Generally immediately after engagement, the first thing a couple does is decide on their wedding date. (After she has the ring on her finger she is probably not likely to let him wiggle out of it at that stage!) The date will set the whole tone for the wedding including venues, menus, colour schemes etc. depending on the time of year and the season. Here are some dates that you might consider a ‘no-no’ in terms of wedding planning. This is just intended to be a guide and force you to consider hard the impact the date has on your wedding. You may want to think twice before scheduling your wedding at these times.
Holiday weekend wedding have pros and cons. You’ve got an extra day for the festivities (and recovery!), plus with the new reforms of Marriage Law, civil ceremonies can be held outside of the registry office which opens up Sundays as a potential day to get married. It can be easier to host the affair on Sunday, which is often less expensive than Saturday events. However, costs of travel and hotels may be higher. Also, having your wedding on a holiday weekend might adversely affect your guest list. Some families have standing holiday weekend plans or traditions that they’d prefer not to have disrupted.
St Patricks Weekend
If you are getting married in Springtime, consider the implications of having the event on St Patricks weekend, which is the weekend closest to the 17th March. In Dublin, and other large cities there will be road closures for parades and festivities and if you are travelling from church to venue, consider timing if you have to drive through small towns as almost everywhere will have some sort of parade, no matter how small!
- 2009 – 14th/15th/16th March
- 2010 – 13th/14th/15th March
Whit Weekend/May Bank Holiday
Always falls on the first weekend in May. Watch out for seasonal local festivals such as the Kinsale 7’s Rugby weekend in Cork, which could make planning a wedding particularly difficult due to an increase in visitors, lack of accommodation and lots of revellers on the streets during the day and night.
- 2009 – 2nd/3rd/4th May
- 2010 – 1st/2nd/3rd May
June Bank Holiday Weekend
The June Bank Holiday is always the first weekend in June. Beware that it can fall on the last days of May leading into June, such as in 2009.
- 2009 – May 30th/31st/June 1st
- 2010 – June 5th/6th/7th
August Bank Holiday Weekend
Each year, many events are scheduled over the August Bank Holiday weekend – make sure you check your wedding location for possible music festivals, sporting fixtures or other events that may disrupt your plans.
- 2009 – August 1st/2nd/3rd
- 2010 – July 31st/August 1st/2nd
October Bank Holiday Weekend
Last weekend in October annually, usually in the lead up to mid-term break in Primary Schools.
- 2009 – 24th/25th/26th October
- 2010 – 23rd/24th/25th October
Be mindful of religious holidays (yours and your guests’) when planning your wedding. There may even be restrictions at your church or house of worship as to whether you’re allowed to marry at these times.
- 2009 – April 5th
- 2010 – March 28th
- 2009 – April 12th
- 2010 – April 4th
Passover (begins at sunset the night before)
- 2009 – Thursday, April 9th
- 2010 – Tuesday, March 30th
- 2009 – Friday, December 25th
- 2010 – Saturday, December 25th
If you’re looking to marry around Valentine’s Day, be wary of your floral bill, especially if you’ve got your heart set on red roses — they’re likely to be more costly than at any other time of the year. Likewise, reception sites often charge a higher fee for a New Year’s Eve wedding. These can be a romantic dates to get married, but beware of date availability. Some venues will get booked up for Valentines Day and New Years Eve, years in advance and costs may be higher due to the popularity of the dates also.
- February 14th 2009 – Saturday
- February 14th 2010 – Sunday
New Year’s Eve
- Thursday, December 31, 2009
- Friday, December 31, 2010
April Fool’s Day
If you and your fiancé are jokesters at heart, this could be the perfect wedding day for you. If not, choose another day.
- Wednesday, April 1st 2009
- Thursday, April 1st 2010
Mother’s Day (Always a Sunday)
Make sure your mom is okay with sharing this weekend with your wedding — but it could be the perfect opportunity to honour her. If you do choose it, at your day-after brunch make a toast to all the mothers in the room.
- 2009 – 22nd March
- 2010 – 14th March
Father’s Day (Always a Sunday)
Ditto for Dad.
- 2009 – 21st June
- 2010 -20th June
Avoid it if you’re terrified that someone might actually show up in costume!
- 2009 – Saturday, October 31st
- 2010 – Sunday October 31st
GAA All Ireland Final (Always a Sunday)
A huge influx of people travel to Dublin each September for the All Ireland final and this may be a consideration if you are getting married in Dublin or the surrounding towns due to increased traffic. Usually held on the 3rd weekend in September, date for 2010 has not yet been confirmed.
- 2009 – 20th September
- 8/8/08: Although it lands on a Friday, numerological significance and the novelty of marrying on a date that occurs once in a lifetime make 8/8/08 an attractive wedding date.
- 03/06/09 falls on a Friday
- 09/09/09 falls on a Wednesday
Other Dates to Avoid
College graduations, big conventions in your city (call your local chamber of commerce), and any annual charity events that involve your family or close friends. Other notable festivals include:
- Kilkenny Cat Laughts – around June Bank Holiday weekend
- Oxegen Music Festival, Punchestown/Naas, Co. Kildare Mid July annually
- Galway Races – last week of July annually
- Electric Picnic Music Festival, Stradbally/Portlaoise, Co. Laois – last weekend in August/First weekend in September annually
- Guiness Jazz Festival, Cork – October Bank Holiday weekend annually
How about you…any disaster dates you want to tell us about, or local festivals items that I have not covered here…leave a comment and let all our readers know!