge. Click here.
The first part of the month is harmless. Watch out for that pesky December 25th: like the rest of us, Jesus isn’t too wild about sharing his birthday.
And as for New Year’s Eve? Maybe you’re thinking, “Wouldn’t it be so romantic to become husband and wife as the clock strikes midnight and the ball drops in Times Square?” Um, maybe for you, not so much for the other 100 guests who have other plans.
Judgement Calls—Three-Day Weekends
January – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
February – President’s Day
May – Memorial Day
September – Labor Day
October – Columbus Day
There are two schools of thought. Some argue that for these junior varsity holidays, you’re screwing your guests by hijacking their vacation. Others claim that no one has sacred “Columbus Day Traditions,” and if they bristle over such a minor holiday, then they’re not really your friends.
The best answer? It depends on your situation. If your wedding is local and you don’t have many traveling guests, then yeah, claiming those holidays is a little selfish. But if a good chunk of your guests come are flying in from New York and Chicago, then they’ll probably appreciate the extra travel day. If you have a destination wedding, then a three-day weekend makes perfect sense (so long as it’s not July 4th).
Once you’ve nailed down the date–or maybe even beforehand–you’ll need to plan the Reception. This is your move.