Just Engaged and Proposals

Date setting dilemma

Hi everyone. My name is Elizabeth and I just got engaged. My fiance and I are trying to decide on a date. I always wanted a winter wedding around Christmas, but because the ceremony will likely be a few hours from my hometown and a 3-hour plane ride from his hometown and because it's Christmastime, I have a feeling a lot of people won't come.

Our other option is an October wedding which I'm okay with, but I've just always looked forward to a winter wedding. What would you do? Make it more convenient for your guests so they can all share in this special day with you or have your dream wedding and assume that anyone who's truly important will make the trip, even at Christmas?

Re: Date setting dilemma

  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited June 2015
    I posted about the same thing in Etiquette. Talk to your VIPs and OOTers and see if your date ideas work for them. You may have a higher decline rate but if your most important people can make it than move forward. If it is troublesome, then only you and your FI can decide to what's important to you. Most of our OOTers fly home for Christmas and therefore preferred the Saturday closest to Christmas. So it ended up being a bonus for us, but only you know your guests.
    image
  • jacques27jacques27 member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 1000 Comments 5 Answers
    edited June 2015
    Hi everyone. My name is Elizabeth and I just got engaged. My fiance and I are trying to decide on a date. I always wanted a winter wedding around Christmas, but because the ceremony will likely be a few hours from my hometown and a 3-hour plane ride from his hometown and because it's Christmastime, I have a feeling a lot of people won't come.

    Our other option is an October wedding which I'm okay with, but I've just always looked forward to a winter wedding. What would you do? Make it more convenient for your guests so they can all share in this special day with you or have your dream wedding and assume that anyone who's truly important will make the trip, even at Christmas?
    Nope.

    And I say this because this is the start of the kind of mentality you see all the time that people use to excuse rude behavior.  "I don't need to get more chairs because anyone who truly loves me will stand and be okay with it."  "I can have my family work during my wedding because anyone who truly loves me will be okay with it."  "I can save money by having potluck because the important people who love me will be okay with it."

    I'm not saying that what you're proposing is rude.  It's not against etiquette to have a December wedding.  But that mentality?  Nope.  As soon as you invite guests, this party is about them.  Ceremony is about you, but the party afterwards is a thank you to them and care and comfort of guests trumps vision.

    How your situation differs from the PP though is you're pretty much asking everyone to travel, whereas her guests would have been already traveling there anyway.  And December is hectic for most people without adding additional travel on top of it and flights get more expensive.  (And if you're in an area that gets snow, which I'm assuming you do, then you may have people not willing to risk the couple hour drive if the weather gets bad - I've skipped winter weddings a mere 7 miles from house due to bad snow.)

    So, check with your VIPs about how they feel about it.  Ask them to be brutally honest (because lots of people don't want to disappoint people they love and will say "Of course, anything you want is fine").  But just know that you're probably asking a lot from people going with December if everyone is going to have to travel and it goes both ways - will they likely come because they love you and want to support you?  Sure.  But because you love them, you also wouldn't want to put them out.  And know that you will probably have a higher decline rate in December. 

    But really, only you and your FI can answer the question of what is more important:  vision or having all (or almost all) of your loved ones (friends and family) there.  You'll never find one single date that works for everyone, but you should at least be considerate and discuss with the VIPs.  If your VIPs are good with December, go for it, but again just keep in mind that you will likely have a higher decline rate with friends and non-immediate family (and you should not take those declines as a personal affront to you or as some commentary about whether you really are important to each other - everyone has their own lives, finances, and schedules to worry about).
    kimmiinthemitten[Deleted User]Viczaesar
  • Would you consider January or February?  You still get your winter wedding, and it might be more convenient for people schedule-wise.  Obviously weather will still be a factor.  Venues may also be cheaper since it's the off-season in most locations, unless you are planning to get married at a ski resort or something similar.

    Ditto, PPs, you will never find a date that is convenient for everyone, so you need to feel out your VIPs and make the decision that makes the most sense.


    thespeshulestsnowflake[Deleted User]
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I think you need to let go of the whole "dream wedding" thing. Honestly, my dream wedding included marrying my husband with all of our loved ones. That's it. I'd absolutely pick a month/day that was easiest on my guests, especially if a lot have to travel. Talk to your VIPs. I also suggest February. You could still do a winter wedding. 

  • Would you consider January or February?  You still get your winter wedding, and it might be more convenient for people schedule-wise.  Obviously weather will still be a factor.  Venues may also be cheaper since it's the off-season in most locations, unless you are planning to get married at a ski resort or something similar.

