Yes, even from the title I can feel you giving me a confused look. How can it possibly be “okay” to do your wedding AND another big family event in the same week? How can a bride or groom even keep their head screwed on straight with a week like that? Won’t they explode with anxiety and stress? Won’t they end up in the hospital with a minor heart attack? Won’t they ruin the other event with their stress levels and possible Bridezilla syndrome?
Look, I’m not going to say that I have all of the answers and that ANY event will work the same week as your wedding. I’m sure there are many situations where all of the above worst-case-scenarios would absolutely come true and it would be an utter nightmare. So if you have a terrible situation where one week is just too much to deal with, please don’t blame me for your misery. It’s like when people give you advice and then follow it up with “but I don’t know” as if to say between the lines “but don’t blame me for ruining your life if my advice doesn’t pan out.”
That is not my point. I’m only trying to encourage you that choosing your wedding date doesn’t necessarily HAVE to be a date the exact distance between your father’s birthday and Thanksgiving. Your situation may work to have some overlap, so take a moment to consider it. I’ll walk you through why.
Reason #1: It may be the best time for this season of your life.
About 4 years ago, I married my husband Chris. It was certainly the best day of our lives so far, hands down. The part that everyone can hardly believe is that we walked across the stage at our graduation ceremony 2 days after the wedding.
Unconventional? You betcha! But we are a very unconventional couple and family to begin with. In the end, it lined up to be the best time for us to tie the knot to allow us to finish school and stick around in California for our beach wedding. (We wanted the sun to shine that day!) So maybe we do have some sane membranes left?
Let me back up to our engagement so that you can understand the thought process here. Chris asked me to marry him on yet another occasion, my birthday junior year of college. We were absolutely thrilled and my entire party of college friends got to witness him get down on one knee and then celebrate with us like crazy afterward. Did I care that my birthday was overshadowed? Heck no! Everyone was high on celebrating so much in my life at the same time, it was magical! All of our friends had a huge smile on their faces the rest of the week.
After getting engaged and facing our first decision of what month to get married in, we thought about our school schedules the next year and a half. At first we thought, “we can get married during Christmas break in December, since they give us most of that month off anyway.”
The excitement about this decision soon wore off however. After looking at our budget, we realized we only had about 9 months to save up with little time to work and earn money for the wedding. We had to face the fact that it just wasn’t quite feasible. We wanted to pay for a good portion of it ourselves and be independent. Even though it would be a low budget of about $5,000 (more on how to accomplish that in other blog posts later!) we still couldn’t scrape up that amount in such a short time. It was hard to accept this since we were so excited to tie the knot, but everything kept pointing toward waiting.
Reason #2: Your faraway guests may get to experience BOTH.
The other obstacle we were facing was the fact that Chris is from England, so naturally we had plenty of international guests that we needed to think of. Also, Chris would be able to stay in America if he got married as soon as his student visa expired.
One day it clicked for us– classes would be over for both of us on April 30th, and we were graduating May 4th. We wanted Chris’ parents and family to witness him graduate, and of course they needed to see him get married, so if we set the wedding day for right before graduation and moving out of our dorms, they would be able to see all of it for the price of just one ticket. And Chris could stay in the country so we wouldn’t have to spend another period of time long distance. (We survived two summers long distance, with time zones 8 hours apart! I still feel accomplished years later!)
Reason #3: The week was already going to be stressful, and it may not add as much as you would think.
Was it insanely busy? Yes. Was it unconventional? Yes. But was it more stressful than anyone else’s wedding day? I’m not so sure. We were not in charge of running graduation, we only needed to put on our gowns, wait in line and walk across the stage with the crowd cheering. It was very exciting, so rewarding and a ton of fun, but it was simple to include in my wedding week.
The situation may be similar for you if the “bonus event” is something that you don’t have a large part in planning, such as a family birthday party, thanksgiving, an anniversary, Valentine’s Day (although a tad cliche) or even Christmas. Your attention may be diverted from the bonus event and your present to the guest of honor may not be your most fantastic, but if the situation fits and more family members will be able to celebrate both in one trip? You may find it is worth the crazy schedule to share more of your happiest moments with your long distance guests.
If you’ve done something equally crazy during your wedding week, let me know in the comments below!
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