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Friday night wedding in early December.. a few questions

Hi everyone..!

I'm a big fan of weddings that take place around the holidays..I  love that people are already in a festive mood and love Christmas decorations. (My friend got married in late November and her pics came out beautiful with the Christmas trees/decorations in the background) I also like the idea of cooler weather and wearing one of those faux fur shawls over my gown and my bridesmaids in red....
Anyway.. not engaged yet but the bf and I are looking at ring settings so that's certainly a step closer! We've also discussed when (late 2011/early 2012) we would hopefully be hitched by..

Of course I've done some research already and have a few places in mind.. places that are on the pricey side.. after lurking on here for a bit I figured I'd ask all you experts!

My questions are: (and thanks ahead of time for any advice/feedback)
1. Does a wedding close to the holidays/Christmastime put a damper or for lack of better words, piss people off lol. I know everyone that matters will be there but at the same time I want people to be excited about coming to my wedding and not feel inconvenienced. The holidays are an expensive/stressful time of year as it is.

2. Are Friday night weddings a drag as well? I like Fri night obviously because you can get a better deal than on Saturday night but also because most people still have the whole weekend to enjoy and/or recouperate.
(I did notice that Fri won the the Fri vrs Sun night poll in here) =)

3. Now for the venues.. Would it be likely that places like the Venetian (my fave so far)/Rockleigh/Westmount would give us a price less than 200 per person (incl tax and tip) on a Friday night in early December? I know lots of places have holiday parties so although this is considered "off season" for weddings we still have some competition with dates... I've also been to Valley Regency and liked it alot too.

Again, thanks again to you all and I hope to stick around here exchanging tips and stories with everyone soon Cool

Re: Friday night wedding in early December.. a few questions

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    edited December 2011
    Hi! Welcome to the boards. I'm fairly new myself.

    Although I think it is cool that you are planning ahead, I must say that you might be putting in a little too much thought in your planning.  Not saying that your wedding planning dreams won't come true, but at this moment in time, you don't necessarily have to worry about seasons for planning and prices per person.

    I personally think the best thing you can do at this moment is to save money.  Sure, it's nice to have a ball park idea (and in your case, you are estimating $200 pp) of what the wedding you want will cost. However, since you are not engaged and are not actively spending money on wedding related events (at least I hope you're not) you have the ability to set a goal and save.  This way, when the time comes, you will have some money set aside.  

    I am not the type of person to ever judge how they spent their money - if a large wedding with a higher pp cost is important to you, then go for it. But, I just would suggest to be smart about it save now while you can and make the big decisions later. You may ultimately decide that the money you saved will go towards a wedding or you may decide you want to go to the jop and have a down payment on a house.  But since you are not at that point yet, you just don't know what the future holds.

    But, to answer your question, the season of your wedding will not really affect your guests. I do agree that December with the holidays is slightly more stressful and busier than some other months. 

    However - if you are "depending" on your guests to "cover their plates" or you are expecting to do very well in gifts, then any holiday season may not be the best choice. If you are looking forward to the wedding of your dreams as you have always wanted, to the man you love and are not as worried about the weather, who will come, who has other events and what guests are able to "give" (as I personally think you should) - then by all means, choose the holiday season. But, I can understand that December is a tougher on guests than other months. But, it shouldn't matter because you planned it the way you wanted rather than using other factors to decide.   

    Happy ring shopping - and save, save, save!
    image Tuffy
    RIP Little Man October 15, 1995 - June 1, 2010
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    jtheissjtheiss member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Tuffy's mommy makes some really great points that you should definitely take to heart. You're still a long way off from signing contracts with a venue, so I wouldn't start worrying about Fri vs. Sat and pp prices until you're ready to make those choices. I'm all for planning ahead, but if you're planning a wedding for about two years from now it's important to keep in mind that a lot can change between now and then (especially pp prices!) and the best thing you can do is be flexible. Have a general idea of what you want, but don't get your heart set on anything right now.

    As for some of your concerns, I don't think I would be put out to attend a wedding around the holidays if it was in early December. If you had it Thanksgiving weekend I would be put out because I wouldn't want to have to sacrifice any travel/family plans for the weekend in order to attend. Also, the closer it gets to Christmas, the more of an inconvenience it will be for people. But if you kept it to one of the first weekends in Dec I think it could be just the thing to get people in the holiday spirit.

    As for Fri vs. Sat., I struggled with this as well. I really really really wanted a Saturday wedding. But in the end, a Friday night wedding just made more sense for our budget. You have to realize that more people might decline on a Friday, or they may skip the ceremony and just come to the party if they can't get off work. In the end, the people who love you will be there. With that said, a Friday night during holiday season is an even tougher situation. So just be prepared for people to decline.
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    mbcdefgmbcdefg member
    5 Love Its First Comment Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    A Christmastime wedding really wouldn't bother me much, but my parents live in town and my in-laws are about an hour away, so we don't spend a lot of time traveling for the holidays. If I had to fly somewhere, or if we spent long weekends with family, maybe I'd feel differently.

    I think a Friday is better than a Sunday, but a Saturday is ideal.