    Ditto, PPs, you will never find a date that is convenient for everyone, so you need to feel out your VIPs and make the decision that makes the most sense.
    I was going to suggest this. Also depending on where you are you would probably get more of that winter look.
    frenchiekin
  • Would you consider January or February?  You still get your winter wedding, and it might be more convenient for people schedule-wise.  Obviously weather will still be a factor.  Venues may also be cheaper since it's the off-season in most locations, unless you are planning to get married at a ski resort or something similar.

    Ditto, PPs, you will never find a date that is convenient for everyone, so you need to feel out your VIPs and make the decision that makes the most sense.
    I was going to suggest this. Also depending on where you are you would probably get more of that winter look.
    Ditto this.  Where I live (New England), we rarely have snow on the ground at Christmas anymore.  If you want that winter look, you are definitely better off later into the winter - again, depending on where you live.


  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    You basically need to decide what is more important to you...

    1) The overall look of your wedding to include your dream time of year

    OR

    2) Having all of your nearest and dearest present.

    A lot of people have dream weddings (heck I have about 7 in my head right now) but most don't get exactly what they want.  You have to compromise and decide what is most important to you in the long run.

  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I think December weddings can be inconvenient for some people.   Locals not as much.    I can't even imagine asking family and friends to travel a plane away to a location they would not normally be at during the holidays.   Traveling during the holidays can be expensive.

    Had you said the wedding was in BOTH your hometowns, then I would say go for it.  The fact that EVERYONE has to travel, at least half of which must fly,  no way I would ask that of my guests.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • mrscomposermrscomposer Mani-snow-ba member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    lyndausvi said:
    I think December weddings can be inconvenient for some people.   Locals not as much.    I can't even imagine asking family and friends to travel a plane away to a location they would not normally be at during the holidays.   Traveling during the holidays can be expensive.

    Had you said the wedding was in BOTH your hometowns, then I would say go for it.  The fact that EVERYONE has to travel, at least half of which must fly,  no way I would ask that of my guests.

    Yup, this.  I got married in my husband's hometown due to my FIL's health issues.  This meant that my family travelled a minimum of 9 hours to come to my wedding.  We got married in October, and my grandma still said that if there was a snowstorm, she wasn't coming.  There's a bit more stress on people around the holidays, so adding winter travel to it isn't something I would necessarily do.  January or February...heck, even March and April have snow where I'm from.
    **The OMH formerly known as jsangel1018**
  • I guess my thinking is that the wedding really is about me and my fiance. I understand that some can't be there and I honestly won't mind that they can't. I get that the world doesn't revolve around our wedding and it would be selfish of us to expect attendance at a time that's difficult for people. But at the same time, a wedding is a special thing in a person's life and I've always believed it should be exactly as the couple wants it, assuming they can afford it. Guests who can, will be there. Guests who can't, won't and there should be no hard feelings.

    Why is that mentality rude? If I was saying that I'll be pissed at anyone unable to come, then I could see that being rude. But that's not what I'm saying at all.
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited June 2015
    I guess my thinking is that the wedding really is about me and my fiance. I understand that some can't be there and I honestly won't mind that they can't. I get that the world doesn't revolve around our wedding and it would be selfish of us to expect attendance at a time that's difficult for people. But at the same time, a wedding is a special thing in a person's life and I've always believed it should be exactly as the couple wants it, assuming they can afford it. Guests who can, will be there. Guests who can't, won't and there should be no hard feelings.

    Why is that mentality rude? If I was saying that I'll be pissed at anyone unable to come, then I could see that being rude. But that's not what I'm saying at all.
        


    FWIW - I always dreamt of having a beach wedding in the islands.    We lived in the islands, so it would have been at home for us.   After doing some soul searching we decided to get married in on a beach in NJ to make it more convenient for our guests.  It was still 3-5 hours from most of the guests.  It's just we knew asking our guests to fly to the islands, pay for expensive hotels and food was just asking too much.   We wanted them to attend more than we wanted the dream.


    In the end mother nature ruined our beach wedding dream.  We ended up under a tent during a tropical storm.     However, we had the time of our lives with all of our family and friends there. A lot of which would have never been able to travel to the islands.  

     I have no regrets picking guests of over location.  However, it doesn't make you bad for picking location (ETA - or in your case time of year) over your guests (assuming they are being hosted properly).



