Holiday weekends: They’re filled with many dreams — dreams of all the errands you’ll finally get done, how many lazy hours of Netflix you’ll catch up on, and exactly how much take-out a human can have delivered over a 72-hour period. They’re truly bursting with possibilities.
But an evil force threatens the serenity of those weekends as we know it and it’s the dreaded holiday-weekend wedding. Oh, yes. There are couples among us who would have you believe that paying through the nose to spend your precious mini-vacation doing the hustle with their uncle Larry is something a person actually wants to do. And guess what, if you don’t want to do that, you’re a bad friend who never really cared about them to begin with.
Holiday-weekend weddings are very, very bad. They can sap your bank account and your sanity even more so than regular weddings, require way too many joint activities with strangers, and are often impossible to attend. I love you, and I want to be there for your big day, but I also have very few holiday weekends a year, and I don’t want to use one of them for your wedding.
First of all, it’s generally much more expensive to travel over a holiday weekend than other times of the year. When you factor in the already exorbitant cost of flying, the added bucks can put potential guests in a financially perilous position. And it’s not just air travel — hotels and rental cars can cost more too. I really want to come to your wedding but I also really want to pay rent.
And traveling over a holiday weekend comes not just with added financial costs, but stress as well. Airports are crowded, rental-car places are overburdened, and don’t even get me started on hotel check-in. I once attended a Memorial Day weekend wedding in Vegas and the check-in line at the Bellagio literally snaked out the door. Into the Vegas heat!
I think I cried, but I’m not sure if it was tears or sweat. I know it’s kind of a goofy thing to complain about — first world problems and all that — but the woman who finally checked us into our room said the previous weekend was a breeze. Empty counters as far as the eye could see! Penny slots for the taking! Craps tables teeming with opportunities!
But nope. I was stuck in the seventh layer of Vegas hell between a bachelor party filled with men exclusively wearing backwards baseball caps. For what team? I don’t know. Probably Satan’s.
And then there are the forced activities of holiday-weekend weddings. I know people think it’s so awesome that you’re spending your holiday with them so they want to make sure it’s action-packed. That’s nice but I don’t want to spend three straight days with a bunch of people who are mostly strangers. Those packed itineraries make the long weekend akin to summer camp from hell. I once had to kayak down a murky river in the sweltering September heat with a groomsman I didn’t know — for three godforsaken hours. Do you understand how terrifying kayaks are and how much I hate them? I fell into the water twice and as soon as we got back, I had to head straight to a necklace-making tent for the next fucking activity. I left that wedding with about 50 mosquito bites and a bunch of ruined swamp clothes.
My long weekend could’ve been spent staycationing in my apartment with my beloved dog and my even more beloved air conditioning, which brings me to my next point: One of the best ways to spend a holiday weekend is slipping into your pajamas Friday night and not peeling them off until Tuesday morning. Add in a steady diet of Netflix and candy, and it’s the perfect way to bliss out for an uninterrupted stretch of “you” time. You know how normal weekends never feel like they contain enough downtime? That’s what three-day weekends are for.
On the flip side, lots of us have long-standing holiday weekend obligations that are nearly impossible to get out of. Memorial Day with mom in Maine and Labor Day at the lake are familial traditions that are generally considered too taboo to break. I might really want to come to your wedding but it might also fall during a completely untenable time.
And that old chestnut of “The people who really love you will show up no matter what!” is totally unfair. I might really love a person and want to see them get hitched but I often have preexisting holiday-weekend plans with other people whom I also love. That puts me in a tough position. You still need to do what’s right for you but don’t discount my love just because I have a non-refundable AirBnB booked in Hawaii for that weekend.
(This is a true story, BTW. I chose Hawaii and wish I could say I was 100% great with my decision, but I was also a little sad because I missed the wedding of a great friend from high school. Luckily, another buddy was able to Skype me in for the ceremony so I still got to cry when I saw her walk down the aisle.)
This is to say, again, I love you very much — but I don’t want to go to your holiday-weekend wedding. I’m pretty sure many other people don’t either, so do us all a favor and plan it for one of the many weekends that isn’t a government holiday.