There are few things Canadians cherish more than long weekends spent soaking up summer’s sun on a dock or a sandy beach.
With just four long weekends to enjoy this country’s warmer months, the question arises: is it fair for couples to have their wedding on a long weekend?
A bride and groom’s decision to claim one of these weekends can determine how close their friends truly are.
“They become really precious,” says Lynzie Kent, owner of Love by Lynzie. “It sucks to know you’ll have give up one of your long weekends when you only have three or four to spend with your family.”
“People work hard during the week … a long weekend gives you three days to rest or do something you want to do,” adds Diana Shin, wedding cake designer with Shindig Sweets. “People don’t want to have their time monopolized for one day.”
Event planner Laura Atendido, of Laura & Co. Events, says some couples can feel nervous they’ll look selfish.
“Some clients have a lot of cottager friends and fear that their friends will be annoyed with them,” says Atendido, who is a cottager herself.
“It’s hard to please everybody,” admits wedding planner Rebecca Chan.
That’s why many vendors feel the need to prepare their clients for the backlash they may receive from guests.
“The couple has to know that they will have a higher percentage of guests who will say ‘no,'” says Kent.
For other couples, it’s less about the prospect of throwing a wrench into the summer plans of their guests and more of a decision that can have big cost savings.
A smaller head count means less money spent on things like catering and the venue.
“Sometimes a venue can be beyond their budget, so long weekends can bring that cost down,” notes Chan.
That’s because couples can have their wedding on the Sunday, which typically cost less, but still get the benefits of a Saturday wedding due to the extra day off.
According to Shin, a former wedding planner, the decision to have a long-weekend wedding just comes down to location for some pairs.
“A lot of the time if their heart is set on a certain venue, then the couple doesn’t care about it being a long weekend,” she says.
“Normally if [guests are] close [to the couple], they’ll attend,” Chan says. “There is always going to be another long weekend.”
Some wedding planners have started encouraging couples who are considering having their big day on a long weekend to think about “local destination weddings.”
Kent, who got married on the Sunday of a Labour Day, chose to get married at her cottage in Muskoka, a location that made the event seem more unique.
“We had lots of guests from Australia, so it gave them a real Canadian experience.”
But long weekends can pose more problems than just having friends and family turn down the invite.
“Accommodation for us was difficult,” admits Kent, who struggled to find convenient boarding for guests in an area popular with long-weekend vacationers.
Couples are also reminded that long-weekend traffic can be a factor when deciding when and where to have their wedding, as it can cause guests and vendors to arrive late, and even result in extra vendor costs.
Bad traffic can also contribute to cab shortages and Uber surge pricing that can wreak havoc on guests getting to the ceremony and reception.
Regardless of the frustration long-weekend weddings can bring friends and family, there is one undeniable benefit that comes with them.
“Some of my clients think July 1 is a great anniversary day,” says Atendido. “They’ll never forget their anniversary.”