    It's your wedding, do what you want.    You asked for our opinion and we gave it.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    Maggie0829
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I guess my thinking is that the wedding really is about me and my fiance. I understand that some can't be there and I honestly won't mind that they can't. I get that the world doesn't revolve around our wedding and it would be selfish of us to expect attendance at a time that's difficult for people. But at the same time, a wedding is a special thing in a person's life and I've always believed it should be exactly as the couple wants it, assuming they can afford it. Guests who can, will be there. Guests who can't, won't and there should be no hard feelings.

    Why is that mentality rude? If I was saying that I'll be pissed at anyone unable to come, then I could see that being rude. But that's not what I'm saying at all.

    If you decide that the time of year that you want is that important and you are fine if people can't make it because it may be inconvenient is perfectly fine.  There is nothing wrong with that.  But you asked our opinions on when you should have your wedding because you seemed conflicted on picking the time of year you wanted or a better time that is more convenient for your guests.  So we gave you those opinions.  You have to choose what is more important to you and your FI.  And neither choice is wrong as long as you are good with your decision and you host those who can come properly.

  • jacques27jacques27 member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 1000 Comments 5 Answers
    edited June 2015
    Reread my original post.  I think I was pretty clear on why that mentality LEADS to trying to justify rude behavior.

    I also said that having a December wedding wasn't rude, but gave numerous examples of how that same mentality can be used to justify behavior that is rude.  The mentality (or attitude) of "the important people will do this if..." is where you go wrong because it puts a value judgment on your relationship with them based on what they are willing to do for you.  That isn't how you regard people you love.  You should want to treat the people you love well and not create any undue burden or hardship on them.

    No one will be as invested in your wedding as you are.  And it really isn't all about you.  The minute you decide to invite guests instead of elope, it stops being all about you.  The ceremony is all about you (within reason), but a reception is a thank you gift to all of your loved ones for attending your ceremony.  You're basically hosting a big dinner party (or brunch party or what have you).  It is the first time you are receiving guests as a married couple. 

    Go ahead with your December wedding if you want, so long as you are ok with declines and check with your VIPs that adding expensive travel during a very busy month isn't adding to their burden.  Just drop the "Well the important people will do anything/be fine with anything because it's my wedding..." attitude/assumptions because it isn't going to serve you well in the long run with anything in your wedding or life.
  • beachyone15beachyone15 TEXAS (the home of my exes) member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    I guess my thinking is that the wedding really is about me and my fiance. I understand that some can't be there and I honestly won't mind that they can't. I get that the world doesn't revolve around our wedding and it would be selfish of us to expect attendance at a time that's difficult for people. But at the same time, a wedding is a special thing in a person's life and I've always believed it should be exactly as the couple wants it, assuming they can afford it. Guests who can, will be there. Guests who can't, won't and there should be no hard feelings.

    Why is that mentality rude? If I was saying that I'll be pissed at anyone unable to come, then I could see that being rude. But that's not what I'm saying at all.
    Here's the thing. It's VERY unlikely that you will have a wedding "exactly as you want it". You might plan well, have enough money to pay for everything you want, etc but I can tell you that almost everyone has unexpected things come up during planning or things that don't go exactly according to plan on the actual day. It's all about prioritizing what's most important (and letting the other things go). If that is having a winter wedding, then you may have more declines. If it's having a wedding in the fall, then you have to adjust to a new "vision". There will likely be many compromises along the way so I'm just trying to prepare you. FWIW I had always dreamed of a spring wedding, but with the weather here and the timing of our engagement, we had a fall wedding. Looking back, I'm so glad we did!


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  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    You say the wedding should be exactly as the couple wants it. Well, what do you and your fiancé want more, people there or a Christmas wedding? So far you have only said what your vision has always been. What are his thoughts on all of this? Have you checked with your VIPs to see if they can make a Christmas wedding and your whole problem solved?
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
    image
  • AddieCake said:
    You say the wedding should be exactly as the couple wants it. Well, what do you and your fiancé want more, people there or a Christmas wedding? So far you have only said what your vision has always been. What are his thoughts on all of this? Have you checked with your VIPs to see if they can make a Christmas wedding and your whole problem solved?

    He wants either Thanksgiving weekend or sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas. We met over Thanksgiving weekend at a friend's wedding and our first date was with a group of our mutual friends at a ski resort just before Christmas. When he proposed a few years later, he took me skiing at the same resort to pop the question and it was in late-December so he made the whole weekend about Christmas -- he pulled my ring out of his stocking.

    I always dreamed of a Christmas wedding anyway as a little girl, but the fact that it's actually a special time of year to us and our relationship makes it even more important to me.
    kimmiinthemitten
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