    Like jtheiss said, I would first get engaged (or agree that you want to start booking things - which IS an engagement, even if the ring is coming later :P), then get price quotes from venues, and THEN worry about picking an ideal date.
    image
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    edited December 2011
    I got married about two weeks before Christmas. At first it really pissed my MIL off. She thought it would effect our gifts. After I told her our wedding wasn't for the money she backed off. But I agree with you. That time of year is generally a happy and festive one which is why we chose it.
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    LolyalyssaLolyalyssa member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I think it can only be to your advantage to start planning as soon as you get that ring on your finger.  I booked my place 22 months in advance and I got a great deal because of it.  It also helped me to focus on how much money I needed to save and I love a goal amount!

    Venetian is my top choice but the most pricey of the ones you mentioned and least willing to negotiate.  They are a top catering hall and they know they will book their days so they don't generally haggle.  I've also been to a wedding at Westmount and the food was great but the vibe is more modern than Venetian.  But its close in terms of guality.  Florentine Gardens is great.  Season's is great for a smaller wedding but Venetian type food (same owners). 

    When you start to budget don't forget tax, gratuity and sometimes Maitre'd fee.  The fees for me bumped up the per head cost by approx. $35.00.

    I love a Christmas wedding but it would be a financial stretch for me as one of your guests.  If I had to travel out of town for an Xmas wedding I probably wouldn't go unless it was a close family member and I couldn't miss it.  If everyone coming to your wedding is local then I would say go for it.  I would go if I was local.

    Friday during December doesn't bother me because it seems like in December people generally go out more during the week and Friday nights for shopping and parties and stuff.  Friday seems like less big of a deal to me in December than it does other times of the year.  Also, try for the first weekend in December or last of November.  The closer you get to Christmas the more people will have conflicts with office parties, school parties, pagents etc..
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    sgdc2011sgdc2011 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Get the ring first.  We went ring shopping.. I didn't get the ring until a year later.  As for a December wedding, weather could be more of an issue than the Christmas time, but also good point made, holiday parties tend to be around that time.  I personally don't like Friday weddings because of traffic and work, but do what works for you. 

    Plus.. although you like the venues, visit them before you start making favorites, I did this and it knocked out a bunch of my choices.  Pictures don't always show what it really looks like.
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    LolyalyssaLolyalyssa member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Go to the grocery store and buy a copy of NJ Bride and use the Reception Venue index in the back to look at places by county and then you can start looking at websites.  I was able to eliminate places that way.
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    leah2bleah2b member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I like weddings in the winter because there is less going on so its nice to have a wedding to go to!  Friday nights do not bother me at all. 

    As for the holidays, as my family is spread all over the place, I am often shuffling around the weekend before and after Christmas, so, If iIwere to choose, I would say early December.  I think you would get more "nos' if you had it the weekend before Christmas.

    As stated above, start saving your $$ now.  You would be amazed at how much more it will cost than you think. 
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    carlaspeedcarlaspeed member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I would advise you to lock in your rate with the hall, since the economy is still not good, the prices out there are a lot less than they were 2 years ago. Don't forget to negotiate and bring other hall's quotes, you can ask them to match the competitor's prices!

    Also, if you book your hall 6 months or less in advance you get a good rate too but then you might just have to settle for what's available as far as place and date!

    I agree that the month I spend the most $ is Christmas time in December, I would rather not have that additional expense of going to a wedding!
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    uppereastgirluppereastgirl member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_new-jersey_friday-night-wedding-early-december-questions?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:90Discussion:91730203-bfc7-4f02-b6d8-ca4e3b3a371bPost:28402c49-c42a-4693-8dfe-0bec2ea9aa4c">Re: Friday night wedding in early December.. a few questions</a>:
    [QUOTE]I would advise you to lock in your rate with the hall, since the economy is still not good, the prices out there are a lot less than they were 2 years ago.
    Posted by carlaspeed[/QUOTE]

    I disagree with this.  Entering into a contract to spend tens of thousands of dollars before you're even really engaged sounds like a bad, bad idea.

    I would hold off on getting too far into this until you're engaged.  Or at least, if your boyfriend is willing to go visit lots of wedding venues and do lots of research, why wouldn't he just propose to you already?  I'm not saying it isn't going to happen, but it just seems odd to not get engaged if you're both ready to start wedding planning.  And if saving money for a ring is the reason for delay, are you or your parents really ready to start putting down payments on wedding things?

    It isn't too early to dream about it, but it probably is too early to start getting into the down and dirty of it.

    To go back to your original question, I like the idea of winter weddings, don't like Friday weddings (they are VERY stressful for me because of work -- I hate having to take a half day to attend a somewhat local wedding), and although I would have no issue with attending a wedding near the holidays, you may be asking some people to miss holiday parties, and some out of town guests may not be able to attend because they'll be traveling around the holidays and that's too much travel for one month.
    image
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    edited December 2011
    Hi all!

    Thanks for all your advice! 6 months later I am back and engaged!! (It happened the night before Father's Day) Now I am reeling!.. and kinda glad I thought about certain things before the engagement because even now that it's set in stone I don't know where to begin!

    Everyone tells me to book the big things first..  namely, reception venue and church.

    Although I previously mentioned an early Dec wedding, the fiance is thinking early November (he likes 11/11/11)
    Does this mean I need to hop to?.. I was kinda thinking about relaxing for a month or 2, enjoy my engagement, maybe go on a little vacation and then start planning late August. But then I was advised by another newly engaged coworker that if I want something in 2011 I better act fast because days fill up quick....

    I drove past the Venetian today and thought "ahhhh"
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